Our Easter Party!
We had our Easter Party this past Friday and it was awesome!
Thursday afternoon we took all the white sheets, blankets, curtains, and fabric we've collected the last few months, added string, safety pins, clothes pins, and all sorts of tacks and such - and went to work on turning our carport into a white party tent.
My nosy neighbor wasn't impressed. I think she thought we were finally creating a barrier so she couldn't watch our every move. She seems to find us to be her entertainment. Nevertheless, we worked against the wind and our neighbors stares and finally finished our white wonderland.
Oh, the glow of the girls eyes! Who knew a carport could be so pretty! The guys were pretty impressed too.
Originally I had thought I would do quite a bit of baking for our party this year. . . but that was wishful thinking. Ha.
Except for baking a cake and making cupcakes with the left over batter, I opted for simplicity and pre-made treats. Sometime I hope to highlight the baking instead of the decorating, but it wasn't meant to be this year. Besides I am so not a baker like some women have the gift. I merely attempt to bake, and pray it will come out okay.
Our theme this Easter was "white" - rejoicing in and recalling God's goodness to cleanse us, redeem us, and wash us from our sins through His death on the cross and taking our punishment for us. I have been overcome this year with how God has run this theme time and time again in my days, weeks - times with Him.
I decided to keep our menu in the white theme as well. . . which made for an interesting combination of foods! Oh my.
Our party menu consisted of things like:
white pear slices
vanilla jelly beans and gum drops
white cupcakes and cake
bagels and cream cheese
doughnuts and doughnut holes
The kids were thrilled.
It all looked pretty!
But talk about a sugar high.
Thursday night I fell asleep listening to the wind blow strong out our window, knowing that by morning our white tent would have to be reconstructed. I was exhausted from grocery shopping, tent constructing, soccer practices, dinner clean up and cake baking. I knew all this was far more than I should probably try to do. . .
But Friday morning I woke up to the happy sounds of children talking about it being "the party day." How could I not party!?
Robert was getting ready for work and I rolled his way and smiled, "Today I get to throw a party for the best kids in the whole wide world." Seriously, I was emotional about it because the truth is, I can think of no other people I would prefer to give my all to.
"I wish I could come. . ." He smiled back as I watched him ready for his day. I wanted him there too, but dads have to be dads. I was feeling spoiled that my job that Friday, no matter how much energy it would take, was the pleasure of loving on my children in a special way and celebrating God's love for us.
I pulled the warm covers around me one last time and shut my eyes. God and I talked. I thanked Him for life, for another day, for the new baby's movements I was feeling just then, the sun out my window, and for seven kids that meant the world to me and I had the privilege of blessing.
I cast my burdens on Him of the wind and the forecast of 90 degree heat and that I wouldn't have the strength to do all I'd hoped to do with the children.
I've had months in bed to think through our party day. I'd saved $75. for our celebration (for food, decorations, games, outfits, EVERYTHING included) and I determined to not spend a dime over that. That's really half the fun right there!
I've made lists of ideas and things to make. I've tucked the lists in my purse, put them by my bed, on my desk. . .We've all worked together doing just a little bit at a time.
Friday morning I made a few lists - a list of things that needed to be done to bring it all together, and a list of our party schedule.
The older children were so excited to help with all the details. The little ones "helped" too. We had a great morning of team work. Somehow my enthusiasm for beauty has rubbed off on my kiddos and they get as excited as I do, or more, when everything starts coming together!
I loved what Scott said, "Mom, I mean this could be like a wedding. You could do a small wedding like this. I could actually get married in a carport if it looked like this."
I laughed. I told him not to tell his bride-to-be someday that his mom would do the wedding and they would get married in a carport - because after all, it could be done - and done cheap. He smiled.
We started first thing Friday morning reconstructing the tent from the wind the night before. The wind continued throughout the morning, making it less than easy to hang all the beautiful decorations we'd made. At one point I turned and muttered to Shelton as we were hanging the garlands, "Oh, this wind! Maybe we should just wait until next week."
His silence and a glance at his face told me nope. "Don't worry," I said, "I'm not giving up if you won't!" I text Robert, "Hon, pray the wind would die down for our party time this afternoon."
As the sun got higher and hotter the wind did subside just enough - not enough to hang our cotton ball garlands and use everything we'd made - but most of what we created was usable and staying put.
The wind was a blessing after all too! The temps got in the 90's that afternoon, but with the shade of our carport tent and the breeze, it was very pleasant and perfect party weather.
By 1:30pm we'd worked solid and things were ready. I told the boys, "Two o'clock is party time - get cleaned up, pick out some party clothes that are white and khaki and put on your best manners!"
I dressed the girls and put their hair in the hair bands we made for the party. Then I changed out my own work clothes for my party attire I bought at the local Goodwill for a few dollars last week.
I told the kids to wait in my room until I came and got them. I pulled out the special surprise notes I'd written to the children, and a few other surprises they didn't know I had and placed them at their place settings around our party table. I put my camera around my neck so I could snap pictures when I wanted to. I blind shot most of our party pictures from my waist so I could witness everything with my eyes and not have the camera up to my face very much.
It proved to pay off in a way I'd not expected - because at that level, I saw things more like they see them!
Then it was party time!
The kids came out to our white tent, everything in place. They found their place setting and discovered their surprises. I explained our "four course snack meal" and the order to our party.
Our party schedule went as follows:
-Welcome the kids to the party.
-Everyone to the table. Pray together that God would bless our time and thank Him.
-Give them their notes and read them together.
-Explain party manners once more to the children and give out instructions for the older boys to serve the younger.
-Explain the four courses of our snack meal.
-Before eating play game, give out three jelly beans.
-First course - cupcakes and pears. Everyone waits for course two until all have eaten. Boys serve each plate, Morgan pours water.
-Second course - bagels and cream cheese, scones, a cookie. Everyone get their own from the snack table.
-Third course - popcorn and marshmellows! Mom serve them from jars.
-Fourth course - doughnuts and doughnut holes.
-Easter egg hunts. Hide all the white eggs within the white tent area and have the kids find them. Have prizes. Then have all the kids hide them for mom. Have boys hide for girls/girls hide them for boys.
-Put Baby down for a nap.
-Bible time together - read Luke's account of the death and resurrection.
-Clean up food and tent area together and get it ready for cake time.
-Lay down rules for water balloons.
-Water balloon fights!
I thought I'd post the pictures pretty much in the order I took them throughout the day. First the beginning of the setting up and decorating, taking pictures as we added things to our tent. These kind of give an over all view of the details and such and our creations. So much fun and EASY too.
Then pictures I snapped throughout our party - and as events took place. We used a timer and tripod now and then to get some of the pics, Morgan or Scott snapped a few that I am in, but mostly I just tried to capture this and that as we went along.
Beginning to set up our party place in our carport/white tent. We brought out our coffee table and covered it with a white blanket for our main table.
The girls' end table is where we put one of our "Easter trees." The children collected rocks from out back - Bub painted some white and we stamped words on some. We hung our spring banner we made from old canvas and stamps from the drawer. It now hangs in our living room and encouraged me just about life in general.
Old square vases with rocks for weights held in the "Easter trees" nicely.
We bought these party pinwheels five for a dollar at a new party store that just opened nearby. Then we glue gunned vintage looking fabric to the tops. I had planned on hanging these from the carport ceiling, but it was a bit breezy for them. Thus we used them around the party area for fun decoration.
This chair was sitting in our shed due to it's dirtiness - I threw some clean cheese cloth fabric over it for our party to make it useable and pulled some pillows from the house. We "planted" another "Easter tree" in an empty pretzel container and covered the container with cotton balls and paper flowers. The "Easter trees" were perfect for hanging all our homemade ornaments on. Bub helped me find some old branches to make the "Easter trees" and the boys helped me spray paint the branches white. Now one of the trees and tree decorations has found a pretty place in the girls' bedroom. They love it!
Robert had an old antique door up against his work shed - one side was painted white. The boys washed it down real good and we used it as part of our party decor.
Morgan just loved this little doily hanger we found at Tuesday Mornings for $1.47. We glued scrap strings to it to form a nest for two of our little birds we'd collected in our craft stuff. It now hangs near the girls' bedroom door.
Here is the start of our main table decor. We started with doilies we found in a bin at the Goodwill, our fabric circles we made, and a cool vase we bought for $1.99 at a second hand shop.
Added some of our paper flowers we made from old book pages.
Our plastic egg basket.
Main center piece over our party table.
Hanging our doily garlands. . .
We hung all our homemade "lanterns" from the rafters of the carport. Turned out so whimsical!
Our chair garlands we made.
Fun foods in kitchen canisters.
The fabric flag banners were one of my favorite things to hang. One now rest over the window curtains in the girls' room and the other in my bedroom. Very vintage looking.
Morgan and Shelton painted these little wood crosses white several weeks ago. Then Morgan stamped the bottom with a pretty design and I put on the string for them to hang them so they could be hung on the our "Easter trees." We bought one large white fake feather at the craft store and cut it all up and attached "feathers" to the middle of each cross.
Our favorite pillow made from an old canvas money bag.
Bringing out the "fine china" for our party foods. I reminded myself before hand that if one of the children dropped one on the concrete carport floor it was no biggie. After all wouldn't I react the same with any "special guests" for a party?
Everything coming together. . .
Our party food table. I took an old lamp and took the shade off of it and replaced the shade with our white tissue paper flowers. We covered an old little table out of the shed with some cream colored canvas curtains we used in our last house - and set this table at the opening of the carport as a party entrance table.
The children had stamped verses on paper doilies for our party a few weeks ago. We sticky tacked these to the antique door and used them as reference during our Bible time at the party.
This was the "game corner" of our tent. . . in the buckets we housed lots of white water balloons until it came time for the big wars to begin.
A rocking chair for me to rest in during the party. Robert picked this up a few weeks ago from a job sight where they were throwing it out. He was going to sell it on Craigslist - but glad he didn't before we could get good use of it! We took the yellow flowered cushions off and covered the bottom with an old white sheet.
Little feminine decor.
Easter egg hunt eggs.
View from the entrance of the carport/tent.
Setting our party table with special notes, place tags, and treats. . .
We'd made little stamped food tags for our different food items.
The boys' surprise notes I put in little pouches I sewed in the shape of a knife holders:
The girls' looked like this:
I took little paper doilies, string, and paper to make the name placements at the table.
These are the kids' special treat bags. I had some tiny little ziplocks left from a Christmas card project we did - I sewed fabric scrap to the bottom and used stamps. I made the girls' slightly different with the top of each bag having a little cotton ball for the "head" and pieces of doily for the "dress."
The bottom of the treat bags.
Girl's treat bag.
Boy's treat bag.
Main table almost ready for the party to start!
Our "Shabby Chic" cake.
Loved the way it turned out and tasted :)
Snack courses set out. . .
Then my very special guests arrive! ! !
Baby wanted to check everything out!
The boys did too. . . I had surprised them with some of the food items.
The boys were just as excited as the girls - and as usual, a whole lot less tame.
Hannahkate outfits that I just love.
Finding their place settings, name tags.
Before I had Scott give the run down on "high tea" manners.
Itty's hair band we made of leather strips, fabric, feathers, and such. I've decided I want one like this too.
Morgan's hair band.
Around the table for prayer and reading their notes. . .
Boys serving up first course. . . they were quite the gentlemen for this part.
One of our manner rules: "Eat your cupcakes any ol' way you want."
A teacup full of water makes the sugar go down. . .
Serving themselves the next course. . .
Baby primarily ran happily around the carport/tent, eating one bite out of everything and then putting it back.
Doughnut holes are a favorite.
The guys of the party.
Party pictures of Baby before putting her down for her afternoon nap. She wore a Hannahkate top, homemade top over that, and Morgan's ballet recital tutu. Lovely fun.
My Goodwill bought party shoes. . .
My party necklace Morgan and I created from old lace, paper, and scraps. I loved the way it turned out and will be wearing it again.
New short hair (but not styled like I like to do it if I have time!), and Goodwill Easter party sundress - perfect for our hot, but breezy afternoon.
Favorite picture chair of the afternoon~
My favorite food course of the party~
Very polite little party gal.
Holding her special treat bag.
Barefeet always allowed~
The gang was all there! Here they are after their third snack course - ready for Easter egg hunts!
Hiding the eggs together. It took me forever to find the eggs that the boys hid for me! I finally had to give up. One was down in the popcorn, another tucked inside the doily of a lantern. Totally unfair to a pregnant mama.
Boys are ready for the games to begin!
Man, I love these boys! One of them said something funny and that was that for us all!
My girls - minus the one napping.
We cleaned up from our first three courses (saving the cake for last!) and had a time of reading and talking before our water balloon wars. . .
Hats were set aside for the games. . . I frequently stole one for myself.
They played water balloons for over an hour! Running all over the yard and getting soaked. Brighton was quite tired from our afternoon party and decided to stay back and rest with me most of the war. . .
Wouldn't know looking at him, but he's a good shot with that balloon
She filled her whole dress up with her balloon ammunition! You go girl~
Itty threw a couple of balloons and then gave the rest to her brothers. . .
She was more interested in resting with me as I watched the balloons flying around the yard and kids laughing!
After Itty feel asleep, I pulled out my secret stash! (yep, tripod pic just to remind the kids one day that mama did get them quite wet as well!)
Some favorite shots from after our party. . .
Morgan enjoyed every single little detail. . . she helped make so many of them too.
Our tissue paper and book page flowers. . .
18 weeks or so pregnant mommy.
I'm not sure there is anyway for these pictures to really depict the fun, the laughter, the memories made. But it will have to do and I'm grateful for the reminders they will be that will spur on the memories of all that took place Friday afternoon/evening.
I really can't believe we actually were able to have a party this Easter - prayer and perseverance were the two key elements. And just God's grace and peace amidst it all. I have loved hearing the kids talk about what they liked best.
I am pretty sure I just liked the kids best.
| ||Posted 4/13/2011 2:21 PM - 20667 Views - 98 eProps - 72 comments|
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