It has been many years since we have attempted a birthday party. I have loved our small, intimate, family parties. After our busy spring when Teilee asked for a large party I knew I would have to be crazy to say yes. The reasons why we all deserved a big party began to whine in my head and suddenly I was anxiously awaiting the inevitable large party with all of our friends. Fortunately for myself, Teilee has excellent taste in friends. It was almost as though the party was for me!!
In advance I made a lovely wooden banner. Made from wooden rounds and painted with letters. It says, "Happy Birthday". I also made a banner that says "Teilee" and one that says "Landis". These will eventually become headboard decorations (without the happy birthday part).
I love multipurpose, reusable items that have been made from reclaimed materials. It sorta fits in with our Wooden Toy Garden lifestyle.
We decided to have a morning pancake party. The idea was gifted to me by a lovely friend and we couldn't have been happier about it. We had it at City Park beginning at 9:30-11:30 with a bring-your-own-lunch invitation after the party, and a trip to the pool after lunch. How lucky is our town to have a place like City Park and it's pool.
This was Teilee's party so it was dinosaur themed of course. We had a design your own necklace table and a create your own dinosaur garden. This was based on a traditional Waldorf activity, gnome garden building. We just substituted the gnomes for dinosaurs and viola! The kids crafted, played on the play ground and ate breakfast at our gluten free, dairy free, corn free, soy free pancake bar. We had coffee, juice, pancakes, homemade honey syrup, hard boiled eggs, lots of fresh fruit and veggies. Our guests brought their own plates and utensils to help reduce waste. Although I do wish I had brought extra plates, napkins, forks, cups etc... Thank goodness my parents were in town to help out! They prepared all of the fruits and vegetables, ran and defrosted the 100 pancakes (we had to premake some during the week and freeze them until the day of the party), went out and purchased extra plates and utensils, watched kids during the party, and cleaned up after the party as well. I am sure I forgot a few hundred things they did.
After everyone had gotten their craft on, eaten, and played thoroughly, I told Teilee's rainbow bridge story. Teilee is in the middle (purple and white dress) with the happy smile on her face.
The rainbow bridge story is one that we always tell. Teilee asks for it every year and can't wait to see how it changes. To prepare for the story it requires me to take some time to reflect on Teilee's past and how she has grown to be this child that she is. I share a little something about each year that she has been on earth.
Gifts were not requested, nor required, nor desired and yet they appeared. Her friends know her so well. Dinosaur inspired, carefully homemade, lovingly created gifts.
Then the kids ate and daddy took them swimming with some friends while Mommy, Grandma Lee, and Papa cleaned up!
We wound down the evening at home.
With cake of course. Teilee allowed me to do brownies instead of cake (Thank you, Thank you, Thank you). It is also our tradition that I make a cake into something, or decorate a cake in some special way. Brownies are just as capable of being designed as cake is!
Teilee unwrapped her gift from Grandma Lee and Papa Ken, and immediately showed us her sense of humor.
I am not sure if we can pull this off every year, nor do I aspire to. At least this year, we gave her a party to remember. Introducing my eight year old!