Wednesday, April 20, 2011

"Best Birthday Party Ever!!"

Today was a special day, Jeff's birthday!  Nate and Elli LOVE birthdays and were very excited to throw Papa a party.  In fact they were a bit dismayed when I shared that it would be a simple family party with the four of us. (They recently watched an episode of Curious George where George threw the Man with the Yellow Hat a surprise party.)  Once the initial dissatisfaction with this arrangement was over, both embraced throwing Papa a "simple" party.  At the end of the night Nate announced that this was "the best birthday party ever!"  I have to agree, tonight was the most fun I've had at a birthday party in a long time!




Today was organic in nature... not overly planned, in fact other than the cake, nothing about the day had really been set.  Our day started with an adventure to pamper and surprise Papa...immediately dressing the kids, whisking them out the door, packing them in the car, and driving to the next town over for Papa's favorite doughnuts (their's too!).  We came back home, dropped breakfast with a note and ran onto the grocery store to pick out ingredients for a special meal.  


The kids had ownership of much of the process and they adore Jeff - a fun combination.  They picked out the sports plates and blue balloons at the Dollar Store.  Each made paper cakes decorated with oil pastels and paper strip candles.  They helped tidy up with less than normal prompting, so it would be nice when Papa came home from work. 


Nate and Elli wanted to decorate the cake.  We had done this with Elli's cake, but personally I found the crunch of the candy on the frosting a bit off-putting and sweet.  This time we took one of our favorite activities and adapted it for a cake.  My fruit fans love to make fruit kabobs.  Kabob sticks + various fruits = engaging activity and beautifully fun to eat snack for later. Today we found beautiful strawberries and blackberries at the market and they paired beautifully with our cake, Chocolate Cassata  As a side-note, Mrs. Beck would be proud - Nate loves to use the patterns he learns at school while threading the fruit on his stick.  "I'm making an A A B B pattern Mama!" 
Recent Fruit Kabobbing
Focussed family time!  With Jeff finishing up his Master's next month, we have been on a weird family schedule with bits and pieces here and there.  Tonight school work was set aside for a couple of hours to celebrate!

Simple games to fit the space and kids abilities.  Elli wanted to play tag and Nate wanted to play soccer.  Jeff suggested, "Balloon Bounce."  We all worked to keep balloons up in the air without catching them.  We laughed and had a lot of fun!  When this became old we played "Boof."  A game invented by our friends Todd and Tricia when their children were young which involves "boofing" each other with a soft object.  Tickles and giggles ensued.  

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