Friday, November 30, 2012

Butterfly Party

Last year Keziah and I agreed on a fun rainbow theme for her birthday party which was a big hit and a lot of fun to put together.  This year I was inspired by some simple-looking cupcakes that I found on Pinterest and convinced Keziah to do a butterfly-themed party.

First I found a butterfly template online, cut it out and traced it onto folded cardstock to create the invitations. 

I had some supplies laying around from my old scrapbooking days, so I printed the cover words onto white card stock, punched them with a flower-shaped punch and then attached them with the brads.  Not fancy card-making genius by any means - but cute (and simple!)

Then I printed the party details on more white card stock and adhered them inside the invitations.

The morning of Keziah's birthday I wanted her to have a celebratory wake-up.  It worked out great since the boys usually get up around 6 am (they all share a room in case you've forgotten) but Keziah sleeps until 7:30.  I had plenty of time to make this balloon garland.  She was a little sleepy-eyed and groggy when she discovered it but I think it served it's purpose of welcoming her to an exciting day...

After she took a few minutes to wake up she promptly gathered some of her favourite-ist treasures and created a birthday shrine for herself on the kitchen table.

(This is soo very Keziah-ish...)

After she went off to school I replaced it with some butterfly decor in anticipation of her party (which was still a couple of days away).   I found the foliage around the farm and added some dollar store butterflies.

I found lilac branches that were already budding for the butterflies to perch on.  And - wouldn't you know it - we still have flowers in November!  (Erik's mom thinks these little purple flowers are alyssum).

I also used the same invitation template to create some butterfly garland to hang above the table.  

Then, Saturday came and it was party day.  I couldn't help but get Keziah a new dress for the occasion when I saw this one at Superstore...

When the guests arrived we gave them each a pair of "butterfly wings" to wear ($1.25 each from Dollarama).  Then I had 2 crafts planned to keep 6 little girls and 3 little boys busy.  The first was a simple craft of tissue paper and pipe cleaners.

For the second craft I gave the kids each a clothes-pin to decorate and told them that we were making caterpillars, but that by the end of the party they would turn into butterflies.  Later, while the kids were in the other room I clipped on the candy bags as the butterfly wings.  

I planned a couple of party games - our favourites are hot potato dress-up (take an item from the dress-up bin when it's your turn until everyone is dressed up all crazy) and the present unwrapping game (layers of wrapping paper with a gift inside that can be shared by all {more candy, of course!})

Then it was time for cupcakes... 

The cupcakes were my main inspiration for the party - an idea that I found here.  The Martha Stewart version is much more pretty in pastel, but I let Keziah choose the icing colours from this very fun and helpful chart so we ended up with more vibrant butterflies.  The wings are made from yogurt-covered pretzels, some dots of pink icing for the body, a smartie head and licorice antennae (sidenote: it's not easy to find shoe string licorice - let alone black or dark purple to match the picture - so I ended up using a red pull-and-peel twizzler).

The cupcakes were thoroughly enjoyed by all...

I commented to Erik that this group of girls was sooo much louder than they were last year.  I nearly lost my voice by the end of the 2 hours.  I ended up shipping them outside near the end of the party because there was a whole lotta noise and energy going on in our tiny house.

I breathed a sigh of relief when it was all over.  And I think we had one happy little party girl.

One birthday down, one more to go!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Birthday Girl

Yesterday my sweet little girl turned 6 years old.  I had hoped to post something here on the actual day, but it didn't happen... (hey, I'm embracing imperfection, remember?)  Besides, since her party isn't until tomorrow, her 'birthday' isn't technically over yet, right? :)

The other day I was reminiscing with Keziah about the day she was born and how excited and blessed I felt to discover that I had a daughter.  

As time progresses I see more and more how Keziah is almost the exact clone of me when I was her age.  Of course there's the blonde hair and blue eyes that make the obvious connection, but like me, she is also shy, quiet, imaginative, creative, a little clumsy and ditzy (sorry Keziah, but I am talking about both of us here...)  She's also tender-hearted, thoughtful and generous.

I also bump heads with Keziah more than I do with the boys - maybe because we're so similar?  She can be a teaser and an instigator unfortunately and some days I feel like I am on her case ALL day.  But one evening last week I found this note beside my bed:

{"I love you even when I tease."}

And it melted my heart.

Her note gave me an idea - and since she is bursting with all of her Grade One knowledge these days (and reading and spelling every word in sight), I thought it was time to start a mother-daughter journal.  Right now our letters are very simple and lovey-dovey and appropriate for a barely 6-year-old, but I hope that someday it can be a place where Keziah will feel comfortable sharing more with me - especially since I know she will find it difficult to talk openly if she's anything like me.

She totally loves the idea and I admit it's pretty fun to read letters like this at the end of the day:

{"I love you more than ever.  I will like to give you a picture with me and you."}

As the kids are growing older, I feel a strong sense of urgency to pray for them.  However I get easily overwhelmed at all the things that I should be praying for.  But I recently felt inspired to pray a repeated, simple prayer for each child every day: "Lord, I pray that Keziah would grow up to love you with all of her heart, soul, mind and strength.  And I pray that she would love other people."

Because that is really at the heart of what I want for each of my children...

Happy birthday sweet girl...

Monday, November 19, 2012

Embrace It

I've been waiting for inspiration to strike for a new blog post, but I think I've got blogger's block.  That... and a lack of time.  Or energy.  Or both.

This is the crazy time of year for me - there's the typical Christmas-around-the-corner busyness happening... which is full, yet manageable - but when you add the planning of 2 birthday parties (for a soon-to-be 6-year-old and soon-to-be 8-year-old), it just adds to the chaos.  (And did I mention that we're still not done renovating our bathroom...?)

My mantra this year is to keep things simple.  I don't know if I'm succeeding.  But I'm trying.  There are some things at this time of year that just have to be (i.e. Keziah's ballet Christmas concert marathon {a whole day event}).  But then there's the other things, like thoughtful teacher gifts, sending fancy cupcakes with the kids for their classmates on their birthdays, creating an elaborate homemade advent calendar for the kids...  You get the idea.  It's got to be the one draw-back of spending time on Pinterest - the assumption that everyone else has all the time in the world to bake, sew, craft, create and be...
Super Mom-ish.

So, it's healthy for me to recognize that I just won't be able to do everything exactly the way I would like to (and just because everyone and their dog pins an idea to Pinterest, it doesn't mean they're actually going to do it... can I hear an amen?).

Erik and I like to remind each other to embrace imperfection...

I have to admit, it's a pretty refreshing idea.