a birthday party for Lyd

Wednesday was Lyd’s birthday, and today [Friday] was her party.  I spent a busy day today getting everything ready.  I wasn’t as prepared ahead of time as I could have been with some things, such as getting the house cleaned (I really procrastinated on that, so some things just didn’t get done), but it went off well enough. 

We invited the entire school — all 18 students — over for one hour after school for a birthday party for Lyd.  The invitation stated “no present, please” which Lyd knew about and was okay with.  Not only did this take away from the “stuff” aspect of a birthday party, but it also meant that I didn’t have to come up with a big goody bag for the kids to take home.  Their take home gift was a simple helium balloon.  Earlier this week while in Walgreen’s, I noticed they sold bags of 15 balloons for about $3, and the balloons could be inflated with either regular air or helium.  So, today I took the 2 bags of balloons to my local grocery store, asked them if they could inflate them for me, they said yes, and less than an hour later they were ready to go.  It cost me $10. 🙂  I was very pleased with that, plus the balloons said “Happy Birthday” on them, so it was just the right touch.

I also ordered a bouncy/jumpy house for the party, and the Pink Princess Castle arrived at 10:30 this morning.  I was delighted to find that the pink castle was in the cheapest category for a bouncy house, so that worked out well.  All of the kids loved it; bouncy houses are very popular out here.

The school kids stayed from 3:30 to 4:30, at which time most of the kids went home.  However, a few of Lyd’s good friends were invited to stay for supper, along with their parents.  Lyd’s non-school friends also came over at this time.  I made a simple meal: hotdogs on the grill, Best in the West beans, salad greens w/cherry tomatoes and avocado, raspberry jello, carrots, watermelon, potato chips, pickles, and stuff to drink.  A friend brought some chips and hummus, too.  I’ve been in a big hummus mood lately, and I just used up my container, so I was glad to see her bring that. 🙂

For the cake, Lyd had requested a chocolate cake, so I found a great chocolate sheet cake recipe in my FVL cookbook that worked out great and was delicious.  I decorated her cake with candy corns (as I do every year), and it really turned out well.  We had some more of the decorated cookies for dessert, too.

(And, just as I am typing this, I realized that I bought 3 containers of ice cream to eat with the cake, and I completely forgot about them.  Ack!  Oh, well.  We’re well stocked with ice cream for a while now!)

It was fun, and I am typing this with mounds of dirty dishes in my sink (and we used paper plates, cups and silverware!) that I will deal with a bit tonight and the rest tomorrow.  It was a fun day.

In some ways, the best part was in the evening after the sun went down and the food was put away.  The parents were all busy talking, the kids were running around with the girls dressed up in Lyd’s princess dress-up clothes and the boys were being boys, but still playing well with the girls.  It was just a beautiful night tonight — no wind, clear skies, no fog, warm temperatures.  It felt like a lovely late summer evening.  At some point, the dads took the kids down to the playground, and the kids were so excited to be playing on the playground at night in the dark!  It reminded me of my childhood, of summer nights on the farm while the adults were visiting and playing cards inside the house while we kids were outside playing Ghost in the Graveyard and Kick the Can and other such nighttime games.  It was fun.

Except for the year Curious J was born (she was baptized on Lyd’s 4th birthday), my girls have never had family around for their birthdays.  So, every year I’ve done a birthday party with our friends, some of whom are almost like family, here in California.  It’s not like being with family, of course, but it’s still nice and these parties have always made it possible to have a good celebration for the Birthday Girl.  I’m glad I put forth all the effort and energy to make this party happen.

Now, both of my girls’ birthdays are over.  Time to return to our ordinary hum-drum life.  😉  JJ is home from trip #3 (for those of you wondering, his Adiaphora paper went over quite well – yay JJ!), and he doesn’t leave for trip #4 until mid-November.  This will be his longest stretch of time home all fall!  So, that’s something to look forward to.  And there’s only one more month of teaching until my fall session of Music Together is done.  How can ten weeks fly by so quickly?  Lyd has a full week of school next week, but the week after that she only has school on Mon and Tues; I am VERY much looking forward to three days off from school!

Life is good.  We are all very blessed.

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