Posts Tagged ‘celebrating


Turning 6 in Narnia

The biggest Schmitzlet turned 6 recently. His birthday was welcomed with all of our traditions, including a mama made birthday shirt and the wearing of his birthday crown. The celebration also included a Narnia themed party; at his request we donned pajamas and ate breakfast for dinner in Narnia. We converted the house with a simple painting hung on the inside of our storm door to look like a wardrobe door (This was probably the least effective of our decorations, but the boys helped with the painting and their inclusion was much more important than the end result.) and a simple hanging rod holding coats on hangers just inside the door. The coats gave way to Christmas trees, fabric “snow” on the floor, and a lamp post. The boys also helped me make a banner with stenciled lions, and I crafted Cair Paravel, based on the illustration in the original book, out of cake.

We created another butterfly net similar to the one he gave his brother for him, and I also made him an apron and chef hat. Our friends and family stitched up some handmade love for him as well. He was thrilled to get a dinosaur tail just like one the middle boy received for his birthday in May, and one of his aunts made him the worlds most adorable stuffed lion. The boys have spent much time playing a game they call “whack with dinosaur tails”, and the lion was instantly adopted as his nighttime companion.

Party goers were invited to make a crown and given a naturally hand dyed play scarf as a favor. They dined on scrambled eggs with toppings like grated cheese, avocado, and salsa, bacon, homemade carrot muffins and fruit; each item specially selected by the birthday boy.

The big guy’s 6th birthday was magical. I really enjoyed getting ready for a party in Narnia, and I hope I get to do it again sometime in the future! For now, I want my 6 year old to know that he is even more magical. He is intense, creative, dramatic, persistent and vibrant, and he challenges me to be the best parent I possible can each and every day. It is truly an adventure to live with this boy; his imagination is bigger than our home. It is not possible to keep up with him these days, and I resign myself to the sidelines much of the time, left to watch him explore, discover, create and learn. I am amazed every day as I observe him encounter this world, and I pray, pray, pray for him without ceasing.


Book Review: Naturally Fun Parties for Kids

I cannot say enough nice things about this amazing book by Anni Daulter and Heather Fontenot. Naturally Fun Parties for Kids is just plain overflowing with ideas, recipes, and inspiration to throw amazing, sustainable parties that your kids will like. There are 12 complete parties planned in this book, everything from invitations and decorations to recipes and crafts are included for each party theme.

The book is organized according to the seasons and includes three party ideas for each of the seasons. The ideas are sometimes classic, an egg dyeing party for spring, and sometimes unique, like strawberry picking and jam-making party for summer or an upcycle art party in autumn. Other party themes include a pancake pj party, summer and winter solstice parties, a natural spa party (complete with recipes for homemade spa treatments), a wild girls tepee party, and a knights and dragon quest party. There really is something for everyone here.

We have not had occasion to throw one of these exact parties, but I am drawn to the pancake pj party for my own Christmas eve birthday. Who wouldn’t want to spend the morning of Christmas eve in pj’s eating pancakes followed by birthday cake? There was a 4th birthday party here about 6 weeks ago, and I must confess that chicken masks we made and sent home as favors were definitely inspired by this book. The true beauty of this book might lie not in recreating a party to every last detail, but instead in getting to pick and choose from the plentiful ideas to make a party your own or in letting the ideas here take root and shape into something totally new for your needs.

Each party is broken down to include detailed lists of projects and materials and a timeline for getting things done. Every invitation is unique and handmade, and the materials recommended are frequently recycled or thrifted items. The egg dyeing party includes not only a recipe and directions for making the natural egg dyes, but also directions for a spring fabric banner, an inspirational sign, spring flower table decor, and recipes for flowerpot cheese breads, mini crustless quiches, and lemon-mint ice pops. No details is to small for Anni and Heather to have considered, and they frequently offer small tips and tricks to make things more easy or run more smoothly throughout.

I know this book has “for kids” in the title, but even if you don’t have kids and never plan on throwing a party that will include them, much of this book will be useful for you. There are just SO MANY ideas here! Get the book and get your party on! Really.