Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Heavenly Sevenly

***I'm much better today.  Quite good actually.  Kate got 100% on her movie project, Brandon came home, and I actually ate real food for dinner instead of cake.*** 

Elizabeth turned 7 last week.  

I don't know how this happened since she was just a baby yesterday.  But it happened just the same.  

The celebrating started on the Monday of the week of her birthday when I took in her V.I.P. poster and did a little spotlight on her in her classroom. She was pretty excited to sit up front in her teacher's chair to be "interviewed" by her classmates:  

Can you tell Elizabeth's mom is not super crafty? I can type and print. That's about it. She gladly did most the artwork:
Rachael getting spoiled by the teacher . . .

One thing I've noticed about Elizabeth as she's gotten older is that she's a little partier. She loves any excuse to celebrate and wants to be in on the plans--the more elaborate the better. She hates having to whittle down options and doesn't want to give up any of her ideas. A perfect example is the traditional sugary birthday breakfast cereal. She went back and forth about what to get for MONTHS before her birthday, finally settling on Captain Crunch.  

For some unfathomable reason, last year I agreed to let her get 6 boxes of her chosen cereal. (Reeses PB cereal--tried it?  It's too good. Worse than eating a doughnut for breakfast.)  So she started vying pretty early this year for 7 boxes, but I thought I'd better nip that little idea in the bud quick. We compromised by getting her her own personal box of Captain Crunch, and another one for everyone else to share.  See the initials?  
It was an especially busy week with lots of stuff going on during after school hours, so I pulled her out of school at lunch time on her actual birthday to spend some slow time together.  I didn't want her to feel lost in the shuffle on her own birthday! She chose to go to Subway for lunch, and then we went to Cookie Cutters for a haircut.  She LOVES that place and really did need a haircut.  Here's the before:
This one too:

 And the "after" pictures:

Then it was off to the new frozen yogurt place in the area: Orange Leaf. Our kids (and their parents) are SO happy to finally have a place just like our favorite back in California (Froyo).

That night she got the dinner of her choice back at home (BBQ ribs, mashed potatoes, and corn on the cob) and we opened some of her family presents. Unfortunately, the weekend before Elizabeth's birthday was Mother's day, and the weekend after her birthdayBrandon was going to be out of town, so we were having a hard time finding a day for her friend party. Since the afternoon/evening of her actual birthday was full of all sorts of stuff, we finally settled on Thursday, the day before Brandon left. Invitations went out on MONDAY. (That's the way we like to do things around here. THINK FAST!)  

Like I said, Elizabeth hates choosing one thing when she has so many grand ideas, so picking a party theme was painful. We went around and around about it until I discovered Thanksgiving Point does all kinds of children's parties, like at the Dinosaur Museum and Farm Country. We settled on the "Bugs and Fairies" party in the Children's Garden. It could not have been more perfect. Thanksgiving Point is truly the home of all things good and wonderful in Utah County! Here she is by the sign that was waiting outside the gardens for the guests:
That's Will up front carrying the pinata, the one thing she HAD to have at the party:
 Children's footprints in the cement leading the way:
I actually hadn't been to the Children's Garden yet, let alone this adorable little clubhouse where the party was set up:
I say "set up" with a bit of guilt. More often than not, I have done our children's parties at home--and we originally planned on that for this one too--but it turned out to be a good thing we did it at Thanksgiving Point. Brandon got called in to do an emergency surgery, and Rachael started getting a pretty high fever so she stayed home with Kate. Not to mention I also accidentally scheduled the party to overlap Kate's choir concert that night! (Brandon got home in time to take her but missed the whole party--waaah!) This is the story of our lives these days.

Anyway, Thanksgiving Point covered absolutely everything, even down to the cake! (And for less than the price of JUST the cake I once ate at the birthday party of a 4-year-old in California. No lie.)  Look at this cuteness:
A little buggy craft:

Elizabeth could not have been more thrilled to have Will come to her party. She completely idolizes him and really wants him to think she is "cool." Crazy thing is, even though this was a party for a bunch of 1st grade girls, he seemed to have a really fun time, and loved playing the role of big hammy brother:
Everyone got to wear these hats to go on a bug hunt, and the net and bug catcher were theirs to keep after the party:
Getting ready to head outside:

Ready. Set . . .

They "planted" plastic bugs for the kids to find.  Three each:

Back to the clubhouse to do one more craft, cake, and presents:


Like I said, the pinata was kind of the "must do" event at the party for Elizabeth. Here's the Wal-mart special:
Every girl got three good hits before we let Elizabeth finish it off:

Then it was time to just play in the Children's Garden. What a place:

That's a waterfall back there, and a big bear statue:

Coming out of the maze:
Paw prints lead the way to the bear cave:

Underneath the waterfall:

We really lucked out on the weather: sunny and 70.  You can plan on outdoor party here in the spring if you plan it at the last minute like I did, using the 10-day weather report!  

Speaking of spring, this was really Elizabeth's first winter since she was barely two when we moved to California. Accordingly, she was the most excited about moving to a place with winter--until about February! And from February to May she's been talking about her birthday and the coming of spring--the most beautiful time of year. I've been telling her that she was born at the perfect time because she really is like (pardon me for these phrases, but it's really true of her) a little ray of sunshine and a colorful, dainty flower.

All in all, a wonderful way to celebrate our sweet little Elizabeth's arrival into this world. Lucky for me, she's not growing up too fast:

Happy Birthday, Beth!

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