Sunday, March 19, 2017

A "Meet Me in St. Louis" Party

Meet me in St. Louis, Louis, meet me at the fair!

Did you know that the second "Louis" isn't just repeating the name of the city for musicality sake, it is the name of a guy, who comes home from a hard day at work to find that his wife has packed her bags and left a note to meet her at the World's Fair in St. Louis. 
It't not clear how happy he was about this, so the song leaves you a little sad. 
But the movie is just all fun!

M is a long time fan, but recently she has become newly enamored, especially of the music. 
So this was a natural theme. It was just hard to figure out how to decorate. 
I originally thought of trying to make a trolley car cake out of pound cake, but that would not have met the Kennedy Family Minimum Requirements for Birthday Cakes: chocolate cake with chocolate icing. So I ended up with the cheap trick of printing out pictures from the movie and placing them in the cake. 

And again you are served up blurry pictures. Sorry. 

Then I attempted to make the window in our breakfast room look like the front of an old fashioned trolley car. Use your imagination...c'mon, I know you can do it!

The picture taped on the window in the middle section is this: 

So the red streamers on top are the trim on top in the picture, and the blue streamers are the railings, then there is a little sign above the words trolley that says "St. Louis Municipal Railway". 

Again, the highlight of the day is the "treasure hunt" for gifts. The folder below contained the lyrics to her favorite songs from the movie and an answer sheet. 

The clues, which are strewn around the house, are based on the lyrics. Like this:

Tootie sings: 
“and every morning, he would be
down underneath a __________”

Esther sings: 
“down in the _________ lived a maid
of royal blood though dusky shade”

Rose sings: 
“my darlin'
flies in the ___________,
shoo, shoo, shoo
flies in the ___________,”
Where do you find it?

The answer to the clue led her to a particular room and in the room was another clue. It is hard to see, but the first clue above led to a bamboo tree. We just happen to have a fake bamboo tree so it worked out great. 

The blurry sign says "bamboo tree" and the envelope below is the next clue. 

Flys in the buttermilk, shoo fly shoo!

And, of course, the last clue led her to the Dance Hall at the World's Fair, or as Tootie calls it in the movie, The Louisiana Purchase Exposition. She didn't have to dance the hoochy-koochy, but her gifts were there. 

Naturally, we had to watch the movie too!

All in all, it was a fun day! 

Happy 15th Birthday to the sweetest, funniest, wisest girl in the world!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

A Nature Girl Party

Our A recently turned eleven! It is hard to believe that the baby of the family is that old. But here she is: 
(Sorry for the blurry photos. It is not you or your computer, it is my bad photography skills!)

We have a tradition of choosing themes for the kid's birthdays and then decorating accordingly. In the last few years I have taken over the choosing almost completely and it is usually a surprise to the birthday kid. This year A hinted heavily that she wanted a nature theme and I went with it. 

Fortunately for me we have collection of artificial trees around the house 
(picked up during various stages of selling various houses...why does it seem like you have to have artificial trees in your home to sell it?), 
So it was really easy to decorate this time. A also has a wide collection of stuffed animals who appeared among the bushes. 

 And here is the very amateurish cake. Since we have back to back birthdays we try to make the cakes smaller, especially when Lent is upon us! This cake consisted of the Kennedy-traditional chocolate cake (Pioneer woman's Texas sheet cake recipe) with chocolate icing. Then there was green icing on top to represent plants and white icing sprinkled with blue sugar as a little river, which cascades down the front of the cake. ("cascade" makes it sound so professional, doesn't it?) There were also a little squirrel and a little turtle (from the fairy house section of Hobby Lobby--it came with a snail, but Nature Girl doesn't do bugs!).

And then, what has become the highlight of the day: the treasure hunt. I usually come up with some sort of hunt using clues related to the theme. 
I am so frustrated with these blurry photos! I don't know what went wrong!!!
A has a bunch of nature guides which she loves (she got two more for this birthday) and D used those to come up with clues related to some of the animals. Once she figured out which animal it was she looked at a map of the house (in the folder, along with the list of possible animals) and found which room was named after that animal. 

The last one was where her gifts were. 

Happy Birthday A! 

We love to celebrate God's gift of you to our lives! 
When He gave you to us He gave us sweetness, energy, a spirit of justice and truth, and a talented story teller too!