Sunday, January 9, 2011

for his sixth birthday

now we are six
This weekend we had a friend birthday party for Dieter. His first ever. I used to throw a lot of these at-home kid parties for Jacob and Faith, back in the nineties, and I always put a lot of work and planning into them, but this time I felt super uninspired. I'm sure I wouldn't have thrown Dieter a party this year at all (except for his family party, of course) except that there was was really no reason not to, and he wanted one. So we sent out invitations early early, before the winter break, and after that there was no going back.
table for the kid party
{the table, set for lunch}

So. I knew I wanted a sweet simple, at home party for my boy. He invited 6 children, mostly from kindergarten and one from the neighborhood (mostly girls!) and I went to my Waldorf books for inspiration (mostly The Birthday Book, which I hadn't used much before but found to be very helpful in planning a friend-party).
they made bread rolls for their lunch
{bread rolls made by the children--and the bags they stamped to take home their extras}

I decided on two activities--bread roll making (which would also be part of their lunch), and streamers on sticks. Ken set up a wonderful fossil-hunt station (finding fossils hidden in the sand and brushing them off with toothbrushes) and we depended on the trampoline to provide much of the entertainment too.
doing the craft
{painting dowels}
birthday boy Dieter
{Dieter at his party}
after the party--the mama cupcake
{after the party--a cupcake for the mama and a soothing cup of tea}

In truth, I was in a terrible frame of mind for hosting a party. I was so melancholy and sad all weekend. But I got through it, and people seemed to enjoy themselves I think. I was not prepared for the parents to stay, which they all did but one. It was really very sweet that they wanted to stay, but unexpected, so I hadn't set up extra lunch for them or extra tables and what have you. One of the moms even complimented the house and all the home sewn things and was very impressed and complimentary. I was shocked and pleased. I rarely to basically never meet someone who shares my taste or comments on the house, so that was really nice.

I will say that Dieter had a great time, and as he helped me pick pictures for this post he wanted me especially to say that he had a blast at his party, so I guess it was a success in the end.


Anonymous said...

Thats lovely. I know what you mean about getting through the party, my girl wanted a friend party this year too, to be honest Im not much of a parrty type but I got through it and she had a blast too. The things we do for our precious little ones hey?

April said...

Looks like he had a wonderful time! Our oldest is turning 7 this year and we are struggling for what to do, In the past we have had birthdays at a location and last year we took him to the science center (just the family). We want to do something simpler this year...

erin said...

what a sweet celebration. My son's 6th birthday party was all boys so I'm not so sure how the bread roll making would have been received but I love this idea. By the way, where did you find your calendar?

Anonymous said...

As my son turns 6 in France this week, I look to you for inspired ideas for a party. He too has a teen sister who can help as after 3,the parents ever stay. Cowboy/indian theme this year.
Joyeux anniversaire from Jennifer in France!

CountryGirl said...

Hi Mary Beth, It looks like it was a lovely party. Sorry to hear you were melancholy and sad. Hope you're ok? As for your house, I can't believe that people don't comment on it all the time!! I absolutely love seeing pictures of your life at home. I think your house and all the things in it are absolutely beautiful. Your blog is my favourite! Happy wishes x

Rain said...

What a sweet birthday you provided for your little (big) boy!
I'm surprised you don't always receive compliments on your home, its so inviting.
I'm such an introvert, I have a hard time opening my home up to parties and such but I'm usually glad I did in the end.

Andrea said...

I know exactly how you feel--I've gotten very negative about big parties the last few years (I started out with a party every year for my oldest)--partly because all the people and planning stress me out, as does the influx of cheap plastic toys, and partly because I have three boys with birthdays within three days. It looks like you did a really nice job on your party though, despite not being in the mood. And maybe you've met a kindred spirit, which would be a bonus!

aly in va said...

It looks like such a sweet party. I love all the natural light you have in your home.

Julie said...

It looks like a wonderful party... the pictures of your home are always so calming. I am usually very reluctant and a bit anxious when it comes to inviting others for a party.

Heather said...

I love the simplicity, and the joy of this party. Breaking bread on a birthday, and baking it as well, is so very special

Linda said...

Sorry to hear you were feeling down, hope the feeling passed. As for your house & your blog they're both a breathe of fresh air to me! Thanks for blogging as I always enjoy your posts.

Laura said...

Oh, I'm soooooo not okay with the parents hanging out. You handled it so well, to your credit :)

We home school and when my older children were younger, it was the thing (at the time and where we lived and with whom we socialized) to have birthday parties with siblings and/or entire families in attendance. We did it once for Andrew's 5th birthday. We did a "Dinosaur Dig" theme with the cement dinosaur bones buried in a patch of dirt in our front yard. It was a great activity, but once I started having more children, we just couldn't do it for every child. Now, we just do an immediate family celebration for birthdays. That being said, Claire will be having a friend birthday party this weekend. She is turning twelve. The theme is "tiny" and it is only from 2-4pm (no main meal/no sleepover :)
Short and sweet.

I love the photo of Dieter wearing his birthday crown!

I'm sure you inspired all of the parents that stayed.

The bread making and stamped bags were wonderful ideas. It all looked wonderful! :)

Maiz Connolly said...

So nice to read this, after just posting about our own little party. I always thought we'd do something like go camping or skiing for their birthdays, but when Diego turned six, he wanted a party. Of course, little brother wants the same as big brother, so now we're doing parties. I love what you did for Dieter's party (it sounds perfect), and I love everything that I have seen of your house, so I'm amazed that you aren't getting compliments all the time!

Mary Beth said...

Erin--it is a Nikki McClure calendar and I buy it every year from This is my 3rd calendar of hers and I addicted.

Country Girl--thank you! But it's so true that no one comments on the house or all the handmade. That's part of the reason I love blogging--to connect with likeminded souls.

Rain--same here--I am such a strong introvert. But I do have a strong feeling of wanting to be part of a community so I try.

Andrea--I so hear you on the plastic toys!

Julie--same here! It takes a huge leap of faith for me to do so.

Laura said...

I was so happy to see this post! My older son is turning six next week & having a friend party. I'm anxious about all the planning - keeping the kids entertained, games, what to put in the goody bays that isn't junk. We have a small house & the weather here in NY doesn't allow any outdoor activities. I have to remind myself that they'll have fun no matter what - you've inspired me to keep it sweet & simple.
By the way, I love your home - it's so warm & inviting & beautiful! I love when you post pictures - it inspires me to simplify & freshen up my own home.

Laura said...

oops - goody "bags"

Andrea said...

What a wonderful party! I find myself reluctant to give "friend" parties because of all the "junk" that the kids get. Last year I requested books, no toys, and almost everyone sent a book. I was surprised.

I often feel the same surprise when people comment on my hand-made items. It is great and I wish I had more non-blog friends that felt the same as I do in that regard.