Friday, June 7, 2013

Rock Climbing Party - Part 3, THE PARTY!

My daughter just celebrated her 10th birthday.  I know this is the ulitmate cliche, but where did the time go?  My beautiful little Gerber Baby has grown into a beautiful young lady, poised on the edge of tweendom, growing like a lovely sunflower - I love her to pieces and am so proud of the independent, smart, caring person she is becoming. 

We celebrated this milestone birthday with a joint birthday party with her dear friend, E.  Both girls turned 10 within a few days of one another (which is remarkable in our district, where tons of the kids are "red-shirted", i.e. parents opt to hold their kids back before starting kindergarten, which means that kids start school at 6 instead of 5.  A lot of the 4th graders in her class were 10 at the beginnging of the year.  I had never heard of choosing to hold your kids back before moving here...).  Anyhoo, both girls wanted a rock climbing party, so we doubled up on the fun with a duel party.  Their joint party was a great success.  The two birthday girls had an amazing time climbing and being feted by their friends.  Here are some of the highlights.

Pizza and drinks were included in the package, so our only food contribution was birthday cake.  For E., there were from-scratch cupcakes with Etsy flamingo toppers.  For my M., I made a kit-kat cake with peacock-colored M&M's on top.  I made the cake from a butter recipe mix, but amped up the fun by using my checkerboard pan.  I finished it off with a cardstock pennant and sound some cool Wilton candles with blue and green flames.  (I set the orange and red candles aside to use at the Skylanders party next month...)  To make the moment special for both girls, we sang to each one separately.

The cake table served as the focal point for decor.  It was topped with a (wrinkly!  boo!) white cloth (a thrift store sheet that I repurposed).  I wish it wasn't so wrinkly - how do you get linens to a destination without wrinkles?  The cloth was adorned with handmade name banners for each girl (denim triangles with iron-on letters sewn to seam binding). 

I made a little vignette with glittery initials, some sentimental baby pics, and a fun pic of both girls together with a birthday message added in Picasa.  The backdrop was made from my tissue paper garland mounted with zip ties from Dollar Tree.  I had planned to mount them on painted wooden dowels, but that didn't work.  I improvised and zip-tied them to the pipe railing instead - it looked awesome!

Scattered on the table were the various favors - a water bottle and free climbing coupon provided by the facility, little cello bags filled with shimmer gumballs (last minute addition when I remembered that we had a ton leftover from Easter) stapled with a scrapbook paper topper, and monogrammed favor bags filled with pop rocks, a carabineer, and a little thank you note mounted on pretty scrapbook paper.  The note read "Thank you for your generous donation.  We're so glad that you were able to help us celebrate our 10th birthdays.  E and M".  We went with a generic thank you since there was no way to know who gave what to the birthday girls.  This was because our girls opted to not receive gifts and instead asked guests to consider bringing an item to donate to their chosen charities - a local food cupboard for M. and local animal shelter for E.  This really warms my heart.  Once upon a time, I was one of those poor kids RECEIVING food from food cupboards like this one, so it makes me so happy that our family can give back and also that my child WANTS to give back.  Not every kid would be willing to pass up birthday presents like this, so kudos to you, E. and M.!  To make transport easy, we brought plastic bins to serve as the donation receptacle.  Each birthday girl made a sign for their charity to add to the bin.

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