Sunday, February 17, 2013

Bella's 6th Birthday: A Fancy Tea Party

It was a beautiful day. It was chilly and breezy, yet full of bright Florida sunshine. My shy girl was trying so hard not to smile on the way to the park that morning. She had been counting down the days, and was so excited that party day was finally here. She requested a fancy tea party for girls and boys for her 6th birthday. And a fancy tea party is what we had!

We celebrated a few weeks early this year, which Bella did not mind one little bit! My sister Becky, her boyfriend Jens (pronounced Yens) and his daughters Ines and Alba are here for a few weeks from Denmark, so we planned to party while they are here. I cannot even begin to say how thankful I have been over the past few days to have them here. They are both the kind of people that are constantly saying "ok, what can I do?" or "put me to work" and have helped so much with the last minute party stuff.

We started the party off with a little accessorizing, as every fancy party must have some fancy-ness.
The girls received an Easter bonnet, and chose how to personalize their hat from a selection of artificial flowers, butterflies and feathers. They picked necklaces and feather boas to complete their own fancy look, and then checked themselves out in the mirror.

 The boys received a top hat, and were able to decorate theirs with bugs and feathers.

Jens took the vast majority of these pictures, for which I am SO grateful, and a few of these are also from my friend Janette. I personally LOVE when someone (an adult, of course) picks up my camera and takes pictures. I love seeing different angles and styles than I am so used to shooting, and every now and then, I show up at my own events! Hello!

After everyone was adequately fancied, we sat down for a little story time. Since the kids were dressed so nicely, I wanted to come up with activities that would not ruin their dress clothes. 

Jens read a fun book called Tea for Me, Tea for You by Laura Rader, and the kids loved it.

Tea for Me, Tea for You

After story time, we had lunch. Apple pecan chicken salad sandwiches, tuna salad sandwiches, and peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwiches. All on white-wheat bread, with the crusts cut off, of course.

Our next activity was a game of finding the hidden tea bags in the forest. I took four boxes of the individually wrapped tea bags, and had Bella hide them in a section of trees that she named "the forest". We released the kids into the forest with little paper bags, and watched them run squealing from one tree to the next.

Next up, was a game called Queenie, Queenie. I found this game on a website of "games that children love to play in England and around the world". I'm pretty sure we changed the rules a bit, but the general idea is that one child is the king or queen. They stand in front of a row of children, with their back to the rest of the kids. The queen throws the ball over her head, and someone catches it. All the kids hide their hands behind their backs, and the queen has to guess who is holding the ball behind the back. The queen had three chances to guess correctly, whoever was holding the ball went next, and we tried to make sure that every child had a turn at being king or queen.

My husband took the lead on games, which is something I completely love about him. He's always ready to join in the fun. (Here he's demonstrating how to wear a tiny hat, and guess who is holding the ball.)

Bella was the Queenie first, since it was her birthday.

The next clean game was called "Oranges and Lemons" and came from the same website as Queenie. Again, we changed it a little. We named it "Limes and Lemons" and sang to the tune of London Bridges, "limes and lemons falling down, falling down, falling down, limes and lemons falling down from the trees." The two bridge kids decide in secret which one of them is the lime and which is the lemon. The kids run through the bridge as the song is sung, and whoever gets trapped at the end of the song chooses either lime or lemon and whispers in the bridge girls' ears. If he chose lime, he stands behind the lime. The other kids continue on, not knowing which side is which, and secretly choosing lime or lemon, and at the end, whichever side is longer, wins.

After games, we did the birthday song and dessert. The wind was so strong however, that we skipped the lighting of the candle, and Bella just pretended to blow it out. For dessert we had cupcakes, meringues, blueberry and cranberry scones, fruit salad and chocolate chip cookies.

As always, as much as I love smiling, laughing and squealing kids, I love the opportunity that the grown-ups have to just hang out with friends and family, and to enjoy some time together.

Finally, we did prezzies, and again, my husband jumped right in so I could do the whole writing down the gifts thing, and yes, still wearing the tiny hat.

I love Cheyenne's hand on Bella's shoulder in the picture below, so sweet.

The horses were a big hit. I think all of the girls wanted them.

For a little added adventure, after the party, we had to replace the picnic tables that we had drug from the pavilion. This time, we loaded the table up with kids, and gave them a little tow ride.

Happy Birthday to our sweet girl.
You are smart and beautiful, sweet and kind, and oh, so very loved!


  1. love the birthday photos!! what a wonderful party you created, for the sweetest 6 year old :) - Bec

    1. Thanks, Bec. We were so thrilled to have you there to celebrate with us!