Sunday, December 19, 2010

note well

It's Saturday morning. It's the day after my daughter's tenth birthday sleepover/end-of-school party. We are all looking a little tired. I'm roused out of bed to the cries of "we're hungry!"

Eight children in my house and one baby, I am momentarily thinking this is Aaron's old dream a ridiculous number of kids in our house. Ohh wait a moment, he is still dreaming 'cause I am the one waking to these nine hungry children. He's winding the doona around his head.
sleepover wreckage
I begin the waffle making production line. I have to declare that they must: entertain the baby, stay out of the kitchen, and leave me alone until I have at least nine waffles. Otherwise there will be chaos and impatience, and possibly biting.

There is something so sweet though, seeing a heap of kids sitting at a table eating. There is a humbleness to it, it's a little like when you put them to bed and they are still and quiet. It is a human necessity - to come to halt, to do what is necessary, to survive.

The day before, on the way home from  school with four kids in tow, the afternoon of the party and wondering how I'm going to keep sixteen little hands busy.  My daughter has a love of stationery- Kikki K, smiggle, Typo - she just melts when she's in these stores. I have mentioned before our obsession for notebooks, we have heaps of them. The kids draw in them, stick things in, anything.

At a stoplight I thought well why don't we make our own notebooks?  Short some supplies, I  had to make a hasty decision: to pull them all out of the car to pick up the few bits I needed, or to forget the idea all together. Any time you take children to the shops it is a real gamble, no matter whether it is one of them or four. Particularly if it is a store with buttons, sequins and reels and reels of thread. 

I decide at the last turn that I will take the chance. Better to risk it than regret being cautious. An hour later, back in the car, and I had all the craft supplies.  We'd even stopped at the pie shop for some sustenance, and  picked up a live Christmas tree as well. "What on earth Mum," says Phoenix at some point, I can always be reassured that I am going a little insane whenever he says this.  My spontaneity paid off though, ok maybe not the tree part. Little did I know how allergic I'd be to this tree.

Back to Saturday morning.  Post waffles (and post clear up) there was a the laying out of materials. Beautiful printed stock card, multiple stamping blocks, fabric letters, a ream of A4 office paper. 
busy busy
I showed the girls how to measure and cut the card to size, I didn't have to provide much input and they were off. They chose their paper mixed and matched designs, I stitched the spines and any motifs they had cut out to add to the cover. We then thought pockets for little special things stitched into the books would be really good. What was great about all of this was that we used no tape or glue, they were cooperating and sharing their ideas, it was brilliant. Even Phoenix in amongst the girls sat and made his own book for his comic strips.
We then got even more adventurous, Aaron came in with a big map of Victoria for us to cut up as well. I thought yeah, this is why we are married Mr, because you are on the same creative page as me. I then requested graph paper and cha-ching he had some and we were having a great time.

There was a chorus of 'this is so much fun.'  There is nothing better than hearing that at a party you have organised. I was having just as good a time as they were. There is always such pressure to put on a really great party. I had wanted it just to be a hanging out party, and I wanted these girls to have fun at their friends  place at her Birthday slumber.  Had these girls not needed to return to their own homes, we would have been there all afternoon.
final product
Parties for kids can be so overdone so over-rated and so expensive. This party cost me very little, I made home-made pizzas and nachos. We love a celebratory bowl of fruit punch to drink, made with cranberry, ginger ale, pinapple juice, sliced peaches, and strawberries.  Two years back I had a chocolate fondue for them to dip fruit into.  That was so successful, for a slight twist on that I had set up  'make your own' ice cream bar.  Heavens.  I think any time you dish stuff into little bowls and let them add what they like, you are bound to succeed.

There was cake of course the third cake for this epic birthday, although served along side ice cream will ensure you have a lot of leftovers. Popcorn, a couple of movies, and dancing during Lizzie Maquire at midnight. Then probably falling asleep mid-sentence at three am, what could be better than that?

1 comment:

  1. okay I first read this on my iphone, better seeing the whole picture on my computer....excellent photos and great read as always :)) (sis)