Monday, December 10, 2012

Grace's Gingerbread House Decoarting 4th Birthday Party

This past weekend we celebrated Grace's 4th birthday. Four?!? 
Next year she'll be an entire hand!!! How is that possible??

Anyway, I decided months...MONTHS I TELL YOU...ago that a gingerbread decorating party was going to be the theme...
for several reasons.

1. Grace LOVED decorating gingerbread houses and cookies last year. I figured she'd only find it more fun this year!

2. Who doesn't love decorating gingerbread houses...or as I like to call the activity..."eating candy"?!?

3. I came across this particular her gingerbread house embroidery...and fell in love.
SO MUCH SO that I taught myself how to hand embroider and made this!

And thus a theme was born!!

Now, while I usually don't like to mix Christmas stuff with birthday stuff...I made an exception. 
I figured that Grace is too little to understand all this and that this might be the last year I could mix the two "holidays" without her understanding. It would make decorating easier as I have Christmas crap coming out the ying yang...and at this time of year?? Everyone can use something going a little bit I right?! 

So without further ado, Grace's 4th birthday party!

We invited only family to keep things small and personal. 
Even with a relatively small guest list, our "relatively small" home posed a challenge in hosting such a party. As we anticipated guests coming from out of town, we always like to include dinner, drinks - THE WORKS! - in order to make their travels worth while. 
Hosting a dinner party and providing seating - all in the shadow of our Christmas tree - doesn't allow space for much else. Sooo we transformed Grace's bedroom into the gingerbread room!

Complete with tree,

candy wreaths,

hand made decorations AND

all this!
Everything came together to get everyone in the mood to decorate gingerbread houses!

Our kitchen table was moved to Grace's room for the gingerbread house decorating and Grace's dresser became the dessert table. I hung the embroidery over the dessert was the inspiration after all!

Each child got their own house to decorate made out of graham crackers. Originally, I was going to make gingerbread from scratch...but I quickly ran out of time. Then, I was going to at least make the frosting to glue all the crackers together. That proved to be too much. So I took the easy {lazy} route and hot glued them together! While the kids wouldn't be able to eat their houses - who really eats the house anyway? - it made the whole process a snap!!

I couldn't resist making a little house myself!

Well, I actually made it to test a theory. I didn't want to make frosting and put it in bags. Again, I wanted to take the easy route and buy store bought frosting tubes.
Everything I read online said that store bought frosting wouldn't work. It wouldn't harden and therefore the candies wouldn't stick.

FYI. Frosting out of the tube works fine!

Just fine!

Aside from frosting tubes and their own gingerbread house, each child received a little chef's hat and an apron! Just to get them into the spirt of decorating...and to save everyone's clothes!

I didn't get any great pictures of the least the ruffle-y part...but here's an "after" picture of Charlotte's apron.

The tops of the aprons had an image of the little gingerbread house I embroidered.
Have a told you I love a theme?!?! :)

The birthday girl had a special hat made for her

as well as a special cake topper that I am certain will be treasured each and every Christmas to come!

Both were made by Patricia Minish - a gem to work with!

Total cuteness!

The gingerbread house decorating was so fun! For everyone!

It was neat to see the creativity and concentration of each child.

Charlotte wouldn't wear her hat but she was more than happy to decorate her gingerbread house...

and eat her weight in candy!!!
I'm NOT kidding!

I have 'no idea' where she gets her sweet tooth! haha

I knew that decorating gingerbread houses would be fun for the kids...but I didn't realize how fun it would be for the mothers, 


and great grandmothers!! It truly was a family affair!

What were all the men folk doing you ask?
Eating, drinking and being merry of course....all while Court - bless his soul - got dinner ready!

Dinner was served at tables that I tried to make as birthday-y as possible.

AGAIN I didn't get a picture of the table! I MUST make a mental note for next time! 
But each place setting had some festive utensils and a "goodie bag" that included a sugar cookie and chocolate gingerbread men.

The kids finished dinner lickity split...their tummies full of candy no doubt! So they watched "The Grinch" while the adults finished dinner. 

Love watching these kids grow up together! Aren't they sweet?
And yes, that is her birthday party!

I think asking 3,254 times earlier that day when her party would start finally took it's toll!

Not the best picture but you can kind of see the birthday skirt I made for Grace - and by accident - for Charlotte! 

Waking up Grace was pretty easy - considering we had this cake

to lure her with!

We sang Happy Birthday...

and then it was showtime!

"Prez-nets!!" as Grace says.

Grace was one lucky birthday girl!
Princesses and Barbies and stickers and Gracie dolls...

...a fish from Mommy and Daddy...

The fish was a big we just need to keep him alive!

Soon, the festivities began to wind down and soon it was time for our guests to leave.
The kids carried their gingerbread houses home in little gable boxes I decorated to look like the inspirational embroidery! 
One last surprise for the kids!

 I made an ornament for all the kids....
 each personalized with his or her name! 
So, so, so MUCH fun! It was a fun party to pull together and a fun party to watch the kids enjoy!
If December was a less hectic month, I think I would host a gingerbread decorating party every year!

A big thank you to our family members for attending Grace's birthday party. Family, school and work commitments add up quickly this time of year. Thank you for prioritizing Grace's big day. It does not go unnoticed and it certainly does not go unappreciated.

1 comment:

Megan @Me & Wee said...

HOLY MOLY! Everything looks absolutely beautiful! You thought of every detail. I'm far too lazy for any of those things you did! What a special party. Happy Birthday Grace! Yay!