Miss Sunday’s Third: a Farm Stand Birthday Party (Part 2)

Did I say 3 days ago that I would post Part 2 of Rebekah’s Farm Stand Party “tomorrow”? Silly me. I meant to say “I’ll post the rest of it when I get around to it.” 

Which, lucky for you, is today.

This post will be a tiny bit more random than the last, and there is only one reason…

Amy just took too many good pictures at Rebekah’s 3rd birthday party. And I adore them, every one.

And I’m trying to include them ALL!! 

But we’re almost done, and I think I can wrap all this birthday madness up in a couple more days. Until then, I hope you enjoy joining me for the rest of Miss Sunday’s Farm Stand Birthday, as we blow out candles and open gifts and swing and slide and swim and enjoy the sweetest parts of life to the fullest. Children are such a blessing, and I love nothing more than to make magic for them and then watch them enjoy it.

{Oh, and if you have no idea what I’m talking about, you should probably take a look at Part One. And if you really don’t know what I’m talking about…as in “Who’s Rebekah?”…well, then, you’ve got a LOT of reading to do, bless your heart. But, welcome! I hope you stick around…}.

Ready or not, here is part TWO!

~

I actually took this picture before the party began, but it was important that I added it, because…I couldn’t have pulled off this party – or any party, really – without my Mom’s generosity and help. I told her just today that she has more stamina than any other person I’ve ever seen. She never. stops. working. And her work is most usually for others. She’s unreal. And unbelievably pretty, don’t you think? If I look anything like my Mom when I am 30 years older than I am today, I will be THRILLED…

One of the most random things that happened at the party had to do with this plastic swimming pool we had just brought home from Wal-Mart: we looked over at one point to notice that the kids were intensely playing in it…without any water. It kept them occupied for about 30 minutes. We didn’t realize all these years that we didn’t really need to fiddle with adding water to the pool! I wish we had known sooner…

and it wasn’t just the toddlers, either. The “big kids” played in it, too, including 8-year old Abigail.

Also funny: as the guests began enjoying the food, Amy gestured for me to take a look at Rebekah, who had assumed that the berries on the table were divvied up in individual serving baskets for the taking, and was stealing away with a full pint of her fruit of preference – and she wasn’t about to put down her soda, either. She had to put the berries back, but not until Amy took a picture.

A few more sweet party pictures: Baby Betsie inspects a strawberry with her wonderful Grandpa…

and Kate looks for a place to enjoy her lunch. She had obviously already been enjoying her soda…

and here is beautiful Anna with a cherry red mustache

But let me backtrack for a minute…

Before anyone had started eating lunch, we kicked off the party by singing “Happy Birthday” and blowing out the candles. I picked up this tip from Amy, who started Abigail’s party the same way. In so doing, the birthday girl is free to get dirty and messy while she eats her food and treats, something Rebekah Sunday is particularly gifted at doing.

A little sea of friends and family gathered in front of her to sing and watch her blow out her candles…

it took lots of blowing…

but she did it! I hope all her birthday wishes come true.

Now, I’ve shared this product before in Easier than Apple Pie, but in case you weren’t paying attention, I’ll share it again. This little apple peeler/corer/slicer (yes, it does all 3 at once!) is magical. Click on the picture to find it at Amazon.

Mr. Gore set up station near the food table and ensured that lots of little children got their “apple a day” – because I’ve noticed that even children that “don’t like apples” enjoy eating them this way…

although I’ve never seen one do this Slinky trick before…impressive, Henry…

While beautiful Izzy chose to eat hers like a sandwich!

After lunch, Anna gives Miss Sunday the best gift by taking time to push her on the swing. Her favorite pastime next to snacks.

a happy 3-year old

and a lady, through and through

Rebekah received so many wonderful gifts at her party, but this pink cowgirl hat from Grandpa and Grandma was special for many reasons: 1. keyword: PINK, one of her 3 favorite colors. 2. its from a real Western store and 3. it is just like the hat Rebekah’s character wears in the stories we tell the children at night about Sheriff Gid and his trusty Deputy Sunday. Gideon, of course, has all the things he needs to dress the part of Sheriff, but Rebekah had nuthin’…until today. If only she had some snazzy boots to wear as well…

done.

“Rebekah, tell everyone ‘thank you’ for your gifts!” I prodded. “THANK YOU FOR MY GIFTS!!!” she bellowed across the meadows and o’er the plains. Amy, showing me this picture, said “I don’t know where she gets it…”

And now came the time for our wardrobe change.

And now comes the time when I make some confessions to you…

I’ve been all “bad American Dream” and “no more paper plates” this year, but…I bought this swimsuit from Janie and Jack, full-price, in FEBRUARY for THIS PARTY. It looks like a strawberry, you guys. And it had Rebekah Sunday written all overrrrr it. Worth every penny. Would this be a good time to mention that I also bought her a birthday dress from Janie and Jack on the same day? And that she wore it in the Spring? And so I bought her another birthday dress from Janie and Jack, the blue one she actually wore to the party (that made my stomach hurt it was so precious)?…

Birthdays are so obviously my weakness.

But seriously, look at my birthday girl in her new swimsuit and dare to judge me.

HOW I love this strawberry girl

and her strawberry kisses, even though they are extremely messy and sticky!

After the wardrobe change, we moved the kids to the front yard for some swimming fun – I love the pools at my Mom’s house – they’re cheap (she buys a new one every summer), but the little slide on the side is ridiculously fun (and functional)! And the best part: they’re so shallow, I don’t have to suit up and join them. All the grown-ups can sit and watch from a safe and comfortable distance.

But mostly, I love the joy that is written on my girl’s face in the following pictures, and I can’t thank Amy enough for capturing them for me…

but then, swimming is fun for EVERYONE…

After an hour or more, we all drifted back to the backyard for a few more snacks…

and as the party finally wound down to a close, so did Rebekah Sunday. Crawling into my lap, she snuggled close, and before I knew it, she gave me the best gift of the day by falling asleep in my arms.

I live for these moments – no, really, I LIVE for them – and I must have kissed her forehead a thousand times before she woke up.

And it hit me with startling clarity…

these kid birthday parties are SO for the Mamas.

Miss Sunday’s Third: a Farm Stand Birthday Party (Part 1)

Congratulations!!!

You hung in there through an entire week of posts concerning my middle child, the opinionated and unsinkable Rebekah Sunday. Welcome to the 2nd week. (I can’t stop…I love her!)

To be honest, I was afraid I would lose some of you in this process, but I have been pleasantly surprised by the feedback and the consistency of my site stats…which, 1 1/2 years into the blogging experience, I still check about a hundred times a day. Thank you, for staying with me as I relive this very special week in our lives, and for continuing to encourage me with your kind words and compliments.

I happen to adore both.

Today, I am nigh unto bursting to finally share with you this collection of already treasured photographs from the 3rd birthday party that has been in my heart for well over a year. It was a special day, through and through, and Amy did a fantastic job capturing the spirit and beauty of the event with her photography.

By the party’s end, I was positively ebullient, heart overflowing with joy and contentment…

the day had been perfect.

The weather was more than agreeable. The party was unhurried and comfortable. The food was delicious. The fellowship was heartwarming. The love and goodwill was tangible. And no one had died in transit. Yes, this is something I always worry about. I’d hate for a loved one to die on ANY day. But on a PARTY day?! Say it ain’t so.

And if you enjoy looking at the pictures from this party even a fraction of what I experienced actually being there, well…I’ll be a pretty happy girl.

Without further ado, I humbly and happily present Rebekah’s Farm Stand Birthday Party. Part One.

If you remember, Betsie Fair’s Pat-a-Cake party was soft…pink…lacy…rosy…doilyish…all things that represented (to me) the innocence and babyish beauty of my littlest one. But Miss Sunday is at an entirely different stage of life. If I close my eyes and think of her, I see sights and colors so different than those that come to mind with Betsie: gingham…health and robustness…blues and reds and pin dots …daisies…strawberries…in other words, timeless country simplicity and fun. This party matches her spirit. I think that’s why I enjoyed it so much:

Remember how I did Betsie’s Pat-a-Cake party on the cheap? Rebekah’s not so much…

Fruit is kinda ‘spensive.

but what a beautiful party table it makes! We borrowed Gideon’s Radio Flyer wheelbarrow to give us some layering with old-fashioned country charm.

My Mom is a long-time collector of blue-and-white dishes, colanders, pottery and serving pieces, so I didn’t have to look far to pull off this Farm Stand color scheme. I particularly love this little enamel strainer, holding a couple of handfuls of bright, red (delicious) cherries. On the table is my Mom’s old red ticking sheet, pulled out and ironed at the last minute.

The turquoise berry baskets came from my favorite online party supply store, Shop Sweet Lulu. To see their precious collection of party goods, click here. This store is delightful in every way, all the way down to the way they package your purchases for shipping. I especially enjoyed the complimentary piece of taffy I found in a pretty package at the bottom of my box, along with a sweet little “Thank You” note. You can also follow this shop on Facebook by clicking here.

Blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, cherries, Red Delicious apples and perfect Porter peaches…

and Miss Sunday was more than happy to share it all with her friends!

including old-fashioned bottles of soda pop for the children…

“What kind of soda,” you ask? NuGrape, purchased at Cracker Barrel, and Stewart’s Black Cherry, found at Petty’s Fine Foods in Tulsa. Both were so tasty, and the children were intrigued by the bottling and delighted by the taste.

 And for Miss Sunday’s grown-up friends there were plenty of mason jars filled with yummy sweet tea.

I happened upon those canning lid covers at Wal-Mart the week before the party, and bought them without even knowing how or where we were going to use them. But 12 covers for $2 was pretty hard to pass up, and they seemed destined to take part in our Farm Stand party…

The fruit, though delicious and healthy, was not enough to sustain all those hungry tummies. Thus, for each child there was a simple sack lunch consisting of peanut-butter-and-strawberry-jam sandwiches and a small bag of potato chips.

I bought these strawberry canning labels the same day I bought the lid covers (also on a whim!), and they were perfect for dressing up our sack lunches a bit. We just folded the bag over, punched 2 holes near the top and tied a strand of heavy twine into a bow to package it up nice and tidy-like.

See? Nice and tidy.

Kate Belle helps herself to some berries…

and our friend, Isaiah, poses for a strikingly handsome picture.

Miss Sunday greets her friend, Henry…

while I bring out the last of the food table goodies (such a cheeseball!)…

Paula Deen’s Simply Delicious Strawberry Cake (for the recipe, click here), turned into cupcakes with a freshly sliced strawberry on top…

and a Martha Stewart gingham cupcake liner on bottom (available at Michael’s).

that just left one thing…close your eyes, Rebekah!

a gorgeous strawberry and cream birthday cake!

We wouldn’t normally indulge in such a cake for a 3-year old girl, but as this was the same cake Mr. Gore and I had at our wedding, and since our anniversary was only 2 days away, we thought it was only fitting. This lovely and delicious cake is always available at my favorite eatery in the state, Queenie’s Cafe and Bakery. I seriously could eat 2 meals a day there and be eternally happy. If you’ve never been…go! Right now!

And if the strawberry cake was not tempting enough, we made a special little treat for the grown-ups: strawberries, piecrust and heavy cream, a favorite recipe of our family’s. I promise to share the details of this slice of heaven in the near future. But for today…

I’ll just let you be curious. And maybe a little jealous?…

Henry enjoys his soda pop in the yard…

while Jackson tries to figure his out on the porch.

And Kate and Rebekah (Annie Oakley and Calamity Jane) guzzle theirs before even making it to their lunch.

As far as birthday parties go, this one is going down in the history of my most beloved and memorable…

and the party is only just beginning!

We still have to blow out candles, open presents, swing and slide, and go swimming!

Part Two…coming up tomorrow!