Our daughter Rachel throws great birthday parties for their twins. Every year there's a theme. At one year old, guests were greeted with Dr. Seuss's Thing 1 and Thing 2. When Eli and Arianna turned two, it was a farm theme with pig and cow balloons. Last August, we were under the sea with fishes and octopuses. Everything is coordinated down to the paper plates and napkins.
I never know what Rachel will do and always look forward to her next party. This August the twins are turning four, heading off soon to 4-year-old kindergarten. The theme was supposed to be simple, Rachel said, and inexpensive. Last Sunday we had rainbows!
As soon as we drove up to the Giblin house, the theme was evident. A crape paper rainbow wrapped around the front door and that was just the beginning. Huge red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet balloons were hanging or floating everywhere. They weren't haphazardly strewn about either. Each grouping started with red, went through the colors, and ended in violet.
Rachel and Dave inflated the balloons at home their selves. No, they didn't physically blow up the balloons. If they had, they would have both hyperventilated. They used a compressor.
The streamers hanging from the ceiling were from sheets of construction paper. Rachel said it wasn't anything fancy. She even had Arianna and Eli help cut out the pattern that extended the colorful sheets in a zigzag fashion. All our grandchildren needed were lines where to cut and where to stop - Arianna really got into the fun of cutting and did many strips herself.
Table decorations were six canning jars. The first one had red candy medallions, the second candy orange slices, the third was lemon drops, and green licorice filled the fourth. The fifth and sixth had candy in blue and violet wrappers to round out the rainbow affect.
The buffet of food had items that showed off the rainbow theme, but not all. We had regular pulled pork sandwiches - no special colors there. The theme came in the fruit plate. From red watermelon, to violet grapes, and this fruit was skewered into a rainbow, too. But Rachel wasn't finished. She smashed assorted colors of Fla-Vor-Ice, and created a giant frozen rainbow bowl. As the smashed ice melted and blended together, it made it into a yummy treat.
Finally came the cakes. Of course, each child needed a cake of their own. The cakes were iced white. Arianna and Eli had their name on their own cake. A rainbow of course arched across each and dots of rainbow colors circled the top and the base. It wasn't until the cakes were cut that the big reveal came. Six colorful layers! This was one extra Rachel and Dave didn't make, but used a local baker for the cake magic. She also created cupcakes last year topped with sea creatures.
Rachel did admit that one thing may have been a bit overboard. The confetti cannon didn't work so well for pre-birthday party pictures. Daddy Dave was supposed to set the confetti cannon off as Rachel snapped photos of their happy, excited twins. Well, the cannon went off unexpectedly and wildly. The only photo of the event was of Arianna with her arms over her head, ducking for cover.
Rachel says this was the most inexpensive party setup she's done and recommends it for anyone on a budget - except for the confetti cannon that is. She said a lot of the rainbow ideas were found on pinterest.com.
I enjoyed all the efforts Rachel took to make birthday number four fun. I never did anything like that for her or her brothers or sister when they were young. I never had the energy. I don't know how Rachel does it. She works full-time and she's expecting!
The birthdays we had in the old days never had a theme, except a birthday theme. We did have cake, ice cream, guests, and gifts. I felt great to accomplish that and was worn out by the end of the day. Those celebrations don't hold a candle to our daughter's. Rebecca and Russell even shared a birthday and shared a cake. Oh, the shame.
I can't help but wonder what Rachel will do next August. By then there will be an addition to the family mix. I'm sure she'll come up with another party that will leave me amazed and wondering how I raised such a go-getter of a mother.
Susan Manzke, Sunnybook Farm, N8646 Miller Rd, Seymour, WI 54165; Sunnybook@aol.com;www.susanmanzke.net; http://www.facebook.com/susan.manzke. ://://