Friday, August 22, 2014

Tea Party!

Anna, Grace, and Faith hosted a tea party this afternoon for 9 of their friends!  They have been wanting to do this for approximately forever.  Two summers ago during Grandma/Grandpa camp, Anna, Grace, and their cousin Emily had a tea party at a little tea room in Ohio with Grandma and Aunt Claire.  They had an absolutely wonderful time, but I think the place closed, since they haven't been back.

Well, sometime this winter, Anna and Grace started talking about having a tea party here.  I told them we'd have plenty of time to do it during the summer.  The girls made the guest list and planned various food delicacies to make, while I kept waiting for all the time we'd have in the summer.

About 2 weeks ago I realized that the summer was almost over, I'd be having the baby soon, and if we didn't get this tea party going, it would be hanging over my head for another year!  So I sent out invitations right then to make sure it actually happened, LOL.
The girls were over-the-moon excited!  We made a trip to Party City to buy plates, napkins, cups, and decorations!  I glanced at a few pinterest-inspired blogs, but I was simply not up to trawling thrift stores to buy real tea cups and saucers for each girl, making my own decorations, figuring out elaborate crafts and creative games, etc.
We did, however, make all of our own food!  Anna really wanted strawberry tarts, so I found a recipe on Taste of Home that sounded good.  It was for one big tart, but I knew we wanted individual ones.  It also used a pie crust, but I found these little phyllo cups in the frozen section at Wegmans, and hey, that was just a lot easier than me making a ton of little pie crust tarts.  I made a test batch of 12 on Sunday, and they were a big hit, so I made 36 for the party (and for the boys to have some down in the basement, where they were banished).  There is a thin layer of chocolate on the crust, then a custard-y layer, then the strawberries, which are brushed with current jelly.  Delicious!

I also made little turkey/cheese sandwiches, in an attempt to have a tiny bit of protein in the middle of all these carbs.  You can't see very well, but they are in the shapes of crowns and castles.  I had these cookie cutters in those shapes that I had bought several years ago because I was going to do something with them for one of the girl's birthdays.  I never used them then, but they were perfect for the sandwiches today!
We also made chocolate-covered strawberries, and chocolate-covered pretzels (to use up the remaining chocolate after we finished with the strawberries).  Those were very popular!  I dipped 2 pounds of strawberries, and we only had a few left.  And therein lies the difference between boy parties and girl parties--a boy party would have most certainly had no chocolate-covered strawberries left!  Probably nothing else either, LOL.

I also made some little loaves of banana bread, and lemon bars.  I overcooked the lemon bars a bit--I totally didn't trust the recipe when it said they would firm up after cooling!
We bought little tiara combs for all the girls, as well as rings and lip gloss.  When the girls came, they decorated these door hangers with stickers and foam markers because, well, it was a non-messy craft that didn't require any help or prep from me.  What can I say?  I am not crafty on a good day, much less at 35 weeks pregnant!
The girls also decorated their plastic "tea" cups with stickers and sharpies.  Then they ate.  We had a choice of raspberry iced tea or lemonade--I just couldn't stomach the thought of a hot beverage the end of August!  Everyone was so polite and quiet--another difference between a boy and girl party.  Then they went off and played.  I got Bruno the Bunny out so everyone could see and pet him (consensus:  softest bunny ever!).  Some girls played in the playroom with the dollhouse.  Others dressed up.  Some went outside. Eventually everyone ended up outside bouncing on the trampoline.  I had told the boys beforehand, "Oh, no one will go on the trampoline because they'll all be in their pretty party dresses", but that didn't stop anyone!

And all-too-soon, the parents were coming back.  The girls had a good time, and it was not too hard of a party, so I'm sure we'll have another one sometime!  We don't do individual birthday parties because we would just have too many.  A few years ago, we used to have one big non-birthday party a year in the summer for all our friends.  We had a medieval feast, a Revolutionary War party, and an Olympic party.  But then . . . we just had too many little kids, and I couldn't do it anymore.  Now we still have a ton of littles, but maybe we'll start up the yearly tradition again for the girls.  We'll see how I feel next summer . . . LOL.

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