Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Birthday Party

Last year I resigned myself to the fact that Harper's birthday party was not going to be very environmentally friendly. She really wanted to have her party at one of those inflatable bouncy places so that is what we did. The turn out was horrible. Only a few kids from her class showed up. Harper still had a great time, but it left me feeling very dissatisfied.

This year we decided that we were going to have a good old fashioned party at our house. We knew it would be a lot of work, but we were up for the challenge. Harper decided that she wanted a Bolt birthday party. I was fine with that because I knew I could incorporate the dog and cat theme into the party without going over the top with Bolt party supplies. Inspired by Kimberly (Tree Huggin Mummy), I decided I would pitch the idea of no gifts to Harper. In lieu of gifts we would ask everyone to bring a small donation to the local humane society. Without hesitation, Harper said "sure, we can do that."

I was beyond excited. I was not sure how this would be received by the other kids and parents, but really I didn't care. The fact that we were having her party at our house and also asking for donations rather than gifts already made this party different from any party we have been to so far. The response to the party was unreal. We had a total of 19 kids including family that showed up for the party. We even had several parents of kids that could not make it say they were going to make donations to the humane society in Harper's name. How exciting is that?


For the actual party, I set up a cooler with water and reusable cups. I also had a cooler with lemonade and natural soft drinks (no HFCS) for the adults. We served hot dogs, and dog bone shaped cookies, fruit kebobs, and chips. Mitch baked and decorated two cakes. We used compostable plates and sporks.



Mitch set up a fishing game for the kids to play. We had a bouncy thing set up thanks to Aunt Gina and Uncle Stephen. G-Pa and Grammie made a nice Cornhole game set.


My brother and his girlfriend did a little face painting.


It was really hot, but I think everyone had a good time.


We had the party in the morning so we did not have much trouble getting the kids down for naps that afternoon. When they woke up, we loaded up the van and took the donations to the humane society. Look at all the donations we received.


Mitch called ahead to make sure it was okay to bring the donations. They were thrilled and said they wanted to take Harper's picture to put in their newsletter.




The workers were so impressed with all the donations we had collected. We walked around the shelter and looked at the cats and dogs. After being at the humane society, I think Harper finally got it. You know what? She did not miss getting presents one bit. This reward was much sweeter. I can't tell you how proud I was of her.

I know I did not post much about Miller's birthday. His birthday was a bit overshadowed this year. We did celebrate and Mitch made and decorated an ice cream pie for him. We tried and tried to find a good time to have a full blown out party for him, but it was not in the cards this year. We will do a class party for him next year.



Cris said...

I love the cake! Nicely done! my son loves cars so we bought him a cake with Lightning Mcqueen and company on it for his first birthday. I didn't think of decorating it myself, I wish I did the cake was expensive. But I don't want to ruin his first so I just bought. Nice party.

Kimberly said...

Wow! How amazing is that?!!! Way to go Harper!

carrie said...

I can't imagine how proud you must be of her, jen! I would like to float that idea past my girlies - they are both such animal lovers, they might just go for that! And the enviro-friendly party was just awesome!

Dawn said...

That is fantastic!!

Those cakes are so cute...I'm sure both of the kids will have wonderful memories of all that you and your hubbie did to make their b-day's so special.

Yay for green parties!!

Stacy said...

What a fabulous idea! I love how you chose a charity that she could really "see" where it was going to, and it tied in so well with her party. She looks so happy sitting there amongst it all, too.

Jaimee said...

How neat that everyone responded so well to the donation idea & that Harper got the royal thank you from the humane society!

I know what you mean about overshadowed birthday parties - we only had a mini party for Cole's first birthday when Caden had two parties for his! Sometimes life just overshadows those things and when they are young enough that they really don't get it yet, it is easier to do!

Christina said...

wow. you aren't "new" green mama anymore - you are SUPER green mama. Too cool! Love it that there were so many great donations and that Harper was so excied about it!!

Maggie said...

What a great party -- and how fantastic of Harper to donate to the humane society!

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