Sunday, December 30, 2012

December Birthdays

John and Anna celebrated their birthdays in December - John turned 8, and Anna turned 2. 

Anna is a very musical little creature. She can hum tunes of many songs perfectly on pitch, and she also loves to "play" on her kazoo. She is just now barely starting to talk, so the only song she can actually sing (with words) is "Jesus loves me" - it is so precious! :)

 I still can't believe WE gave her this box of NOISY instruments!!! There are enough in there for our entire band of children to play with one at the same time - sooooo loud!!!

It's hard to believe John is 8 now - he was a baby just yesterday! I keep calling him Stephen by accident, and calling Stephen John, because in my mind they are both my baby boys.

 A much-loved gift from Solomon

John did not even expect a big party, much less minded having a joint party with his little sister (whom he still calls his best birthday gift ever, since she was born three days before his 6th birthday). We picked an art-inspired theme because John loves to draw, paint, and do anything artsy.

The party was held on a Sunday afternoon between the services. We served hot dogs, chips, punch, and other treats. One of the great benefits of being married to the pastor is that there is never any  questionable food served. From the marshmallow treats to the hot dogs, everything was organic and free of weird additives. Even the food colors were all plant-based. Just because I am feeding other people does not mean I feel justified in giving them junk. It has been my opinion that when God said he would feed and clothe us, He was not depending on Monsanto and their franken-science to make true on that promise. (Stepping off the soap box now...)

In all, between families in our church, friends from the kids' P.E. class, and neighbors, there were about 30 kids there. It was loud, it was busy, and it was FABULOUS!!!

Snacks served in (new!) paint trays.

 Color wheel fruit platter

 Paint brushes :)

We had invited kids of all ages from babies to tweens, so I was trying to think of activities all would enjoy.We had three tables set up with different art stations:

Paint white dishes with Sharpie, bake in oven to set colors

Paint on canvas with acrylic paints, or (for the little ones) put white handprints on pre-painted canvases. 

Salt dough for sculpting, making ornaments, etc.

Instead of cake, I baked about six dozen cupcakes in different colored liners, with frosting tinted to match. For the birthday boy and girl, I used paint palettes to put their cupcakes and candles on.


The favor bags just had some playdough, Cliff Kidz bars, and a couple of pieces of candy each, but each child also got to take home all their art projects. The bags were sealed with paint swatches from the hardware store to fit the theme.

On a side note, have you seen any of the many cool ideas on Pinterest for art projects made from paint swatches??? Coming to think of it, this entire party was based on ideas I found online, with less than one week to prepare and get everything ready.

Up next: Isaac turns 10 in February, which means he is finally old enough to go go-cart racing, which he will do with his friends instead of a party. We will just have some cake at church in his honor.

Also in February, Miriam turns 6, and for the first time ever has her own party (as opposed to having a joint party with Isaac), so she chose the girliest theme she could think of: ballet. I am currently working on her birthday gifts which you can find here and here (yes, Pinterest-inspired again!).


  1. Monsanto - UGH! We are the only country that doesn't label our GMO food! So frustrating! (stepping off my soap box now)

    What a fun party! I think the paint brushes were my favorite. Pinterest can be so addicting!

    Happy Birthday to Anna and John!

  2. What a cool party! Very creative, and looked like a lot of fun. I love those paintbrush rice krispie treats!
    Anna ia beautiful little girl....looks just like a little cherub. Glad everybody had a great birthday!

  3. Your kids are so lucky to have such a great mom that works so hard and puts so much time into making their birthdays special. Thanks for sharing the pics:)

  4. How precious! I simply LOVE the Art inspired theme- so clever and decorated so well! Looks like the kids had a wonderful time. The food table looked delicious!
    Happy Birthday John and Anna !

  5. How did you make the paint brushes? They look awesome

    1. I bought the marshmallow treats at Trader Joe's. They come in boxes of 5. I'm guessing they are a generic version of these:

      Cut in half, insert an ice cream craft spoon (bought at Jo-Ann's, right next to the craft popsicle sticks).

      Melt white chocolate with some coconut oil added in a double boiler (I'd guesstimate about 1 to 2 tsp per cup of white chocolate morsels).

      Tint chocolate with food coloring. Dip brushes, lay on wax paper and pop in fridge until set.

  6. Oh what a wonderful party!! I love how everyone was able to be involved and oh precious gift of a baby sister-special lifetime bond and memories!

    I am so making the rice crispy paintbrushes~~

    May 2013 be filled with blessings for you and yours. May we all stand firm in our Lord and Saviour and be bold in Truth.


  7. So very awesome! Happy New Year!

  8. Are sharpies food safe?

    Also, if you watch a video of how hot dogs are made (even organic ones) you might be less inclined to view them as "healthy."

    1. I don't think sharpies are food safe. I don't let our kids use the dishes for eating that had sharpie on the surface they'd be eating from.

  9. Cute party! But why did you say "because your husband is a pastor there is no questionable food served". As a teacher married to an engineer we follow similar food practices. Your comment sounded a little unkind.

    1. You are misunderstanding what I'm saying. I said that because he is THE and call it food pastor, there is no questionable food served. That is because I am picking everything. If you were familiar with many churches, you would know that they mostly serve the cheapest junk.

    2. I get what you're saying were it a church event, but a family birthday party? In what way does being married to the pastor help the choice of food then?

      My husband and I serve healthy, additive free food at our sons' parties too, he's a truck driver, I stay at home, and we're both atheist. Job and religion have no play in whether you can research and make intelligent food choices for your family?

    3. Birthday parties ARE a church event, as we always invite all the children in our church, and most always hold the parties at the church building.

  10. That is so neat! Your kids and their friends will always remember the cool birthday parties and the amount of effort their parents put into it.

  11. Happy Birthday to Anna and John!! Brilliant party theme I think I have the "paint-brushes" pinned for a later date too. Isn't Pinterest just the best for finding great ideas!

    I loved the pictures of Anna covered in flour at the party, she is so cute! Thanks for sharing!

    ...Also, I just wanted to let you know, that my husbands "After the tribulation" DVD arrived on Christmas Eve! I was so pleased it arrived in time for me to add it to his Christmas gifts. We watched it Christmas night and we LOVED it! Thank you.

  12. Which plants (or fruits or vegetables) did you use to get each of the colors?

    I tried coloring my daughter's birthday cake with turmeric and paprika, and the results were... okay, but not great. The colors of your cakes, however, look excellent!

    1. I did not make my own, but bought them at Whole Foods. Not the ones on the shelf in the baking aisle, those are worthless. I buy them directly from the bakery, which in turn buys theirs in bulk from a supplier that does not sell to the public. The bakery sells the colors to me for $2/ounce, which is also cheaper than the other colors on the shelf. I typically get one ounce in each color they offer, and store them in 2 oz canning jars in the freezer. Because the colors are oil-based, they do not freeze solid, and can be used straight out of the freezer, without spoiling. This time, I bought yellow, orange, red, pink, and blue, from which I was able to make all the colors you see in the photos.

    2. Brilliant! Thank you so much! I'll have to remember this next time.

  13. Zsuzsanna - I went to the WF bakery and they refused to sell to me (guess I look evil or something!), but I do fairly well with my own - chlorophyll for green, beet juice for pink, and turmeric for yellow - the first two work especially well. Of course, I don't get the lovely array of colors, but it's a start! :)

  14. Happy Birthday, Anna and John! And what a fun and creative idea for a birthday party, I may just have to take a little artistic license and copy your party for an artist friend of mine, how fantastic!

    Bless you, Dad, and the seven,


  15. I just love reading your blog! Wish we didn't live so far apart ( I'm in Michigan)! It's wonderful to know there are like minded people out there :) I'm amazed at the time and creativity you put into parties ( I loved the maternity shower too). I only have 2 kids so far and can't imagine getting all of that done! Don't know how you do it but keep it up! Your kids have a wonderful mother and your church has an awesome, caring pastor's wife :)
    Angela B.


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