After Julie left, it was time to prepare for the next activity of the week - Mikayla's birthday party involving 12 girls descending upon our home to watch a Christmas musical and slumber party. (Our week wasn't busy or anything!)
Fortunately, God has given me so much more peace about preparing for company and activities these days - I don't get nearly as wound up as I used to. In fact, when the kids asked if they could spend their Friday doing this - I was fine with it.
We actually had some time to spare before all the girls arrived. Michele was super helpful and willing to go above and beyond to chauffeur girls and be my date/partner to get the girls to and from the musical. So, I wanted to go above and beyond sharing clothes to play dress-up with similar matching outfits and pose in front of the tree.
And then, the girls all showed up. Front row, from left to right: Ellie and Nati (cousins), Mikayla, Ellie L., Harley, Julia, Kenady, Meg, Piper Back row, from left to right: Natalie, Ellie P. and Grace
What are the odds that we'd end up with three "Ellie's" at this party?
Each year, when we look at Mikayla's birthday and decide upon plans to celebrate with her school friends, we have to decide if it will take place early - before Christmas, or late - when school returns in January. Her birthday is on December 29th, so the real day is in Sunriver with family. If we choose to go early, it has to be a Christmas-inspired activity, otherwise it's not worth the stress to add to an already busy season. So, when I found an email in my inbox advertising this event - I thought we might have found just the "ticket" for a perfect birthday party plan.
We took up almost a whole row at the theater. This is where Brayden performed when he was in fourth grade with the same theater group doing "School House Rock". Great company, great venue...and outstanding program.
When Mom found out we were going, she wanted to come along - and as it turned out, because John stayed home with Brayden, Dad was able to come along.
The Alexander family:
This is Morgan and Dawn - what an incredible family - and so great that they were seated right in front of us.
Lots of great musical numbers - tremendous talent.
This girl hit a home run with her powerful rendition of "O Holy Night" - the poignancy hit a new level as well when they brought in two ballet dancers to perform with the song.
After the performance, we loaded up the vehicles and headed over to DQ for treats and present opening-
Some fun picture posing-
Ah, my favorite seasonal Blizzard (perhaps favorite Blizzard flavor period) - First one of the year, so worth the wait!
Candles in a Reeses Blizzard - pretty fitting for Mikayla's tastes-
Some fun presents were received-
A little irritated about this one. She told her friends this was something she was asking for for Christmas, so I found (the last one) at Costco and gave it to Mom and Dad to give to her. Ugh....Good thing Costco has an easy return policy! (But, can you tell how happy she is to get it?!)
Slumber party time...three of the girls ended up getting picked up, so there were nine sleeping in the living room....once they finally fell asleep!
We put "Elf" on - foolishly hoping they'd all be asleep by the time it was halfway through. I don't think they payed attention to it at all.
Brayden kept Ellie occupied -
Doing the fun stereotypical things that girls do at Slumber Parties. We feel really fortunate with these girls all being a part of Mikayla's life. For the most part, they are all still happy to be fifth graders and not pushing the envelope to grow up too soon.
Michele and I stayed up until midnight trying to outlast the girls in the other room (we organized for Christmas/Sunriver in the bonus room). I think they eventually fell asleep around 12:30.
The plan was to have the kids picked up at 9am (originally we planned on having the Riley Christmas on this Saturday, so it was set up to leave early in anticipation of that). We expected the kids to rise around 8:45am....but oh no, 7:30am they were up and at 'em.
We had set up a Cocoa Bar in the idea they might have it the night before, but it worked out keeping them occupied while we prepared breakfast.
Breakfast included Cranberry Orange Muffins, Cinnamon Rolls, Orange Rolls, Scrambled Eggs, Sparkling Cider, Cutie Oranges, Grapes, and fresh Pineapple. I've been grazing on the leftovers all day long.
When I was at the check-out line at the grocery store with Julie on Friday morning, I saw this hokey little booklet advertising Christmas Fingernail Tattoos. At first, I though "How quirky and dumb!" - and then, I realized..."Perfect for a Slumber Party!". They didn't work all that well, but guess what? I didn't care! It kept them busy for quite some time (and kept them from pulling out all of Mikayla's clothes to have some sort of fashion show....an idea I was not on board with!).
Just before the parents arrived, the girls headed outside to play some volleyball (in pajamas in 40 degree temps...sheesh!).