In 18 hours!!!
Last night, my middle daughter, Madison, celebrated her 10th birthday with a handful of her friends. We like to make a big deal about the 10th birthday – it’s double digits! It’s the first time we allow them to have a slumber party and it is the year they are allowed to get their ears pierced. There is a whole host of reasons for those decisions, which I will not go into now. But regardless of the reasons, it is a big year in our house. So in honor of Madi turning 10, we let her dream big for her party. Now, by dreaming big I do not mean we hired Carrie Underwood to come and do a personal concert in our home – although my kids would LOVE that! Madi’s big dream for her party was a trip around the world for her and 7 friends. The girls came up with the idea of doing an international themed party and it morphed into something more than I ever dreamed. We decided to create a party where we would travel from country to country, celebrating a little about that culture and enjoying special treats. I have to say, I am exhausted, but it was the most fun party we have ever had! And it is technically not over yet…I can still hear the pitter patter (ok, it sounds more like a herd of elephants we might have taken a ride on in Thailand last night) of little feet running around playing upstairs.
Here is the basic itinerary of what we did. I know that our “route” makes no sense geographically, but oh well!
When the girls arrived at our house (the international airport) they received their passports for the journey and a small bag for souvenirs that they might get along the way.
Once all of our guests had arrived, they boarded the plane (the couches) and we began our journey. Our first destination was our other “home,” China but we had a short layover in England. We often joke that Madison must be adopted from England because she loves to speak with different accents and a British accent is her favorite…and she is quite good at it! So we had to add this country to the itinerary. While in England they had an opportunity to shop for themselves as well as pick up a little gift to take home to mom…homemade English lavender soaps. They also got a bag of snacks for the long journey ahead. We then got back on the plane and finished the trip to China, where we disembarked and headed out for dinner. My kids LOVE Chinese food and this was where Madi requested we have dinner. So I made a simple dinner of chao fan (fried rice) and jiaozi (dumplings). After dinner, the girls got their souvenirs before we left for our next destination. Here I made little bookmarks that were laminated Chinese money.
Next up on our trip was the small African country of Burkina Faso. Our kids got to participate in kids camp during a recent conference we attended in Colorado. During camp, they learned about Burkina Faso and their need for better medical care there. Two years ago, the kids at kids camp helped raise money to build a medical facility, but it is not as safe as it could be. They have had many problem with people breaking in and stealing supplies so they decided a wall needed to be built around the facility grounds. So this year, the kids spent the week selling homemade products and all kinda of trinkets to help raise money to build the wall. So as we planned the party, Madison decided she wanted to visit this country and asked her friends to bring money to donate for the wall instead of bringing her presents. It was fun to see her get a heart and vision for people who are less fortunate than herself. Here is Madi with a money tree and all the money her friends donated. The girls got to paint small boxes that they can use to save money that they can donate were they want. I hope that it will serve as a reminder to the girls that they can make a difference in the world.
While in Burkina Faso, we decided to sing happy birthday and have our cake. I know, the moment we all were waiting for…the cake. This is, after all, a website about cakes, right?! I had a hard time getting good pictures…the light was not my friend and I am NOT a professional photographer! I love how the cake turned out. It was a strawberry cake with vanilla buttercream. I covered it in brown fondant with a darker brown for the straps and handles. The flags are edible images I had printed at our local supply store. Can you name all the countries represented on our cake?
Once we finished our cake and cleaned up all the paint, we got back on the plane for the last flight…we were off to France. While on the plane this time, the girls got to enjoy an in-flight movie – Around the World in 80 Days! I think they really enjoyed it. On our way to France, we had a short layover in Thailand to enjoy some of our favorite Thai treats, watermelon shakes! We made the girls a little elephant necklace to remind them of their trip to Thailand.
Once they finished all their treats and finished the movie, it was time for bed. They all moved to the upper deck of plane and settled in for the duration of the flight. This morning when they woke up, we had arrived at our final destination before returning back to the good ole USA. We landed in France this morning for a delicious breakfast of chocolate croissants – YUMMM! And since we were in Paris, the city of high fashion, we made each of the girls a flower hair clip. I love how they turned out!!
Once the dust settled and it was all said and done, I would say it was a huge success! Madison had a great time and I think her friends did as well. I’ll leave you with a few last pics…all the souvenirs together and one last one of the cake. Thanks for following us on our journey!