Worth Celebrating

The board, with chalk lettering done by our close friend, Christin (check her out at Southern Sugar Bakery), welcomed everyone to our party!
The board, with chalk lettering done by our close friend, Christin (check her out at Southern Sugar Bakery), welcomed everyone to our party! {photo – always autumn studios}

Happy Birthday, Leland! — With gratitude we remember, and with great anticipation we look forward to all of the days to come.

I must say, this is the foremost reason we LOVE to celebrate birthdays – we celebrate the Lord, who is Life, who is the Giver and Sustainer, the Savior and Sanctifier, the Healer and Lover of life.

And along with that, life can get crazy sometimes. And be mundane on other days. Raising children is about the hardest thing. SoI think it’s vitally important – to give and to get a glimpse of heaven and all that the Lord has for us in abundant life here and eternal life on the other side of the sun – to set aside days, to plan and to execute a CELEBRATION, a special day, a party. I think the Bible shows us this way, I think Jesus exemplifies it at the wedding reception where He turns water into wine, that we need to enjoy, to celebrate, to party.

When we celebrated Leland’s birthday with our family and friends a couple of Sundays ago, we celebrated each day the Lord has preserved his life; the reality that the Lord has grown Leland in wisdom and stature and favor with God and man (which is also our prayer for him as we enter the third year of his life).
We celebrated the hope that we have in Christ that Leland will be saved, that he will live to the glory of the Lord, and that he will enjoy many days this side of heaven, and all eternity on the other side.

God uses simple bread and wine to show us Christ’s precious body broken and blood spilled; God tells us to look at the flowers to display the way in which He will provide for us. Again and again in Scripture, we are shown BIG realities in bite-sized portions.

Which is why I think a simple party with family and friends is the perfect way to celebrate life so grand.

Inspiration for the theme of our party was simple – Leland loves his moo-cow. So, naturally, I decided we would have a farm party.

I started with the invitations and the place.

I found this invitation through Pinterest on Etsy - It was simple to order it and I loved working with the lady (I hope to order Christmas cards through her). I had them printed on 100 lb cardstock at a local copy place. It is definitely a  less expensive way to get great looking invitations.
I found this invitation through Pinterest on Etsy – It was simple to order it and I loved working with the lady (I hope to order Christmas cards through her). I had them printed on 100 lb cardstock at a local copy place. It is definitely a less expensive way to get great looking invitations.

Leland is 100% boy and loves to be outside. So, with the farm-theme in mind and the fact that anything at a park is better, we chose to do our party at a property complete with a playground, big open green grass and blue sky, a picnic pavilion, and a horse pasture.

The Pavilion {photo - always autumn studios}
The Pavilion {photo – always autumn studios} :: When I start a guest list, it doesn’t take long to come up with a great group of people. Our big family plus friends and babies makes for a fun gathering!

With a date and place decided, I mailed invitations to family and friends.

Then, I started to think about food and fun. Let me say this :: At this point in party planning, I get all of the girls in my family involved. I cannot – nor do I like! – to do anything by myself. DIY = waaaaaay overrated. But everyone doing it together? = that’s my kind of fun. Plus, I’m great with seeing the big picture, but not so wonderful with implementing every little tee-niny detail.

Wanting to do easy-to-grab snacks, I looked to Pinterest for inspiration (click here and you can see my inspiration board).

Here’s what I – well, we – came up with. {photos – always autumn studios}

Pigs in a Blanket :: we decided to use galvanized trays and buckets in keeping with our farm theme to serve the food
Pigs in a Blanket :: we decided to use galvanized trays and buckets in keeping with our farm theme to serve the food and we covered the tables in red & white gingham table cloths
When I asked Tyler’s grandmother to make a birthday cake, all I said is, ” think I would like it to be white.” Well, Grandmom OUTDID herself! She searched all over for the farmer figurines, drew and cut out the red tractors with inspiration from the invitation, and even wrote “Happy Birthday Leland” on the top. Plus, it tasted good! 😉
Cow Krispies :: My sister made these delicious treats, which were quickly devoured // I asked the etsy shop owner if she would make food labels that coordinated with the invitation – didn’t she do a great job!? I just loved working with her and the graphic designs that she produced.
I think these little party plates are just so fun!
I think these little party plates are just so fun!
The Watering Hole
The Watering Hole :: We served simple Country Time lemonade and water. I brought gallons of water and daddy mixed the lemonade in the serving pitcher. Below the table sat a cooler with water bottles on ice.

We also served…

Scarecrow Crunch trail mix

Pretzel rods or “lumber”

Haystacks

Oreos, better known as “tractor wheels”

*

Now for the fun. Since a playground, plenty of wide open space and green grass, plus a horse pasture right next door with friendly ponies coming up to the fence wasn’t enough, I mentioned to Stephen, my brother in law, “Wouldn’t it be neat if we could do tractor rides at Leland’s party?”

And the next thing I knew… we had a tractor for tractor rides!! (Thank you Stephen for saying “why not!?”, Jim for asking Bob, and Bob for having a tractor!!)

A vintage Farmall tractor, the children were pulled along on a trailer bed
A vintage Farmall tractor, the children were pulled along on a trailer bed
The children loved just looking at it and comparing their height with the height of the big tires.
The children loved just looking at it and comparing their height with the height of the big tires.

a farmall tractor

The experience was complete with tickets, also made by the sweet lady at papernoted.
The experience was complete with tickets, also made by the sweet lady at papernoted.
tractor ride
Tractor Rides!! :: Poppop (Tyler’s dad) driving the tractor
we have a philosophy -- the more the merrier! -- so we piled on as many as we could to sit and ride and enjoy together the tractor ride!
we have a philosophy — the more the merrier! — so we piled on as many as we could to sit and ride and enjoy together the tractor ride!

And if all of that fun wasn’t enough, we had a piñata, too! It’s cute because Leland was watching Curious George one day, which is his fav, and the little children were having a birthday party. Leland was cracking up laughing at the kids hitting at the piñata. When I asked him if he would like a piñata at his birthday party, which I hadn’t really mentioned anything to him about it otherwise, he said with great enthusiasm, YES! So, we did 🙂

Gotta Love Amazon :: This little fella came to my doorstep, and then we filled him with confetti and candy. The children loved it and the sweet treats served as our party favor :)
Gotta Love Amazon :: This little fella came to my doorstep, and then we filled him with confetti and candy. The children loved it and the sweet treats served as our party favor 🙂 (link to amazon)

We also enjoyed …

big bubbles with big bubble wands

swinging, sliding, and the sandbox

tossing bath and forth a football and frisbees

seeing the horses

I really hoped that the horsies would come say hey to the children, and the friendly guys didn't dissapoint!
I really hoped that the horsies would come say hey to the children, and the friendly guys didn’t dissapoint!
Leland, climbing the fence to visit the horses
Leland, climbing the fence to visit the horses

*

Decor helps us to taste and see that the Lord is good, y’all, so we didn’t forget about that!

table decor
the table decor came together with much heartful help from the ladies in my family
IMG_8770
happy birthday!!
we even had a mini tractor!
we even had a mini tractor!
Centerpiece
southern cotton in a mason jar on picnic check tablecloths
table decor
i really wanted farm – not autumn – and i think we accomplished it

There are a couple of other detail-ish things that we did for the party…

outhouse
it [almost] seems better to use a port-a-potty when you have a cute sign on the door 😉
IMG_0501
with kids you never know what you’ll need, so i packed full a tin of supplies and let everyone have at it

Whether you celebrate with a big ole party like we had, or a cupcake and a candle, it’s important to celebrate. It’s good for our souls; the Lord made us for celebrations. That’s why we like them so much! And we certainly have reason to celebrate – Christ. in us. the hope of glory.

the birthday boy!
the birthday boy!! happy Birthday, my Leland-love

4 thoughts on “Worth Celebrating

  1. I just wanted you to know that I always welcome and love reading your posts! They are always so uplifting to me:)

    Anne Hopp Sent from my iPad

  2. I love it all – you captured the theme in every detail! Only wish we could have been there to celebrate with y’all. Leland looks like such a grown, strong young man in the last picture.

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