Monday, May 24, 2010

A bit of earth, she wants a little bit of earth...

This year, we knew the back-to-back birthdays were going to be rather low key for us. Back when we were beginning to plan, we didn't know how recovered I would actually be so we tried to keep things easy. For example, when my Little Miss Sunshine requested a flower garden themed birthday party complete with a flower covered cake to go with it, I opted for letting her choose a bakery cake. I love making cakes and decorating them even more, but even on my best day, I'm not that good at flowers. I can make a rose that might or might not end up looking more like a cabbage and I can make drop flowers, but she wanted a cake covered with frosting flowers. So we ordered one from a local store and I breathed a big sigh of relief! I'll post pics later after we pick it up.

What started as a "Flower Garden" theme quickly turned into a Secret Garden theme. We began preparing by re-reading The Secret Garden and listening to the musical version in the car. (Wait... did you fall for that? Hah! Sunshine decided she wanted to re-read The Secret Garden and that CD is on a regular rotation in the car because my kids like it and I have a little thing for Mandy Patinkin. Just his voice mind you, not him.) We also set aside the DVD for the big day! This last week has been filled with comparison/contrast between the different versions of the story which really was a lot of fun.

The Secret Garden (Book and Charm)The Secret Garden - The Original Broadway Cast AlbumThe Secret Garden (Keepcase)

There are a whole host of other things you could do for a Secret Garden birthday or even a Secret Garden unit study. Learn about India and England, discuss British colonialism in India and compare it to American colonialism, make oatcakes and cream, sweet plums in a jar (OK, that's a line from the musical, not the book), plant your own garden (keeping it a secret is optional), or visit the moors. There are a ton of other ideas here. Like I said, low key was the order of the day for us.

To go along with her garden theme and her very artistic nature, we are planning to make mosaic garden stones later on today. For those wanting to leave birthday greetings for Sunshine, I will have an official birthday post up later. You know I'll be back with pictures of the decorations including an delightfully sweet banner that was super easy to make!


  1. Sounds like it's going to be yet another wonderful, wonderful birthday! I'm so glad to hear that you're accepting help with the cake, though; I'd hate for it to stress you out! Can't wait to see pictures of how it all turned out!

    P.S. I also just have to say that as much as I loved reading about the birthday celebration, one of my favorite parts was mention of Mandy Patinkin! I first fell in love with him YEARS ago as Dr. Jeffrey Geiger (Chicago Hope); my brother gave me the "Experiment" CD as a gag gift for my 17th birthday, but the joke was on him because it turned out to be one of my all time favorites! My poor Darren groans every time I bring it back out. (It doesn't get played all that often anymore.) ;)

  2. I don't know. I've always thought Mandy Patinkin was kind of cute.

    Looking forward to the pics...


    Your Exceedingly Visual Friend Up North

  3. I think a Secret Garden theme is an excellent idea - it was one of my favourite books as a child.

  4. Margaret,
    I might agree with you if we were talking about a younger Mandy Patinkin, or maybe just a well groomed Mandy Patinkin, but did you see that picture of him over on Wikipedia? Ugh! He looks like he was getting ready for the role of Tevye. Which, if he was, I say, that's what hair and makeup is for! Pics are comin'!

  5. Melissa,
    You have to get the Secret Garden soundtrack! Also, have you ever heard Mamaloshen? He sings songs in Yiddish. You can hear him sing "Maria" if you click on the title in the top right corner of this website. Also, you can watch him perform in Sunday in the Park With George. Netflix has it. Happy to share my Mandy love! And just so you know, my husband has about the same tolerance level as Darren!

  6. Thanks for sharing those links! Our poor suffering hubbies. ;)

    You're right, he did look a, "rough" in that wiki link, but I do agree that he can, at times, be quite dashing. :)


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