Friday, July 02, 2010

Meilani's Travels Around the World for her 4th Birthday

This year we celebrated Meilani's birthday with a World Travel theme. We are blessed to live in a community of friends who appreciate and represent many different cultures around the world - whether through their own heritage, the adoption of children or through experience traveling to exotic places. We thought it would be fun to have a dress-up party (one of Meilani's fave pasttimes) where we all could celebrate the world cultures. We are also in the process of getting ready to go to Haiti and Meilani is fascinated by packing up for trips and traveling.
We made little passports for each kid. Meilani picked out a stamp and ink pad so she could stamp each passport at the door. They each decorated their "baggage" with stickers and paint. Even Mama and Daddy dressed the part. I put on an Indian outfit a friend bought me in India and Ericlee sported the Haitian-Track Coach-Hawaiian look.
The Brant boys went into our dress-up room and came out donning Mexican sombreros.
Ella Vander Meulen showed up in a sweet Dutch girl's hat. How appropriate!
A World Travel party just wouldn't be complete without a pinata. Meilani and Mama actually made this pinata, which was a fun project in itself as we learned to do paper mache. Our pinata was in the shape of a globe. All the kids (28 to be exact!) gathered around and waited their turn to smack the pinata. Here Niana Holman gives it a whirl.
Nana Maria helped with our international menu, which included everything from Filipino Pancit to Armenian Pilaf to Middle Eastern Fatoush Salad to Mini American Hamburgers. Yes, these are a few of Meilani's favorite foods.

We decided to skip the traditional birthday cake and make something more fun this year. We baked a giant chocolate chip cookie and made it into the shape of a globe - complete with blue sprinkles for the water and chocolate-covered sunflower seeds for the land.
Meilani was delighted by so many thoughtful gifts from friends, including books, gift certificates for fun field trips and even a cooking class at Young Chefs Academy!

Meilani was especially blessed to share her birthday weekend with her friends Ella and Delia. My college roommate, Jen, drove down from Escalon, California to share in the festivities. They contributed some Dutch culture to our tour around the world. Meilani and Ella had their own "after-party," which included swimming and lots of dress-up. What a happy birthday for our big four-year-old!

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