A big cause for celebration during our annual Lester family beach trip was our nephew's third birthday. Of the seven grandchildren, Hans is the only one with a summer birthday. So it was really a treat to celebrate with him this year.
Joe's sister, Emily, is a mother, actress, event planner and former Gymboree music teacher. She used all these roles to plan a party for Hans that was simple, fun and inexpensive. And it was the highlight of the week for all the cousins. A few hours before the party, Emily delivered monogrammed book bags to all the cousins. Inside they found little Cars-themed party favors and a bigger surprise: an outfit to wear to the party. Emily found the cousins' coordinating shorts sets and sundresses online for a very reasonable price. The children loved getting dressed up for the party, and it helped set a festive mood for the evening. And now the children will remember that special night each time they wear their new favorite outfits!
Emily delighted all the children by involving them in a birthday-themed music class. Every one of the cousins, ages 2 to 9, hung on her every word as she engaged them in play with maracas, sticks, ribbons and more. Together they sang, clapped, marched around the room -- laughing all the way. She even brought out a parachute! After Emily finished her games, the merriment continued. Little Hans did a happy jig that got all the children on their feet, and Joe's mom led the children in a conga line around the condo.
The highlight of the evening for the children was racing toy cars. Emily matched the children by age to race, two-by-two, across the living room floor. The remaining children waved the checkered flag or cheered their cousins from the sidelines. Win or lose, they all had fun and laughed throughout the races.
Start to finish, it was a great celebration. Hans and his cousins had a night to remember. And Emily demonstrated that even without racing around like a crazy person, you can plan a birthday party that will bring home the Piston Cup every time!