Thursday, January 31, 2008

Put on a Pedestal

This easy craft project is one of my favorites from my Christian Woman column because it is quick and simple. To make a footed cake plate like the one pictured, start with a plate and bowl. If using patterned dishes, make sure the bowl will look good turned upside down. I found lime green plates and bowls at a dollar store. Paired with different colored ribbons, this inexpensive cake plate could put dessert on a pedestal at every occasion from Valentine's Day to Christmas.

To make a cake plate, lightly sand the bottom of your bowl. Run a bead of glue around the bottom of the bowl. You will need to use a solvent like E-6000 that will bond ceramics. Turn your plate over, and adhere the bowl to the center of the plate. Set the project aside for the glue to dry, according to package directions. Then top the finished cake plate with candles, fruit or dessert.

I made this cake plate as a door prize for this weekend's ladies retreat with the Wetumpka Church of Christ. We will be talking about the blessings of Christian frienship. I love practical ideas that can inspire us to reach out to someone else. Something as simple as a pretty cake stand might inspire us to deliver a cake to a new neighbor or invite a friend over for lunch.

I'm also hoping that this project will remind us to put the people in our lives on a pedestal. Not in the sense of making them infallible or unapproachable, but in giving them a special place in our hearts. In their book The Gift of Honor, John Trent and Gary Smalley say, "Honor is a decision we make to place high value, worth and importance on another person by viewing him or her as a priceless gift and granting him or her a position in our lives worthy of great respect; and love involves putting that decision into action" (p. 280). And just like making a cake plate to showcase favorite desserts, putting those we love on a pedestal brings sweet rewards.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Strawmary Shortcake's Birthday Tea

One of my greatest pleasures of motherhood is planning my children's birthday parties. Each birthday provides an opportunity to celebrate that child, and as a family we try to make the Birthday Child feel special in every way. We have stretched out our festivities, allowing the Birthday Boy or Girl to savor the birthday week with special privileges like choosing restaurants or going first when taking turns.

For our birthday parties, each child chooses his or her theme, and then my fun begins. I enjoy the creative aspects of party planning: making invitations, decorations, cakes and party favors. I try to keep the parties economical but thoughtful, with an eye to details. I hope we are creating memories our children will treasure and that their hearts will be drawn home each year for their birthdays. Nothing would thrill me more than to get a call from one of them saying, "Mom, I want my 38th birthday theme to be my doctoral dissertation on Fluorescent Analysis of Pigment Composition of Phytoplankton." ("Ooh, we could do a lot with that ... .")

The day after Mary Ashley's third birthday, she began planning her fourth: a Strawberry Shortcake tea party. Polka dots in yummy colors of light pink, dark pink and lime green set a cheery background for a cupcake-themed decor. We invited little girls from church and school for a fun-filled afternoon. I took the pictures below, but most of the photos I will be posting were taken by my brother, Nathan Prichard. He is a gifted photographer and captured many special moments during the party. I plan to post quite a few, but he took nearly 500 pictures at the party, so I have many more I wish I could share. I hope you will enjoy this glimpse into Strawmary Shortcake's berry special day!

Friends Like You Who Are So Berry Sweet

Make Celebrating Birthdays Such a Treat!


Mary Ashley's fanciful cottage cake was inspired by the children's playhouse.

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