June 21, 2013

Best Solstice Yet!

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In years past, we've been a little stingy with Summer Solstice.  We've had smallish gatherings for Winter Solstice, but never summer only because it falls during our craziest week of the year.  But this year I decided to relax a little, not worry about perfect party hosting, and let each of the kids invite a friend.  But then we didn't want to leave out siblings so we ended up having 2 full families join us.  It ended up being so much more special with friends.  Aside from my obsessive morning clean-up rampage, it was the most laid back and enjoyable day of summer thus far!

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We table scaped with this little summer sunshine queen and her daffodil sidekicks.

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Then we added these sunbeam babies!  So cute!

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You may recall that last year, our solar oven was an epic flop.  Well, this year a dad of some of our guests made a super-duper- reusable solar oven to end all solar ovens and it was the highlight of my day.  Cooking with the sun just seems like the most solsticy (that's right.  Solsticy!) thing you could ever do, and I was so stinking disappointed last year when all I got was sweaty cheese.  This year, with Jason's oven and Ellie's bread dough, we had bread.  Actual, delicious bread.  It was like a solar miracle.  

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Some of the kids hand stitched their felt leaf crowns and some needed moms to do it for them.  The older kids worked especially diligently on theirs.  I love seeing kids focus so hard on hand crafts.  Adorable!

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We had a nature scavenger hunt, which yielded some interesting finds, like a giant wad of dog hair to satisfy the "something hairy" item.  I didn't make the list.  I printed it from the internet and somehow didn't notice the something hairy part.  Haven came and drug me away and said I was his something hairy.  Not sure how to take that. 

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After the hunting, the kids gathered round to show off and compare their finds.  We were impressed with how many Y shapes there are in nature.  

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Then it was marbled paper art time.  I was skeptical about the ease of marbling paper with just spray paint and water, but it worked beautifully.  One note, if you decide to try it, as the stir stick accumulates paint, it starts to collect paint instead of mixing it and you end up with a not-so great coat of paint.  You also want to change or scrape the surface of your water regularly for the same reason.  We learned a lot with this process.  But the results were beautiful.  The goal was to come back after it dried and cut a star out of the reds and glue it onto a note card made from the blue, but we got distracted by food and frolicking,  and just ended up sending everyone home with beautiful paper and homework to do.

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Add to that a little sunshine cake and cookie decorating, and we had ourselves a party!

The kids went on their merry way, doing who knows what, while the moms got to have our hang out time.  Mom time just seems in such short supply that it's so great when my kids love kids whose moms I love too!  We all get to have a play date.  Who says play dates are just for kids?

That was our awesome Summer Solstice!  Can't wait to do it again next year.  

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