Here are some of the cakes I've made for those big summer-family-parties.
Do I go overboard? Do I do this for me? For them? What's my motivation here - besides for having an excuse to eat a big piece of chocolate cake? I believe the hope is that these are the memories that my kids will take with them as they grow older, for when they want to spend more time out of the house than in the house and for when they stop thinking that mommy-made birthday hats and cakes are cool.
So if most of the kids' birthdays are in the summer, why am I introducing this now? I'll tell you - we are entering the season of half birthdays. And we like half-birthdays. Half birthdays are like the cream inside a cupcake. You can't really tell if a cupcake has a cream filling until you bite in, and if there is, then hey! What a fun surprise! Half birthdays are like the cream, an unexpected surprise. My kids never know when their half-birthday is coming, so it always, hey! What a fun surprise!
Half birthdays are laid-back. No real party, no big presents - and no mommy-time spent trying to find that big present. Half birthdays consist of cupcakes, a balloon and a hug and a kiss. And this year, we are introducing a new element to half birthdays. The Half-Birthday Book.
Step 1: Turn the notebook sideways - my plan is for anyone who writes in the book to do sideways. That's just my preference.
Step 2: Trace the cover of the notebook onto a paper and cut it out so you have template of the notebook's cover.
Step 3: Use the template to cut a piece of pretty paper to fit the notebook's cover. Mod Podge it on. Let dry.
Step 5: Keep decorating or stop if you're done. I drew a cupcake and then cut it out of various colored papers and glued it on. Anything goes. You can just glue a picture of the family on the notebook and be done.
Was is the purpose of the notebook?
The purpose of the notebook is to engender nice feelings between siblings. And I guess parents too. Each family member will draw a happy birthday picture or, for those of us who have learned how to write, a note, either on a paper that will get glued into the notebook or in the notebook itself for the half birthday boy or girl. And since all the pages will be in the notebook, the kids will be able to look back on it for years to come and see the funny/sweet/silly/scribbled black rectangles that were made for them on their annual half-year mark.
And now onwards to figuring out what to do when the baby turns one(!) in February. We never had a winter birthday before...