Today we were invited to a casual gathering at a nearby park to celebrate a friend’s sixth birthday. B is homeschooled and comes over to our house on Mondays after lessons at our local co-op.

B’s mother S had themed the birthday party as a Rodeo Round-up, and so I knew the cowboy/cowgirl theme would be important throughout the event. So I looked up how to make some easy cowboy hats and gathered the materials necessary to take along to the park. In the end, only about half a dozen children asked to have cowboy hats made, which was just perfect!

Calista, 2yo, September 2010
Cali models my first attempt at making a cowboy hat. I used the thick brown paper that protect David's rolls of vinyl floorcoverings.

At the park, S had planned a number of games. She catered well for the variety of kids’ ages by dividing the children into two teams who competed as a group.

Bronwyn's birthday party, September 2010
Birthday girl B races back to the finish line.

Bronwyn's birthday party, September 2010
Instead of an egg-and-spoon race, the kids raced with marshmallows on wooden spoons — just as fun, but not as messy!

Aisha, 5yo, Brioni, + D, September 2010
After the games, S handed out little bottles of bubbles to the children. This kept them happy and amused while the grown-ups organised the food.

Bronwyn's birthday party, September 2010
Look at this fantastic boot cake! S made it by herself, using liquorice for the black accents.

Bronwyn's birthday party, September 2010
We were also treated to a singing performance by a real, live cowboy! (S's parents flew here from Alberta for a visit — they live on a ranch, so S's dad qualifies as a cowboy.)

Brioni, 4yo, + Aisha, 5yo, September 2010
Aisha listened to the cowboy song while Brioni kept blowing bubbles.

David + Delaney, 8 months old, September 2010
David looked after Delaney the whole afternoon. She dozed happily on his chest for most of the time.

Bronwyn's birthday party, September 2010
Instead of blowing out the candles, the birthday girl just waited for the sparklers to die down.

Aisha, 5yo, Brioni, 4yo, September 2010
After most people had gone home, my girls were still blowing bubbles and enjoying the cake!

Thanks so much for the invite, S! You created a memorable party, and the kids really loved it. It was terrific to spend time with your friends and family. And if you’re friends with S and would like to see more photos of the party — I’ve uploaded the rest of them onto Facebook.