Birthday in a Winter Wonderland

Our dear sweet Betty turns NINE next week, and to celebrate she wanted a Snow (Princess) themed birthday party. We ended up getting some great bargains, since on January 1st anything with a snowflake on it goes on clearance to make way for the swimsuits and Easter grass. But back to the party . . .

The Decorations:
a milk jug igloo, built by Jack and Grandad . . .
leading to a stuffing-snow front entryway . . .
The ceiling was hung with kid-made paper snowflakes and a homemade paper happy birthday banner . . .
And the floor (over the carpet) was covered with ten yards (the whole bolt) of white felt and white and blue balloons.
The Food:
Pretty standard kid-food for dinner. But my favorites were the
Hot Cocoa Bar . . . and the
Deconstructed Snowmen (Snow , noses, coal, and twigs).
The Games:
Grocery bag snowball fight
Styrofoam snowball on a spoon race
T.P. snowman decorating contest
Plus, the front hall stuffing-snow was quite entertaining:

We got a bubble snow machine for the front yard . . .

which was a big hit. It looks really messy, but the bubbles evaporated off of everyone in a matter of minutes, so it was fine.
The Cake!:
This penguin cake was Betty's inspiration
for the whole party theme.
The Pinata:
Jack (10) made this snowflake pinata with cardboard, paper, markers, tape, a wire coat hanger, and a paper bag full of candy. It worked great!
The Favors:
The party-goers went home with . . .
a marshmallow snowman on a stick . . .
and a packet of hot chocolate,
personalized with a sticker label.
Happy Birthday Betty!
Oh, one more thing. During the super-adorable birthday party, this . . .
is what my sewing table looked like. <sigh> You may note that most of what's on it is NOT sewing stuff. I like a tidy house as much as the next gal. But it's hard to make it a priority. In fact, whenever my counters start getting out of control -- I schedule a dinner party. That way, I have the proper motivation to clean up all the little nests that have accumulated.

I know I ought to keep a tidy house for love of God and my family (now where have I heard that before?) but sometimes a little concern for human respect does get the job done.

But hey, sometimes it doesn't all get done. And that's okay too. My goal is NOT to have a Martha Stewart Living home. I just want to find that proper balance between tidiness and pleasantness. Between Martha (no, the other Martha, the one in the Bible) and Mary. Between making guests feel welcome in an orderly home and making them feel like they'd better be going because I've turned my back on them to start on the dishes. And if guests start arriving and there's still one messy counter, well, I just try not to worry about it.

Perhaps someone at the party even said to herself, "Hey, if a lady with an anatomy guy, a giant novelty eraser, and some pants (aack! must remember to sew up rip in husband's pants!) just sitting out on her counter can host a party, then so can I!" Or maybe not. But I figured if I was showing you all the cute stuff, I'd better show you the dark side as well!