Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Party in the Country

Diandra's best friend's birthday fell on Saturday, the 9th of June. The high school her friend attends graduated on the 7th. It just so happened that this was her friend's 18th birthday, and Diandra knew that her friend, Danielle, was going to be completely jipped an 18th birthday party in the process of a graduation so close. Back in January, she asked Danielle's parents if they'd let her give a surprise party for their daughter. They gave her $500.00 to cover the costs. She came home explaining all of this to me.... I was surprised. She had never done anything like this. I didn't know if she could pull this off. Diandra would discuss all of her ideas, and see what my thoughts were. She would spend time on the computer researching her ideas, make lists, and more lists. If any of you knew Diandra, you'd understand the lists of organization she had going! Diandra told her dad and I what our roles were..... uh? We were involved now. Whoa! There were to be at LEAST 50 people to attend the party, who actually RSVP'd. Diandra was 100% frugal, and used every penny of that $500.00 wisely. She went from one place to another trying to get the best deal possible on each item she needed. Forks, napkins, plates, cups, food, decor...everything that a party entails. She even handmade all the invitations, as well as decorating the dessert plates, and forks and spoons cutely. She was quite Martha Stewart-esc and made the table centerpieces as well. As time went by, her dad and I could both see that she really did need our help. Since the party was being held at her other best friend's house (located in a completely opposite direction from their destination), Diandra had to come up with a means of getting Danielle to the party without her knowing. The only catch was that Diandra was the one who had to get her there; no one else could pull this important part of the plan off because none of Danielle's friends from school or family knew Diandra's best friend.

So, Charlie and I were quite necessary. I was getting so nervous the closer the event got to us. But, she was so calm. I cut up the chicken and put them on skewers, (note: the morning of the party, Diandra and I went bright and early to where the party was going to be to drop off the supplies. Diandra had been helping there the past two days as well). By the time I got home, it was 10:30 a.m. and I started cutting chicken. By the time I finished putting the chicken on skewers, it was 3:00. I was literally crying. The smell and feel of the chicken got to me. I still had to take a shower and get myself ready. I was to be back at the house where the party was going to be at 4:00. I was late.

I was impressed to see everything my daughter was doing. She first started with the invitations by scanning little drawings she had designed and then arranged neatly on Microsoft Word, eventually printing them all off herself. She took the symbols that she designed on the invitations and painted them on the bottom of each clear desert plate with the same colors she'd used in writing on the invitation. Diandra also made party favors with these designs on the tags. She painted Chinese lanterns to coordinate with the party colors. She made all of the desserts that her best friend liked (chocolate is her favorite, and rightly so!) The invitation said, "Flip flop on over for an old fashioned all white party," along with the details of the event. Everyone was to wear white and khaki and colorful flip flops. There was crochet and boccie ball games going during the party. Diandra wanted me to take pictures throughout the party so that she could make a CD to give her afterwards.

I really don't feel comfortable at things like this and thought that I could make my exit. I really thought that my job was done and at one point, I went up to her and mentioned that I thought that I was going to go. She looked at me with sheer terror on her face and said, "What?" I knew that she really just needed her mom there with her period! I stayed and just made myself busy washing dishes, putting things away, getting things for people and answering any questions that I could. I was there until the very end. She was so appreciative and I was so happy to be there for her. It was a great party and I was so proud of her.

NOTE: For all of you who RSVP, and then decide NOT to go...please, by the kindness invested in you, CALL and let the party giver know. Poor Diandra was ready for 50 people...only half showed. All the money, time, and effort Diandra had worked so hard on...

Old wheel barrel carrying a load of Vinca flowers.

The table center pieces were varying sized, empty boxes with Gerber Daisey's stuck into each one.

Mark, Darlene's son, who's friend's with Diandra, helped her bring 5 large tables, and 50 chairs to the event. What a blessing he was!

Koi fish in the pond

Graduation/18th Birthday presents

This donkey, Jack, enjoyed the festivities as well. All throughout the party, he was "He Hawing." Diandra said it's normal; everyone else heard him each time he did it and just looked at each other with awe. It was so loud and sounded so deep from within. You don't realize these little country sounds actually occur outside of children's books. He really added something to the party.


The menu consisted of Grilled Chicken on skewers with four different sauces to dip them in, pasta salad, mixed green salad, and fruit salad, all of which were homemade.

Diandra painted the Chinese lanterns to coordinate to match the colors of the party and were placed through out the yard.

Diandra seen the bags at Michael's, and decided that she could do them herself. She took colored bags, stenciled and then cut them out, taped wax paper behind each one.

Graham crackers with chocolate frosting placed in bags were the party favors (a treat passed down from Diandra's Great Great Gram).


  1. Great ideas! I love all the decorations! Everything looked so festive! I am sure everybody went home happy!

  2. This is so GREAT!!!! Diandra did such a WONDERFUL job! The food looked delicious! All the hard work and planning she put into this! I am so proud of her myself! and...you are such a good Mom Angela.....everything looked just perfect! :-)

  3. You are an awesome mom and I just know that Diandra really loved that you stayed there for her.
    What a beautiful party it must have been.
    Oh by the way my mom and baby sister share this birthday date as well.

    ::gentle hugs::

  4. oh wow ~ she did a fabulous job :) and you are such a good mama to stay with her throughout :)

    i am so inspired by this beautiful post, the beautiful party details and all the gret love and care!!

  5. Wow...what an awesome job she did! And how sweet of you to stay the entire time :)

    xoxo silvia

  6. Wow! What a creative daughter. She has the party gene, I was talking about. I'm glad to know who got it! She did very well.

    Only half showed up! The rat-finks!

  7. Oh Angela: What an awesome party! I think Diandra is just like her mom....creative, productive and reliable!! What and effort....and what a success!!
    The pictures are marvelous! I feel like I've been to a party, the chicken was delicious and the lemonade sweet!!
    You girls are something else!!
    Love and Hugs
    Wanda Mom

  8. Wow! Diandra should be an event coordinator. What a selfless thing to do for a friend. You raised a good one there Angela Marie! Way to go, both of you. I guess those that didn't show up will wish that they had.

  9. wow! Diandra is so talented I can really see what you were describing
    the other day, hey you never know she may end up being the new Martha !
    great job with all that you did to help and love all your photos.

  10. I'm sorry that only half showed up, but WoW, that was their loss.

    You have an amazing daughter, and the photos prove what planning and hard work can achieve.

    Wonderful photos, and I'll be those that attended will always remember this.

  11. Phew! ALL that Diandra and YOU did made me tired just reading about it!!! I hate that only half showed up but that was their loss for sure!!! Everything looks sooOOOooOO SWEET! I LOVE lemonade and a fruit jar! and all those lanterns and I would have LOVED that donkey Heee-Hawwwwing!! maybe he thought you all were going to play PIN the tail on the DONKEY!!! *wink* LOL

  12. what an abundant show of love from your daughter for her friend. Her love runneth over -- and that's the best kind of love for friends! :) Suz.