Saturday, March 22, 2008

An Amazing Easter Party

We went to the most amazing Easter Party this afternoon. While all the festivities and activities had absolutely nothing to do with the real meaning of Easter, it was a very fun filled afternoon.

We were invited to this party because the family hosting the party has a little boy in Rachel's preschool class. While the entire class was invited, there were only four families that came. We spent the afternoon hanging out with those families and getting to know them better. This party was the 6th annual and apparently it is a highly anticipated event. There were between 200-300 people in attendance and everything was done so nicely and was very well organized. It appeared that some local businesses were very involved and supportive. Their front yard was HUGE, which was perfect for the shaded awnings with tables and chairs, and bounce houses, and playhouse, and food area, and believe it or not a couple portable potties, one clearly marked for the girls, and one for the boys.

Shortly after arriving, a potluck lunch was served. The hosting family supplied the hot dogs and hamburgers and then everyone else brought something to share. The amount of food was amazing. There were huge ice chests adequately supplied with water bottles, and juice boxes for the kids. Rachel didn't bother eating, as we had grabbed something on the way, not knowing when we'd eat, etc. Rachel's first stop was the bounce houses. Where she spent the majority of the time. If not there, then she could be found in the playhouse, complete with electricity and a doorbell that actually rang. Throughout the early part of the afternoon, the Easter Bunny made his appearance and had a basket of chocolate eggs he passed out. It was a very warm day and the chocolate eggs made for messy faces and hands, but that didn't stop Rachel from getting one every time he passed by her. Just like Santa Claus, we don't do the Easter Bunny, so he wasn't anything special to our kids, to them he's just a character like at Disneyland.There was a popcorn machine, and a sno cone machine, which helped keep you cool in the hot sun while you waited to have your face or hand painted by the clown. Rachel had a bunny painted on her hand, because she is afterall, in the Bouncing Bunny class. After the clown had spent time with the kids who desired to be painted, the next activity on the schedule (and I do mean schedule, they were extremely organized) was the egg hunt!! Every family that came was asked to bring 1-2 dozen eggs, filled plastic or real eggs, for the egg hunt. The kids were taken to the backyard of the house and divided up into age groups. The different age groups had different areas to hunt. I heard in passing that there were 2000 eggs to be found, I don't know if that's true or not, but seeing the amount of eggs that all the kids had, I wouldn't be surprised. I went with Rachel, and Steven with Hannah. Rachel had so much fun, of course this is her second egg hunt this week, so she's a professional now, skipping the eggs that were broken and empty. After all the eggs in her area had been found, we went and found Hannah and Daddy, and then settled on the grass in the shade to bust open the eggs! Rachel managed to get 22 plastic filled eggs. What followed the egg hunt was unbelievable. The invitation had asked if you wanted to participate in the gift raffle to please bring a little gift, etc. After talking to the Mommy hostess, she said anything fun from the dollar store would even be fine. We provided a plastic egg with play dough and molds. Again, the kids were divided up into age groups, and boys and girls. Each kid was then given a raffle ticket. And group by group, raffle numbers started being called. The first thing raffled off at the start of each age/gender group was a brand new bike that had been donated. In addition to the bike, there were gift cards to McDonalds, and cash. Through the afternoon, donations kept being made into a box and at the start of the raffle, there had been $800 donated to raffle off to the kids. There was also the prize blanket where a prize could be chosen. Essentially, every child left with something. Rachel won the chance to pick something from the prize blanket. She chose a gift bag with a giant bag of Starbursts inside. LOL. She was so happy. The raffle took a while, following the kids raffle, there was a raffle for adult prizes which included some beautiful anniversary clocks and $50 gift cards to restaurants, etc. Unlike both our children, we left empty handed from the raffle. At this time, it was after 6:00, and we'd been there since 1:00, the kids were dirty and tired and we decided to skip the pinata that came after the gift raffles. We gathered our things and said our goodbyes and home we went. The girls had sooo much fun and were so tired when we got home. Rachel fell asleep shortly after being put to bed.

Today was a very fun day with all the 'traditional' things associated with Easter.

And while the Easter Bunny, the egg hunts, and the candy is a lot of fun, it's not the true meaning of Easter, and tomorrow we will go to church and celebrate the real meaning of Easter...Christ dying on the cross and rising from the dead.

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