Friday, June 6, 2014

A Secret Garden Birthday on Easter Sunday

I am so pleased that my girls love reading The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett as much as I did as a child.  It has always been one of my favorite books ever since my parents gave me a copy illustrated by Graham Rust for Christmas in 1988, when I was 10 years old. I still have my treasured and well loved copy today. 

I ended up choosing different versions for my girls, giving the Tasha Tudor illustrated edition to our oldest daughter on her last birthday, the Inga Moore illustrated edition to Chiquita last Christmas, and I do have the Graham Rust illustrated edition (like mine) to save for Rose.   (Note: This post includes affiliate links.) 

.: The Birthday Girl :. 

Chiquita's 9th birthday fell on Easter Sunday this year and her Secret Garden themed party tied in perfectly. It was such a special day!

Birthday Hugs and Visiting with Grandpa & Grandma on the phone

.: In the Garden :. 

But she was inside the wonderful garden, and she could come through the door under the ivy any time, and she felt as if she had found a world all of her own.

The older boys helped me create a door out of brown paper.  We added some watercolor wood grains and then created a Key Hole and Keys using black and purple card stock with my Cricut with the Sophisticated Cartridge.

I also used the Sophisticated Cartridge to create the letters for her Birthday Banner placing them on backgrounds cut with Elegant Edges.

I picked up a strand of Ivy with purple flowers and butterflies at the craft store, as well as a few flower plants to use as decorations as well.  It was simple but pretty!

.: The Robin Who Showed the Way :. 

"You showed me where the key was yesterday," she said. "You ought to show me the door today; but I don't believe you know!" The robin flew from his swinging spray of ivy on to the top of the wall and he opened his beak and sang a loud, lovely trill, merely to show off - and they are nearly always doing it.

.: Garden Gate Keys :. 

It was more than a ring, however; it was an old key which looked as if it had been buried a long time.

Chocolate keys with Dark Cocoa, Milk Chocolate and Peanut Butter Candy Melts and a Skeleton Key Chocolate Candy Mold

.: Nest Building :. 

"It's part o' th' springtime, this nest-buildin' is," he said. " I warrant it's been goin' on in th' same way every year since th' world was begun. They've got their way o' thinking  an' coin  things, an' a body had better not meddle. You can lose a friend in springtime easier than any other season if you're too curious."  

.: A Bit of Earth :. 

"Might I," quavered Mary, "might I have a bit of earth?" In her eagerness she did not realize how queer the words would sound and that they were not the ones she had meant to sat. Mr Craven looked quite startled.  "Earth!" he repeated. "What do you mean?" "To plant seeds in - to make things grow - to see them come alive," Mary faltered. 

Chocolate "Bit of Earth" Cupcakes baked in Flower Pots (similar to these) with Chocolate Carrots

.: Bird Bingo :. 

"What kind of bird is he?" Mary asked. "Doesn't tha' know? He's a robin redbreast, an' they're th' friendliest, curiousest birds alive. They're almost as friendly as dogs - if you know how to get on with 'em. Watch him peck in' about there an' looking' round at us now an again. He knows we're talking' about him."

.: Skipping Rope :. 

The skipping-rope was a wonderful thing. She counted and skipped, and skipped and counted, until her cheeks were quite red, and she was more interested than she had ever been since she was born. 

The girls all received jump ropes in their Easter Baskets this year

.: Searching for Easter Eggs :. 

Our Annual Easter Egg Hunt was another fun birthday activity this year!  The birthday girl was totally confused when Uncle Brian gave her a hint: "where was the garden key found?"  She started looking for signs of where eggs might be buried (the key was discovered buried in dirt in the actual book) while her older brother discovered the stash of eggs behind a dislodged brick (the key was found behind a brick in the version of the movie my siblings and I watched recently when we were kids).  The birthday girl was so excited to find the Golden Egg this year! 

.: Birthday Gifts :. 

As I mentioned in this year's Easter Basket post, I usually fill a "Family Easter Basket" with gifts representing the various Easter Symbols. This year the basket was filled with extra gifts for the Birthday Girl:

She also received a card and spending money from her out-of-state grandparents and The Beaver Family from my parents (we are all Beaver Fans after all!) , and even an Easter Egg filled with candy and more spending money from Uncle Brian & Aunt Meagan!

She also received sweet and thoughtful little gifts from her siblings… 

.: Secret Garden Birthday Cake :. 

I posted all about the cake here: Secret Garden Birthday Cake

It was such a fun birthday and so special that it happened to fall on Easter Sunday this year!


  1. You are just amazing! You bring such inspiration and challenge to mothers like me who are just beginners in motherhood journey. Thank you very much for being so generous and loving and sharing all these ideas and your strong faith in Christ with each one of us. May God bless you and family abundantly.

    2014-06-06 18:02:19

    1. Aw, thank you! God bless you and your family too!

      2014-06-06 19:59:22

  2. Love it!

    2014-06-06 18:33:19

  3. Snuggles has the best expressions! I hope all went well with your ultrasound today(?).

    2014-06-06 19:45:55

    1. Thank you! My appointment was actually moved to Wednesday morning. It didn't go as well as I hoped it would. I'll be going in again next Thursday for a 3rd ultrasound. . . Please continue to keep the baby and I in your prayers!

      2014-06-06 19:58:41

    2. Prayers for you and your sweet baby.

      2014-06-06 23:54:14

    3. Yes, we will be praying everything goes well!

      2014-06-07 01:26:01

  4. Oh, The Secret Garden was (and still is...) one of my most favourites books! Wonderful theme of the birthday party!Oh, The Secret Garden was (and still is...) one of my most favourites books! Wonderful theme of the birthday party! I also love the movie based on this book - especially this one by Agnieszka Holand I can't count how many times I've read this book and watched the movie... :-) Greetings from Poland to all of you!

    2014-06-06 21:15:42

  5. I started reading that book with my 5 year old this past week and we are loving it. My mother and I both loved the book when we were young. I will have to save your post for a future birthday party! Praying for you and baby.

    2014-06-06 21:28:31

  6. She is beautiful and she looks like she really enjoyed her birthday! How special for it to be on Easter Sunday this year. You did an amazing job with her cake and decorations as well. I saw your above comment and I will certainly be praying for you and the baby and offering special prayers as well for you both during my labor. My due date is only 10 days away.

    2014-06-06 22:55:38

  7. Beautiful Pictures of a Wonderful Day~~The Cake the presents and specially your lovely family gathered for a Joyful Celebration~God Bless all~Prayers continue to St Gerard for your upcoming Doctor Visit ~ Rosalie

    2014-06-07 15:20:11

  8. Very beautiful!

    2014-06-07 15:30:56

  9. Amazing celebration (as always!)! Praying for you, your little one, and the rest of your family. God bless! :)

    2014-06-07 16:31:04

  10. Jessica-These are also great ideas for a book club. I love this book and I have sweet memories of being "lost" in its story as a child. Prayers for you and baby. Kelly

    2014-06-08 12:32:56

  11. Jessica, What a lovely birthday party! We will be praying for you and your little baby.

    2014-06-10 18:24:35

  12. Jessica I very much admire your creativity for each of your children's birthday celebrations. Each one is so unique. I love your theme using a favorite book of your daughter. Chiquita's dress is just beautiful along with her hat. You dress your girls so feminine which I also admire. The birthday cake and party decorations are just wonderful and so creative and you made them yourself which makes the party all the more special! May God continue to bless your dear family as you and your husband raise such wonderful little ladies and gentlemen...I am keeping you and your precious tiny one in my daily prayers.

    2014-06-12 18:33:19


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