Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Happy Birthday Junie Potter!

 Junie B. turned 9 in March, but I started conjuring up her very magical Harry Potter birthday party 9 months in advance.  I'd like to say that I pour my whole heart and soul into these parties for the sake of my children, but I think I really do it for me.  I enjoy every minute of planning, creating and bringing the magic to life in celebration.  We are HP fanatics at our house, so this was our best party ever!  June let her hair grow wild for a couple of months and when she put on her robes and glasses, she transfigured into Harry.  This is how excited she was waiting for the party to start.

 We all dressed up!  Mom was Professor Mcgonagall, Dad was Hagrid, Winnie was Luna Lovegood, and Klive was Dobbie.  Poor Winn was getting over a terrible flu, so we are lucky that Luna turned up at all.

 A few special guests arrived early.  They caught the Hogwart's Express after making a run at platform 9 and 3/4.  I think a couple of sneaky dementors must have hopped on with them.

 It's so nerve-wracking waiting to find out which house you will be sorted into.  Sweet little Dobbie made friends with all the new students.  Especially the ladies!

 Papa thought the party was "Toy Story" themed, so he dressed up like Woody.  As each new student arrived, they sent their presents off to the owlery.

 Nana Deb made this amazing welcome banner.  It probably took her all of 10 minutes.  She's got skills.  The new Hogwarts students lined up and waited to be sorted.

 Professors Mcgonagall and Trelawney welcomed the new first years, handed out wands and introduced the sorting hat.

 Harry Potter was sorted into Gryffindor.  No surprise there!

 The students put on the sorting hat, reached into the magic bag, and pulled out a house ring.  Luna wound up in Slytherin.  What?  The students got a house tie and ring to remind them where they belonged. 

 We had to find out if these first years were cut out for life at Hogwarts, so we sent them off to potions class and tested their skills at making polyjuice.

 Loads of edible ingredients, what a blast!

 They were careful to get the mixture just right . . .

 Professor Snape showed up with Draco Malfoy and, as usual, had nothing good to say about Harry's potion skills (Thanks Tess and Zach).  I didn't have much of a mess to clean up, as Tukker lagged behind the group and polished off every one's left-over potions.  He was so cute and sneaky, I wish I recorded it!

 Next, they headed to herbology to check on Professor Sprout's mandrakes.  They had to be careful not to pluck the screaming mandrake!

Professor Trelawney challenged the students to a game of "stump the golden snitch" in divination.  It's a Harry Potter-inspired game of 20 questions, and the snitch rarely guesses wrong if you provide it with honest answers.  This time, it had to decipher "blast-ended screwts."

 Then they made their way to Hagrid's Hut for Care of Magical Creatures Class.  The houses competed in a relay race using Hagrid's magic umbrella and a "wingardium leviosa" spell to transport dragon eggs from the fire.

 Professor Lupin's Defense Against the Dark Arts Class was just too dark and foggy to take pictures, but the students fought off dementors using their patronus spell.  June was so excited to learn that her patronus was a unicorn, but not as excited as Winnie, who produced a hippo!  Grumpy Snape handed out grades at the end of lessons, and reluctantly passed each student, even Harry.

 Cake time!  Hagrid baked it himself, words and all!

 9 candles baby!

 The owls delivered great presents this year, and not a single howler!

 Such a lovely group of students!

 We are so blessed to have a wonderful family willing to make the drive.  And dress up.

 Grandpa Babe's idea of buying June her own safe was a complete success.  She loves to lock up her treasures and treats to keep them safe from her nosy siblings.

 Maybe Grandma Sara was asleep in this picture.  She wore herself out cleaning up all the wrapping paper.

 Hagrid got June the HP Scene It game - which is a blast to play!

 June would have died if these two didn't make it.  She bugged me for weeks about it.  Caulder and June were little HP encyclopedias.  The party was one big game of make-believe for them.

 Kolby and I spent the previous night setting up the great hall complete with house banners, floating candles and pumpkins.  It was one heck of a feast!

 Lots of Hogwarts goodies to enjoy!

 We kept an eye on these guys, didn't want them hopping away.

 And it wouldn't be a feast without buttertbeer!  Too bad Scabbers crept in to spoil the meal!

 Before the students made their way home for holiday, they paid a visit to Honeydukes and loaded up on fizzing whizbees, exploding bonbons, licorice wands, and Bertie Botts Every-Flavour Beans.

 And they each earned 3 galleons to spend at Zonkos Joke Shop.  I'm pretty sure this kid was in magical gag-toy heaven!

 We finished up the party with a quick game of Quidditch in the back yard.  It was the most magical day ever!  June said it was even more fun than the birthdays she spent in Disneyland, so that's saying something!  I got a bit melancholy while boxing all the magic up, but I'm crossing my fingers that Winn of Klive will want a Harry Potter party someday too. 

Happy Birthday Kolby

 This dad is the best sport - on his birthday, and in the presence of fellow medical doctors colleagues, he wore a dollar store party hat and rode the saddle at the Texas Roadhouse Grill while we sang happy birthday to him.  He will do anything to make his kids laugh.  They are fully aware that they have the best dad on earth.
 
Not only did he let the kids stay up extra late watching movies and eating cheesecake, but when the party took a turn for the worse and Klive and Winnie came down with 105 degree fevers, he spent the night on the floor by the couch with them making sure they were okay.  Sorry we infected you with the birthday bug, Dad.  Sorry we sent you down to Salt Lake as sick as a dog to work in pediatrics for the month too.  We promise we will make it up to you next year!