Basic Ingredients for a Carnival Birthday Party

Oh my! How time does fly! 

kenzie  turns 5

Seems like yesterday we were calling everyone to prayer for our miracle baby Mackenzie Joy–born three months early and just under two pounds!


When it came time to dedicate my first picture book, Mother Chicken’s Eggs: Choosing to Grow into Greater ThingsI knew she was to be the star of the dedication page.

Mothe Chicken's Eggs Interior FINAL-000003

Well, with the Lord’s blessing, she has grown and then some! A thriving five year old starting kindergarten this week at the same private Christian school where I taught–and where both her parents teach today. God is sooooo good!


Every summer I head up to New England to celebrate Kenzie’s birthday on August 29. Poor Pop-Pop can’t come due to his work schedule, so I’m blessed to have my daughter and son-in-love do the driving. I look forward to spending quality time with both my son and daughter under the same roof once again.



Being an empty nester, I thank God daily for the joy both my children have found in their marriages and the lives they are building as adults. I didn’t think I knew what I was doing in those child raising years, but God’s grace is amazing to have seen us all through. With our lives so busy these days in different directions, I love the time I get to spend with them–and there will always be our small girl’s special birthday party at the end of August to bring us together for fun and games.

This year Kenzie’s Mommy planned the party around a carnival theme. The school gym was a perfect place to hold the festivities and Mommy was smart to keep things simple and organized–even though there was plenty to prepare.

The basic ingredients for this Carnival Themed Birthday Party were as follows:

1. Balloons–blow’em up and put’em on a stick!


2. Food–A very simple menu: Daddy flipped burgers and dogs on the grill, Uncle and Aunt tended the sno-cone machine and made the cotton candy and popcorn. Mommy organized the side dishes including a nice healthy veggie tray, broccoli salad, fresh fruit and waffle cones, and an assortment of chips and dips. 





3. Decor–Where else but Oriental Trading for the carnival themed centerpieces, hats, and prizes, plus a couple trips to see what the craft stores had on clearance that would fit in. That’s where the chalk boards came from. Plus Nana got to make letters for Mackenzie’s name during some at home crafting the day before the party!





4. Games and Bounce House–the kids paid almost zero attention to all the borrowed carnival games made available. When they weren’t eating, they were in the bounce house. Brilliant invention. 


5. Cupcakes–Order them from the local grocery bake department and pick them up on the way.


6. Happy Birthday Hat and Candle–Beyond sweetness! She said this was her favorite part!


7. Presents–No end to this, it seemed, with a large family and all her little friends from school.



And, there you have it. Pretty much, a five year old’s birthday party makes itself when you keep it simple–free play and little structure is usually best. I had a lovely visit with family and friends I don’t see but twice a year, or on Facebook, and thoroughly enjoyed myself!


And, I ate far too much.

My children took me to a lovely Italian restaurant the night before, too–celebrating my own birthday coming up this week. It involved rich cheesy food followed by a stop at a popular creamery for an ice cream desert afterward.



I’m starting my diet this week. Honest!

The restaurant and creamery also afforded the ONLY photos taken of Nana with our birthday girl the entire time. I think it may have something to do with me taking the pictures. Does that happen to you, too?

Here’s some outside play with bubbles–a very popular activity for this sweetie-pie who is five!



But, it’s back to work for all of us now. School starts and I have some major writing deadlines staring at me from the calendar this month. 

Thankful for a joyful close to my summer–and my precious babies! Whether five years old or all grown up–love them all so much!


Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.

Psalm 127:3

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Sharing Basic Ingredients for a Carnival Birthday Party this week with:

Judith at Whole Hearted Wednesdays

Rosilind at A Little R&R Wednesdays

Not Just for Homemaking Party at Hope in Every Season

Nina at Vintage Mama’s Cottage

Katherine’s Corner

Julie at Fellowship Fridays on Christian Mommy Blogger

Beverly’s Pink Saturday at How Sweet the Sound

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2015 Kathryn Ross

About Miss Kathy

"I teach families how to restore their God-given authority as the primary educator in their child’s life through the experience of reading together as a family. Learn how to use literature to create teachable moments, build strong minds, and bind loving hearts."

Kathryn Ross, writer, speaker, and dramatist, ignites a love of literature and learning to equip young and old towards developing a Family Literacy Lifestyle—reading together, learning together, loving together. Her works challenge families to deepen their literacy skills and grow into the greater things God has purposed for them. She’s taught in Christian and homeschool circles, trained in the Principle Approach® through the Foundation for American Christian Education. Miss Kathy owns Pageant Wagon Publishing, producing homeschool enrichment materials, devotional works, study guides, and theatrical dramas for church, school, and community production. She podcasts at and blogs at


  1. Happiest Birthday, dearest Mackenzie!! What a wonderful birthday party! Made me want to be 5 again! You do know, don’t you, how very much you are loved?! Especially by your Nana Kathy! Enjoy this very special year in your life. And may God help you to grow in Him each and every single day!


    • Awww . . . thanks so much for your blessing over my grand-girl, Sharon! She starts school on Wednesday and is so excited–so full of wonder at everything and loved the Lord so very much. I agree with you that she continue to grow in Him.
      Joy to you!

    • Thank you for such a precious blessing to my precious grand-girl, Sharon! My prayers for her exactly!

  2. What a fun birthday party. I love the idea of fresh fruit in waffle cones – fun, pretty and healthy, too. The hat is just the cutest thing (I love hats). Your grand-girl is precious, and I can see her Nana in her.
    G-d bless her and tell her Happy Birthday from me,

    • I was pleased with the fruit in the waffle cones idea, too–lots of healthy eats at this party. A nice balance with the cotton candy and sno-cones. The hat was a winner–Nana was green with envy!LOL

  3. Oh what a wonderful birthday party! Happy birthday to your precious grandgirl! And a big Happy birthday to you this week as well. I know you had so much fun with your family. Nothing like the love of family. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

    • Thanks, Cindy! I thought of you during the party, actually–you would have enjoyed the Nana job of the little crafty things. My DIL is a science teacher and for some reason thinks she’s not creative. But, she always has great ideas for making memories and fun times. Kenzie is very into arts and crafts, too–like Nana.

  4. Oh what a fun time! And what a sweet blessing. With preemies in our families, we know that feeling as well. Have a blessed week.


    • I’m meeting more and more families with the “preemie” experience. Not all the stories are as joyful as our story has been–but most of them surely are. God build such a call to LIFE into these precious peapods! This makes the whole abortion debate very difficult for me–so might have been my gorgeous grand-girl at less than 2 pounds. That’s why a carnival celebration was such a great theme for her this year, on the eve of kindergarten! To God be the glory for this thing He has done!

I would love to hear from you--share your thoughts!


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