A Princess Birthday

Shanna’s birthday was this week (Wednesday). Ironically, it was her companion’s birthday on the very same day! In her e-mail this week, Shanna told us that they decided to spread the celebrating out, so they had planned a “fake” birthday for Shanna on April 1. She also mentioned that her companion’s mother had sent a Tinkerbell birthday kit, and they’d had lots of fun with that.

I thought the kit was a brilliant idea (and actually kicked myself for not thinking of it first—after all, creativity IS what we are all about, isn’t it?). So, I decided to do a quick birthday kit myself. As I thought about the possibilities, I picked a princess theme. So a package went out to Shanna (and her companion and their two roommates) today, complete with tiaras, wands, red boas, Dazzling Diamonds and a metal star wand tattoo applicator (for glitter tattoos on their cheeks), and Shanna’s favorite cake mix and frosting.

Of course, the homemade kit is definitely cheesy (it doesn’t take much to entertain missionaries), but also kind of cute, so I decided to share.

Being a princess theme, pink had to be included, but Shanna is my Bold Brights girl, so I went a little light on pink and a little heavier on the brighter colors. The tiaras and wands were quick and easy to make. I used the pennant die for the tiaras (the fold is at the top instead of on the side), and the flower image from the same die for the accent on the front of the wand.

To create the folded piece behind the flower, I took two 2x12 strips of card stock, scored (every half inch) and accordion folded them, then adhered them together end to end to create a large circle. Once you’ve done that, it’s pretty easy to attach the inside edges together to create the fan-like accent. I used our Pop-Up glue dots and then, because I wanted everything to survive the shipping to Spain, I double-secured it with a hot glue gun. I finished both projects off with some ribbon, and I was done—a princess party in a box.

We’d already sent her birthday box because we didn’t know about the fake birthday plan, so this will probably be it as far as gifts go. But I also learned a valuable lesson. Shanna mentioned in her e-mail that, although she got lots of emails from family members, she didn’t receive a single letter or card this week—the first time that’s happened during her entire mission. She didn’t want to complain, she said, but she did admit she was “bummed.” I felt terrible! I send her lengthy e-mails every week and monthly packages every month, but neither replaces those tangible cards and letters (especially when they’re homemade and hand-stamped, right?)

I’m trying to make it right by organizing a “write Shanna a letter or card” campaign among our family and friends (you’re welcome to participate if you want—her address is Sister Gardner, Avda, De Espana 17, Centro Emoresarial, Local 01-1, 28100 Alcobendas, Madrid, Spain). And you can bet I’ve recommitted myself to sending that weekly note or letter!

So, that’s it for the birthday package. I’m posting this very late, but it couldn’t wait until tomorrow because I’m heading to Hawaii for our annual incentive trip with some of our highest-achieving demonstrators. This is a highlight of the year for me, and I’ll probably only post once next week because I’ll be spending most of my time with them.

In the meantime, I hope this week is a good one for each of you.