Wednesday, January 03, 2007

When Emily Went to Hogwarts

Well, she's been and gone and done it now - Emily was 8 years old on the 2nd January :-))))

All's Quiet in Hogwarts....the night before the morning to come!

Emily says her birthday was "beyond words", which was a lovely thing to say. I've just spent the last hour trying to work out how to use flickr as I wanted to have one of those lovely badge things "everyone else" has with all our photos on it, but I've given up now, so I'll have to do it the old fashioned way and spend hours sorting through photos to choose some to put here instead!

Anyways. Emily's birthday was a real family affair. On New Year's Day, Gramps and I spent hours transforming our big dining room into Hogwarts Castle using rolls of castle wall background, starry night background and forbidden forest background. Meanwhile, Nana was baking Emily's birthday cake and making Harry Potter birthday crackers. When Emily woke up on Tuesday morning, she found a helium balloon being delivered by her cuddly Hedwig who was also carrying a scroll, which was an invitation to spend her 8th birthday in Hogwarts attending lessons in divination, charms, transfiguration, defence against the dark arts, potions, care of magical creatures, history of magic, herbology, astronomy and ancient runes before hosting a birthday feast. After uncountable hours of effort ;-) Jon and I had come up with a series of fun challenges for Emily to complete. Before she went to Hogwarts ;-) her first two surprise presents were a sorting hat - every new student needs sorting, after all! - and a proper black and gold Gryffindor robe. Then it was off to the castle!

Some of the challenges were very crystal maze like as Emily's a big fan of that, so she had word chains to make for transfiguration, for instance, and a stepping stones puzzle to complete before she could even enter the room. This was one stone which said "number of Hogwarts Houses....divided by 2" - the answer to which was obviously 2, so then she had a choice of four stones to go to in the next row which might be "number of Malfoy children....times 4", "number of books in the complete series....minus 3" and so on. She had to choose the stone where the first part equalled two, and then the sum part told her what number to look for in the next row and so on. I don't think I've explained that very well, but any crystal maze fans will probably know what I mean. All of Emily's presents from us were on a sofa at one end of the room which had been screened off with the floor to ceiling starry night/forest stuff. At the end of each challenge she got a magical Harry Potter coin and only when she had the right number of coins did she get a clue about where the pressies were - then she had to cut through the screen to get into the cave and find the pressies, lol.

She LOVED it and seemed completely thrilled to bits with the day from start to finish. We're leaving the decorations up for the next few days. After that, most of it will have to come down as it's obviously completely impractical to have all the furniture and books ungettattable, but we'll leave the settee at the end of the room in its secret cave for a while long.

Anyway, here are some piccies. You'll have to excuse me for posting lots and lots of them. Emily's tasks took a whole two hours before she found her presents, but she was having so much fun I think she'd have been happy to carry on all day!!

The Birthday Girl still in jim jams at breakfast time:

Very busy completing tasks in potions:

More tasks in Divination, Defence Against the Dark Arts, Transfiguration and Ancient Runes:

But where are the presents? You don't mean THIS forbidden forest?

Yes, really! Scissors were required:

There they are!

It's a Nintendo DS!!

Opening a box of Harry Potter figures - all second hand as I couldn't find them new anywhere, but Emily didn't seem to mind:

More pressie opening delight:

Temporarily away from Hogwarts, more pressies in the afternoon, including a digital camera from Nana & Gramps and another webkinz pet from Aunty Barbara and Uncle David. Emily was certainly a very lucky girl this birthday!

Real Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans caused much amusement all day. Fortunately they came with an identification card - and yes, the vomit, earwax, earthworm etc flavours were indeed truly disgusting!!

Birthday cake - made by Nana, decorated by me - and Emily with her new camera during birthday tea:

Some of the lessons paperwork! I think the potions class was a present in itself as far as Emily was concerned. We had over 20 different ingredients and she loved that so much she's since spent hours making even more potions, never mind the three she "had" to make during "potions class"!

We all stayed up late last night playing Dragonology, which Grandad bought for Emily. Fabulous game, highly recommended, and a great end to a wonderful day.

Today, well, obviously, there's been lots more playing. Here's our fabulous eight year old in her secret den immersed in Goblet of Fire on her new Nintendo.

Happy 8th Year, Emily our Love. We're so proud of you!


Elle at Ellesfuntimes said...

What a fabulous birthday Emily's had. Don't think I'd like to sample an ear wax flavoured sweet! Love the beautiful pointed toes in one of your pictures, a true ballerina. Elle

Sarah said...

Wow, that is a birthday and a half!

Happy Birthday to Emily and well done to you for making it so wonderfully memorable for her!

Nikki said...

Thanks Elle and Sarah. Only problem now is dragging ourselves back to normality after a hefty dose of Christmas and Birthday-itis!

Alison said...

Oh, you do *the* best birthdays and parties! Could I book you for mine this year? ;-)

Nikki said...

Lol, thanks Alison, that's a lovely thing to say.