What I Love About Where I Live: Patriotism Inspired by the Queen

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I had planned on addressing this topic today, but it was going to look different. I was going to walk around town and snap photos of red, white and blue bunting, union jack banners, and pictures of Queen Elizabeth. I was going to tell you about all the celebrations and activities at Amelia’s school to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee… But when Amelia came home covered in spots yesterday, plans changed! She has the chicken pox, and will be home with me for almost a week. Beyond the fever and itchy blisters, the worst part was knowing that she would miss the long-anticipated Queen’s Garden Party this afternoon. She had been instructed to “dress posh,” and after I figured out what that meant, she was super excited about putting on her Sunday best and getting to spend the afternoon outside eating and playing games with her classmates. She wailed and sobbed when she realized that she wouldn’t be able to participate. I really felt for her, and asked what I could do to help. “Can we have our own garden party here tomorrow?”  Of course!!

Amelia spent some time this morning decorating white envelopes with the British flag. Jeff came home a little early so I would have some time to run to the store, and so he could pick up the things Amelia had made at school for the event.(As I type right now, it is just pouring rain– but the weather was absolutely perfect just an hour ago, as we lounged in our garden with patriotic snacks.)  Thank goodness!

I did my best to emulate British style…
Amelia did a great job of being cheerful, even though she wanted to scratch her skin off!

Of course, all the treats helped.

There were so many items available to buy to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee. I was really tempted to buy red, white and blue old-fashioned paper straws, and all sorts of kitschy-cute things. Luckily, you can do a lot with muffin cups!

Amelia wore her medal that she received for participating in national projects to honor Her Majesty.
A crown! And it’s been 60 years since Queen Elizabeth began her reign!Amelia wanted there to be games, and suggested Egg and Spoon.

The grown-up handicap was that we had to hop on one foot. And I’m afraid the queen would have been dismayed by my interpretation of “posh.”  But it was (wonderfully) hot!
(Do note the “jammy” pants! Being sick is easier to do when you get to keep your pajamas on.)

Amelia made certain that we finished every last crumb of our party food. She had a good time.I think the Queen would approve… It’s a fun year to live in England!

Post Script:  Amelia actually MET Her Majesty several months later, and undoubtedbly made an impression, when we went to Sandrigham on Christmas morning— you will definitely want to read that story!!

What are you enjoying about where you live?

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34 Responses to What I Love About Where I Live: Patriotism Inspired by the Queen

  1. Gretchen May 30, 2012 at 6:33 pm #

    Oh Ariana! I LOVE this post! Especially all the beautiful decorations AND your spotted Amelia! =0) You are a good Mama and you are making some wonderful memories for your family.

    • Ariana May 31, 2012 at 9:49 am #

      Thank you Gretchen! I hope she will remember the afternoon, but even if she doesn’t it was SO worth it to cheer her up. Poor bebe.

  2. Jenny May 30, 2012 at 6:56 pm #

    Oh bless her little heart. Hope she is healed up soon. Looks like you had a lovely garden party. Happy Jubilee! xx

    • Ariana May 31, 2012 at 9:50 am #

      Thank you Jenny! I am really looking forward to reading about all the Jubilee celebrations from other UK bloggers this week– so fun!

  3. Anonymous May 30, 2012 at 9:24 pm #

    Amelia, I’m Gretchen’s friend and I too loved this little show & tell. Well done little garden party! Susan

    • Ariana May 31, 2012 at 9:58 am #

      Thank you Susan! And thanks for the visit, too!

  4. Great Aunt Gretchen May 31, 2012 at 2:09 am #

    I love the pictures of you all hopping, so cute! What a sweet way to make the chicken pox disappointment not so bad.

    • Ariana May 31, 2012 at 9:59 am #

      I loved how game and enthusiastic Amelia was, even though she was feeling lousy. I really feel for her, and it was nice to do something to cheer her up!

  5. Jane June 1, 2012 at 11:33 am #

    Ooh Ariana! What a captivating post, poor Amelia’s plight notwithstanding. You have captured these special family moments so beautifully – bravo! Thanks so much for linking up with the POTMC so we all can share in this treat. And I hope your little poppet is better very soon. J x

    • Ariana June 3, 2012 at 9:41 am #

      Hi Jane– thanks for the visit! I do hope this is one of those things Amelia will remember from her childhood– turning a disappointment into an opportunity to do something creative and fun, fever and blisters and all!

  6. Happy Homemaker UK June 2, 2012 at 6:58 am #

    Oh, I’m so sorry to hear of her pox and missing out on the activities. But it looks like you all had a fantastic time, regardless! I love all your patriotic decor! I hope she is feeling better

    • Ariana June 3, 2012 at 9:42 am #

      Thank you Laura! I am really enjoying your coverage of all the Jubilee preparation and events so far, looking forward to reading your posts this week!

  7. Restaurants in Steamboat June 2, 2012 at 8:14 am #

    A girl look very pretty. These are amazing. Picture quality of photos has no bounds. Best photos ever I see.

  8. Marisa June 2, 2012 at 3:40 pm #

    I can’t tell you how I feel for Amelia missing the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations at school! I remember being a child and those type of disappointments feel SO monumental at that age. So unfair! BUT – what a good mama you are. You turned a big disappointment into your own special day. Your celebrations look lovely as does your garden! And I just adore the picture of Jeff and Amelia running – absolutely charming. That one really put a smile on my face. And you know – these are the types of memories that will really matter to Amelia one day – much more than a long forgotten school party. Hope she is doing better too with those chicken pox 🙂

    Will your family be taking part in any community Diamond Jubilee celebrations? Sounds like a super fun and festive time to be in England. Oh how I wish I were there!

    • Ariana June 3, 2012 at 9:46 am #

      Hi Marisa,
      There is supposed to be a party for our street at a nearby church this afternoon. The big bummer is that it will be raining all day, which really puts a damper (pun intended!) on all of the Jubilation, as most of the parties are supposed to be held outdoors. We will probably go anyway. There is supposed to be a fayre downtown today and tomorrow, but again– it will be raining! I don’t know if that means that the petting zoo animals won’t show up (poor things) or that the stiltwalkers will be carrying umbrellas… It’s a bummer. But Amelia and I will walk over there tomorrow in our ponchos and see what’s happening. To be honest, though, this feels much more like a dreary fall day, one that would be better spent drinking tea and reading a book. I’ll be really interested to read about how everyone else is celebrating– surely the rain can’t be hitting ALL of England right now!

  9. allmussedup June 3, 2012 at 7:59 am #

    Your muffincup bunting is inspired! What fun!(:

    • Ariana June 3, 2012 at 9:48 am #

      Thanks Valerie! Amelia was super impressed, because she is REALLY into garlands and bunting– so that made it feel like a really party for her. She’s easy that way, I guess!

  10. Grandma Seelye June 3, 2012 at 11:31 pm #

    Well you certainly “made lemonade out of that lemon” Good job Ariana and Jeff!! Amelia is such a dear! Love you!

  11. Kate June 5, 2012 at 5:26 pm #

    You sound like a very good mum indeed, posh or not. Great effort and felt very sorry for your daughter. Hope she gets well soon

    • Ariana June 6, 2012 at 8:11 am #

      Hi Kate– she is feeling just fine now, thank you! We were able to still get out and enjoy our town’s festivities this week, so all’s well! Thanks for the visit.

  12. Gina June 6, 2012 at 6:08 am #

    What fun you managed to make in a very creative way (and not just buying everything from the supermarket!) I love the cupcake case garlands!

    • Ariana June 6, 2012 at 8:12 am #

      Hi Gina, thank you! I have to say, all that stuff at Waitrose was SO cute… I might have to see what the clearance prices are now, even though I exercised a lot of restrain last week. 🙂

  13. Happy Homemaker UK June 6, 2012 at 10:27 am #

    I’m back again 🙂 I hope you all were able to make a few activities at the end of the celebration? Thank you for linking up today! XOL

    • Ariana June 6, 2012 at 5:42 pm #

      We did do more, and I was so glad that she healed up in time for the more official celebrations in our town. And I’m really glad you thought of the link-up– I’m definitely looking forward to reading everyone’s experiences.

  14. Sarah June 6, 2012 at 1:16 pm #

    You are a sweet mom! I know Amelia must have been so disappointed to miss the big event that she and her classmates had eagerly anticipated. You saved the day! How clever of you to use the cup cake liners for decorations. Brilliant! Thanks for sharing your Jubilee Garden Tea. I hope you and Amelia will stop by my Jubilee Tea and have some cake and cookies.
    All the best ~ Sarah

    • Ariana June 6, 2012 at 5:44 pm #

      Thank you Sarah. I remember how these sorts of things felt SO important as a kid, and the disappointment can be crushing. I hope she will have some sweet memories, and hopefully some sort of lesson on lemonade-making and all that. Thank you for your visit!

  15. Carin June 6, 2012 at 1:54 pm #

    Bless you! What a lovely memorable jubilee party you created for her! Hope she feels better soon!

    • Ariana June 6, 2012 at 5:45 pm #

      Thank you Carin! She is actually feeling much better now, and we had some fun in town celebrating with everyone else in the last couple days. Thank you for visiting!

  16. Pressies by Pebbles December 14, 2012 at 12:38 pm #

    Love this, well done you for celebrating although your plans didn’t go to plan. What a wonderful day, great photos 🙂
    Thanks for sharing x

  17. Jess @ CatchaSingleThought December 14, 2012 at 1:00 pm #

    Looks like you had a brilliant time even though your plans didn’t work out as you’d thought. I love the decorations you made with the cupcake cases too, they’re fab!

  18. Suzanne December 14, 2012 at 1:22 pm #

    This is absolutely brilliant – what a lovely day you had! Your decs and food look great – amazing memories for your little Amelia 🙂 Thanks for linkin up on my blog hop 🙂 x


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