Saturday, October 27, 2012

A "Deere" Celebration!

When Alan walked into his parents home and saw this invitation sitting on the kitchen table the surprise was off! Although Alan knew his family was throwing him a 'surprise' party for his 60th, what he didn't know was how well his family designed the party theme after his daily mode of transportation - John Deere Tractors!  Alan has been a rice farmer in the Sacramento Valley for about 40 years so the theme was perfect. 

Coming up to the house, the party theme was immediately apparent. 

 There were John Deere toy tractors and pumpkins greeting guests at the door, with bundles of rice sitting atop hay bales.

The early evening weather was perfect for a backyard celebration!  And since there was rain the day before the party, most of Alan's farmer friends were able to make it to the party since it was too wet to harvest rice that day!

Round tables were covered in green tablecloths and John Deere fabric toppers.  White plates were flanked by the silverware and topped with yellow bandana print fabric napkins tied with jute. Water glasses were canning jars accented with jute ties as well.

Centerpieces were pulled from the family's treasure trove of John Deere collectibles!

 There were collectible dolls on every table. . .

 .  . such as small scale John Deere tractors, metal lunch boxes and other pieces.

The floral arrangements were designed by daughter-in-law, Leslie.  Vases filled with fresh sunflowers were anchored with rice straight from the field, instead of oasis or flower frogs.  Leslie's mom, Fran, and sister-in-law, Julie helped with the set-up.

There were plenty of ride on toys for the 8 grandchildren to entertain themselves with throughout the evening, although most were camera shy so I didn't get a good picture of any of them on them!

The grandchildren even wore John Deere clothing - here grandson Cage models his Deere green shirt - along with his bandage from slamming his finger in the door the day before!
Daughter-in-law Cory, Cage's mom, was in charge of setting up the bar so Cage's accident added to her list of duties the day before the big party! 

Brynn, Alan's oldest grandchild, smiles for the camera with Katie, who is sporting her pink John Deere overalls!  These girls will be excellent party planners some day after watching and learning from their moms, Leslie and Melissa, and their aunties Cory and Julie, who all worked together with grandmother Debbie, to plan and implement this birthday! celebration!

Alan's daughter, Melissa, found and ordered the invitations from Lemonade Moments, an Etsy site.

Melissa also created this clever balloon wreath to hang on the patio door after seeing one on Pinterest.

The guests' party favors were placed in a large John Deere tin on a console table by the front door. Yellow bandanas protected the table's surface and John Deere Collector's plates added to the charm. A chicken wire basket accepted cards for the birthday boy!

Party favors were handmade shortbread tractor cookies in two patterns, Melissa had found on another Etsy site.

Susan Dobbs of The Tailored Cookie, created the tractor with the cab cookie, 

and the 'tractor without a cab' cookie!  The two types of tractors represent the years Alan has farmed; as he started with tractors without cabs (driving one you eat dirt all day!) to the luxurious air conditioned cabs of tractors today!
The buffet table was decorated with gingham checked fabric, pumpkins, bundles of rice, more John Deere toy tractors, and other farm decor.  The delicious buffet included ribs, chicken and chopped beef from Dickey's BBQ Pit in Roseville.  Debbie made the rest of the menu which included tasty beans, potato,fruit and Cesar salads, heirloom tomatoes and rolls.

And last but not least was THE CAKE! The three tier cake was created by Jessica Calta, a former student of Debbie's, and featured a tractor on the top tier, a cornfield on the middle tier and a split rail fence on the bottom tier - all, of course, in John Deere yellow and green!

The grandchildren couldn't wait for that cake to be cut! 

 Meika grabbed Alan and brought him over to the cake table where Cole, Cage, Wade, Katie, Brynn and Blake gathered.

Alan's son, Brad holds the youngest grandchild, Emma, while helping Melissa light the SIXTY  candles . . .

and light . . .and light!

 As 'Happy Birthday' was sung, the tractor looked like it was on fire!

The big moment came and the grandkids helped Alan blow out his candles!
 Alan will no doubt cherish this event which his "Deere'' family so wonderfully put together! 

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