Inside Samantha Harris’s Daughter Josselyn’s Birthday Bash

09/27/2014 at 10:30 AM ET

Happy birthday, Josselyn!

On Saturday, Samantha Harris invited friends and family to celebrate her elder daughter’s 7th birthday with a Pocahontas-themed pool party at her home.

Guests enjoyed an inflatable water slide, where Harris’s husband, Michael Hess, stood waiting for the kids to come down — daring them all to get him wet.

“Michael, fully clothed, stood at the end of the water slide taunting the kids to try to get a big slide down and splash him,” Harris tells PEOPLE exclusively. “And then one kid after another drenched him!”

Samantha Harris Josselyn birthday party
Courtesy Samantha Harris

Following all the water fun, the girls settled in to make feather head dresses. But the birthday girl wasn’t quite ready to call it quits.

“Jossie was dressed after swimming was done but wanted to slide down and try not to end up in the splash pool at the bottom,” Harris shares. “But she slipped and landed on her tush in the splash pool!”

Soon the kids “started a revolt, chanting, ‘We want cake!’ ” for an earlier dessert time, Harris, who served a two-tiered confection of chocolate cake with fudge and yellow cake with raspberry cream, jokes.

“After making them wait another few minutes, we relented early and served up the cake and vanilla ice cream,” she says.

Samantha Harris Josselyn birthday party
Courtesy Samantha Harris

As the backyard birthday bash came to an end, the kids headed home with goodie bags featuring gifts from LeapBand, Mabel’s Labels Loot Bags and Net Nanny software.

After the party, Harris opened up to PEOPLE about the celebration, her family and her good news!

PEOPLE: Josselyn is 7! Are you amazed at how fast she is growing up?

Samantha: It feels like yesterday that I announced my pregnancy live on Dancing with the Stars. Now she is riding a bike, playing piano and performing around the house non-stop as a first grader!

PEOPLE: How involved was she in planning her birthday? Is there one thing she really wanted to include in her party?

Samantha: She was emphatic about having a Pocahontas theme. She just started watching the movie and is obsessed.

It is also always insanely hot around her birthday, so we have had swimming parties for the past few years. This year is no different, but this time we made some of our own feather decorations.

Samantha Harris Josselyn birthday party
Courtesy Samantha Harris

PEOPLE: What is Josselyn into these days? How is school going?

Samantha: She loves Ever After High books and the dolls from the series. She is in a musical theater workshop doing a mash-up of Wizard of Oz, The Wiz and Wicked. My mom and I are so thrilled that she got that gene!

And so far first grade has been much smoother than kindergarten.

PEOPLE: How is the relationship between Josselyn and her sister, Hillary? Are you already seeing a special bond?

Samantha: They love playing together a lot. They build forts and make up silly games.

Siblings always have their moments, but Jossie really looks after Hilly and Hillary definitely has both spunk and compassion.

Samantha Harris Josselyn birthday party
Courtesy Samantha Harris

PEOPLE: You recently Tweeted that you completed your last breast cancer surgery. How are you feeling? You mentioned there was a chance you would need to follow up with chemo, is that still a possibility?

Samantha: I am thrilled to be officially on the other side of this treacherous journey. I am cancer free and back in action! You gotta make lemonade, and that is exactly what I have tried to do.

PEOPLE: How have your girls handled everything? Do they understand you’ve had health issues?

Samantha: The girls helped me so much. They understood I had surgery twice. They both helped me up the stairs when I got home from the hospital.

Jossie would check on me in bed. Hilly helped me get dressed, since I couldn’t put my arms above shoulder height. I read them books in our bed every night at bedtime.

PEOPLE: Is there anything special you’ve done with them to get through this difficult time as a family? How has your husband stepped up?

Samantha: We had a few art projects set up on a plastic mat on the floor next to my bed so the girls could be with me. My husband did everything for me. He was incredible.

Samantha Harris Josselyn birthday party
Courtesy Samantha Harris

— Anya Leon

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Showing 9 comments

Ugh on

“As wearing a headdress reinforces stereotypes about Native people and appropriates our culture with little or no regard for our traditions, I think it is egregious and contributes to the dehumanization of our people.” — Jacqueline Keeler, founder of EONM (Eradicating Offensive Native Mascotry)

Your seven year old is not a respected elder.

Emily on

Sounds like a fun party for sure, but are there any celebrities who MAKE thier kids birthday cakes? I never had a store bought or bakery cake for my birthday and I have always made my daughters homemade. Just seems more special?

Lilah on

Come back to Dwts. Erin Andrews is terrible.

Kate on

Praying all the best for you Samantha. I wish you had been selected as the new host of Entertainment Tonight when Mary Hart left!

Bhavana on

Her birthday cake is cute and doesn’t look over-the-top like many celebrities would have. It looks like a cake that many of us would have at our child’s party. Heck, it even looks like someone smudged it in places….LOL I hope that everybody had a great time, especially the birthday girl.

Jay on

To Ugh, for heaven’s sake it was a 7 year old’s birthday party. The character in the movie wore a feather headband so the girls wanted to. I”m sure they don’t know the meaning of it or care at this age. It was something pretty that they wanted to wear and create themselves. Give me a break!!

Edie S. on

Beautiful party!

Jennifer on

Ugh, I’m glad you had that quote handy to post for when you saw a 7 year old wearing a construction paper feather headress at their Pocahontas themed birthday party. I’m sure you feel like such a superior human now.

Emily, not everyone can bake and/or cake decorate. Many ‘normal’ moms buy cakes for parties, stop finding reasons to put down other mothers.

Bernard Dunman on

get it right here

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