October 07, 2009 08:00 AM

Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

Celebrity parents are famous for throwing over-the-top birthday parties, but it’s a trend that Melissa Etheridge says she eschews with her children Bailey Jean, 12 ½, Beckett, 10 ½, and soon-to-be 3-year-old twins Miller Steven and Johnnie Rose.

To the contrary, the 48-year-old songstress tells OK! that she and wife Tammy Lynn prefer “small parties” for their brood. Melissa explains,

“I believe that small children need small parties. They don’t need large, huge things, so we just have friends and family over, and each of them get their own birthday cakes. We always home-make everything.”

As the twins start preschool and Bailey settles into middle school, Melissa knows her way around the classroom. “I’ve got the whole range of school experiences,” she notes. “I just love watching my kids grow.” Adding that her wife and children make her “incredibly happy,” Melissa reveals,

“When I am surrounded by my whole family, I’m completely at peace.”

Source: OK!

— Missy

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