Thursday, April 24, 2014

Benjamin's 11th Birthday

 Ben chose Chicken Potpie for his dinner.
 It was a gorgeous day on April 10th, so we ate in a bit of a hurry so that we could head out to a park for the rest of the evening.

 At Chestnut Ridge Park, we opened gifts.  Peter's sister got him the two remaining books in a series he was reading called, "Robot Wars."
 Several of the kids got him small gifts, per usual.  Sam got him a fishing bait that he is admiring.

 Bronwyn thinks she will help out with the candy.
 Cecily is excited to give him some gum from herself.
 He deciphered Grandma's handwriting all by himself this year! (Cursive is always more difficult for young readers).
 This is news.  And one of my readers needs to give me some tips.  We decided to get Ben a gps tracker for his gift.  We thought he would really enjoy learning to Geocache this year.  We knew there were supposed to be some pretty simple hides at this park and we wanted him to be able to try it out.  He had no idea and he was so excited.
 The only problem is that we didn't open the tracker ahead of time and use it ourselves.  Neither Peter or I knew how to use one.  We knew that we might just end up having a nice hike in the woods and not find anything tonight, but that was OK too.
 So that was exactly what happened.  But here are some pictures from our very up-hill hike.



 If you thought that last hill was steep...this one was much more so.

 You can tell who was my buddy for this hike.
 And this was Sam's buddy.

 The moon is out, time to head back.
 Sure was some great exercise and a very refreshing walk in the woods.  Ben loved it.  He wasn't the least bit disappointed.  I think this birthday suited him just right.
 We came home to banana pudding.  :)
One happy boy.  :)

Monday, April 21, 2014

Happy Birthday to Millie!

For Amelia's 7th birthday, we couldn't come up with a good gift for her.  She truly didn't need anything. neither practical nor a toy.  We ultimately decided on a trip to the mall (where we almost never go) to shop, eat and spend time together.  In preparation of her trip we painted nails and washed, cut and braided her hair.  Above she is about to get her haircut when her Grammie and Papa called to sing the birthday song.  She is listening to it on speaker phone.
All ready to go and hanging out with her sisters for a few minutes.
Brr...it's still a little cold outside.

Cecily helped me make Amelia's birthday dessert.  We saw a recipe for these ice cream cupcakes in a cookbook.  We cut circles of store-bought pound cake, spread them with strawberry jam and placed them in the bottom of a muffin paper.  Then we placed a scoop of strawberry ice cream on top and froze them until firm.  Later, we "iced" them with whipping cream and froze again.
We started our outing by visiting Chick-fil-A in the food court at the mall.
Millie enjoyed the special treat of chocolate milk.
And they gave her a dish of ice cream when they found out it was her birthday.
Just the two of us!
The main shopping we did was browse at Claire's, the accessory store.  We probably spent close to an hour looking over all of the jewelry, hair things, etc.  We had never been in that store and it was our main destination spot in the mall.
We tried some things on.  Amelia really liked the metal tiarras.  They have some very fancy things in there!  I ended up letting her get a few fancy things to take home for dress up.  She loves fancy, but I told her she couldn't actually wear it except for dress up!
She got gloves, a crown and some rings to share with Cecily.  I let her pick herself with some guidance.  It's not what I would have chosen for her.  I'm curious to see if she's glad about the choice later.  I think she'll enjoy them but I'm hoping in the end, that she'll learn through this that she might have enjoyed something she could use more often more than these items.
In the evening she opened her gifts from her siblings and from my parents.
And always the cards that are looked forward to.
This is from my mom.
She found  a very cute tea party themed set of paper supplies that included invitations, place cards, a tablecloth, plates, napkins and cups for having a tea party
The other part of her gift, my mom sent in the mail.  It was wrapped up in pieces.  Here Millie is trying to guess what it could be.
A plate, with a hole, and still no idea.
It's a tiered tea tray, that needs dad to assemble it.

Ah ha.
So pretty!  Someone gave this to mom to find a home for.  She thought Millie would enjoy using it for tea parties.
Here are the finished cupcakes.

What a fun day she had.
Here are the layers of the cupcakes.  They were a hit.  They kids loved them.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

A Couple of April Birthdays!

 She's cold, but here is Miss Amelia on her 7th birthday.  Her hair is washed, cut and braided because she's ready to spend some time at the mall with her mom for a birthday treat.  She's looking so grown up!
And here is Ben!  He is listening to his grandparents sing the Birthday song to him on speaker phone.  Ben turned 11 and had a fun birthday adventure also.  

Posts on both Millie and Ben's special days will be coming up next!