Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Three birthdays for four people

January is birthday month around here - and for my whole extended family.  We start the day before January with Jared's birthday on New Year's Eve and then Ashton's birthday is on the 3rd, then the twins' is on the 14th, then there are cousins and siblings and in-laws occupying birthdays throughout the month.

Anyway, Jared's birthday was great.  We celebrated by walking downtown (5 blocks away) and spending the day seeing a movie (Tron - like playing a 2 hour video game that doesn't totally make sense but Jared and the boys loved it and the special effects were awesome), going out to lunch, and bowling.  It's so fun that all these things are just down the street from us.  We came home for a big birthday dinner with our family plus my parents and brothers Eli and Josh then we celebrated New Years NYC time (watched the count down in Times Square and scanned the crowd for my sister Charity who was there in person) with the kids, tucked them in bed, and headed back downtown to bring in the new year at a comedy club where one of Jared's high school friends performed.  He was hilarious - and totally clean (he'd made it to the final round of Last Comic Standing).  There's nothing like a good laugh!

New Year's Eve/Birthday dinner with my parents, Josh and Eli - stole this photo off my mom's blog -
sort of forgot my camera most of this day.  Sometimes it's nice when you loose your camera
and get a break from being the family photographer for a little bit.
Jared's favorite is pecan pie.  I went with Sara Lee.  He was happy.
I don't know how to make pies and I haven't gotten around to learning quite yet.
For Ashton's birthday, he planned the entire day (we always let the birthday person chose every aspect of the day on their birthday as much as possible - we don't do big parties usually and we generally don't do a lot by way of gifts - we focus more on activities and experiences and helping the birthday person feel really special).  We started with cinnamon rolls, eggs and fruit and having everyone go around the table to share their favorite things about the birthday boy, had a dance party, Ashton did a magic show for us (he's quite good actually), met up for Jared for lunch at Jumbo Burger (Ashton's a big burger fan), we played Ashton's favorite board games, headed downtown so Jared and Ashton could go indoor skydiving (we even have sky diving a few blocks from our house!), came home for Papa Murphy's stuffed Chicago pizza for dinner and played more games before bedtime.  Ashton LOVED everything, especially the skydiving and we all had such a fun day.

Jared got to go sky diving too as part of his birthday present.  They both had a great great time.  I'll post the videos later. Those huge fans make for some really funny facial expressions when they're in there!

No, I don't make pretty cakes.  And in case you're wondering, my clever idea was to decorate the cake by making a capital A followed by a period out of candles (well, I made the A and had an extra candle plus an off-center A so we had to go with a period at the end...).  I know, I know, so special.  But Ashton thought it was great and the cake was very very tasty - I'm a stickler for good-tasting cakes and somehow the cake-decorating bug has never bit me.  I've asked the kids if they want a pretty store-bought cake but so far, they've always opted for my cakes.  I sure admire those who can make beautiful cakes but that's just not me.
The twins had a few of the same ideas as Ashton for their birthday (wonder how that happened...).  We had cinnamon rolls, eggs and fruit for breakfast, played games, Grandma Loosli and uncle Joel joined us for a big birthday lunch of quesadillas and bean and cheese burritos with broccoli (their favorite meal).
So fun to have Grandma with us! She gave the twins wonderful books and the twins were delighted to read them to her.  Se always picks the perfect gifts.  It's so great to see her getting around so well and looking so healthy and beautiful after enduring a super-hard year with back surgery and two hip replacements!
Thanks to a lovely snowfall the night before and some blessedly warmer temperatures, we were able to play in the snow for a couple hours after lunch. The boys and I worked on shoveling the walks in between snowball fights and snowman-building and the twins delighted in some outside time (they've been mostly confined indoors thanks to their casts that are stretching their heel cords and fixing what they call their "tip toe problem" - but since they were about to get new casts - they have to get new ones every Friday until they're stretched out enough for specially-made orthapedic braces - I figured they might as well play in the snow).  I discovered that snow-shoveling is a great workout (my back's still reminding me of that).  I loved hearing Oliver say in his prayers the night of his birthday "thank you for that snow you sent us for our birthday" and I loved hearing Silas say, as we talked about what was great last week, "I loved that we got that bonus activity on our birthday to play in the snow.  Jesus gave us that snow and that really pretty sunset too for our birthday."  Oh, I love these little boys and how they see things!

Then we spent about 3 hours getting a second set of casts on the twins' feet.  They've been so fascinated with the casting process and haven't complained much at all about their uncomfortable-looking gait.  The casts don't seem to slow them down at all.  I thought getting new casts on would be sort of a sad way to spend their birthday afternoon but they chatted happily with our great physical therapist and she let them help her soak the fiberglass stuff and hold things she needed and they were pretty darn happy with the whole thing.  Silas started only being able to get his ankle bent to  about a 110 degree angle (normal would be about 70 degrees) and Oliver started off at about 98 degrees.  They're now at 100 degrees and almost 90 degrees.  So this seems to be working.

After the casting, we went to McDonalds for dinner as requested by the twins then came home for cake and ice cream and a little party.  They went back and forth about whether they wanted friends over (it's an even year for them so they had the option of having a birthday party with friends if they wanted one).  At the last minute they said they did want friend over but just wanted two friends - our new best friend Shai, an 8 year old who lives two doors down and Adam, a 3-year old who lives on the next block.  It worked out perfectly - just enough kids to make it feel like a real party - a great group of mixed ages and everyone got along great and had a nice time. We had our kids, Shai, and Adam and his family plus a few cousins who were with them for the day.  The twins requested that we play Twister and have a dance party plus they insisted on party hats and a yellow cake with Nutella frosting (turned out really yummy actually).  They got all their wishes and it was a really nice evening.

Now we're done with holidays and birthdays until Eliza's big day on February 13th.  I must say, it feels good to be done with celebrating for a while!


Eyrealm said...

SO fun to see! Love the new cast colors! Those kids are just adorable! Have they ever taken a bad picture? Love it!

Patty Ann said...

Looks like fun days for everyone. We are pretty partied out. We have a huge batch of birthdays in Dec and Jan, and it is one right after the other all the time!! Love the pics, and the casts look great!!


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