Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Recipe for a Happy Birthday

I was starting to wonder myself if I was ever going to be back to the blog! All I can do is quote Ann Voskamp when she says Thank you for grace. I've been sorry to miss two weeks of posting for Grace Laced Monday, as well. I can't even really explain the reasons for such a long delay in writing, except to say that it wasn't on fire and if it's not on fire, you don't deal with it yet...

My parents are here visiting from Back Home, which has allowed us a few moments many hours to, well, put out some fires - planning, thinking, talking, catching up. Such a blessing.

But on to catching up here, which means sharing about EG's birthday!

Her day began with a big ole Happy Birthday balloon, greeting her in her bedroom in the morning. Next it was on to her breakfast of choice:

*grits (yum, with sharp cheddar for those who prefer it, like me)
*sausage (yum, rare treat)
*blueberry coffee cake (mmm, mmm good, Pleasant View Schoolhouse's recipe)

EG's next wish for her her 11th birthday celebration was to play a new board game we got called Ticket to Ride. This is a big deal because with our current family demographics it's pretty difficult to pull off an extended family board game with lots of little pieces while Dimple Wimple is awake, and CA just gets restless and bored. But - ah, God's mercies: Baby took a very long nap, and CA was unusually content to run around and play and color and check in with our game now and then. Sweet. And a good time was had by all.

On the Saturday of EG's birthday fun, it rained and poured all day long (hooray for drought relief!). It made for a cozy day together, really.

Before and after the game, I worked on her cake. Well, I worked on her ice cream and cake. She'd seen an idea in Family Fun Magazine and asked if that could be her birthday treat. I told her I'd give it a whirl.

I've been consistently impressed with the doable ideas, crafts, and recipes in this magazine and this project turned out to be fun and easy! The kids were just mesmerized as the "cake" came together over the course of the day. They helped with some elements.

Yes, it was time consuming, but since I literally had all day, that allowed me to do it in little stages. The whole thing is ice cream. If I do it again, I will bake a cake to be under it all and use less ice cream. The penguins are made from Pepperidge Farms Milano cookies. Super easy. The water is blue icing gel. And for cake, I made a small batch of mini-chocolate cupcakes.

In this picture, her eyes remind me of when she was an infant - something still the same about the way they look now.

She chose to open her presents throughout the day...one from grandparents early, one from a sibling later, and so on.

What would you call this? Glee? Jubilation? EG is my comfortable kid when it comes to clothing. She was quite obviously over the moon upon receiving a couple of pairs of knit shorts! It's the little things. Smile.

She's also our most voracious reader. She digested these four pretty quickly. And then the others went to work on them.

We had a happy time as a family, celebrating simply on a dark, rainy day.

EG is a perceptive, kind, hard working thinker. What a blessing she is to our family. We're so grateful for every day God has given us with her!
And for the record: we also watched Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium, a movie EG had been hoping to see again for a good while. :-)


  1. Sounds like the perfect way to spend a birthday. A lovely day.

    The cake is amazing! Did you make the igloo out of ice cream too?

  2. Ahh she's so beautiful. I SUCK at Ticket to Ride - I used to be far too optimistic and take on ridiculous routes late in the game, and now I'm overcompensating by being really cautious which gets me nowhere. Still, everyone else has fun beating me! Amazing Cake! I think I know a hymn about that...

  3. You do such sweet birthdays for your children. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Yes, the igloo is made of ice cream, too. You just soften the ice cream, line a bowl w/plastic wrap, and refreeze. For the entrance to it, you put softened ice cream in a 1 cup measure, and once it's refrozen, cut off one rounded side so it lays flat on the "cake." Then, draw lines for the blocks and sprinkle w/sugar!

    Nelle, wouldn't it be fun if we could play Ticket to Ride together? I did not win that day...one of my kids did. Not sure which strategy is best...aggressive or cautious... :-)

  5. wow, that cake is impressive! Sounds like a great day, a perfect way to celebrate.