Thirteenth Birthday, Isolation Style

Today is Ladybug’s 13th birthday! We now have FOUR teenagers in the house!!!

We started the day with cinnamon rolls, per her request. They weren’t homemade, but honestly, the ones that come in the can are pretty good!

Present-opening was up next…I think she was happy with the gifts she received!

We spent the afternoon watching some of Ladybug’s favorite movies (Spider-Man: Far from Home, Spies in Disguise, and Tron: Legacy), while she worked on her new Lego set. We also had a socially-distant visit from our pastor, which really brightened her day, especially since she couldn’t have her grandparents visit or go anywhere interesting.

Speaking of not going anywhere, since we couldn’t go out to the Bosnian restaurant Ladybug had originally been planning to visit for her birthday dinner, I attempted making cabbage rolls for the first time. I think they turned out ok!

Ladybug asked for a guitar cake, and I think it also turned out pretty well. The strings were even straighter than I usually manage! As always, I was tickled that the words “Happy Birthday” have exactly 13 letters, which makes for the perfect candle arrangement on a 13th birthday cake!

This was our third birthday celebration in the time of COVID-19, and at this point, I’m guessing it won’t be our last. I think we’ve managed to find fun ways to celebrate, even if it’s not the way we would usually do things!

It’s Great to be Eight!

Time for another birthday, self-isolation (family-isolation?) style! Hey, at least the last one was less than a week ago…this hasn’t been going on that long (yet)!

Today is Chickadee’s eighth birthday…I can’t even believe it! It was kind of a strange birthday, starting with church live-streamed into our living room, plus an unexpected snow shower. And of course she opened presents this morning, too…she got a lot of fun stuff, and I’d like to play with it all, too!

Since we couldn’t do the things Chickadee wanted to do on her birthday (particularly going to the zoo), we spent the day watching some of her favorite movies and TV shows…both Frozens, Harry Potter, The Lego Movie, and Sailor Moon. And of course we couldn’t go out to dinner, so Chickadee asked me to make a family favorite: breakfast for dinner. She picked breakfast sandwiches on bagels, which is a real treat!

For her birthday cake, Chickadee chose sticky toffee pudding instead of the elephant-shaped cake I’ve made for the last few years (that hurt my heart a little!), with homemade caramel sauce and whipped cream. We all really enjoyed it!

So that’s another birthday celebrated in a very unusual fashion. At this point, I’m wondering to myself how many other family birthdays/special occasions will fall under the shadow of current events. One thing is for sure…we certainly know how to celebrate at home!

Seventeen?!?

The world is crazy right now, but that didn’t stop us from celebrating Turkey’s SEVENTEENTH birthday today! An added bonus: Moose was with us all day, as he’s now doing school from home!

We started the day with gifts. There were quite a few Lego sets, which Turkey started building right away.

We spent most of the day watching episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and Star Trek: Voyager. All while enjoying the scents of…Thanksgiving? I had an extra turkey in the freezer, and Turkey asked if we could have a mini-Thanksgiving dinner for his birthday!

Instead of pie for dessert, he went with birthday trifle, topped with what has turned into an alarming number of candles:

I think he had a nice day, even with all of the uncertainty in the world around us. I know I had a great time celebrating him!

Dinner for a Monumental Birthday

Today is Ryan’s 40th birthday (and Epiphany), so of course I had to make a special dinner!

He hadn’t yet decided what he wanted for his birthday dinner when I ran across whole beef tenderloins on the cheap at Aldi, so I made an executive (chef’s) decision, and bought one, telling him he could choose what I would turn it into.

He picked Beef Wellington, which I’ve only made once before. I think I did an excellent job this time, from the trimming to the preparation, and the sides of mashed potatoes, green beans with almonds, asparagus, and sautéed mushrooms were the perfect accompaniment!

It really was a lovely dinner (if I do say so myself):

Ryan requested birthday pie for dessert, so I made the peanut butter pie that has been a new favorite this holiday season, and our family’s favorite s’mores pie. It’s hard to see, but the candles even “spell” out 40!

Thus endeth another season of festive meals. I’m both relieved and sad that I won’t have another fancy dinner to make for a while…as of now, the kitchen is closed!

14!

Today is Moose’s 14th birthday! We started the day with gifts (of course!):

He spent most of his day assembling Lego sets and playing the new video game his siblings gave him…it’s the perfect birthday for Moose! He was especially excited to build in front of the Christmas tree, which I made sure was up in time for his birthday…that was really important to him, and it makes the rest of us happy, too!

He wanted a chocolate cake decorated with Star Wars light sabers. I’m not terribly happy with how it turned out, but he liked it, and I guess that’s all that really matters:

This birthday was extra special, because for the first (and only) time, he has a five-day weekend because of the way teacher conferences and Veterans’ Day landed on the school schedule. I’m really enjoying spending his long weekend with him!

Bunny Day (Observed)

For the second year in a row, Bunny was away at RSCM camp on her actual birthday, so we picked today to celebrate her turning 15!

The day got off to an earlier start that she probably would have preferred, because I inadvertently scheduled an orthodontist appointment for her this morning. But we got to stop at Rural King afterward, where she got to see the store mascot, Tate…he’s a big bunny!

When we got home, she opened her presents, and they were an excellent snapshot of her personality. Books (including one about pigeons, and one all things Marvel), a new Erstwilder brooch, a plush Pokemon pidove, and a Star Wars Lego set featuring her favorite character, Darth Vader (plus a Harry Potter Lego set featuring her favorite character from that franchise, Sirius Black, that she received before she left for camp):

We spent the day watching some of her favorite movies, and her selection was also her in a nutshell…Black Panther, The Empire Strikes Back, Zootopia, and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Of course we also had a special birthday dinner. Since she had gum surgery in June, and didn’t get to fully enjoy the build-your-own-sandwich bar we had on the Fourth of July, we did that again. There were four kinds of meat (including bacon at the birthday girl’s request, which was a fantastic addition I hadn’t thought of before!), five kinds of cheese, and six kinds of salty snacks (and, no, I didn’t plan for the numbers to go like that!), plus Faygo Rock & Rye soda:

Of course I made a bunny cake to her specifications:

We missed having her at home on the actual day, but we were very happy to get to say “Happy 15th Birthday, Bunny!” to her today!

An Epic Birthday Celebration

No one can draw out a birthday celebration the way I can, but this year’s observance of my 40th birthday was epic even by my standards!

The party began over a week ago. Ryan was going to be out of town on my birthday (he left for the London the morning of the big day), so while we were in Bowling Green visiting his parents last week, we went out for an early birthday dinner:

We stopped to get my favorite strawberry-lemonade smoothie from White Castle on the way back to his parents house…I love that it’s available around my birthday every year!

When we got back, we settled in to watch the Blues play in Game Seven of the Stanley Cup championship. Spoiler: They won! During one of the intermissions, we enjoyed the birthday cake that Ryan’s mom made for me:

I started the morning of my actual birthday by playing Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, where my very favorite villager wished me a Happy Birthday!

The children were very excited to give me their present, which I was very excited to receive:

Ryan may have had to leave (I wore my Mary Blair planes print Harley dress in honor of his flight), but my mom was able to come down from the Chicago area to celebrate with me. We went out for dinner at the Hofbräuhaus, where I enjoyed a great meal, danced like nobody was watching, and had “Happy Birthday” sung to me in German!

After dinner, we watched birthday episodes of some of our favorite TV shows: Malcolm in the Middle, That 70s Show, and Friends. We also listened to an episode of the Jack Benny radio show where he celebrated his “39th” birthday. For dessert, I ordered a Blizzard cake from Dairy Queen, because with all of our travels, there was just no time for anybody to bake a cake!

The continued celebration wrapped up today, with our family birthday party now that Ryan is back home. I got to watch a few of my favorite movies (White Christmas and A League of Their Own), and read some of my new book (The Other Boleyn Girl). I also wore the new dress Ryan bought me for my birthday…isn’t it pretty?

And we went to The Edge and played Skee Ball:

Since today was both National Smoothie Day and National Selfie Day, I stopped at Smoothie King for another strawberry lemon smoothie, and made sure to get a picture of it:

I build the Lego set the children gave me…how adorable is this Porg?!?

I made my favorite dinner tonight:

And Bunny and Ladybug really wanted to make me a cake, so we had a third birthday cake, complete with 39 candles in the shape of a question mark, just like on Jack Benny!

So my 40th birthday has been celebrated in grand fashion. I don’t really know what the big deal about turning 40 is, but I appreciate any excuse to have a party!

Quote of the Day

“Troubles me? What’s so damned troubling about not having died? How old do you think I am?” DeForest Kelley as Admiral McCoy in Star Trek: The Next Generation