Sweet Sixteen

Today is Ladybug’s 16th birthday!

We did things a little differently this year since Moose has a band concert tonight. So let’s start with a look at her birthday dinner, which we actually had on her Birthday Eve! She chose two recipes from Destiny: The Official Cookbook…tortilla chicken soup with all the toppings, and “Coldheart,” a green smoothie with kiwis, banana, mango, avocado, and spinach:

For dessert, she turned to The Ultimate Final Fantasy XIV Online Cookbook, where she found a recipe for “Princess Pudding,” which was a type of lava cake:

She waited until this morning to open her presents. It was a very Stitch themed birthday!

Is it even a birthday in our house if there aren’t Legos?

Happy Sweet Sixteen Ladybug!

Ready for Hogwarts

Today is Chickadee’s 11th birthday, and she found a letter from Hogwarts waiting for her at the table when she got up this morning!

After the excitement of receiving her invitation to study at the wizarding school wore off, she opened her presents:

We spent most of the day watching Doctor Who…I’m always intrigued by what she chooses! While we watched, I worked on the dinner she requested…pork tenderloin and käsespätzle (plus the pickled beets I added to the menu). She also asked me to make Butterbeer, and that was before she even knew I had planned Harry Potter elements for her birthday!

I asked her if her cake could be a surprise…I really wanted to make the cake Hagrid made for Harry on his 11th birthday. I was really happy with how it turned out!

It’s hard to believe another Markel birthday has already come and gone!

Twenty Already!

As hard as it is to believe, Turkey turned 20 years old today. There’s something significant about those ending-in-zero birthdays, and this was no exception!

As has become tradition, I made a Thanksgiving-style birthday dinner. I’m not going to lie…this was one of the worst turkeys I’ve ever prepared. The rest of the meal was good, though, and I think Turkey enjoyed it!

I made a white chocolate raspberry cheesecake for dessert. It was possibly the best cheesecake I’ve ever made, and also one of the prettiest! Conveniently, candles come in packs of 20, too!

I always have a fun time celebrating my children…I’m so blessed to have a considerate, kind, funny, intelligent son!


Today is Moose’s 17th birthday! If that isn’t unbelievable enough, he keeps me reminding me that in just one year, he will be a legal adult, and I am just not ok with that!

We started with presents before school…I was especially excited to give him the Lego Ideas Jazz Quartet set, because he loves music, and especially jazz, so much:

I think he had a good day at school…most importantly, he didn’t have any homework tonight! He picked McDonald’s for his birthday dinner, and requested a space-themed cake. I did my best to copy the picture he made for me, and I was really pleased with how the cake turned out!

He got all 17 candles in pretty much one breath!

It’s always a little disappointing when a birthday is on a school day, because that limits how many fun things we can do, but even with school, I think it was a great day!

Hoppy Bunny Day!

Today was a Very Special Day, because it’s Bunny’s 18th birthday! I can’t believe I have another adult “child!”

We waited until this afternoon for present opening:

I was so excited for her to open her present from us, because we bought her her very first dirndl!

As she has for the last few years, she requested Stromboli for her birthday dinner:

And this year’s bunny cake was decorated to look like the March Hare from Alice in Wonderland (the frosting was way more brown than it photographed).

We had a great time celebrating her today…I can’t wait to see what the next year has in store!

It’s My Birthday!

Today is, as Moose put it, my 5th 39th birthday. We started the day by taking a peek at the rapidly-growing mourning dove squabs in our tree:

We were out early due to the excessive heat warning I was gifted for my birthday. There was only one thing I really wanted to do out of the house…visit a spray park. We ended up driving up to a really nice one in Edwardsville because it was open early, and had fun playing in the water before it got too hot!

When we got home, I opened my presents…I received some very nice things from my family!

Of course I played Animal Crossing New Horizons, and for the second year in a row, Roald came to my party!

The rest of the day was pretty chill…we watched some of my favorite movies (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, A League of Their Own, and White Christmas), had my favorite frozen pizza for dinner (Home Run Inn), and enjoyed the beautiful birthday cake (with 43 candles) the girls made for me:

In spite of the heat, I had a fantastic birthday…and that’s just the start of the fun this week!


Today is Ladybug’s 15th birthday! We did a lot of our celebrating yesterday, because it’s more fun to have a birthday on the weekend, but she waited until this morning to open presents:

I think she liked them!

Her birthday dinner came entirely from The Ultimate Final Fantasy XIV Online Cookbook…Pixieberry tea, cabbage rolls (her birthday dinner of choice for three years running!), and rye bread:

For her cake, I re-created (or tried to) a chocolate cake she had a few years ago, with white and milk chocolate mousse fillings and chocolate ganache. I wasn’t entirely thrilled with how it turned out (the mousses weren’t as stiff as they should have been, and I wanted the ganache to drizzle, not cover so well, so you could see the fillings), but she liked it, and it was delicious, which is all that really matters!

Happy Birthday Ladybug!

Double Digits at Last!

Today is Chickadee’s 10th birthday! For the first time in over 19 years, we have no children in single digits, age-wise, which is weird, but Chickadee is very excited to hit double digits!

Chickadee decided on a two-day birthday celebration like Turkey had, so we started yesterday morning with homemade cinnamon rolls:

And then we went to Laumeier Sculpture Park to enjoy the beautiful weather:

We were up bright (or not) and early to open presents before her siblings went to school:

Since the weather today was pretty gross, we spent the day watching movies, including Frozen and Encanto. And I made potato-parsnip soup for dinner…I was kind of surprised that she requested this particular meal, but I appreciate that she always keeps me guessing!

I visited her Animal Crossing: New Horizons island…she has a whole birthday room in her house!

For dessert, she picked another new recipe from the My Little Pony Baking Book…piñata cupcakes, which I filled with m&ms and sprinkles. It was a really fun recipe (except for when the butter I was melting exploded and made a huge mess, which I didn’t even know was possible!), and they looked really cool!

It’s kind of unbelievable to me that Chickadee is so big…I’m feeling a little old this week!