Saturday, November 22, 2008

Always more fun to share with everyone

Noah, our oldest, celebrated his first birthday with 50+ of our closest friends, and acquaintances, as they all tried to find a small corner to stand in our not quite big enough living room. I have a hard time choosing who to include when we have a party, and at that time I was in the mentality of "invite everyone" and assumed that not EVERYONE would come. I have been coming to terms with the need to change this tendency, more than anything else for practical reasons... well, that and the fact that no one year old is really in such desperate need that they should receive over 50 birthday presents. My apologies if you never got a thank you note....

So we are learning to have smaller and more intimate parties. But for some reason, birthdays tend to be celebrated over about a 10 day period. Not planned, but it just happens. With Maggy and Noah's birthday's being only 10 days apart, they will just need to learn to share... not a problem!

Here is a collection of photos from some of the celebrations:

Starting with Maggy's birthday, October 29th. Our daughter enjoyed blueberry pancakes for breakfast and a dinner of apples, hotdogs and Grandpa Dedrick's chocolate cookies. What 1 year old wouldn't totally love that?!

Then a benchmark, that is something of a sign of our times: the new perspective gained by riding in a forward facing car seat! She is less likely to zonk out for the necessary naps when we are "on the go" but I love seeing the smiles in my review mirror!

The following weekend was Halloween, which certainly does seem to be a party in and of itself.

Noah's "friends" party at Out of This World Pizza and Play was November 1st. It is one of our new favorite places to go. The kids can run around for hours, and seemingly, never tire of the activities (inflatable obstical courses, 3 story play structure, rock wall, scooters, etc) ... despite the impressive lack of electronic stimulus. The highlight of this get together was PJ and Aunt Cathe driving the 2 hours from Grande Ronde, Oregon to be at the party. What a gift! Noah and PJ always have such great fun together.

The following weekend, we were blessed to have Grandma and Grandpa come and stay at our house for a night! Waking up on the 9th, Noah's actual birthday, the kids enjoyed Italian Sodas for breakfast with baked French Toast. After church, we met Grandma and Grandpa Vertner back at Out of This World, with a few of the cousins for a family celebration.

My wonderful and talented friend Dori made more beautiful cakes in honor of our kids, and this angel in honor of our angel, Maggy. She also crafted a grass covered tree house for Noah, since he's become such a fan of the Mary Pope Osborne "Magic Tree House" book series. I am always floored at the beauty and complexity of her creations... and how she manages to get them transported so flawlessly!

I haven't specifically established a birthday tradition, but it is hard not to keep the celebration going on and on. Although, I am getting better about finding ways to do it with out spending a fortune. It is so tempting to turn a birthday into an excuse for a materialistic fiasco, which will only establish the wrong heart in our kids. My children have been such a blessing to me and my husband, they bring us such joy and, in a way, teach us and cause us closer to where God is calling us.

Do you have traditions for your children's birthdays? Share, please.


  1. Got a close-up of the magic treehouse cake?
    I'd like to see it.

    Our birthday traditions are still evolving, but there are a couple of silly things we do. Typically the birthday child wakes to a bed filled with balloons and everybody else singing 'Happy Birthday' to him/her. (It's so fun to sneak in with a laundry basket full of balloons and try not to wake the child before we start singing.) They get some special breakfast - either a favorite, or blueberry pancakes in the shape of their bug (all my kids are bugs.) Often we make a special fruit salad and serve it in fancy blue ice cream sundae dishes. There is a banner on the dining room wall declaring "Happy Birthday" with the child's name & age in some special theme for them. (Yes, I make a new one for each birthday.) The table is set with a special placemat, candle or vase of handpicked flowers, and special birthday dishes (We have a set of one each, large plate, small plate, bowl that are decorated with balloons and birthday cake, and only used for the birthday person, of course.) The child's chair at the table is decorated with balloons. The last few birthdays found us opening gifts at the breakfast table. (Not sure if we'll keep that tradition.) We usually tape up balloons on the garage door (which is in the kitchen/family room area) in the shape of the child's age, and then we tape the cards they receive on that same door to be enjoyed for another week or two. Dinner and subsequent dessert is usually the child's choice (or a known favorite if they are too young to express a choice.)

    Wow. I didn't think we had much for birthday traditions, but now that I type out the novel...

    I still think we are missing something. As birthdays keep coming, I'm sure we'll discover another special tradition or two that we'll wonder how we lived without.

  2. Happy Birthday little Verts.

    Not really.
    We should.
    Breakfast in bed, but that's it.

    Your family is beautiful and awesome.

  3. The cake pictures ended up on someone else's camera, I'm trying to acquire them and will update when I do.

  4. Something my mom start when we were little. When we got up in the morning she had always put out a little present at our place at the table. Made the day feel special. Even as an adult I hope my hubby has remember as it makes me feel like a kid again.

  5. Wow! Where did you find that sharing song? I loved it. PJ thought it was cool to see his picture in someones blog on the internet! Can fame and fortune be far away? I enjoyed myself wonderfully! I wish I had the gas to go to everybodys stuff, but hard as it seems to be to think of this, people might actually begin to grow weary of me! Really, I wish I could network with more like minded moms like you and your friends. I was begining to feel isolated. When Kit and I decided to homeschool 24 years ago, in California, we were actually part of "The Movement" and the leader of our coop said, "You guys are pioneers in a great movement towards the future." Little did we know! Meeting your group of moms, has done more to encourage me than anything else, as I have often felt we were swimming upstream and making no progress. (You should have seen the reactions from family when we made our decision) You go girl! Keep up the good work!


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