Our tradition is to always start out with gifts. Sometimes I wonder if that puts to much focus on gifts but at the same time I like to get it done soon so they aren't wondering all day and they get to enjoy the gifts on their birthday. Also I don't care for giving our gifts to the kids when we are having any friends come over as I like our focus to be on enjoying our time with them, not gifts. This year Mara and Aaron were both very excited about Jonathan's coming birthday and have been working on making him presents much of last week and before. One gift that Mara made was a very detailed lift a flap book. It was fun to watch her work so carefully on something to give to her brother. One of the gifts I made for him was a wallet. He has been wanting one and I figured that it wouldn't be very hard to make. It went together quite quickly (using imitation leather and a snap for the coin part) and I was pleased with how it turned out. Jonathan likes it too. I have been wanting to make a large percentage of our gifts and that has been going well for the most part. We did make several gifts for Jonathan but did make one major exception.
Jonathan's bike had gotten way too small. We had tried to encourage him to earn money to buy a new one but he kept getting distracted from his saving to buy something or another. We decided that we never had bought him a new bike for a birthday (and we have for Mara and Aaron) so we decided to go ahead and get one for him this year and we explained that next time he would have to earn (from jobs we give him) his next bike.
He was super excited about the bike. He said he had hoped for one but really didn't think he would get one. He has wanted to go on lots of bike rides ever since. He and Aaron have also enjoyed racing on our lane as Aaron has gotten quite good at riding without training wheels now.
One morning a week some of Jonathan's friends come over to play. This week we arranged for them to come on Jonathan's birthday. Above they are enjoying the special birthday snack we made ~ Ice Cream sandwiches!
We made the Ice cream sandwiches using Chocolate chewy cookies (made with whole grains) and ice cream. It was our first time to try making them and we thought they were a success. They were much cheaper too!
Besides the boys coming over, Denise a friend from church and a little girl she is watching came over for part of the morning and lunch. For supper My parents and siblings that are in town as well as another friend came over. All of the meals yesterday were ones that Jonathan picked, Sausage and biscuits and gravy for breakfast, Mac and Cheese (and I added veggies) for lunch and Pizza and Salad for supper.
Jonathan also requested an ice cream cake. This we also made ourselves. I had bought vanilla ice cream on sale for $3 a gallon. We used 1/2 gallon. To make it we put a layer of ice cream (I cut the bottom off of an ice cream bucket and then put the lid on, turned it upside down and used it for a cake mold. A friend uses a spring form pan and I think that would work better but I don't have one) and then a layer of crumbled homemade choc. cookies, then another layer of ice cream and then a layer of choc. candies (free from Walgreens), peanut butter and marsh mellows then another layer of ice cream and then we decorated the top using green tinted coconut, farm toys (which we did wash!), cookies, candy and peanut butter for the house, peanuts for the driveway, blue candy for a river and a molded tootsie roll for the bridge. We all had a lot of fun making it and we thought it was pretty good to eat too!
All in all it was a successful birthday!