Saturday smiles: birthday edition

Now that I have your attention … welcome to the birthday edition of Saturday Smiles. It’s been a great two days. Here are some of the highlights.

This is my cake. Boston Cream Pie. Homemade. From scratch. By my husband.

I’ll let that sink in for a minute. I mean, he used cake flour and everything to bake the cake, and he made pudding from scratch. I am so impressed. By the way it was tasty. Isabelle even licked her plate. I didn’t get a picture of that.

We do have a picture of this.

Flattering, I know. What’s funnier is after all that effort I appear to be putting in to blowing out ONE candle on the cake, it remained lit. I was too far away. Or so my husband said. I leaned in and gave it another try. Nevermind that our son nearly blew it out before the family started singing. Good thing there was only one candle and not significantly more.

I commissioned my own homemade cards from the kids yesterday. They used “project paper” — Corban’s term for construction paper — and scissors and pens. Isabelle cut and folded. Corban stuck stickers on and scribbled. I was not allowed to be in the room while they worked but I did hear Isabelle composing her messages out loud. It sounded something like this:

“Dear Mommy, I love you as much as you love me. You make me sooooo happy. Love, Izzy and Corban.”

Heart melted? Check.

Later her cards contained messages of concern: “Who will help you celebrate your party? Who will say ‘happy birthday’?”

Though it was a small, private party, I did receive lots of love in the mail and from a couple of visitors who dropped by with gifts and cards. It’s nice to be remembered on your birthday.

By sheer coincidence, I got to share my birthday with the entirety of the kids’ storytime group. The theme was birthdays, and when the leader asked if anyone had a birthday recently, Isabelle piped up: “My mommy does!” I think one of the cutest things was another little 4-year-old girl telling me “Happy Birthday.” The kids made “cakes” out of homemade modeling dough for the craft. They brought it home and haven’t stopped making cakes.

Corban can be very serious about his art. He was singing “Happy birthday” until I turned the video camera on. (Of course.)

Today, we went to a book sale at the library and came home with a box full of books and a good deal on the HBO World War II series DVD of “The Pacific.”

One of the best things about birthdays in the Bartelt family is getting to choose all your meals for the day and having someone else prepare them. At least, it’s the best for me. Even though I like to cook, I appreciate a break now and then.

We started the day with these yummy yogurt parfaits and eggs Benedict. The kids were happy to help with the fruit and granola.

Pay no attention to the girl licking her fingers while dishing out the yogurt. It was a mess and it was totally worth it. We may not be too many years from the kids making breakfast. I offered to let Isabelle make me coffee but she wasn’t interested. She’s watched me do it enough times, she probably could.

These were the things that made me smile most this week, in addition to my husband finishing his seminary coursework. We’re one week from graduation. (Can you guess what I’ll be smiling about next week?)

Here are a few more smile moments from the week, in picture form.

Both kids got new bike helmets this week, Isabelle because she needed one and Corban because he may not necessarily need it yet but he likes to do what his sister does. He loved the helmet so much, he wore it around the house. Reading can be dangerous, I guess, so make sure you wear a helmet!

And the kids have taken a liking to marching with sticks. Phil and I agree: they remind us of Hobbits. I hope no one mistakes our house for an on-location filming of any Hobbit-related movies.

Thanks for reading! I hope your smiles are as big as the supermoon I’m seeing out my window right now!


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