Thursday, August 22, 2013

Holidays: Thriving on Birthdays (The Plan)

He'll be turning seven in September, and every day my sweet little Gabriel is growing up. Though I treasure these younger years, it is also exciting to see what God is doing in his life... All the possibilities for the future!

Every birthday is a milestone of God's grace in my children's lives. And I want to take advantage of each birthday to let them know how precious they are to me.

So, what's the plan for Gabriel's 7th birthday? His birthday this year is on the weekend, so we will have the whole day to celebrate!

Here is my check list:

·Starting the Day Surprise

·Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


·Decorations: Table, Placemats, Centerpiece, Birthday Chair, Banner, balloons

·Family to include: Jason, Me, Ben, Michaela, Skype: Grampa and Gramma, Mamaw

·Present finding activity

·Memory Lane Activity

·Cultural Additions?

Good Morning!

Gabe is our late-riser. When the rest of us have been awake for an hour (or sometimes two,) he finally decides to roll out of bed and join us. I think this year we will make the arrival of this sleeping beauty a little more exciting... How about a balloon avalanche in his door. Found this on Pinterest.


The other two children LOVE to get involved in making the day special, so they will help with the decorations. Decorations are pretty limited here, especially if you are looking for specific theme decorations. No problem! The internet has plenty of printables! I think this year, we will do Lego themed decorations. Lego ideas are all over Pinterest, and Lego themes are super simple... even for the craft challenged like me!

Balloons - solid basic Lego colors... or whatever happens to be available here at the time! I have red and blue right now. The rule of thumb here is "If you see it, grab it, because there is no guarantee it will be there tomorrow."

Table cloth/place mats

I am going to grab a solid color fabric in a basic Lego color, and have it hemmed. Then, everyone will get a "decorate your own Lego character" placemat.

Happy Birthday Banner

I am going to use the same printout to create a happy birthday banner.


The centerpiece is so easy! Another Pinterest idea.

Birthday Chair

Balloons and a colorful "pillow case" style fabric on the back of the chair. No one sits here but the birthday boy!

Skype Adventure with Grampa and Gramma


Grampa and Gramma D are going to do a fun Skype Birthday call. They are making a "teleporter" box. Gramma and I will bake cakes that look the same. I will hide mine in our microwave. Grampa and Gramma are going to "teleport" the cake here... then when he comes back upstairs, I will place a present wrapped the same as a present they will put in their teleporter into our microwave. It will definitely give him the "feel" that they are right there celebrating.

Cultural addition!

We will probably save the cake until after lunch, but here is a great addition. We finally got to go to a birthday party here. The children went to the front of the room beside the birthday girl. They had a cake in front of them. After Happy Birthday was sang, the birthday child cut the cake and fed a piece to each of the other children. Michaela and Gabriel didn't know what to think. They were not sure why this girl was shoving food in their faces! It was hilarious! I think we will add this cultural activity to our birthday celebration... though I don't think we will let them use a 9 inch kitchen knife to cut the cake like this girl was allowed to use.


(Ben and Michaela will help make it.)

French Toast with a twist!

Gabe's favorite breakfast is french toast. For breakfast, we will make french toast with whipped cream and sprinkles.

Lunch date with Daddy

The children all love getting one-on-one time with Daddy. It is a rare event, so it makes it so much more special! His lunch date with Daddy will also give me some time to set up his activity with me.

Memory Lane Treasure Hunt with Mommy

I love a good stroll down Memory Lane! And children love that stroll down Memory Lane when it shows how precious your memories of them are to you! How much MORE fun to make it a treasure hunt! I am going to write several of my favorite memories of him on index cards, beginning with his birth story. Each card will tell the story and then give a clue to where the next card is. The whole point of the treasure hunt is to help them see that THEY are the treasure! And, of course, there is a special treasure at the end for them... their birthday present(s).

Dinner date with Mamaw over Skype (birthday book)

My Mom is a little excited about this! I am going to set up a "date" table. While Gabe is eating dinner, my mom will be eating breakfast. Then she will read him one of his favorite books, The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle. If they have time, they may even play a few games of Connect Four.

The Cake

I found a great, simple recipe for vanilla frosting on Pinterest We made it this week and used the WhiteCake Mix recipe from the Baptist Missionary Women blog. I actually found the White Cake Mix recipe via the Baptist Missionary Women Pinterest page which linked me back to the blog. Uh.... YUM!!!! (Let me just say that if you are not following the Pinterest pagefor the BMW blog... you should. Tons of ideas all nicely organized.)

I had to tweak the recipe to fit what I had in my kitchen at the moment... so I used 1 cup of milk and 1/2 cup of water instead of 1 1/2 cups water and powdered milk. I used butter as the fat.

Tips for Making a Memorable Birthday

1.      List out the people you want to be able to participate, and find some way to include them. They can help with the food and decorations, bake and decorate the cake, or they can Skype or make a phone call.

2.      Don't just hand the birthday presents to the child... make it an adventure! Treasure hunts are so much fun!

3.      Find some way to include telling fun memories about the birthday child, especially the birth story. This really helps with their sense of belonging as well as reminding them they are a valuable member of the family.

4.      Pray, praise, and thank the Lord for giving you all one more year with the birthday child. Family devotions that day could be a really great time of thanking the Lord for his goodness to the birthday child.

5.      Try to incorporate a birthday tradition from your new country.

I hope some of these ideas will get your creative juices flowing. The options are endless, and Pinterest has been a really good friend. Now, time to go celebrate. My birthday is tomorrow! And I am taking the day off of homeschool for my birthday... Yes, a present to myself.

1 comment:

Chrysti Hedding said...

Love the teleporter idea! Going to save that one for when my kids are old enough to appreciate it.