Every kid counts down to his birthday. Perhaps not every kid requests he or she can keep the complimentary mailed charity calendar to actually mark off, day by day in red pen, until his or her birthday, but our kid does. He loves his birthday.
For our children's combined 11 birthdays, we have done a few family-only parties, but mostly we've done a huge day long surprise of fun activities, little to bit, with a few presents thrown in. This year, Lukka requested something new--a few friends to have a party with. Themed, expensive, and loud birthday parties with lots of kids scare me somewhat, so I told him that for one of the longer portions of his birthday surprise, we could take two friends along. He was ecstatic.
The morning started off with a breakfast date with dad-a birthday tradition started by Stefan's father he and his siblings enjoyed while growing up (and into adulthood!). After that, we hitched up the canoe for a little hour-long jaunt around Semiahmoo spit while searching for sand dollars in the 2-feet-deep water. We found a few but it was too hard to pick up one with an oar, underwater, and not have us tip over. I chose to stay dry!
After we came back home and Stefan took the canoe off the car (it's very impressive to watch him do this by himself, might I add), we headed out to Ferndale's Mt. Baker Lanes for some birthday bowling. The kids have never done bowling and thanks to a friend who'd mentioned free bowling for kids in the summer, we had a cheap date. Well, sorta'. Bowling alleys look exactly like they did 30 years ago, because no one goes to them anymore...because it's so dang expensive! Even with the kids' free games coupon, it still cost us just under $20 for our family to bowl 1 game and rent shoes for everyone. That was the most expensive part of the birthday.
After bowling was done, we headed back to Blaine for some homemade pizza and opening up some presents. We always get the kids 3 items: something to read, wear, and play with. Lukka was so excited to get his toy from us; I'd found it for him months ago and ordered in advance. It's called the Georello Tech. He loves it, and double bonus--so does his sister. It's a building set that has chains, gears, wheels, propellers, cranks, and even large rubber bands to create whatever you can think of.
The last part of his birthday extravaganza was hanging out with two friends and having a birthday dinner at the beach. Spending hundreds of dollars is just not feasible, and having twenty kids is over my capacity, but two friends playing in the water and sand for a few hours, and a homemade dinner with some cake? I can totally get excited about that. The kids played for almost 3 hours nonstop and it was a beautiful day (see above). They gobbled up their dinner: custom sandwhiches, doritos, apple juice + water, gummi snacks, and veggie sticks before indulging in the best gluten-free chocolate cake with rainbow sprinkles I have ever consumed. We dropped off the kiddos, gave our two a bath and a shower, and sent them off to bed after a full day of celebrating. We had a great time and I think Lukka felt quite celebrated and showered with affection! We love you, little Tinker!