Jonathan's 8th Birthday


For a recent school assignment, Jonathan had to make a list of his interests. He got right to the point- cooking and dessert. I have promised to let him have cooking lessons as soon as Grace gets to Zebra cookies in her alphabet cookbook. In the meantime, he picked out a cute birthday cake that looked like a giant bowl of ice cream. The whole thing was cake and the bowl part was supposed to be free standing, and to support the cupcakes on top. Would you believe I had a little trouble with this? I baked the bowl in a bowl, turned it out to cool, frosted it blue, frosted the cupcakes to look like different flavors of ice cream, set them on top, turned to get another one and the side of the “bowl” slowly fell away. I called Mike for assistance and before you could say, “Uh-oh,” we were both covered in blue icing up to our wrists and running out of hands. I grabbed a slightly bigger bowl and scraped the whole thing into it. I just couldn’t believe it. Why am I suddenly striking out with birthday cake? Mike, who is a physics major, assessed the situation and assured me it was not my fault. Mathematically speaking, the directions are impossible, and the creator of this one never did it either. When I inspected the small picture closely, it was obvious that the ice cream cupcakes were perched on top of a regular old round layer cake, not a bowl, as the instructions indicated. From now on, I should have Mike check my recipes out before I get too involved. I dressed the crumbled mess up with fudge sauce, chopped peanuts and a maraschino cherry. I decided not to say a word about the incident and see if anyone noticed. To my great relief, everyone thought it was just great! Ha! What surprised Mike the most was that I didn’t cry. I guess I am becoming hardened. We had a good laugh remembering Grace’s third birthday. She wanted a ladybug cake and I thought (back then) it was worthwhile to make a cake “healthy”. I upgraded the ingredients, but the cake fell. I tried again and the cake overflowed the pan. I gave up and used the unhealthy recipe, only to turn around and, I’m not making this up, see flames through the oven door. Mike saw them about the same time I did and told me to go lie down while he took care of this. He put out the fire, saved the cake, and Grace had a third birthday against the odds. I probably did cry about that one, but somehow a messed up cake doesn’t seem like the end of the world anymore, especially when no one even notices! It tasted fine and we did have ice cream on the side. 


Then we opened gifts. Grandma gave him a Lego tank and a pop gun he asked for. 


Grace gave him a bag of Mallow Bites he saw at the grocery store and I refused to pay good money for. 


My parents sent a big box with gifts for all the March babies. I could tell Grandpa picked these out. He sent an axe, a serving sized spork, a survival kit, and storm proof matches. What is this? Sending matches and no gasoline? We confiscated everything except the spork, because we are mean. We have a safe place for stuff like this. We’ll keep it there until Jonathan joins the Boy Scouts. Look at him holding that pocket knife and tell me you trust him near your antiques.



This is not to say that Jonathan was not impressed. But, um, he is eight, and we do not trust him with weapons or combustibles just yet. Even letting him keep the spork is taking a risk with this guy, but it is his birthday after all. Meanwhile Paul will make sure Jonathan is the most well prepared new scout three years from now. 


We let the other birthday babes have their gifts from Grandma and Grandpa, at this time. Victoria is posing with a new bracelet and a pillowcase dress my mom made.


Here Ethan is checking out the sights on his new blow gun (rubber tips- mercy!), his own spork, and a mess kit. Mike covets the mess kit. 


We saved our gift until last and I was hoping for this reaction. We gave Jonathan a zipline. 


I figure a guy who is interested mainly in cooking and dessert needs to get interested in a bit of physical activity. So far, so good. It only took one trip to Lowe’s to make it work, and since then, the children have been sneaking out during the school day to live an active life. Before the end of the day, they made a modification by tying on a piece of firewood, so even Victoria could ride in relative safety.



Mike’s next project will be to build a small platform for launching. That could turn into a tree house, if we are lucky. Even if it doesn’t, the backyard is becoming a dream come true for all of us.

© Being Fruitful, 2012