Thursday, September 11, 2008

A wonderful birthday

Jaan had a wonderful birthday! Thank you so much to everyone who sent birthday wishes, especially this one.

His big day started off with a thunderstorm! Maybe that was more of a treat for me than him, but he liked it, too. (I didn't know when we moved to Ukraine that we were coming to a desert country! It was green and beautiful when we got here, but now it's something like the Sahara.)

From that, we moved on to a pancake breakfast. There was quite a bit of discussion about whether Jaan wanted thick American pancakes or thin Russian blini. We ended up with blini. I wanted to get a picture of his face when he saw that stack of FIVE layers, but I was too busy filling hungry mouths.

Next we discovered that we had a package "from American Samoa" waiting for us. (As we guessed, that's the same as North California.) Jaan and Will went to pick that up at the post office. Baba Julie's timing is amazing!


We thoroughly enjoyed digging into the package. Then Jaan, Will, and Raia went out to buy a cake for Jaan and "find a surprise." The surprise was that when they went to the ATM machine, it gave them special birthday money! That's what the hidden camera there is for, you know: so they can see when a birthday boy comes to get money.

Counting money in the restaurant
They returned to find a new restaurant had popped up in our home. . .

. . . with a picture menu. . .

and a special place for the birthday boy
Jaan and Raia bought lunch for all of us. After lunch, the birthday store opened!

At the store
Shopping made them hungry again, so we all headed back to the restaurant for dessert.

Five candles!


I loved these photos of Asya waiting for dessert.


Forget about waiting, just get the ice cream!

When all that excitement was over, it was time for naps. Even the birthday boy was tired. We got everyone settled, and then grandparents called. More excitement! We had a great time talking to them. Once everyone settled again, Papa went to the church to work. When naps were over, I had planned to go outside and play with the new treats from the birthday store, but it was rainy again. They played inside and got to talk to the other set of grandparents. Hurrah! Then it was time to take Jaan to church, for his promised evening with Papa. The walk over was beautiful: clean fall sunshine, brightly breaking through the clouds. I didn't want the wonderful birthday to end! It was a perfect celebration, quiet and simple, but extra special and fun.

11 comments:

Mom said...

Thank you for sharing Jaan's special day with us (and what joy it brings to see the effort you have made to delight him). He should remember his fifth birthday for a long time!

Much love to all....

Anonymous said...

How Special!! I agree with your mom. He will long remember this one! And, you are right a very full and wonderful day!! Lots of love, Baba Julie

Laura :) said...

Great pics!! Looks like everyone enjoyed the big day. :)

Laura T. :)

Anonymous said...

And to top it all off, for the first time, W/P and kiddos got to "see" D/B/G, Baba Julie, and Aunt Anna via the new webcam now positioned in Northern California/American Samoa! And vice versa, with Mr. Jaan making funny faces for his NC/AS relations!

Much love to all, and thanks for the great pics and recounting of the big day!

d/b/g

Lindy said...

What a wonderful way to celebrate 5! How special it must be to return home and find a restaurant right in your house (the food is probably better too!). I think a family birthday like that is the best and the most remembered. Thank you for sharing the details and pictures of the delight in the children's faces. The 1 year birthday isn't far behind!! Love, Aunt Lindy

Lindy said...

I should have said "the 1 year birthday isn't far ahead!"
Lindy

Mamasphere said...

What an amazing day for Jaan! I would love to spend my birthdays like that. Especially with that cake- it looked delicious!

Sarah said...

What a precious day for a great five year old!! Happy Birthday to Jaan! We see those Ukrainian colors, blue and yellow, in your pics. =)

Debbie said...

Wow, you did a wonderful job to make the day special for Jaan. It sounded like a very nice day.

Carrie said...

Happy Birthday,Jaan! Caleb sends his greetings. He enjoyed looking at the pictures.

Power Up Love said...

the greatest gift...