"Preach the gospel at all times; if necessary, use words." Saint Francis of Assisi

Friday, May 09, 2008

Anderson's Birthday

We realized we never showed pictures from Anderson's big day and we've gotten a few emails asking about it, so here you go:

Anderson's pre-school really does birthdays right. Last year they celebrated by putting Anderson in a special birthday superhero cape.
He didn't get a cape this year but he did get a crown.
The cool thing about his school is that, on the child's birthday, the teachers ask the parents to make a timeline from pictures of important events in their kids' lives. On the back of the pictures it explains what each thing is about. The kids then get to bring the timeline and help the teacher explain those things. It really helps to make the birthday boy/girl feel special.

These are his buddies from school.

This is his girlfriend Tati. (pronounced Tah-chee)

And of course he had to have some birthday cake.

Then he came home. As is our tradition, the birthday person gets to pick the food and activities for the day. Anderson chose a backyard picnic with the following foods: peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, "oatmilk" (oatmeal) and cheese. He thankfully forgot about the oatmilk and so we enjoyed sandwiches together.
He got more birthday cake that came in cupcake form.
He then opened his presents. Anderson is a sports NUT. He practices soccer on his own and is DYING to be on a soccer team. The coaches for Carys's class let him practice with them one day and he was in heaven. He got a soccer ball this year but his favorite gift was this basketball....
....along with this "official" NBA backboard. Our problem was that we didn't have anything to secure the backboard to our house. Since we are renters, we really didn't want to bust some holes out on our house so we headed out to find a solution.
We ended up at our neighborhood hardware store......
......to get our friend Freitas to help us.
He set us up and we were in business. You need to know that Anderson is a sports "perfectionist." He keeps trying something until he gets it right and if he can't do it he gets upset. So......he kept trying and trying......
.....and trying to make his first basket......
......until finally.......SUCCESS!!!

Later he got some phone calls from both his Brasilian and American spiritual family wishing him a happy birthday.

He ended his day hanging out with his "other" girlfriend.
A couple of days later we had a party for all his buddies. Unfortunately, most of his school classmates had already been invited to another party. We decided to go ahead with his party and be happy if even one of his buddies showed up. Just to give an idea, we looked into a party place for Carys's 9th birthday and a three hour party would have cost around $1,000, yeah, that's dollars as in U.S. dollars. It's crazy but fairly common for Brasilians to spend that much on a party for their kids. We decided we'd save a few hundred dollars and do it ourselves. So, Benay and the kids and some friends began to transform our backyard into a party place.
They did a great job.
The good thing about having such a big family is that we have so many different age groups in our house that our kids mix well with all ages. So, when a bunch of teenagers show up for a 4 year old party, it seems normal and fun to the 4 year old. We played duck-duck-goose.

We fished for candy.....

....and we even played musical chairs with a twist. Chairs left the game when the music stopped, but the players stayed in, leaving this at the end:

Then it was cake time.
And when it's cake time you can always find helpers.
LOTS of helpers.
Good cake (and a super cool 4 year old) even brings out adults.................yes that's Freitas (hardware man) and his wife with their new little boy.
Alexandre and his daughter.
This is Anderson's great buddy Parker. Parker is also a missionary from the United States.
We think Anderson had a great couple days of birthday party time. He sure didn't complain about all the cake he got to eat.

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