Claire had a birthday (back here), and here's how we celebrated:
Traditional birthday breakfast.
(and traditional blury-ness from her mom's camera).
There's talent in being a good gift-giver, but also in being a good gift-receiver. Claire is a great receiver. My brother commented that she would be just as delighted if someone gave her a Starburst as she would to be given a new puppy. She just wears delight on her sleeve.
So she was especially delighted that she got rollerblades.
And that's a good thing because she wasn't getting an iPod touch anyway :) The older I get the less I am willing to let my kids get into the social media scene too early. Stay young! Let the wind play with your hair and explore! That's what I have to say about that in this stage of life. And I'm so glad Claire was on the same page without me even having to drag her there ;)
Grace, true to form, made sure Claire got our traditional b-day stuff...streamers hanging down from her door and the good ol' candy bar poster. Grace needs to be a birthday planner some day, because she sure has a talent for knowing how to make people happy. Love that girl.
Dave and I both stole Claire from school for a little lunch date we didn't get a picture of.
And then Josh came over to give her a little rollerblade lesson after school.
We had cake and ice cream...
...and watched a movie and did little pedicures (which I also didn't snap a pic. of, dang it!). Her cute cousin came over to drop by a gift too (love you AJ!).
Claire somehow suckered me into an 11-year-old birthday party rather than waiting 'til next year (over the years we've simplified...gone from a party every year to every other year to only at 5, 8, 12 and 16). So next year will be quiet, but this year was loud. She didn't want to leave anyone out so she invited what seemed like the whole wide world.
She wanted to have a Chinese theme, so in order to keep all those little girls occupied for a couple hours we divided them into groups and did timed games kind of like "Minute to Win it" and the games we had at my in-law's fiftieth anniversary (back HERE).
Dave was in charge of the "chopstick" station where he taught the kids to use chopsticks and he timed them on how fast they could transfer cotton balls from one bowl to another.
Nana (Dave's mom) was in charge of the chocolate-dipped fortune cookie decorating station.
Grace was in charge of the Chinese counting station where she taught each group to count to ten in Chinese and then they timed each other to see how fast they could do it. And who wouldn't want to learn from that great animated girl right there?
My brother was in charge of the ancient (and sometimes modern) Chinese heavy load carrying station where they timed how fast they could carry that load back and forth.
After the stations we gathered everyone together and did a little traditional Chinese food-appreciation-taste-testing. The kids had a chance to taste many things Claire's friends brought to school in their lunches in China.