On Friday night, the birthday fun began. Darin and I tried to sneak into Tyson's room to put up a few streamers and balloons, but he sat up and caught us in the act. All day long he had been asking "How many more hours til midnight?" because that was when he would officially be 8! Tyson woke up bright and early on Saturday morning and came into our room to let us know he was now eight years old. The rest of the morning was pretty uneventful as Darin had to go to town, so the kids spent most of their morning watching movies while I made an extra batch of cupcakes and waited for the sun to pop back through the clouds.
Around 1:15, Darin drove back up to the house and let me know we needed a new clutch for the car. Then around 1:30 our guests arrived for an afternoon of birthday fun! We invited the Van Gilders to celebrate with us because their family also would be celebrating 2 birthdays this weekend; Tim's (the dad)was the same day as Tyson's and Caden's was on the 17th, sandwiched right between our kids. The sun was finally back out, so the adults enjoyed sitting outside, having some grown up conversation, which is always a treat, while the kids jumped on the trampoline, climbed the water tower, and played with toys inside. We had some snacks and the wonderful birthday cupcakes (funfetti cake mix and whipped frosting, courtesy of Grandma Karen!) and then we let the kids open their presents. They ran around and played until it was time to head across the road to celebrate with our friends over there. We had plenty of cupcakes and were able to share with everyone except the babies. Only little Neo realized he was missing out on something good. After sharing a treat and playing together, it was time to head out for a game drive. Thankfully the Van Gilder's vehicle is big enough for all of us to fit in as ours was out of commission. We saw a lot of kudu, 5 giraffe across the river, herds of blesbok and impala, some warthog and a few wildebeest, which made it a very successful game drive! Then it was back to our house for some soup and homemade rolls (thanks Athena!) and a little more time to play before it was time for our friends to go home and our kids to go to bed.
On Sunday, we were able to go to church because our neighbors were kind enough to let us borrow their car. Normally, it wouldn't have been a big deal to stay home, but our good friends, the Streckers, were moving to Austria the next day and we really wanted to say goodbye to them. We also had plans to go to lunch as a way to celebrate the kids' birthdays and Father's Day as well. We had a lovely church service, were able to hug our friends and wish them well on our journey and then we headed to the mall for lunch. We decided on Spur, which we had really not been huge fans of until we found out that the steak roll is quite a nice meal. For a special treat, we even ordered dessert. Yum. The kids had fun jumping in the bounce house and playing video games. We headed home after lunch and decided to let the kids open all of their cards and a few birthday presents. Thanks so much to everyone who sent a card. Tyson and Jori both love getting mail and it was so special for them to each have a stack of cards to open. Grandma Karen had brought some presents along with her, including some new DVD's. Tyson and Jori spent the next hour watching old episodes of The Smurfs, while Darin and I read. Then they played with their new Lego's and My Little Pony until bedtime. Darin and I waited til Jori was asleep, then decorated her room with streamers and balloons. She must have been very tired as she didn't wake up at all. We went to bed and planned to sleep all night, but Jori woke us up at 10. She had heard a mosquito in her room and had somehow missed her door while trying to come and tell us and ran into the brick bedroom wall instead. She had blood all over her hands and all above her eye. It looked TERRIBLE, like stitches worthy, but once Darin managed to get her cleaned up, we saw that there was just a tiny little cut right under her eyebrow. Phew!
Monday morning arrived, bright and sunny and, dare I say it, warm! My SIX year old came and crawled in bed with me. She started talking with me and said "Whoa, I sound like a ten year old!" Ha. For breakfast, we pulled out the Lucky Charms Grandma Karen brought and gave each kid a bowlful with a candle. They were thrilled. While we were outside hanging laundry we saw two rhino right outside our fence! I am sure they were there to wish our girl well. The birthday girl wanted to watch Home Alone, so we got that set up for them. After watching the movie, they ran off to set up "traps" in Tyson's room, then they wanted Darin and I to pretend to be bad guys so they could catch us in their traps, just like in the movie. Good times. After lunch, I pulled out the covered wagon models I'd been saving (thanks Grandma Willie) and the kids set to work painting all the wooden parts. There was a lot more time spent running around outside, jumping on the tramp and playing upstairs, then they decided to watch Kung Fu Panda 2 until bedtime. Jori said she thinks it was the "funnest birthday ever".
So ends the 2012 edition of the Birthday Weekend O' Fun.