It started on Saturday the 1st, when she had her friend party at an indoor rock climbing gym, where we had recently enjoyed the best family night ever. She and about ten friends enjoyed a couple hours of climbing while the parents held the ropes.
|Olivia, Allyson, Elias|
Next we enjoyed one of Aunt Emily's fabulous cakes. The dolphin was sculpted from Rice Krispy treats and then covered in chocolate and fondant. Using a plastic knife borrowed from another birthday party, I laboriously cut the cake into slivers and then hacked apart the dolphin, which everyone fought over. So good!
Allyson's favorite part was probably riding to and from the gym with her friends Savannah and Elias. They chattered and laughed the whole way.
The next day, I hosted our monthly family dinner, and we celebrated Allyson's birthday with swimming and a few cornhole games (tossing bean bags at a target). Allyson was pretty good! And surprisingly, I wasn't half bad either.
Cake number two was just a little less formal than cake number one:
Yes, I really did serve leftover cake at Allyson's party. It was way too good to waste. The real dessert was ice cream sundaes, for the record. And this was officially Allyson's cake:
|One of Aunt Emily's Fancy Cupcakes|
The Very Best Day
Although this wasn't technically part of Allyson's birthday celebration, it was part of her birthday week, and probably the best day of the year, if not her entire life....
All through Kindergarten and first grade, Allyson was nominated numerous times as the class Bucket Filler, a student who goes out of the way to be kind to others, filling their "buckets." Each week, every class puts their Bucket Filler's name in a big bucket in the office, and then one name is drawn from each grade. The lucky winners get to be on the Friday morning announcements.
Over and over, Allyson got her hopes up and was disappointed. This year she had given up hope because the last day of school was on a Thursday. So you can imagine her delight when her name was drawn last Monday, for the Thursday morning announcements! She was positively radiant that afternoon. What amazing timing!
- It was the last day of school, a half day.
- It was the day before her birthday.
- Nana and Grandpa had just arrived from Canada, so they got to come along.
- She got to spend the whole afternoon with Nana and Grandpa.
- To top off her perfect day, we all met for last-day-of-school ice cream that evening.
Here she is, waiting for her two minutes of fame:
|Nana, Allyson, Grandpa|
|The Bucket Fillers|
|The Anchormen in Front of the Stage|
Back at her classroom, she was greeted as a hero. Her beloved teacher told us they had all cheered and exclaimed over how beautiful she looked.
It was also hat day, in honor of the last day. See how nicely the hat coordinates with her best dress:
|Vancouver Canucks, of Course|
A Close Second
But the next day was a close second. We all met over at the giant outlet mall, even Ethan and his friend Meggie. We started at the Build-a-Bear Workshop, where Allyson picked a leopard.
|She Wore Her Birthday Hat From School|
|Giving Her Leopard an Air Bath After He Was Stuffed|
|She Bought an Outfit with Drumsticks, and Named Him Ethan|
Next, we trekked to the Rainforest Cafe for lunch. It was literally about a half-mile walk around the mall. At the end, Bill discovered that we could have cut right through a store in the center.
|While We Waited, Allyson Got a Parrot Balloon|
That evening, Bill's family met at my house for Allyson's favorite dinner, yellow rice and chicken. Mom, Dad, and Amy came, too. We had a great time playing cornhole. The two grandmas beat the pants off everyone else, even though it was Nana's first time to play (so she says, anyway).
Here is cake number three, an ice cream cake from Daddy.
|Ethan Got to Share the Big Moment|