Thursday, September 22, 2011

Alaina's Surprise Party: She's 15!

Cabo helped unwrap the phone
Alaina's birthday started with presents in bed and Cabo helping to unwrap.  He could get used to this!  She finally got a new phone.  Her old one broke in June and she was phone and textless all summer.  I think she is feeling good to be reconnected.  About a week before her birthday Alaina created a Facebook message to about 10 friends to invite them to get together at a restaurant for her birthday.  I was already trying to plan a surprise party and luckily had let a few of her friends know what I was working on.  One of those very smart friends texted me to alert me to Alaina's plans (that I knew nothing about!) and I had her create a different Facebook message, excluding Alaina, and I communicated with everyone through that.  I asked them all tell Alaina they were busy Friday but could come on Saturday (so she wouldn't feel bad that no one could come) and I told them secretly to plan on coming Friday.    I told Alaina that Dave and I wanted to take her out for our dinner on her real birthday and she begrudgingly agreed since she was thinking she'd have her own thing on Saturday.

Surprise at the Cheesecake Factory
I got balloons and made a cake and cupcakes that I had someone else bring there.  Then, when it was time to go to the restaurant she really didn't want to be going out with us on her real birthday.  Dave had been out of town and was planning on meeting us there, so he went early and saved a table.  I had 11 girls on the Facebook group and 16 ended up coming, so we had a few extra.  Dave texted me when they were all there and seated and I thought I found a great parking spot (got a ticket later!).  Alaina and I walked in and she didn't see her friends until they all stood up and shouted, "SURPRISE!!!"  It was great!  They really got her.

Beautiful friends, inside and out
After dinner a lot of the girls had to go home because it was already 10pm and they had soccer and early cross country meets on Saturday but Dave and I took 7 girls to the bowling alley and watched them bowl.  They were hilarious!  I think the high score was in the 70's and the low score was in the 30's but they had a blast.  At the end I gave them each a quarter for the machines (that's all I had left after dinner and bowling) and they all bought mustaches.  I love Alaina's friends.  Happy birthday, Awesome Alaina!
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Becca's Birthday Bonanza: She's an official teenager now!

The Kidnap Breakfast Bandits
Becca's birthday week began with an awesomely orchestrated kidnap breakfast!  Four of her great friends came over early in the morning on Wednesday (the day before her birthday) and pounced on her in bed.  They let her get dressed, since they had to go straight to school after breakfast, but wrapped her in scarves and other funny things on top of her clothes.  Love the floatie!  A very nice mom drove them all to a restaurant and after they ate another very nice mom brought them to school.  It was a great surprise!

Becca's long awaited Chi straightener
On the morning of her birthday, Becca opened her presents in bed, as we always do, and she finally got her pink Chi straightener.  She's been waiting FOREVER.  Cabo loves helping open presents.  He can really unwrap them!

Becca's favorite:  strawberry shortcake with strawberies in lemon sauce
After school, Becca had a few friends over for her favorite Sticky Chicken take out and strawberry shortcake.  They watched Titanic, which she has been waiting so long to be 13 for...I did record it from TV so it was still edited a little.  It was a great night for her.

Becca's sneaky friends
The next day, I took her to her friends house to hang out and a bunch of friends were actually there and had made dinner for her surprise party!  She was super surprised and felt very loved.  I made a purse cake because she is a textbook teen...loves shopping.  Becca has awesome friends!

On Saturday night, Dave and I kept our tradition of taking the birthday kid out to eat alone.  She got to pick the restaurant and no one else was there to complain about the place or the food. And, she got our undivided attention for the night!  Becca always picks Fujian.  It's her favorite place and they know her well.
What a fun birthday week.  Happy birthday, Beautiful Becca!
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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A Night in Tuscany

Last Spring, our ward had an auction to raise money for youth projects.  We donated a "Night in Tuscany for 10" 5-course meal.  After coming up with a date that everyone could do, we finally had the dinner party in August.  We made a lot of things that we learned on our trip to Italy with Chef Mario.
20 Agosto 2011
                        Antipasto:  Arancini di riso

        Insalata:  Insalata di gamberi al limone con parmigiano

      Primo piatto:  Fettuccine all’amatriciana

    Secondo piatt:  Saltimbocca alla romana con patate al aglio

Torta di nocciole e cioccolato con gelati di cocco e nocciola
Ananas carmellato e fragole con gelati di fragola e banana
Bibite italiane
Arrancia rossa
Frutto di passione
Melagrana di mora

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My Beautiful Daughter, Alaina.

September 2011
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