On Valentine's Day, Gabe will celebrate his 9th birthday! It seems like the older he gets, the faster it flies by! I really can't believe that this child is turning into a young man-- and a great one at that. I can guarantee you won't find another kid his age that is as gentle and patient with their younger siblings as Gabe is- and although he is bossy from time to time and has a hard time sharing his stuff, there is not one single ounce of meanness in his whole body- and if you can get to his heart in any situation, you will walk away with damp eyes and a swell of pride, because inside that boy is gold! But because he will be with his mom on his actual day, we had to celebrate all weekend long. And much like myself, there is no such thing as too much birthday for Gabe-- we'd both like to argue with the Berenstain Bears on that :)
On Friday, while Gabe was at school, I began working on his cake for his party. Gabe wanted a Pokemon cake and I couldn't find a store that made one, so I decided to tackle cake-making. Now you can always count on me for a dessert, but I've never made a fancy cake, or decorated one, or any of that-- so this was going to be quite a task. I researched some, talked with my Mom, read the blogs sent my way by my friend Anna, searched out pictures, and with only a picture in my mind, began work on Friday morning... I got to the icing stage and had to stop.... because I had blown out my hand mixer over a year ago and have managed to not need one until now... but how can you make butter cream frosting without a mixer?
Cake blog #1
Even Chad go into this- he helped with the piping and compared spreading the icing to drywall.... seriously :) But we were all thrilled with the outcome- especially Gabe when he opened his box of Pokemon action figures from us and got to pick 2 for the top!
Once the cake was done, we all headed out to Gabe's birthday dinner on Friday night-- Gabe got to choose where he wanted to go and he picked Taco Bell. I'm not kidding. But I just couldn't do it, and asked for choice #2-- which was Bubba-que-- a family favorite. Even Uncle Eli joined us for this part of the celebration.
(The brothers at dinner- Chad was sitting to Gabe's right, so Gabe called this the timeline... as in you start like Jack and advance up through the ranks to Chad, cute!)
Saturday morning, we all woke up bright and early and ready to party... we started out with a breakfast for champions, Gabe's all-time favorite meal: homemade biscuits and gravy! This is in my top 10 as well, and Max is quite the biscuit eater himself, so we were all enjoyed this birthday breakfast!
Of course the morning had to include a little brothers photo shoot as they were all dressed in coordinating, but NOT matchy matchy outfits... some of the brothers cooperated better than others....
Then it was time to get ready for Gabe's birthday party at the skating rink. This is the second year in a row that Gabe wanted a skate party, and I think he might have even loved it more this year with his added confidence. He's a pretty good skater and several of his classmates, friends, and cousins came-- it was really fun. We bought Lightening McQueen skates for Max- the kind that fit over your shoe- and rented this new-fangle thing that is made of pvc pipe and roller blade wheels that keeps you from falling- but within minutes that little knuckle head decided that running on the rink while pushing the thing was way more fun. He played like this the entire time!
Chad skated around while pushing Jack in the stroller most of the time- Jack loved the ride and the lights and being in the actions-- this was a big day for him!
And Gabe was way too fast for me to catch him in action so you'll just have to enjoy this blurry shot :)
Gabe's mom was the party planner and had pizza for everyone after an hour or so of skating
And then it was time for cake-- I just have to include this story because in 20+ years, we'll all be laughing... while we were all singing to Gabe- picture candles lit, all attention on the Birthday boy, he starts to lose his balance and then as we all watch on in amazement, his skates fly out from under him, and he lands, SPLAT on his back under the table, and then springs back up, just in time for the big finale and huffs out his candles in one breath. Luckily, Gabe's stepdad, Shawn, got it all on video, because it happened so fast, that we didn't get to properly enjoy it the first time. Gabe went right on like nothing happened :)
Then, after everyone had finished their cake and Gabe had finished with presents and the whole crew headed out to the skate floor, I look over to see this....
Max wasn't about to let a morsel of cake go uneaten! This boy has standards.
Happy 9th Birthday Gabriel Todd Bowman- we love you and we're so proud of you. You are a blessing and we can't wait to see what God has for you this next year-- it will be great!