Saturday, May 4, 2013

Magical Number 8

Last weekend was Preston's birthday---he was turning 8! We are not big party people but Preston is kind of a romantic and had always dreamed of having a party with lots of friends, balloons, streamers, games etc etc. I promised him when he turned 8 he could have a party so this birthday was one that he has literally been counting down to for the last year. Since fall he had been planning things he wanted to do for his birthday and though his ideas would change from time to time, one thing was constant: Transformers! I had promised we would make a pinata and coming from my half Mexican background I knew how to make one. We mixed up the flour and water for the past and cut up strips of newspaper after blowing up the ultra large balloon we got. The boys were enthusiastic about the process---flour goop and paper--what fun! I was not as enthusiastic as I knew this was a messy several day process. On day two with the soggy paper not quite dried our balloon lost most of it's air and we had the choice to either start over (this was four days from the birthday--so wasn't really an option) or pull out my other Mexican gift of being innovative. SO we found a baby wipe cardboard box and painted it grey (we were making Megatron cause Preston wanted to beat up a bad guy from Transformers) then we used glitter paint, contruction paper, glue, duct tape and scotch tape to finish the look. Preston was thrilled and I was relieved to be able to deliver on my promise for a pinata.

Pinata Megatron---who wouldn't want to take a swing at an evil face like that?

 The day of the actual birthday arrived and with the house still a mess and guests (7 boys had been invited---5 were coming)set to arrive at 10AM I slept restlessly getting up at 5AM when I tossed and turned from about 3:30 on. So I got up and looked at my messy kitchen, the bags of streamers that Preston begged to have. I found some scotch tape (a miracle, as it is usually lost in Preston's toy box somewhere) and begin taping up streamers, frosting cupcakes and cleaning the kitchen all at once. It was rather disorderly and inefficient as I moved from one project to another frantically trying to get as much done before Dallin woke up.

Decorating done

Birthday birthday everywhere!
O. Prime Cupcakes--with a Bumblebee twist
Preston woke up at about 5:50AM (early for him, but not too bizarre. I realized I was out of soemthing and so decided to take preston for a special Mom and Preston only birthday breakfast while the rest of the family still slumbered. We went to Denny's where Preston ordered pancakes and rootbeer. He was dear to converse with about his birthday party and about being 8. I really enjoyed that we had that time in the morning like that. At last we were home and house was ready! The house was clean and even lunch stuff was prepped (we were making mini pizzas). I opted NOT to mop the floors as I knew that with 8 boys tromping in and out of the house--it would be pointless.The boys arrived and they were immediately running amok n the farm--trying to catch rabbits, eating the fruit (but now touching the veggies) I set out for snacks and playing loudly in every way they could think of. The parents looked at me with amused sympathy as they dropped off their boys saying: "Good luck!" I had scheduled the party for 4 hours (10am til 2pm) and I naively laughed and said--"Oh, it's gonna fly by!". It mostly did the first two hours....we got lunch successfully done with only minimal damage (Mom, someone spilled all the chips--Mom, Eli drank all the apple juice, Mom--Kenny never got his pizza! etc etc.) After lunch we got out the pinata. Preston and his friends manfully strung up the pinata on a plum tree, I found an old tie to use as a blindfold (which we eventually didn't use cause the pinata was so tough---we needed to beat it with full sight!). The boy's took turns swinging at it--clamoring and yelling out cheers as Megatron slowly lost his evil features to the beating the boys gleefully gave him. At long last the pinata came down and candy was everywhere! The boys scooped it into piles and exclaimed over the many dollar story trinkets that they found in their pile.


 I handed all the boys a grocery bag to hold their goodies and they distractedly with mouths full of lollipops and tootsie rolls climbed into the house to do a birthday (cup)cake and presents. At last all the main birthday events were over and I glanced at the clock exhausted and horrified to find we still  had over an hour left. I told the boys to go play--but some of the boys were too into their candy, others wanted to play inside with Preston's new toys and so I just relaxed---allowed the boys to play however they wanted as long as they were being safe and not hurting anything or anyone. When the first parent arrived I was thrilled to see them! The boys left one by one and the house mellowed out. Preston was wrapped up in the new Transformers items he had received as a gift but he came over to me as I was throwing away the last of the wrapping paper and gave me a huge hug. "Thanks Mom--that was an even better birthday party than I thought!".
Preston was also looking really forward to being baptized. We decided to have his baptismal date set for the a week after his birthday (yesterday). It was so special to prepare the program for his baptism. David is an amazing Dad when it comes to spritually preparing the kids to make sacred covenants. We really believe in the importance of our children understanind the 'why' behind all of the gospel principles we try to live by. We don't want our kids to get baptized simpky out of tradition (aka it's what you do when you turn eight when you are LDS...) but we wanted them to understand what kind of covenant they were making (first teaching what a covenant is). We wanted them to udnertand that baptism isn't just an event that makes you the center of attention for day, but actually a life long commitment to be follower of Jesus Christ, to try to live like Christ by keeping the commandments (discussing those in detail) and repenting (discussing why and how we repent etc) when we make mistakes and commit sins. We had SEVERAL family nights about these subjects in the last several months--sometimes tears and serious discussions ensued. It was really neat for Preston to decide after all of these discussions that he was excited to take on this responsibility of making the baptismal covenant. My Mom, Sister, brother and five nieces and nephews came from my side of the family. David's parents attended from his side of the family. I felt responsible to help get the little nieces and nephews ready for the baptism so actually from the stress of dealing with the little kids and Dallin, I never did get a picture of Preston in his baptismal clothes--I feel badly about that, but the baptism was so special. Here is what we had on the front of the program:

Preston and cousin Christian eating lunch a couple hours before the baptism.

The actual baptism went off without a hitch and it was a neat moment to see Preston come out dripping wet with David smiling and hugging him after. What a neat moment! Dallin was being rather difficult so I wasn't able to pay very close attention. but it was fantastic to see the solemn respectful and happy expression on Preston's face.

Carol, Preston's grandma gave a talk about baptism and really caught his attention by using the Transformers characters as a reminder that we can 'transform' into our best selves as we keep the covenants we make.
Eli sang as a special musical number. We were not sure if he would be able to go through with the solo he planned to sing, He can get rather shy and if anyone looks at him wrong or laughs, he often will flee a situation. We were nervous for him as he planned to sing acapella. We had been challenged by our leaders to learn and memorize all teh verses of Home Can Be a Heaven on Earth and Eli has proudly taken that Challenger to heart--pushing our family to complete the challenge. So, it was no surprise that that song was the one he chose to sing for Preston's baptism. He started off with some quivery notes focusing on his Dad but by the end he was singing strong and true, bravely looking into the faces of the small audience he had there. My heart was so full. Even with Dallin fussing in the background he never missed a note or a word. I spoke about the gift of the Holy Ghost and how the Holy Ghost had once warned me to save Preston when he had fallen out of a tree but his coat got hung up on a branch and was choking him and another time when I had miscarried a baby but was comforted by the spirit knowing that there was a special baby that was going to come to our family when the time was right (Preston was born less then a year after that). The spirit in the room was palpable inspite of the younger children fidgeting and baby's fussing. It was a really sweet day.

OUr own little farmhands---digging a ditch or something....who knows? I just get the VERY dirty clothes after.
Dallin enjoying the finer things in life aka a tiny ice cream cone exactly the right size!

1 comment:

  1. Oh Olivia this is absolutely precious! What a trooper to have such a party, and how precious to have such a grateful, sweet, son. How I love those boys!! Thank you so much for the overview of the baptism-as well as the months preparing for it. That motivates me to do similar with our kids. But man it makes me wish we were closer so we wouldn't have to miss these things! So again, thanks for sharing some of the sweet details with us. I so can't wait to see you all in...almost next month! Love love love you all!!!