Blast Off to Seven

High Five turned seven years old today and what better way to celebrate then with an outer space themed party. Since he was a toddler High Five has been fascinated by stars, planets, and the general unknown of our universe. He always has a book on outer space checked out from the library and he has a special love for Pluto.

After starting the day out with homemade planet pancakes and a space movie we headed to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry to take advantage of their wonderful planetarium. High Five chose tickets for the show Perfect Little Planet, which he first saw when he was two and is a family favorite.

Following the planetarium show we headed over to the OMSI Motion Simulator to try out the simulated ride experience Space Chase. The simulator is akin to a ride that you would experience at Disney and had us feeling like we were flying through outer space. It was twisty and turny and the perfect fun for a seven year old would be space explorer.

Before heading home for homemade Pluto pizza and astronaut ice cream cake we stopped by the museum gift shop to pick the birthday boy out his gift. He wisely chose a Lego 3-in-1 Space Shuttle creator set. All in all it was a truly amazing, out of this world birthday!


The Best Present

She is definitely the best Christmas present that her father and I could have ever received and she turned 7 yesterday!!! However, every year we set aside the day after Christmas to celebrate her birthday and give her a truly special day just like we do with her brothers. The whole family agrees that Five of Hearts having a Christmas birthday is a great thing because instead of feeling a little sad that Christmas is over we all get to look forward to a really great birthday party the next day.


This year Five of Hearts decided to celebrate with a surfing themed birthday party. However, she didn’t want to go to the beach (have we been going to the beach too often lately?). Instead she wanted to stay close to home and hang out with her brothers in the backyard. While we didn’t do any swimming, we did listen to a lot of surf music and practice some surfing moves thanks to YouTube instructional videos. After eating a very large lunch of her favorite “make your own tacos” we all enjoyed sitting on the patio and reading through her presents, including a girls guide to surfing. Which will hopefully get us ready for a trip to a surf school for real lessons later this winter.


Fives of Hearts cake is always an interesting affair and this year it was no different. As the last of our closely packed birthdays we are always looking for something a bit different to end off our season of “cake eating”. This year’s creation, a beach themed ice cream cake, just barely made it to the table as the warm temperatures and not-so-cold freezer quickly melted the end result. Fortunately the LEGO minifigures were spared from sinking into a sugary quicksand and no one had any objections to eating their pieces quickly before further melting could occur.


All in all it was a very lovely day. While we still can’t quite get used to the fact that Five of Hearts is 7, we are so proud of every single second of her past seven years. From the newborn who came out alert and ready to explore the world, to our little girl who is constantly challenging herself. In just this year alone she submitted a top entry in a children’s film fest, mastered reading, and led us all up many hiking trails. We can’t wait to watch where this amazing girl will go in the future!


Our Superhero


Five Ball turned 5 today! Once again this year he wanted a superhero themed birthday party, so we all pulled out our capes and spent the day saving the world from the forces of evil. Last year he was on a Super Why! kick but this year it was all about Thor. The god of thunder was even kind enough to drop off a mini version of his hammer (Mjölnir) for Five Ball to use throughout the day. It worked great for bouncing balloons high up into the air.


As with the theme Five Ball’s birthday food choices are pretty predictable. He requests the same sticky buns and chocolate cookie cake every year. What is so great is that he thinks about these foods fondly throughout the whole year and then on his birthday he is absolutely overjoyed to be eating them. The only drawback is that sugar is his personal kryptonite, and he has to use all his super strength not to let these delicious birthday foods crash him.


Fighting hard not to let the sugary frosting take him down.

While he only has a superhero party once a year Five Ball is our superhero every single day. He has a deep sense of justice and of taking care of his family and the environment. He is always watching out for our safety and on the look-out for trouble. He is also a super hugger and gives some of the nicest compliments we have ever heard. He is a super baseball player, a super builder, and of course a super reader! We are all so thankful that 5 years ago today this superhero came flying into our lives.

Super White Blood Cell.

This Boy!

High Five turned three yesterday!!! Sunday was a long day with driving to La Paz and moving into our new rental house, so we were a bit anxious as to how his big day would go. However, it ended up being a wonderful celebration and our new three year-old had a blast.


He requested orange chocolate chip muffins for breakfast and fried rice with tofu for dinner. Luckily our wonderful friend in Mulegé gifted us with a package of tofu just before we left, which made High Five very happy. For his dessert he wanted a chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream. I tried out this super yummy recipe for vegan chocolate cake and Five String made a superb batch of vegan vanilla ice cream with our Donvier Ice Cream Maker. Yes, with our limited space we travel with an ice cream maker. Even vegans have to have their ice cream, especially on a birthday. Needles to say after all that sugar we did a lot of dancing and jumping around after balloons!



Since the day he was born Five Ball has been our “Do it his own way” guy and he continues to amaze us all with his confidence and persistence (even on those occasions when we wish that he wasn’t quite so persistent). As the youngest he does a great job keeping up as we travel and explore the world (often while missing out on nap time). While the rest of us Fives might be shy and hang back a bit, High Five knows what he wants and he goes after it. You will never find this boy going along with something that he doesn’t like, or being stopped from achieving his goals. So, in celebration of his birthday we present Kermit the Frog (one of his favorite Muppets) who sums up High Five’s mantra very well…