Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Ben's 6th Birthday Celebration

Two of my favorite days of the year are my boy's birthdays.  I love planning them and doing all I can to make them special.  It is a lot of fun for me and it brings me great joy.  It is also two of the days that I miss home the most.  I wish my boys could be with family on their birthdays.  I would love for them to have those memories to enjoy, but they can't. Instead I work hard to make sure their days are fun filled.  We are just wrapping up a few full days of celebrating our sweet little Ben.  He turned six on Monday.  Here is how we celebrated him this year.

On Friday night Ben helped me bake his birthday cake.  He wanted a Star Wars themed birthday and at the last minute asked for a Yoda cake.  I love to bake cakes but I am not good at decorating them.  My boys stretch me every year with their cake requests and then try to assure me that "you can do it mama!".  They have a lot more faith in me than I do, ha.  I searched the internet and found a somewhat simple idea and that is what we went with. Anyway, here is Ben licking the beater.  That is a childhood memory we all have.

On Saturday morning we headed out early for the City of Esquipulas.  We had plans to spend the day at Parque Chatun.  It was our third time to visit there and we always have a great time.  Our main purpose in going was to do the zipline.  We also took a picnic lunch and spent the day swimming in the pools.  We had a blast!  Here are David and the boys crossing the swinging bridge to get into the park.

The first thing we did was zipline.  It was supposed to be 97 degrees that day so we wanted to do this first before it got too hot.  Ben was very excited.  It was his second time to do a zipline. Both times have been at this same park.

It was Cruz's fourth time to zipline.  I think he is hooked.

our family ready to zipline for Ben's birthday

To get to the first station you have a short hike and then many, many steps to climb to reach the top.  I had forgotten just how hard that part was. 

Ben caught a ride for some of the hike. (wish I could have)

up, up, up

finally at the top and resting

me and Ben

Ben rode with David

Cruz went with one of the guides

 David and Ben

Afterwards it was time to cool off in the water.   There are two pools there and both have small water slides.  This is my favorite picture from the whole day.

the boys going down the slide together

 Enjoying an afternoon coffee & cappuccino break while the boys swam

They went back and forth all day between the pools and the playground.  

they loved this rope swing

We stayed until late afternoon and then drove back home.  As soon as we returned I got busy putting out some decorations and putting icing on the cake.  That evening their neighbor friend came over to eat pizza and birthday cake with us.

Ben walking in to see his decorations.

Ben with his Yoda birthday cake.  Look at that smile.  He loved it!

Cruz, Ben, and Mateo

listening to us sing to him

blowing out his candle

he loved his new 3D Monster Truck book that his brother picked out for him  

I decorated his bedroom door on his birthday eve after he had gone to sleep.

Our kitchen ready for him on his birthday morning.

 and then he was six!

His birthday breakfast included this Yoda shaped grape platter and pancakes.

breakfast on his birthday morning 

We had a normal school day and then afterwards went out for a late birthday lunch at McDonald's.  They got to play at the mall food court playland and also spent some time at the arcade.

Ready to enjoy a virtual reality ride at the mall.  We took a "Trip Around the World" and enjoyed a few sights like the Christ statue in Brazil, the Great Wall of China, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the Statue of Liberty.  It was fun.

The not so fun part was when the ride shot air out at our feet.  We all screamed and then Cruz and I rode with our feet up the rest of the time. 

 a video of us on the ride

Ben loves this game where you try to grab candy.  He is pretty good at it.  He ended up with five pieces.

We returned home tired and spent the rest of the day relaxing.  Ben chose chili dogs for his birthday supper and then we spent some time walking and riding bikes around the neighborhood before calling it a night.

 A family photo to remember Ben's birthday.

We had a lot of fun and made a lot of memories.  It is still hard to believe that my "baby" is six years old.  It seems just like yesterday he was joining our family.  We have celebrated him well over the years and look forward to many more years of doing life with him. 

His birthdays over the years.  He is growing up fast.

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