Friday, February 24, 2012

Kestrel's 5th Birthday

Thanks to farm chores, we take our trips separately. Last week it was Johnny's turn to go south and help grandson Kestrel celebrate his 5th birthday. We bought Johnny a pocket-sized camera so he could take pictures for me while he was there. He rode the Amtrak down and back a week later. I missed him, but enjoyed his morning calls, telling me all about the goings on of the previous day.

Kestrel's Auntie Fudge joined the party over the weekend and delivered a huge birthday cake in the shape of Totoro, one of Kestrel's favorite movie characters (from "My Neighbor Totoro"). No one but Johnny would eat the frosting which Steve said looked like plastic. But the cake was a big hit with Kestrel anyway.

As well as partying, Johnny had a great time doing "projects" for the kids and grandkids, including remodeling the back yard play structure so Kestrel and Cedrus could reach the monkey bars and use the rope ladder and fireman's pole and rings. The heights are now adjustable so the bars can be raised when the kids get taller.

One day they all went ice skating (indoors, of course). Cedrus opted for riding his tricycle outside with his mom, instead, but Kestrel loved his second time on skates. (His first was just a week before.) Johnny used to be a very good skater and Steve is pretty awesome on in-line skates, so they had a good time, too. (Johnny said he only fell down once.)

After Kestrel tired, he went outside to join Cedrus, while Johnny and Steve continued to skate. (Auntie Fudge took the skating and trike riding photos with Johnny's camera. Thank you, Fudge!)

Johnny loved his birthday trip, especially working on projects with and for the kids (his favorite thing to do). Besides play structure remodeling, the projects included rewiring lights, installing a door, and cutting a board for a train set. The kids and grandkids were sad to see him leave. But I'm glad he's home! And grateful for the photos that give me a little window on his week.

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