Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sage's Birthday and Mesa Verde

For a while now, Sage has had her heart set on a chicken-themed birthday party, so as May rolled around, I found myself trying to figure out how to create a chicken birthday cake and a chicken piñata for her party. One of the sweetest and craftiest ladies in the ward volunteered to help me make invitations, so she popped over one morning and created the funniest rolling chicken cards. I still can’t get over them. Another friend owns the Baskin Robbins in town and invited me over to the store so she could help me with decorating the cake, which turned out pretty cool. We found pictures of chickens from coloring books, put a sheet of wax paper over them, and then traced them with buttercream frosting. Then you put the frosting pieces in the freezer. When the cake was frosted and ready, I just took out the frozen chickens, flipped them over onto the cake, and peeled off the wax paper. I think I had the most fun of all with that cake.
Bright and early on the morning of Sage’s party, I heard some rustling in her bedroom. When I finally got of bed, I came into the kitchen to find Sage ready for the big day, dressed in her homemade chicken shirt and a tiara on her head. While we were planting the garden a few days earlier, Sage had disappeared into the house. Come to find out, she was creating her own chicken shirt. If you look closely, you can tell she has glued or taped chickens onto the shirt out of macaroni noodles, googly eyes, pipe cleaners, anything she found on the craft shelves. She even wrote “chick” on the top of the shirt. Too bad the shirt was pretty thrashed by the end of the day. I’m glad she hasn’t asked anything about where it has disappeared to.
Sage’s party turned out to be really fun. The kids got into the chicken theme. It was hilarious to watch this row of 10 or so kids doing the chicken dance and shaking their tail feathers. We made chicken bags out of paper plates for the piñata loot and had a chicken egg hunt in the yard. Whenever anyone asked Sage what she wanted for her birthday, she would reply, “Two cotton balls glued together to look like a chicken.” Well, her request was taken seriously, and she received quite a few cotton ball chickens from friends at the party, as well as chicken cards, chicken stuffed animals, even a chicken-shaped sucker. Funny, I know, but I was actually really touched by the thoughtfulness and kindness of everybody. We’ve been blessed with really good friends here.

We spent Sage’s actual fifth birthday camping in Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado with Grandma and Grandpa. What a cool, new place to explore. The park is full of ancient cliff dwellings formed by the Anasazi and later inhabited by the Pueblo Indians. We saw all sorts of ruins and took a neat hike to some petroglyphs, where Jacob saved Keiger from stomping over a baby rattlesnake. Keiger insisted that some an old cliff dwelling was actually a sandbox and was not happy when we made him leave. Sage had a great birthday. There was one “stuffed animal chicken falling off a REALLY steep cliff and getting lost forever even though we warned her not to dangle it off the edge” incident, but I don’t think she’s ready to talk about that yet. And we did get poured on as we hiked out of one site, which was pretty funny. Both kids did great camping, and I had to go the bathroom all the time, but what’s new?
Justin and Maile’s family came for a visit from Arizona this weekend. I LOVE that the cousins have so much fun playing together, so it’s great for them to have time to visit. We drove up to an Alpaca farm in Mora, which actually turned out to be really fun. The kids got to feed the alpacas and watch them get sheared. They got to take home a little baggie of the fur, and Sage is convinced that I’m somehow going to make a blanket out of it. We also explored a new state park and let the kids fish for a bit, but no luck. We had a really good time with them visiting and are excited for the family reunion in just a couple of weeks.

P.S. I think we have a new little pet living with the chickens!