He turned 8

1.17.2013

Yep, I know he turned 8 almost a week ago.  I'm a bit behind in blogging his birthday, but I do hope you'll hang in there with me.  We've taken Caleb to see the Mouse every year on his birthday since he came home from China,  except the first one because he was home just two months.  Why?  Who wouldn't want to spend their birthday with the Mouse?  And who wouldn't want to do that when it's almost 80 degrees in January with no crowds?  It's a no-brainer for us.  This year's celebration was the hottest one on record though.  It's usually in the 50s-60s.  Yep, short sleeves and shorts were in order.

This birthday boy loved looking at the map and finding our location.
We started off in Tomorrowland, as we always do... People Mover, Carousel of Progress, Raceway, Buzz...and ice cream.
We managed to finally make it out of  Tomorrowland and hit up the New Fantasyland.  We rode the Barnstormer.  Madeline still likes it more than Caleb.  He tolerates it; she can't wait to go again.  We also enjoyed Dumbo and Winnie-the-Pooh.
We used Fast Passes whenever possible, as if waiting 20 minutes in line for stand-by was too long.  We're spoiled.  We know.  We headed over to Adventureland for Pirates of the Caribbean.  However, when we finally got there, it was closed.  We were bummed.
So we finally said good night to the Magic Kingdom and made our way over to Epcot.
 The kids loved ride Spaceship Earth.  I mean, who wouldn't?  It's so beautiful.  We had dinner reservations in Japan.  It was delicious!  Before we headed back around to the other side of the World Showcase, I thought I'd snap a shot of Spaceship Earth.
 I'm kicking myself that I didn't have my tripod with me. Thankfully, I could prop my camera up on a post to steady it some.  But I only slowed my shutter down to 1/25 sec because I didn't want to risk any blur from pressing the shutter (I didn't have my remote trigger either.  Grr..)  Anyway, now I know better for next time.

The dumplings also really enjoyed the Nemo ride and looking at all the sea animals in the tanks by the ride.  They spent a lot of time there.
We wanted to stay for Illuminations to watch the laser show and fireworks.  The dumplings were exhausted though.  So we only stayed for a little bit.
So all of that adventure took place the day before his actual birthday.  On the actual day, we took him roller skating with his sister, cousin, and a few friends.  I didn't snap any photos prior to skating or during because I was busy at the last minute working on his cake.

Now, I'm not an expert baker.  But I was determined to put a stop to the homemade appearing cakes that were coming out of my kitchen.  So I purchased a few tools and read a lot of recipes and tips online.

I made a vanilla cake with vanilla swiss meringue buttercream frosting because vanilla is what the birthday boy eats.  Not chocolate.  The verdict?  The cake was light and fluffy because I used a reverse creaming process.  I also made my own baking strips so the cakes didn't burn on the tops/sides or dome.  They baked evenly and without burning.  Score!  The buttercream frosting could've had a touch more vanilla, but I loved how light and non-sweet it was.  (I'm definitely making more and using different flavors!)  Since I added the dot border after skating and just before we ate it, I had no time to actually pipe the red baseball stitching that I wanted to do for the baseball loving birthday boy.  Instead I lined up the 8 candles with 4 on each side to mimic the stitching and called it done. lol  Also, since that handsome revolving cake stand you see didn't arrive until after I had smoothed the top and sides, I had too much frosting still on the cake.  Oh well.  Now I know better.

 Caleb scored a bunch of Legos to add to his collection.  He couldn't have been happier.  We are so thankful for all these years we've seen him grow.  He's becoming such a big boy.  He's so caring and compassionate, smart, athletic, and he loves the Lord. We are so blessed to be his parents.  Really.  Our God amazes us.  And in just two short months, we'll be celebrating another special birthday, which the birthday girl regularly reminds us of.  So now I have 2 months of cake making and eating to get ready for it!

5 sweet words:

Deb Thursday, January 17, 2013  

You did a fabulous job on your cake girl. And let me tell you how much I can't wait to eat Madeline's cake. Your day in Mouseland looks like it was picture perfect. Hugs to you!!!

Lauren Friday, January 18, 2013  

Looks like a wonderful birthday celebration! We're neighbors, apparently. We live close to Disney, too. Your photos and your family are beautiful!

lisacng @ expandng.com Friday, January 18, 2013  

Happy birthday to Caleb! So nice you have this tradition of going to Disneyland (and such nice weather, and no crowds, woot!). Great photos of the family together and love the night time shot of Epcot Center! I think you did marvelous on the cake. Round of applause!!!!!!

Grandma (Bammy) Saturday, January 19, 2013  

Happy Birthday Caleb!!!! You are such a wonderful boy, brother, son and grandson!!!!! How lucky those who know you are!!!
I miss and love very much.
Love
Bammy

sarah scott Sunday, February 03, 2013  

Gorgeous! Maren JUST asked last night to go to Disney World for the first time - to be honest, I'm not quite sure how she even heard of it! - and I have been terrified of this question. We used to go every summer as kids and the heat, crowds and all that just...yikes! But your photos make it look so lovely and wonderful that maybe I'll give it a shot!

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About This Blog

This blog is a place where we have shared our lives with family and friends while we waited to bring our daughter, Madeline, home from China and while we actually traveled to China for her. It is also a place where we will continue to share our life experiences, as we try to glorify God and raise our two precious dumplings from China.

And now we wait to bring Havi home from China.

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