He turned 8
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 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!