The Kate is Eight

We’ve had a surfeit of childhood landmarks for our Katie-boo these last few weeks.

Her birthday was on MLK day this year, so we spent the day doing something Katie enjoys — in this case, St. Edmund’s State Park


First, she turned eight years old!

Katie requested a “spa party” for her birthday, and her friends were totally into it.

The girls enjoyed fruit smoothies, and then some yoga:

Cobra pose!


The best part was doing a group pedicure session in the kitchen. Thanks to my overflowing supply of beauty products, there was plenty of foot scrub, body lotion, and nail polish for the girls to try.

Mad props to Eleanor and William for doing so much nail-painting

This was stinkin’ hilarious. All the kids made a big deal of acting “grownup” and wanting to get toenails “just like mommy.” When I asked if they would like a magazine to read, they were thrilled.


Cake commentary: I was planning to make the standard layered “doll” cake like I’ve done the last few years, but we had a Butter Incident.

I had set a pound of butter sticks on the counter to soften, and Brian decided to help speed up the process, so he set them on a plate and then put them in the still-warm-from-breakfast oven.

And promptly forgot all about them.

I returned home from running birthday-related errands to find — you guessed it — all of my butter melted onto the bottom of the oven. Pretty epic.

Ergo, I switched to our old family standby, a Brownie Cake with fudge frosting. And to tell the truth, while I was annoyed so much butter was wasted, I found the whole situation funny, and in truth was glad that I had an excuse not to bake the “doll cake,” because it’s kind of a pain to make.

All in all, a rather satisfactory birthday, if I do say so myself.

My MIL sent this wonderful headband craft kit. Katie loves it!

The second big milestone for Katie came later. We had a grandparent visit to celebrate her baptism!

It was loads of fun having Grandma & Grandpa here. Especially for me — because my parents are experiencing some mobility problems, they said that instead of touring Seattle, they’d rather just hang around talking and going out to lunch every day.

Which is exactly my kind of vacation. (My pants are kind of snug now.)

We all got to go to William’s band festival on the day of their arrival!
Finally had a reason to visit Salt & Straw Ice Cream. Nummm.

On Thursday evening, we all took William to the temple for the first time to do baptisms for the dead (with names supplied by our other Grandma, who is a missionary in NC right now).


Then on Friday evening, we had Katie’s baptism. It was a very sweet, happy ceremony. Grandma heroically spent three hours in an epic fight with MS Word to get the paper programs made, and then she still had energy to give a talk.


Brian and Eleanor sang a tenor/alto duet of “I’m Trying to Be Like Jesus,” with me on the piano. It’s my favorite Primary song, so I lobbied hard in its favor. Eleanor has developed a clear, beautiful voice from all her choral training. Love it.


After the baptism, I gave a talk about the Holy Ghost, which I was kind of nervous about. I’ve avoided giving talks at all my other children’s baptisms, but with this last, youngest child, I figured it was time to buck up and contribute. I spoke about the time when Jeff was two and hospitalized with periorbital cellulitis, and I was eight months pregnant with Eleanor, and how the text to “Our Savior’s Love” comforted me, especially the verse about the Holy Ghost.

I can’t believe that all four kids have passed this milestone. Katie was so happy that she keeps asking if she can get baptized “again and again.”

For the last day with grandparents in town, the guys all went to the Living Computers Museum (we have a membership now thanks to this, which I’m kinda jazzed about) while the girls all went to a matinee of Pacific Northwest Ballet’s production of “The Sleeping Beauty.”


It was a gorgeous production with great dancing, but the audience! I’ve never seen so much bad behavior in a single performance. People were talking, coughing loudly, scrolling on their phones, and one lady even took out a DLSR camera and took photographs of the last act!

Meanwhile, I have a message for my fellow parents: if your child can’t even get through the first act of a production without hauling out a full-fledged bucket of toys to play with, they. Are. Too. Young. For. The. Ballet.

Also: please, please, please, stop them from kicking seats. This isn’t an airplane, you can take them outside for wiggle time.

I won’t even mention the people who stood up to race everyone to the parking garage when the last act still had 5 minutes to go.

Yes, I now realize I’ve spent 25% of this “Katie’s birthday” blog entry complaining about strangers. Such is my lot in life as a curmudgeon.

ANWAY. Katie cried herself to sleep last night because she was so sad that her grandparents were flying home the next day. Poor little one.

Fortunately, we had a lovely snowfall to distract her the next day (today).

The flakes first appeared on the drive home from church.
Close-up of flakes in Katie’s hair
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Brian stepped outside “just to take a walk” but suddenly found himself making a snow-penguin family with William
Our poor beautiful doomed rose garden
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In other news, Katie was pretending this box was a television, and used her karaoke mic to do “weather broadcasts”

It’s been such a warm, dry January that I didn’t think we were going to get any snow this year — and now we’ve got enough for a two-hour delay at school tomorrow.

The kids are hoping school gets cancelled altogether. I’m crossing my fingers along with ’em.

Sweet dreams!

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