Thursday, June 19, 2008

Sakura's 4th Birthday and Father's Day

This last weekend was a very busy weekend for us. I don't remember this happening before but Sakura's birthday (the 14th) and Father's Day were on the same weekend. It kind of felt like Misaki's birthday which is the same day as Valentine's Day. It's hard to celebrate both so VD kind of takes a backseat but Father's Day is very important and we cannot forget to say how much we appreciate our Daddys so we did our best to fit them both in.

Chikara had to stay overnight at the church on Saturday night for a special youth band practice. Usually when we go to drop him off we just grab something to eat at McDonald's but since it was Sakura's birthday and the girls wouldn't see Chikara in the morning, I decided that we should go to sushi instead. We were planning a family birthday party for Sakura on Sunday night but I wanted to give her at least one present on her actual birthday. When we had finished our dinner, I gave Sakura her present to open. For months she has been asking for a pink dress for summer and I found some cute, inexpensive summer dresses for her. Not because I'm cheap but I know that she'll want to wear them outside to play with her friends and they'll get all dirty and I want to be OK with that! She was soooooo excited, as you can see.

I love it when the present we bought turns out to be exactly what they wanted. I told her that she could pick one of her dresses to wear to church the next day, which made her even more excited. A funny note here, there are actually 4 other summer dresses in the closet in her size but NONE of them were pink. Now she literally has a dress for every day of the week!

After Sakura had finished opening her present, Chikara thought that we were ready to go but the girls and I surprised him by giving him his Father's Day gift, too. Basically there was absolutely no time on Sunday to do anything special for him so this was a nice substitute. During the week the girls had made cards for him and then I got him a docking speaker thingy for his iPod (which he loves by the way). He was so surprised by all of it. He knew Father's Day was going to be busy so I think he was expecting nothing. Ha, ha! He should remember that girls are sneaky!

Doesn't he look so proud? After that we took him to the church and hung out for a bit and then the girls and I went home and I put them to bed. My goal for the evening was to tidy up the house, make cupcakes and wrap the rest of Sakura's presents for the next day but I actually only baked the cupcakes and finished watching the first season of 30 Rock that my mom had brought for me when she came in February. I've been saving it for a time when there wasn't anything on TV and Chikara wasn't around (so I can concentrate) and this was perfect. I stayed up way too late but it was a lot of fun. Also, usually I bake a chocolate cake for all the birthdays in our family but I wanted to do something in keeping with our "pink" theme so I made cupcakes from the "Confetti Cake" mix from Betty Crocker and I ordered Strawberry Mist frosting from Expat Express. I thought it would turn it out too sweet or maybe taste really gross but they were awesome. Even Chikara liked them. I might have to try that again sometime!

On Sunday morning I got all the girls up, got ready and went to church. After the service, three of my friends and I went out for lunch together to celebrate two of their birthdays. I haven't been out with friends like that for quite a long time. One of the birthday girls is having her second baby next week so it was perfect timing. We had the waitress take a picture and I am motivated once again to exercise! Now that the weather has heated up, I was wearing a sleeveless top and the sight wasn't very pretty. Yikes! Anyways, all of our husbands watched all of our kids at church during the 3 hours that we were gone (8 kids among 4 husbands) so we really relaxed and just enjoyed the fellowship time. We'll be doing that again very soon!

Once we got back to church, it was time to go home and get ready for Sakura's birthday party! Chikara tidied up the house (thank you sweetie) while I finished wrapping Sakura's presents and iced the cupcakes. We went out to eat dinner with Chikara's parents and then we all came back to our house for cake and presents. Sakura got lots of wonderful girlie pink things including her own high-heel sandals (well a 1/2 inch heel). She ooh'd and aah'd over every gift and actually she's exclaimed over and over since then about how happy she is about all of her gifts. Such a little girlie-girl!

Personally I was most excited about this present for Sakura. I'm always looking for things that I can buy for the girls that can become keepsakes, maybe something they can pass onto their own girls one day. I found this book through Dooce and when I read more about it on Amazon, I knew it was exactly what I was looking for. The day we got it in the mail, I sat down and read it to Chikara. About halfway through I stopped because maybe he thought it was silly but he was enjoying it, too. The writing is so creative and a little on the sarcastic side (which the Canadian part of me loves). For example, near the end of the book there's a line where the Prince asks the Princess to marry him and the next sentence is, "And that's the thing about Princes, they always know all the right questions to ask". Writing like that makes me look forward to storytime, too.

It had been a long, wonderful day and everyone was excited to get into bed. Chikara and I, of course, stayed up and watched the end of the Indiana Jones movie on TV. They're showing all three Indiana Jones movies on TV as part of the publicity for the fourth movie which comes out on Saturday. I am desperately trying to figure out how to get some babysitting so Chikara and I can go and see it together.

Two final pictures to end with. Now that Natsuki has figured out how cameras work (first you take the picture, *then* you can see it on the screen), picture-taking has become a near painless experience.

Also, two Dads and the birthday girl.

I should say here that in all of the busyness of the day I didn't get to call my dad. I just felt so awful because I love my Daddy so much but when I called him the next day, he was sweet and told me that he only cried a little bit. I'll see you soon, Daddy.


Gina said...

Happy 4th birthday Sakura!!! : ) And I loved that book you got for her Sarah!!! I think you're right....a total keepsake right there!!! : )

PS, Sarah!!!! Your hair is getting *so* long! Ha ha ha. : )

PSS, Happy Father's day to Chikara! : )

Anonymous said...

I love the photos! Your husband looks so sweet with the cards the girls made him! Great to hear about Sakura's presents and the thought that went into choosing them :) She's a lucky girl to have such a kind and loving mother like you :) Katie

Mom said...

Good job Sarah! It is the mothers who hand down culture to the next generation. Your girls now know that birthdays are a special time of recognition and the people having them deserve extra thought and consideration. They also know about keepsakes and the importance of holding on to memories that build a sense of self and a sense of family. And they know that daddies are important, and deserve to be told that, and also deserve to have made for them the most adorable greeting cards in the entire universe!
Thanks so much for all the pictures - it's just like being there! By the way, in the picture of the four girls, I recognize Emi, Misaki and Sakura, but who is that great big girl second from the left???????
well done, Sarah - love Mom

Anonymous said...

Hello Sarah.
I am Flor from south america (so my english in not very very good) I was seeing your blog and for me it is a great pleasure met people like you. You have a nice family and the girls are so cute!! I really admire you living so far from your country, in such different culture and educating your 4 doughters in a great way.
So here are my congratulations!!