Friday, November 2, 2012

Belated birthdays, Halloween and more

An ice cream cake marks our October celebration of grandson Nate’s August birthday.

Birthdays, Halloween and glimpses of youngsters’ lives filled a weekend visit with Georgia kids and grandkids.

Friday, Oct. 26. Day One—We walked to the school bus stop with daughter-in-law Sarah to meet granddaughter Charlie returning from her day at kindergarten, or is it first grade? How quickly those milestones pass these days! Later I rode with daughter-in-law Sarah to pick up grands Luke and Nate from their elementary school where they had stayed for after-school karate lessons.

Back at the Skupien homestead, Baboo put into action his plan for
a casual, impromptu, abbreviated and belated birthday celebration. The belated birthday was his solution for overcoming a number of factors that limit our opportunities to celebrate birthdays with our kids and grands in person.

Part of the event is that Hubby, aka Baboo, takes the birthday grand to a grocery, usually Walmart, for the birthday honoree to choose a birthday cake and ice cream.

We light a candle, sing happy birthday, cut the cake and dish out ice cream. Nate chose a cookies-and-cream ice cream cake. In July we celebrated oldest grandson Luke’s June birthday with his choice of a pizza-sized birthday cookie. Both were tasty choices.

We had missed Sarah’s September birthday so Baboo brought her a tiny square of red velvet cake. We laughed and teased and ate until all of the ice cream cake disappeared. Sarah and I demolished the red velvet cake the next day.

Saturday, Oct. 27. Day 2.
Sisters ham it up after a morning of ballet classes.

Halloween was on everyone’s mind, and Baboo was eager to introduce the Georgia tribe to the Six Flags amusement park’s annual October Fright Fest. I think the Fab Four’s first experience was fun, even though our visit was the event’s final weekend before Halloween and the park was packed.

The siblings, from the left, Charlie, Stella, Nate and Luke, kept themselves entertained while waiting in long lines for rides.

Stella, sporting Halloween “blood” on her face, seems lost in her own world of movement and fantasy.

Ballooning at Six Flags Over Georgia

Our son Walt videos his youngsters’ thrills and squeals.

This Fright Fest apparition visits the Monster Mansion queue.

Ack! Too close!

Sunday, Oct. 28. Day 3—Walt left at 5 a.m. to join Georgia Power work crews. The crews were preparing for a trip to a yet-to-be determined East Coast destination to restore power once Sandy moved out of the area.

The evaluations of Luke and Nate’s sprinting, passing, ball catching and flag capturing skills later in the day was a first for me. The adults shepherding the flag football program would use the evaluations to make sure that all teams have a balance of skilled and not-as-skilled players.

The Arctic front had arrived, and I spent the evaluation sessions cozy inside the family vehicle with the grandgirls, immersed in their homemade knock knock jokes and made-up Halloween tales.

Late afternoon church service, dinner and ghosting of neighbors closed our day. Ghosting was another first for me.

(Halloween Ghost by Shari Weinsheimer)
In the darkened neighborhood, each of our grands, accompanied by a sibling, followed the ghosting routine of hopping out of the vehicle at a selected neighbor’s residence, darting up the driveway, depositing at the front door a “ghost” stapled to a small bag of candy, ringing the doorbell, running back down the driveway and climbing back into the minivan, the official “getaway car.”

Any idea of avoiding detection was probably a false hope with the raucous laughter coming from the getaway car. And I wasn’t the only noisemaker succumbing to hilarity at the mad scramble.

Monday morning it was back to the school bus stop with the three oldest. As our DIL and the youngest prepared to leave for Stella’s preschool, Baboo loaded our van. Then we headed for home, tired but taking good memories with us.


  1. phew, i am exhausted, i had forgotten how much fun kids are. good for baboo, he did a great job.

  2. It sounds like it was a great trip.

  3. Those grands sure know how to pick out great cakes!!!

  4. A fun time was had by all. I love the balloon ride and the monster is too scary.

    Kids are growing up. Soon some will be teenagers. Dianne

  5. How fun...exhausting...but fun.
    Keeping up with the Grands is such a special time. I'm so glad you could do that.
    Making memories for and with the family is the best.

  6. Oh, I meant to tell you that I just heard that a Black Bear Diner is going to open about 5 miles from our house. They are remodeling a closed Applebee's. It is suppose to open in December.
    Now you really do have to come visit! Dinner at the Diner would be so much fun.

  7. Looks like all had a great time. I'm a strong supporter of birthday celebrations -- or other hoidays -- whenever all can be together, even if it isn't on the actual birth date.