a good birthday

Today was Eli’s 9th birthday.  It was a good day.

We started the day with a Christensen family tradition where the birthday boy (or girl) chooses any kind of cold cereal they want for breakfast (we went shopping with Eli earlier in the week and got “Krave” and “Lucky Charms”).

After breakfast he opened cards and presents.  Sharon was really sweet, having made him a DSC05012nice card and purchased him (with her own money) a small plastic archery set.  They played with the toys for an hour or so while Clairie slept and we cleaned.  At 10:00 we loaded up the car and drove to MN.  We started with lunch at IKEA and then went to the mall.

IMAG0275We spent the next several hours at Mall of America in Bloomington, MN.  This is Eli’s first birthday in 5+ years where he opted NOT to have a friend party but chose instead to do a family activity.  Sadly, I’m afraid part of that decision is that he hasn’t made a lot of close friends yet here in Wisconsin.  Whatever the case he was excited to spend a day at MOA.  We first went to Nickelodeon Universe (an indoor amusement park) and spend several hours going on rides.  We got a punch pass because the all-day wristbands are quite expensive and our kids don’t last that long anyways.  However, after we had gone on just one ride a stranger approached me and Eli (waiting to go on a crazy roller coaster) and asked if we’d like two wristbands he had received for free but didn’t need.  With those bands the kids were able to go on several more rides and we saved our punch pass for another time.  We had a great time and Clairie was even able to fall asleep in the stroller so we could spend even more time there.

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Mid-afternoon we left the park and headed over to the Sea Life aquarium. We have year passes there so we cruised through but still enjoyed seeing the sharks and other sea creatures and there were very few people there which made it doubly nice.  We headed out and on the way home stopped by Target to see if Eli had anything he wanted to buy with all his birthday money (there wasn’t).  We also stopped by a firework stand and got some great parachuters and rockets.  We then picked up some pizza and went home to eat while we watched Eli’s favorite television show (Psych).

DSC05018After dinner we did cake and were preparing to do fireworks when we had an unexpected but welcome visit from a neighbor down the street.  She brought us “Mittens” (I maintain that the name is still TBD), a cat that was abandoned by another neighbor several weeks ago.  The kids have been working on me (with Natalie’s help) and on Sunday after much deliberation I relented and said we could take in the cat.  We scoured the neighborhood for the next two days but couldn’t find him.  We hadn’t given up, but did accept that he might never show up.  Instead he arrived on Eli’s birthday and the kids went nuts.  DSC05021I’ll admit that even though I’m not a big cat fan “Mitt” has grown on me.  After I got all the kids to bed (Natalie was at a school meeting) and got things cleaned up I sat down to relax for the remainder of the evening.  Mitt had been following me around all evening and as soon as I sat down he hopped up on my lap and within 10 minutes was asleep next to me. I guess it’s his birthday too.  All in all it was a good birthday.

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