Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Riley's Birthdays

Psalm 37:37
Consider the blameless, observe the upright; 

there is a future for the man of peace.

This year Riley managed to get two days of birthday celebration. That's good because he turned 60 and that needs to be a big deal. For days I tried to figure out how to have a birthday celebration on his birthday proper, which was a Tuesday, but I never came up with a solution for that dilemma. I finally came up with the idea of just the two of us going out to dinner at whatever restaurant Riley chose. He thought that was a great idea, and after a few days of thinking about what restaurant he'd like to go to he realized that he really didn't want to go to any restaurant where anyone is wearing a suit. That pretty much excluded almost all steakhouses except the mediocre ones. He selected Ken's Artisan Pizza - an excellent choice in my opinion. We always have a good time there.

Riley took his birthday and the day before off, so that gave him a four day weekend. He took time to work on straightening up the third floor. Now I could put pictures of the mess on my web, but that would be embarrassing. It will be better if I put it on after it's all cleaned up, should that happen. Riley loves accomplishing things, so that made for a very good birthday weekend for him. He really did make progress. Of course everyone keeps telling me that I must throw more things out. Now that is true, but I have to take this task on slowly. You have to think about it.

Emily was with us on his birthday, so the three of us went out to breakfast at Fat City Cafe, a cafe in Multnomah village that is very funky and has been there at least since the fifties. The walls are completely covered with old license plates and road signs and there's booths and tables and a counter and it isn't that big of a place. Emily and I had hash-browns and a fried egg and a grapefruit half, and Riley had a ham and cheese omelet with toast. And of course we had the coffee, which isn't that good, but it's part of the experience. If I were to change anything at Fat City it would be to bring my own silverware. Theirs is really bad. Afterwards we went down the street to the candy store, but it wasn't open yet. Later in the day, after Christian got home from school, the four of us went to Mio Gelatto, because Christian is always asking to go there and a birthday seemed like a good excuse.

Now I still needed to settle on what to do about the family and a party for Riley. It was decided that we would have a dinner on the following weekend, but I was continually confused on which day was the best. I decided I would make the daring baker cake for this months project, and Riley wanted to have my meatballs in spicy sauce for dinner. I was having trouble getting totally behind all of this, because I was tired and confused. In the end it turned out that some thought the party was Saturday and some thought it was Sunday, and some couldn't come on Saturday couldn't come on Sunday. Then at some point I decided that what we should do is have a great big English breakfast on Sunday. This idea was well received by all. At last! I had a hard time sleeping the night before (worrying about my children) so I decided to get up, get the kitchen all cleaned up, and set the table for the birthday breakfast. Corey was still up, but she didn't help. At 2:00 we both went to bed. Even though I didn't get enough sleep I was very glad to be more ready.

After church we started in on getting the breakfast ready.

Menu for an English Breakfast

flakey scones
blueberry muffins
scrambled eggs
fried mushrooms
fried tomatoes
orange juice
grapefruit juice
tea and coffee

I turned the Lacanche electric oven to 350, lined a small rectangular baking dish with foil, put the sausages into the dish and into the oven, to be ignored until time for breakfast. Next, Riley started in on his famous blueberry muffins, to be put into the Miele oven. And Emily and I started making the flakey scones. She caught on right away. The sight of Emily making scones pleased everyone. When Marilyn arrived she took over the bacon for me. I still haven't really figured out how to make bacon for a crowd. Annie and Sarah did the mushrooms and tomatoes, and finally it was all ready.

We finally sat down to breakfast at 11:34. I know this because I took a picture and then it has time on it. The breakfast was greatly enjoyed by all, and not a bit of food was left. that's always so nice. Of course then I was worried that they didn't get enough eat. But I was assured that they did. Then when we were done, Riley opened his presents. Sarah and Zac gave him a dvd of a football movie. Annie, Corey, and Heidi gave him a great big basket filled with terrific Italian food items, and he really enjoyed that.

"We make a living by what we get, 
but we make a life by what we give." Winston Churchill

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