Jude’s 9th birthday lunch at the West Des Moines Chipotle
The kids have been on Thanksgiving break this week so we made the trip to visit our Iowa family. Jude had a soccer game here on Sunday afternoon and he really didn’t want to miss it after missing the previous weekend’s game to see the Lion King. And he also really wanted to wake up Monday morning in Des Moines for his birthday. So, we decided to hit the road after his game finished, at 2:45pm, and drive through until we got to Baba’s house. We made good time and arrived right at midnight our time which was 1am Iowa time. The kids did well although probably only managed an hour or so of sleep before we arrived.
Jude blowing out his 9 candles with Ella looking on
But Jude was very happy, albeit a little tired, when he awoke on Monday morning for his birthday. He enjoyed receiving all his presents as well as being the center of attention for the day. And he got to choose his birthday cake with Baba and Grandpa.
Jude brought his viola along so he could keep up his daily practice. Lily has recently taken up the cello so the two regaled us with some tunes before Jude’s birthday dinner.
A string duet with Lily (Jude in his Cristiano Ronaldo gear)
The kids did lots of fun activities with their cousins: they went to the science center, played at the Dahlen’s house, and Baba hosted a special birthday party for Jude at a glass art studio where Jude made some lovely creations alongside Anna and all the cousins. They celebrated again with song and cupcakes.
One night we all went out to light the Chinese lanterns – these are like mini hot air balloons made out of paper and the kids love watching them rise into the air.
Anna about to let her Chinese lantern fly into the sky under a full moon
The weather was so nice in Des Moines when we arrived. The grass was still green with the warm weather they had been having. On Thanksgiving day it took a turn for the worse with rain turning to ice. Luckily, we had nowhere to go as we sat inside and watched football and ate turkey. Baba and Grandpa cooked a delicious Thanksgiving meal with assistance from Marcy and Mandy.
All the kids decided it was time to pile on Daddy/Uncle Peter
On our last day in Des Moines, Baba and Grandpa took all five grandkids to see Disney on Ice while Marcy and I went to see a movie.
On Saturday morning it was time to go and we departed Iowa with many tearful faces. It was a great week and our kids really appreciate their time with the Des Moines family more and more. We made it back to Denver without incident and today has been a quiet day at home apart from Jude’s soccer match.