Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Happy Birthday Grandson

Thursday morning dawned bright and clear with temperatures of 18° C by midday. great excitement in our house (among the children) we were having a birthday party for our grandson that evening. He turned 3 last week!

Albertina who was Debbie's houselady until January this year, came in to help with the housekeeping while it was Emily's day off. Her little girl accompanied her so I bought a "beer box" cake so the three children could have a small party in the garden. In case this is a South African innovation let me explain: A "beer box" cake is baked in a large baking tray and then placed inside an empty cardboard beer box. It is then iced and sold for a fraction of the price of a smaller, round cake. It is economical, large, and ideal for parties, as it treats at least a dozen young guests.

The children wait patiently for me to cut the cake!

Before the party that evening, my husband and I arranged that he'd phone our grandson on Skype. In order that our granddaughter wouldn't feel left out (she's still young enough to get excited about birthdays), I asked her that when my Skype phone rang, would she answer and talk to Granddad first? I explained that this would give her brother an idea on how to talk when his turn came. As my husband rang, I placed the earphones on gd's head and clicked "answer" on the screen. As his voice came through I heard him say: "Happy Birthday, my boy" (he thought gs was answering the call) Then quick as anything, gd said: No, granddad, it's me and I'm teaching "boetie" (colloquial slang for "my brother") to use Skype." Sooo sweet. She chatted for a while and then placed the headphones on her brother's head, bent down and said: "Say hello, Granddad", now...I think it made my husband's day; he misses most of the family celebrations so I try to involve him as much as possible.

Here Petrus, our cell (Bible Study) leader shares a word from God's Word with Michael

A very good family friend, Michael shares birthdays with our grandson. We decided to have a dinner party for all the adults with the children at their own party table. They had chips/potato crisps, sweets, cookies and cool drinks/sodas. Before eating, all the men shared a word from God's Word with Michael.
I kept dinner simple: stuffed, roast chicken, roast potatoes, rice and three vegetables. (I posted a recipe for the latter on the blog last week). A boat of thick brown gravy rounded off the meal.

The ghanda-ghanda cake (see explantion below) made especially for this little boy. He ate his name off while no-one was watching!

Grandson wanted a Ghanda-ghanda cake, (pronounced gunna-gunna, which is the Zulu for tractor- something to do with the sound a tractor makes, I think!). Benita, who is the town's new and brilliant baker (although she has run their successful cafe with her husband for the past thirteen years) created the most beautiful "tractor cake" for a delighted little boy. He and I collected the cake in the morning and he ran to Benita and hugged her legs saying: "Tenku,tenku Aunty Benita!" This cake, albeit bright and gory, doubled up as dessert for all.

We sang "Happy Birthday" twice (once to our grandson and once to Michael) and both times Grandson blew out the candles. Such a great treat for this little boy.

I'm not sure what I was gesticulating to Michael here. D.i.l. Amanda has a teeny taste of Angus' slice of cake, while grandson really tucks in.

A typically South African scene. After dinner talk over copious demi-tasse of filter coffee.
Ooh-whee! A Lego Jet!
I wonder who's enjoying the Lego and the play more: the children or dad and the uncles ?

The next morning Emily took the balloons down and with a huge piece of the cake remaining could have a party for her grandsons back home.
Our grandson had another party with his friends in his home town on Sunday.
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  1. How fun and what a lovely birthday!Love and hugs to your grandson! Thanks for sharing the fun!

  2. What a delightful treat to share with everybody and technology made it possible. The cake is marvelous. How cute your grandson ate his name off when no one was looking. And why not. Great post.

  3. What a lovely day but I had never heard of the beer box cake before! Must be another wonderful Free State innovation!

  4. What fun! You are a very special grandma. I love the red balloons taped up all over. You are a memory-maker for your grandchildren. Your husband must be a bit sad to miss out on so much family fun.

  5. a good day jo.
    enjoyed sharing in your grandson's wonderful birthday celebration. and your dinner fare looked yummy :)
    have a great week.

  6. Thanks everyone for the kind wishes for gs and about my special evening. It sure will go down in the memory making scrapbook! Thanks to all for visiting. I'm trying to visit all your blogs but have a gremlin which crashes sites as I log into them. Off to try again.

  7. Such a joyous occasion. Happy Birthday to your grandson.

  8. What a wonderful day you must have had..

    Happy Birthday to your grandson and Michael ...and many happy returns to both of them :-)

    Wha special memories you are making for your little one...

  9. Thanks Regina, bless you and have a wonderful week.

    Hi Karen;) good to see you again Thanks for your kind wishes for both the birthday "boys".

  10. What fun you all had. HE IS A LUCKY LITTLE BOY. yOUR MEAL LOOKS DELICIOUS. Whoops hit caps lock by mistake sorry.

  11. Thanks dianne, it was a wonderful evening :)


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