Family Traditions: Birthday Adventures!


Around here, we’re not big on grandiose fancy-schmancy birthday gifts. Sure, we might occasionally give a big gift like a bike, but generally speaking we like to focus our energy on experiences over things.

Thus, the Birthday Adventure was born.

Some adventures of the past have included tickets for shows (Michael has had both a trip to Pittsburgh to see The Lion King and a more local outing to see Stomp), day trips, trips to New York City, outings to the movies, and special lunches or dinners out, to name a few. Our Nicholas turned eight last week while Daddy was away on retreat, and we had a very special birthday adventure planned.

We’ve immersed ourselves in a study of ancient Egypt. Nicholas loves it all– the mythology, the culture, the pyramids and mummies. We recently listened to Rick Riordan’s The Throne of Fire on CD, and Nicholas decided he wanted to visit the Brooklyn Museum just like Carter and Sadie Caine. So, what is a mother of six to do when Daddy is away and her birthday boy wants to go on an adventure? Pack them all up and go, of course!

We’ve been blessed to meet some wonderful online friends who live in New York City. After some emailing, we found one who was willing to shelter our small brood in her Brooklyn apartment overnight. Early Thursday morning we loaded up the car and off we went.

The only downside (besides the fact that I have no sense of direction and got lost both going into and coming out of Brooklyn) was that it was a rainy gloomy day. The parking was fantastic, however. We parked in the lot behind the museum and practically were able to pull up beside the door.

Our friends met us at the museum and we had a wonderful time. The Egyptian collection was absolutely amazing.

That “texture” across the bottom is actually cuneiform writing. Amazing!

And in case you were wondering how our littlest homeschoolers did on the outing, Molly was fascinated by it all, taking it all in.

Matthew, on the other hand, wanted to be up and reconnected after the long car trip.

Forgive the fuzzy pictures– flash photography wasn’t allowed and Katie Grace was taking the photos.

Some of our favorite artifacts included




The Book of the Dead

And of course, after we got home and Daddy came back, we had a special birthday meal (chicken wings and macaroni and cheese, at Nick’s request with some green beans at my insistence) along with our special birthday candle. Sadly, our birthday plate broke and we need a new one. 🙁

Pretend the mountain of laundry isn’t behind him. The mug is a gift from big sister, and he’s wearing his birthday crown.

And then, cake!

Happy birthday, Nicholas! May you always shine like a star in the heavens, and may your heart always be as big as the sky.