Since the "Check Engine" light came on in the Jeep (again), we were going to take it back in to the shop. But apparently they are really short handed this week so taking out the entire transmission (again) and replacing the torque converter (again) is not something they have time to finish before we need it back. Alas, we will have to work that out next week. Hopefully we can find a car to borrow (again). (Broken record? Yup.)
Matt's FOP meeting went well. They had some good information for them that (we are hoping!) will improve his work opportunities and our family situation related to his work. We are keeping our fingers crossed for that one.
While he was at his meeting, I went to my presidency meeting (thanks to Wendy and Jen letting me reschedule). We were able to make some good progress on the Primary program.
Once all those things were out of the way, we baked the cake and headed out to finally celebrate the big day.
Usually for the kids' birthdays we let them pick a place to go as a family and then what they want for dinner. This time Alyssa wanted to go to the aquarium to see the new penguin exhibit. We discovered that the middle of the day on a Wednesday is an awesome time to go. There was hardly anyone there and we could let the kids run and look at everything without having to worry about people in front or behind us getting annoyed.
The kids had a great time checking out all the tanks and exhibits. (Liam especially likes pushing all the buttons to hear the sounds the different animals make). They have added a few things like a sea turtle in the shark tank (Lyss loves turtles) and an electric eel exhibit that converts the current the eel is giving out into noise coming through a speaker. (That whole thing was very upsetting to Liam who kept wandering around saying, "What's going on?" over and over.)
BUT - the penguins are the best by far! They are incredibly active and seemed to be just as curious about us as we were about them. The girls had a great time watching them swim and dive through the tank. Several times they would stop and float right in front of the girls' faces and watch them back. I think we'll have to go back and see them again when Liam is in a more congenial mood.
Lyssa's next birthday wish was to go to McDonald's for dinner, so we stopped at one with a big play area on the way home. (Apparently a germy play-place is my kids' idea of birthday heaven.) Kenna was the only one who made a real attempt at eating her food, the other two kids could not be bothered to sit down long enough to eat more than 1 chicken (?) nugget. *Note to self: just take them to the play-place and don't bother buying dinner next time.*
We followed our usual birthday tradition of having cake and ice cream with grandma and grandpa, but this time we took the party to Grandpa Y. He hasn't been feeling so hot lately and Lyssa wanted him there so we hauled our mess to my mom's spotless kitchen. Alyssa poured about 3 pounds of sprinkles on her little cake and Kenna used the rest on the cupcakes we had for everyone else. And, like the fabulous mom I am, I forgot to grab the candles when I packed up the stuff we hauled over there so we had to make do with a match in the middle of the cake.
All in all, it was a busy (but very fun) day. When I tucked the kids in for bed last night, Lyss told me she had a great birthday and gave me a big hug.
She's an awesome kid and we love her guts. Thanks for being such a little sweetie Miss Lyss. We love you!