Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Planning a 17th Birthday Celebration & A Promotion to Engineer's Mate

Ellie is turning 17 on Thursday. SE-VEN-TEEN. Some parts of me have a hard time believing it. Just recently she was my little girl - where has all of the time gone? Can I find a way to slow down the remaining time? Soon enough she will be slipping out of the house and off having her own adventures.

Tomorrow I will go out into the garden and begin peaking below the layers of dried leaves in the garden that protect the rich soil. I will begin to look for signs that the crocus will bloom on Ellie's birthday. Nearly every year Ellie's birthday is the first day that a flower shows its shy head in our garden. The weather has been very dramatic this year, so I am not sure if we will get that thrill on Ellie's birthday this year or not.
We've discussed her party for a few weeks. She had so many ideas of what she would like. For a while we were planning a glow stick and glitter party. As our plans became more detailed, plans changed, shifted into a rather nostalgic celebration. I will make her a simple, understated crown, similar to the one that Max wears in "Where the Wild Things Are." For a while we thought it might be a "Wild Things" kind of party, but we could not work out all of the details. I've made her a simple tent of PVC and bed sheets that can be erected in the house or the yard just for the fun of it. I think we will also use the flag bunting I made last summer to decorate the living room. We will have lit up multicolored balloons by inserting tiny LED lights into each balloon. We will put up streamers. When Ellie was about 10 or 11 we had party snacks in muffin tins. Each party member got his/her own tray, with each muffin holder filled with a different treat.We are going to do that again, too. Really, it is pretty fun. They will hang out in the tent and watch a movie. I think it might be "Up."

Things are warming up on the west coast, too. Ethan's ship is in Sausalito, California for about a week, or so. The weather is cold and rainy. The land is beautiful and lush, for spring time. Just the other day the while Ethan was working the ship's engineer saddle up to him and told him that the higher ups on the ships have decided to promote Ethan to engineer's mate (in training). He is very jazzed and excited. It is the very thing he was hoping form

During a recent evening one of the other men was on his day off and out flying a kite. A local person befriended them and took them around town, in a sort of hobo fashion. As evening was beginning some people who were out serving dinner to the local hobos. They approached the people from the ship and offered them dinner. Ethan explained that they are sailors, not hobos. The people replied that sailors are sort of homeless and gave them dinner. Ethan said that it was the best cupcake and minestrone soup that he has had in a long time. Oh, the adventures they are having.

On another evening out Ethan and some of the guys on the ship went to see a movie. They ended up seeing, "The Lego Movie" which was better than he expected. The next day the crew even made one of the songs from the movie into a sea shanty.

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