"I liked all the presents I got!" Ruby Rose turns 5

Thus quoth Ruby at her party, when a friend asked, a bit trepidatiously, if she liked his present (after she'd been very effusive about another gift).  "Of course!  I liked all the presents I got!" she said with sincere happiness.

"That's a political answer," her uncle observed, and it well could have been, had it been some other person.  But Ruby genuinely means it.  She likes all her gifts.  And not just birthday gifts; she sees so many things in life as gifts.  Every day contains myriad miracles which she savors and shares.  A perfect rock for her rock collection (AKA a pile of rocks in the yard), a leaf which we have to save because it is just PERFECT, a new book from the library...everything is a wonder.

"Mom, I made you a shopping list!"

Ruby: eternal optimist, wildly enthusiastic, and someone who just LOVES almost everything.  Upon hearing something like, "We're having pancakes for dinner," she will gush, "OH! That is JUST what I have been wanting ALL DAY."

Meet Mr. Piggles, object of much joy and affection (it's a yard ornament Allen found in a free pile)

She's really quite the charmer and social butterfly.  I think she'll be thrilled in kindergarten next year to have many more classmates.  She loves all of her friends and also considers most every kid a friend.

Loving her second year at Redland Montessori

The thing I love most is her zeal for life and her budding faith.  She has a deep and passionate love of God which I pray will never dry up; as the years go by, may it only deepen and flow more rapidly, like a swift river.
Ruby's baptism on April 12

I can't believe it has been 5 years since she made us from a young couple into a young family.  She's been such a joy in our lives.  Her sunny disposition, her total confidence in nearly every situation she's ever entered, her extroversion which leaves us wondering where she gets it from...these are gifts to us and to all who know her.
Ruby's Celebration of Life at school

Happy birthday, my dearest girl.
Ruby at 3 months old

And now, for some party pictures. It was one of those fun years where her actual birthday lined up nicely with the weekend, so we were able to have her friend and family party on the same (busy) day. We went to Mass (it's Pentecost!), then came home. Ruby opened some presents from her grandma Laurie and great-grandma Jean.
A fancy princess hat from godmom Rhonda and goddad Jared
Ruby's trying out the Quantum Pad (a level up from the Leap Pad) from Great-Grandma Jean
Then after what was an interminable couple of hours for Ruby (and a short couple of hours for me, prepping the party), the guests arrived for Ruby's "royalty" party.

Let's not kid ourselves: it was really all about the princesses, but I didn't want her boy friends to feel too left out.  Earlier in the week I made cardboard shields, spray painted silver and decorated with heraldry symbols pertinent to each guest's birth order.  It was really fun to look up all the information and it was just the right amount of creativity for me: not burdensome or daunting but an enjoyable amount of challenge.  

I decided to have three games: 
  1. Find Cinderella's slipper (AKA one of Ruby's fancy summer sandals)
  2. Ring, Ring, Who's Got the Ring?
  3. Jousting
The slipper finding game was very fast, as the yard isn't too big.  Allen hid it in some deepish brush but it was discovered quickly.  The best thing about it was that when I announced it, Max yelled, "I'll be the stepmother!"  That kid finds the villian in everything!

The ring game was much more amusing to watch, as the concept was a bit beyond some of the younger guests (notably Max and Henry, both 3 years old). Still, it was a success and each child won a blingin' dollar store ring.  

For the final game, there was jousting.  I set the scene with an excellent children's book, Tomie dePaolo's The Knight and the Dragon .  Do yourself a favor and at least check it out from your library; you won't regret it!

After reading the story, I presented the challenge before our young royals: the evil Monkey King was sitting atop his castle, guarding his hoard of stolen treasure.  Each brave knight (male and female alike!) had to wear a shield on his or her arm, hold the lance in the other straight ahead, and gallop as if on horseback to strike the Monkey King from his throne!  Then they could recover some of his treasure for their own (i.e. more candy and dollar store trinkets).

She wins hands down for entering into the spirit and looking like a true warrior princess!
It required very little skill to knock him down, but that didn't matter.  The guests weren't looking for a huge challenge and it was fun just to be dressed up and pretend.  I had made the lance out of a pointy looking water pumpgun at the dollar store (also spray painted silver with a paper cup to form the hand shield).

After everyone had worked up an appetite from all the derring-do, snacks were served...

...guests were photographed (thanks Kristin!)

Ben with Aunt Alishia and "cousin" Dinky

Another dollar store victory: goblets!

...presents were opened, and the cake was served.  

Oh, the cake.  If you shudder at the sight of pink and/or Disney princesses, you are advised not to read any further...

This is a regular vanilla box mix cake (it has a thin layer of chocolate marshmallow frosting inside) and hot pink vanilla frosting with sprinkles.  The real excitement was generated by the princess figurines my mom sent.  A few months back, Ruby said she wanted princesses on her cake with Santa Claus in the middle.  (She later recanted the Santa Claus part).  Thanks to the figurines, her dream came true!

Also on the tray I surrounded the cake with Disney princess themed dominos for further fancification. 

After blowing out the candles and removing the princesses...
I took off the princesses before cutting the cake, and Max made use of this opportunity...
Notice the expression of the onlooker...

I don't even know what to say. 
This picture just kind of sums it all up about Max: when you invite a wild thing to a party...well...anything could happen.

Finally, a group shot. I'm a little disappointed that none of the shields were facing outwards.  It was a great group of friends and the party seemed like a success.  

Max is the most dangerous princess you'll ever meet...
We were pleased that Andy and Alishia were able to be there for most of the afternoon, and just as they were leaving we were greeted by Roger, Roberta, Karla, Spencer, and Sarah for some more visiting, noshing, and celebrating the birthday girl.  It was a very nice day for a very nice girl.  
Ruby's equally happy scrapping or being a ballerina princess...very well rounded ;)
We love you, Ruby!


  1. Beautiful girl! Happy birthday!

  2. So sweet! Happy birthday Ruby! It was an adorable party!


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