Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Lukester's 7th Birthday

On Friday evening I sped down to Gordonsville to spend the evening with Rob which whizzed by and before I knew it I was heading north again to Meadow House. But I took a quick photo of the cuckoo clocks Rob bought on EBay. The gap is where mine hung. I'm hoping he'll fix another couple for me, they're so cool, and really he has so many that I'm sure he wouldn't miss another two birds cuckooing each hour.
Back home I got straight into cooking mode. I knocked up a spaghetti bolognese for the evening when Rob would arrive to stay the night before driving up to New York for his family reunion. And then the rolling pin came out and I made pastry for strawberry jam tarts, lemon curd tarts and mince pies with meringue on top. Before I knew it Rob turned up and we ate dinner then collapsed on the sofa.
Next morning fueled with bacon and eggs, Rob set off. He had sandwiches and snacks and all my baking loaded in his truck. I waved him off with 3 tarts left for me and an apple in the fridge!
No wonder he looks so smug!
I had a couple of hours to grab a nap and relax then I was off to Sterling for Luke's birthday party which was at Peggy and Tom's house in Maryland. But first I stopped at a local farmers market to buy some fresh peaches for Max, a special request from Jim.
These peppers looked wonderful but I had no intention of cooking anything else just yet so no purchase was made. 
It was wonderful to see my American family again. I'm so lucky that both Jim's and Debbie's families have 'adopted' me, it's great having so many relatives. Kim and Scott were there also, we had a fab crowd. The Lukester didn't want to wait too long to open presents so we didn't make him wait.
Both Luke and Max were ecstatic with my present, thanks to Jim giving me a heads up.
 Luke doing his happy dance.
Another happy pose.
 The Toy Story cake. This was chokklit! Scott, my chocolate buddy, and I were very happy, and it was delicious.
 Bits, Peggy, Scott, Jim and Tom all looking as though they were scared about what was going to emerge from the wrapping paper next!
The Happy Birthday song and then candle blowing. It only took one puff. Go Luke!
Lou, Scott and Bits waiting for their slice as Debbie cuts the cake.
Luke almost grabbing his slice.
Jim's granddaughter, Kylie, not happy with being picked up and therefore being further away from the cake!
Dear ole Bits. He told me a great story of how some young upstarts at work had called him an 'albatross' and that he needed to retire. He went on to secure new contracts while showing them up in the process. Don't mess with Bits!
Once cake, food and presents were done with, it was outside to watch the kids in the pool.
Awesome dive by Maximus. It seems only a few months ago I remember this little chap in his life jacket and being too scared to stand on the first step of the pool. He's now the Man from Atlantis.
 Luke and Max looking very cool in their goggles.
 Noah diving over Peyton.
Seems like constant adjustment with the goggles is a necessary part of pool life.
 Jim diving then striking a pose in the 'lifeguard chair'.
Nice hairdo Noah!
Sweet little Max.
Even Mocha likes to hang out by the pool except that she's the only woofer I've ever met that's afraid of water. She spent plenty of time running around the edge and barking but wouldn't even stick a paw in the pool.
Eventually we had to leave and head back to Sterling and then for me on to Marshall. These birthdays are whizzing by, but hey, if they speed up on us, then it means not too long for the next family get together, right?

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