Archive for June, 2009

Madi’s Birthday Bowling Party

Hey there!

We are still in Arkansas, heading home tomorrow after we drop Charlotte off at camp. Yesterday was Madi Rose’s 17th birthday, and we had a family bowling party to celebrate. None of us bowl very often, so it was a fairly level playing field, which is to say that we were all terribly out of practice with a few notable exceptions of which I was not one. It was a ridiculous amount of fun! There were about 15 of us– even Mama June drove over from Hot Springs and brought her daughter Kim who was visiting from Dallas and her son, Charlotte’s favorite cousin Danny (brother to Gorgeous Mandy and Hot Cousin Billy, who unfortunately, were not there.) If you have not gone bowling in a loooong time, I heartily recommend it. Some highlights:

Charlotte started off slow, but under the careful tutelage of her cousin Daniel she blossomed and actually made a strike at one point. Here’s a shot of her early score…

Madi was too busy rockin’ Nanno’s socks to really concentrate on her game, but she was the most enthusiastic of us all, and every frame she bowled ended with this pose, regardless of the outcome:

The Scorekeeper

Since we were in a bowling alley in Arkansas, of course we needed a baby on the floor, so we brought our own. This is my niece Leah’s baby girl, Perri Elizabeth, wearing the cutest dang bow headband made by her doting grandmother, Liz: (Hey Leah! I Photoshopped the sweet potato spit-up right off her bib! You’re welcome.)

Madi and Charlotte are obviously stunned by my flawless bowling form:

After the bowling, we went back to Mom and Dad’s for ice cream sundaes and Nertz. Since we were all cake-d out, Mama June baked Madi a birthday lemon merengue pie, which made my sweet Daddy so happy you’d have though it was his birthday! I will share more photos tomorrow, but I’ll leave you with this priceless footage of my nephew Daniel the Computer Genius who is also apparently a Bowling Genius, carefully instructing his mom Carolyn in the finer points of the sport…

Our Very Own Cake-Wreck

I am in Benton at Mom and Dad’s house, aka The Land of No Wi-Fi, so it wasn’t until today that I was able to log on and check all of the incredible messages here and on Facebook from all of you. I was humbled and encouraged, and I thank each and every one of you that let me know you care and that you said a prayer for our family. I don’t take those words or prayers for granted, and it does mean so much. More than I can say.

We had a perfectly lovely Father’s Day, with all of the things I mentioned in the last post– lots of family, grilled steaks, endless Nerts games and laughter. It was also my birthday, so it was a double celebration. Russ filled the house with flowers (literally), and bought me a fancy-schmancy (on sale at WalMart!) new suitcase with pivoting rollers on the bottom so I can roll it alongside me in a civilized manner as we traverse the giant airport expanses on our European trip next month, instead of tilting it over and dragging it behind me like a dead horse. I shall be the envy of all other travelers.

OK, funny story: My brother Jonathan volunteered to order the cake for our Father’s Day party, which as we all know usually really means that his wife Cyndi would be ordering the cake, but Jonny decided to go ahead and do it himself this time, though he had little (read: NO) experience dealing with cake-ordering. As he told us later, his phone conversation with the girl in the bakery section started out well enough, but quickly deteriorated as he realized he had absolutely no idea what the heck he was doing.

Now you should know, we Timms are a cake-loving bunch and probably never in the entire history of our family have we ever ended up with what is amusingly referred to in some families as ‘too much’ cake. If there is any left over, we just divvy it up and everybody goes home with a smile on their face and a big wad of cake to enjoy with their morning coffee. So when the first question posed to Jonny by the bakery girl was, “Do you want a layer cake or a sheet cake?” he felt pretty confident choosing a sheet cake– plenty for everybody, he figured. His newfound confidence wavered when she asked him about size, though. He hesitated and then asked her, “Well, what are my choices?” She rattled off a bunch of things like “quarter-sheet, half-sheet, three-quarter sheet, blah blah blah,” which kind of threw him, but he decided to go with his instincts and said firmly, “Full sheet.” (Any of you who have ever ordered a cake in your life are snickering at this point, right?)

Next question: “What kind of cake?” Hmmm. Well, Jonny knew that Cyndi liked white cake but he and Daddy both love chocolate so in a King Solomon-esque moment he said, “Could you make it half and half?” No problem. “And what kind of frosting would you like?” Jonny was on a roll– “Chocolate.” Fine. Now for the design. “Would you like flowers or geometrics?” OK, that one stumped him. ‘Geometrics?’ What the heck are geometrics? My quick-thinking brother decided on the spot that a cake with big frosting flowers sounded a little girly for Father’s Day, so he decided to go with the geometrics. Sounded manly. Her last question concerned the COLOR of the frosting decorations, which frankly by this point Jonny didn’t give a rip about, so when the bakery girl cheerily suggested blue, green and yellow Jonny said sure.

You can guess the rest of the story . When Jonny proudly told Cyndi what he had done, she was increasingly horrified as the tale unfolded, but thought it was funny enough that she definitely wanted to be in on the pick-up. Jonny walked up to the bakery counter, looked at all of the boxes with names on them and didn’t see his anywhere until he spied something on a shelf all of its own– his cake, which was roughly the size of an Olympic swimming pool and decorated (inexplicably) with spiral-y circles and triangles (‘geometrics’) in eye-popping colors! According to Cyndi, Jonny went pale and the whole time he was paying for it he was whispering out of the corner to her through clenched teeth his explanation for exactly how he had ended up ordering this craptastic monstrosity of a cake. Cyndi texted a picture of it to their college-age daughter Caroline, who called immediately, choking with laughter and teasing her father unmercifully. The final insult was when he brought it home and finally found a place to carefully set it (not easy–hello, HUGE!) so it would be safely out of harms way until he transported it to Mom and Dad’s house. He thought he found a good place until the next morning when he saw that their curious cat Sassy had apparently jumped into the middle of the cellophane cake box lid and kind of slid to one side… So now the cake had a big honkin’ dent in the middle of it and an interesting ripple effect to the icing.

The unveiling at Daddy’s party was worth it all. Once you got past the way it looked, it was actually quite tasty. Jonny swears he is permanently out of the cake-ordering business and we all had enough cake left over to cover about three more birthdays and a bar mitzvah or two.

I just love this family.

**Be sure and notice the artistic arrangement of the text:

**(Also? Daddy was very happy about his Father’s Day steak dinner…)

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