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Ava's Birthday Celebrations


March 6-7
written March 8 +
Dear Friends and Families,

This week is Ava's birthday, and we were looking forward to the trip over to the Bay Area.  Marianne also had a 50th school reunion, and would spend a few days in Monterey, so we needed two cars for the trips.  One "advantage" this gave was that I could delay a day and spend a few more hours moving dirt around our backyard.  Good exercise.

It is about a three-hour drive from Fresno to Monte Sereno and when I got to the Rahimi house, I saw that their yard was WORSE than ours!  It's nice to see someone more overwhelmed than we are, house wise.  The inside of their remodeled house is done and beautiful, but they had a many-month head start on us.
I had barely arrived when we had to go get the kids from pre-school, where I saw evidence of Ava's initial 5th Birthday party.  She had made pink-frosting cupcakes, with Gigi's help, and they were a hit with all the little munchkins.  Except brother Sam does not like frosting, so he let Ava scoop it off. Good deal both sides.

After school, it was back to the house for preparations for th next day's family party.  This time the same baker crew prepared a bigger cake with chocolate frosting.  5th birthdays can never have too much cake.
After the bakery work, it was off to  swimming lessons.  Both kids did wonderfully.
Sam is completely fearless.
Ava was clearly excited while she had to wait for little brother to finish.  Mom was enjoying a minor break.
Ava had her turn, including a dive to the bottom of the pool to get the torpedo.  Sam was exhausted and just looked on.
Of course, the big deal was a Rahimi family birthday celebration.  A score of folks showed up, including all four of the boy cousins.  Ava was the little queen - again.  A great gathering.

Friday, March 7th, was Ava's real birthday, but the celebrations were much more subdued.  After a quiet morning at home, Ava, mom, the grandmothers took a staff photographer to "American Girl", a huge store with very special dolls and anything a doll or doll owner could want.  Ava's grandmother Momani treated her to her choice of all the offerings.
Ava ordered donuts for breakfast and Sam went along with the idea.
American Girls -- Doll marketing done big.
Lunch at Max's Opera House
Happy Birthday Ava!
Today is Saturday and I am back in Fresno and Marianne has started her school reunion celebrations. Ava, however, is reportedly continuing here birthday celebrations with a pizza-with-friends lunch.  Maybe mom will send pictures, so this story can be complete.

So, this too is why we left Germany: family birthdays and celebrations.

John and Marianne


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