22 Feb 2011

Two cakes and a birthday

Nine Years Old. Oh my!! My little girl is nine. Doesn't she look excited - and happy?!

It's not easy to pull the wool over Jemimah's eyes. She was really only a little dot when she realised that if she engineered things so as to celebrate her birthday in Melbourne on the weekend nearest to her birthday, she was likely to manage to have two cakes - one then and one on the actual day.

And so it was this year.

Two cakes. As usual.

There is nothing exciting about living in the ruins of our once peaceful home. Jemimah is still coming to terms with the loss of many of her possessions, and indeed of much of life as she knew it. She is not the only child to have difficulty sleeping, and behavioural issues are evident amongst many of her friends. No one can concentrate, and some are quite fearful.

Birthdays need celebrating when you're nine though, don't they, and even though we were not up to having a party and the whole shebang, everybody has gone out of their way to make Jemimah's ninth birthday extra special.

She started celebrating on Friday night with take-away from our favourite Thai Restaurant with the Princess Pea and her family. There were pressies, potato crisps, favourite Thai dishes and lots and lots of attention for the Birthday Girl. Things were off to a good start.

Princess Pea slept over on Friday night. That was pretty fun also, as was the ice-skating at Docklands the next day. Well, fun, and funny too, watching two tweens on ice for the very first time.

My mum - we call her Marga - excelled herself on Sunday with a wonderful Dolly Varden cake, as she had done for me at around the same age. (Apparently I wouldn't let anybody cut mine, and it was thrown away much the worse for wear several weeks later. Jemimah was not so foolish.) It was delicious, as well as being especially elegant. She was Dolly Varden, after all.
Have you seen my little girl? She doesn’t wear a bonnet.
She’s got a monstrous flip-flop hat with cherry ribbons on it.
She dresses in bed furniture just like a flower garden
A blowin’ and a growin’ and they call it Dolly Varden.

Alfred Lee 1872
Jemimah and her Princess girlfriends decorated her other cake. It was beautiful, as only a child-decorated cake can be. Totally OTT. Now this is how a cake should be - when you're nine, and dieting is still years and years away. Take a look at their creation. Oh my!! Totally beautiful, isn't it?

Last night we had a BBQ with family friends. The kids played, danced to ABBA, and decorated cakes. The adults discussed the flood. And insurance policies. And what to do about mould. As you do.

It was fun.

It was all about Jemimah. Which is right and proper, when you're nine, and it's your birthday.

This morning we cleaned up.

I miss my dishwasher.


  1. I'm wondering why the post wasn't titled, "Two cakes, a birthday, and ABBA"? Surely the dancing to ABBA was a highlight worthy of the post title? :-)

    I'm glad she got two cakes this year (and a chance to dance to ABBA). I hope the smiles from the last few days last over the remainder of your present trial, and that the Lord continues to grow her in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour!

  2. How very special indeed for the very lovely Jemimah. Both cakes look scrumdiddlyumptious.

    Dancing to ABBA it just so much fun! So please you all have had a wonderful birthday. xxx

  3. Oh my! I didn't even realize that barbie was a cake when I first glanced!! Very wonderful cakes, indeed. Happy Birthday, sweet Jemimah!

    Jeanne, I am so glad to see these photos of you, and see that you were able to give Jemimah wonderful birthday memories in the midst of this difficult time. I continue to keep you in my prayers!

  4. Those cakes were certainly extraordinary ... I'm wishing I had a tastable monitor!

    Happy Birthday Jemimah :)

    You are doing all the right things Jeanne, loving your family heartily, picking up the pieces of the puzzle left by the flood, and I imagine creating new pieces to fill the gaps. You are tender but strong, resilient and resourceful, and whatever you're surrounded by, you'll always turn it into beauty, because that's who you are.

    Love, Vanessa

  5. SO sorry! Did I write Barbie - silly me. Lovely Dolly Varden!

  6. Happy birthday to Jemimah, so glad you got to have a lovely celebration, and that cake full of freddos looks mighty yum to me :-)

  7. Jeanne,

    Hey I wanna dance to Abba! How fun. And what a fun birthday. I probably wouldn't have let anyone cut my birthday cake either if it looked like that! Both cakes are beautiful. And you are doing a great job pulling it all back together for your family. Hang in there.

    Cindy Bee

  8. What an incredibly colorful birthday! Is it too late to wish the birthday girl Happy Birthday? Congratulations to her parents as well!

    My favorite is the jarmie pic. I had seen Jemimah's robe before but not yours :)

    Birthday wishes from Maxim & Luca as well!

  9. Happy Birthday to Jemimah!! Sometimes a child can be a temporary salvation when the storms of life do hit. They force us to live, and truly!

  10. Yay for celebrations in the midst of disaster. Sometimes it's not only the only thing to do, it's the best thing to do. Happy Birthday to Jemimah. [she would've like my dad; he celebrated his birthday for a whole month!]

  11. Happy Birthday Jemimah !! We hope you had a lovely few days. God Bless You.

    It's so good to have children, they centre us don't they.

    Louise and famliy

  12. She is so pretty and looks so happy! Congratulations.

  13. Love both cakes! B never had a dolly cake, but I remember my niece having one in about '86. I'm praying--been there/done that with the traumatized children unable to sleep, fearful, etc. In fact I'm still in that world to some extent. I pray for God's healing for all the children [and parents] down there [and over in NZ now too]. Normal routine helps so much. Just remember that it's ok to not be perfect, to not have every answer. Allow God's time to be perfect. Loving you all from way up here.....

  14. Hapy birthday to sweet Jemimah! Today (23rd) is Tiny Girl's 10th birthday, so she and J *nearly* share a birthday. We celebrate for days as well: big doings on the actual day; lunch with Grammie and Grandad on Friday; birthday party with friends on Saturday...

    But when one has something to celebrate, one must celebrate in a big way, Dancin' Queen and all.

  15. Mixed emotions - happy that you are all home but sad that Jemimah has lost some of her possessions as have you all:( Happy belated birthday to Jemimah! sorry we missed it:( you know we've had a big one over here so been busy with that!

  16. Happy birthday, Jemimah. Wonderful to see your lovely faces again!
    Funnily enough, I too was enjoying a little ABBA over our break away ?!

  17. That one with Freddie frog looks SO good. Happy birthday to your daughter, I'm sure she had a great day.

  18. She does look happy and excited. (and cute!)

    I had a Dolly Varden cake once. It's not something you forget in a hurry! : )

  19. One question:
    What on earth is ABBA? sounds like a must do...

    I had those little animals when I was little! SO fun. And that cake! I tried to make one once, and well, we'll just say that I'd be better at the 9yo version of cake making... :)

    I'm so glad you all were able to celebrate! sounds fun!

  20. Happy Birthday to a cake decorator extraordinaire! I do think I see a tiny smidgen of cake not covered in lollies, so maybe that can be a challenge for next year, Jemimah?

  21. Jemimah, your cake decorating is truly beautiful - and it looks tasty! Happy 9th Birthday!

    My own littlest daughter celebrated her 10th birthday last week - judging by the piccies of the Sylvanian Families, it looks like you girls share the same taste in toys! :)

    Missing the dishwasher Jeanne? Yes, I commiserate. Although my dishwasher departed our home much less dramatically, I am looking forward to the day when our kitchen is put back together again. Here's to those days in the future, when the dishwasher is humming happily in your peaceful home once more! xoxo

  22. belated happy B'day to Jemimah.God bless her.she is looking very happy after getting present from his mums.......
    I like your blog and will follow it in Future.

  23. Happy Birthday Jemimah! I especially like the cake that she and her friends decorated! That is my kind of cake. lol Anyway, kudos for you for celebrating!

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  25. I loved the last picture! She has so much of innocence on her face and of course turning 9 also needs celebration. Kids love surprises and gifts. My daughter is turning 15 in two months and I am planning on throwing a surprise party for her in one of the LA event venues. I hope she loves it.


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