Birthdays: To Be Suprised or Not To Be Suprised?


Sopping wet hair. Barely dressed for school. Ushered into the dinning room to eat a wholesome breakfast of adorable smiley face birthday cake accompanied by gifts wrapped in smiley face paper. Ugg! Camera snapping shots of the unprepared, make-upless high schooler during this ‘party’. That evening, after a birthday full of school, she is greeted at home by her high school boyfriend, and a few girl friends for yet another surprise birthday party complete with Veggie Tale gift wrap and cake to be followed by a long-awaited trip to the 1st football game of the year.

When I was growing up, I never knew what kind of cake I was going to have for my birthday, what thoughtful gift my family had picked out for me based on random conversations before that day, or on some years, if and when there would be a celebration. My mom, especially, LOVED surprising me!

Years down the road that same Veggie Tale love’n girl has children of her own with the love of her life who grew up in a state miles away and in a totally different family (duh, other wise gross!). We are learning to melt and mold one another’s family traditions and make some new ones of our own for our beautifully growing family.


Our eldest has just turned 3. As a youth pastoring family we skillfully planned her arrival to come in the middle of the annual mega summer camp, Super Summer AR. bahahaha Poor girl. Out of necessity, one of our yearly traditions has been to travel to see daddy at camp for Father’s Day and then again for Maggie’s birthday. We eat cupcakes in the cafeteria with our students and the past couple years we also celebrate with a dear family of friends who live in the same town the camp is hosted. The second part of her birthday tradition has been to have a party on the 4th of July weekend so family is able to be off work and able to come celebrate with us.

The past 2 years I’ve snuck around, according to my family custom, trying to hide cupcakes, cakes, decorations, gifts, and simple plans from our birthday girl (not hard seeing as she was only 1 and 2 years old). This years I went out on a limb and let my quickly maturing 3-year-old help make and decorate her own birthday cupcakes as well as point-blank ask her what ‘kind’ of party she’d like to have. She often helps me in the kitchen but icing in a new-found skill of hers. She has also changed her mind once over the past month but we have settled on…maybe you guessed it- Veggie Tales. YEP; Train up a child!

I haven’t decided which tradition we’ll stick with in years to come but both have their pros and cons. Whacha think?

 Now, pics of the process, of course! More of the VT party to come in a future post

just a few of our creations


What are your family customs you adhere to (maybe without even knowing it)? Do share; I love sifting through advise!
I avoided the endless Jesus jukes that where oh so readily available in this but those are welcome, too ;o)


About as Jules is going

Julie Rothacher is a missionary currently serving in central Arkansas, with her husband of 10 years, as youth ministers. She and Matt have 4 children, Magdalene (6years), Isabella (5years), Benjamin (4year), and Elizabeth (1year). God is leading Julie and her family on fun adventures. She is new to blogging but loves sharing what God is doing in her life which include but are not limited to the simple silliness of every day quirkiness that happens around her home with 4 under 6, a hilarious husband, and their newest endeavors: homeschooling and CHURCH PLANTING!

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