Monday, March 7, 2016

Week 10 - Family Birthdays

My parents did a pretty good job with our birthdays...No parties like the parents of today. ...Our parties were always a family affairs....our family....  If they happen to coincide with a holiday then the Grandparents were likely involved but mostly it was just our family. I remember one year we had  a breakfast birthday for Mom in the morning in her bed!  That was fun.  The only reason I can think of why we would have done that is it must have been a Friday and Dad knew he would be working late so we had a breakfast Birthday party...

Mom's 40th Birthday

All these years later I have become the keeper of the family photos.  I have scanned them in and we all have copies of them but I have the originals. I learned something from these photos that I did not remember from my childhood...The Birthday boy or girl did not get to blow out their own candles... Most of us helped!  In almost every photo of a birthday gathering,  WE were blowing out the candles...Isn't that funny and I never realized it.

Looks like Pam's 13th Birthday
 On your birthday, the birthday person did not have to do dishes...for the girls this was kinda a big thing.  No fighting with your sister over who gets to wash or has to rinse or dry.   No getting wet because your sister got mad and splashed you on purpose and them swore to Mom it was a mistake..."really Mom it was" !  No one to push you off the stool that you had to stand on to reach into the sink if you were the washer or to the counter if you were the dryer.  You just sit back at the table and watch as the other two or three hashed it out.  Gee, maybe I'll have another piece of cake to dirty just one more plate and fork so they will have ONE more dish to wash...a cup of milk maybe...By then they are yelling to Mom..."Jan's making more dishes for us to wash!"  The boys did not do dishes so no big deal for them...Wonder if they did not have to take out the trash or something else...I honestly don't remember.  This is where it would be really nice if Matt or Mark would chime in on these Memories.....

Jan's Birthday 1964 - Ballerina Candle holders
You got to pick what you  wanted Mom to make for dinner.  With six kids, you did not "go out" for dinner ever....Now that I am older, I wonder who really won here...Mom or the Birthday person...Now that I know how hard it is to come up with something for dinner each day and a variety at that, I am thinking that Mom was the winner almost every month we had a birthday so that was one meal that she did not have to plan!!!

Oh the cake, we got to pick the kind of cake that we wanted....I picked German Chocolate for quite a number of years and I got German Chocolate for the rest of my life.....even after it wasn't my favorite any more... This is where I would LOVE Sharon to pipe up and talk about her Birthday cakes!!

Sharon's 7th Birthday
 When we were little she did buy those little hard sugar decorations to put on our cakes.  They usually spelled Happy Birthday and if you were lucky maybe your first name.  I remember as a little kid trying to bite into those decorations and nearly broke a tooth. They did not even taste good...  Oh and then there were the candle holder candies ones too....You would put them on the cake and put the candle in it to help it stand up.  It was quite and operation to get all the candles standing and then get them lite with a whole table of people anguish to blow them out.  Sometimes one of us was a little too eager and she would have to lite them all again because someone caused a false start! ..Mom did make good Birthday cakes...they came out of the box and so did the frosting...Just like everyone else did in the 1960's and 1970's...

Matt's 3rd Birthday
 Eventually, Mom just stuck the candles in the frosting and lite them as quick as she could...Then it was her job to take the candles out after we blew them out.  She would carefully lick all the frosting off the candles  as we not so patiently waited for our cake and ice cream. Some times in an effort to expedite this process, we would help take out the candles and lick the frosting for her...I think I got reprimanded a time or two for it.  We have pictures of her licking the ice cream scoop too...

I just realized that we did an awful lot of Birthday celebrations at night when were were already for bed!  Birthdays!!!  They are the best.  Give a family an excuse to celebrate one persons uniqueness. Even today we all spend a great deal of thought and time searching for that perfect card or special small gift....and we all do it in our own unique way!

Happy Birthday Sharon!!!

Hope you enjoy,



  1. Hi Janet Smith. My mother's maiden is Smith- so I might be a cousin. I saw your 2014 post on plantain. I have found that plantain has amazing healing powers. I've healed poison ivy in less than 24 hours. Also healed shingles in less than 48 hours. I often say that I believe that plantain will probably cure cancer if there was a way to put the herb on the cancer. ronie

  2. LOVE IT, Thanks, Jan! Such great memories. And what's so cool to me is that much of it I have forgotten or never realized. That's why the recollections are so important and that each one of us has memories that are different from others that were at the same event. I'd love to enlarge some of those photos to look at dishes, food, etc. I know I always had mom's Fried Chicken...done on top of the stove, with gravy and mashed potatoes. And yes, many of the gatherings were dinner and dessert at night...probably due to Dad's work schedule. How could this many years have passed? As long as we keep writing, others will enjoy and maybe fill in the blanks eventually. Keep up the good work! Pam