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June 29, 2015

We have celebrated four Birthdays this spring.

Annie turned 3.


The little Peppers seem to have as much fun deciding on a party theme as they do throwing a party.  This year Annie told us that she was hoping to have, “A baby River party, with a baby River cake…if Baby River even does parties.” (See below for a photo of Baby River Jansen. Who wouldn’t want this face on your cake.)

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Unfortunately, Baby River was not on hand for the birthday which we celebrated in Birmingham with Nini and Papaw and Aunt Claire and baby John.  Annie’s party took about ten minutes.  I must admit the highlight of Annie’s party for me was getting together with Aunt Lois, Aunt Sally, Cousin Susan (aka Aunt Special) and her husband Charles the night before the Birthday to paint peg people.  Peg people have been Annie’s greatest wish since playing with some of them at Aunt Betsy’s. I couldn’t talk Betsy out of her own peg people, who have now moved to Manhattan for Betsy and Bernard to play with so I had to paint my own.  We were tutored in peg people painting by Charles Preuter: lawyer at Papaw’s firm by day, peg person painter extraordinaire by night.

Now that she is three, Annie is growing so helpful and so wise.  Last week she noticed I had a little something on my chin and immediately instructed me to, “Hold still, and I will lick it off.” And a few days ago after bumping her head she explained to us: “I bumped my head, but it did not crack open. I am glad it did not crack open, because if it cracked open then little chickens would pop out. Cheep, cheep!”

Miss P turned 5


She had a rather impromptu joint party with Lucy Hoffner since their birthdays are so close together (January and March respectively).  They settled on a “Princess-Rainbow-Butterfly” theme and enjoyed partying with their two guests, Molly and Lily Benson.  Miss P was up late the night before worrying the Bensons might get sick, which is a real concern when they are the only guests.  She really didn’t stop talking about this possibility until the Bensons arrived in full health and princess garb.

Charlie and Elisabeth turned 7

One of the great joys of having twins is knocking out two parties in one morning.

Charlie easily decided to have a “Minnesota Vikings Football-Soccer-Bowling” party.  He welcomed four friends to his home at nine a.m. to enjoy an early Birthday cake before heading out to the yard to play soccer with Dan who had the boys in the van and en route to the bowling alley by ten, so that I could erase all traces of the “Minnesota Vikings Football-Soccer-Bowling” party to make room for the “Little Woman’s” party which was scheduled at eleven.



It was Elisabeth’s own idea to throw a “Little Woman’s” party after reading “Little Woman” (as she call it) by Louisa May Alcott.  The “Little Woman’s” party almost wasn’t, when Elisabeth discovered, to her disgust that Party City doesn’t carry “Little Woman’s” piñatas.  I explained to Elisabeth that during the Civil War Era, piñatas were scarce and families had to make do without them. Elisabeth has high regard for historical accuracy and quickly decided she didn’t want a piñata at all and we settled on an Easter Egg hunt, as egg gathering was a popular activity back in the day, and we had a lot of plastic eggs and candy left over from Easter. So Charlie left Party City with a football-shaped piñata and Elisabeth left with four yellow balloons in honor of the four March sisters (again her own idea).

The Little Woman’s party also required Little Woman’s costumes, which are not as readily found these days as are princess costumes.  Not one to beat around the bush I went straight to the top, suspecting correctly that Michelle Thompson, dean of Hand in Hand Montessorri might have LIttle Women costumes at the ready.  She did not disappoint!  The girls enjoyed practicing for the party for days.  Let me just say of the below photo, I would not want to meet Beth (in the middle there) in a dark alley, would you?


I had the bright idea to let the partygoers make their own rag-dolls and sew on button eyes.  I made a prototype the night before.  While working on my prototype, I thought of my great Aunt Cleo, on whose farm I met my first chicken.  Aunt Cleo had the most beautiful crocheted lady in a large ball gown that sat on the back of her toilet and covered her spare toilet paper roll.  So I cut the skirt big enough to cover a toilet paper roll.  Imagine: make your own rag-doll-toilet-paper-roll-cover. The Birthday party craft sure to go viral!  I was really pleased with my prototype and showed it to Elisabeth who exclaimed with delight, “Oooo, it’s a little witch!”

Does this look like a witch to you?


Would you believe Elisabeth’s teacher not only accepted her invitation to the party but came in character as Marmie?  And helped the girls sew the little witches?  What kind of teacher does that.


And it’s not just Elisabeth’s teacher.  A while back we were eating supper and Charlie had the great idea, “Could I invite Mr. Crowl over tonight to watch some basketball?”  I didn’t see why not so I helped Charlie dial the number and heard him stutter nervously, “Hello this is Charlie.  Would you like to watch the NCAA basketball championship with  me tonight?  Ok.  You can talk to my mom….”  Mr. Crowl apparently responded, “Sounds like fun!” and not only came, but brought his own little bag of popcorn and stayed up with Charlie until 11:00, explaining that it was probably okay for Charlie to stay up late since he himself would be the one to have to deal with Charlie the next day. And then commenting that when Charlie is tired, he seems to do what he always does which is whatever he is supposed to be doing.


Although I must disclose that Charlie does not always do what he is supposed to be doing.  He was not doing what he was supposed to be doing this very morning and he required discipline: which was to shovel all of the poop out of the chicken run.  It took about two hours.  About half way through he declared that the chicken poop smelled just like shrimp and asked me several times if I had been feeding shrimp to the chickens.  An hour and a half into the job he began to get hungry for shrimp, because the smell of shrimp was so enticing. I jumped in and helped him finish the job just in case he was developing some kind of Stockholm Syndrome.

Below, Elisabeth and me with some kind of Stockholm Syndrome.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 30, 2015 8:26 am

    I guess the practice of hounding this blog’s creator does bring results. Thoroughly enjoyed the latest adventure. These Little Peppers are getting the best, longest running, creative and loving attention anyone of that age could want…and we, the loyal readers, get such vicarious enjoyment as a bonus. Power to the Peppers!

  2. Aunt special permalink
    September 9, 2015 9:09 pm

    I have just caught up on your lovely blog!!! You write so well, Lucy! And Charles will be so pleased to have a mention!!

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