Leina Turns 8 Down Under

Leina was ecstatic to be celebrating her 8th birthday on December 23rd in the summer in Australia, instead of the winter in Canada, and she was fortunate to have 7 of her Australian girlfriends over to help make the celebration memorable.

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Leina and her friends enjoyed making cards and posters with different craft materials and Evie managed to surprise the group by making her own moustache and eyebrows with the supplies!  Once the crafts were cleaned up and the girls (and Cohen) played a quick game of tip (tag in Canada), they all came back inside for a game of ‘Pin the Star on the Christmas Tree’, with Grace being crowned the winner!

A game of ‘Pass the Parcel’ preceded birthday cupcakes and fairy bread – the quintessential Australian birthday delicacy consisting of white bread smothered in butter and topped with ‘100’s and 1000’s’ sprinkles!  A tradition that is sure to make its’ way to Canada!

Leina received some really special gifts from her friends, all of whom kept in mind that she would be leaving for Canada in the very near future.  She was spoiled with a beautiful handmade owl backpack, a cookbook for kids, an ankle bracelet, a small pet dog that walks, a pewter fairy on a rose quartz gem, bracelets, and pencil case and pens.  She was so happy and grateful to have received so many nice things.

It was only 2 hours of fun, but after the loot bags had been handed out, and parents had come to collect their daughters, and Elijah had woken from his afternoon nap, it turned out to be the perfect afternoon to hit the municipal pool to cool off before supper!  It was a birthday party with new friends that Leina will never forget!

However, the festivities and celebrating didn’t end there!  The following day, which was also Matt’s last day of teaching here in Australia, we travelled into Sydney by train and spent the night in North Sydney at an apartment belonging to friends of ours from Blackheath, Rachel and Iain.  We had a big day planned with the kids on Saturday.  Elijah and I were off to celebrate one of the final shows of the Wiggles at the Entertainment Centre in Darling Harbour thanks to Nana and Poppi in Canada, and Matt was taking Leina and Cohen to the Powerhouse Museum for her birthday.  All of the kids had such a good day, exploring the exhibits and just being in the city.  For lunch we dined on Chinese food in Chinatown (Leina’s choice) and rode the train back home to Blackheath in time for a Mexican themed dinner compliments of Damien’s brother James, and his daughters Annelise and Christina who came to visit us from Newcastle.

The Mexican night was complete with Corona’s, sombreros and tacos in both soft and hard shells.  And what’s a Mexican night without a shot of tequila!  We had a great evening catching up with James and the girls, and were well prepared for the next day’s festivities, ‘The Mah Family Christmas Lunch’ coincidentally held on Leina’s actual birthday. She had the pleasure of sharing the birthday celebrations with Damien’s sister Kristy, born on Christmas day, and Damien’s aunt Lynn, born on December 24th.

Leina spent most of December 23rd opening presents, some brought by very generous members of the Mah family, and others sent to Blackheath by thoughtful and loving family members back home in Canada!  She was a very lucky girl!

Leina will remember this birthday for years to come, because of the events, because it was in the summer, but mostly because of the people she had the pleasure of sharing her 8th birthday with!

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