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Friday, October 7, 2011


Four years ago today, I was due to have my little baby boy Zechariah. He had an agenda of his own, and came a couple weeks early on September 28th 2007. I cannot believe how fast the time has gone by. I can remember holding him for the first time, and now I'm lucky if I can at least get a hug out of him as he runs across the room.

On Zech's birthday this year, a good friend of mine forwarded me this email that I had sent out four years ago, when I found out I was having a boy. It made me cry when I read it, and I thought it would be appropriate to share it now.

Date: Thursday, May 31, 2007, 1:47 PM
To all my friends and family, :)

We are having a BOY!! We had the ultrasound this morning, and I am very happy to report that everything looks wonderful. I started out this pregnancy with a few complications, and today everything looked perfect. "God can do anything, you know...". :) Eph.3:20

Jaime and Ariel came with me this morning to see the baby. Ariel was very excited and couldn't wait to see if it was a boy or girl. The lady doing the ultrasound was very nice, and made sure to ask us if we wanted to know the sex of the baby, or should we try to stay clear of that area. I told her, YES, we want to know. So she asked Ariel what she was hoping for. Ariel of course, said a girl. And then the lady laughed a little, then said, well, I think there's a little bit more between the legs of this one.

I'd been pretty certain we were having a little guy again. I have always felt from 7 weeks of pregnancy, this was a boy. Titus and I were discussing names. We had been to a music program at Ariel's school and there is a little boy name Malachi, Titus really liked that name. I wasn't too fond of it, but I said, hey I kinda like the name Zechariah. (I think we've both always been drawn to Bible names.) And Titus agreed with me. I am very big into meanings of names, so I told him I would look it up the next day.

Zechariah means "God has remembered" It was perfect for us. At that point we had been trying to get pregnant for a couple of months, and we loved the idea that God had remembered us. Then when I had bleeding on a couple different occasions that name just kept coming back as a promise to me. God has not forgotten this baby. He cares so much. So to Titus and me, this baby has always been and always will be Zechariah.... because God remembered us. We are blessed so much!

Thank you all for your prayers! I love you all!
~ Amanda

... Just in case you didn't know the estimated due date is: October 7th ...

This year for Zechariah's 4th birthday, I tried to talk him into a cowboy party, but he wouldn't have anything to do with it. I thought it would be fun to plan, and dress up for. He said, "NO," very decisively. He actually suggested, "Maybe you can have a cowboy party for YOUR birthday, Mommy." He wanted a Cars birthday.

I've never done a Cars party, as his older brother Gabe isn't a big fan of toy cars. Zechariah on the other hand, loves to drive his cars for hours around the house. It really was the perfect party for him. He doesn't care if it's Lightning McQueen or any of the other characters, it just needs to have four wheels and he's good with it.

For awhile I kept teasing Zech that we were going to have a cowboy party because a car party was too boring. When a friend of mine was over, and we were talking about his birthday, I said again, "We're going to have a cowboy party, right, Zech?" He was upset with me, and shook his head, "No. I'm gonna have a boring Cars party. I like boring Cars parties."

Lightning McQueen cardboard costume Cars
I don't think I can do boring or small. Every year I try and say I'm going to keep it very simple, and every year it turns out big and elaborate. I love to party. And there's nothing wrong with that!

We kept Zechariah's real birthday pretty simple. I think it was so simple, he didn't even understand that he was already four. I took him out for lunch at Olive Garden (his choice), and we told the waitress he was 4 today, and his response to her was, "No. I not four today. I not have my party yet."

According to Zech, you must have cake with friends in order to have a birthday. When we were out to Olive Garden we asked the waitress if they could sing to him. She gathered several other waiters and they all sang "Happy Birthday." Later that night as Zech was telling his dad about his birthday lunch, he very excitedly said, "I had A LOT of people at my party. I don't member their names." So maybe the trick to having a birthday is the song, not the cake.

I gave Zech a choice of what kind of birthday cake he wanted, and he simply chose ice cream sandwiches. It's kind of hard to put candles in a cake like that, so we made him an ice cream pyramid complete with tea lights.

Since we put so much money into our birthday parties, and the kid's friends usually give presents, along with grandparents, we often don't do much for birthday gifts. I got a great deal this year on Zech's present. I found some roller skates at Kohl's that I only paid $3.50 for! They were 50% off, and every month Kohl's sends me a free $10 gift card. All I have to do is spend over $10 to use it. I'm pretty proud of that sale. A funny fact about the skates, I actually bought them the same day Zech broke his arm. I was so glad he got his cast off in plenty of time to use them on his birthday.

Zech got his own real key for his birthday too. I brought him to the machine in Wal-Mart where we were able to personalize his key chain. He also was able to choose a key of his own in the automotive section. I was a little surprised to find they don't have Cars keys. I mean, wouldn't it make sense to have a Cars key more than any other Disney character???

He loves it! Every time we leave the house, he must have his key in the car, and then when we arrive at our location, he requests it be put in my purse for safe keeping.

Before Stefanie left for Colorado she took Zech shopping for his birthday gift. He picked out a nice green water bottle. It wasn't exactly kid proof, so Stefanie exchanged it for a better green bottle that came with a straw. This one worked for a couple weeks then water started seeping out the straw. On his birthday, we went and exchanged it again for the shark cup.

He really likes it, but it's a little complicated for him to understand where it came from. I tried to tell him it was still from Stefanie, but he thinks I bought it for him. He doesn't understand since she wasn't there how it could be from her. I kept asking him over and over again who gave him the cup. Every time he would say, "NO, Steffie got me my green cup. You got me my shark cup."

One time he answered the question right, and seemed to get it. A couple hours later, he came running over to me and yelled with his mad face, "I get so mad at you, Mommy!" I wasn't sure what I'd done.

"You keep saying Steffie buy me my shark cup, but YOU did."

Now if I want him to answer the question right, I ask, "where did the money come from for your shark cup?" And every time he will answer, "Steffie." I guess you just have to think like a kid. Don't confuse them and say that someone else bought it for them, when they know with absolute certainty you drove them to the store and picked out that cup!

Now... it's finally party time!

We thought it would be fun to have Zech's party at our church. They have a great big parking lot, and plenty of room for "car" games.

My mom put together Zech's birthday cake. Originally I planned on her making him a simple stoplight cake, but when we asked him what he wanted, he had a plan, and we didn't want to disappoint him. He said it needed to be a race car with a party on it. This is what my mom came up with. She did a great job!

Cars birthday cake
Zechariah planned all the food at his party. He really wanted candy corn to be there. Since they look a little like traffic cones, we decided they could be "cozy cones" like in the movie. I don't have any fun candy dishes, so I made a cardboard car for the candy to sit in. Zech loved it!

cardboard car cozy cone motel Cars
Our party favors had a black and white checkered flag in it, a car air freshener, some Cars fruit snacks, and a fun candy car. I think the candy cars were the cutest with the peppermint wheels; however I know a lot of kids don't like peppermint candies. I tried to make all of theirs with Lifesaver wheels, and then had a bunch of peppermint cars on the table for the adults.

The biggest hit of our party were the box cars. Not to be confused with Matchbox cars. Zech and I designed a fun kid car. I had everyone's car ready and waiting for them. We had Lightning McQueen eyes on the front, two windows on each side, and a gas tank on the right. The back of the car had red cup brake lights, and a license plate holder.

When all of his friends got to the party, the first thing they did was choose wheels for their box cars. We had red, green, and yellow plates for the wheels, and large black plates for their steering wheel.

Lightning McQueen cars cardboard costume
After their tires and steering wheels were attached, they got to design their own license plate. There were lots of Cars stickers available to help them decorate with. Some of the kids colored on their cars too.

After their box car was finished, they could run around playing in it. We had a deluxe car wash they could run through made out of PVC pipe. Zechariah really enjoyed building this with me; it was simple enough for him to hook it together himself.

car wash gas pump Cars party
When I asked Zech what his favorite part of the party was, he said the gas. There was always a long line at the gas pump. If I had known this, I might have made a couple gas pumps for the kids to play with. We put a garden hose under the box, and made sure to have a spray nozzle for the gas to come out of. If we weren't worried about getting wet and ruining the cardboard, it sure would have been fun to design a real working gas tank that could actually hold water.

If you notice, gas only costs $2.869! I looked up how much it was the week Zechariah was born. If only we could go back to those prices!

cardboard gas pump Cars birthday party
We had a bean bag toss that the kids could play with. I asked my brother to bring his special racing tires, and I made some Lightning McQueen and Mater beanbags. It was fun to try to make it through the holes on the standing tire. It was much harder than it appeared. After the party was over, each of the kids were able to take home a beanbag.

Bean bag toss in cars wheels
All of Zech's friends were able to make it to his party!

Working on their cars so they could begin playing...

Zech is working on personalizing his license plate.

cardboard car wash Cars party
It was so cute to see all the kids in their box cars running around.

When we were getting ready for the party and unloading our things from the car we were very rushed for time. I worked on setting things up, while my mom and daughter carried everything in. We always keep jumper cables in Titus' car, and my mom thought they were meant for the party. So it wasn't actually planned for me to bring them, but it worked out and was fun for the kids to "jump" each other's car.

I think my brother was trying to charge Zana for her gas...

We had a few car crashes at the party! And even some flat tires, and one lost tire. This happened when the kids put their tires down too low on the box. It was pretty cute to see!

Our next activity was a relay game. We had two different teams, the red and the green team. The kids lined up behind their "oil pan" full of rice. They each took a turn filling the funnel up with rice. They had to run across the room to their matching colored car, and slowly funnel out the rice. They couldn't dump it into the car as the oil would get all over and possibly ruin their engine. Once all the "oil" was in their car, the game was over.

I had a lot of fun making things out of cardboard for this party. I was especially happy with how my red and green cars turned out!

I wanted to make sure we had plenty of activities going on so none of the kids would get bored. We brought some of our cars from home, along with the mat that the kids could play on.

It's so hard to get Zechariah looking straight forward. You can always have his head facing you, however his eyes are usually roaming around the room.

Another favorite of the party was the "gas" everyone got to drink. I thought it would be fun to use a real gas can. We, of course, bought a brand new one for the party. It was really cute to hear, "Can I have some more gas, please?"

I'm not sure how many of Zech's friends were brave enough to try a frozen banana, but Zech sure loves them. He put in a special request to have these at his party. Actually, he kept requesting things to eat there, and I thought about ignoring this one. I couldn't figure how I could relate them to cars. He reminded me several times before the party that we needed to buy our bananas, so I knew I had to make some whether we found the idea or not. They were simply frozen bananas... I came up with nothing.

If you've never had chocolate covered frozen bananas, you should! I think they are delicious and semi-nutritious! They're very easy to make too. You need to freeze your bananas, and make sure to dip them in lemon juice first to keep them from browning. Once they're frozen, you can drizzle chocolate on top. I usually heat my almond bark on the stove and add a few tablespoons of shortening to thin it out. Quickly add some sprinkles and you're done. The chocolate hardens very fast since the bananas are frozen.

chocolate frozen bananas

The gas pump was really the hit of the party!

Our last fun of the party was the big race! The kids looked so cute all lined up in their cars.

cardboard Lightning McQueen Cars race

On your mark, get set, GO!

cardboard Lightning McQueen Cars race

These two boys were neck and neck the entire race, until the very end when one of them crashed and burned. He skinned his knees, poor kid!

cardboard Lightning McQueen Cars raceI was a little worried that Zech would be really upset when he lost this race. He's much smaller than all his friends and I knew the chance of him winning was zip. We made the race 4 laps long, since it was his fourth birthday. He was clueless to the fact that he lost the race. He only made it two laps, when the winner had finished all four laps.

Our only thing left to do when the race was done was open presents! He got Cars stuff from everyone! He loved it!

Apart from all his new Cars paraphernalia he really loved his giant Mario. His first night having it, his brother begged him to be allowed to sleep with it. Zech told him no, and has slept with Mario every night since.

It was a great party! I think Zech really enjoyed himself, and I thought everything went perfectly.

We finished off the day with a couple hot pizzas, and settled down to watch Cars as a family. In a few short weeks, we're going to be able to have another Cars family night, as his grandma and papa gave him a gift certificate to buy Cars 2 when it comes out!

Lightning McQueen cardboard Cars
Happy 4th Birthday, Zechy!
I love you!


  1. This is an awesome party! I have a feeling we may have a Mcqueen 4th birthday party in our future too. (3rd birthday was Thomas) it's not til march though so minds may be changed before then!

  2. I love the car wash and gas station. It looks like a great party!

  3. What a fun party! I love the box cars and all the fun things you did with them!



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