Dema turned 13 today and since it is also Easter, we dubbed it Beaster (birthday/Easter). If he has a nice long life, we figured out he will only celebrate Beaster three times. He started on Saturday celebrating his last day as a 12 year old.
|Dema loves Daiya cheezecake!|
We've only had Daiya cheezecake once before, but he wanted to try it again for his birthday. I know vegan cheesecake is pretty simple to make, but it was on sale at the co-op.
The cheesecake is really pretty small, but perfect for everyone to have a small slice. If it was bigger, it would be too rich and heavy. Josie thinks it tastes like the Daiya greek yogurt.
|Parker, Josie, and Dema waiting for a table at our favorite local Thai restaurant.|
We were supposed to head up to Chicago for Dema's 13th birthday, but Parker is directing his first short film and his cast/crew were available to shoot this weekend and Dema didn't want to go to Chicago without the entire family. I love how supportive they are of each other. They don't always get along perfectly, but they always have each others' backs.
|Rob and Dema enjoying their vegan pad thai and mock duck basil at Thara Thai.|
The kids always want to celebrate their birthdays and other special events at Thara Thai. The owner is the sweetest, she adds extra veggies for us, and the food is a perfect blend of spicy and love.
|The Sunday D and D group after the escape room adventure.|
Parker is the dungeon master for a D and D group on Sunday evenings and one of the members just happened to plan an escape room adventure on Dema's birthday weekend. Dema was a little nervous with this being his first escape room adventure and this one involved zombies and handcuffs, but he had a great time and can't wait to do another one!
|Josie, Dema, and Parker enjoying their morning smoothies and giving Dema his Beaster present.|
Parker was up late shooting Saturday night so Easter morning came a little too early for him, but they were eager to give Dema his X Box One games. I miss the days of Easter presents being plants or seeds. Sigh.
|The kids did get a little vegan Easter candy too.|
Our awesome neighbor, Margie, has hosted a huge Easter Egg hunt every year in our park since we moved in, but this year she was out of town visiting one of her sons. Our other neighbors, Abigail and Aaron, invited Josie to join their little scavenger hunt Easter Egg hunt. It is a genius idea where each egg has a note that leads you to the next and finally to a gift.
We gave Dema Isa's The Superfun Times Vegan Holiday Cookbook for Christmas and he's been dying to make something from it. He flipped through and requested these Snuggy Bunnies, which is spiced cooked carrots in a blanket. We made a double batch and the kids wanted more. Parker and I really liked the carrots without the puff pastry so I'll have to cook the carrots again. Josie doesn't like soft carrots, but these keep a bit of their crunch so Josie approved.
|Dema's 13th Birthday cake by Rob.|
The kids request this cake for every birthday. It is the Raspberry Frosted Cake with Chocolate Cream Center from Vive le Vegan by Dreena Burton. The kids have had fancier birthday cakes through the years, but this is their favorite tasting by far. Rob is the one who usually makes it since I despise baking so it is his special present to them. Parker needs to learn how to make it before he moves out.
|Dema's 13th Birthday Cake is fabulous served with tea.|
|Dema has a sweet tooth so this is his favorite part of the day.|
|Dema's birthday cake with Ben & Jerry's non-dairy ice cream.|
|Parker in film director mode.|
I love having two teens in the house. Parker and Dema have a complicated relationship, as many siblings do. Since there is four years between them, their closeness has ebed and flowed, but I've noticed them getting closer as Dema has matured a bit as he approached 13. I think this will be a defining year for their relationship and I hope that they grow in a closeness that will sustain them throughout their adult lives.