Whipped cream and strawberries on cake - yum. It was store-bought, but it was a tasty birthday cake, nonetheless.
Brooke with her birthday loot!
Pretty necklace from grandparents Denny and Becky, on a pretty gal.
Brooke's request for a birthday dinner: bacon, mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli and fruit salad. I added a homemade fruit punch, and we were set.
A Finnish memento for her birthday, Brooke picked out this mug. It's made by the famous Finnish company Marimekko, known in the U.S. mostly for its textiles (see links below). When I was growing up, my parents valued Finnish things, partially because they like Finnish/Scandinavian design and partially as a way of honoring my dad's Finnish heritage. So, Marimekko has always held some allure for me, and I'll be happy to borrow Brooke's mug (if she let's me!). Note the multiple colors of nail polish, a b-day present from Grandma Susan and Grandpa Grant.
Studying about the Roman Empire
Brooke has taught herself to make bagels. Boiled and then baked, they are delicious. She hopes to start a Saturday bagel-baking tradition. If you plan on visiting us, ask Brooke to make some of her bagels, and you'll be in for a treat.
This photo pre-dates her birthday, but I put it here since this post is about Brooke. Brooke made this sauna ladle in shop class at school. She chiseled out a bowl shape in the block of wood you can see in her right hand. Using that shape as a form, she pounded out the ladle's copper bowl. She used a lathe to form the wooden handle, stained the wood a variety of colors and then attached both the ladle's bowl and handle to the twisted metal piece in the middle. It is one of my favorite things, and we will use it frequently in our sauna here in Tampere and back home in Wisconsin. If you are not acquainted with saunas, see the link below. By the way, do me a favor and pronounce sauna like the Finns, who are credited with its invention. Sauna is pronounced "sow-nah." Thanks, or Kiitos!
Brooke saying what she liked about her birthday
Singing Happy Birthday to Brooke
Curious about Marimekko? Here's a link: http://www.marimekko.com/
Finnish Saunas: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finnish_sauna