Sunday, April 16, 2017

Two Teen Household or Dema turns 13

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.
 We sometimes ice the sides, but I like saving some icing (it is make with frozen raspberries so it tastes so fresh and naturally sweet) for a bundt cake later in the week.
Dema has a sweet tooth so this is his favorite part of the day.
Dema and I went on several walks with the dogs and I told Dema's birth story to him again. The kids love reliving their birth stories. This year it took two days to tell it because Dema loves to joke around and slipping into different voices (British, Southern US, etc.) so we end up getting side tracked and laughing. I wrote this post about Dema on his 6th birthday and it is more true today than ever.
Dema's birthday cake with Ben & Jerry's non-dairy ice cream.
 The cake is great on its own, but we couldn't resist using Ben & Jerry's PB and Cookies and Ben & Jerry's Coffee Caramel Fudge to top our cake. These are two "new to us" non-dairy flavors. The Coffee Caramel Fudge is my favorite of the two and Dema agreed (he's a sucker for anything caramel). The rest of the family liked them both equally. B & J really knows how to get the consistency, flavor, and mouth-feel right. I can't believe how far vegan ice cream has come!
Parker in film director mode.
Parker is directing this short film on his own, using all teens to crew and cast (one adult is also in the cast), and he's editing it on his own. I don't even really know what it is about, but I did get a call a couple hours into shooting one night because they needed food stat! I knew they would need snacks, but all the kids were sure they'd be fine. Parker usually takes his own food on shoots when he's acting so he declined food service when I offered before the shoot. I made a quick run to the store and the cast and crew was so appreciative, but that is all the help I've given him. I love that it is teaching him about directing, organization, delegating, scheduling, and telling people what to do. They haven't been taking behind the scene shots so I got this one of him coning back from the filming location with the film computer.

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.

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