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“Happy birthday, Emily!” said Jessie as she squeezed Emily in a great, big birthday hug.
“Thank you, Jessie,” she laughed. “I’m so excited! Do you want to help me decorate the dining room for my party?” Emily asked. She held up some streamers in her hand.
“That sounds fun,” said Jessie as they walked into the dining room. Emily already had some balloons taped to the backs of the chairs. “Where’s Aunt Angela?” Jessie asked.
“In the kitchen. She’s making my birthday cake. I’m not supposed to peek, so she told me to decorate in here with the stuff I chose at the store.”
“What kind of cake is your mom making?”
“Strawberry cake! With pink frosting,” said Emily as she clapped her hands with excitement.
It was going to be a family party with Emily’s brother Jeremy and her parents. Jessie and her mom and dad were invited, and Justin’s family was coming, too. They were going to have hot dogs, potato salad, watermelon, and chips for dinner. Emily loved hot dogs! Then for dessert, they would have cake and ice cream!
The girls spent the afternoon decorating the dining room. Emily turned when she heard someone say, “There’s my birthday girl!”
Emily raced toward her dad for a hug. “Hi, Daddy! You’re home early today,” she said.
“Yep. I just wanted to get home and see if I could help your mom get things ready for your birthday dinner . . . and sneak some cake,” he said with a wink.
“Uh uh!” said Emily. She shook her finger at him. “Oh no you don’t! I get the first bite ‘cause I’m the birthday girl.”
“Oh, all right,” said her dad. He stuck out his lip as if he were pouting.
Jessie laughed. “Uncle Robert’s funny.”
“Yeah, but sometimes Mommy pretends to get mad at him for being so silly. She says, ‘You’re just like a kid, Robert,’” Emily explained. “It’s pretty funny.”
It was getting close to dinner time. Jessie ran home to change clothes, and Emily went to her room. They both had colorful sundresses to wear tonight. Emily’s mom came in to braid her hair so it looked all fancy.
“Daddy didn’t get into the cake, did he?” Emily asked her mom.
“Of course not! He knows the birthday girl always gets the first piece.” Her mom smiled.
“Good. What’s he doing? He said he was going to help you.”
“I’m going to put him in charge of roasting the hot dogs.”
“That sounds like a good job for Daddy,” Emily agreed with a grin. She was so happy. She had been waiting a long time for this special day. Emily slipped on her sandals and headed downstairs. When she came into the kitchen, she heard her dad ask, “What else can I do to help?”
“You can get the hot dogs ready for the grill,” her mom replied.
“They’re ready. What else can I do?”
Emily’s mom gave him a big, noisy kiss and said, “I’ve got everything planned. It’s all under control. But thank you very much for your help. Just get the hot dogs on the grill, please.”
Emily smiled at her dad as he walked by with the hot dogs. “Please don’t make mine black!” she called after him. “I don’t like black hot dogs.”
“What?! Black ones are yummy,” he answered back.
Emily scrunched up her nose. “Yuck!”
Just then the doorbell rang. Emily’s mom opened the door. “Happy birthday, Emily!” sang Jessie and her mom and dad.
“Hi, Uncle Dave. Hi, Auntie Bev! Come in!” Emily said. They handed her some presents with big bows and brightly colored paper.
“Thank you!” she said and piled them on the table.
Justin and his family came a few minutes later. Soon they were all sitting around the decorated table eating their hot dogs.
Emily’s dad patted his stomach and said, “Now it must be time for dessert!” When Emily’s mom was about to get up, Emily’s dad jumped up and said, “I’ll get dessert. You just sit and relax a bit.”
Emily’s mom started to speak, “But, Honey, I wasn’t—”
“Oh no,” Emily’s dad interrupted, “you’ve been working on dinner and everything all day.” He gently pushed her back into her chair and went into the kitchen before she could argue. He took out the cake and the ice cream and set them on the counter. Then he walked back into the dining room to ask a question and saw that Emily was starting to open her presents. He got out his camera and snapped pictures of Emily unwrapping each gift. She got bubbles and sidewalk chalk and a rainbow-colored kite. Next, she opened an animal safari coloring book and a pink and green water gun set.
“Wow! These are great!” Emily exclaimed.
“Now we can have a water gun fight on the next sunny day,” Justin suggested.
“I can use the pink gun and you can use the green one.” Emily handed the green water gun to her brother.
“Thanks, Emily!” Jeremy pretended to shoot the balloon attached to Justin’s chair.
“And I have two water guns that Jessie and I can use,” Justin said.
“Remind me to stay clear of the yard when you kids are battling!” Emily’s dad pretended to dodge from enemy fire. Everyone laughed.
“Now open the present from your dad and me,” Emily’s mom suggested.
“Ooh! Wow! Very nice,” everyone said as Emily held up the new doll from her parents.
Emily said, “Thank you, everyone! I love all my presents so much!”
“Okay!” Emily’s mom announced, “Now it’s time for some dessert.”
“I’ll get it for you . . . uh oh,” Emily’s dad said with a sheepish look on his face, like he did something wrong.
“Uh oh? What do you mean, ‘uh oh’?” Emily’s mom asked as she went to the kitchen. She carried the beautiful pink cake out to the table. Then she brought the ice cream and some bowls. “Now I know what you meant when you said, ‘uh oh,’” she said. “Anyone want some ice cream soup?”
“Sorry about that,” said Emily’s dad. “I was trying to help, so I took it out of the freezer, but I guess it wasn’t time for dessert yet.”
Emily’s mom pretended to be mad. “If you had asked me,” she said, “I could have told you it wasn’t time for dessert yet and that we were going to open presents first.” She looked at his sad face, then burst out laughing.
“That’s all right, Daddy,” Emily giggled. “We can all have ice cream soup with our cake.”
And that’s exactly what they did.
Justin & Jessie show kids how the Bible applies to real life! These weekly stories are part of Answers Bible Curriculum, our full-Bible, chronological Sunday school program for all ages.