Since we don't have any updated information on Joelle - we should get that in the next week or so - I can tell you about Jonna's birthday party.
This year, for her 4th birthday, we had her first "friends" birthday party. When she turned 1, we had a quiet evening at home. When she turned 2, we had a "Jonna's birthday/Mardi Gras/Lunar New Year/Kathy has jury duty" gathering, mostly our adult friends. Last year for her 3rd birthday, it was dinner at Friendly's for Junior.
This year was breakout time, and she got to help plan things. She had five of her friends - all girls by her request - join her for an afternoon of play at Farmington Farms, the tennis and athletic club I joined a few weeks ago. They have a moon bouncer and a giant play room with foam climbers and the like.
As you can see on the photo page, she chose a Hello Kitty theme. The girls all ran around, jumped on the bouncer and had a great time. Jonna's friends Brenna, Morgan, Emma, Caché and Lily came. Afterward, they all had chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and everyone helped Jonna open her presents.
Later, we opened presents at home. From Mom and Dad, she got a Hello Kitty art apron, a pink Indians warm-up jacket (of course!) and a Fischer-Price digital camera, something she has been asking for for a long time! That thing is amazing, and she's been taking pictures of everything. When New England's fine winter weather improves a bit, she'll get her final present, a two-wheeler. She's outgrown her tricycle, though you'd never know it by the way she tools around the driveway.
She's already planning her next birthday party!