May 5, 2005
Ellie Kennedy’s family thinks there may be something exciting written in her stars. The Tempe girl turns 5 today — on 05/05/05.
In numerology, repetition of the number five can mean diversity and signal the opportunity to meet new people and try new things.
That’s perfect for the little girl with white blond hair who speaks some Spanish. Diversity will be the theme of her birthday, which she is thrilled to spend celebrating Cinco de Mayo — a holiday that commemorates Mexico’s victory over the French in an 1862 battle and today mixes American and Mexican cultures.
She prepared small sombreros, cherry-flavored chili pepper candies and wooden mariachi key chains on Wednesday, in anticipation of a block party her parents got permission to host on Saturday in their east Tempe neighborhood, near McClintock Drive and Baseline Road.
In the afternoon, kids will party in the street with a brightly- colored bounce house, cake and presents. By 4:30 p.m. and into the evening, at least 70 adults will continue the party with karaoke and a Mexican buffet.
The family is well known for hosting block parties.
Mark and Carrie Kennedy, co-presidents of Hudson Elementary School’s Parent-Teacher Organization, had a patio built in their front yard, rather than in back. Their goal, they said, is to bring their neighborhood together and celebrate each other — rather than hiding behind block walls.
"Let’s go back to neighborhood meetings," Mark Kennedy said. "We’re teaching our kids to appreciate others and have people over, make friends."
Ellie’s is not the only unusual birthday in the family. Her grandmother, Pat Tuma, who just arrived with grandfather Ben Tuma from Minnesota, will turn 76 on 06/06/06.
Elder sister Abby will turn 8 on May 11 — a date that places her birthday often on Mother’s Day, the holiday on which she was born. Another greatgrandfather was born on Sept. 11, 1900. Several birthdays, including Oct. 19 and Sept. 5, are shared among several family members.
Abby said she’s excited to party with her neighbors — a mix who bring many cultures to the community, where 23 languages are spoken in school.
"Some of the people I know are from different countries," Abby said. "I know someone who is Dutch, one of my friends is Chinese. I have a Russian friend. Mexican. Japanese . . ."