Friday, October 18, 2013

8 Years Old.

My first born turned 8, the 1st of the month.  Every time I look at her I wonder, "How did this go by so quickly?" followed closely by, "I can't possibly have an 8 year old."  I live in semi-denial about this most days.  To top it all off she had to go and want a sleepover party this year.  Doesn't that mean something?  I really wanted to tell her she wasn't old enough for that, but she is also smart, this one.  It wouldn't have ever worked.  So...we had a sleepover party.

 The place where I dream about all of the things I am going to do for a party included making sleeping bags for each of the girls.  Then I came back to reality and came to the above conclusion.  I gave myself a pat on the back for this one.  While it did require an abundance of furniture re-organizing and clearing out of said was t.o.t.a.l.l.y. worth it!

I brought out quilts left behind by my grandmother and a very special knit/crocheted blanket (sorry I don't know how to tell) made by my best friend's grandmother for me years ago.  This might have been my favorite thing in the room.  

Olivia requested that we do nails that night so I set up this little station with a new book I found just in time.

The birthday girl's other request for the evening was to go bowling.  So, I loaded up the girls early in the afternoon and we hit the bowling lanes first.  This was quite comical.  The big girls did wonderful and were such helpers for the little ones.  Each time it was time for the little sisters to bowl the big sisters would run and grab the metal "ball slope" and push it right into place, hold it still, and cheer when the ball made it to the pins.  I could have watched that for hours.  

When we returned home they were so excited to put on their pajamas and start the sleepover part of the evening, which obviously had to begin with cake.  At Olivia's request we re-invented an ice cream sandwich cake we made for Man earlier this year.

cake recipe here

After a long, fun night of arts and crafts, nail polishing, and eating I finally turned in at 12:30.  However, I was not the last woman standing.  Addison was bright-eyed and on her second wind.  There is no telling when she finally fell asleep...and I am ok not knowing that information.  ;)

I had a lot of neat ideas for the morning breakfast but settled on doughnut holes dipped in icing and covered in sprinkles.  I knew the girls would love this make-it-yourself treat.  Served up with eggs and bacon too... the birthday girl's favorite!

Due to a family wedding we had to have her party the last weekend in September and just have a family celebration on her actual birthday.  No child ever seems to mind two full days of celebration...and I was fully informed of all expectations.  Ahem.  

So....we started the day with chocolate chip muffins because birthday girl LOVES chocolate.  Whatever word can mean more than LOVES...that is the word you should insert here.

As a special treat I signed Allye up for an extra day of Mom's Morning Out so Olivia and I could spend the morning together.  She was beyond thrilled.  We rushed straight home and she made her requested birthday cake (yes, number 2) all by herself (also her request).  That is my girl.

This is new territory in our house and I hold my breath every.single.time.

Before picking up her little sisters we snapped some quick pictures to remember her special day.  

She chose Mexican for dinner, not the kind that can be cooked at home so we ate out and returned for her, first, "made all by herself" cake.  She chose Chess Cake, a Meme recipe handed down.  Her father's feelings were not hurt at all.  It happens to be one of his favorites too.  

It was truly a wonderful celebration of our beautiful girl.


My Sweet Olivia,
     My what a year you have had.  The image of who you are going to be has truly come to light for us as we have watched you.  Always a determined, strong-willed, loving child, you are transforming into something I would never have imagined, only dreamed of.  While it is easy to see how you outwardly have grown and matured, it is very hard to accept.  There are times when I look at you and I see a small infant just moments old.  Other times I see the tiny toddler who could climb on anything and everything and communicate fully without uttering a word.  My how times have changed.  Talking is not a problem for you at all these days!  But, most days I look at you with complete admiration and in total awe.  You are growing into a young girl that is smart, caring, loving, compassionate, helpful, thoughtful, critically thinking, the list truly goes on and on.  However, there is one characteristic about you that I am most proud of, and that is your love for the Lord.  I can honestly say I have always been skeptical of professed salvation and baptism in very young children.  But, God has used you to show me that I was so very wrong.  The light in your eyes when you talk about the Lord is something that brings me to my knees.  My proudest moments are when I see you shining for Him.  The way you are not ashamed and the innocence you have in believing that everyone believes.  I hope that you are never ashamed and that you always let your light shine, because my sweet Olivia, it is very bright!
     There is a small calendar that was a gift to our family last year.  Each day there is a verse that I try to read.  Some days I find that I have not turned the page in several days but stood in total silence when I flipped it the morning of your birthday.  Tears flowed after just the first line.  I knew in that moment I wanted to forever keep those words written for you.
          "You are a work in progress.  God is molding and fashioning you into a person with whom He wants to live forever.  Because of this, you have the hope that you are not going to be the same person tomorrow that you are today.  If you are opening your life to God's love, and you desire to have God's love work in you and through you, then you are going to be more like Christ tomorrow than you are right now.  Next week, you will be even more like Christ.  Next year, you will be even more like Him.  And so on."
    Olivia, I am so thankful that you were a gift given to us to care for and guide through this wonderful life.  You made me a mom and us a family.  Your spirit for life is contagious and I feel blessed that we were chosen to be your parents.  Although we will fail you many times as parents, I assure you that we love you more than words can say and hope and pray that you will always love us too.   I love you my sweet, sweet Olivia.


Monday, October 7, 2013

Project 365 - The Beginning of the Catch-Up

I haven't missed a beat in taking a daily picture for Project 365...getting them posted with all of our summer travels and fun is an entirely different story. 

Here is the beginning of the catch-up I have been slowly working on.  Enjoy!


More summer fun on the way...just gotta finish up one more birthday tomorrow!  

----The Mama

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