Monday, July 30, 2012


Oh happy day!
Celebrating birthdays is so fun and special.
We stayed up until midnight decorating and wrapping gifts for our big girl.
 The late night was so worth it when this sweet smiling face came peeking out of her room.

Opening gifts is the first order of the day:

She was so precious and excited about each and every gift.
She was thrilled about her first full-length Bible.
a new book
 a (plastic) piggy bank from little brother,
who broke her ceramic one;
and a fuzzy bathrobe, which was her "most wanted" gift:

 Her excitement made the search for a fuzzy bathrobe in July so worth it:

 And the big gift: parasailing with Mommy & Daddy!

This is how she spent the rest of the morning before breakfast:

 We were so, so sad when the weather turned yucky in the afternoon,
and the parasailing company wasn't sending boats out.
We asked Lana if she wanted to reschedule for tomorrow,
but she decided that she wanted to do something very special on her actual birthday.
After some deliberation, she decided that she will parasail when she's 7,
and wanted to go get her ears pierced today!
Off to Claire's we went:

one last shot of unpierced ears

Dan was more nervous than she was!  He was cracking me up.
He kept talking about how we were putting a hole in her body,
and it would never be the same.

waiting, waiting....

We were so happy to get the assistant manager to pierce Lana's ears!
She was so careful to make sure the dots were even.

This one got a stronger reaction because she knew what was coming.
If there had been another employee there, they would have done them at the same time, but there was just the one girl there, so we had to do them one at a time.

That didn't last long, though!
She was so happy and excited -
she kept talking about how pretty she felt,
and how grown-up.

And look who was waiting at home with Tucker!
What a special thing to have Sue Sue here for her birthday!

She also got a special package in the mail from Uncle Allan and Aunt Ranae,
all the way from Fredericksburg, VA that made her smile so big:

They sent her birthday money and Aunt Ranae made her these gorgeous house slippers that she wears every moment we're at home.  So cute!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Lana's 6th Birthday Party

It's so hard to believe that we're celebrating my baby girl's SIXTH birthday.
It was just yesterday that I held her in my arms for the first time.  
She is a delight to me, in so many ways,
and I am overwhelmed with gratitude to be her mama.

When we asked her how she'd like to celebrate,
this year (for the first time), she had opinions.
She wanted to watch a movie with popcorn with her friends.
She wanted a pinata.
And she wanted a cookie cake.
So that's just what we did!

Here are the sweet friends who came to celebrate with her:

We hosted the party at our church, in the student building.

The original plan was to have an outdoor movie, using a projector,
but the weather was iffy,
and it was hot and buggy,
and we were glad to have a way to just move it inside.  :)

One of our good friends from Daphne offered to let us use their snow-cone machine,
which was a hit!

Several of our students agreed to come help us with the party,
and WOW, were we ever thankful for them!  No way that it would have happened without them!

And look who came!  
Lana's kindergarten teacher!
Ms. Fine has set the bar high for our future teachers, in many ways.

The movie for the night: Despicable Me.  Our favorite!

Lana was so happy to have some of her most special friends at her party!

Pinata time!  
Lana chose this one with strings,
which she loved.  
I think it was far inferior to the kind that you bash,
but she loved it, and that's what counts!

It required a little help from mama and daddy!

Lana's birthday parties are not complete with a cookie cake - yum!

We have never opened gifts at birthday parties before:
Lana has always been far too shy to do that.
This year, though, she wanted to -
and she thoroughly enjoyed it!

Mr. Shane had a special message for her on the big screen! :)

After presents, we all got popcorn and settled down to watch Despicable Me.
 Andrew was a most excellent popcorn chef!

It was a wonderful evening!