Rachel started the birthday countdown months ago. She loves to look at calendars and mark her birthday. This year, her birthday came during Spring Break, just before Easter and General Conference weekend. Our family tradition is to do a party only every other year (to save my sanity), and this was her year. We decided to do the obvious--and have an Easter-themed birthday party. We were lucky to have Jonathan and DeAnn and family spend the weekend with us as well.
Let's back up. Thursday morning we started with a special bagel breakfast and presents. Since it was also April Fool's day, and since I ran out of wrapping paper, we wrapped all her presents in Christmas wrap and wished her Merry Christmas, Happy Valentine's Day, etc...until she got made and told us to stop. Grandpa Green sent this very cool doll (he made it), and its 3 dolls in one--Little Red Riding Hood, the Grandmother, and the wolf. Very cool.
Later that morning, we met some friends at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum for some playtime. The have a very cool exhibit right now about Robots, and there was a display about cochlear implants, including a good demonstration of what it sounds like to listen through an implant. I thought it was awesome.
On our way home we stopped at a park for a picnic lunch.
Then, for dinner, this cake--truly a cake wreck to begin with, and utterly hopeless after Rachel added sprinkles.Friday morning was a mad rush to get ready for the party (they always make me nervous). Jonathan and DeAnn came with their kids early in the afternoon. By 2:00, kids started coming. We began by decorating eggs; then, while they were drying, the Dads took the kids outside for some games. Next, we painted small birdhouses (while the Dad's set up the Easter egg hunt)--and then the kids looked for eggs and goodies while we set up cake. It worked well--much better than I had hoped--probably because we had to many extra adult hands. I think all the kids had fun. Rachel had an awesome birthday, and definitely had moments of suffering from "Too much birthday" because of all the excitement.That evening, we celebrated Uncle Jonathan's birthday (also and April Fool's Day kid) with an adult treat--brownie trifle and old episodes of NCIS.
Such a fun weekend! We always love having the cousins come play, and it was a nice way to spend General Conference weekend.
We are so proud of Rachel. The past few years have challenged us in ways we never anticipated, but she is so resilient. She's a happy kid. She loves life, she loves people, and she works so hard at overcoming any challenges she has. She is challenging her doctors' expectations. She is so fun to have around! Here are a few of my favorite pictures of her from the last few years...
(check out the lovely green and gold decor of our Provo place)
(you can see how lopsided her smile used to be--but cute!)
(downtown D.C. with Hannah)
(at a petting farm in Baltimore-2 yrs old and barely walking)Happy birthday, Rachel!