October 25, 2007
Happy Birthday, Charis and Arden!
Charis and Arden got a fun surprise for their birthday--Grandma K came to town! The kids didn't know she was coming, so it was fun for us to walk in the door the evening of the 16th and see their expressions. Charis's face was priceless! The boys didn't seem to think it was a big deal--"Hi, Grandma. Want to come see my room?!" I guess they don't realize that it's quite a big deal for us to have visitors, since we live so far from family! My mom got to stay for a week, and it was so great to have her here.
[Editor's note: If you would simply like to view the slide show of pictures rather than this rambling commentary, click here to go to the online album and then select slide show!]
Charis and Arden's actual birthday was the 18th, but we didn't have the party until the Sunday afterward. I had barely gotten things unpacked to the point of being able to function when I had to prepare for a stamp club meeting at my house on the 19th, so the party was really not more than a free-for-all. We did announce a cowboy/cowgirl theme, which is what we had been planning for Arden's party prior to the move. Charis had announced that she wanted an "Egyptian" party, having gotten an Egyptian princess costume for the dress-up box during a Party City super sale. Charis graciously agreed to combine parties again this year--I had fully intended to have separate parties for them this year and every year thereafter, but...well, when you have to move suddenly, plans change.
So, instead of stamping nice, pretty invitations and getting them out with 2 weeks' notice, I frantically sent an email to the moms of kids that Arden and Charis wanted to come to their combined party! I allowed them to invite a lot more kids than I normally would have, figuring that since the email was going out just a week before--and it was an email, not regular mail--we'd have about half the number attend. That's pretty typical of just about any event.
Well. EVERYONE who got the invitation said they planned to come!!! Thank the good Lord we had two families cancel at the last minute, or I'd probably be in the funny farm right now, ha! OK, it wasn't THAT bad, but there were 21 children and 12 adults including our own family. As this house has a much smaller living area and back yard than our other house, I was expecting mass chaos. I didn't plan any themed games or any activities for that matter. We just shuffled kids on and off the trampoline and let them play in the back yard and in the family room. It actually worked out pretty well considering how many people were here.
We had munchies and then opened presents, then had the only western-looking cake I could find to order from Sam's Club. We had let Charis and Arden open their family gifts the night before (Charis wore her Egyptian outfit for this event), and then after the party guests left we gave them their gifts from Mommy and Daddy (who had been shopping the night before during their first date night in about 3 months!!). You can see Arden here posing in his Brocos jersey from Grandma J and the Cars slippers from Ted and me. I love this picture of him...it's hard to get a shot of him actually smiling, as you can see if you look at the birthday album. He stands there with a silly, blank look on his face, and THEN he smiles after the picture is taken and he's asking to see it. (This must be how our parents felt when they took Polaroid pictures of us as kids..."Is it ready to see yet, Dad? Can I wave it around?") So after snapping several pictures in a row, we finally got this gem of a smile. Isn't he sweet?!
Charis, ever the princess, changed outfits at least 100 times during her birthday weekend. She did stay in keeping with the western theme for most of the party, but once she opened her new tiara from friends, her cowgirl hat was GONE! When she opened a nice bracelet from her daddy and me that evening, she was all aflutter! Between the tiara (CROWN, she insists), the bracelet, and the hand-me-down Cinderella dress that she just got, I think she's set for King's Faire Friday night (a dress-up event at our church). If you want to view the online album, you'll see more of her outfits--the pictures were taken Saturday evening and Sunday.
I can hardly believe I have a 7-year-old! I keep telling my kids they are growing up way too fast, and would they please stop? They just look at me and grin, clueless as to how sentimental that thought really is to their mom. I love them and I love celebrating each milestone with them, but I have a feeling it's going to get harder and harder as we approach that time when they are ready to fly the nest...