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Sunday, October 13, 2013

A Joyful Celebration

My sweet birthday girl.

We celebrated Rhianwen's 7th birthday on the tail end of an emotional week for us all and in the midst of a really huge project for Wally at work. It took our family to pull it all off. As a result, we all felt loved and supported, and Rhianwen felt wonderfully celebrated.

An early morning reception of her Happy Birthday song which also included Nanny Kim who was here for the week to help her own daughter. I sometimes think you never stop needing a mommy!

Rhianwen opened presents first thing. She is part of an American Girl book club, and loves reading the books, so we gave her quite a few to have for herself. I find it interesting how she approaches reading. She'll start multiple chapter books and work through them all slowly. Occasionally, she will tear up one at a time, but, mostly, she likes dabbling through them all. I don't remember being like that until recently!

Can you tell Alden is very proud of his gift? It is a beautiful Barbie doll (one of my old ones...shhhhh, no one knows but the adults ;0)

Corwin is very excited about his gift to Rhi too (another Barbie doll).

Tiddliwinks fun.

Playing with her Barbies. She loves them, of course. SIGH.

Yummy chocolate cupcakes. She had her "real" birthday cake at her party.

I really tried to keep her party simple this year. In the past, I've felt like there was no time for free play, which I believe is the most important thing (other than the person and maybe the cake) at a party. So I tried to really trim down the activities even though she really wanted lots of games. By the time the party had come and she was playing, she did not want the games! I'm glad I made the right choice.

She wanted a doll birthday party, so the food was miniature for the dolls and larger for us. There were miniature sugar cookies, mini-pretzels, wine-grapes (which are teeny tiny), and mini-muffins and regular sized ones of the same. Thanks to Grandmama and Nanny Kim for helping me with all that! The cookies were such a hit that we only had a few minis left. The girls had a great time decorating canning jar lids for dolls' plates and used the tiny food for them.

Decorations were her doll clothes on a line, flowers from Grandmama, a toy kitchen and crib, and an easel. We set out chalk and bubbles, and that was that! I knew the toy kitchen and crib would cater to the little ones, and it worked out perfectly for everyone to have their own space. If you are wondering about the crisp beautiful pictures, you can thank Brooks and Clara who have their own photography business on the side.

Getting back to the party, the girls made a birthday hat for their dolls from scrapbook paper.

Aren't they cute?!

I love Hannah's expression here. She borrowed Rhi's pig, Wilbur, for the party.

YES! Free play time accomplished. I set out lots of doll books for them to look at. I also read The Best Loved Doll per Rhi's choice, although it was a loooong book, something I had forgotten!

More free play, yes! My brother had to be in on the action. He brought his lovely girlfriend, Hannah, too whom you can see in the background in the first picture on this post ;0) ;0) It was so sweet of all our family to come and celebrate with us (Grandmama, Grandaddy, Grandpa, Nanny Kim, Skipper, Christopher, Hannah, Clara, Brooks, and Mary Ruth Hallelujah). Thank you for that sacrifice.

Corwin having a ball with Aunt Clara and Mary Ruth.

Rhi's best-loved doll. I am so glad she did not get trumped by the Barbies!

Going on a treasure hunt for their favor bags which had a paper doll coloring book from Lilly and Thistle, bandaids (supposedly for their dolls), and bubbles. I love these treasure hunts. We try to make the clues Bible verses. The girls read the verse and corresponding clue and have to figure out where in the yard the next clue is.

Happy birthday dear sweet girl.

Things I love about Rhianwen's age this year: her missing teeth just make her so adorable, she loves making up her own jokes, she can laugh at herself now, she enjoys drying the dishes and says it gives her lots of good ideas for stories about poor people who have to work all of the time (and, no, she really isn't complaining), I am seeing more and more how her personality is a lot like Nanny Kim's but of course she is wonderfully unique, her confidence in her artistic abilities and her ability to be ok with imperfection in her projects, her enjoyment of reading, her inquisitive conversational nature. Each year I hate to see that she is growing up, and I don't want her to change one bit. But each year I am so glad that she is growing and changing and that I am blessed to be a part of it.


  1. So sorry it was a sad week for your family. What an incredible blessing Rhianwen is to so many. We missed celebrating with her this year and will have a doll playdate soon!

  2. What a blessing to see a whole family and to see that you celebrated the life of such a special daughter even with the sadness that may now sit in your hearts. So blessed to have you as my niece.

  3. Your birthday posts are always the ones that make me miss you the most because they make me wish we lived loser to each other so our kids could be friends too!


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