Anna is Eight!

On November 21st, our Anna-girl turned eight.  Amazing.  I really can’t believe she’s eight.  I know I say that on every birthday post for the kids, but it’s true!  The years really are flying by.  

Her birthday was a Thursday.  She requested donuts for her class treat so I took those in during snack time.  I love how our school celebrates birthdays.  It takes SO much time to celebrate every student’s birthday, every teacher’s birthday, every tutor’s birthday.  But I’m so glad they value each person this way.  The whole class sang Happy Birthday and then asked Anna some questions to get to know her better as she sat at the front of the class.  

That evening I made her favorite meal – Ziti and fresh fruit – and Anna opened our gifts to her.  

We had her party a few days later on Saturday.  We took our family, Anna’s best friend, Presley, and Aunt Lynn to see Frozen 2 in the theater.  Presley’s mom even bought the girls matching Frozen outfits to wear to the movie.  Then we headed back to the house for pizza and cake and ice cream – chocolate cake with coffee frosting and crushed Oreos on top with coffee ice cream on the side.  Anna LOVES the flavor of coffee.  She, of course, doesn’t drink coffee at eight years old, but she loves to have a sip of ours now and again.  She loves coffee flavored milk shakes and often orders coffee ice cream when we go out for ice cream.  

When we asked Anna if she felt “eight” now, she replied, “I don’t even feel seven yet!”  Too funny.  Maybe about the time she turns nine she’ll feel like she’s eight. 

In the past few months Anna has taught herself to blow bubbles with bubble gum.  She’s been trying for quite awhile.  We’d all sit down with bubble gum and Kenny and I would talk her through what she needed to do.  She was so determined so I just started buying bubble gum on a regular basis so she had the opportunity to practice.  And finally, it all clicked!  

In recent months Anna also has gotten into magic tricks.  Kenny loved magic tricks when he was young and when he found a box of old stuff in the basement, Anna wanted to learn right away.  She’s been practicing some tricks and we also got her a few new ones for her birthday.  The next time you see her, ask her to do a trick for you!  

Anna continues to enjoy ballet and dances all over the house.  After school she often changes into ballet slippers and dances.  Anna will dance to new pop music Dad introduced her to, to classical music I have on while cooking, or now to Christmas music.  Some of her favorite music to dance to is the Nutcracker.  She loves making up dance routines and we so enjoy seeing her creativity.  

Anna, we love you so much and look forward to all the coming year will bring for you!  Happy birthday, sweet girl!  

Back in the Swing of Things

I’m finally starting to feel on top of things after our travels last week.  We flew to Pennsylvania for the week of Thanksgiving (more about our trip coming soon!) and it’s been a whirlwind since.  

The first thing I need to say is – the Lord carried us every inch of the way last week and I’m beyond grateful.  Some of you know my history with air travel and I’m thankful to say this trip was uneventful in that area.  So many small kindnesses from the Lord at every turn – little things He orchestrated to make our trip smooth.  I’m still thanking Him for it all.  His love for us is so deep.  

The night we arrived home was very late so the next day, last Saturday, we spent almost the whole day resting and lounging around the house.  It was so nice.  We did some unpacking and I did a mountain of laundry, but it was nice to take it slow.  We did buzz out briefly to see some dear friends who were in town just one more day.  We met up at Focus on the Family to let the kids play at Whit’s End while we all chatted.  And, managed to get a group picture before we left.  

On Sunday we put up our tree before everyone went back to school and work.  After  the kids hung most of their ornaments, for the first time, there wasn’t a whole lot of room left on the tree for any of my ornaments or Kenny’s.  We were shocked!  One day, when the kids are grown and gone, there will be room on the tree.  But for now, I love that it’s full of memorable ornaments for the kids.  When I asked the kids what other Christmas decorations they wanted to put up that week, they answered, “All of it, mom!  We want to put all of it up!”  I was hoping to get away with just putting a few things up this year, but Kenny reminded me that one day the kids would be gone and we could put up as few decorations as we wanted.  For now, while it IS a lot of work, I’m glad the kids enjoy the decorations so much and it means something to them.  My mom reminded me that I was just like that as a kid.  So for now, we have Christmas decorations every where you turn.  And it’s festive and so much fun. 


Adagio for Strings

Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings, from the second movement of his String Quartet, Opus 11, is one of my absolute favorite pieces of music.  Composed in 1936, it was performed for the first time on November 5, 1938.  

I heard it for the first time a handful of years ago while in the car driving.  I often listen to our local classical music station – I find classical music very calming when the noise of the world is so loud.  On this particular day, about five minutes into the piece I remember pulling over somewhere to finish listening.  I was so moved by the piece that I wanted to give it my full attention.  

I hope you enjoy it too.  This recording is almost nine minutes long, so grab yourself something hot and yummy to drink and settle in for a treat.  Close your eyes and let the noise of the world disappear for a few minutes.