Thursday, August 03, 2006

Birthday Fun

Okay, you know you’re late putting a post out when your Mom calls and says, “Where’s the post!!!”

And you know your loved when your honest and your "friends" call you a slacker. Sheesh... All I can say is "Sticks and stones, love, sticks and stones." (Bonus points to whomever names the movie first.)

Let me just say that things have been a bit… oh, shall we say, busy on my front.

For starters, I bet you didn’t know this but you toured my home without a hostess this past weekend. While you were toodling around my house, admiring that dining room, testing out the couches and petting the toxic cat, I was off playing in Nebraska. We were visiting the kids again, but we had a specific celebration to enjoy – our daughter has finally made it to the double digits. She turned 10 years old last Friday, so we just had to be there for this wondrous event (because really there were days when I wondered if she would live to see nightfall. God indeed is faithful.)

Look at that girl... 10! I can't believe I have a 10 year old. That just doesn't seem right. She was just a toddler a couple of days ago.

To commemorate this amazingly beautiful girl, we threw caution – and our checkbook – to the wind and took our family and one of her closest friends out to celebrate. First we went to my daughter’s favorite restaurant in Lincoln – Grisanti’s – a great Italian eatery. She loves, adores, often talks about wishing to have their French onion soup, so we thought it would be great to let one of those little fantasies come true. We get to the restaurant early and what does she order? You got it. Pizza. Oh well, it was her birthday, she could eat whatever she wanted. She did get to eat some of my soup, so at least she took a small trip down memory lane.

All the little critters in the petting zoo

Next we were off to the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha. Good night nurse! Do you know how much it costs to watch the critters do their thing? I asked if I could leave my right arm as payment, but they turned their nose to that suggestion. They said that the animals would fight over it, so it wouldn’t really worth the time and effort to saw it off. I will say this: If you want to pay out the wahzoo to see some animals, I do suggest this zoo. It was fun and exciting for everyone.

Yes, that is a shark behind us. Odd having the sea creature swim right up to us!

We went to the desert, through the rainforest, under the ocean, froze with the penguins and watched the polar bears swim, swim, swim (my favorite). The kids also enjoyed the petting zoo, where the goats were playing king of the mountain. Since the day was a scorcher, we just traded out some indoor sights with some outdoor sights. The best part of the day for the kids was when we had just come up a big hill after a bit of a walk and the kids spotted a mister, specifically set for the patrons to enjoy. They basked in that cool water for at least 10 minutes, getting soaked. Okay, I did it too. It was sooo worth it!

The next day, Grandma Von threw a little party for her granddaughter, inviting a few of the friends my daughter has in that town. The first order of business for that party was to fill over 100 water balloons. The kids took turns filling, while I tide them off. Before it was over, we were having a great war, every kid for themselves. Of course, it only lasted about 8 minutes. And those buggers hurt if they are thrown hard and don’t pop! It’s a good thing I didn’t cry. No one wants a cry baby at a party!

Next we went in for cake and ice cream and presents. You know how that goes. Get them all hyped up on sugar and then watch them fly. Fortunately, we had a plan for it. After all that yummy stuff, we took them to the fabulous pool I talked about earlier. It was hot, but it was so much fun. All the kids were old enough to do their own things, so we just had to look out for our son. He was riding the slides like he had been doing it all his life. And then he completely floored us with his request to jump off the diving board. From that point on, he was Mr. “I’m-so-comfortable-in-the-water-I-am-going-to-prove-to-you-that-I’m-really-a-merman”. He was trying to do backwards dives, cannonballs, dives… I’m telling you, I don’t know what happened to my old, clingy, don’t leave me in the water alone child. I like this new kid just a little better.

Yes it was as much fun as it looks! (and a great workout)

When all the festivities were over, we headed back home to enjoy the rest of the night as a family. Grandma Von and Grandpa Ron were happy to have us sitting there all together. It was just a lot of fun.

Sunday, we headed to church. Since we used to live in that town, we had lots of hugs to get and to give, lots of talking to do and a lot of pulling names from the back of our minds. “Honey, who was that that I just told my life story to?” “Oh that’s so and so.” “That’s her? She’s gotten so much OLDER!” (Of course that doesn't happen to us.) Overall, it was like a mini reunion all around.

One thing I will say is that I have become acclimated to a children’s worship. There were kids crying and talking and a couple were running down the aisles while the parents chased them down to get back into the pews. I felt sorry for the preacher competing with all the noises and distractions! So let me just say right now: I love the leaders of our children’s ministry. I thank God for you and your servant hearts. You really make my congregational worship time something special! There, I feel better.

It was incredibly hard to leave the kids Sunday. I was tearing up as we hugged and kissed goodbye. I promised them that we would see them very soon since it won’t be long before school starts. I truly appreciate the fact that my kids have grandparents (both sides) that want to see and be with them. I just miss the little munchkins a lot. Overall, it’s a sacrifice that is priceless, but I will be glad to have them back home, until they get on my last nerve again, that is. Maybe Grandma can take them back over fall break…

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Happy Tenth Birthday Sweet Girl! I am so thankful that God gave you to me as a precious daughter to have and hold... a lot.


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