Tuesday, September 29, 2015

7 years old

These photos were taken just a few months ago, and already they are dated.
(Such a harsh reminder to me that time is flashing before my eyes.)
There's a much larger gap on the top row of her teeth.
Her hair is a bit shorter after a much needed haircut.
But I absolutely adore these photos my dear friend Ann Wade snapped of Aubrey while we were on vacation this Summer. 

This one is my favorite.
It's her genuine smile mixed with a giggle.

She's something else, this one.
A leader, a friend, a perfectionist, a strategist, and a drama queen.

Aubrey continues to excel at school and was recently tested at a 3rd grade level in math and reading. 
She comes alive outdoors and requests a ponytail (or pigtails) every day for school.
She plays hard and out-runs all the boys on the playground.

Aubrey has never been one to snuggle or openly show affection, but I've noticed she secretly loves it when you love on her anyway.

She's talked frequently about wanting to get baptized and has told us that she's already accepted Jesus as her Savior. "Mom, I NEED to get baptized!" It's hard to know if a young child really "gets" it. Her two greatest fears in life right now: getting up in front of people and going under water without her goggles. Well, the actual baptism process is pretty much her worst nightmare, yet when I tell her that she'll be going in front of our entire church (one of the largest congregations where we live) and be "dunked" under water she has a total calmness about it. "I know, Mom. I want to get baptized." So, we're meeting with the youth minister soon. Kinda crazy (/awesome) to think of her as my sister in Christ...

These two are still quite the duo.
So alike in so many ways.
They are both major smarty-pants and ridiculously good-looking. 

I can hardly believe she is SEVEN. 
I pray every day for God's abundant love and grace over her, and that He would continue to draw her closer to Him.


Weight: 64.6 lbs. (90%ile)
Height 54 inches / 4.5 feet (>99%ile -- off the chart)

Aubrey's Birthday Questionnaire...

Favorite color?  Blue and purple
Favorite toy? iPad / electronics
Favorite drink? Fanta
Favorite food? Chicken Noodle Soup
Favorite tv show? 
 Odd Squad
Favorite movie? How to Train Your Dragon
Favorite outfit? Long dresses
Favorite game? 
 Cards (Crazy 8s)
Favorite animal? 
Favorite song? 
 I Want You Back by the Jackson 5
Favorite book? 
Best friend? Eliza

Favorite thing to do outside? 
 Play in my secret garden
Favorite holiday? 
 My birthday
What's one thing you like to do: Spend time with my family
What’s one thing you don’t like to do: Homework
What do you want to be when you grow up? Scientist

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Aubrey's Science Spectacular

With Mina, she told me her sweet and simple little birthday party idea: Popsicles at the park with her friends. She loved looking up "party" stuff but was generally excited about any and everything when it came to her party. 

Aubrey, on the other hand, is and has always been one to have super detailed requests about how she'd like to celebrate her big day. This birthday was no different.

The day after Mina's birthday, she handed me a piece of paper with purple and blue colored lines and informed me that she'd like her party to be kept in this "color scheme". 
Um, yeah.

Every detail was her idea down to the gumballs in test tubes -- "I'd like gumballs, but not plain ones. I'd like ones with some shimmer to them. It will look more 'science-y' and kinda like space gumballs." 

That's the thing with Miss A, you cannot put her in a box (or cube, for that matter... ;)). 
She is brains and beauty. 
Sassy and sporty. 
Girly and granola. 
I have yet to figure her out, and I pray I never do. She is such a fascinating enigma. 

So...enough blah blah blah...on to the party!

Oh, and this is "Skeley" -- she (he?) floated around in the pool during the party. 

For the first activity, Aubrey explained that all scientists need to be safe but not afraid to get messy. So the girls put on some lab coats and safety glasses. Then, we gave them all cans of silly string. :)

Next up, Break Your Own Geodes!

Then, after working up a thirst, we had a drink experiment!
Cotton candy + Sprite = Instant dissolving / color changing deliciousness

Cake time!

Aubrey told them there was a surprise with the cake, and the girls were all afraid it was going to explode! Ha!  They squealed with delight when the little chocolate candies poured out when the cake was cut...

After cake, it was time for the main event...

The girls had a BLAST with getting to participate in lots of different experiments.

We sent each of the girls home with a few goodies:

Grown your own crystals, rock candy sucker and chocolate rocks in a petri dish.

It was fun to see all of Aubrey's party "ideas" come to life.
Now if she could just come up with a machine to freeze time, it might help this lump in my throat go away...

Happy SEVENTH Birthday, Aubrey!
You shine bright like a rhombus!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Mina's Popsicle Party

Sweet little Mina's 4th Birthday party was all the way back in July.

When asked what she'd like to do for her special day, she said without hesitation, "Play with my friends at the park and eat popsicles!"

So, that's what we did! We invited all the girls from her preschool class for a morning at the park and unlimited popsicles! 

The day before her party, she thought it would be fun to jump off a bed holding an umbrella. It resulted in a bloodied busted lip, which turned into what looked like a fever blister by the day of her party. However, not even a bum lip can make this girl look any less adorable. 

Since our girl isn't a big fan of cake (what?!), I made a fake cake out of popsicle sticks.

We had other "popsicle" type goodies too!

Push-pops filled with her favorite "gummies" and jelly beans.

For every birthday, I always make sure there is one "white" element in honor of her birthmom. I had this white heart at the front of the picnic shelter over the party. I always have this tangible sense of her birthmom, especially on big milestone days. 

I had one of the picnic tables set-up with popsicle stick frames for the kids to decorate with stickers. I sent a photo of each sweet guest at the party with the thank-you card for them to put in their frame.

And because making Mina smile is one of our most favorite hobbies, we secretly booked Barnyard Buddies to come and give pony / horse rides. She LOVED it!

As did Big Sis... :)

Happiest Birthday to the girl who makes us all melt!


Mina's Birthday Questionnaire...

Favorite color?  Pink!
Favorite toy? 
 Shifu (stuffed red panda from St. Louis Zoo)
Favorite drink? Coke (She tries to sneak sips from us all the time!)
Favorite food?  Gummies (fruit snacks, gummy worms, anything gummy)
Favorite tv show? 
Favorite movie? HomeFavorite outfit? Striped cotton dress 
Favorite game? 
Favorite animal? 
 Baby Pandas
Favorite song? 
 Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
Favorite book? 
 Fancy Nancy
Best friend? 
 Tamera (from preschool)
Favorite thing to do outside? 
 Ride my scooter
Favorite holiday? 
 Holiday World (haha!)
What’s one thing you don’t like to do: I do not like to wait for Aubrey to get off the bus.
What do you want to be when you grow up? A doctor. 
Anything else you'd like to add? Something I like to do! JUGGLE, pick fruit from trees, and see my little Hanky-poo (cousin Henrik). :)

Weight: 33 lbs. (30%ile)
Height 3 ft. 3 in. (30%ile)