Ariel’s 5th

This weekend we celebrated our sweet daughters 5th birthday.  Its hard to believe that she turned 5.  I remember being 40 weeks and a few days, sitting outside our sunny backyard naively saying “I wonder how our lives will change”.  I once heard that Oprah said the same thing in her diary right before the start of her lucrative and mega successful talk show.  Obviously I knew that life would change.  It had to.  And nothing, I mean nothing prepares you for bringing that first baby home for *gasps* YOU to take care of.  Its a daunting and important task that God has given.  The weight of it can feel nearly collapsing, but you get through it day by day, not of your own understanding, but simply by the grace of God.  I don’t say that lightly.  This journey called parenthood has been steam powered by the grace of God.  It is the power that keeps this crazy train still moving forward.

Being here in Minnesota for my baby’s birthday has its ups and downs.  My precocious daughter has been asking for a birthday party every day since her last birthday.  Last year Music Man and I thought it would be fun to take her for a special day just mommy and daddy and ride some rides at the famous Mall of America and watch her first movie at the movie theater.  We had a blast.  She had fun.  But apparently not enough fun.  Or at least not the same kind of fun friends can bring.  So this year I fretted as to what to do.  Her regular friends are in California soaking up the blazing heat.  However, what we have here in Minnesota is family.  And that is awesome.  It also happens to be my nephew’s 9th birthday, so his mom and I decided to combine forces for a double family party.

Here are the 2 birthday kids playing with one another through the window

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Auntie and Uncle with pathetic Mr. Sunshine who got shots the previous day (sorry for the poor lighting.  I’m still learning our camera)

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 Mr. Sunshine and daddy

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 Family time=fun time.  Upside down with gramma!

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One of the biggest challenges of a combined opposite gender cousin birthday was how to decorate the cake.  2 cakes?  No that seemed too much for any family to eat.  Ultimately we decided on an ice cream cake (who doesn’t love those?) with a simple “Happy Birthday” with separate decorations.  My daughter couldn’t stop talking about an Ariel birthday so getting an Ariel doll for the cake seemed like the only logical thing to do.  Until we put an half naked doll on the cake of a 9 year old boys cake.  Ummmmm, my bad.  Boy did my sister in law and I get a kick out of that!

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Guess she liked it!  Although she did say “ewwwhhh” when she took the doll off and realized there was actual cake on the poor girl.

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 Cake is a hit!

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 Now on to presents….

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 Of course she had to have a big Ariel doll.  Of course.

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 Little brothers are so nice to help….

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 With this dolly blanket came a rag doll and an easy reader about Laura from Little House on the Prairie and her 5th birthday.  So perfect.

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For some reason, the 5th birthday is the best birthday for birthday money!

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$5 for a newly minted 5 year old!  Auntie and Uncle gave her a cute kitty wallet to stash all that cash.  Guess this is the perfect opportunity to start teaching her about the value of a dollar; Save, Use, and Tithe.  Homeschooling here we come!

For my nephew we got him this

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Perhaps I should have gotten him a target too.  My poor niece.  I apologize for all the nerf shots she will soon be facing.

Family.  By far the best part of Minnesota.

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