Tuesday, May 27, 2008

eleventh birthday sleepover

Jordan turned 11 at the beginning of May. We bravely hosted a birthday sleepover on Mother's Day weekend. Last year I limited Jordan to a certain number of invites (10) and so many had conflicts and were unable to stay for the sleepover part because of soccer tournaments, dance recitals, etc. We ended up with six girls for the party part and only one girl could sleepover. So this year we invited a large number of girls this thinking the same thing would happen...well, as luck would have it 14 girls were able to hang out with us for the birthday celebration. Needless to say, my home was abuzz with a load of talkative and energetic girls. It was a lot of fun...once of year kind of fun...but completely enjoyable to watch them becoming lively individuals.

When we planned the party Jordan decided on her own that she wanted to try and collect money to buy books for an orphanage in Cozumel, Mexico that our church supports. So we put "in lieu of gifts please bring a donation..." on the invitation. She was determined to make this happen, so much so that she convinced Dave and my parents to make matching donations to her cause once the birthday total was complete. So I determined to make her party as special as possible with miscellaneous details.

We started with pizza for the night. That's what soon to be middle school girls like so there was no need to get creative for this part of the night. Girls were milling around everywhere hanging out. We made quick necklaces after dinner with a glass circle and cording.

Then the dessert portion kept them entertained for a loooong time. Nothing like a chocolate fountain to keep preteen girls happy. I bought cupcakes instead of a big sheet cake because the girls could then have some variety and if someone came later we would be able to serve it easily. There were chocolate, vanilla, and a yummy strawberry with real strawberries in the cake batter and cream cheese icing. All made by Paula Deen's cousin who has a bakery here in Marietta. Yum! We used strawberries, marshmellows, rice crispie treats, pretzels, pizzelle cookies, vanilla wafers, and potato chips for dipping into the chocolate.

After all the chocolate overdose we played a drama mystery game and that went very well. I was busy playing the detective role in the game and did not take any photos. There were two girls who had to leave before the sleepover part and they were so attached to the game that I hated to see them leave in the middle of it, but I took that as an indication that everyone was having a good time. After the game I started the Nancy Drew Movie thinking that would help every one wind down. I was mistaken! They loved the movie, but the squeals went on at every scary moment. Needless to say, I am thankful we have a basement because after the majority of them retired to the basement I could still hear them two floors up. One set of girls came to the family room to crash because the "all night partiers" were not sleeping. Here is Jordan counting the money (over $200) on Saturday morning after everyone left:

So now we are in the midst of trying to contact Scholastic and other publishers to make the almost $700 go further. Jordan hopes to send the books with the teams going down in July for the mission work. Hopefully this will make a significant difference for the three homeplaces in which the children's home houses the kids. Jordan is very excited by the prospect of the whole thing and I'm just proud of her heart.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

catching up

After Spring Break the family event tempo tends to pick up to an almost unbearable speed. Throw in a few business trips, standardized testing at school, and all the end of the school year activities and you'll find us breathless most days. Our weekends have turned into a whirlwind of activity. We are now at the point where only two weeks remain in the school year and though I see a busy summer ahead, you'll sense a sigh of relief from me when that last wonderful day of school arrives. Here are some odds and ends from the last few weeks:

Dave went on a men's retreat at church. When he returned on Saturday afternoon he was so thrilled with the state park where they held the event that he loaded us up for an adventure. We went on a hike and then ate dinner at the lodge there by the lake. It was a fun Saturday night.

Jordan has been active in a volleyball league called Sky Volleyball. It's a new league and she was playing up to the 12 year old team as a 10.5 year old. It was a very positive experience for her. Soccer wasn't her sport and volleyball seems to have filled the team sport need for her. I loved this league because it was part of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and was such a positive group. We did not have to travel very much because we were more at a developmental team age...but I see a dramatic change in that ahead. This photo was taken at a scrimmage with a team about an hour away on the other side of Atlanta.

William had a school performance which was classic kindergarten...well, all except for the songs sung in spanish, hebrew, and german. We are so blessed with an incredible public school. Here William is with his friend Cameron after the concert.

Jordan turned 11 on May 4th. Dave had a genius idea to wrap her tiny gift (an ipod nano) in multiple boxes. This made it quite a challenge for her to discover the final prize. Needless to say, she was happy that night. I'll post more about her actual birthday party with friends in the next post. I'm blessed to have her as my daughter. The girl has a heart of gold and I love her for it.

William received a math award at school and he was proud to start his own collection of attaboys. Satisfying for a little brother...especially since Jordan did not receive this reward.

There's more to post later. Hope these snapshots explain my absence from cognitive thought.