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31 August 2012

Good morning 4-year-old!

One last post about Maren's birthday...

I think part of what was so wonderful about this year was that Maren really knew what was going on. There were weeks of anticipation. She talked constantly about her rainbow party. She waited with great excitement to announce to people that she was 4. Every stranger we encountered for weeks before her birthday heard about what was happening in the life of Maren on August 17. World...Maren Eleanor is officially 4!

Since Brett worked during the day, and her birthday wasn't until the evening, we wanted to make the morning feel somewhat special. I saved all the cards from out-of-town family and we gave her our gifts right when she woke up. As requested by Maren, we enjoyed a special breakfast of pull-apart coffee cake and eggs.

We found this vintage desk on craigslist and my parents gave her the 2 little stools. She's loved having her own place to draw and play school. The stools are perfect to carry around and use as beds for her pets, places for 'students' to sit during school, and for any number of things that come out of Maren's creative little imagination.

A very happy 4-year-old.

Maren loves her brother so much. They've become quite the little buddies. I love it when they close themselves in Maren's room and I can hear them both giggling through the door. I know Truett doesn't quite engage in Maren's play world yet, but she genuinely loves having him around. I'm so thankful for her patience and willingness to spend so much time with him. We tell them everyday that they are best friends...my prayer is that they will grow up to be each other's biggest champions.

I love this one...it just captures their little personalities so appropriately.

Maren and her new {pretend} teacher glasses.

I've been hearing great things about The Jesus Storybook Bible for a long time. We've not be disappointed! The illustrations are wonderful, and the content is theologically great, which isn't always the case in Bibles made for kids.

Maren with all of her cards. She thought it was so fun to receive cash and checks from out-of-town family. We're actually going on a little mother-daughter school shopping date on Saturday. She's got her own purse all ready to go!

Playing school...

With a banker as a dad, Maren is learning the in's and out's of the financial world from a young age. {wink} She thought it was so wonderful to endorse her own checks. I love how she writes her 'e's'...you never know how many lines each one will have!


Happy 4th birthday, sweet girl!

Four years ago you joined our family and forever changed my life. Your daddy and I prayed for you for years, and we have been so blessed by you, one of our greatest gifts.

You are everything I could've hoped for in a little girl. You're feminine and love to play dress-up and babies. You choose to wear a dress or skirt almost every day. But you're also curious and persistant in your exploration of the world around you. Inevitably, at the end of the day your cute, pink dress goes straight into the laundry covered in dirt, paint, or whatever other evidence of a busy, creative day might have been left behind.

You are a wonderful friend. You LOVE to have other children around, and you tend to be the leader when it comes to creating imaginary worlds. I enjoy listening to your far-fetched ideas of what you could play...whether it be zoo, pet-hospital, some form of mommies and babies, wolves {?!}, school...or any number of other scenarios. On a daily basis I hear you exclaim, "I know!!! Let's play..."

I'm also thankful for your sensitivity towards things of a spiritual nature. You've become quite inquisitive about what it means to be a follower of Jesus. I'm so thankful for the opportunities to talk with you about our God, and to have you genuinely listen and work at understanding. You love to learn your Bible verses for Cubbies, and we frequently refer to them throughout the day. Your daddy puts you to bed most nights, and you two have a long list of hymns you sing. I love hearing those sweet  songs come out of your mouth.

I don't want you to think that you're without fault...this has also been the most challenging time in my {short} parenting journey. You are a bit of a slob, and we're working hard at learning how to keep your items contained and how to pick up after yourself. You've also started to test out some of your independence, which results in a fair amount of 'time-outs' and subsequent discipline. I'm thankful for your teachable spirit, even when you make me want to pull my hair out sometimes!

Someday you will read this {I hope!} and know how fiercely you are loved and cherished. Maren Eleanor, you are a dream and I'm so glad God chose me to be your mommy!


It's been a...
sewing learning
city building

early morning

saggy swimming

ladies posing

statement making

cowgirl smiling

friend encouraging

zucchini growing

pizza making

retreat planning

buddies riding

airplane watching

popcorn eating

crazy hairing 
water playing

cousins tubing

moon rising

afternoon crafting

girls cuddling

sink bathing

train riding 
garden growing 
linen ironing

apple picking

boy loving

dentist going

garland making

produce abounding

morning wishing

dessert indulging

jam making

fun loving


life rearranged

30 August 2012

A Rainbow Party...the Celebration!

Maren turned 4 a couple of weeks ago, and we had a ball of a time celebrating with 9 of her best buddies.

Here's the guest of honor waiting for her friends to arrive...

Can you tell that she was a little excited?

My sweet family...I can't get enough of these 3!

The girls colored while they were waiting for dinner. It was so fun to see the various pictures all over the table.

Maren wanted each friend to help her open their gift to her. These two are sisters, and we call them 'cousins'. They gave her an art station...can you tell someone loves to draw?!

Maren invited our good friends, Ben and Jaime (or Pastor Ben and Miss Jaime as Maren calls them) to her party. They were gracious to come hang out with all the little kids, and were a huge help with keeping things under control!

Two of Maren's neighborhood friends working on their rainbow bracelets.

While some of the girls were making bracelets, others were getting rainbow pedicures. This was Maren's idea, and it was a huge hit!

Pretty ladies all lined up!

Showing off their bracelets!

It was such wonderful fun to have so many of Maren's friends all together in one place. Some family, some church friends, neighborhood friends, and one little girl from our childbirth class!

Make a wish!

Cookies and Cream ice-cream and rainbow cupcakes (per Maren's specific request!)

The girls got party hats and noise makers before we had cake.

Lest you think Mr. Long-Lashes missed out on the celebration, here he is enjoying his cupcake.

The little noise-maker-streamers (is there a name for those things?!) were a huge hit...I love Colette's face in this picture!

The party wrapped up with some backyard play time. I laugh out loud every time I look at this picture...all of the little girls just busily operating in the background, and a happy wave from Truett, stuck right in the middle of all the activity!

Maren's Gigi and Papa were a huge help with the party. They stayed after all the little guests had gone home to open a few more presents.

Maren was ecstatic all throughout her party...it made the effort and planning worth every minute! Tomorrow I'll share how we spent the rest of her special day!