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September Newsletter: Saving and Investing

September 8, 2011

The articles this month focus on saving and investing.  Our economy has certainly changed over the past few years, but we have no need to fear.  God’s word has promised that “Our God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory.” (Phil 4:19) Our part is to be good stewards and wisely use what God has given us.

On a personal note, I wrote about my mom’s struggle with Alzheimer’s disease in March.  (Read the article…)  On August 26, 2011, my 69-year-old mother was called home by her loving Savior and best friend and on September 3, we celebrated the life of a woman who had invested in family and in His Kingdom.  She had no 401-K or retirement account, but she had been a full-time, stay-at-home mom an invested generously in her five children.  Her legacy lives on in her 5 children, 11 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.  If your parents are still living, call them or visit them–or better yet, give ‘em a hug.

Because every day matters,

Joy

Spread Your Wings

July 2, 2011

Five weeks from today, our oldest daughter will begin a new season.  She will be furthering her education in the areas of Bible and worship.  For the first 17 years of her life, I had envisioned my sweet daughter finishing her high school education, maybe attending college from home, and finding a wonderful husband so that they could pursue a life together serving God.  But God challenged my ideas for her future while the two of us were serving on a missions trip to China just before her senior year.

Close to the end of our time in China, we had the opportunity to take a short hike to an overlook in a remote village.  As I stood gazing at the expanse of the incredibly beautiful mountains piercing the sky, I heard in my spirit, “This is your Mount Moriah.”  Immediately my mind flashed to a picture of Abraham with his son Isaac, standing before an altar.  His heart may have been filled with pain and grief, but through his surrender came great blessing to him and the world.

God:  Are you willing to give me your daughter?
Me: I did that years ago during a baby dedication service at church.  Of course she’s yours.
God: But this is different.  Will you surrender her to Me—and to China?
Me:  But she can’t go to China.  She’s not married yet.  Certainly you don’t want her to be here alone
(God had clearly called her to China during a Kindergarten geography lesson in our homeschool, but we had imagined that would be after she was married.)
God: Must she wait until I send her a husband?  What if she never marries?  Can she not return to China?  Do you trust me to take care of her?
Silence.
Me: (through tears) Yes.  I trust You.  She’s yours.

This whole conversation was a surprise to me.  When our children were babies we understood that it was important to commit them to God’s care and follow His direction for them.  It was no surprise that our children belonged to Him, but I had imagined that our girls would stay at home, learn a skill that could bring in money from home and then they would be married.    I had not considered the possibility that our creative God might have other plans.  When we returned from China, I shared the revelation with my husband and with Victoria.  Together my husband and I released her to follow God’s direction for her life—whatever that looked like.  She continued to pursue her love for China and training for worship while she studied graphic design at the community college.

Fast forward two years.  Victoria was about to finish her studies at the community college.  Clearly God was growing Victoria’s passion for worship and expanding her gifting.  Leaders in the church confirmed her gifts and gave her opportunities to grow.  Victoria sensed she needed further training beyond what she could receive in our area, but she was reluctant to even dream about what might be beyond our community.  We could see God’s hand guiding her and knew He was expanding her vision.  After prayer, long discussions, divine appointments, confirmations, and our blessing, she applied and was accepted to a program to study Bible and worship.  I knew it was God’s will but my heart held a seed of fear that I was losing my daughter—and my friend.

One day in my quiet time as I was praying about this situation, God showed me that my daughter was like a bird.  “She’s a bird made to fly and it isn’t good if she was allowed only to sit in your nest and sing.  She has a gift and she will bless many ‘nests’ with her voice.  A captured bird becomes unhappy and unfulfilled.  As she fulfills her call, joy will overflow—both in her life and in yours.  There will be some who prefer birds in cages and they may not understand.  But I created birds to fly.  Some fear the birds will never return, but I created migratory birds to fly away for a season and then return to the same location, a safe place.  She will always treasure the safe place of your home.”  I realize that only outside the cage can she fulfill the purpose of her Creator.  First and foremost she belongs to God and I know He loves her so much more than I ever could.  I trust that He is guiding her and that she is following His voice.

The next five weeks will pass all too quickly.  We’ll spend time together, sharing quiet moments, shopping for necessities and making more memories.  I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the day Victoria checks in at school is three years to the day we departed on our life-changing missions trip to China.  She may be thinking of her new adventure, but I’ll be thinking of the mountains of China and Mount Moriah.  I know that through surrender will come great blessing.

 Note:  Victoria is currently recording her first CD.  It will be available in the Daughters 4 God Shoppe in early August.       

Quick and Easy Coleslaw

July 2, 2011

Here’s a recipe that lives up to its name—quick and easy.  It’s a perfect complement to grilled chicken or burgers.

Quick and Easy Coleslaw
2 14 oz. bags of shredded cabbage with carrots (coleslaw mix)
1 c. mayonnaise
3 T. sugar
¼ t. pepper
2 T. milk
2 T. vinegar
¾ t. salt
1 t. celery seed

Combine cabbage and carrot.  In a small bowl, combine remaining ingredients.  Stir into cabbage mixture.  Chill.

July Organization Challenge: Bedrooms

July 2, 2011

Organization—Bedrooms

Summer is the perfect time to organize, switch, or spruce up bedrooms.  During the school year, we try not to make major changes and try to keep everything as orderly as possible.  (I don’t have proof, but my personal experience says that an ordered world promotes better concentration and learning.)  Organizing a bedroom can be one gargantuan task that may take many hours or even many days.  Sometimes moms try to accomplish this job alone because it takes less time.  Instead, think of this as a teaching opportunity so that someday they can do it without you!  Younger ones can be part of the process so that they learn how to be organized and how to prioritize what items should be kept and share in the joy of giving to others.  For the teens, I communicate my expectations and set up a time for us to work together to accomplish the task.  Though I’m mostly moving things to appropriate piles, this is a teaching moment for them and I believe the job moves much faster with my supervision.

Last month we took 2 weeks to organize and update one daughter’s bedroom, 2 days to organize another, and I’m currently in the midst of purging another bedroom for an imminent move to college.  There is no right way to do this, but here is our plan for those who are interested.

Assess the situation before you do anything.
Too often I’ve started a project before I counted the cost or made a plan.  An assessment is like “bedroom triage.”  (Please don’t quote me on that!)

Is the furniture suitable?  Have they outgrown it?  Are we adding or removing a sibling to the room? Does the furniture need to be cleaned, repaired, painted, etc.?  Is there adequate drawer space for storing clothing?  Do we need all the furniture in the room?  Do we need to purchase something else, such as a desk or bookshelf?

How are the linens (sheets, pillows, mattress pad, comforter, curtains)?  Do some need to be replaced or mended?  What does the budget allow me to replace?

Does everything have a home?  When I ask something to be put away, does my daughter have a place to put it?  Can she find what she needs when she needs it?  Does she need more storage containers for items she has recently acquired?

Should everything currently in the room stay in the room?  Is it time to shift some items/toys to the attic, to another room, or another home?  If we need to move things, do I have a place to move them or can they live in the garage until I find a good home?  **This may be one of the most important questions you answer.  Make sure you have a plan for what will be leaving the room.  You don’t want to organize one room only to find that all of the “stuff” is merely piled in the hallway, garage, or worse yet the master bedroom!  This may determine your time frame.  If you know a friend wants the extra desk in about a month, you may want to store it in the garage temporarily or maybe wait on your project.

Make a plan.
Decide how long you think it will take you to make the necessary changes.  My guess:  a whole day for a full closet and full desk, half a day each for bookshelves, dresser, under the bed, redecorating.  You may think you can go through things more quickly, but remember the goal is to organize and find a home for everything that doesn’t belong.  I also find that if we stay focused on one mini project until completion, we can stop in the middle of the whole project and still live in the room!

Organize the closet.
I always start with the closet first so that we make room to store other things that may be elsewhere in the room.  Be sure to have some paper nearby to start a shopping list for things you need.

Go through hanging clothes and put them in four piles:
Keep:  It fits and the child wears it.  LAY THE CLOTHES ON THE BED
Mend:  It fits, the child wears it, but it needs to be mended–hemmed, button replaced, etc.) FOLD THE CLOTHES IN A PILE AND SET THEM ASIDE.
Put Away/Give Away/Sell: doesn’t fit, child doesn’t wear, still in good shape.  You may choose to store it for younger siblings, give it away to friends or a charity, or sell it on consignment—or some of each!  PUT AWAY CLOTHES IN A PLASTIC TOTE, GIVE AWAY CLOTHES IN A GARBAGE BAG, SELL CLOTHES KEEP ON HANGERS AND WASH OR DRYCLEAN BEFORE SELLING.
Throw Away:  Not in good shape. PUT THE CLOTHES IN A GARBAGE BAG
Vacuum the closet and the baseboards before you put things back in.  All “Keep” clothes should be returned to the closet (opposite season to the back of the closet) and all other piles should be taken care of appropriately.  Be sure you have enough hangers so that there are no excuses for clothes that aren’t hung up!  Add them to the shopping list if you need more.

Sort shoes and other accessories (belts, scarves, scrunchies, etc.)
Use the same four piles system, as above.  Be sure there is a home for everything.  We use boxes or hanging organizers for shoes, a hanging organizer for jewelry, a special hanger for belts, and a special hanger for scrunchies/scarves.  Add anything you need to your shopping list.  Be sure that only “Keep” shoes and accessories remain in the room before you move on.

Organize shelves in the closet.
Take down one item at a time.  If you take everything down, you are stuck with reorganizing it all in one sitting—or your child has to live with stuff piled around.  (Can you hear the voice of experience?!)  Go through one box/bag/item at a time using the same four pile system that you used for clothes.  Sort all items on the shelves and wipe off the shelf before you return items to the closet.  Use the storage in the closet for things that your children don’t need access to: breakable items, or keepsakes, games with small pieces, or seasonal clothing.   All other piles should be taken care of appropriately.

Work your way around the room.
I organize rooms like I clean them—starting at the light switch and working my way around clockwise.  Vacuum or wipe down the baseboards as you go.  Here are some suggestions for the remainder of the room, as you encounter each situation.

Organize the dresser.
Using the same four pile system, sort through one drawer at a time.  Wipe out the insides of drawers before you replace the items.  Our drawer system looks like this:  one drawer for socks, undies, camis, and slips/hose (organized with one shoes box for each item type), another drawer for swimsuits (in a shoe box) and pjs, another drawer for seasonal everyday pants, another drawer for seasonal shirts.  Everything else gets hung up.  During the summer, we keep winter clothes–sweaters, corduroys, turtlenecks–in a clear plastic tub in the closet or under the bed. In the winter, the same plastic tub is filled with shorts, capris, sleeveless shirts.   Note:  In lieu of a dresser, we’ve also used a plastic drawer “cart” in the bottom of the closet, just above the hanging shirts.

Organize under the bed.
Using the same four pile system, sort through all of the items under the bed.  Use storage under the bed for bins of toys, seasonal clothes or other things that your children may need access to without your assistance.

Organize the desk.
Using the same four pile system, sort through the items on/in the desk.  Start with the desk drawers, one at a time.  Again, keep only what your child needs and be sure that there is a system for organization—a home for everything.  Also, if your child is using the desk for homework or school, be sure that they have all the necessary supplies (pencils, erasers, calculators, etc.)  Next, clean off the top of the desk and decide what should stay.  Discard or put away all other items.

Organize the bookshelves.Using the same four pile system, sort through the items on the shelves.  Wipe off every shelf before you replace the items.  On our shelves:  top shelf for trinkets, middle shelves for books, bottom shelf for fabric bin with stuffed animals.

Organize the nightstand.
Using the same four pile system, sort through the drawers.  I call them “treasure drawers.”  Each drawer has a shoe box for the little things and space for papers/books on the other side of the drawer.  When the girls were younger, this is they kept their “treasures” that would’ve been destroyed by the toy box—bouncy balls, fast food toys, book marks, and other little gifts and items that I probably would’ve thrown away!  We periodically sorted through the treasures since affections change—and wisdom comes with age. J  Don’t forget to wipe out drawers before you refill them.

Repair, rearrange or replace furniture, as necessary.
Repair or refresh furniture, as needed.  Remove and replace furniture, as needed.

Redecorate.
Wash or replace linens, as needed.  Wash the windows when you replace the curtains.  Evaluate what is currently hanging on the walls using the same four pile system.  Purchase any needed items such as picture frames or mirrors.  Hang items.

Switch Rooms or Paint.
That may seem like the opposite way to do things, but it’s much easier to switch rooms or paint a room with less stuff!

 

This may seem like a long process, but so worth it.  I try to do this for every bedroom during the summer.  Yes, it does take a lot of time, but much less time if we aren’t switching rooms or furniture.  In the long run, it helps our home stay neater and more organized if there is space for everything and if everything has a home.  Happy organizing!

Packing for College or Apartment Living

July 2, 2011

In about a month, our oldest daughter will be starting her first semester of college outside of our home.  Since this was a new road for me, I did some research to find out what she might need.  I found an incredibly long, but comprehensive list online.  So many things to buy.  So many things I hadn’t even considered.  So many things that would put a dent in our budget if I bought them all at one time!  I made a plan to do a little at a time and spread out the expenses.

Here is the comprehensive list I found, plus some other items that we’ll be packing.  If you think of something we’ve missed, please post a comment and let us know!

January—Medical and Laundry
Medicine
Med Box/Container
Aspirin
Tylenol
Motrin/Advil
Cough syrup
Cough drops
Cold medicine
Benadryl
Band aids
Dayquil/Nyquil
First aid ointment
Rubbing alcohol
Cotton balls
Cotton gauze pads
Tums/Mallox, etc.
Eye drops
Thermometer

Laundry
Laundry bag(s)/hamper
Laundry soap
Dryer sheets
Stain remover: Shout stick
Clothespins
Clothesline/drying rack
Quarters: Some schools use a card system
Needles and thread (blue, black and white)
Safety pins

February—Kitchen and Cleaning Supplies
Kitchen
Kitchen box: large shoe/boot box
Plate(s)
Bowl(s)
Knife, fork, spoon (s)
Serving spoon(s)
Hand can opener
Paring knife
Measuring cups
Measuring spoons
Water bottle
Travel cup/glass for making tea
Pot for cooking
Dish washing detergent
Dishwasher detergent
Brita filter
Coffee maker
Microwave
Refrigerator

Cleaning
Window and mirror cleaner
Paper towels
Bathroom cleaner
Comet
Sponges
Dusting spray
Dusting cloth
Swiffer or mop
Swiffer refills
Bucket

March—Technology and Tools
Technology
Mp3 player
Digital camera, batteries/battery charger, rechargeable batteries
Stereo
CD’s
DVD’s
Clock radio/alarm clock
Extension cords
Multi plug outlet
Phone
Lamp(s): Desk, free standing, clamp one for your bed
Hammer
Nails
Screwdrivers
Flashlight
Nightlight
Light bulbs: 40/60 watt
Trash can(s): Most colleges only have one
Trash bags

April—Personal Items
Purse(s)
wallet
money
Watch(es)
Jewelry: Earrings, necklaces, bracelets, rings
Glasses
Sun glasses
Contacts, contacts case, and contact solution(s)
Nail clippers, Emory boards
Nail polish, nail polish remover
Cotton balls
Brush/comb
Hair stuff: Head bands, barrettes, rubber bands, scrunchies, styling gel, etc.
Feminine supplies
Boxes of Kleenex
Toilet paper
Cologne/body sprays
Deodorant
Hand lotion/body lotion
Razor/shaving cream
Make-up
Hair dryer
Flat iron
Curling Iron

May–Clothes
Socks: All kinds
Pantyhose/knee-highs
Shoes: Dress, tennis, flip flops, shower shoes!
Underwear
Bras/sports bras
Slips/half slips
Camisoles
Pajamas/bathrobe/slippers
Shorts: Play and dress
Dress pants/slacks
Casual pants/jeans
Casual shirts: Long sleeve/short sleeve
T-shirt: Long sleeve/short sleeve
Tank tops
Sweaters
Vests
Blouses
Dress: Some colleges have winter formals
Bathing suits
Belts
Sweatshirts
Jackets: Lightweight, wind breaker, winter
Gloves/mittens
Scarves/hats
Hangers
Suitcase/duffel bag

June–Bed and Bath
Bedroom
Two sets of sheet/pillow cases
Comforter/bedspread (Stores have special “dorm sets” that they advertise beginning in June.)
Mattress pad
Egg crate
Blanket/throw
Pillow(s)
Soft butt pillow for desk chair
Sleeping bag/air mattress (for guests!)
Stuffed animals: College kids with stuffed animals make better grades

Bathroom
Towels, hand towels, wash cloths

Bathroom rugs

Shower caddy (holder for shower supplies)
Toothbrush, toothpaste
Hand soap
Soap/shower gel
Shampoo, conditioner
Shower cap
Water glass/cup
Towel rack for your door

July–School/Homework Supplies
Computer (look for a back-to-school deal)
Monitor and cables
Printer and cables
Lan cable: 25 feet
Computer paper
Ink
Surge protector
Calendar
Day planner
Notebooks/binders
Pocket folders
Notebook paper
Stapler/staples
Paper clips
Scissors
Sticky tack
Post-it notes
Push pens
Pens
Pencils
Ruler
Zip drive/jump drive/thumb drive
Hole punch: Single and 3 hole
Pictures/posters
High lighters
Permanent magic marker(s)
Erasable message board with pens: These come on most of the dorm doors, but just in case, or if you want one in your room
Cork board/bulletin board/magnet board
Book bag
Stamps/envelopes
Address book, telephone numbers
Year book, photo albums, pictures, picture frames
Novels, books, Bibles
Journal

The Family Orchestra

June 9, 2011

More than twenty years ago, I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education.  Today my musical teaching is limited to helping my daughters with their private lessons, but my mind still thinks in musical terms.  Recently I’ve been thinking about the similarities between a parent and a music teacher or an orchestra conductor.

Music teachers, the first instructors for beginning instrumentalists, teach the basics and endure hours of repetitious and often out-of-tune practice.  Parenting young children is often like being a beginning music teacher—you build the foundation and repeat the same instructions though the process is sometimes tiring and you may see little progress.

On the other hand, orchestra conductors direct instrumentalists who have mastered the basics and are ready to perform with other accomplished musicians.  It is quite similar to the role of parenting during the teen years.  If we parents do our job in the early years, our children won’t need the same level of instruction during their teen years.  Instead of being music teachers, we become more like an orchestra conductors.

We make sure everyone is on the same page. 
You can imagine the cacophony of sound that would emerge from a symphony if only one  player was reading music from the wrong page.  Similarly, the beautiful melody of a family can only be achieved if we are on the same page.  When the girls were very young, we tried hard to communicate what was important and why.  We talked about what it means to follow God.  We explained why we chose certain activities and didn’t choose others.  Today, Harold and I try hard to communicate our goals and expectations not only for the girls personally, but also in regard to our schedule—what family commitments we have (We keep a master calendar.) and how each person can best serve our family during a certain period of time.  Our children can’t read our minds.  If I don’t communicate, I can’t expect that we’ll be on the same page.

We set the tempo of our home.
As the girls have grown, so have the number of activities and opportunities they have opportunity to be involved in.  When the girls were young, Harold and I discussed which activities were beneficial for the girls and for our family.  Today, the girls come to us with requests and together we discuss the commitment and all of the ramifications to our family life and to our schedule.  As a pastor, my husband has many responsibilities and commitments so we try to look at the calendar and set a reasonable pace for our schedule.  We live in a fast-paced world that seems only to speed up with each passing year.  We try to set a reasonable family pace, balancing busy days and busy weeks with times of Sabbath and refreshing.  Some Saturdays we declare a family day—we disconnect our home phone and Harold turns off his cell phone.   The world has much to offer to fill our days, but it’s our job as parents to set the tempo.

We direct entrances and exits.
With two drivers who are very committed to church and attending college, I sometimes feel like we have a revolving front door.  Our culture tends to accept the division of children and their families—children of all ages are involved in sports, music lessons, school activities, church activities, youth group, part time jobs, etc.  None of these activities are bad in and of themselves; however when activities become a “drop and shop”—drop the kids off so you can do what you want—it can divide families.  Give thought to the “entrances and exits” in your home.  All too soon your precious ones will be exiting the front door to start their own home.

We control the volume.
In a house of four girls, this one is pretty tough.  Those who know our family well know that there is a certain level of excited chit-chat that accompanies our daughters.  (Some call it noise; I call it happy sounds.)  It is sometimes easier to live a life full of noise and activity than to take time to be silent and alone.  It is important that we teach our children to choose moments of solitude so they can think, process, create, and most importantly, hear the voice of God.  If the volume is turned up too loud, we may miss the still small voice of our Father.

We encourage each one to listen to the other.
In an orchestra no one instrument should stand out louder than another, unless they are playing a solo.  Each player needs to carefully listen to those around them.  Listening can be a challenge in our home.  It seems there is never a lack of response to any comment made by one member of our family.  Most certainly at least one other member has an opinion or suggestion about the topic at hand.  More often than not, I hear overlapping layers of conversation interspersed with laughter.  I believe that all individuals, no matter their age, have a desire to be heard and understood.  I sometimes feel that my job is to be the “conversation traffic police”—stopping conversations that don’t build each other up, encouraging one speaker at a time, and reminding speakers to slow down so I can understand.  Monologues are like solos, but dialogues allow the beauty of each individual to shine through so that each one feels heard and understood.

If you are a parent, you are like a music teacher or orchestra conductor.  You may not be capable of teaching piano lessons or conducting a large group, but God has given you, and your family, the ability to create beautiful music that will bring honor and glory to Him.  Soli Deo Gloria.

13th Birthday Celebration

June 9, 2011

Some families celebrate birthdays in a big way and others barely acknowledge the day aside from any other.  Our family has chosen to honor and celebrate each child, on each birthday, as a confirmation of their uniqueness and identity.  Since no child is the same, no celebration is the same; however, each celebration must have the elements of honor and surprise.

Recently, our youngest turned 13.  Since we’ve chosen not to use the term “teenager,” the age 13 is not so special to our family but in the mind of our youngest daughter it represented a milestone.  It was shaping up to be a pretty uneventful day since I had nothing special planned and no precious gift to give.  (A month earlier we had helped her purchase an upgrade to her violin—an early birthday present—so she would have time to get used to it before her spring recital.) Since she was already aware of her gift, we were searching for some sort of surprise that would also show her honor.

With only two weeks to spare, God inspired me to honor Abigail by inviting 13 friends—ages 5 to mid 30’s– to celebrate with her.  (Abigail loves her family, but she is an encourager and has quite a collection of friends and pen pals!)  I chose Dad as her first friend and sent emails to the parents of 12 of Abigail’s close friends explaining my plan.  (I would’ve sent invitations, but I didn’t really consider it a party and the idea came to me kid of last minute.)  I would purchase 13 pink roses.  Each guest would arrive between 7 and 8 pm bringing one rose and a card or letter of blessing.  Cake and ice cream would be served promptly at 8 pm.  I knew that some friends had prior commitments for that evening and may not be able to participate so I asked for RSVPS’s to make sure all 12 would be present.  Amazingly, every friend but one was able to make adjustments to the schedule and participate in honoring Abigail.

On Abigail’s special day, we celebrated as we celebrate each birthday–donuts in bed.  Along with the donuts, Abigail found a small gift on her tray—a fancy green key to our home on a cool key chain.  This has become a traditional gift for 13th birthdays.  It is more symbolic than practical, but as the girls get older they sometimes have need of a key after a babysitting job.  It’s our way of saying, “You are responsible.”

In the afternoon, Abigail and I went to Starbucks for a surprise meeting with Miss Kelly, a young woman who sings on the worship team with Abigail and the one of the 13 special friends who was unable to attend our evening celebration. She presented Abigail with a pink rose tied with a ribbon and bought her a Passion Fruit Tea Lemonade.  The three of us chatted together for about 20 minutes and then Miss Kelly had to go back to work.

While Abigail and I were at Starbucks, two of my older daughters baked and frosted a cake, shined the bathroom, and delivered the roses to Abigail’s friends.  Some of the roses were delivered to the church, a central location for others to pick them up, and some to friends in the neighborhood and surrounding area.  When we arrived home, the house was completely ready for a surprise celebration.

Dad came home from work and presented Abigail with a pink rose—tied with the same ribbon.  Abigail remarked how it was the same ribbon as Miss Kelly’s, but didn’t catch on.  Dinner was Abigail’s choice, taco salad, and then she opened her presents from the family.  Just as we were finishing, the first guest arrived, followed quickly by the next friend.  By the third rose presented by the third friend, Abigail had caught on.  For the next hour, friends, siblings and parents arrived, one family at a time, until at 8 pm we all sang and she blew out the candles on the traditional Moore Family Birthday Cake.  (Recipe)

The celebration was a success.  Our sweet daughter enjoyed our special time together as a family.  She was also quite surprised and honored by her friends’ presence and their sweet words of life to her.  Daughter honored and surprised.  Mission accomplished.

 

Post a comment and tell us about a special birthday celebration in your family