Monday, March 21, 2011

Emily's Art Party!

Emily's birthday party was at Kids-N-Art this year... love having a party somewhere other than my house! All you really need to do is just show up with a cake, of course I couldn't resist doing just a little extra! Love is in the details!

Since the kids would be painting at the party I made all the party guests a t-shirt so they wouldn't get their clothes dirty. The tag said, "Emily is FOUR, How old are you?" and on the back the t-shirts had the kid's name and their age. Of course once we got there I realized Kids-N-Art provided smocks for the kids to wear, but with my "little extra" they were sure to stay paint free! :)

Look how cute...!!

Emily picked a turtle as the design she wanted to paint for the party..

The party attendants walked the kids step by step through the painting process..

Even though everyone painted the same thing they all turned out different... some better than others, but all very cute.

To continue the "art theme" I brought paper bag puppets for the kids to make. We ended up with some cute lions, frogs, cows, elephants, and parrots. Emily chose a cow and Lila made a parrot. We've had several cute little puppet shows here at our house since the party!

... even a quick little show before ballet class! : )

Birthday Cake...
Emily has had Mimi's special strawberry cake (SO YUMMY!) every year on her birthday so I had to continue the tradition. The traditional cake from the Sparks side of the family, made it's appearance as a cupcake jar, but Emily's cake was a cookie cake with a monkey... per her request! Of course we had to have both! I just think it's sweet that my girls grow up having the same special cake that Mommy had on her birthdays when she was little! : )
Cupcake Jars...

And the Monkey Cookie Cake...

For the party favors I made Jello Playdough so the kids could continue their artistic creativity at home. I made WAY too many (7 each of 7 colors) and came home with a lot of leftover favors... so I won't need to buy playdough for my girls for a long time to come! It's fun because the colors are pretty and it smells like the flavors!

Emily had her own special parking space for the party...

I thought it was a fun party, but more importantly, this little girl had a blast!

And this one did too...!!

Happy 4th Birthday Emily!

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Happy Spring!

I love this time of year..the warm days, beautiful sunshine, pretty flowers, and the grass starting to turn green again.. just another reminder that God makes all things beautiful!

The girls and I wandered around Hobby Lobby the other day until we came up with a plan for a new wreath for the front door and today we planted a bunch of flowers. They love helping Mommy "decorate"!

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Nothing like a birthday to pull me back to the blog... the eve before a birthday always pulls at the heart strings of this Momma and tonight is no exception!

FOUR... how can a number be so small yet still feel so BIG? The number four has been haunting me all month. I've been dreading the countdown. My sweet little Emily Summer is turning the big F-O-U-R tomorrow. How can it be? Truth be told, I am not handling my BABY turning another year older very well. I don't know why the transition from three to four feels like such a punch in the gut... three is still closer to the "baby" years, but four... well you might as well start packing up the car and preparing to drop them off at college! (I know, I know, just a little exaggeration.. but I did mention not handling this "big" birthday very well, right?) Maybe it's because she is my baby, or it could have something to do with my glancing at April's calendar page this afternoon and seeing kindergarten roundup in big bold letters... can Lila really be old enough for school? Real school? Unbelievable! My baby is turning four and my oldest is off to kindergarten... pass the tissues please! : )

So tonight when the house is quiet and three of the four of us are sleeping, I will spend some time thanking my God for the beautiful, spunky spirit that came into my life four short years ago... there might even be a little sobbing from my side of the bed. Watching my girls grow and experience new things is exciting, don't get me wrong, but a piece of this Mommy's heart will always wish I could tap the brakes on the speed in which they are doing so. Will it ever slow down? I'm afraid I know the answer to that question and it scares me even more!

What a delight my children are to me. They really bring so much joy and a tiny bit of frustration to my life... of course the joy outweighs the frustration (for the most part).. kidding! Seriously though, being Lila and Emily's Mommy has been the toughest, most rewarding job I will ever have. Words completely fail me.

If you know me at all, then you know my Emily has been God's greatest teaching tool in my life thus far. I will never live up to the grace and love He extended to me through the blessing of my youngest daughter's birth and the numerous provisions He continued to provide in her first three years. And the lessons with my Emily keep on comin'.. each and every day I get another lesson in patience, forgiveness, patience, strength, patience, and asking Him for the strength and wisdom to stay patient. Oh, my little pumpkin has certainly taught me some big lessons! I have said it before that I absolutely love to sneak into my girls' rooms at night to watch them sleep and pray over them... but especially with Emily... the only time the girl is quiet is when she is sleeping! But then again, I wouldn't have her any other way... except maybe in the car... if she could just learn to use her quiet voice in the car I'd be so very thankful! : )

Everything about my spunky one is bold. She was fiesty when she entered this world, and used that spunk and courage to grow and thrive and face challenge after challenge head strong and determined.. even as a little one she must have wondered what all the worry and anxiety her Mommy had was all about. I guess she always has been strong-willed and determined and I love that about her! Some of my neighbors like to tease me about the outfits she puts together.. bold.. and she rides her bike up and down the sidewalk with her head held high so proud of the heads that turn to see her flair. And at ballet some of the other moms have commented on how dainty and graceful Lila is in her movements, and how Emily is "just not"... oh, the laughs that Wayne and I have had watching her wiggle, scratch, pull her ballet skirt up to her arm pits, fidget, and dance to her own beat... watching her learn to skip had all the parents in stitches.. I never knew a step, hop, step, hop could be so entertaining!! Once at the playground a stranger felt the need to share her amusement that Lila was so quiet and soft spoken and everything Emily did was said and done in the loudest possible way. On the way home from church recently we asked the girls what they did in Bible class, Lila tells us about her lesson and Em announces she went to time-out. Yes, she is bold. She is a girl who certainly knows what she wants and doesn't take too well to being told otherwise. She is exactly as God made her to be and I love it!

I hope and pray that she never loses that passion. She can be shy and does a pretty cute head tilted on the shoulder kinda shrug that absolutely melts my heart. But I'm not fooled! She sings the loudest, makes the biggest splash, dances the silliest, laughs the heartiest, is her sister's best friend, is her sister's worst enemy, gives the tightest hugs, and the best kisses. She spends the most time in time-outs, apologizes the sweetest and is right back at full steam ahead! My prayer is that she never slows down. My prayer for her tonight, on the eve of her fourth birthday is that God will use her to the fullest.

Always be bold for Him. I pray that your passion will set other hearts on fire for Our Lord and that you will always praise Him in your unique Emily style. I love you sweetheart! I am so proud to be your Mommy and will always be grateful for the wonderful blessing of you! I will remind you later, when you are grown and we really are packing the car for your college adventure, of the conversation we had tonight while you were in the bathtub. I asked you if we could just skip your birthday tomorrow so you could stay three for a little while longer. Your response was in that exasperated tone, "Mommm, I have to get big.. but don't worry, when I get big I will just take you with me!" I couldn't have said it better myself baby girl, because wherever you go in this great big world I will never be far away. You are my heart. Four years ago when you graced this world with your presence you took over a part of my heart and together with your sister and Daddy you have become my heart. Every smile, every laugh, every good thing is made sweeter because I love you. And even though your eyes can't see Him in the flesh, know that your God is with you always too. I pray that you know it without a doubt, even in the toughest times, that you feel Him always, because He loves you even more than I do... and that is A WHOLE LOT, so much more than you could ever dream up!! Happy, Happy Birthday Doodle! May F-O-U-R be your happiest yet!
I love you,

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