Birthday Celebrations

My birthday was on the 5th, but we had the celebration the next day. It was a blast! 🙂

English Country Dancing (thanks to the help of Lydia N. and her sisters)
Jessie B.– a friend from church
Mrs. Y. and Mrs. N. chat while some of the Y. boys play foosball
It was very cute– Ava Y. and Zuriel N. had been chasing each other before this photo, and then they paused for some “refreshment”. 😉 They must have been playing quite vigorously! 🙂 And I’m sure that Angie was giving them sage advice. 😉 hehe
I don’t usually go for fairy tales, but this photo (at least to me) screams Cinderella and Prince Charming! 😉
It was quite intimidating having this crowd of spectators for the gift opening. 🙂

 

Expressing my delight over one of Jaden’s many lovely presents

 

Playing “Uno” after having danced for something like 4 1/2 hours and the opening of gifts. Jaden charms the ladies [and one guy]. 😉
Pheebs, Jessie B., C+C and Dad chillax. 🙂 I think Jessie was showing them photos from a recent trip of his.

 

Yours-truly, with Catalina O. (whom I’d not seen in nearly a year) and her sweet friend, Grace. 🙂

Over all, it was a splendid evening, spent with many kind friends (not all of whom are represented in this post).

Wedding Prep & Abby’s Birthday

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Someone sneaked this pic of Jaden writing something. 🙂 So cute!
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I had fun making props for the photobooth for Caleb and Claudia’s wedding.
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I also made a sign as a decoration
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Abby turned 24 on the first. 🙂
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Some friends came over to help us celebrate it, bringing cake and ice cream. 🙂
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The next day, Phoebe and I made chicken fetuccinni alfredo, per Abby’s request. 🙂
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Joel came up for the day to celebrate with us. 🙂 He brought along treats (think MORE ice cream, soda pop, and chocolate)– but he had to get back home quickly, because it started to sleet and snow heavily.
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Dad reads some letters sent to him (from family and friends) while he attended a men’s retreat.
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Mom tries out a prop for the photobooth for the wedding. 🙂 She’s too cute!

 

Now…. on to (some of) the wedding photos! =)

Party Weekend {Birthdays}

Friday night, my sister and I threw a “surprise” Birthday party for my Dad, my brothers Joel and Caleb, and for my sister Phoebe. 🙂 It was a small gathering, but I think it went swell! =)

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Phoebe’s email pal, Sara B., was able to come to the party (along w/ her mom and two of her 3 siblings). It was a surprise for Phoebe! Phoebe knew we were getting together with her sometime soon, but had no idea it was supposed to be at the party. 😀

 

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The card and photos/memories table 🙂
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Friends, fun, and fellowship 🙂
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Citrus infused water = very refreshing

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Drinks and veggie tray table 🙂
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Dessert table
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Phoebe, not knowing the party was for her, decorated the cake for just Dad. 😀 And yes, tacky us, we let her help with the food and decorations. But hey, how else would we keep it a surprise from her? 😉 Besides, she LOVES baking and decorating cakes and she’s really good at it. 🙂 I did help her some with the cakes, anyway.
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The peach design was Abby’s idea. 🙂 Oh, and btw, that peach came off of our peach tree! 🙂
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Whimsical 🙂
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Simple decor
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Pheebs, Mom and I, getting to know Sara B. 🙂
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My “niece”, her brother, and her mom were able to attend. 🙂 Isn’t Lizzy’s hair adorbs?!! 😀
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Tanisha G., Mom and Mrs. B. (Sara’s mom)

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Lizzy-dee
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Claudia and her mom came 🙂
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One of the birthday guys (on the right). Actually, Isaac’s b-day is coming up pretty soon (the day before Joel’s). 🙂
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Sweet sisters in the Lord. 🙂
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Floating tea lights 🙂

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Dad (another b-day guy), chatting with Mrs. and Nathan B.

 

Saturday, we went to a birthday party for my “nephew”, Tristan. 🙂 He recently turned 6 and I can hardly believe it— he was barely 4 when we met his family and he has grown up SO much since then!

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The Birthday boy! 🙂

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Being goofy 🙂
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Let’s blow out the candles!
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The S. family has arrived. 🙂
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And so has the N. family
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Baby S.
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Smile, Watson 🙂
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Splash pad fun 🙂
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Pheebs (thoroughly wet), enjoying some time with ze bebeh. 🙂
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So stinkin’ cute! 😀
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I love Miss Tanisha’s outfit. 🙂 Especially the skirt. 😉
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Aw… two “babies” smiling at each other * heart melts*
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Look who I’ve got! 😉
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JJ, Pheebs and Bram S. having soaking fun
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Mom visits with Laurin S. 🙂
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Andrew S.
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Just want to pinch those chubby cheeks. 😉
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If you look closely, you can see that Lizzy is trying very hard to mimic Jaden’s face, haha 😀
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Aw…
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Two cuties. 😉
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Fellowship with siblings in the Lord 🙂

      A few more Lizzy photos. 😉

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Kisses from Auntie Jo 🙂
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A little lady 🙂
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Having fun, getting wet 🙂

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And I’ll leave you with a few pics I took of Lizzy when Abs and I babysat her and Tristan a couple weeks ago. 🙂

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I love photographing her hands. So tiny and delicate. 🙂
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Oh… I LOVE it when she smiles like that! 🙂
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Cute hair-do, no? 🙂

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Growing up so fast….

Abby’s Birthday Festivities

March 1 (Abby’s Birthday) – We went to the English Country Dance practice

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Foreground (l-r): Phoebe, Mrs M., Kayla and Ashlyn M., Angela A. and Jacob P.
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Visiting
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Two friends of ours made it to the practice– we hadn’t seen them in about a year!
L-R: Yours-truly, Claudia B., Abby and Madeline G.
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Phoebe, Claudia B., Madeline G. and Abby
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After the dancing, we went to Sauce, an Italian restaurant. Delicious!!!
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Claudia and Abby
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Our group (minus Phoebe). Sadly, Dad and Joel couldn’t make it. 😦
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The very special Birthday girl!! 🙂 ❤
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Visiting after dinner

March 2 – We had supper and dessert as a family, and Abby opened her gifts.

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Supper was sandwiches and chips
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Abby, enjoyed the Birthday dinner

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The lemon/strawberry cheesecake that Phoebe and I made the day before. Simply scrumptious!!
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Abby opens a gift and reads a card
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Phoebe and I also made chocolate chip cookie dough ice-cream, which was quite tasty with the cheesecake (and the eggnog ice-cream that Phoebe made). Mm….

I hope you had a delightful time celebrating your Birthday, Abby dear!! ❤

B-day Surprises, Trip to the Park and Photography Experiment

February 8 – Okay, so I kinda thought that my birthday celebrations were all over. No big deal. But…. this morning I was washing the dishes, and Jaden scurried inside and produced a LARGE package for me! I quickly wiped my hands on a towel, and started to open the package (it was from my best friend, Kathleen), but Jaden stopped me. “Let me go get everyone else to witness you opening it.” I laughingly agreed but “begged” to at least read the card. Soon, Jaden was back inside with his whole entourage of siblings (who had been working on cutting down our tree, btw).

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Reading the note Kathleen put with the gifts. 🙂
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One of the gifts. I LOVE the bow she used for this one! 🙂
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The presents. I have already read the book (yeah, I know…), and I can hardly wait to wear the darling necklace and bracelet. A friend is getting married soon, so maybe then… 🙂

February 12 – Spring’s here already?? Hmm…

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Daffodils in our neighbors’ yard. You might be wondering why on earth these silly plants are blooming already– well, it’s Texas, that’s why! 😀
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Faces to the sun, smiling all the while…
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Boy, I am SO thankful that God created flowers and wildlife in general. They add a splash of color to life. 🙂

February 15 – Yet another birthday surprise came in the mail. It was from my dear friend, Rebekah. 🙂

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This darling necklace– such a sweet gift. 🙂
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Rebekah made this card to go along with it. Isn’t she super talented? I think she made the necklace too. 🙂

February 17 – My brother, Caleb, was down here for the day (we had Bible study and fellowship as a family). So, after lunch, all of my siblings (except Joel) and I went to a nearby park.

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On our way…
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Caleb
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Phoebe
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Skipping rocks
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Jaden tries a hand a skipping rocks
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Here I am, holding an un-opened clam that I found
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More rock skipping. It’s quite good fun, actually!
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Time for siblings portraits 😉 Yes, I subjected my siblings to a torturous venture. haha, just kidding.
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“Hey everyone, let’s act crazy so Jo will pull her hair out!” 😀 😛 Apparently Phoebe didn’t get that memo. 😉
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I think this is one of my favorites of the four of them. 🙂
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Goofsters
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Jaden decided he would hang onto a branch of a tree, instead of lean against the other tree. Hey, it makes for an interesting photo, huh. 😉
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Band members, haha. Don’t ask me why we look so serious (or are those grumpy faces?? :D)!
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Another crazily posed photo. 😀
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Not sure what these are called (any of you know?), but as a child I loved picking them and making “bouquets” out of them. And I was appalled when Mom said that most people them of them as weeds (I thought of them as dainty flowers). 😀

February 21 (today) – I thought I’d try out a photography “trick” I had seen before.

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A book in the sunlight, with a ring between the pages casts a shadow in the shape of a heart. How cool is that? 🙂
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I suppose this is a late Valentine’s Day themed photo. 😉
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I took the photo with my Bible as the book– turned to Ephesians 5, where it talks about how a husband and wife’s relationship should be modeled after Christ’s relationship with the Church.

Recent Events

The past several weeks have been crazy busy. Never a dull moment around here. 😉 Get ready for a loooong post. 😉

About a week ago, my sisters and I had a Bible study with two girlfriends of ours. We studied on the work of Salvation.

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Tanisha G., Lizzy G., Abby, Phoebe (Tristan G. in front), yours-truly and Brittany C. — this was our Bible study group. 😉

After the Bible study, we parted ways. But first I took these shots of my darling, gorgeous sisters!! =)

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Abby
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Phoebe
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I made this skirt a couple of weeks ago
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I’ve been messing around some more with the camera our friend is letting us borrow

 

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This past Friday night, my sisters, brother Jaden, and I went to an English Country Dance practice, with our friend Stephen P. (pictured above).

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Four changes of rights and lefts

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Right hand star. You can see me and my little brother on the right 🙂

We got home Friday night to find that my dear brother Caleb had arrived! 🙂 He had been gone on an 11 day mission trip to Mexico. He sure was missed! Unfortunately, we didn’t snap any photos of him– we were too busy catching up.

The next evening (Saturday), Phoebe and I made my Birthday cake. This is how it turned out:

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We did a Hello Kitty theme, because I think she’s adorable. 😉 I love kittens!

 

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Yup, I turn 15 today!! 🙂

 

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Phoebe cut out the kitten face from fondant, but I added the nose, the bow, the whiskers and the eyes. 🙂

 

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I thought this was completely adorable!! 🙂 I asked Phoebe to do a heart for the “dot” of the “I”. 🙂

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My fellow baker. Love ya, girlie! 🙂
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My oldest brother (Joel) got home from work around the time we were wrapping up the cake decorating. He took some photos of the cake and made some funny comments to Phoebe and me. 😉

We didn’t have the cake until Sunday, but I think we’re all glad we waited until then. 🙂 Besides, there was strawberry ice-cream to go along with it. 😉

 

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Yes, I was embarrassed. 😛 Everyone was singing *the* song. 😉

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With my Papa dear and Mama dear. 😉

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After we ate dessert, and I had opened a few presents, it was game time. All of my siblings, my parents and I played a delightful game of “Pictionary”! And…the girls’ team won. 😉 😀

 

Lastnight (as we do every Monday night), my siblings and I went to play Ultimate Frisbee with several friends. 🙂

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Isaac D., Taylor T., Ryan T., and Caleb P.

 

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Go, Taylor! 🙂 — She was on my team for that game.
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Ryan T. is about to smack down the frisbee before Simcha S. catches it! xP
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Phoebe, yours-truly (in pink shirt), Jaden, Ryan T. and Caleb P. chase after the frisbee
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Caleb P. almost has it! And…
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…again! This really is an epic shot, don’t you think?

 

Today is my actual Birthday. It’s been rather uneventful, but not boring. I’ve had quite a few sweet friends send me Birthday wishes via email, G+, Facebook, snail mail and over the phone. I’m really blessed, y’all! I have some of the best of friends anyone could have!!! Three of my siblings had to work today, so they were either gone all day, or gone most of the day. Part of me selfishly wanted them here (of course), but I also was so thankful that they were here to celebrate with me a few days ago! 🙂 Thank you to everyone who has made this special day even more special! You know who you are. 😉 You are the type of people who add a ray of sunshine to my life. =) And a huge thank you to my darling family who has loved me unconditionally! You are my best friends, and more importantly brothers and sisters in the Lord! Love y’all bunches!