Friday, August 17, 2012

S-E-V-E-N ! ! !

Anna banana was up bright and early on her birthday, and got herself all ready for the day staight away.  Bright eyed and bushy tailed.   

Anna patiently waited for the rest of us to get ready before opening her present from us, and having her requested birthday breakfast.  Love the big birthday hugs!

Since Anna's birthday party was the following week (we thought we'd be just getting back from Indiana the day before her actual birthday), we found a different way to make the 4th special.  Shopping and lunch at Applebees!  Anna has been in to "clothes, fashion, and accessories" lately.  It mostly stems from her love of the Fancy Nancy books, and grew from there.  Anna belle has a unique style (everything doesn't always match or look quite right, but I mostly let her dress herself), and I love it! 
So I thought it'd be fun as part of her birthday celebrations, I would take her shopping to choose a couple new outfits for school.  I usually get her a few new things around this time of year, but I don't usually take her or any of the kids with me.  Having Anna help, try on clothes, and give her opinion was fun and special.  Oh, and Gramma Susan came along too, which made it even more special.   
Anna then requested Applebees for lunch (because her Auntie KC had taken her there recently and she had seen another little girl get sung to for her birthday).  She was very chatty with our waitress, and told her it was her birthday, but did get a little shy when they came to sing.  And as you can see, she enjoyed her birthday dessert! 
When we were done with shopping and lunch, there was still plenty of time in the day for fun - parks, wii games (which is a "special treat" for the kids), and a yummy dinner.  Anna Ellene had a very good birthday!  And she hadn't even had her party yet . . .

Anna invited a couple friends to her BEACH PARTY!  (I told her we couldn't have allll of her friends there because we would be in charge of watching them in the water, and I wasn't sure if parents would stay or not.)  It was a good, little group even though we one friend couldn't make it at the last minute.  We had her party at my sister Beth's new house, on their private beach on Lake Superior.  Thanks, Beth and Stuart!  
This was such a simple party, which is why I suggested it to Anna.  hehe.  We just went for colorful, fun and easy.  And it did turn out to be so stress free, and everyone had a blast.    

I LOVED the party favors I put together because they just looked so cute, and as a bonus, almost all of it was on clearance since it's the end of summer.   Each beach pail contained: bubbles, a water ball, squirt gun (so of course we had a squirt gun fight too), pinwheel, little bottle of water, Goldfish crackers, and Nemo fishy fruit snacks (to go with the "beach" theme :).  We played a water balloon toss, and then had a water balloon fight.  We played beach volleyball, and the kids and grown-ups loved it!  And I enjoyed chatting and catching up with friends I hadn't seen in awhile.  
Besides a few friends, we invited both sets of Grandparents, and it was nice to have a few extra set of eyes once we went down to the beach.  Also, I wasn't planning on having any games - but my mom is just fantastic at that kind of thing.  I can't imagine doing a party without her.  Seriously.  :)   

So, all of August has just been beautiful - typical U.P. weather.  Which meant it was actually a little chilly at Anna's party.  June and July were warmer than normal, so I'll take it.  The party day was low 70's, windy, but most importantly - sunny!  The kids didn't mind, and the water felt surprisingly warm.  
The pictures don't do it justice, but the waves were intense!  I was a little nervous watching everyone, but we all survived.  Whew!  (I was informed that the public beaches were closed because of the waves!)  The kids all seemed to have fun, and we did some races on the beach too. 

1)  Anna and Kate - sweet friends.  2)  Benjamin kept getting completely knocked around in the waves - and he loved it!  3)  Beth brought cutie pie Lilly down for a bit. 

"I'm seven!"
We walked back up to the house, dried off, played around for a bit . . . then it was time for CUPCAKES!

Love how the fun and colorful the cupcakes turned out!  And love the picture of Anna blowing out her candle.  (Funny expressions by a few people in that one.  :) 

And in case anyone was wondering what Caleb was doing during all the excitement, he was napping, then playing ball or "bah" as he calls it, playing on the new tricycle my mom found at a garage sale, and snuggling with GraMelissa.  (Doesn't he look almost as big as her in this picture?! hehe.) 

It was a great party!  And a great birthday for Miss Anna Ellene.  And she even has a few more exciting things I'll write about later . . . like a new birthday bike from GramMelissa and Grampa Chuck!  And a special birthday date with Daddy.  And a family outing to the county fair during her "birthday week."  But this will have to do for now. 

So, I keep telling Anna to stop growing up.  I seriously can't take it anymore.  I can't believe she's seven.  I can't believe she's about to start 1st grade.  I can't believe she's so in to clothes and girly things like that (in a cute, sweet sort of way).  I can't believe some of the conversations we have when I think to myself, "She is so mature, and caring and sounds so grown up!"  Anna is still silly, and fun, and creative, and all the things I love about her, but she is also leaving that "little kid" stage.  It's bittersweet.  We love her to pieces, and she really is the sweetest part of our family! 

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