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Happy Birthday Miss Echo

6 years old… where has the time gone? My wee bionic baby is now 6 years old!! (for more on the journey that was her heart surgery go HERE, HEREHERE, and HERE) Since she is now a self proclaimed BIG GIRL she was in charge of planning out her wish list for things to do.IMG_20160813_133418

First of all, Wednesday before she joined us for shopping at Sam’s Club so she could pick out her very own birthday outfit. She settled on an adorable dress that cost me less than 6.00! Score! Then on Friday we went all the way to Target so she could pick out her own cake, candles, and icing for Daddy to write on the cake with… Pokemon, pink and white and pink.

Sign by Trinity

Sign by Trinity

20160813_09175320160813_091944Her requests were pretty simple… but first she had to FaceTime with Nana and Baba and open her present from them and THEN talk to Grandma on the phone.20160813_093351

Next was the all important task of going to Toys’r’us to get the one thing Echo has been asking for for almost a whole year – her very own 18 inch doll. With 12 options it was a VERY serious decision!IMG_20160813_160500

After that was accomplished it was off to McDonald’s. Specifically one with a PLAY AREA. Ken and I had forgotten how loud those places are! She was so pleased. (we made sure to pack socks)IMG_20160813_160912

THEN it was off to the pool… which turned out to be closed for filtration issues… so we brainstormed with our homeschool buddies who were joining us and headed over to our favourite beach for presents, playing and general fun stuff.IMG_20160813_160351

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20160813_15255220160813_144124Our  evening was topped off with a visit from our friend Anthony, Chinese for dinner… CAKE of course…IMG_20160813_195620

And a most awesome costume gift!

Batman Girl with BATTLE SWORD

Batman Girl with BATTLE SWORD

Playing VIDEO GAMES

Playing VIDEO GAMES

I think we did good. She snuck into our closet at bedtime with her sword and her doll under the very blanket she was given post surgery. Happy Birthday little darling!20160813_232725

Happy Second Birthday Echo!

And so we add another milestone to Echo’s life… she is officially 2 years old today!!! Let’s look back at what she has accomplished… TWO birthdays, a minor heart surgery, genetic testing (small stature thank you very much), completing her time breastfeeding (on the 18th of July!), almost ALL of her teeth in, walking AND beginning to talk, moved to the US (with family in tow) and managed to charm pretty much everyone she has ever met! That’s our darling girl! Enjoy the pictures!

On the tummy

With Fat Sheep and friends!

Standing tall

A close up

Sisters together

With cracker

Happy Birthday Sweetpea

Sunday Sunday…

Definitely did NOT wish it was Monday… not when the day was beautiful and the kids dressed in their Sunday best once again. No, while I had shed some tears and had some emotional moments today I had some moments of joy and contentment as well. So lets get going with the recapping… we had to get out to the van dressed, packed up and ready to go by 8am once again. There was quite a bit of reticence from the boys who were rather unimpressed by the idea of another long drive. We assured them it was for a good reason and that they WOULD have fun today at church…

Dressed to impress

We made good time even with some road repair going on and got to church in time to meet the rest of the kids and start Sunday School. I have to admit I appreciate long car rides (when the kids are in decent moods) as it gives Ken and I a chance to chat about things without the distraction of tv, computers, internet, etc. Sometimes it is the closest we get to quality one on one time. Especially if the kids are occupied or better yet, ASLEEP.

Anyway, this was a very special Sunday… first of all it is the FINAL Sunday School session of the year. Bittersweet as we have loved our year of Sunday School. The kids have made friends among their classmates, enjoyed their teachers and fellowship. We have felt totally welcomed and accepted by this church and the new minister. So they practiced their song for the OTHER big event of the day – the dedication and presentation of the nativity and “other” costumes mom made for the church. There are well over 30 done and at the church. Everyone was over the moon when they came in to them all laid out on the tables for perusal. 

Of course before the costumes could be handed out and chosen there was cookies and juice! Even Echo had a cookie. 

Cookie time

For Echo too

And then… PICKING COSTUMES! Trinity decided she didn’t want to dress up as there was no Chococat or princess but the boys were all over that as were most of the kids. Mom was there to help out with the dressing up. Proof positive that they ARE versatile for ages and sizes. 

Dressed up

With an angel

By the time everyone was dressed up Mike got there from his conference (on the bike) and church was ready to start. Hugs all round and then up to sit in the sanctuary. The group at the front were adorable. I am so glad we were able to be there for the dedication. We even made it through the whole service, communion and then…

In the front of the church singing

With a sentinel

And some more

Time to finish celebrating the end of Sunday School. I have to say I feel VERY blessed in our choice of church (it was the only ELCICin town and it has been a perfect fit for us!!). I went back after everyone had shook the hand of the minister to chat about how things are going and he took the time to sit in his office and listen to my cry a little, talk about my faith and options and say a prayer together. He has offered to connect me with the minister here in town who is actually a friend of his(!) and if we are ever in town this month and need to talk we are to let him know. 

Mommy and Echo keeping busy during service

He was more than understanding about my need to use only email right now and while he does not have answers for us he has our back in prayer. As several members of our church came up to me to tell me also. Emanuel and Trinity’s teachers (who are sisters) were very hopeful for it all working out for us and willing to ask around about some possibilities in rentals they are aware of. People also came up to inquire about Echo’s health. It makes me feel so good to know that other people are still thinking about her surgery and her recovery. I know that Ken and I are still concerned and will be until she is off the baby aspirin. 

After the Youth ran lunch the kids were outside to play games in the yard. There was everything from a beanbag toss to tug of war to a scavenger hunt. Well more of a litter pick up but they were so proud after! Even Trinity and Echo warmed up towards the end and the time in the sunshine felt so… renewing. 

Throwing sponges soaked in water at the Youth

Tug of war

We said good bye to our church friends and headed out for a run to Michaels for me (I will disclose my purchases there, as small as they are, tomorrow) and then on to Kristen and Fydo’s to grab the cards she had made for the sale (pictures tomorrow) that were hiding under their welcome mat and then… Aunty Karyn at the park! Trinity was beyond excited and as soon as we got parked and changed out of church clothes (all except for yours truly as I managed to forget mine in the hustle out the door) all the kids made a bee line for the park. 

Park time

Visiting with Aunty

Checking out the sand

We played and chatted until Echo decided she was done in the sun and wanted to sit in the van with her water cuppy. Then it was time to say a somewhat tearful good bye to Karyn and head out of town. With tired and done in kids and a baby who felt the ride home was pure torture it was quite the drive. We were all done in… and then there was the added unexpected excitement of a lost dog found on our street that mom and Mike had to take the pound so they could find the owner… and the finding of a patch of torn fur on Gypsy that we can’t figure out where she lost it… 

I am working my way through the first two manga in a new series that I plan to blog about tomorrow as well as another book I am working through during my baths! So those entries to come… We are also starting our USA unit with a focus on Minnesota so I will definitely share my links here too… I am determined to keep our educational ball rolling after all! Keep in mind that I have a few more crafts to complete for the sale… some adventures still to be had AND pet sitting, our anniversary and my birthday to look forward to. While we hustle our buns with the rental hunt I am going to grab everyone moment of joy I can find and hold on tight… and this month I am determined to be successful on ALL fronts!!! 

Grandpa time