I’m sorry it has been so long since I’ve posted. Life has been full lately, which is a good thing, but not always conducive to sitting down and writing a blog post. 🙂

happybirthdayjohn2_blogSo, today I thought I’d share some pictures from our most recent birthdays. I really should wait until next week, when I can add my birthday in too, but since John has been stealing my computer lately due to some serious issues with his, I think I will take advantage of this rare morning alone with my computer.

happybirthdayjohn1_blogAt the end of December John turned 34. He was a bit stressed and busy, so I know he didn’t think much about his birthday, but I think we were successful at making a special celebration for him. I made a key lemon frozen pie (I couldn’t find any limes), and ordered him something he’s been wanting for a long time: a new watch. We enjoyed a quiet family movie night watching Despicable Me 2.

happybirthdayelise3_blogElise turned 11 on the first of February. She’s been planning an epic birthday party for a couple months now, and it turned out to be a huge success. She invited her entire 5th grade class (thank goodness it’s a small class) for games, dinner, and a movie. The girls were invited to spend the night, which is the first time we’ve had a full fledged sleepover for her. Everyone seemed to have a fun time playing games, especially Psychology (a game I used to play all the time in youth group and decided to teach them). happybirthdayelise2_blogThe Court Jester was the movie she picked and it was a huge hit, despite the “romantic” scenes that Elise was afraid would be unpopular with the boys. We cooked up a huge batch of our favorite movie night dinner: potatoes, brats, and saukraut and I made a dairy free “cheese”cake since we were finishing up our elimination diet and Elise has a friend who is highly allergic to dairy. There were a couple sticky points when the girls were winding down for bedtime, including a lamp that decided to fall and break right as they were all drifting off to sleep. Some tears were shed, but all in all it went pretty smoothly.

happybirthdayelise1_blogIt’s hard to believe I’ve been a mom for 11 years! I still have such clear memories of the day Elise was born, the first time I held her, the proud smile on John’s face when she was first put into his arms, the excitement of all our siblings as they became uncles and aunts for the first time. Elise holds a special place in both our families. She was the first grandchild, and the only grandchild and niece for quite some time. She has a distinct relationship with each of our siblings and approaches all adults with confidence because of the time she spent as a child learning to interact with them. During our time here in Germany, she has become more and more responsible, caring and flexible. I’m so excited to see what the year ahead will bring for her.

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