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on being 8 years old and traveling. . .

Posted on Oct 6, 2016 by in Uncategorized | 5 comments

Without Hobby Lobby or AC Moore or Michael’s, my need to be creative in for my girl’s birthday parties is a little challenged – but a lot more fun. This year Annabelle wanted an “around the world American girl party,” which, after searching, Madeline declared un-Pinterestable. So we made it up, and had a lot of fun. We planned treasure hunts to the continents, compass cakes, and spent an afternoon making flags from a stack of construction paper and sticker earrings the girls had bought at a yard sale a few months ago. We ran out the ink in the printer making luggage tags. We enlisted the help of our Australian, Chinese, and Kenyan friends for food ideas. Then, we made tiny passports for the dolls and serendipitously found tiny spoons and bowls in Nairobi . . .

When I asked Annabelle her favorite part, she declared she liked it all, so we will declare it another successful Kenyan birthday party . . .and another marker of our time here. Here, my “third culture kid,”  sees the intersection of dolls and travel as normal, the nebulousness of what country is “home” is is part of her day to day life.  This was a microcosm of that – where the girls focused as vehemently on the Kenyan and British flags as they did on the American one, where the details of the passport were critiqued because they have seen it so often, where their friends spanned 5 grades.  This is their reality, their comfort zone, their home, with it’s bumpy roads and blowing wind.

They are both a bit nervous about our furlough in America, so pray for them, for them to feel the care we do that crosses oceans, and for travel from continent to continent to show them that in all the craziness, these American girls are truly and deeply loved.


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  1. My daughter is amazing! Annabelle’s party looked perfect. I wish I could’ve spanned the continents and been there.

  2. What a fantastic birthday! Love the creativity, and of course the global theme with the local warmth. Annabelle you are loved.

  3. Hopefully you do hugs in Kijabe as a sign of friendship and caring. Then there will be at least one thing we all have in common as you exchange cultures for a few months. Wish I could have seen the prep and party. Eight will be a great year!

  4. You never fail to absolutely blow me away with your creativity and ability to execute your ideas so well! I wish I had a 10th of that ability… looks like the birthday girl had a grand time, as well as her friends! We will be praying for them both…it’s a big transition to make for any age, and Lord knows change and living in limbo can be hard on even the wisest of veterans… LOVE you all…26 days and COUNTING!!!

  5. I think we use to live in that house with Mocha (the dog) after the Smith family moved out. Looks lovely..and glad to see kids are enjoying the tree house!

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