Annabelle is 9. . .
Every year, I have fun planning and plotting with the girls what their birthday parties will be and then pulling off a little magic to make it happen in Kenya. This year I had some help from our former pastor in Birmingham who brought marshmallows and candy, and Belle’s vision for “slumber party” theme came to life with some twine, some glitter, some . dominos, and some sheets. . .
She only has three girls in her class this year, so it was a great year to have a small party and make sure no one felt left out. . . at some point one of the other girls declared it the “best slumber party ever,” so I hope we achieved her goal. We made individual tents for each girl and decorated them with star garland and battery powered twinkle lights. We played dominos and building games and pass the parcel with the candy from America. The girls watched a movie from their tents on the projector my parents gave us and then settled in to sleep. In the morning, they woke up for chocolate chip waffles with chocolate chips my aunt brought, and then made glitter pouches with ziplock bags from pastor, glitter from Stephanie, jewels the Cooks gave me when they moved, and packing tape.
As always, people from every part of the world contributed pieces to her special evening – we were far away, but felt everyone’s love in the tiny details. . .and now, my baby is 9 and becoming more and more of her own person every day, with ideas and spunk, with compassion and enthusiasm. We hope these days of slightly extravagant celebration anchor the chaos and are moments of refreshment in the craziness that characterizes our day to day.