It all started on a Sunday. We'd had a church farewell luncheon that day (one of those yummy potluck spreads) for a dear family who were moving back overseas. Heartfelt speeches were made, about the blessing of the church family, and the way faith moved in the lives of this dear family and our church community. As people spoke, Lily was curled on my lap, and as it was during the gap between lunch and dessert, I imagined her more fixated on the chocolate treats to come. Instead, it turned out those little ears were soaking up quite a bit.
On the drive home, she suddenly announced decisively that she wanted 'a Jesus birthday cake' (not the butterfly or princess that she had previously been discussing) 'and I just want my church friends to come over, and have like a singing night or something like that'! There was conviction in her eyes (and in her heart). She had been moved by the words and the reality of what a life given to God means, and the blessing of church family. It seemed like she wanted to acknowledge the importance of that, and Jesus at the centre of it all, on her special day. Wow.
I admit I was a little bemused and surprised - as well as touched! I was sure she would change her mind back to something sparkly - but no. Again and again she reminded me of her hopes for a 'Jesus birthday' with a Jesus cake and church friends. I did gently steer her away from her first suggestion of a cake with Jesus on the cross (!!!!!!!!!!). It was not her year for a party after last year's extravaganza, but in light of such a heartfelt desire, we decided to ask our small group (who come over fortnightly anyway) to come early for dinner and some a capella singing as well. No decorations or fuss, just dinner (my slowcooker full of Lily's requested spaghetti bolognaise, which thankfully fed the crowd of 17!). After eating, we gathered in the lounge room for some singing (with the song list Lily had suggested, ranging from 'King of Kings to This Little Light of Mine'. She was beaming the whole night, it was just as she'd hoped.
With the hustle and bustle of the evening, and hosting and all, I didn't get any decent photos. But that's okay. A few grainy camera shots are merely triggers for the real memories in our hearts of a simply beautiful, very special night celebrating my precious tender-hearted daughter.
My girl, you are one of a kind. Never change, you are so wonderfully you. And yes, Jesus loves you. So do we. Happy birthday, my sweet, strong, spunky little girl.
'Mummy, the hippopotamuses are sleeping in my socks'
Just another day with my hilarious boy.
PS Oh yeah, I just noticed his socks don't match. Eh, no big deal. I gave up on matching socks long ago. Unmatched socks are the least of my worries!!
Mark and my dear step dad were installing a new car stereo in our car... and Miles was desperate to be part of the action. So I strapped him into Eli's car seat with an apple, and he spent thirty happy minutes munching away while keeping a close eye on proceedings.
One day, Eli was really missing Daddy, and asked me to send Daddy a picture of him playing from my phone 'Take a picha of 'dis and send it to Dad!' - and then asked Daddy to return the favour.
So of course Mark quickly sent him this snap from the office.
Too cute :) Love their bond, Eli just adores him so much.
Project 52: A portrait of my family, once a week, every week, in 2014.
More highlights from the week that was....
|We had so much fun ice skating last time, so when we got offered some free tickets we snapped them up, keen to let the kids cement their new found skills. Lovely Bel came along this time and we all had a blast. Bel was a darling, going around and around and around with the kids.|
|Who is this grown up six year old, just skating merrily away??|
|Seriously?! These kids. I walk in after they have been playing in their room together before bed, to find this little 'presentation' awaiting us.... too funny, too cute. Love my babies.|
|Finding the kids snuggled into bed together, Lily reading to Eli from her school reader, is a sure way to wrangle an extra ten minutes until bedtime.|
|Birthday preparations... kinda hooked on striped cakes now I know how easy they are ;)|
|For a Jesus themed birthday, I pulled out the nativity set, and added some green-dyed-coconut as grass - and lollies for good measure ;)|
|Thanks to a 'group think' on Facebook, this was the 'Jesus Birthday Cake' I came up with. Nothing fancy but I think|
it filled the brief?! Lily was happy happy happy, so that was a relief!! ;)
|A couple weeks ago I overheard a serious conversation between L&E:|
'Eli, do you like Jesus?'
'Yes, I do because he always helps everybody.'
|How is my baby girl six? Six years of motherhood, six years of blessings.|
|Of course we had to include an actual Jesus on the cake :) What, you haven't seen a Jesus action figure before?!??|
|Lily decided to keep Jesus on the side so 'he didn't wreck your nice writing, Mummy'. Being Jesus, he did not mind in the least ;)|
|Thanks to a little package from my dear friend Nicole who heard about L's chosen theme, Lily was able to make some special craft for the birthday dinner...|
|'You can have one.'|
Necklaces and bookmarks for everyone who came. Kinda fitting for a Jesus birthday, for the birthday girl to make something to give away to others :)'
|Here comes the cake!|
|A sneaky (over exposed) snap in the middle of the singing night. She was so thrilled to have everyone gathered together to sing about God. She is one of a kind, this girl :)|
|I made this simple banner for my girl on her first birthday... as I did for all my babies. I love pulling it out and hanging it each year... a special annual ritual.|
|Lily's beautiful Kokeshi Doll collection is growing, thanks to Nana!|
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."