Grace turned eleven on Tuesday.
(that's an eleven she's making with her fingers in case you were wondering...)
We started out the day with scones and a treasure hunt to find the gifts.
(I think that might be becoming our new tradition.)
Grace was pretty excited about the gifts.
...and a sweet poster her friends door-bell ditched us with the night before:
One of her gifts was a big box.
...filled with littler boxes.
And this is what she found in the last one:
(all the boxes inside the big box were courtesy of her big brother Max.)
Luckily she has some big siblings to help her figure it out.
Grace's birthday tradition is having a pinata.
We have made our own for the past three years.
This year we came up with a new idea: a flower.
How to make a birthday pinata:
1) Blow up balloons the sizes you want and make them into what you want to make. (Yeah, kind of limited with round balloons.)
2) Mix equal parts of flour and water, rip newspapers into a bunch of strips, and dip them into the flour mixture. Drape over your balloon creation.
3) Let the first side dry, then do the other side.
4) Let your creation dry overnight.
5) Cut a small hole somewhere in the pinata.
6) Fill it with candy that won't melt in the desert heat.
7) Paint that sucker.
8) When you run out of purple paint, improvise and make the other side rainbow colors :)
9) Stop to take a picture of your excited birthday girl.
10) Hang up the finished product.
11) Line up the kids and let them whack away at that thing.
Grace didn't surprise us at all picking this place for dinner.
She was pretty simple with her cake request this year. Just red velevet with white frosting.
I had to take a picture of the process because I think red velvet cake is beautiful.
1) Her sparkly smile.
2) Her enthusiasm.
3) How friendly she is and isn't one bit nervous to talk to adults.
4) She's smart and makes wise choices with her wisdom.
5) Her ability to take care of her little sisters. She is one of the best babysitters I know. I love to watch her get down on their levels and really talk through things with them.
6) Her determination. When Grace sets her mind to something there is no stopping her. It can sure be frustrating for her mother, but man alive that girl's going to go places in life :)
7) She is awesome at doing hair. I tell you, some of my fav. hairstyles on me have been made while she does my hair and I read to her. Love that.
8) The way she dances. She has such emotion in the moves she comes up with, and loves to try to teach them to her little sisters.
9) Her testimony. It is growing stronger all the time and I love that she knows to pray and rely on Heavenly Father when she needs it.
10) Her love of beauty and how she points it out to me when she notices it.
11) The way she still gives me kisses when she heads off to bed and will link arms with me to pray together.
12) What a good friend she is...she is so conscientious of her friends and takes good care of them.
(Yeah, that last one was just one to grow on :)
Oh I love you Jammer. (Love that nickname Dave gave her when she was a baby...it somehow fits so perfectly.)