A newly minted teenager



Claire’s 13th birthday was a wonderful day from beginning to end and she was DELIGHTED to have grandparents here on her special day! Here are some of the festivities…

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You can’t beat a Saturday birthday! She slept in and woke up to a giant birthday card and a 13 pancake made by her Dad.

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Then we were off to the waterpark- we walked from our house (it’s on top of Central mall). The REACHers had taken the kids once but this was our first time as a family since the big remodel. We loved it!!


Claire and Eliza were addicted to the slides (most much bigger and twistier than this one!) and Tom did a lot of trips down with them (even Grandma did a few!). It’s fun that they are big enough to go on their own now! Si, Grandpa, and this mom liked our trips around the lazy river better.


We had a picnic lunch with some of Claire’s favorites like Pringles and Oreos and had a nice long day splashing and getting a little sunburned.


Claire’s big present this year was a desk! She’s been wanting one for awhile and this felt like a perfect time to give her a little space of her own in the hallway landing outside the girls’ room.  The Mast aunts helped out with the adorable banners and Grandpa and Grandma brought beautiful office supplies.  It was put together with a lot of love and she is extremely delighted with it! (Grandpa and Grandma stalled her with an ice cream treat at Swenson’s while Tom and I quickly set things up. We took her up blindfolded and she was so surprised!) Our hard working student now has a pretty place to get all that homework done…here’s a picture a few weeks later of her putting it to good use…



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For supper, at her request, we went out to her favorite local place with a fun and festive atmosphere and we had (among other things), her favorite dish- fried, shredded catfish with a sweet, sour, spicy lime sauce.

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Back at home it was cake and (the rest of the) presents time. Si gave her a cute little owl, Eliza made her lots of artistic coupons for future favors and treats, she got a mini backpack from us, money and a card from Grandaddy and Grandmom, and some books from Grandpa and Grandma in addition to the desk from all of us. Her cake was inspired by two of her favorites- the color turquoise and cute little birds.

Claire, we love having a teenager. You are smart and hilarious, always making us laugh. You are serious about your faith and following Jesus. You are kind to your siblings and friends at school. We love how you are adjusting, learning Thai, doing your very best in school (wow, you are always impressing us), and maturing. You are a great writer and a talented public speaker. You love minecraft, classical music, reading (of course), swimming, and Friday nights with Eliza. You are such an important part of our family and we all love you so much!!! Keep growing up and being your beautiful self, teenage girl!




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