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Leah’s 17th birthday

This weekend we celebrated our youngest daughter Leah’s 17th birthday. It’s so hard to believe she is that old. It seems such a short time ago that she was a newborn baby in a long pink nightgown.

We had her birthday party at Aaron’s Family Fun Center in Belton, where the youth could bowl and the little kids could play games in the arcade. I rented two lanes for 10 kids for an hour. We don’t bowl that often as a family. This was the first time Leah got a strike, so she was excited about that. 🙂

When the time for the paid bowling was up, Leah’s friends said they wanted to bowl more. It would’ve been $42 more, but I talked to the manager, reminding him that we already had spent a lot of money there, renting the lanes and ordering 3 pizzas and two pitchers of soda. God gave me favor and the manager agreed to let them bowl 30 more minutes free. 🙂

Some of the boys who came to the party became quite competitive: Nicholas, Aaron, and David. I was beginning to wonder if it was going to turn into a bloody gladiator game. What is it about sports and male testosterone? Here to the left is Nicholas bowling. I thought it was a good picture of him in action.

Ray was bowling in the other lane. He had playfully joined the little kids and joked that little Abi (6 years old, I think) kept throwing the ball hard, getting strikes and beating him. 🙂

I didn’t have time to bowl. I was running around the bowling alley, ordering pepperoni  pizzas for all the ravenous teens and making sure they had drinks and snacks. After the party and Ray’s parents drove back to Arkansas, I collapsed in bed for two days from exhaustion. :O

Here are Heather and Kyle playing a game in the arcade…or is it really playing? They are both very competitive, too.

Heather is like me – she loves winning and hates to lose any game. :O
You can see the determination on Heather’s face in the picture, lol.

I had ordered Leah’s cake from the local bakery. Leah is an incredible artist, so she and I picked out a cake  with an artist palette on it, which was really cute and so Leah-ish! They did a good job on it (both decoration and taste!).







Ray’s dad took some great pics for us with his camera. Here was a gorgeous one of Heather. Ray says it looks very Aubrey Hepburn-ish. I love the stark blue background, too. This is not an edited picture.















Eden works at a bakery, making cupcakes each morning. She also has a side business baking cupcakes. She made some for Leah’s party – eggnog, mint, chocolate, banana. They turned out pretty. She’s having fun with her cupcake business.







The little kids loved the arcade. Here is Ray, putting in another dollar to get our grandson Jacob coins to play more games. Jacob ran all over the bowling alley, tried all the games, and had a blast. Eden, her fiance’ Dalton, and Heather chased after him all night.







Here are Leah and her friends watching the bowling.I think they like having their picture taken as much as Leah does.







One of the gifts Leah asked us to get her was a warm, soft bathrobe. (We also got her some snow boots, a set of Ipod earphones, a new watch, and a silver snowflake necklace with 1/4 diamond in it.) Leah’s friends teased her that she could fashionably wear her robe with her new snowboots.  I love seeing her smile and laugh like this.








Ray’s parents, Charles and Sue Jones, drove in from Arkansas to help celebrate Leah’s birthday. They’ve been visiting us since Thursday.  I am not well-known for my culinary abilities so when guests come, I have to actually think of decent meals to cook. :O On Sunday after church, I crashed in bed, asking Ray to please feed his parents my home-made potato soup that I had fixed for them on Thursday night.

As he was dipping some in a bowl for his dad, the bowl fell off the countertop onto the floor, and the soup splattered everywhere. Ray hurriedly cleaned it up before I woke up and saw it, screaming. :O  His dad told me about it later, laughing, when I asked if they got enough to eat for lunch. He said things hadn’t exactly gone according to plan.

Here is a picture of his parents. (Don’t worry, on Sunday I cooked for them again. They didn’t go home hungry.)



All of us had a good time at Leah’s party. I was so blessed to see her having fun with her family and friends. Here is Leah with her friend Nicole. Nicole has been a great friend to her, as well as her sisters and brother.





Here is Leah opening some of her gifts.






Here is a pic of her with her friend Kinsey. Leah had a great birthday. Thanks to everyone who helped make that possible.







Leah, I hope you had a happy birthday. We love you so much!

Be sure to cherish the moments with your kids. They fly by.
“And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.”(Mark 10:13-16 ESV)




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