The "Shelley" Grandkids .... except for the ones who didn't want to be photographed~! [and minus Brooke and Amber who were with another side of family]
I eventually caught Katie (above) and Brandon ... they are NOT too old for photos!! :) :)
I can't believe how grown up they're getting. Brandon's in his first year of college now.
Full of turkey, potatoes, salads and pies, we gathered to open gifts. Can't you hear the chaos? :)
After a relaxing time spent with family walking down memory lane (and finding a few Black Friday deals), we headed back home to Illinois. I needed to begin planning for my daughter's birthday the very next week! :) I felt a little "out of it" since I was still not feeling the best. I had physical therapy appointments to keep in-between home schooling and planning/shopping for her birthday party. I didn't want to let Ashlyn down since she was hopping excited over turning 7, so I pushed myself forward with the B'day plans, hoping that what little I was putting into it (so I felt) would help make her day special.
We settled on a gingerbread theme .... partly because I figured I could find things more easily at the dollar store this time of year (haha). I drew a picture of a gingerbread girl on paper, rolled out and cut the gingerbread dough, put it in the oven --- and presto!!! Ashlyn was thrilled to help me decorate the gingerbread girl once we had the frosting made and colored. As you can see, we had bought candy just for our gingerbread cookie, too. :) :) She loved it!!!
We invited 5 little girls to Ashlyn's party, read them a classic Gingerbread Man book (from library), played two games (hot potato game using a gingerbread girl cut-out; pin the bow on the gingerbread girl), and then made gingerbread boy & girl ornaments (boxed craft from Michael's).
Yes, these little princesses had a BALL together!! It was so much FUN for me to watch their enthusiasm, listen to their girlish chatter ... and then when the party was finished, see them run off to Ashlyn's room to play castle and dress-up. What a wonderful play-date they had! :)
I'm so thankful for my 7 year old!!! Thank you, God, for having blessed my life abundantly~! :)