Happy Birthday, Hannah!!!

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Our sweet Hannah turned four today!

We celebrated on Sunday with 16 of her little friends… for a princess tea party. THAT was an ambitious endeavor (as there were no other parents for most of the time). However, with the help of a couple amazingly lovely parents at the beginning… the kids were all nicely seated in their assigned spaces… and happily munching and drinking and chatting. We stood back in amazement. It was impressive how non-psycho her party was going… with six little boys and ten little girls… and three older-children helpers. I wish I could say we were simply incredible party-throwers and gifted toddler-managers… but really, they were just plain amazing.

She’s fortunate to be the fifth birthday of our time in Germany. The first two birthdays ended up with cakes that did not taste the same… and what little random bits of decorations we’d either shipped over or that I paid too much for in our little town. The post office and the paper store sell some over-priced decorations. Forget helium… So some of our traditions have had to change. No more birthday burgers at Red Robin. Nor free ice creams at Coldstone. I know how to make one kind of cake from scratch and the frosting to go with it. No bundles of helium-filled balloons from the Dollar Store. There are many changes.

And though it’s always hard to change traditions… we’ve gained some new ones! Our cakes are all homemade. Our hearts are happy when we find inexpensive (or any) streamers for sale. Our community celebrates generously… a birthday is not forgotten. We find new, fun places to eat out a special meal. Friends are in abundance and super available to loan tables, organize kiddos, make cakes, and cheer us on. And truly, a home is only as big as its hospitality (thus proven by my small living room hosting twenty-plus people). Praise the Lord for his guidance as we learn how to love each other in new ways.

Today Hannah is at Kindergarten where she will be crowned, sung to, and appreciated for the cake we brought on her behalf.

She woke up to streamers and balloons and lots of signs that, hopefully, show her how dearly we love and cherish her.

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Hannah’s friends and helpers at her birthday tea party. We had to alter our living room quite a bit to fit ’em all.

Four years ago was an unforgettable day, not just because Hannah was born, but because we delivered her alone.

She was born in 45 minutes… before our midwife or anyone else could arrive. What a special moment… one we NEVER would have planned on, yet touching and meaningful (and thank God, without any complication). She was born around 12:30am… and proceeded to sleep the whole night… and each night after. She has been a joy and blessing… a gift that reminds us that God is not out to get us, but loves to give us good things.

This one He named Hannah.

A constant call to prayer, to love, to remember God’s faithfulness, and to cherish each moment we are given.

Happy Birthday, HANNAH!!!

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Hannah with her teapot birthday cake… compliments of our ridiculously talented friend, Elena.

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The birthday clan!

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