Our little girl turned 10 a few days ago!
We celebrated big time. She had her favorite breakfast (oatmeal with cinnamon and bananas and raisins) and I picked her up for lunch and took her to her favorite restaurant for lunch - Tona (it also happens to be my favorite restaurant - excellent Japanese food).
Then she had friends over for her traditional tea party. I'm so glad she's still wanting to do a fun tea party every year. And her friends seem to really enjoy this very old-fashioned, fancy sort of party.
(Check out photos of all her past tea parties here.)
I loved hearing their discussion over their cucumber sandwiches, sparkling cider and herbal tea.
This year, each girl had a chance to make a toast to the birthday girl and it was great to hear what they all had to say about this girl of ours. She's kind, she's fun, she's helpful, she can be silly at the right times, she's a good friend, she's pretty, she's smart.
When they finished their lovely snacking and chatting, it was time to dance. Eliza wanted me to teach the girls some lovely lady-like dances to classical music (I came up with some stuff from my distant memories of English country dancing from when I was a little girl).
After doing the lovely classical stuff for a while, Eliza told me I was supposed to switch the music to some rockin' stuff. It was fun to see the girls shift gears and let loose on the dance floor.
Then the girls decorated cookies.
Eliza blew out her candles on her special cookie.
Perfect party for this wonderful girl.
And here are the top 10 things I love about Eliza right now:
1. Eliza loves to help others. She is always helping her little brothers with their homework, explaining things patiently to them. She looks out for who might need help at school and is almost always the first to respond when we ask "What did you do for someone else today?" at the dinner table. She often comes up behind me when I'm working on the computer and gives me a little shoulder massage. She seems to find great joy in being truly kind and helpful.
2. Eliza is determined. If Eliza really wants to do something, she'll do it. She set out to shovel the whole driveway by herself the other day when we had a big snow - and it's a LONG driveway. I thought she'd get tired and give up before too long. But she did the whole things. When she wanted to save up to help pay for her dance lessons (our kids pay 1/2 on extra-curricular activities), she did extra jobs and put away every bit of money she earned until she had enough. When her new recorder kept squawking as she tried to play it, I gave her a tip or two and she went upstairs and worked and worked until she could play "Mary Had a Little Lamb" perfectly. When she sees a hard patch on the hill she's skiing or mountain biking on, she gets this determined look on her face and says, "I can do this" and does it!
3. Eliza loves so many things that I love - art, dance, beauty, reading, hiking, writing. It's so fun to have a daughter I can enjoy sharing my favorite activities with.
4. Eliza is a great writer. She churns out stories and reports right and left. She's always working on a writing project of some sort and does a great job of writing in her journal. And what she produces is wonderful stuff!
5. Eliza sees and points out the beauty and patterns in everything around her. She loves the world and loves life.
6. Eliza has her own sense of style and doesn't care what anyone else thinks. She thinks make-up and fancy hair-dos are dumb but likes to look nice and neat in a simple way. She has a fun sense of style and puts together great outfits I'd never have thought of.
7. Eliza loves to choose the right. This girl is very thoughtful in her choices and likes to be sure she's doing the right thing. She has a deep and beautiful desire to be good and do good. She helps make sure we all stay on the straight and narrow path! Eliza loves God and Jesus. She has a strong, firm testimony, is often the first to arrive for scripture study in the mornings, and understands the gospel in a manner that is remarkable for her age.
8. Eliza is smart as a whip. She just gets things really quickly - both academic stuff and social stuff. She memorizes quotes and scriptures fast and well. She reads quickly and really understands what she reads. She can see what's going on in a situation in a book or in real life and can see what can be done to reach a good conclusion. She gets people, gets school, gets so many things so well.
9. Eliza is lovely. I just love her big indigo blue eyes and her soft flaxen curly hair. I love her gracefulness as she dances. I love her smile.
10. Eliza is a great combination of seemingly opposite characteristics and interests. She loves girly stuff like dolls and dressing up and tea parties and dance and crafts. But she also loves hiking and playing basketball and skiing. She is sensitive and kind but she's also tough and stubborn when she needs to be. She's emotional and dramatic sometimes - but she pulls herself together remarkably well and rationally decides to go to sleep or shift to a different activity when she feels her emotions running high.
How blessed I am to be the mother of such a wonderful girl!