Six years ago, this photo graced her baby announcements. . .our sweet Clara Anne, born 33 minutes after midnight in Hong Kong, making her a Christmas Day baby though when we called my parents to tell them, it was still Christmas Eve in the States! That sweet baby captivated her Grandpa. . . and everyone else.
At one year old, I took her for her first professional pictures. She behaved so well and we got such cute pictures that the photo studio used them as an advertisement on a billboard for the next four years!
Her first birthday was a bit of a bummer, she had gotten a cold and was a bit under the weather. But still could smile with Mommy next to the tree!
I finally made her a birthday cupcake sometime in January, after the rush of Christmas parties was over and she was feeling better. She loved it!
Two years old came racing up...what a change between one and two! So grown up! (Christin wore that sweater this Christmas. It doesn't seem possible!)
Clara Anne at two.
Three years old and her hair is getting so long! She loved this white dress from Grandma.
We were given this cake and so it became Clara Anne's birthday cake. . . she loved it!
Here she is already at four. We continued the tradition of getting photos taken on/around her birthday.
Her fourth birthday was when we began the tradition of pineapple blueberry upside down cake for birthday breakfasts. Yummy!
And here, just last year at her fifth birthday. We had begun to use the special plate and cup for birthdays by this point.
My five year old girl!
Which brings us to December 25, 2010, Clara Anne's sixth birthday. Though I can hardly believe it, my sweet Clara Anne is growing up. She has matured so much in this past year. She has professed her faith in Jesus, been baptized, and continues to encourage us by showing evidence of walking with God. She is endlessly creative and constantly making up stories, writing "books" that she illustrates and wants to dictate to me, is always putting on ballet shows and loves to recruit her sisters for her most recent productions. She has an amazing memory for facts and these days is absorbing knowledge like a sponge. Frequently we'll be talking about something and she'll say, "Mommy, we have a book of that," and sure enough, she'll find a book on our shelf that has relevant information and can turn right to it. She's doing great with school, making good progress and probably loves when I read to her most of all. She is a great help with the younger two girls, especially Christin, and we love her so much!
"Why is she holding the candles?" you might ask. Well, the simple answer is the breakfast cake was too warm to put the candles into without melting! We had to settle for lighting one candle and letting her hold it.
When Daddy got out the "magic Christmas bag" and began to pull out what was inside, this was Clara Anne's reaction (above). And then this:
Her special birthday gift from Mommy and Daddy was a bunny called "Lil' Bunny Big Ears" which has now been renamed "Beatrice Berry (Wind) Bunny." Beatrice has a beautiful wedding gown, satin slippers, veil, and flowers which make her extra special. She even came with a birth certificate. Given Clara Anne's obsession with bunnies, Beatrice is going to be a very special friend for a very long time.
Clara Anne's birthday was spent at home this year. She played with her new bunny, read books with Daddy, helped me make one last batch of Christmas cookies for her ballet class the next day, and finally at 5pm was just worn out. I could tell she was tired so asked her to rest on her bed for 15 minutes. Within five minutes, she was asleep! In fact, dinner was on the table (homemade pizza, like she requested) and all three girls were sound asleep still! Oops! I guess I should have made them take earlier naps. They were playing well so I thought they could make it, but all the excitement of previous days must have been too much. We did eventually get Clara Anne up but Chloe missed dinner and slept until after 8, on the couch in the middle of all the noise!
Christin, however, woke up quickly and was ready for some pizza. This is a homegirl move if I ever saw one. :)
The pretty birthday plate and cup, just waiting for Clara Anne. . .
And the evening had to end, of course, with a ballet that Clara Anne directed but everyone participated in.
Bunnies were also involved.
And the final bow. A lovely performance, girls!
We had a wonderful time celebrating Clara Anne's birthday and are so thankful for her six years of life! We pray the Lord will give her many, many more. We love you, Clara Anne!
(PS True confessions: you will see from past pictures that I have had a hard time staying organized enough to make a birthday cake for Clara Anne in addition to all the other holiday baking and December craziness. This year, theoretically I could have done it (in terms of time and energy) but I just couldn't do it in terms of how much sweet stuff had already been made and consumed in my house this Christmas!! So Clara Anne got a cupcake--not just any cupcake, a red velvet chocolate chip cupcake with white chocolate cream cheese peppermint icing--with a candle stuck in it at the very end of the day. It must be admitted that the cupcake was a week old, left over from our Christmas party with American friends. BUT, Clara Anne was perfectly happy and since she got to stay up and eat a cupcake when her sisters had to go to bed, that sweetened the deal a bit. This time when Chloe complained that she didn't get a cupcake, I reminded her that she got a six layer rainbow cake for her birthday and Clara Anne got a week-old cupcake, so told Chloe to be happy with her life. Ha! Next year, Clara Anne! Next year I will try my hardest to make a cake for your birthday!)