Grace turned eleven on Tuesday. 
(that’s an eleven she’s making with her fingers in case you were wondering…)
We started out the day with scones and a treasure hunt to find the gifts. 
(I think that might be becoming our new tradition.)
Grace was pretty excited about the gifts.
…and a sweet poster her friends door-bell ditched us with the night before:
One of her gifts was a big box.
 …filled with littler boxes.  
And this is what she found in the last one:
She just about hyper-ventilated about that one.  She’s wanted that thing for sooooooo long. 
(all the boxes inside the big box were courtesy of her big brother Max.) 
Luckily she has some big siblings to help her figure it out.
Grace’s birthday tradition is having a pinata.  
We have made our own for the past three years.
This year we came up with a new idea: a flower.
How to make a birthday pinata:
1)  Blow up balloons the sizes you want and make them into what you want to make.  (Yeah, kind of limited with round balloons.)
2)  Mix equal parts of flour and water, rip newspapers into a bunch of strips, and dip them into the flour mixture.  Drape over your balloon creation.
(having friends over to help during this part is a good idea…)
3)  Let the first side dry, then do the other side.
4)  Let your creation dry overnight.
5)  Cut a small hole somewhere in the pinata.
6)  Fill it with candy that won’t melt in the desert heat.
7)  Paint that sucker.  
8)  When you run out of purple paint, improvise and make the other side rainbow colors 🙂
9)  Stop to take a picture of your excited birthday girl.
10)  Hang up the finished product.
11)  Line up the kids and let them whack away at that thing.
12)  Be sure to make your 6’3″ son wait til last because he will whack that thing to smithereens.
Grace didn’t surprise us at all picking this place for dinner.
She was pretty simple with her cake request this year.  Just red velevet with white frosting.
I had to take a picture of the process because I think red velvet cake is beautiful.

Eleven things I love about this girl:

1)  Her sparkly smile.

2)  Her enthusiasm.

3)  How friendly she is and isn’t one bit nervous to talk to adults.

4)  She’s smart and makes wise choices with her wisdom.

5)  Her ability to take care of her little sisters.  She is one of the best babysitters I know.  I love to watch her get down on their levels and really talk through things with them.

6)  Her determination.  When Grace sets her mind to something there is no stopping her.  It can sure be frustrating for her mother, but man alive that girl’s going to go places in life 🙂

7)  She is awesome at doing hair.  I tell you, some of my fav. hairstyles on me have been made while she does my hair and I read to her.  Love that.

8)  The way she dances.  She has such emotion in the moves she comes up with, and loves to try to teach them to her little sisters.

9)  Her testimony.  It is growing stronger all the time and I love that she knows to pray and rely on Heavenly Father when she needs it.

10)  Her love of beauty and how she points it out to me when she notices it.

11)  The way she still gives me kisses when she heads off to bed and will link arms with me to pray together. 

12)  What a good friend she is…she is so conscientious of her friends and takes good care of them.

(Yeah, that last one was just one to grow on 🙂

Oh I love you Jammer.  (Love that nickname Dave gave her when she was a baby…it somehow fits so perfectly.)

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  1. Happy Birthday, Grace! I can hardly believe she's 11! Only one more year until YW! Thanks for letting Brooklyn come for the pinata. She loved being there to celebrate with Grace!

  2. i dont know you or your family yet i love your family. you are so blessed! you have an amazing family. thank you for your blog. it's one of the highlights of my day. =)

  3. What a sweet girl! Looks like it was a fantastic birthday for her, I'm sure she felt special all day! Also, your family is gorgeous!

  4. Happy Belated 11th Birthday to Grace:). Really glad she had a great time:)

    What does it mean – the neighbours door bell ditched us? I haven't heard that expression before.

    I can't believe how much Lucy looks like Grace. She's the image of her:)

    Have a good day.
    Cheerio from the uk:)

  5. WOW!! These are great photos and a great party. Happy 11th Birthday miss sparkly girl!! What a generous and sweet big brother to buy her what she wanted most!!

    I love your birthday posts, I've never seen anyone celebrate or be so happy ever!!

    Truly a blessing you are to each other.

  6. You have such a beautiful family, and I don't just mean your looks. Thanks for being an inspiration to me.

    And happy birthday to Grace!

  7. Grace sounds so much like my almost 11 year old it's crazy! Maybe they will meet at BYU one day and become good friends 🙂 Happy Birthday!

  8. Looks like you had the best birthday ever Grace. AWESOME pinata! Can't believe you actually made it! Can't wait to see you very soon.

  9. I love reading about your family and your kids even though I don't know you personally because I can just tell how great all of you are! Grace is so cute and sweet! I love looking at the pictures of your family and I'm starting to feel like I really know you guys! I think it's sweet how you always post the things you love about your kids; I can tell how much you love being a mom!

    Your paralyzed friend,

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