I can remember as a kid my dad loved to wrap presents with extra items to disguise the actual present. I vaguely remember him wrapping a brick once with something small just to surprise my mom.
But this present disguise that Grandma Swany did for you was pretty awesome. She secretly slipped an American Girl Gift Card into the kleenex box so at first you thought it was just kleenex! Ha!
After lunch Dad, Grandma and Grandpa Fish, and I brought cupcakes for you to share with your class. Thanks for letting us come!
Not being a morning person, our birthday tradition of opening the “family” presents before dawn isn’t my favorite. Unfortunately you do not share my love of sleeping in.
Happy 9th birthday my sweet Emma! We love you so much!
Thanks for letting Kenny open a couple of your presents.
Your birthday week celebrations started with lunch at the American Girl Doll Cafe in Mall of America.
After lunch the birthday crew hit the ropes course and zip line in the mall.
And the final stop before home was jumping fun at Sky Zone.
I love Kenny’s creativity. Here he has constructed a marble track in his room.
Our niece Lani had her 9th Birthday / Super Bowl Party today.
Every year we take a picture of Emma in a wedding dress and swimsuit that were worn by two of her great-grandmothers. And for Kenny we have done the same with two different hats that were his great-grandfathers and Papa Swany’s Army jacket. The black hat was his Great-Grandfather Kenneth Swanstrom (Dana’s paternal grandfather). The light colored hat was his Great-Grandfather Maurice Howard’s (Tammy’s maternal grandfather).
The first 5 pictures are from Kenny’s 5 year shoot.
Here is Kenny at 4 years old in 2012.
Kenny age 3 ~ 2011 (This year is extra special because he is wearing Grandma Swany’s old boots.)
Kenny age 2 ~ 2010
Kenny age 1 ~ 2009
Kenny at 6 months. (We didn’t have the other hat or coat yet.)
Our first stop was lunch at the American Girl cafe. The rest of the day we all rode rides.
I’m glad we decided to bring just our point and shoot camera and truly just enjoy the day. Happy Birthday my sweet!
Our annual birthday letter to Emma-
We just returned from just a great day at the Mall of America. This year it was just the four of us. We ate at the American Girl Doll Store and then spent the rest of the afternoon riding rides. It was so nice that more than once, you choose to sit with Kenny on a ride and mom and I rode together. You are such a great big sister (though you do have your moments ).
This year you have returned to competing in gymnastics. You have done so well and we look forward to how you will develop with you skills. Because of abilities that God has given you, we pray often that you will realize the power that you hold. So many with great skills use their position to gain popularity and become prideful. We pray that you will remain humble and use your position to encourage those around you who are younger and look up to you and to encourage those that might have less ability but are trying their hardest.
Your 8th year of life has really been full of great memories. We are so glad that you are our daughter. We thank God for you daily.
Mom and Dad
Happy 8th Birthday Emma! We started the day with our birthday tradition of opening the family presents as soon as everyone was awake. And then we headed to the Mall of America to celebrate.
After opening all her friend and family presents she has quite the Lego collection.
The celebrations continued into the evening with her family party. My mom (Grandma Fish) baked and iced the cake and we all had fun decorating it. It was the first time I had used fondant but I’m impressed how easy it was to roll out and cut the shapes we wanted. Emma loved it!
Landry’s birthday party and the Superbowl go hand in hand. This year we celebrated the birth of a great girl and then the victory of the Green Bay Packers in the game.
Kenny had two birthday parties. The first one was with his friends on the night before his actual birthday. We got the house all decorated in the African Animal theme as you can see in this first picture.
Kenny just loved looking up at his big lion ballon.
For this party, we just had cupcakes. Emma helped Kenny blow out his one candle.
As you can see in the background, about 3 inches of snow is on the ground. Hope that doesn’t happen to often on Kenny’s birthday.
We tried to get a perfect picture of all the friends, but sometimes you take what you can get. This actually was the best one that we took.