Blue skies, Warm weather and lots and lots of FABULOUS friends makes for a fantastic birthday party!!!! :)
Shepherd had his first official birthday party today! I don't mean to negate the first three birthday parties he's had,....they've each consisted of mostly family and a few friends and have been truly special. However, this year, we asked Shep what he'd like to do for his party and who he'd like to invite....he was VERY opinionated and quite clear. He wanted a pool party - and NO GIRL'S ALLOWED! Isn't that funny? His friends Harrison and Luke both had a birthday party several months ago and there were only boys there and that's the only way I can figure that he came up with that idea. Anyways, he wound up inviting a few classmates, a few church-mates and a few friends we made shortly after moving here to Orange Park. We had the party at our ClubHouse pool, which turned out to be the perfect location - it was shaded and just the right size for everyone...there were about 30 people there. Shepherd had the time of his life! He's been talking about this party daily for the past two weeks (and it turns out several of his friends have too - apparently this was the first pool party many of his lil' guy friends had ever been to). Chad and I went to Target and bought all kinds of pool toys for all the boys to play on, and they all seemed to thoroughly enjoy themselves!
Many of my girl-friends brought their husbands and it wound up being a great time for the dads to mingle as well, which was nice because often-times, it's just as ladies who get to know one another. I just can't speak highly enough of the families we've befriended since moving here....after the party was over, Chad and I talked about how blessed we are to know so many genuinely kind and Godly men and women! I'm so thankful because that is such a tremendous gift for our children as well...for them to grow up with friends who are being raised in homes where God is the MAIN focus and the marriages are strong...like I said, I'm so thankful!
A big THANK YOU goes out to Jenny - my sis-in-law - for taking ALL the pictures! She got there early and stayed late to help us set up and clean up and she also kept an eye on Rauly throughout the entire party - thank you Jenny!!! Hope you all enjoy the pictures!
I know this has been a long post, but I wanted to take a minute to honor all the men and woman who have sacrificed before us, are currently sacrificing right now, and who will one day choose to make that sacrifice for my family...your family...and our entire country. I think at this point, each and everyone of us has most likely been affected by this war...I can think of 1 friend I've lost to the war in Iraq and I know of other friends who lost loved ones that I never knew...my thoughts and prayers are with their families. I have such gratitude for all the brave men and women who choose to serve our country and pray God will place a hedge of protection around those still serving in Iraq.