Celebrate!

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Last week was a full week. After arriving home from our trip to the UP of Michigan our week quickly filled up with appointments (orthodontist for Grace and shots for Molly), football practice, school preparations, Tyler’s 7th birthday and preparing for our open house adoption celebration on Saturday. It truly was a whirlwind sort of week.
We decided that for our open house we wanted to have an ice cream sundae bar so on Wednesday, after Gracie’s orthodontist appointment, we took advantage of a gift card we had to Yumberries, a frozen yogurt place, to “steal” topping ideas for our sundae bar. It’s a fun place. Along the wall there are a variety of frozen yogurt flavors and toppings for you to use to create your own delicious dish. It was a yummy treat and it also sparked our creativity for topping shopping later that evening.

Yumberries!

Yumberries!

Wednesday night after taking Rusty to taekwondo we stopped at Aldis to buy tubs of ice cream for the party. It was quite the endeavour to try to figure out how many tubs of ice cream to purchase for 200 guests. We ended up buying 13 tubs of ice cream which we later found out was a bit excessive but on the up side we will be able to enjoy ice cream for months to come. As we were leaving we had a few people stop and ask us if they could follow us home 🙂

Shopping for ice cream!

Shopping for ice cream!

Thursday was spent preparing for the party..cleaning the house, mowing the yard, etc. Thursday was also the day the house painting was completed and the McDonald’s Play Place was done. It was finished just in time and after laying mulch underneath it was ready for the party.

Our new McDonald's Play Place that Toby won at an auction.

Our new McDonald’s Play Place that Toby won at an auction.

Friday we celebrated Tyler’s 7th birthday and his first official birthday as a McCleery. As is our tradition we woke him early, before Toby left for work, with a cupcake and the family singing “Happy Birthday.” He woke with a smile and enjoyed his breakfast cupcake.

Good morning birthday boy!

Good morning birthday boy!

We spent the day finishing the last of the party preparations with the promise that we would celebrate Tyler’s birthday as soon as Daddy arrived home. When Toby came home we had Tyler’s birthday dinner and then let him open his gifts before we went out to the movies for his birthday treat. It was fun to see what each of the kids came up with for Tyler’s gifts. The effort and creativity they put into coming up with special gifts for him touched my heart. Rusty planned a treasure hunt for Tyler which lead to his gift. Tyler enjoyed following the clues and really loved the gift at the end which was a gift bag of some of Rusty’s toys that Tyler had admired in the past. After opening the gift he jumped up and gave Russ a big hug and told him that he was the best brother ever. Rusty was really touched by that. Molly gave Tyler an “imagination kit” that she made. Tyler loves to play “imagination” with Molly. Molly comes up with a story line and the three youngest will play for hours. Molly’s “imagination kit” included a magic wand that she made, a jar of fairy dust (glitter), invisibility bands (bracelets), Power up  chews that bring you back to life when you die (gum), etc. It was very clever and Tyler couldn’t wait to play. Grace bought Tyler a Webkinz and then made a house to go with it. Toby and I bought Tyler some action figures after seeing how much he loved playing with Nate’s while we were on vacation.

Gracie's gift to Tyler.

Gracie’s gift to Tyler.

It was wonderful to be able to celebrate a very special boy on his very special day!

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The next day was our adoption open house. The morning was spent putting up signs at the end of the road, setting up tables and chairs, decorating and running to the store for balloons and last-minute items. At noon Toby and Tyler left for his first football game. When we scheduled the party we didn’t realize we would have a scheduling conflict with football so as a result Tyler was an hour late for his own party. It worked out well though..he won his game and I think it was less overwhelming walking into a party that was already going on than to be in the spotlight as everyone arrived.

All ready for the fun to begin!

All ready for the fun to begin!

My big helpers!

My big helpers!

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Soon friends and family began to arrive. We couldn’t have asked for better weather or better company. We were blessed to have family there as well as friends from all areas of our lives..high school friends, church friends, home school friends, etc. It was a joyous day!

When people arrived we asked them to sign our "guest book." Here are the names of some of the special people who have walked this adoption road with us and joined us to celebrate.

When people arrived we asked them to sign our “guest book.” Here are the names of some of the special people who have walked this adoption road with us and joined us to celebrate.

We had the fire going for smores..

We had the fire going for smores..

..and games for the kids.

..and games for the kids.

After everyone left I took a minute to sit by the fire and reflect on the day…My heart overflowed with gratitude for my blessings…for loving family, for dear, dear friends who came out to celebrate with us, for a summer full of special memories, for my husband and my children and for a monumental year. Last year at this time we were waiting for Tyler’s placement in our home. What a difference a year makes. Monday school begins and summer ends. What a beautiful way to bring summer to a close and enter the next season of our lives. God is good.

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