We had a flower birthday party for Lucy last weekend. I kept putting off journaling about it because my computer was upstairs and as we well know, my camera couldn't make the trek that far to upload the photos, and the photos were a must. We gave everyone a flower to put in their hair at the door, painted flowers on t-shirts, ate flower-shaped sandwiches, and decorated flowery cupcakes because we just cannot wait for Spring! When Lulu first mentioned that she wanted to have a party we were sitting on the floor of her bedroom surrounded by the superabundant, overflowing amounts of recreational matter that fills said chamber. It is completely and utterly ridiculous how much stuff they have! It is difficult for us to get rid of it because the girls really do play with all of it. They need to have 25 dolls because they regularly hold church services and want to have a sizable congregation. They need to have one cupboard full of Polly Pockets because they set up an entire amusement park on a regular basis. They even need 5,678 stuffed animals so they can have a fully attended school. I groaned as I imagined even more toys marching into my house hidden inside brightly colored gift bags. "Could we please have a party without any presents?" I asked tentatively. "Maybe we could even ask them to bring something for someone else that doesn't have anything?" I thought this would be a hard sell, but to my surprise, she immediately said, "Sure!" And never looked back. We had fun getting everything ready for that part before the party and then between all of the flower activities we spent some time putting together hygiene kits to give to a local shelter. They all really got into it! It was strange going straight to the candle blowing without any present opening and I must admit that I was really second-guessing myself that whole afternoon. How could I take away the best part of a birthday party from a nine year old? After it was all over, I asked her, "Was it okay that you didn't get any presents?" She quickly replied, "Oh, I liked it better that way. I really love to give things to other people. It was like Christmas!" Christmas? I thought that was about getting gifts, too. Apparently it is about giving. How marvelous! I often think that I don't deserve my kids.