29 March 2014

Rachel is [brace yourself...] SIXTEEN.

Rachel was 16 on Friday, March 14, 2014.  On that particular day, she had a forensics tournament in Jonesboro, Arkansas, which is about 2.5 hours north of our little town.  She was convinced that her birthday would not be any great event, and off to her tournament she went, with only a happy birthday, Rachel from her family that morning.  She traveled by bus to the tournament (not her favorite way to spend the day) and then watched her teamates participate in various events that afternoon and evening.  Her events were not scheduled til Saturday.  When she arrived back at the hotel, after a long day of sitting and watching and wishing her 16th birthday were working out better, she was greeted with a surprise.  From hours away, and with the assistance of a man I've never met, I had pie and balloons delivered to her hotel room.  She had enough pie to share with her roommates and more, plus, the confirmation that her family still loves her even though she spent her birthday busy with her team.
A few weeks later it was spring break, so it was time for the party.  We gathered with a bunch of her friends for donuts with candles and lots of "Minute to Win It" games.  The wind did not really cooperate for most of them, but, it was fun.

We sorted m&m's from the table to cups in less than a minute.  Well, we tried.
Samantha wrapped Laura up in masking tape (this was not really a game, but, hey...)  And we completed 16 piece kids puzzles in less than a minute, all the while the teams were chanting, edge, edge, edge...
We unrolled crepe paper rolls - the kids were supposed to swing their arms to do this, but, I didn't give many directions and they just grabbed the ends and took off running.  We had crepe papers trails all in the wind.  Samantha is posing here with her streamers in the wind.
The party guests posing for pictures and Rachel with 16 fingers....She's amazing.
In this game Samantha and Spencer are using uncooked spaghetti to pick up an empty can and stack them.We were supposed to do a pyramid, but, there was too much wind.

 In this game, Rachel and Lindsey are moving the cookies down their faces without using their hands.  First one in the mouth wins.
This is not a game - Spencer stuffing JMichael in the trash can!
And this is the gang - From left to right:
JMichael, Charlotte, Hailey, Hailey, Lindsey, Rachel, Spencer, Josephine, Megan, Hunter, Amber, Laura, Samantha, Ashley, Natalie, Clarrisa and Marcella.
At sixteen, Rachel is in the tenth grade.  She doesn't love school.  She works hard for her grades and is very responsible with school work.  She's applying for jobs and wants to have a car of her own.  She loves to bake, loves her friends and is diligent about seminary attendance.  She is very attentive to her little sisters and brother and sets a good example for them to follow.  She plans to go to college - right now she wants to go to BYU-Idaho - and study elementary education.  She's beautiful, articulate, responsible and goofy.  We love her.  I just can't believe she's 16....

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