Another year, another birthday.

Not mine, hers. Our daughter Anna turned nine yesterday. How is that possible? How could she be nine already?

Yes, I know, there are parents reading this saying “Nine? What wouldn’t I give for my child to be only nine again.” And I know I’ll feel that way again in ten years when she turns nineteen and halfway through her first year of college.

Yikes! That’s depressing. Back to enjoying nine while it lasts.

It’s the last single-digit year. The last year where she just a kid and not a “tween”—oh how I hate that word. It used to be that you were a kid, then a teenager, and finally an adult. That’s how it was for me and for Julia. But now, kids only a year or two older than our Anna are called tweens, and childhood dwindles that much earlier.

I say this every year. “IT’S TOO SOON!”

I miss all the stuff she doesn’t do anymore, and I want to hold on to the little bits of her childhood that are left. But like anything else, I can’t hold on. We all are traveling into the future at the rate of sixty seconds a minute, and sixty minutes an hour. One day follows another and none of them ever come back.

That’s depressing, and since I’m rambling anyway, time to get back to the good stuff. She had a fun birthday yesterday and she has two parties this weekend—one for her Girl Scout Troop and the other for her third grade class. Both will be lots of fun. Julia is making vanilla cupcakes with aqua blue “Funfetti” frosting—the first batch tasted great—and we’re having a book exchange at both parties in lieu of presents.

Which is okay with Anna. She loves books, and she got a lot of great presents yesterday. Including a robot dog named Zoomie …

Zoomie loves to play. She also responds to voice commands and can do tricks. But like any new puppy she has to learn first, and Anna had to struggle to be patient with her.

Yesterday afternoon, we heard this exchange from the living room.

“Sit Zoomie. Sit!”


“No, not pee, sit!”

We had to struggle not to laugh too loud.

Cheerleaders of Faith


Halloween Cupcakes Slideshow

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Parent-Teacher conferences are coming up this week at Anna’s elementary school. The kids get a couple of days off, but the teachers and staff are still working. Anna wanted to express her appreciation, so for her October Girl Scouts Service Project, Anna made Halloween “Slime Lime” cupcakes for them. Great job, Anna!


A Mom and Daughter Baking Day

Last Sunday, Julia and Anna baked cupcakes as a fun Mothers’ Day activity. Here are some photos.

Mixing the batter.

Mixing the batter.

Julia put vanilla extract in the batter, and as the cupcakes baked the whole house smelled of vanilla. Once they were baked and had cooled, it was time to frost them.

Frosting the cupcakes.

Frosting the cupcakes.

And to decorate. Tuesday was Apraxia Awareness Day, and Julia and Anna made these delicious treats to help spread the word.

Decorating the cupcakes

Decorating the cupcakes (one blue ribbon on each).

Blue ribbons are a symbol for Apraxia. They also sprinkled some sparkly blue sprinkles over the tops as little stars.

For the final photo, they changed into their 2012 Apraxia Walk shirts.

Julia and Anna with Apraxia Awareness Day Cupcakes

All done.

And here’s a closeup look at the finished product.

Apraxia Awareness Day Cupcakes

They tasted great too.

The first Apraxia Awareness Day is history, and so are the cupcakes. But kids like Anna live with apraxia every day. Please visit CASANA ( to find out how you can help. And check back here as we will soon start fundraising for the 2013 Walk for Children with Apraxia of Speech in Salem, Oregon.

Apraxia-KIDS. Every Child Deserves a Voice.