CELEBRATING FRIENDS (…and each child’s wonderful uniqueness!)

Studying and observing your child can be one of the toughest parts of parenting.  But, I believe there are GREAT rewards when the time and energy are spent striving to understand your child in a deeper way.  I would even go so far as to say, if you ARE a parent, you owe it to your child to be intentional by paying attention to their unique personality in order to encourage their strengths (…and address possible difficulties).

And out of all the kids I’ve enjoyed ‘studying‘ over the years, Rayna is my FAVORITE.  If you’ve been around her for even a short period of time, it’s pretty evident that she’s ‘different‘ than most other children.  And although a lot of people would quickly label her ‘shy’ or ‘introverted,’ I see something SO different…  

  • I see a little girl who is totally unaware of the latest fashion and popular culture; yet, she knows exactly who she is inside.
  • I see a little girl who, although she may not speak quite as many words as the others in her class, the words she chooses are thought-out and purposeful.
  • I see a little girl who still won’t wear cute hair bow or trendy shoes, but could easily spend an afternoon collecting natural goodies from the woods and decorating a dead frog.
  • I also see a little girl who, although she may not love many, is capable of loving {the few she truly loves} BETTER than ANYONE else I know!

So one night as Rayna and I talked about the great friends God placed in our lives, we wanted to come-up with a special way to CELEBRATE them!

And before we knew it, the date had been set
the fancy china and crystal were arranged on our table…
the big candles were lit
the music was on
fresh flowers were arranged in the kitchen…
Rayna’s friends, along with their moms, had ARRIVED
(and, most importantly, Rayna’s garlic bread and amazing pasta was hot and ready to eat!)


Not only did Rayna work so hard to make sure the table was set properly, she even rushed to fill-up the bird feeder in front of the kitchen window and picked out fun (hypothetical) questions to ask everyone during dinner… DSC_3518n2DSC_3524nt

After dinner, Rayna planned ONE more surprise!

She took all the fresh flowers that we had already gathered {from nearby fields} and gave each friend a simple headband we made for them.  (Yes, we were VERY sneaky and had measured one head on a field trip and the other in carpool!)  She let her friends and their moms use their favorite flowers to decorate a flower-headband.

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And what’s the ONLY thing better than eating strawberry shortcake together?!?!  Getting in a few mother-daughter photos right before! friendsDSC_3548nDSC_3605jDSC_3563jDSC_3637nnDSC_3572jDSC_3673njcDSC_3804 copy


If you’re interested in learning more about your child’s personality, strengths and abilities, I’m sure there’s countless books and quizzes out there.  (If there’s a super-great one, I’d LOVE to hear about it!)  A few of my favorite areas to learn about are:





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