Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Party Animals

All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small, all things wise and wonderful, the Lord God made them all...

This spring, Emily approached me and asked if she could have a kid party. We always have a family party. Why was she asking me about a kid party? The deal was that she could have her friends each year she was in preschool and then she'd take a break and have one when she was a little older. least that is what I thought the deal was:)

So, I accost the poor child with my typical diatribe about the excess kids live with these days and "what the deal was" and on and on. To which she replies, with her blue eyes blinking wildly, "I don't need presents, Mommy. I just want to do something fun with my friends." Oh.

To further put Mommy quite in my place, she says, "I'll give my presents to the animals. I'd like to save the animals." Oh.

Not being one to ever shy from a true challenge, I took it and ran with it. How do we have a kid-friendly, economical, philanthropic birthday party fit for six year olds?? Weeellll, we began by calling our local animal rescue center, appropriately named Aark (yes, totally cute). We requested a wish list of items they could use. It just so happens the timing was perfect because they are being forced to move from their current home of thirty-five years to a new location. They sounded shocked and amazed that we would do this and must have asked me ten times, "how old is your daughter?"

As I spoke with the director, who was busily feeding animals and assisting other staff, I became a bit intrigued myself at this completely non-profit organization solely devoted to saving wildlife and the question of the day popped right out of my mouth. "Do you do presentations?" Mmmm hmmm, yes, they do! So, I did what any self-respecting mother planning on not having a party for her child would do, I booked 'em, right there, on the spot. I would surprise Miss Em.

The invites went out for the day after school let out (I have done this before and it always ends up being a great way to end the year) and indicated "no presents", just donations for the Aark. I also indicated there would be a presentation by an Aark volunteer, toting three animals to show the children. Sure, that day came and there were water balloons, cake and a bouncer we bought long before Em could walk, but the real joy came when the children got up close and personal with three different wild animals being saved by this fabulous foundation. The gentleman, a retired school teacher with an affinity as wide and broad as Emily's for those precious animals, spent thirty-five minutes answering questions and showing off his caged friends. It was six-year-old Heaven. They sat rapt with attention, even the mommies enjoyed the presentation. It was a wonderful, albeit very hot, June morning and Emily helped educate others about animal rescue.

The Friday before we left for the beach, Emily,Hannah and I visited Aark to deliver the donations from our family and all of Emily's friends. We could not take pictures inside the facility, but she got to see two baby raccoons, both girls got to help feed the baby and hurt birds, they saw a bunny in a "feel better" box and we met the neighborly peacock and guinea hens. Emily loved it there and was so excited to give them what we collected. As we drove out, this sign bid us goodbye

Emily said, "Look, Mom, they know how much we care!"

Leopold the Peacock (Hannah yelled, "Hiiii Peeetot!")

I'm not so concerned if they know she cares, I am so happy her heart is called to service by how much she cares.


Sheri said...

What an awesome, fun celebration! Your Em is such an amazing young lady. The love of Jesus truly shines through her!

Kate said...

Give yourself a big pat on the are so doing something right. Wow. What lovely girls you are raising!!!

MacMui Mom said...

What an incredible, loving thing. Emily is such an amazing kid with a big heart. Way to encourage such a precious child of God!!! Heather, you are amazing and have such an amazing family!

Don and Lisa Osborn said...

I love Emily's tender and compassionate heart. I hope I can be like that when I grow up.

She's beautiful like her Mommy.


mommy24treasures said...

oh Heather what a sweet mmmy you are! This party sounds perfect for Ms Emily. I love all the pics. Makes me feel as if I were present.:)

Denise C said...

OH Heather...what a precious little sweetie your Emily is!!! How big her heart is....and that my dear sweet friend is a DIRECT reflection of YOU! Way to go have love...a precious little girl!!!
I have tears from reading this precious precious post!

Hugs and many sweet blessings to all of you!!!


Beverly said...

What a sweetheart!!

prechrswife said...

What a sweet girl, and a neat idea, too! :-)

Denise C said...

Just stopping by to wish you and your precious family a very blessed 4th of July!


Joy in The Truth said...

Hi, Heather! Just love the post and the pix! :) Josh & Brie had a lovely time at Em's party! (Thanks for letting Joshua come!)

Just getting settled in from Camp of the Woods. What a wonderful week!

Let's talk this week. Lots to catch up on! :)


Jill said...


First, thank you for visiting my blog! I am so blown away by how small the blogging community makes the world feel! God is amazing how He brings people into our lives.

Your family is PRECIOUS! I love the pictures from the party - looks like a blast!

I will be coming back to keep up with all God continues to do in your family!

Do you live near Sharon? If so, we are all VERY close and could actually meet! :)

Blessings - Jill


ok, i have a little tear ... that is just the most precious thing ever ... what a big heart Emily has for God's creatures ... I pray her heart continues to grow in this area and she can teach many other lessons to her friends (and to us adults) ... have a great week !!!

missy said...

What an amazing birthday party!!! Your little girl sounds like an amazing little girl. I can't imagine a better cause to give to to honor your little girl's big day. She is just beautiful and radiates happiness!

2China4Ayla said...

What a precious soul! We are HUGE animal lovers too. Give your Emily and big...BIG HUG, and kiss from us for her sweet and generous spirit!


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