|This year's cake - a violin very much like the one Asha plays|
Wasn't it just yesterday that we heard the sweetest sound? That small muffled cry which announced that Asha Esther Alice Eicher was born.
Its cause to celebrate. And celebrate we did.
Yesterday afternoon there was a party for Asha's friends.
It was grand to have the house full of excited, chattering girls.
There were 2 boys (Enoch making up 50% of that contingent) but they were largely relegated to the background.
Games were eagerly lapped up by Asha's friends from school, the housing complex and church.
Asha and Enoch gave a mini-concert - to the rapturous applause of young and old. They were a bit shy at first - but really ended up belting out the tunes.
The cake this year was a violin. Appropriate for our little musician.
The shaping was done by 'Opa' Eicher (my father) - with the icing made by 'Oma' (my mother). Yours truly baked the cake and did the final icing.
Amidst oohs and aahs and a raucous 'Happy Birthday' song Asha blew out her 11 candles and shared the cake with one and all.
Then we called on Opa to pray and bless Asha and all and sundry.
As usual - he rose to the occasion.
What a blessing to have a Godly granddad. This prayer being only the latest of so many prayers that he and Oma have prayed over the years for all of us - and Asha in particular.
We tend to be very close to the people whose births we were part of. Oma and Opa were with us 11 years ago at the Nav Jeevan Hospital in Satbarwa, Jharkhand when Asha was born. They have been with us each of the last few years on the 16th of January.
The celebrations continued well after our appointed pick up time - as Asha's friends lingered on - unwilling to leave. Two special friends - Nikita and Jasper - with whom Asha and Enoch have done so much over the years - were with us along with their parents John and Nalini and grandparents too!
What a blessing to have 3 symmetrical generations of 2 families join together!
The fabulous four were very much in their element. It took quite some doing to pry them apart when Nikita and Jasper had to go home.
And all of this celebration on the day before Asha's real birthday...
We traditionally celebrate birthdays early in the morning.
Today was different. Asha had a school programme where she was giving the introductory speech - so she had to be in school at 6.30 AM. Our family celebrations were postponed for the evening.
Layer after layer was unwrapped.
Until finally a small plastic key chain was found. With a small key on it.
A small key - for a big new bike!
Asha was thrilled to bits.
Miracle upon miracle. We had somehow managed to keep the whole thing as a secret (very hard in a family who loves to tell 'good news' to each other).
Dad and Mum had purchased the bike last week - and we had kept it at JSK till this evening when I brought it over after Enoch came home from school.
Asha was just beside herself with joy.
Its wonderful to see how radiant she and Enoch are.
We start into Asha's 12 year with so much hope - exactly what her name means! She is a real blessing to us - and so many others. Asha was a real balm to her Oma during these past few weeks when Oma was not feeling well. Her songs and high spirits have lifted ours time and time again. We recognise the total grace of God in all of this.
Did the celebrations end here? They could well have - but we had one final fling. A family outing to Pizza Hut with the elder Eichers treating us all!
|a journey of a 1000 steps... starts by getting into the lift!|
This outing had also almost miraculously been kept as a surprise for Asha and Enoch - and they were thrilled to know that we were about set out for pizza.
Enoch showed signs of future prowess in materials science by seeing how far the hot cheese woud stretch. He achieved impressive results as can be seen on the right!
More than the food - of course - was the joy of all being together. Tomorrow afternoon Mum and Dad (our beloved Oma and Opa) head up north to spend some days with Stefan and Neeru and their lovely and growing family - and then head up to Mussoorie (which seems to be under a foot of snow).
We will of course miss them much - but are so grateful for these days that they have poured themselves into us. Tonight was a way of putting a capstone on a wonderful 3.5 weeks that Mum and Dad have spent with us!
We love celebrating birthdays - and in our family it hardly gets bigger than this! In our family prayers we just had to say a big 'Thank You God' for all your goodness - esp. in being able to care for Asha!
|smile - we use colgate toothpaste! Andi, Sheba, Asha and Enoch Eicher|