When the latest issue of American Girl was found in our post office box AbbySue was elated to find an entire article devoted to a beach themed birthday party. Leave it to our eclectic girl to take it to the next level. Anyone can have a beach themed birthday party, but only AbbySue can turn a simple theme into the "Outdoor Camping Hippie Ocean Beach Birthday Slumber Party!" She planned all the games, crafts, snacks, etc. The girls searched through a kiddie pool of sand for treasures to make into bracelets and hair clips. They fishtailed each others hair. They played "Sea Urchin Tag" and a game called "Dolphin Challenge". They cartwheeled in the sprinklers and blessed AbbySue with the sweetest gifts, many of which were handmade. Daddy barbecued mini hamburgers and hot dogs. We had ice cream sundaes instead of cake, because AbbySue is our Ice Cream Queen. Cousin Kaeleigh shares the same birthday, which made for 11+15 glowing candles. There was an "I Love Lucy" marathon and manicures. When Mommy and Daddy couldn't keep their eyes open we sent them out to the tent and didn't hear a peep. After the sun came up those sleepy girls were hungry again, so I sent them out to the garden to pick berries for Daddy's famous pancakes. It was a sweet and lovely time. AbbySue has some truly precious friends. And after two years far from home this birthday party really was a gift.