1999, to be exact.  Eleven years ago.



According to Chinese tradition, this means that Rachael is articulate, talented, ambitious, virtuous, and has excellent taste.  I must admit, the accuracy of this description lends credence to those oft-underestimated Chinese horoscopes with which our daughter has recently become fascinated.


Forgive the cliche, but raising Rachael really has been eleven years of joy. She is kind, intelligent, talented, happy, freakishly creative, energetic, fun, mature beyond her years, spiritual beyond her years, with a capacity to love well beyond her years.  She is sensitive to others, always thinking of others, always worrying about others, always going out of her way to make others happy.  So this year we decided to Bring Honor to her not once, but twice.  She deserved every bit of it.


Honor #1:  “Chinese New Year” party at Grandma’s on New Years Eve.  We had it early so she could celebrate with her cousins who were visiting for the holidays.



We had fun painting scrolls





hanging lanterns


trying to eat Costco’s Orange Chicken with chopsticks (spearing works)


admiring the New Years Baby




and enjoying a few choice moments of sibling harmony.





We wrapped up the night by making origami face masks and watching Kung Fu Panda.
Afterward, the kids relished their annual chance to stay up until midnight.
It was a perfect way to ring in the new year.


Honor #2:  Last night, on her birthday’s eve, Derrick and I took Rachael to PF Changs, sans extra siblings, for the first time ever.  Rachael loves Chinese food and has always wanted to go to PF Changs to try the “real” kind (we don’t get our kids out much.)  It did not disappoint.  Through the evening, I sat back and noticed that Rachael’s behavior during her birthday dinner was typical of her behavior at large.  She was happy.  She was enthusiastic.  She was thankful, gracious, polite, chatty, funny, playful and thrilled with everything.  She was impressive with her ten-minute dissertation on the role Abigail Adams played in Revolutionary America and the continued effect Ms. Adams has on our country’s women today.  She was tickled (as were her moochy parents) when our server upgraded her free mini-dessert to a free big dessert in honor, I can only assume, of her general cuteness and likeability.  The server’s generosity was not wasted; the flourless chocolate dome was fairly licked off the platter.



We had a great time with much luck, the biggest indicator of which is that we can call this phenomenal little girl our own.

Happy Birthday, Rachey!  You bring honor to us all.