My Lilia Mercy is FIVE!

My head is spinning. I’m sure that last week she was only three, but somehow now she is FIVE! Five sounds so big – no longer a toddler and on the tail-end of preschooler. She’ll be headed off to kindergarten in the Fall. It is just too much. These early years fly by in the blink of a sleep-deprived eye. Every stage fully engages me – from sweet cuddles to learning new words to navigating disciplinary issues to reading together to learning to be independent – this job of parenting takes every ounce of me. And, in the mean time, these babies grow up!

Okay, enough sentimentalism…Lilia had a fabulous fifth birthday. Part one at Nana and Pop Pop was just perfect. And, part two was the result of Lilia’s creative planning. She wanted a party based on the book “The Underpants Zoo.” This is a book about zoo animals who wear underpants and then get ants in their underpants. Lilia requested that her guests do one small thing – wear an animal costume with underpants over it. Oh my….


There were a few moments in the party-planning process that will give you an idea about Lilia’s personality. Lilia found me hand writing invitations on small rectangle sheets of paper, and she said, “What are you doing, mom? I want them to be shaped like lions!” To which, I responded, “I don’t think I can do that sweetie. That sounds really hard to do. I’m not magic. I’m just a regular person!” Then she replied, “You’re not a regular person! You’re a MOM!” I found a way to make the invitations shaped like lions. I did not however sew pockets for money on the invitations, which was the other thing she really wanted me to do.

We decided on a breakfast party on Good Friday morning. School was out, and it seemed like a time everyone could make it. I felt a little strange doing a birthday party on such a somber holy day, but it was in the morning before the day’s remembrance began in full force. I tried to convince Lilia that we did not need a cake, perhaps we could just do banana muffins with cupcake toppers…Her answer, “No. It has to be a cake.” And then the calmly stated tagline: “Never gonna give up.” I prodded her later, “How about pancakes? Those are a type of cake. I could try to make yours look like a lion.” And, again, Lilia’s response: “It has to be a cake. Never gonna give up.” After laughing to myself several times, I decided to go with it. I’d set quite a few boundaries about the party, and I figured every kid wants cake at her party, right? I made the lion cake she prescribed, and I cut out underwear shapes out of fruit leather for the kids to “try on” the lion. They ended up gobbling up all the fruit leather before we got a picture…

underpantscakeJedidiah and Lilia actually got into party preparations like never before. It made me excited about party-planning with them in the future. They set up this underpants zoo of all their stuffed animals wearing underpants, and they made the underpants zoo sign…

underpants2At the party, we read the book together, then we ate breakfast (scrambled eggs & sausage & fruit & banana muffins). Then, the kids decorated plain white underwear with fabric crayons and fabric markers. Then, we played a game trying to catch “ants” (raisins) in underpants bowls (you can see the bowls in the picture above).


Then, we had cake and played outside in the backyard. It was a great time, and Lilia had such sweet friends there to celebrate with her!

underpants4Here are a few things about Lilia at age five:

  • Lilia is generous. She is constantly thinking of things to do for other people and gifts to make or food to share.
  • Lilia is administrative. She is good at organizing a group or helping people make a plan. She watches out for the younger kids around.
  • Lilia loves to learn about reading and writing and initiates lessons regularly.
  • Lilia is social. She loves to do playdates and hang out with friends.
  • Lilia loves wheels! She can ride a two-wheel bike like a champ. She is great on her new scooter. And, she is starting to get the hang of roller skates.
  • Lilia is always up for a project – cooking, painting, building, cleaning out a closet, mopping, making a fort – you name it. She gives me 30 plus ideas to work with every day. I can only handle saying yes to a few of them.
  • Lilia loves school and is super-excited about kindergarten.
  • Lilia is getting so tall and thin and beautiful. Her spunky personality, her sweet smile, her fun sense of style, and her creativity with words and ideas surprise us and humble us and melt us every day.

Lilia was a surprise to our family. We did not expect to have another baby in the middle of two moves and a big transition to a new part of the country. It was a hard couple of years. But, I am overwhelmed by what a gift she is to our family. She brings spunk and joy and creativity to our family every day. I praise God that He decided to surprise us with this gal. I cannot imagine life without her.






6 thoughts on “My Lilia Mercy is FIVE!

  1. I love the first paragraph and can relate to every single word!
    Lilia seems like such a smart and delightful little girl! I love getting to know her more through this post. And I love that you are the kind of mom that is willing to throw such a unique and memorable party for her kiddo 🙂

  2. What fantastic memories. I am glad you typed it all up. Hoping we can spend more time with Lilia (and all your kiddos) in the future. Love the “never gonna give up.”

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