Happy 7th Birthday, Rachel!

How time flies.  

Here is my baby girl just 4 days old.  It seems like just yesterday.

Today she turns 7 years old!  She has been talking about this birthday for the last 6 months and she is very excited that the day finally arrived!

She had to start the day with presents from us and other family members.

She loves the Goldie Blox building toys.  They encourage her to build fun projects but she can also use the pieces to make her own creations.  This one has a project for making a zoetrope movie machine!

She loves animals but I'm allergic to everything so there are no pets in our home.  But we found these cute little battery operated mice that run through a track.  Stuart helped her put their track and home together.  They even have a little mouse wheel in the house to run on!  They are so cute!

Stuart took a vacation day from work to help celebrate her birthday.  She put on the fanciest dress in her closet and we went to Sara's Donuts for breakfast.  When Sara complimented her on her dress, Rachel informed her that it was her birthday.  Sara gave her two extra special donuts to celebrate!

I love this sweet beautiful girl!

She wanted me to get a picture of her making the number 7!

Grandmother Chance and I both wanted to get Rachel some things from the American Girl doll store.  But when Rachel went through the catalog and circled her favorite things, she came up with just 161 circles.  We asked her to narrow it down and it was still a long list.  So I decided to take her to the American Girl store so she could see the items in person.  Besides, I thought she might have more fun on a mini shopping spree where she got to pick out her gifts herself.

I scoured the internet to try to find if there were ways to save when shopping at American Girl.  I found two great tips!

1.  Costco sells American Girl gift certificates.  You get $100 of gift cards for just $79!  Fortunately we have a Costco membership!

2.  Some American Girl catalogs come with a 20% off coupon and special coupon code on the back.  We checked all of our catalogs but didn't find a coupon or code.  But I posted on my Facebook page to see if anyone had a coupon that they weren't going to use and a friend offered one to me!  The coupon is good for 20% off the total purchase, not just one item like I expected!

I determined that I would be able to combine both deals for a savings of 40%!  We were going to have fun shopping!

This little girl couldn't contain her excitement!

We went looked at every single doll, outfit, and accessory in the store.  We were there several hours but we both had fun playing with the dolls.  What a wonderful store!

I eventually had to drag her out but she ended up with two dolls and some fun items to go with the dolls.  

Tonight we had a party at the theater for the cast of My Son Pinocchio Jr. so she sort of got a party on her birthday.  

She said it was the best birthday ever!

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