You ask me what since we must part

You shall bring back to me.

Bring back a pure and faithful heart

As true as mine to thee.

You talk of gems from foreign lands,

Of treasure, spoil, and prize.

Ah, love! I shall not search your hands

But look into your eyes.

This poem written by Juliana Horatia Ewing speaks from romantic love.  It talks about gifts that could be brought back from far away places but instead the true gift of being back with someone you love.  I love giving gifts, especially when I find the perfect gift for someone when I am traveling.  I enjoy that moment when they open the gift but it is all the more special when I can hand it to them in person.  I also appreciate gifts given to me but the best gifts are time spent with people that I care about.  It is great to be able to spend my 28th birthday with friends and family in California.  Thank you to everyone who has made my 28th birthday special with cards, gifts, phone calls, facebook messages and all the other meals and celebrations yet to come.  28 is going to be a great year!

28 things you can do in Celebration of my 28th Birthday.

On August 21st, I will be celebrating 28 years.  This will be my first birthday since happy 23 that I will celebrate in California.  I turned 24 in Australia while on my way to Papua New Guinea and of course, the last three birthdays were in Papua New Guinea.  In Papua New Guinea it was a bit easier to send out shameless plugs for things that would be useful to have sent in care packages but now I am back in the land of plenty and circumstances are a bit different.  However, I would not want to deprive you of the opportunity to celebrate with me.  So here is yet another shameless plug for things you could send, give or do in honor of another year of life.  “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11

1. Meditate with me on Psalm 16.

2. Send me a book or recommend your favorite to me.

3. Amazon gift card.

4. Send me a CD or recommend a favorite.

5. Send me a DVD or recommend a favorite.

6. itunes gift card.

7. Send me flowers.  I love flowers!

8. Call me and wish me happy birthday.

9. Starbucks gift card.

10. Sign up to support my work monthly.  Ask me how!

11. Take me out to dinner.

12. Gasoline gift card.

13. Cash- I know, not so exciting but it’s very useful.

14. Send me a card. Parent’s address please.

15. Text me your undying love and affection.

16. Gift me a gift certificate for a care package once I am back overseas.

17. Take me out for a drink.

18. Target gift card.

19. Just spend time with me!

20. Sign up to have my blog sent to you by email.

21. Any type of gift card you think would be useful for me.

22. Commit to pray for me regularly.

23. Call me!

24. Sign up to receive my newsletters.  Just send me your email address.

25. Send me a message on facebook!

26. Support me with a one-time financial gift. You can do it over the internet.

27. Write me an email.

28. Pray for me on the 21st.

More from Christmas and New Years in Germany!

The holidays have been wonderful.  Lots of good family time, a good mix of relaxation and activities.  Here are a few more picture highlights to enjoy!

Gift giving for the Sturms is seriously fun.  With all the creative talent there is never a dull moment.  Even the wrapping can be special.  This bow was hand drawn by Damian because he did’t want to waste time trying to tie a bow.  Go figure.

Me and the boys with them wearing their new PNG hats.

Everyone enjoying their new gifts and me (those knees are mine) relaxing on the couch.

Those who play hard also sleep hard.  A few family members enjoying an afternoon doze during our family get together at the Becks.

My German Papa all wrapped up for Christmas.

Between Christmas an New Years we filled the time with knitting.  This is the cousin’s Zußdorf knitting group.  I am still working on my scarf.

Me and my German cousin Annika.

Florian’s Birthday always has the final say.  29 this year on the 31st.  Alles Gute zum Geburtstag Flo!

Then a fun relaxed evening enjoying raclette and the chocolate game where it begins on your forehead and should end up in your mouth. Mama did very well. Papa complained his forehead was too big and Franzi and I…

Did end up getting the chocolate to our mouths but ended up with quite a bit on our faces too!

The food was as always delicious and I helped Franzi make these special berry, espresso, creamy desserts and Papa liked it because he got to carmalize the tops with one of his favorite food toys.

New Years wouldn’t be complete without fireworks from sparklers to big fly into the sky and bang firecrackers.  The whole neighborhood lit up at midnight.

A toast to the New Year.  May this year be better than the last!