Posts about events - Divine Reflections Photography Blog

Ariana's Sweet 16 Celebration

Kisses from Daddy

Ariana had a birthday on Sunday. We wanted to make her sweet 16 party special, so we started the celebration two days before her official birthday.

Friday was my day to celebrate with Ariana. She put on her new birthday dress, and Crystal curled her hair and put on her makeup. I dressed too, wearing slacks and a sport coat, and I took her to Christian Michael, one of the nicest restaurants in Chico. We enjoyed a lovely dinner, and then we decided to see a movie. We laughed our way through What Happens in Vegas while the rest of the theater occupants tried to figure out why we were at the movies wearing fancy dress clothes. We completed our evening by walking over to Ben & Jerry's for an ice cream dessert.

Saturday, the major festivities took place. Ariana invited three friends over: Aurora, Lauren, and Kylee. Aurora and Kylee came over early that morning, so Ariana treated them to a pedicure at a local salon while she had her nails done. Crystal spent most of the afternoon styling hair and applying makeup, and then all of the girls put on their fancy dresses. We dined at Olive Garden along with half of the people attending local school proms.

We rushed home, where Ariana opened her gifts from her friends and my family back in North Carolina. She got a new teddy bear, and one of the cards nearly gave her a heart attack when it started playing a song.

Next came the highlight of the evening for the girls. The rented Ford F350 limo pulled up in front of our house, and everyone climbed in for a night on the town. The girls immediately requested to be taken to Wal-Mart so they could buy sparkling cider. Wal-mart doesn't have sparkling cider, so we tried again at one of the local grocery stores. Have procured the beverage needed for a toast, the limo driver took us to a small, bumpy road that offered a stunning view down the hill to the city of Chico. We cruised around downtown, and the girls waved at the college students who lined the streets. We made a stop at Nana and Papa Flower's house so they could see the limo, and then we came back home so the exhausted and happy girls could collapse into bed for the night.

Sunday was Ariana's actual birthday. One by one, her friends filtered back to their families. Crystal's parents, brother, and nephew came over, and we had cake and ice cream. Ariana opened her gifts from Crystal's family, and we finished the night and the three day birthday celebration by watching a movie.

Ariana, you were a beautiful, glowing birthday girl. I'm deeply proud of all you've accomplished in the last year, and I can't wait to see what you do during the next one. I love you with all my heart. Thanks for being my little girl.

Pretty Nails

Aurora Getting a Pedicure

Ariana Being Made Over

Overlooking Chico

Awwww! She Got a Sweet Card!

After the Limo Ride

Gary Stuffing His Face

Kylee Ready for Dinner

Emily Eating Ice Cream

Let Her Be Smeared with Cake

Posted by Greg on May 15, 2008 at 12:20AM.

Permalink / Comments (1)

Filed under coates family, events and photos.

Emily's Third Birthday

Emily, The Birthday Girl

Our baby has turned three! It's hard to believe that the tiny, fragile child that came into our home just over two years ago could have turned into the beautiful, happy child that we see today, but that's exactly what happened.

Emily's birthday celebration actually started a few days early. Rather than try to hide the birthday bike that we bought her, we just gave it to her. Crystal assembled it, and then we showed her how to push the pedals and ride around the driveway. She's not quite a pro yet, but she's learning quickly.

We made the day of her birthday all about her. She got to pick the activities and foods for the day. After breakfast and some playtime, she asked for a bath in mommy's oversize tub with Mommy. Once everyone was clean, it was time for lunch. Emily announced that she wanted "chit-ten nuddets" (chicken nuggets). Off we went to Wendy's.

After the day's errand and dinner were finished, Crystal's family started to arrive. It was party time! The princess cake was cut, and ice cream was served. Emily and our foster son blew out the candles, and then it was time to open presents. Emily discovered a movie, a sticker book, and some clothes. What excitement!

Happy birthday, Miss Bug. :) Daddy loves you!

Riding the New Bike

Tub Smooches

Ariana the Videographer

Princess Cake

Blowing Out the Candles

Eating Cake

Opening Presents

Book of Stickers

Posted by Greg on December 3, 2007 at 5:00PM.

Permalink / Comments (1)

Filed under babies and children, coates family, events and photos.

Adoption Party

Adoption Cake

Several months ago, we promised our girls that we would throw a blowout party when their adoptions were finalized. The weekend after school ended for the year was party time! Nearly sixty people came to our home for a Mexican-American Luau. Crystal made tostadas, and I grilled a ton of hamburgers and hot dogs.

We had two pinatas -- one for the smaller kids and one for the older kids. Neither one survived very long. The first or second hitter broke both pinatas!

Emily and Pinata

Picking up Candy

Candy Catchers

We had water games and bubbles set up for the kids. The slip 'n' slide was a huge hit!

The adults had a great time.

Lisa Blowing Bubbles


Shane and Ariana

And so did the kids.





Emily Blowing Bubbles


All in all, the adoption party was a grand success. Thanks for coming everyone!

Posted by Greg on June 27, 2007 at 5:00PM.

Permalink / Comments (1)

Filed under coates family, events and photos.

Ariana's Graduation


Recently, Ariana passed a big milestone in her life. She was promoted to the ninth grade! Yes, we have two high school students now. She has really worked hard on her grades, and her work has really paid off.

Ariana, your Mom and I are incredibly proud of you! Here are a couple of pictures from your special day.

Ariana and Mychaela

Holding the Diploma

The Coates Family*

*Thanks to Naomi Flower, Crystal's mom, for taking the family photo.

Posted by Greg on June 24, 2007 at 9:00PM.

Permalink / Comments (0)

Filed under coates family, events and photos.

Lauren's Graduation

Lauren Ashley Flower

It seems like just yesterday that I was changing her diapers! Now she is a high school graduate. My, how time flies. A couple weeks ago we went to my niece Lauren's graduation, and I snapped a few pictures of the occasion. Congratulations Lauren on you accomplishments! Go out and change the world; be awesome. We love you!

Accepting the Diploma

Lauren and Gary

The Throwing of the Hats

Lauren Ashley Flower

Posted by Crystal on June 21, 2007 at 5:00PM.

Permalink / Comments (0)

Filed under coates family, events and photos.

Ethan's Birthday Party

Recently we had the pleasure of attending the 4th birthday of one of our favorite little people. We had a blast and just had to shoot a few shots of the party's events. We still aren't sure which was a bigger hit, the yummy food or the bouncy balls! Either way the kids had a really great time. And before leaving our Emily insisted on kissing her little friend Karis bye-bye. :) Happy 4th Birthday Ethan! We love you!

Posted by Crystal on April 23, 2007 at 11:45PM.

Permalink / Comments (0)

Filed under babies and children, coates family, events and photos.