There was once a little angel who flew from star to star collecting warmth and light as she went about. She loved to leap high and fall into the big, puffy clouds. The little angel went forth happily exploring her heavenly home. Most of all, she was passionate about gathering up as much love and light as she could. Then one day, she heard her big angel calling and she knew it was time to go and share the love she had gathered.

Her guardian angel took her first to the house of the sun. It was there
that she received the gift of courage. Next, they visited the house of the star, and she was given the gift of the twinkle in her eyes so that she might always see the humor in life. Last, they went to the house of the moon and she received the gift of wisdom. It was from the moon that the little angel saw the most beautiful sight-the earth-a place of trees and oceans.

The little angel saw the beautiful land, and when she looked closer, she saw a strong, tall man named Justin living there. “He should be my father,” said the little angel. Then she listed closely and heard woman singing sweet songs and dancing; she was a loving woman, named Laura, who looked up toward her and seemed to be calling her. “She should be my mother.”

And so the guardian angel said it was time to go. “You shall use your
gifts to take a long journey over the rainbow bridge to the earth.” It was a crisp autumn day there on the earth. The mother and father were waiting at the hospital for the angel to arrive, a bit surprised because they hadn’t expected her to arrive so quickly. Her big sister Audrey was waiting, too, to see her baby sister. Then, just as the little angel crossed over the rainbow bridge, a baby girl was born and brought into the strong arms of her mother and father on Friday, November 17, 2006 at 6:39pm.

The mother and father chose to call her Anna Marie because that was the most perfect name for her. Anna means grace and favour. And so the little angel received her first gift on the earth, the gift of her name. Little Anna was very small, with dark hair and the cutest button nose. Her Daddy was bursting with joy in those first moments. Mommy felt the love that the angel had sent forth as Anna drew in her first breath.

All the grandparents, aunts and uncles came to the hospital, and couldn’t wait to see baby Anna. Even big sister Audrey got to come and hold her. They all loved her from the first moment. The whole family was filled with joy. Audrey waited at home with Nana for baby Anna and Mommy to come home from the hospital. When they arrived home, the entire family experienced great happiness that their family had grown to include this new baby that they loved so much.

Baby Anna began to grow and was constantly amazing her mother, father, and sister. She was so calm and peaceful – rarely crying or fussy about anything. Just content to be surrounded by the people who loved her so much. Her big sister, Audrey, took very good care of her and Anna loved to watch everything that Audrey did.

Anna got to do a lot of things during her first year. She flew on an airplane to visit Aunt Amy in Pheonix, she went to Camp Arcadia to play in the sand and listen to the waves of Lake Michigan, and she was so excited when her mommy was able to start staying home all day long instead of going to work.

She also began learning a lot. She could clap her hands and play peek-a-boo. She could say words like “wow” when she saw something she liked and “up” and “mama” and “dada!” When she got excited, she would shake her little arms and move her whole body back and forth. Anna loved doing things with her hands like turning light switches on and off and opening cabinet doors and she also loved giving kisses to her family and her baby cousin, Will. Anna didn’t move around a lot, but she did learn to crawl just before she turned one year old.

And now autumn is here again. It has been one year since the little angel crossed the rainbow bridge. And so we are here today to celebrate the birth of Anna, who was given to us by our Heavenly Father. We are so blessed by this little girl who loves to share her light with heavenly smiles, a crinkled nose and kisses that brighten up our days. Today we will light one candle for Anna because today she is one year old.