Happy Birthday…

We celebrated our favorite daughter – a daughter who continues to disobey her father’s orders to never grow up. She is now 15 years old and counting down the 6 months until she can get her learner’s permit to drive. To be honest, we’re all counting down the days until she can drive. I’ve heard many people say 15 is a hard stage because the kids are active and have social agendas, but they can’t get themselves anywhere. Which means it’s a full-time job getting them to and from all the places they need to be. Although its not quite that bad – I get what people are saying. Luckily, we have a village that help her to get to and from. A neighbor that’s a senior takes her to school. Friends from the tennis team that drive often bring her home. On the weekends parents take turns picking up and dropping off. It’s manageable – but another driver will be much appreciated.

A 15-year-old snapshot:

Every weekend there is some plan to be with friends. Sometimes both Friday and Saturdays.

She loves to shop. When she gets home from school and sees that Briggs and I went to Target and Bath and Body Works with her – she’s offended! 🙂

She always has painted fingernails, but rarely paints her toes. Which is opposite of me.

She wears jeans to school – even when it’s 110 degrees.

She plays tennis two times a week – which will likely shift as she heads into basketball season shortly.

She has very pure intent, she doesn’t have a malicious bone in her body. And she’s always concerned of other’s feelings.

She’s a little shy – yet she’s chosen friends who aren’t very shy and it’s made all the difference for her coming out of her shell. She has some great friends and they just keep making their circle larger.

She has a phone which is a new thing for her this year and she manages it well. She’s on a lot of group chats but rarely speaks up. However, she is getting better at answering texts!

She avoids confrontation at all costs. I’m trying to inject a little bit of fight into her – not enough to change her personality but just enough to stand up for herself.

She loves the lake. She loves to longboard. She loves to snow ski.

Her brother’s have no idea how good she is to them – probably too good to them!

The best part is she’s only relatively moody which for a teenager is a total win! 🙂

She is such a light in our home.

I’m not sure why every one is starting to rain on my parade and remind me of how little time left she has in our home! Seriously – I think I’ve heard it three times this week!

We’re just going to take it day by day and enjoy our moments.

Happy Birthday Hallie.

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Amazing things…

I was scrolling through some old ipad doodles when I came across this quote that I made earlier this summer. I’m not sure why I doodled it months ago but this is something I just told one of my kids this week. It’s a conversation I have often with my children. It’s so easy to get caught up in what everyone else does so amazingly – and yet we each have our own amazing gifts. Each one of my kids has unique strengths and opportunities for growth – but one thing that they all share is innate value.

We teach that we can all do amazing things – this applies to every one! Although sometimes those amazing things are much more simple, they don’t have to be grandiose to be amazing.

Want to know what my amazing thing was for the day – feeding a family of 7 in shifts! We were eating in shifts tonight due to schedules (Tuesdays are always the worst). I fed Hunter before he left for soccer. Once I got him out the door, I then fed the only two kids at home: Briggs and Cannon. As we were starting to clean up, Hallie walked in the door from tennis, ready to eat. An hour later Bennett walked in from soccer ready for dinner. I got everything cleaned up. Then Steve returned home from meetings and was ready to eat. Cleaned it all up again. Of course Hunter returned home from soccer and was ready to eat again.

Its not always like this, but today it was (thank heavens for an easy taco bar) – and I’m going to file it away as amazing. Sometimes our amazing things are just a reframing or paradigm shift. But when we look for amazing, we’ll find it!

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Luscious locks…

This kid loves his long hair.

We just trimmed it this weekend because it was getting out of control and even trimmed, it’s a little on the long side.

I may be biased, but it is beautiful hair. Perfectly textured and completely full of body. He wakes up looking like this most mornings (the joys of going to be with wet hair) and yet a quick dunk of his head in the sink and its manageable again.

What I don’t love about long hair: Him constantly touching and running his fingers through it. Even on the soccer field as he’s running for the ball, he’s running his fingers through it to keep it out of his face. He used to wear a headband to keep it pulled back, but now it’s just wild and free; describes him perfectly!

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The tooth fairy…

Cannon was getting concerned that he was turning 7 and he still hadn’t lost a tooth! All of his friends had lost teeth and he still had a mouthful. Last week, at the first sign of a wiggly tooth, he was so excited. And he was determined to get it out. He is my fourth child to lose a tooth and I still despise the process of losing teeth. Kids always want to show me how loose their teeth are and it really disgusts me. I know moms that love helping their kids get teeth out – I am not that mother. I was happy to return home from running errands and Cannon flashed me his toothless smile. Bless Hallie for helping him when I wasn’t around!

The first tooth is such an exciting experience. His tooth fairy was even punctual which has not been our experience in the past.

You can imagine my surprise when he told me two days ago he had another wiggly tooth. When it rains, it pours, am I right?! He worked on that thing constantly and I was happy to wake up this morning to yet another tooth missing (how lucky was I to avoid both teeth this week?!)

This evening as I was ushering kids to bed, someone reminded Cannon that he needed to put his tooth out for the tooth fairy. He went to the counter where he last saw it and it wasn’t there. He asked Steve and Steve had given it to him this morning and Cannon had put it on the edge of our kitchen island. This morning. He left it sitting on the edge of the island for hours. The island that was wiped down more than once. Not surprising, he couldn’t find the tooth. Our best guess is it was wiped off into the trash. I could see it in his eyes: the disappointment and fear of missing the tooth fairy.

I quickly jumped into miracle mom mode looking to save the moment – because there was no way that tooth was going to be found. I suggested he write a note saying he lost the tooth. He looked at me with all the skepticism of a first grader. He wasn’t buying it until Hunter and Bennett chimed in saying they too had to write a note to the tooth fairy at one point or another. Cannon didn’t ask any other questions and didn’t request any help. This was the note that was left:

Luckily, we have a very understanding (and yet often forgetful) tooth fairy!

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Birthday boy…

We have a tradition of taking kids to Disneyland by themselves when they turn 7-years-old. Cannon knew this and has been looking forward to this birthday for that very reason. Then 6 months ago Disneyland shut down and Cannon was in tears. And we soothed those tears by telling him that there was no way that it would be shutdown on his birthday. Wow – were we ever wrong! He shed a couple tears again last week when one of his siblings reminded him that he wouldn’t be able to go to Disneyland for a long time.

But Disneyland or not – he went ahead and turned 7!

He requested donuts for breakfast. McDonalds for lunch. Dutch Brothers smoothie after school. And white sauce macaroni and cheese for dinner. He sounds like he’s 7 huh?!

Here’s a snapshot of him at this age:

Cannon has always been a little more on the quiet side, but with age he’s finding his voice.

We just had parent teacher conference and the teachers described him as the class helper – he has learned the art of helping his classmates without giving them the answers. The teacher shared that she often hears him helping another student and teaching it the same way the teacher originally presented the concept. He’s fully embracing this role.

He loves to read – He’s working his way through the bookcase.

His best friend is a little girl in the neighborhood and they are just about the cutest things. Every day he’s asking if he can play with her.

He prefers that Steve put him to bed – I’m not sure what makes Steve so good at the job but I’ll gladly admit defeat.

His hair has been unmanageable since he was a newborn – and it’s not getting any better.

He’s one of the two kids in our family that consistently gets car sick on road trips.

He’s sensitive – just like his father. The other morning he was saying the breakfast prayer and he prayed for our neighbor who is having some health challenges. In the middle of the prayer he was so choked up it was hard to understand him. He has such a big heart and hurts when he knows others are hurting.

He’s a very content child. He loves to go and do and yet he’s equally content at home finding something to do on his own.

He is such a great playmate for Briggs – Cannon comes up with so many games and activities and Briggs is just excited to be invited to the party!

Happiest of Birthdays Cannon!

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