Milestone Birthday…

My dad had a big birthday last week. And because we were together just a few weeks ago in Idaho, we decided to celebrate him a little early with some close family and friends. It was a beautiful night honoring him.

Anyone who has been here for any length of time knows my dad has been my sidekick on every major project. When I say let’s build a shed, he says sure. When I say let’s build a massive entertainment center, he doesn’t question. When I say let’s build a barn door. Or 70 lineal feet of cabinets. Or build a storage room in the garage. He doesn’t hesitate. He shows up and helps me out until the very minute he leaves for the airport. He has been what has made all my DIY projects possible.

I don’t think he loves it, or even has any expertise in it, but he’s a willing set of hands which is worth more than I can describe. Not to mention it’s been fun to share these projects with him over the years. In fact, every year since we moved here (aside from the year after his open heart surgery) he has shown up with drills and work gloves in his suitcase. It makes me emotional just thinking of all the service he’s rendered to help make our house a home.

Happy birthday dad!

Happy Birthday…

It was just one year ago that we were celebrating his 40th birthday – and now we’re celebrating his 40th birthday for a second year. 😉

Steve is the calm to any storm! He is peaceful and patient and kind. Always.

While we were at Powell this summer, one of our friends shared something about Steve that I’ve thought about several times since. He shared that the thing he loves about Steve is the fact that he never feels any judgement from Steve towards anyone. Ever. Steve actually wasn’t around when this was said about him and I’m sure he would have been a little uncomfortable hearing such kind things said about himself, but it’s true.

He loves deeply and is without guile. It is his special superpower.

He also knows how to have a good time and keeps us all entertained (and perhaps embarrassed, if you ask his teenage kids).

He’s a deliberate father. An attentive husband. And a man of God.

We are happy to celebrate him today!

Bennett’s Birthday…

His sweet friend made this banner for him and dropped it off with a gift.

Every birthday, the kids get to decide what we do for lunch. Some years they’ve requested we bring them lunch at school and as they’ve gotten older, they often request to leave school to go to lunch. (Thank heavens most of them have grown out of the McDonald’s happy meal stage! :)) Bennett chose Panda Express – a family favorite.

Bennett scored with a Chris Paul jersey as a gift this year and there was more than one sibling a little jealous of his new gift. Hunter may or may not be requesting to borrow it and I hope Bennett remembers that just earlier this week, Hunter let him borrow his Booker jersey for Jersey day during spirit week. We swapped out the classic orange jersey for a black Valley jersey and it’s getting all sorts of attention in his wardrobe right now.

At one point after school, we had kids running in every direction including Bennett’s Battle of the Books district competition. But we couldn’t have a birthday come and go without a trip to Dutch Bros for the birthday smoothie, even if we had to squeeze it in at the end of the day.

Another year older and wiser too…

Birthday boy…

We are celebrating Bennett today!

Bennett has been full of life and smiles since the day he was born. In fact, he was just as animated as a baby as he is now. Full of personality!

Bennett is an old soul and wise beyond his years. He is a rule follower and loves enforcing the rules on everyone else – especially his siblings.

He loves to stay up-to-date on current events and he always surprises us with things he learned while reading the Wall Street Journal. He loves talking about what’s going on in the world.

He’s the cleanest of all our kids which is why he was given his own room before some of his brothers! (Remember, he’s a rule follower!)

He had so much energy as a kid, I worried what school would be like for him. But he’s managed his energy so well in class. I remember his first grade teacher telling me how he liked to stand while doing school work and she was totally supportive of that. He was also notorious for reading books while he walked around the house. As he’s gotten older, some of those habits have faded or he’s learned how to manage it differently.

He’s a social butterfly. He’s got a posse of friends in the neighborhood and they are thick as thieves.

He’s very responsible. He knows what time he needs to be home every evening from friends’ houses and he’s never late, not even a minute. If you tell him laundry needs to be done before he goes to bed – it will be done.

He loves all things sports. His preference in playing sports would be soccer. But he loves watching everything – ASU Football, Suns basketball, Green Bay or Cardinals football, professional soccer – he loves his sports.

He’s happy. He laughs. He’s persistent. His buttons are easily pushed (and his brother’s know it!). And he has high expectations for himself and everyone else. He doesn’t like when plans change but luckily he’s becoming more flexible the older he gets. He loves life. He loves his friends. And I can’t wait to see what he decides to tackle in life.

Happy birthday Mr. B!

Another year older…

Speaking of birthdays…we celebrated another year older for Briggs this month as well. When your six-years-old, it’s still cool for your parents to bring lunch to you at school and then hang out with you during recess. Who knows how long that will last, so we’re soaking in those parenting moments.

We made sure to hit up Dutch Brothers for a birthday smoothie because my kids can’t imagine a birthday without doing so.

Six-year-olds are also the best to give gifts to because everything is awesome and exciting. And true to form, Bennett’s expressions always take the cake!

A fews days later Briggs had his first “friend” party. I’m realizing his birthday is going to fall near our spring break every year which means I’ve got to be on the ball and make sure it happens before spring break. In fact, two years ago when he turned four, he was supposed to have a friend birthday party. I thought it was no big deal to push it after spring break. Except for the fact that the world nearly stopped on its axis due to COVID and we didn’t spend time with anyone outside of our family for a long time after returning home. It was the birthday party that never came to be.

Briggs and Dr. Seuss share a birthday and I’m fully aware he’s going to outgrow a Seuss party so we capitalized on this year. We read a Dr. Seuss book together, we drew cat in the hat (thanks to Art Hub for Kids, we danced to some Dr Seuss youtube songs and played freeze dance. Kids this age are easily entertained and when the party is only an hour and a half, it doesn’t leave much time to get bored.

We sufficiently celebrated!