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.

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!

Birthday boy…

We celebrated a special birthday boy this weekend.

His day consisted of the birthday bucket and putting together his new lego set.

An intense and somewhat physical soccer game.

Birthday presents with very enthusiastic and helpful brothers.

And a quick run to dutch brothers and swig for a birthday treat before watching a movie with Steve and Hallie.

Here’s a snapshot of Hunter on his 12th birthday…

This kid loves life and he makes life fun.

Friends are one of his top priorities and he has some great buddies.

He is determined and has drive. We always tell him what he lacks in skill he makes up for with grit.

He loves the ocean. He loves the lake. He loves to long board. He loves sports. He loves to be active.

Surprisingly he still loves legos and still asks for them as gifts. We have buckets and buckets of legos and yet they always seem to make his gift wish list.

He’s good with math and money. He understands the value of the dollar and is learning and practicing how to make that dollar work for him. Last weekend he mowed our neighbor’s lawn, then did two hours of yard work for his grandpa and then did another job for a different neighbor for 6 hours. He’s excited to invest his money!

He loves clothing, socks and hats. Many boys his age don’t care much about that, but he does. He loves a new hat and Stance socks!

He’s mastering the Rubik’s cube. He’s able to solve it in 53 seconds and just got a new cube for his birthday to shave some more time off.

He’s always been playful and he’s starting to learn the balance between playful and teasing (thank heavens!)

He still gives me hugs and tells me he loves me whenever I drop him off – even in front of friends and I absolutely adore him for it.

Happy birthday buddy!

A birthday…

Even though the world seems to have pushed pause – everyone still grows older. Bennett is a year older and in his excitement this evening, he awarded this the “very best birthday”. Yes, he’s only 9, but he’s had some great birthdays if I do say so myself – but evidently they paled in comparison to today – quite possibly the only birthday in the history of birthdays that we didn’t even leave the house.

Bennett is our middle child and he makes sure we don’t forget him.

He’s often found singing, very loudly, throughout the house. He’s the first to ask Alexa to play a song and he’s working on memorizing artists and their songs.

He loves to read – probably more than anyone in the family.

He’s our early riser. He gets so upset when he has to go to bed and he knows people are staying up – but the kid doesn’t sleep in regardless of how late he went to bed. We recently had a bed time disagreement and as we talked it out, in frustration he blurted out, “I hate being a morning person, I don’t want to be a morning person!!” As much as he hates it, it doesn’t change the fact that the very next morning he woke up before 6am and couldn’t go back to sleep.

He’s wiling to do things even if he’s not the best or if it makes him look ridiculous. He’s not afraid to laugh at himself. This results in him always having fun – he doesn’t stand on the outside of the circle.

He works best on a schedule and if it’s a minute past noon he will be requesting lunch regardless if we ate brunch at 10:30.

He’s emotional and tender. He can be easily frustrated, but he also recognizes others hurt faster than anyone else.

We had doughnuts and fruit for breakfast (balance in all thing of course!) Home church. Present opening. Games. Requested dinner – hot diggity dogs. And Dairy Queen blizzard cake.

He felt special and loved and in our current environment I couldn’t hope for anything more.

Briggs’ Birthday…

In our family, when you turn 4 years old, you get your first friend birthday party and it’s kind of a big deal. Briggs has been talking about his party for some time – what he wants to eat at this party, who he’s going to invite. It’s been a constant conversation. His birthday was before spring break but his friends were busy so we pushed off his party until after break. Little did I know the world would look a little different.

His party is no longer. I would say it’s postponed but by the time we can actually gather again in groups he will have forgotten about it all together. In fact, already, he hasn’t mentioned it since spring break. So as much as it kills me to not throw the party – its just not going to happen. One of the many things that has change rapidly over the course of the last two weeks.

Luckily, we celebrated him as a family so he’s not totally missing out.

He loved his birthday bucket and all his goods – the best way to start the day!

When friends would ask him what he got for his birthday the first thing he always mentioned was his very own BIG gatorade – a simple reminder that four-year-olds are easy to please!

I’m happy we made it to McDonald’s with a couple of his friends. We’ll look back at this fondly and refer to it as the McDonald’s themed party!

Hallie made a special gift for Briggs. (Let me just say she’s the absolute best). She photoshopped their heads on to a PJ Masks picture – they will forever be Catboy and Owlet – its their thing!

We gathered the Sunday before his birthday with Steve’s family and he got the traditional family birthday song and he loved the attention – but he loved the sugar cookie cake even more.

It’s good to be four!