Why just spend one day celebrating when you can spend a couple days celebrating!?

Briggs celebrated his birthday at school on Monday and took cupcakes to share with his class. He got a birthday crown. A birthday sticker. Birthday spankings. Celebrating your birthday at school is the best when you’re five-years-old.

By Tuesday, we celebrated his actual birthday with his friends at the train park in Scottsdale. This is a park we used to visit when the other kids were younger and Briggs has never been so we made a special day of it. We rode trains and the carousel and topped it off with lunch at McDonalds. He was living his best life.

He opened presents surrounded by his siblings and he was excited with every item he opened.

He was even more excited when Steve’s parents took him to Build-a-bear to pick out a stuffed animal. He chose some Pikachu character and it has been his constant companion for weeks. Why must kids love stuffed animals so much?!? 🙂

Birthday boy…

The caboose is officially 5-years-old and our “baby” is hardly a baby anymore which is reason to celebrate!

Here’s a snapshot at 5-years-old:

He loves Hallie – he looks forward to any and all time he gets with her – and she is so good to him.

He has realized the power of the Amazon Alexa. I hear him asking questions all the time. How many days until March 2nd? How cold is it outside? How do you spell banana?

He has some friends in the neighborhood and the day is not complete if he’s not asking to play with them multiple times a day.

After Christmas we started weaning him off of daily naps – we figured he was getting old enough to not have a nap schedule rule our day. All of my kids have been late nappers, except Hunter.

He gets dressed all by himself every day and he usually puts on the same clothes he wore the day before. He’s efficient!

He’s a little reader and is almost at the 300 mark for his preschool.

His favorite toy his is 3 wheel globber scooter that he’s had forever. He has put a lot of miles around the neighborhood on that thing.

His favorite accessory is zip up hoodie. It doesn’t matter how cold it is outside, he’s always searching for a hoodie to throw on.

He makes his bed relatively well and it includes a nice tower of beanie boo stuffed animals that he has collected from his siblings.

He asked for an RV for his birthday. He dreams big.

Time is hard for kids and right now for him everything is measured by when he goes to kindergarten. Can he be in a different car seat when he goes to kindergarten? Can he share a room with Cannon when he goes to kindergarten? Will this shirt fit him when he goes to kindergarten?

He has an exciting year ahead of him – which means an exciting year for all of us!

Happy birthday!

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!