Jace turns six!

Why is it so hard to see your baby grow up?  If I could keep him this cute and lovable forever, I would.  He’s my sweet little buddy who still loves his mommy, holding my hand, snuggling and sharing his endless thoughts with me.  Quite a contrast when you’re raising teens boys sometimes.

Picking out treats to share with his kindergarten class was a serious deal to him, so we got Krispy Kremes, which were a big hit.  I feel bad that we can’t have a friend party this year – but he’s just getting to know kids and they’re all spread out so it’s complicated.  He didn’t seem to mind as long as there was a family celebration with cake and presents.


Proudly wearing the birthday crown home, he couldn’t wait to share how they celebrated at school.


Our friends stopped by to wish him a happy birthday and drop off a gift.  We’re so grateful to have them nearby – it’s been great to have boys the same ages with similar interests.  We’ve already enjoyed several park outings and Lego playdates.


We knew we’d better start with cake since we knew he’d have no interest once the presents were opened.  He chose chocolate and made his wish.  (I wish I hadn’t used my portable camera for this event since they turned out really grainy and discolored – oh well.)

IMG_2521    IMG_2526

The joy on his face when he opened each gift was priceless – his brothers all picked out Legos for him and we did too.  It’s his absolute favorite thing.  Since they provide he and his brother endless hours of building creativity,  I can overlook the mess and pain they cause spread all over their room.

IMG_2500  IMG_2507  IMG_2518

His favorite thing of the day was Lego General Grievous, which he has begged to get for a couple years.  It’s finally in a more reasonable set and he quickly put him together.


Thank heavens Nathan loves to build Legos for anyone and in no time, he and Lynn had a few things built and ready to play with.

IMG_2530  IMG_2532

Jace got a skype call from his grandparents which made him happy.  He was eager to share all of his new creations.


Life without this little guy wouldn’t be as sweet.  We love you Jace and hope year six is an awesome one!

A week earlier, I had a turn celebrating another year.  The boys were so anxious to share the gifts they individually picked out which was really sweet.  Those macarons were amazing!  Lynn and I had a great night out with dinner and a West End show  and it was a wonderful start to a new year ahead.  I’m savoring every moment of this last decade of mine.  Eeks.

IMG_2472  IMG_2474

Nathan’s Nine!

It seems each year my kids turn older, I have a hard believing they’re growing up.  Nathan turning 9 the end of March was definitely that feeling – where has the time gone?  He joined our family as a sweet, mellow baby with a full head of thick hair and we instantly fell in love.  Though there were days (many) that I didn’t think I could keep up with his energy and strong will, I am so proud of the caring, intelligent, sensitive boy he has become.

Our whole family has been so sick with bronchitis, ear infections and the flu and Nathan was the only soul to escape its wrath.  The pictures are pretty telling how the rest of us are feeling!  We mustered up the energy to go see the Lego Movie yet again since it’s his favorite movie ever and he hadn’t seen it with me yet.


After the movie, Nathan was dying to open his gifts.  Having shaken them, he was feeling confident they were his favorite toy.  No need to be creative this year.  All he wants and plays with are Legos.  I mean, hours and hours of Legos.  They are worth every cent for the amount of creative play and joy they have provided this boy!  Lynn and I are in constant amazement with what this boy can build, whether he’s following elaborate directions or building creations on his own.  He has recruited his little brother in his passion, which makes for a very messy room most days while they’re constructing and playing.  He calls it his burglar alarm to ward off potential robbers.  Man they hurt to step on in the night!

The boys each took turns giving him their gift, which brought a big smile to Nathan’s face. Both grandparent’s gifts arrived too, which he loved.  He’s been having championship tournaments with his new game.

IMG_4763 IMG_4761  IMG_4765 IMG_4769  IMG_4771 IMG_4781 IMG_4776 IMG_4775 IMG_4773 IMG_4785


Nathan specifically wanted banana splits instead of cake and made his wish.  Within a minute, the ice cream was inhaled and he was busy building.  I don’t think he stopped for 2 days.

IMG_4786 IMG_4787 IMG_4788 IMG_4792 IMG_4790 IMG_4778

We’re so used to sharing a celebration with grandpa Jenkins (having a birthday the day after), it felt weird not to be near him this year.  But we got to call and facetime with him and sing him “happy birthday” in his hospital bed.  How blessed we are to have more birthdays with him!  We’re pretty lucky to have Nathan a part of our lives too.  Happy birthday buddy!  We love you.



Happy birthday Cade!

Cade turned twelve in January.  It was the first birthday we’ve celebrated here and it felt weird not to have family and friends.  Not knowing what he wanted (this is a difficult age to buy for), we knew we’d get some ideas at Hamley’s.  It’s the oldest toy store in the world with seven floors of kid’s dreams.  They all loved getting big bubbles made for them and he added that to his wish list.  The little boys had a hard time focusing on gifts for Cade when they saw the Lego section.  Luckily we got what we needed without him noticing and were ready to wrap it all up.


IMG_9009  IMG_9017 IMG_9020 IMG_9023 IMG_9024

He wanted to go go-cart racing, but the course nearby didn’t allow child drivers, even though the web site said they did.  We’ll have to make a special trip out further to make that happen.  We ended up going out to dinner to one of his favorite local spots, The Spaghetti House.  They have the best kids meals–he always gets the chicken tenders and pasta carbonara and loves having leftovers for lunch the next day.  It’s the one place Nathan cleans his whole plate too, always going home with a tummy ache.  


We ended up having a little family party instead.  He picked out a delicious Chantilly cream and berry cake from Whole Foods.  We sang to him and he made his wish.  No – you’re not getting a little dog here!

IMG_6005 IMG_6007 IMG_6008 IMG_6010

Tyler got him a bow and arrow that shoots plastic Nerf-like bullets.  Just what we needed here. At least they don’t hurt when you’re shot!  He had fun shooting it down the hallway making the suction bullet stick to his room’s window.  I was glad he chose to take it back to Redmond and keep at home.


Nathan got him one of those desk toys he really wanted (for some odd reason).  He can play with it when’s he’s bored I guess.


Jace got him a cup full of candy for his incessant sweet tooth and some airplane gliders they like to throw out our 5th story window to their brother below, who catches it and sends it back up the lift.  I’m pretty sure he lost both in 2 days.



He also got the set of magic balloons he saw on display and has been making the largest bubbles you’ve ever seen.


What he wanted most was a hockey stick he saw at a sports store.  I didn’t even know that’s what it was given its peculiar shape, and I’m not sure what he’ll do with it considering he doesn’t play, but it made his day.  He loves it.


We are so grateful to have Cade in our family.  Time has flown and it’s hard to believe he’s already twelve.  He started out as the cutest little bald, round-faced baby boy who loved to snuggle to a handsome, athletic, easy-going guy that we love.  Homeschooling has been a major challenge (for me), but he has stepped up and been so responsible in getting his work done independently and helping out his little brothers.  I know he misses being in middle school with his friends and playing football, but I know the experiences he’s having here will impact his future in positive ways.  Happy birthday Cade!!