Fourteen

Happy, happy birthday! We are all still basking in the glow of such a wonderful birthday party over the weekend. We celebrated, just us,  (yesterday by the time this posts) today with breakfast, signs, and special dinner. Three things I love about Asher: I love his sense of humor, his ability and talent with computers even to understanding how they build together also he is the much appreciated tech support for me and siblings, often!, finally, I love his determination. I love you, Buddy!

Asher is fourteen! Fourteen things about Asher with one to grow!

1.Favorite Scripture: Psalm 119:

105 Your word is a lamp to my feet
    and a light to my path.

2. Favorite Color: Dark Green

3.Favorite Hymn: God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

4.Favorite Place he’s been: Ama’s house  🙂

5.Favorite book(s): Light of the Last by Chuck Black, Inheritance (Eragon series)

6.)Favorite food: fruit salad

7.)Favorite dessert: Chocolate chocolate chocolate cake (his exact words)

8.)Favorite song: “Feel It” by Toby Mac

9.) Favorite album: This Is Not A Test

10.) Favorite poem: The Duke of Plaza-Toro

11.)Favorite subject: Sonlight reading in History and Literature (this surprised me and made me glad, glad, glad) followed closely by Math

12.)Favorite time of day: Morning

13.)Favorite movie: Captain America- Winter Soldier

14.)Favorite extra-curricular activity: Soccer!

15.)Favorite season of the year: this was a hard choice- finally, summer

A birthday verse for you, Asher, and one I scrawled quickly on one of your posters:

Psalm 119: 9-12

How can a young man keep his way pure?
    By guarding it according to your word.
10 With my whole heart I seek you;
    let me not wander from your commandments!
11 I have stored up your word in my heart,
    that I might not sin against you. Blessed are you, O Lord;
    teach me your statutes!

Sweet Birthday Celebration Fulfilled

Note: I always try to be careful of other peoples’ privacy with online photos. This is why there are not photos posted here of all the people gathered. I have permission to post my nephew in this space. Glad, glad, glad!

On Saturday, we were able to gather as a family and celebrate with a party that was a year ‘in the wait’ and it was just like our Lord to have it overflowing in goodness above and beyond what we could ask and imagine. Not only was everyone able to make it(except for my brother Ryan, who was hunting, yet even he made a facetime appearance! 🙂 ), but the special gift chosen for Asher from my parents arrived that very day (unexpectedly!)and he was able to have the two most awesome computer people in our family if I do say so myself(aka Grandad and Uncle Colin) on site to help with install and set-up.

Last year, Asher turned 13. He turns 14 tomorrow! We began a tradition of hosting an extended family birthday party for the thirteen year old, complete with fun caution tape and signs created by my sister when our oldest turned 13. 2015 was Asher’s debut into the teen years. We had to cancel the party. He chose to reschedule it for the next year because it was so important to him that family be able to make it and there was so much illness and scheduling conflicts we couldn’t make it happen.  It was a disappointing time.  Asher was determined, though, and convinced. He didn’t want to have it if we couldn’t make it successfully happen. He looked to the future with trust and determination. And so, several months ago, we set the date and sent the email invites and planned for the best.

Well, Saturday, that reschedule hope and dream came true. Every one of his 16 cousins was there. And… he got to celebrate with Jacob, beloved kid brother cousin, who turned 13 in August and had to wait for his caution tape, too. So, they were both wrapped. The older boys’ bedroom door is once again bedecked in caution tape. I had removed it last year in preparation for this momentous occasion and it has waited one long year to once again exhibit its yellow and black glory.

So, we had a glorious double 13 party full of all our favorite people.  And it was the chocolatiest chocolaty of teen parties, too. Asher requested Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Frosting and Chocolate Chips. Jacob requested Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie. I pour a chocolate ganache on top of this, also. I loved their chocolate, chocolate choices: o! so delicious! The cake was lit with 28 candles and they blew them out together in one perfect, fell swoop.

I think every one of us enjoyed some special time with various members. It was a blessing for me to watch my littles interact and play with all their other little cousins. There are eight, soon to be nine little cousins age 6 and under. We so so appreciate all our family who traveled in to celebrate and many traveled back the same night and some came right after traveling back from holiday visiting with other family.

We celebrated with big crock pots of Chili over Rice. There was soda of all sorts including Root Beer especially for Jacob. Grateful for the veggie platter supplied by my Mom. There were chips and crackers of all sorts, too. Decor, paper products, and Fritos from my sister.

And cake. And chocolate.

And the heart-swelling gladness of my son’s happy face and this dream of a party coming true beyond what he could have asked or imagined.

Thank You, Lord. Thank you, everyone. 

Twins Turn 5

My darlings turned 5 in July and my heart is so full, it overflows my eyes and trickles down my cheeks.Even now, when I try to write their birthday blog post!

I have so many memories and every year, when their birthday rolls around, I can’t help but remember the many weeks of pain and discomfort as they grew inside and we waited and waited. Making enchiladas for Todd’s birthday this year brought back so many memories as that was the meal we had the year they were due.

They had a chicken nugget dinner and they each chose their cake. They love the song Jesus Loves Me and Aymee will often break into the song, “Come Thou Fount” which is so interesting to me because that was the hymn I used to sing to all my babies as I rocked and rocked them.

A friend once said about their much longed for daughter: A dream is a wish your heart makes and you are my dream come true. This is exactly how I feel about my darlings. I remember the day I was driving down a windy road in North Carolina wondering/thinking that maybe my heart desire to have a daughter, a sister for my Abi and a little girl to name after my own beloved sister was just a wish of my own and not the will of God. The special key here is how much of a gift in life and in God my sister is to me.

And how astonished the day, I learned there were two, and then the day I learned they were girls! I remember standing outside our mini-van in Asheville- calling my mom, then my sister. Sharing the astonishing, amazing, wonderful news!

How grateful, beyond grateful I am to have them, to have gone through twin pregnancy safely, to have birthed them safely (first and only c-section), to have been able to nurse them successfully. And now, to begin kindergarten with them!

They are a dream of my heart come true and true to Himself, more than I could ever ask or imagine. Too full for words. So- photos!

 

 

Happy Birthday my darlings!

Ephesians 3:20-21

20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Newly 15

 

Nathanael is my Independence Day baby. No longer a baby. Newly 15. He and I celebrated his first fourth of July, together, in the hospital. 🙂 He still looks just as good in red as he did as a wee small one. 🙂 We celebrated his birthday a weekend early to make sure we got to fully enjoy it before he left for Summer Camp on his actual birthday.  Nathanael is an incredible blessing to me. He is a calming help to have around in a stress filled situation, a wonderful help to me when I am running errands, and my right hand man when Micah is away. I am so blessed to have him in my life.  Most recently, he helped me during my frantic Scout camp cooking endeavor- more on that later. 🙂

He chose a wonderful meal!

We enjoyed Roast, Corn on the Cob, Watermelon, Roasted Potatoes, Steamed Broccoli, Lemonade, and Sprite.

Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Icing and Vanilla Dairy Free Ice Cream.

I always check in with my children as to their comfort level what is posted on here. If they are not comfortable or okay- I do not put it up!

Nathanael’s 15th Birthday Interview

1.)Favorite food- Roast

2.)Favorite Songs- Ceasefire by For King and Country, Berlin by The Piano Guys

3.)Favorite Poem- Oliphaunt by JRR Tolkein

4.)Favorite Day of the Week- Sunday

5.)Favorite Bird- Crow (Yes, really!)

6.)Favorite Bible Verses – Psalm 1:1-2

7.)Favorite Hymn- Be Thou My Vision

8.)Favorite Book- The Lord of the Rings

9.)Favorite Music Group- For King and Country

10.)Favorite Activity- Going to library and running errands in general 🙂 Perhaps this is because I make this a one- on- one time and we often get lemonade or tea and combine talking with navigating different stores. It is very enjoyable!

11.)Favorite Movies- The Empire Strikes Back, Two Towers (LLOTR), and Winter Soldier (Captain America)

12.)Favorite past-time/hobby- Building Legos

13.) Favorite place he’s been- North Carolina

14.)Favorite Lego set- the new Millenium Falcon

15.) Favorite Website- Worldmag.org

And one to grow…

16.) Something he is looking forward to- Scout camp, Family weekend coming up in August

Happy, happy birthday Nathanael!  You are truly a gift from God!

Celebrating Todd

 

Father’s Day Weekend was a grand celebration. Todd likes to claim the month of June as his. 🙂 His birthday frequently falls on Father’s Day. We had a wonderful gathering the first weekend in June for Micah, and dear friends of ours were there. My sweet friend, the wife, has a birthday that often falls on Mother’s Day (as do two of my children)… and her and her husband’s solidarity with Todd’s experience was revealing to me. It is hard when your birthday falls on another celebrated day! Especially when you are a parent and it is a ‘parent’ day that is the other event. I think it is hard when you are grown-up and it seems ‘easy’ to let it be minimized- but the longer I walk this path I’m on in the Lord, the more convinced I become that special days are important. They are opportunities for honor and for relationship building and for memory making. I was renewed in mind to celebrate Todd for the great Dad that he is and also to celebrate his birthday! And to make sure it felt like both and not just one all smooshed together. 🙂

Grace fell upon me and I realized we would split the weekend and celebrate his birthday on one of the days and Father’s Day on the other. I say grace fell upon me because the whole week prior I was consumed and so very worried about pressing issues in other areas of our life that I could hardly think straight to plan a birthday.

I enjoyed several shopping trips with different children and one, in particular, blessed me, with his special gift and loving heart toward his Dad.

We had a wonderful weekend full of so much great food!, movies, game playing (not by me), and an evening walk …maybe- two?

Chicken Enchiladas, Spanish Rice, a special Salad with crushed garlic and Italian dressing, Watermelon- the birthday feast.

Banana cake with Strawberry icing. This we got to share with my Dad as we enjoyed this on Father’s Day and that was very special! Both being able to visit with my Dad on Father’s Day and also sharing birthday cake with him.

We had Cinnamon Rolls and Scrambled Eggs for our traditional birthday breakfast and our regularly scheduled but always amazing Saturday night Pizza. Todd did make this… this is his specialty.

I love you, Todd!

Eight

 

My Joshua turned eight on Mother’s Day this year. So precious.

His interesting perspective and original remarks add such color to our lives!

We had quite the extended weekend of celebrating with the cello recital, his birthday, Mother’s Day, and Abi’s birthday. 🙂

Eight year old Birthday Interview

1.)Favorite food- Chocolate Cake 🙂

2.)Favorite book- Redwall

3.)Favorite Hymn- Come Thou Fount

4.)Favorite Song- Restart by the Newsboys

5.)Favorite color(s)- Gold, Red, Blue

6.) Favorite day of the week- Sunday

7.) Favorite instrument (this seems to change frequently! this interview took place right after he had enjoyed a visit with his cousin who plays this instrument. grin.) -Trombone

8.) Favorite animal- bunny

And one to grow….

9.) Favorite place he’s been- Ama’s house!

God bless you, my son.

Second Timothy 2:1

 You therefore, my [a]son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

 

 

 

The Things They Say- sweet girlie

Today is Joshua’s birthday! With great joy, anticipation, and excitement, we celebrate.

I am blessed to be in a clean, sunlit-slant kitchen first thing.

Todd has joined me and with him, three small sweet girlies.

I am bustling about beginning to set out supplies for our traditional poster making.

Eager eyed little girls are watching. Curious and, twitching to work with art supplies.

I tell them I am getting ready- for – today is Joshua’s birthday! He is eight years old, I say. I gather the pink art bin to return it to its shelf. And as I go…

A little voice pipes up…”Does that mean he gets a big plate?”

Oh, how we laugh in joy with our small, delightful girl.

In our house, when you turn ten (double digits) you move up to a grown up size dinner plate. Little eyes are always watching as this observant comment illustrates!

So, I explain to my girl, he is not double digits yet. Double digits gets the big plate.

I only have four in little plates now.

My heart.

Melodee. The Things They Say.