Thursday, December 29, 2011

I Guess We Agreed to Let Him Turn 7...

We told Sam many times that we weren't letting him turn 7, that he would have to stay 6, that we would put books on his head to squish him down, etc. (and he got a little upset everytime we said he really thought we were serious or had the ability to do it--we're so mean!). But we finally relented, after much begging and pleading. I mean, all the other kids in his class are doing it, why shouldn't he?

Actually, I finally accepted the milestone after he lost his 2 front just didn't seem fitting for a 6-year-old to have so many adult teeth in his mouth. And he really is a good boy, he deserved it.

So we celebrated with his school friends by having a Hot Wheels birthday party. I always carefully direct the brainstorming of possible birthday party themes to center them around decorations I can find around the house or in nearby dumpsters. I'm really so green, you should be proud.

I got a little caught up in making driver's licenses for the boys off of the Hot Wheels website--you can upload photos and edit them to make them personalized. I heard from one of the moms that the boys are still trying to solve the mystery of how I had a driver's license with their picture on it ready when they got there (they don't know that I used photos from a field trip I helped with and that I had them ready in time because I was throwing piles of papers and laundry into the bathtub to hide with the shower curtain because I ran out of time to clean the house).
The boys wore their Hot Wheels shirts to get in the spirit...

...and Annie didn't want to be left out so we dug this shirt out of the boys' old clothes

Because I was running so late, I convinced Jeremy (who was out test-driving the Fun Bus for a youth group function the next day) to go pick up the party-goers from school in the Fun Bus...I wish I could have been there to see their reaction!

So, we played relay races with Hot Wheels cars and tubes (that I got out of a dumpster) and Happy Meal buckets from Halloween, we played Hot Potato (with a Hot Wheel, of course) and then the big event was making their own Hot Wheels tracks out of cardboard and tape.

When the frenzy of cardboard cutting and taping started, I was certain that someone was going to cut their hand or get their eye poked and I should have had them sign medical waivers or gotten safety-scissors or something (but of course, my main concern was what the other mothers would think of me, not that a child might be bleeding--I'm so shallow sometimes!) but everyone did okay and seemed to have fun, and the other boys' mothers made vague references to future playdates, so I think I've retained my standing in the Mother-hood.

It was fun to see how each boy's creation showed his personality...Evan's was well thought out and carefully constructed (and decorated)...

...Dylan, who is quiet and thoughtful worked by himself in the hallway and made The House of Pain "because if you crashed into any of the obstacles, it could really hurt."

...Noah, who is a creative thinker, made a rocket ship and spent most of the party inside of it...
...and Sam spent most of the time going from one friend to the other and encouraging
them and working together with them (and ate a lot of cookies while doing it).

We celebrated Samuel's actual birthday in Kansas City. We had a fun day in downtown KC and then dinner and cake at Grandma and Papa's home (Jeremy's grandparents).
First stop, Kaleidoscope at the Hallmark headquarters. It's totally free and kids can make all sorts of crafts using all kinds of supplies. It was perfect for creative and crafty Sam!

The kids can make a puzzle that gets cranked through a machine that cuts the pieces. I don't know who had more fun making them--Sam or his Uncle Jack!

We had lunch at Fritz's--where there are lots of miniature trains and a train even delivers your food!

We did what seems to be turning into a family tradition--taking pictures of silly faces while we wait for the food to come!

The ice skating lessons paid off--we went ice skating outside by the huge Christmas tree, accompanied by Christmas music and sunshine-y weather.
Sam did great! He skated on his own most of the time (I posted this picture to show him skating, but also because I think the man in the foreground is very brave and slightly out-of-place)

My back was a little tired because of a lot of holding Evan and Annie I decided to go for a couple of loops with just Evan and Sam...

...and Annie stood on the side with Daddy and cried through the glass.

The cake back at Jeremy's grandparents' house really was pretty big, though Jeremy's hand in the foreground makes it seem the size of a cupcake.

So now he is officially 7 and he makes weird jokes and pulls suitcases all by himself and gets embarrassed if Barney is on t.v. but still likes to snuggle and play dolls with Annie. But 7 feels so grown up...just wait, next he'll be driving!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011



...we hiked Walnut Canyon (and Jeremy did his best to disobey all the rules)
...the kids took ice skating lessons (so fun!)

...Evan wanted to take his toy microphone into church and I let him only on the condition that he use it to interview people

...I decided I have a new motto in life: "Don't fight it, find the joy in it." So I've been trying to say yes more often and let go of my agenda a little. A little. One example is letting an afternoon of errands go longer than necessary so that the kids could do one of their favorite things in Flagstaff: climb on the rock wall that separates the parking lot at Target from Michaels. Don't ask me why they love it, I really don't understand, but we do it almost every time!

...we stopped on our way past Little America to partake in 50 cent ice cream cones and climb on the dinosaur.

...I enjoyed a mid-morning snack of cupcake tea and a spaghetti cookie, delivered right to the computer desk.

...I cooked dinner on my grandmother's old waffle iron (with her special recipe that was one of my favorite family traditions at her house) and (I think) my great-grandma's cast iron skillet. I felt so connected to the past!
...these two have become great friends and dressed up like prairie people.

...they didn't have plates on the prairie so they ate lunch in their cabin in front of the fire using muffin tins.

...we enjoyed a warm, pre-snow afternoon at the park.

...we did another of our favorite activities: leaving Annie at home--just kidding, we did "rolling down the hill". I like it as much as them!

...we had fun with my cell phone camera and the sunset. We never got the timing just right, but we did get one picture where Sam looks headless and he thought that was awesome!

...we went and saw the Lollipop Nutcracker--a shorter version of the nutcracker for kids. I shouldn't have told Evan that he would get a lollipop at the end because he asked me for it about every two minutes.

...we discovered our tickets were for the seats right next to my old college roommate (and dear friend) Amanda. I complained that the picture of me would look wrinkly and she suggested that in a few years, I would think it looked great comparatively speaking so I decided to stop complaining about wrinkly pictures because she makes a good point.
...Sam lost his first upper tooth on his first snow day ever (I got the nerve up to pull it out). When many adults mentioned that if he lost the other one, he could sing" All I Want For Christmas is My Two Front Teeth", he started really working on the other one that didn't seem very loose, and 3 days later, we pulled that one out, too!

(And he learned all the words to the song by himself and sang it in front of all the residents in a retirement home this weekend! So cute!)