Posts Tagged ‘birthday’

Keeve the Thirteen-Year-Old

November 18, 2011

Today, my baby boy turned 13, and despite all the warnings…. I wasn’t quite ready. He’s my baby boy for goodness sake. He is our only child, out of four, who was born in the USA. (We have two Canadians and one Colombian.) I felt the need to display the American flag picture for all to see.  He was so darling…. and the sole child with an American photo shoot.

We also tried to take a NICE family photo during his birthday party… but I guess I didn’t stress the word NICE loudly enough.  Believe it or not, THIS is the best one we got…… (sigh)

Yes, the birthday boy has his eyes crossed.  Typical.  Why am I surprised???  I don’t know.  He does bring lots of laughter and joy to our home, for which I’m thankful.  Keeve was our easy child.  From birth, every time anyone looked at him he couldn’t help but smile.  See?  Darling

I tried to liven up the party and did a little jig for Keeve…. he picked up one of the birthday cards he had just opened and held it up to me.  It said, “WOW!”… then he turned it over so it said, “MOM”  Hahahahaha.   Then I stopped dancing.  If every kid was as mild-mannered and sweet as Keeve, this world would be a better place… albeit moving at a MUCH slower pace.

Happy Birthday, to my little sunshine huggy buns. (Oops, did I type that out loud?)


Many Prayers Later

September 16, 2011

Two days ago my first born son turned 15-years-old.  He is taller than me.  I’m not sure if I could take him anymore.  He has more muscles than Jack LaLanne. ……..Ok, no he doesn’t.  I just looked up Jack on google.  But my son has the potential of turning into the juicing giant.  Wasn’t it just a few months ago when my chubby, blonde little boy was yelling every word and stuttering because he was so excited about life???  Wasn’t he telling me, just weeks ago, that “Daddy take good care for you, Mom.”  Where have the years gone? 

Sadly, said son’s birthday happened to be on the busiest day of our week…. really, the ONLY day we all leave the house together.  I did make cupcakes and take them to co-op… like all good homeschooling moms.  He asked for vanilla cupcakes with vanilla icing.  WOW!  Go crazy!  I called him from Walmart to make sure I got the right kind.  Then I asked what kind of cupcake papers he wanted…. Dora… Mickey Mouse… Cars… Cinderella.  He said he didn’t care as long as the cake and icing were vanilla.  I bought purple.

And what gift did my 15-year-old ask for on his birthday?  Money to go on a missions trip to build houses in Mexico in October.  What kind of kid asks for missions trip money for his birthday?  Maybe the kind of kid who asks every Friday night if he can go downtown and feed homeless people.  Or the kind of kid who spent his summer vacation feeding men on skid row in Los Angeles.  He recently told his Dad that he didn’t think he was doing enough for others.  To which my wise husband replied, “You are doing WAY more than the average kid your age.”  My brilliant son retorted, “I’m not an average kid.”  SO TRUE!  I couldn’t be more proud of my 15-year-old son. 

However, (that always means the next words are important and contradictory in nature) this is my one in four children whom I have probably mentioned in more prayers than all the others.  Okay, that’s not true because my 17-year-old daughter went to Africa for three weeks this summer…. they might be tied.  His leadership ability has been obvious to me for many years…. I hoped and prayed it wouldn’t be for the dark side.  And his drive is unbelievable.  Even when he was nine, he would get up early and do all his chores and as much school work as he could…. before I stumbled out of my room to whip us some breakfast.  (For those who know me well, they are thinking “That’s nothing… she sleeps in.”  It’s true.  But still!)

We had a family gift opening for Aus… with little girls invited.  :o)  But he simply wanted $$ for missions, so no grand party was had.  Weird, I know.

The Birthday Girl

July 15, 2011

It was another round of firsts for our little Colombian princess… first birthday party… first birthday cake… first birthday gifts… first birthday decorations… ALL for her!  It was surprising to me that her birth was not celebrated in the foster home because Colombians celebrate EVERYTHING!  She said they did sing Happy Birthday, but that was it… for everyone in the house.  Strange.

Nora has been counting down the days to her 8th birthday for over a month… without understanding the numbers above 14.. well, at least not in English.  She did have an idea of what to expect because we’ve celebrated six big events since she’s been home, but none of them were for kids.  I wonder if she thought we only had parties for ages 16 and up?? When I questioned her for birthday requests, her only one was, “Can I have a cake with my name on it?”  SURE YOU CAN!  We went right down to the local bakery and ordered a Tinkerbell cake with N O R A written across the top!  The last time any of my kids got a store-bought cake with their name on it was when they turned one and we got free first birthday cakes from Safeway! 

We had a family party on her actual birthday with cupcakes.  She was darling.  She smiled so big, I thought she might pop as we sang happy birthday!  Of course we make it really exciting by yelling WOOOO in between each line.  This coming Sunday is her party (with her cake that says NORA) for her friends… we’ve been waiting for some of them to get back from vacation.  I’ll post more pictures then.

We are so blessed to have Nora in our family!  So blessed to share God’s love with her!  So blessed to have her lighting up our home and lives!


April 8, 2011

No, that’s not 45 more days of school!!!  (There’s only 33!)  Today I embarked upon this milestone in my life…. half of 90 years old.  It’s not that bad.  Other than not being able to read some of the tiny print on my birthday cards and the plant ID tags that I received.  Okay, or the free movie popcorn tickets.  Thankfully the numbers on currency are really big and always in the corner!  Yes, it’s my birthday!

How did I spend my day?  Oh, not exactly as planned, let me tell you!  Sleeping in was a wonderful pleasure.  After all these years, it still rates right up there with reading novels and gardening! After sauntering down stairs, I discovered my daughter cooking up my yum yum yummy breakfast… homemade apples and cinnamon oatmeal and special scrambled eggs!  Thank you, Larisa!  BUT, half way through my breakfast, I realized it was 10:30 am and I was going out to lunch with some friends at 11:15!!  So I put my birthday breakfast in the fridge for tomorrow!

Birthday lunch was fun with seven sweet friends!  Lots of laughs and turtles.  (Remember, my un-wanted turtle collection?  It is continuing!… potholders, garden kneeling pad, RING, etc. etc.) Thanks, Friends!

Upon returning to the castle, my son tells me that he wants to take a short cut over the canal to his friend’s house.  He tells me that he balances on this little pipe over the water WHILE carrying his bike.  I say NO!  He said it’s perfectly safe, as would any 14-year-old lad whose brain is saturated with testosterone.  I say NO!  So he drags me out to the canal to see the balancing pipe.  Well, it IS perfectly safe.  It is over the canal, but the canal goes under a HUGE cement overpass at that point.  There is a pipe…. but it is next to a wall that he leans on for balance.  And the water it is over is a puddle… only 12 inches below him… and eight inches deep.  So I let him go.  All is well, ….. but no. 

Nora was with us on the dangerous pipe exploration trip and went down on her hands on the ground in some cactus.  OUCH!  The spikes are as thin as hairs and my 45-year-old eyes can’t see them.  We arrive home and I google how to remove cactus thorns.  Lo, and behold!  I love google!  I spent the next hour smearing Elmer’s school glue on her hands in two layers and waiting for it to dry.  I peeled it off like sunburned skin and the ouchy was no more!  I love google.  Did I mention that?

Off to a birthday party at my parents and VOILA!  I survived my 45th birthday without scars.

It Ain’t What it Used to Be

September 15, 2010

Yesterday was not only my eldest son’s golden birthday (14 on the 14th) but it was my youngest son’s introduction to headgear.  Eeeegads.  My brother wore headgear in the late 1970s, but times have changed and so has headgear.  I’ve made a solemn promise never to post pictures on facebook…. or my blogs.  A mother’s got to protect the dignity of her children, after all.  I also promised son #1 that if he made fun of son #2 I would make some headgear for him to wear and pictures would be broadcast for all to see.  (I’m the nice mom, remember?)

So, the purpose of the contraption is to pull the entire upper bridge, including attached cheek bones, forward… while holding the forehead and chin where they are.  I’ve never seen anything like it.  At least it’s a pretty blue color.  :o)  Dr. Ortho said that our son didn’t need to wear it to school.  I said, “Oh yes he does!”  Yet another advantage to homeschooling…. cutting headgear time down by two-thirds.  He even wears it to sleep.  Not my idea of a good time, but he’s coping well.

Every time I see Mr. Headgear, I am surprised by the metal bar dissecting his face.  Hopefully I’ll get used to it… it just looks so much like a transformer, or a cling-on, or a muzzle.  I’m the mom, though, so I still think he’s cute.  I told him at bedtime that we actually do need to take a picture of him wearing the headgear so his children will know how we tortured him.  That’s what parents do.

Eventful Night

June 2, 2010

Not only did I drag my sweet husband to the farmer’s market to buy organic veggies tonight, but he also went with me to Game Stop for a nephew’s birthday gift and to Best Buy for my non-working computer AND to Borders book store for wandering.  Great night!

So, we had a no-plastic-spending rule in effect this week (you know, just to see if we can live like the Amish)… so I found a bag of quarters in one of my other purses and emptied a piggy bank and came up with $32 for the Farmer’s Market!  Every single vender was thrilled with my change!  Oh, and the haul was good…. cherry tomatoes, Roma tomatoes on the vine, zucchini, squash, green onions, sweet peppers, cukes and local honey!  Sweet!  Literally!  Makes me look forward to lunch tomorrow!  I’m hoping the local honey helps my sinus situation.

Next stop: Best Buy!  We bought my laptop there in October… yes, only seven months ago.  Last week when I was not feeling well and needed a romantic movie night… right in the middle of the movie the computer just up and quit.  Gave up the ghost.  Dead as a door nail, and we all know how dead door nails are!  It was plugged in and everything…. no, there was not tornadic activity to warrant an extra surge of unwanted power.  It just quit.  Made me mad.  Larisa was not nearly as mad, as she does her now-very-overdue algebra on the laptop….. ’nuff said.  So I take it to the Geek Squad at BB… and the guy plugs it in and it works.  Makes me look like a complete lame brain.  Anyway, algebra, here we come!  No money spent.  Good.

Next stop: Game Stop!  Seems my nephew needed a DS Lite Transformers Starter Kit for his birthday… you know, the one with the stylus that transforms into a monster.  It’s good to be specific, then you don’t get things you don’t want like roses dipped in liquid gold, but I digress to a topic worthy of an entire ungrateful blog.  So, on my third visit to gaming stores, I FINALLY locate said Transformers Starter Kit!  Bingo!  I need to mail that tomorrow for it to make it in time!  I like being the Auntie that buys the cool toys!  I’m cool.  See.

Last stop: Borders! Does it make me a nerd that I L-O-V-E that store? It has books in every single one of my interest categories!  (Albeit only two less-than-average adoption books, but they made up for it in gardening.) And my interests are vast!  I limited myself to a single volume that was drastically on sale… $24.99 down to $5.99… minus my 20% teacher’s discount… $5.23… and I had enough quarters left over to pay without plastic! So proud of myself.  But I lingered long in the gardening/back-to-basics section.  There is a book titled something like Grow All Your Food in Your Backyard, or some such likeness.  I want that book…. bad.  It rates right up there with Back to the Basics and The Encyclopedia of Country Living.  I could take either of those books and go live out in the country and be jes’ fine!  Bee raisin’, log house buildin’, soap makin’, gardenin’, chicken raisin’, it’s all right up my alley.  Yep, my sister will think I’m a nerd again this Christmas when she reads my Wish List!

See!  A great night!

Breaking Headline News

April 9, 2010

Yes, I’ve been absent from MSJ for a week!  Eeeegads!  I do declare that I’ve been a tad on the occupied side.  Here are the latest headlines that should shed light on my week:

Forty-Four Year Old is Elated with Chair.  This, of course, makes my fantastic, new, green, down-wrapped reading chair sound fuddy-duddy-ish, but it’s not!  It even came with an ottoman…. and it matches my bedspread perfectly.  If you know me at all, or even slightly, you may be aware that I am a reading fiend…. a book hound… honestly, I have a wanderlust for literature.  Up to ten tomes can be found on and under my bedside table at all times.  Topics range from Christian Historical Fiction to Adoption to Devotionals for Women to homeschooling to encyclopedias to Arizona History and even Strunk and White Elements of Style.  All that to say…. I can hardly believe that I waited until my 44th birthday to request a reading chair for my bedroom.  It is a little green slice of heaven for me sitting there in my room!

Sixteen-Year-Old Sews Up $50K!  This is a prophetic headline, as my daughter finishes hand-beading and sewing her prom dress that she is entering in the JoAnn’s Prom Dress Contest.  I knew this kid had talent…. but seriously, she can sew straighter lines than I can…. and I’ve been sewing for 127 years!  And Beading!  Be still my bead-loving-heart!  The contest prizes are almost unbelievable!  $50,000 + $1,000 JoAnn’s gift card for first place!  WOW!  Can you say C O L L E G E?  Second place: $20,000 + $500 gift card.  Can you say C A R?  Third place: $10,000 + $250 gift card.  Can you say A W E S O M E   V A C A T I O N    W I T H    M O M?  Ten runner-up prizes of $1,000 + $100 gift card EACH!  Can you say S A V I N G S   A C C O U N T?  The winner is not announced until July or August, but when Larisa wins one of these fantastic prizes, you can bet your bottom dollar it will be broadcasted live here!  A sneak peek:

Children Dragged Through Museum.  This, again, sounds harsh and un-fun.  But no.  Yes, it was my birthday yesterday.  You usually get to do things you love on the day celebrating your birth, right?  Well, I’m a closet history buff who stores trivial historical knowledge in my head.  Take me to a museum and I start to salivate.  Drop me off in an old cemetary with simply a canteen and I’ll be overjoyed.  It was my husband’s idea too, not mine.  When he suggested we tour a Native American museum on the day celebrating his wife’s birth, I was all for it.  A lively, minute docent leeched onto our family and was thrilled that I asked questions and needed detailed information about all the fascinating items on display.  My family slowly distanced themselves from me and my new friend.  Off in the corner I heard my husband tell our children while nodding toward the tour guide, “THERE is your mom when she’s 63!”  Grief!  And on my birthday!

There’s more… but I’ll save some for tomorrow!

Happy B-day, Rickey!

February 3, 2010

Today is my husband’s 43rd birthday so I thought I’d share some photos of him at what he does best.  This first example is “Being Cool.”  See how he’s instructing his fine young men to be cool too.  It’s an important trait to master.  Being cool.  It’s also all about crossing your arms and pushing your muscles to look bigger than they actually are.  Being cool.  And sunglasses.  Not just any sunglasses… cool sunglasses, like the ones Rick is sporting here.  He purchased them in a women’s boutique in Sedona when the supremely awesome sales lady told him that men from Scottsdale buy her glasses all the time…. and, get this…. that he looks like Elvis.  She could have sold him bedazzled capri jeans for himself!!!  Being cool!

Here, we have Rick protecting his most valuable asset, his beautiful 16 year old daughter. Being scary, that’s what this is called.  It’s important when you have a 16 year old daughter.  Being scary.  Rick looks kind of teddy-bear-ish in this picture, but that’s because you can’t see his concealed weapon that he only shows to teenage boys. Being scary.  He has given his daughter a stack of his business cards to hand out in case any teenage boys want to talk to her.  It’s an easy out for her, “Here’s my dad’s number.  You can talk to him first…”  It hasn’t actually happened, probably because the truth about the concealed weapon has been leaked. Being scary. He’s good at it, if need be.

This is what he does best, here in this last picture of the photo tribute for his 43rd birthday… Being fun. The untranied eye may not be able to decipher it, but let me help you. See how his mouth is? He has either just said something funny, or is in the middle of saying something funny.  Being fun.  This may not seem like an all-encomposing-highly-important trait, but it is.  Being fun.  It was actually a requirement to marry into our family.  Being fun.

Happy Birthday, Rickey!  We all love you!

Keeve, Keeve, Keeve!

November 17, 2009

This past week, instead of blogging, I’ve been trying to keep up with my youngest son, Keeve, who is in the midst of his birthday week (why do only one day?!?) as well as other star-studded events that have blocked me from blogging.  For his party he wanted green balloons, green streamers, a green table cloth… and to play football at the park with all his friends (including a 38-year-old friend who was the only person over 12 years old that made the list.)

(that’s Kenadee!)

The excitement continued on Saturday (I always want to yell HEY! after spelling Saturday… like the Bay City Rollers) when the Keevester threw FOUR touchdown passes for the Ravens…. the first football team he’s ever played on.  I even brought my camera to the right game!!!  Uncle Rob (he’s my brother) was coaching and his cousin Drew (who, incidentally, was born on the same exact day as Keeve!) is also on his team.

THEN, if being a sports star was not attention-getting enough, Keeve was the grand prize winner of a 50-50 draw from Austin’s hockey team.  No, we don’t support gambling, but we do support Austin’s hockey team and 50% of the Rickster’s hard-earned money was going directly to Aus’ team.  Totally not gambling.  So Rick told the kids he would buy them each two tickets, but if they won, they had to split the winnings with him.  I bought six tickets of my own, so I didn’t have to split Rick’s money with him.  It didn’t help.  Anyway, Keeve’s name was drawn and he got this colorful envelope congratulating him on being the team’s winner…. are you wondering how much it was??? 

We were at the rink about an hour before the draw and they counted just over $500.  We figured it would be $260 or so.  Nope, $371!  I can’t believe it either.  So, being the saving-maniac that he is, Rick ALWAYS has the kids save 40% of any money they make.  They each have large savings accounts, thanks to their father.  I, on the other hand, would gladly help them spend it on fun and exciting things that they probably didn’t need.  So after tithing, savings and paying back a minor loan to me, Keeve was itching to get to a store.  Today in Staples I was finding the correct printer ink and I glanced over and Keeve pulled $70 out of his pocket.  My eyes lit up!  I already know what I want for Christmas!  But no.  He had his eye on several Nerf guns at Walmart and other weapons of warfare….. a black and white checkered Ford Mustang seat-belt belt, green sunglasses and a body pillow.  The luxury items of an 11-year-old!

Tomorrow is his actual birthDAY… so we’re off to Krispy Kreme and then his cousin’s birthday party.

(I won a gallon of Alpenrose ice cream when I was 6!… winning runs in the family.)

Congratulations, to my athlete sister, Christy!

January 19, 2009


Here we are at the PF Chang’s marathon in Phoenix, AZ on January 18, 2009, Christy’s sister, Christy’s mom, Christy, and Christy’s niece.  She rocked the house, baby.  This was her first half marathon and she trained for 4 months.  In snow and sleet and rain and horrible Vancouver, WA weather.  She basically kept at 16 minute mile walking pace for more than three hours…. which is really fast for those of us who aren’t training.

I’m so proud of her!  She was never an athlete growing up, like our brother and yours truly.  She was a cheerleader, and as all athletes know, cheerleaders aren’t athletes.  (Don’t write me hate mail… we all know there is some athletic ability needed for jumping up and down.)  When Christy was filling out her marathon application, the bottom line said “signature of athlete”.  We laughed and told her to cross it out and write cheerleader.  he he he.

Anyway, she’s one up on me.  I’ve not even thought of doing a marathon.  I think I’ve mentioned my aversion to running on my blog before.  I don’t really get it.  Unless you’re being chased.  Why run when you can jazzercize???  (totally joking, ok!)

Christy is here in sunny AZ with her husband, Big Sexy, for the marathon and for her birthday tomorrow!  Yeah!  It’s party time!  We have BIG plans on hitting the scrapbooking store in Mesa that stocks all of Heidi Swapp’s goodies.  Whooo HOooo!

Way to go, baby Chrissy!  You’re the bomb, baby.