Happy Birthday Silas!

One thing about blogging that I love is memory keeping.  I began this blog when Silas was only a year old.  I can scroll back and reminisce through each of his Birthday's.  Which is especially nice if you have a memory like a sieve. 

My last "tummy baby" is eight years old.  
The years rush by so fast it leaves me breathless.  I really do love this age though.  There is a sweetness, and softness that happens when a boy is between the barbaric preschool years and the onset of adolescence.  It is a beautiful but brief window of opportunity to pour in and invest.  
A few more blinks and these last couple years of boyhood will be replaced with becoming a man.  

Every year Silas covers his ears when we sing "Happy Birthday".  It's just his thing.  I think I would miss it if he stopped. 

Once again we kept the party simple.  Just us.  We are enough to fill the room anyhow. 
We made the evening special with bags of popcorn, a family movie, corn dogs for supper and smores cake for dessert. 
Tomorrow after church he's going with a couple friends to a Trampoline gym for an hour.  

Aili is our resident baker.  She has gotten very good at baking but occasionally has a mishap that we have to chalk up to "live and learn".

Today we learned that when you make a very large cake, it also takes a longer time than expected to bake all the way through.  
I was away in the morning so wasn't around to quality control.  I knew it looked a little sunken in the middle but I didn't expect it to be mostly raw.  We did salvage the outside edge and everyone got a piece before it went in the garbage.  It kind of looks like pudding cake. 

Oh well.  Makes for a funny memory. 

Two new Lego sets and this guy is in a state of bliss.  
He's a Lego Junkie.  
Or maybe a Lego whiz kid.  He's crazy good at creating and building his own structures. 

This kid will disappear into his room with a new Lego set and a few minutes later he's got it built. 
I'm pretty sure it would take me hours...and I'd get distracted part way through and lose interest. 

He wants to be a Lego set designer when he grows up....that or live in my basement playing Legos wen he's 30. 

His obsession takes the guess work out of buying gifts anyway. 

I sure do love this kid.
More than that I really really like him.

Silas sees the silly in everything and has a quick sense of humour that keeps us laughing.  Although he has zero concept of "appropriate" and seems to have been born without a brain/ mouth filter. He is smart, focused, and curious.  He is such a sweet big brother with a huge heart for his little sisters.  In the past year or so a much softer more affectionate side of Silas has emerged and I'm loving it.  The preschooler who used to resist hugs (or touch of any kind) and didn't have much interest in snuggles is now constantly coming in for hugs, kissing his Mama on the cheek, and curling up next to me on the couch.  I'm more than happy to oblige.  I love the sweetness, compliance, and empathy that is beginning to emerge and grow.  

He's still quirky and slightly eccentric but I love that about him. 

As of now Silas is convinced that he would never want to get married but would much rather live alone with a pet turtle.   Somehow I can totally picture that.  Maybe a few bins of Legos thrown in there too.  

Happy Birthday Si-Fry! 


Christmas 2014 and starting a New Year.

We kept things pretty simple this year.  
Actually, I'm not sure we know how to do "not simple" when it comes to holidays. 
We are easy to please I guess.  
Or just a bit lazy.

Six stockings remind me how blessed (and tired) we are! 

Christmas morning with a house full of kids is a lot of fun. 

Especially when they get this excited about a pack of gum.
Or a little book.

or noodles.

The biggest gift went to Miss Cece! 

She got a suit case all her own. 
A "Trunky" suitcase that she will be using for our upcoming trip to Belize.  

In fact, we bought all our kids gifts they can use on our trip.

We're just practical that way.  

Annie got her first dolly.  

Silas was very happy with the bin of random Lego pieces that he got from Aili.

We got smart this year.  Most of Elijah's gifts were food.  Not just any food...his favorites. 
He appreciated them so much more than he would expensive toys.   In fact he was thrilled. 

 It's hard to beat a big bag of popcorn.
Although a new knife made Roman pretty happy too. 

After a relaxing morning at home opening gifts we went over to my parents house for some cousin time and a big fancy dinner.

Silas trying on his new snorkel set. 

The kid table.  I love that I caught Silas with his arm around his little sister. I have no idea what they were chatting about there. 

It was good to spend time with family.  It made me appreciate all I have.  The traditions I was raised with that I can pass on to my own children.  The family I am fortunate to have.  

I'm thankful for parents who love me and all my crazy house full of kids.  For siblings and sibling in laws, and a whole gaggle of nieces and nephews.  Some of us who share features and DNA, some of us are related by marriage, others through the beauty of adoption or simply just by love and belonging.  We are imperfect, and frustrating, and sometimes even messy...but we are a family. 

I'm also very thankful that we were able to spend this Christmas with Tiny Princess "Annie".   We are hoping for more to come, but we take nothing for granted.  When you don't know if you will have another Christmas with a loved one you begin to see and experience things differently.  It's like being given the gift of having blinding assumptions stripped away.  The ironic thing is that none of us are promised another year, or even another day with the ones we love.  

Being reminded of that spurs me on to treasure the joy in simple moments, and to make memories. 

Maybe that should be my charge as we begin another year. 

As I travel through the monotony of each new day may I see it as a gift to be stewarded well.  Our legacy, and memories...the sum of our life is made up of those mundanely beautiful, often unmemorable, moments when we choose to push back the darkness a little further.  

Happy New Year my dear friends.

May you shine His light in 2015.