Friday, November 30, 2012

Tyler getting old

As long as I’m catching up on birthdays…Tyler turned 11 last month!

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No “friend” party this year; just a simple celebration at home. We ate Mexican food and then trifle for dessert, opened presents and played his new Wii game.

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Tyler seems extra mature and responsible lately. He is in his last year of elementary school, and going out with a bang. I am proud of him that he chose to be involved in so many extra activities at school this year—band, chorus, honor choir, chess club…all this on top of city tackle football this fall, with practices up to 4 times per week. (Glad we survived that one with no injuries.)

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It seems like expectations for quality and quantity of homework have also increased in fifth grade. So one day Tyler was feeling the pressure of it all and came up with one of his famous analogies. “I feel like the dam has broken and I am just throwing sandbags at it as fast as I can to keep from drowning.”

Then some time later, out of the blue, he told me, “Mom, I think I’ve got enough sandbags…” and I knew just what he meant. He’s got things under control; he’s managing. I feel like we can talk about life and important issues pretty well. He’s a good conversationalist, and I love getting inside his head. Tyler is always throwing facts at me from books he’s read—things that are new to me; the kid is quickly surpassing my intelligence.

I have also been touched by the gentle big brother he is to his only little bro. Tyler has stepped up and really figured out how to care for Eli—he’s got the rocking and shushing and soothing down. I wasn’t sure how much interest he would take in our baby, but Tyler has been a great help to me. I am so glad he has a brother now.

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My Tyler is a wonderful, one-of-a-kind kid, and I am so thankful I get to be his mom.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Eden turns 6

Where does the time go? I need to back up and catch up again

Our Eden turned SIX this Fall!

We squeezed in a little celebrating on her actual birthdate (it was a busy night with dance, tumbling, and football).

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DSC_0713New scooter with light-up wheels, which was a hit…

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…but it almost seems my kids get more excited about gum than anything else! Some sort of gum must be a part of every birthday gift list.

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Then on the weekend…a complete family birthday party with dinner, brownies and silly games.

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And if that wasn’t enough, the following weekend (when it fit into our schedule) we had a friend birthday party for our girl. It was the first year she seemed to care much about doing this. She wanted a party where kids come and “their parents don’t stay.” None of this inviting a family or two over and calling it her birthday party.

So that’s what we did. She enjoys (or has little other choice than) to play Star Wars Wii games, and watch the Star Wars movies with her big brother…and she has sort of gotten into that whole thing. Then we saw these fun storm trooper cupcakes, and Eden decided she wanted a Star Wars party. Why not? It turned out to be lots of fun.

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Here is her best Jedi pose.

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Tyler and Tessa were a huge help!! As the kids arrived Tyler entertained them with a little magic trick he has. He was very eager to do this, and his audience ate it up.

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The kids put on simple robes and headed outside for Jedi training…

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…and a scavenger hunt to track Darth Vader and find the Death Star.

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We uncovered the Death Star pinata and beat it to death!

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Pizza and cupcakes with these cute, cute friends.

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For the grand finale, Tom was a great sport and lightsaber-fought anyone who dared challenge him. I couldn’t believe how much the kids loved this.

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We all had fun….and the party really wasn’t too complicated to plan. My personal victory was these goodie bags. I thought it would be cool, not to mention environmentally friendly, to have an authentic-looking party favor/bag for collecting pinata candy…so I decided to sew these bags from some black polyester fabric I already had. Then I Xacto-knifed the Star Wars logo out of freezer paper and used it as a stencil with some random gray paint I had. Not every crafty thing I try turns out “as envisioned,” so I was happy when this did!

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Easiest birthday (cup)cake I’ve ever made!

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We had fun celebrating over many days with our girl. Eden is a precious part of our family. Right in the middle, she bounces between being one of our big kids and one of our little kids, and she juggles it well. It’s been exciting to watch her become an elementary-schooler this year. She is a responsible, caring, sharp little person and  we love her!!!

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