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He’s Another Year Older!

He’s Another Year Older!

Somehow, Nathan is turning 11 this year!!  Amazing!

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Thanks to some fun boxes in the mail, there were interesting packages to open up throughout the week.  That is always a highlight of birthdays around here!

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We like to stretch it out (Nathan’s even lasts until we go to Idaho for the 4th of July!)  Science themed books were a hit several times this year, including one that involved a flaming candle experiment.

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Our family birthday celebration included a morning of mini golf and an afternoon of Wii U.  (I’m better at one than the other–you can guess which).

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Salad bar was the dinner of choice, with raspberry mocha mousse instead of birthday cake for dessert.  Yum!

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I am amazed at how my son is growing, both in height and in character.  He is so interesting to talk to and is increasingly fun to play games with.  He can often be a very kind big brother and continues to be excited about his faith.  It is sad to see some of his childhood interests begin to fade, but there is still plenty of boy in my soon-to-be young man!

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A Visit to the Pridelands

A Visit to the Pridelands

As one more part of Than’s birthday celebration, we were given tickets to see the Lion King musical in the big theater downtown.  This is a show that Than has been wanting to see for years, and it was a treat to be able to share the experience with family.

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The plot and the music are fun and familiar, but the best part of the evening was seeing the many creative ways used to convey the story.  People turned into animal characters through costumes, puppetry, marionettes, dance, and a lot of carefully choreographed movement.  It was a late night for the kids, but worth it to be part of such rich artistry.

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Thanks for the gift!

Someone Snuck in a Birthday

Someone Snuck in a Birthday

Now that the day is long past, I’ll get around to sharing a few pictures from Than’s birthday.  When we were first dating he was very secretive about when the actual day was, so by sharing this post more than a month away I will protect his crucial secret!

Because the actual was on a Friday, Than and I were able to spend the whole day together while the kids were at school.  We started with breakfast at our favorite spot where we made a list of Than’s favorite places.  The rest of the day involved trying to visit (and photograph) as many of those places as we could!  Can you guess where we went?

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We certainly didn’t make it everywhere, but it was a great way to enjoy being together.  Besides, we can work on getting through the rest of the list anytime before his next birthday!

The kids contributed this fun birthday banner, and we enjoyed dinner out with Than’s parents as well.
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I am so grateful to be celebrating with this wonderful man who has been God’s gift to me for many years.  He is a hard man to get a picture of, but a very easy man to love.  We celebrate his integrity, his spontaneous fun ideas, his deep care for many, and his deep love for the God who motivates him.  Happy Birthday!

Joyful Birthday

Joyful Birthday

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It has been a while since my birthday, but that doesn’t mean it got forgotten!  On the contrary, lots of you did really nice things to make it special.

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I won’t run the risk of offending anyone by listing all the wonderfulness, since I would be sure to leave something out and then you would be sad.  Instead, I’ll just share the artwork each of my kids made for me, since you probably read this blog to find out about them rather than me anyway!

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Katya drew this picture of us together, featuring each of us dressed in our favorite colors.  I wish I were really that skinny.  Ok, maybe not quite THAT skinny, but still…

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Nathan gave me this piece of artwork he had made.  It started with a doodle that turned out to be the creepy-looking hand, and then expanded there to become a cool reflection of God’s intervention on our behalf to keep us from Satan’s desire to steal and destroy.  Here’s what he wrote on the back…

“Mommy, I thank you for reaching out to me like God reaches out to us.  I hope you have a wonderful birthday and you can have the strength to keep reaching out.  Love, Nathan.”

Somewhere out there are people who really don’t like birthdays, but I’m fortunate to not be one of them.  Happy day!

A DECADE!!

A DECADE!!

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Has this boy really been in our lives for a whole decade?  How did the time go by so fast?  Nathan celebrated his 10th birthday in the middle of VBS last week.

As he has for the last few years, Nathan requested a salad bar as his dinner of choice.  This year we went with an Italian theme, featuring fresh mozzarella cubes, sliced pepperoni, and crisp fried salami along with lots of veggie choices and homemade rosemary foccacia.  We had rocky road sundaes for dessert, so we used an extra piece of bread to hold up the birthday candles!

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Board games were definitely the theme of the birthday, with Super Mario Chess, Clue, Monopoly Empire, Rockin’ Math, and Rubix Cube making grand appearances.

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There were also plenty of other kindly chosen gifts and cards arriving in person or via the mailman.  Thanks, everyone!  A special treat was having Grandma as well as Gran B and Poppy as birthday dinner guests.

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Plenty of change has happened since Nathan came in 2005, and I am confident that the next decade will see even more change.  We are forging on to the new adventures ahead!

Past Birthday Posts…

Nathan Turns 3

Nathan Turns 4

Nathan Turns 5

Nathan Turns 7

Nathan Turns 8 (this one has a baby pic with it, so it is my favorite!)

Nathan Turns 9

Seven (for a Month!)

Seven (for a Month!)

Not only is Katya seven now, she has been for a whole month!  Here is my report about seven-year-olds, based on an extensive survey with a sample size of one…

Seven-year-olds are excited about thoughtfully chosen presents from family, near and far.

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Seven-year-olds want a family trip to the zoo, especially when their birthdays coincide with a day off from school.

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Seven-year-olds ride carousels and get their brothers to come along.

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Seven-year-olds are delighted with boxes that come in the mail–the gifts are great, and the box is still fun too.

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Seven-year-olds appreciate special outings like girl-grandmother shopping and lunch.

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Seven-year-olds are gleefully surprised when their dads and brothers fill their rooms with 84 balloons.  (Sometimes they are also afraid when lots of those balloons pop loudly and without warning, but they are also grateful for dads who step in and make it fun again.)

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Seven-year-olds might request a raspberry Napoleon instead of birthday cake, to go along with their dinner meal of homemade pizza.

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Seven-year-olds like coloring on the table, blowing out candles, and being the center of attention.

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Seven-year-olds are creative, full of energy, and a marvelous part of any family.  Seven-year-olds are dearly loved!

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If you know a seven-year-old, be grateful.  I sure am!

Oh, Happy Day!

Oh, Happy Day!

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Look at what I found in my front window last week!  A pile of bright green presents, with a card to match, all for me!  Wow.

And that’s not all, either.  There were cards in the mail, a gift stuck in the door, boxes from Amazon.com, gift cards to some of my favorite places, and even a vase of lavender roses.  Thanks to so many of you for making my birthday special.

On my actual birthday, I was well celebrated indeed.  We spent the day together as a family.  We enjoyed breakfast from the Taste of Denmark bakery, visited the butterfly display at the Chatfield Arboretum, took a leisurely drive through the foothills, ate my favorite sub from Jimmy John’s, played mini golf at Colorado Journey, created some art with my new birthday crayons and markers, relished the steak at Texas Roadhouse, and finished off the day with phone calls and a bowl of Blue Bell ice cream.  Add in presents throughout the day, and a trip to a castle for tea on the following afternoon, and you have pretty much a perfect birthday!

Oh, and let’s not forget the biggest birthday card ever–check it out!!

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Here are some favorite details from my super-huge birthday card mural.

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Thanks, everyone, for making me feel loved!

Nine Years Old

Nine Years Old

Nathan is 9!  How did that happen?!!

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Since his birthday fell during the middle of Vacation Bible School, we enjoyed our usual family tradition of spreading out the celebration.  Thanks to various boxes from various relatives and various times, he enjoyed several days of feeling special 🙂

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Popular gifts this year?  The complete set of The Chronicles of Narnia books, an expanded snap-circuits electricity kit, a kids cookbook, and a 3D maze game, just to name a few.

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The birthday menu?  Salad bar with tons of veggies, special items including salami, artichoke hearts, mangoes, peas, and pineapple, and homemade chocolate pecan fudge ice cream for dessert.

I can’t believe we are halfway to voting age with this book-loving, screen-loving, family-loving, Jesus-loving boy of ours.  We are so thankful for him!

A Faithful Friend

A Faithful Friend

Buddy Bear turned eight while we were on vacation.  We celebrated his birthday when we got back.

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He has been a faithful companion and is still greatly loved.  Happy Birthday, Buddy Bear!

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Katya Celebrates

Katya Celebrates

Here’s a peek at how Katya celebrated her birthday week…

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…trying out her new loft bed.  She was scared at first to be up so high, but it has quickly become a favorite place.  She also likes the new storage/play area underneath.  (Nathan got one for his birthday too, but since IKEA furniture can be a challenge to put together, we decided we’d better give it to him now since we would forget by June all of the assembly lessons we learned!!)

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…practicing the piano in two of her new princess crowns.

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…opening plenty of fun toys and treasures from loving family.

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…practicing her budding reading skills.

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…enjoying boxes and cards that arrived in the mail.

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…modelling new birthday clothes and accessories.  She changed clothes 3 or 4 times in one day!

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…testing out a new bike.  Daddy still runs with her–she can ride pretty well, but still hasn’t quite mastered the art of starting and stopping.

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…eating homemade pizza, berries, and red peppers for supper followed by singing and cake.  She asked for chocolate cake with strawberry filling and frosting.  The frosting was especially good–made with real strawberries!  (Here’s the link to the recipe I used.)

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I just love birthdays, and I think she enjoyed hers too!