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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

Christmas with Family

Christmas with Family

We were so glad to have my parents and brother with us for Christmas, and enjoyed celebrating with the Baylor families a week later.  Here are some pics…

Making gingerbread houses on Christmas Eve:

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Hooray for Christmas presents:

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After Christmas dinner was finished, there was another coloring tablecloth!

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A little Christmas concert (yes, Nathan played too, but that picture didn’t turn out!):

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Our Christmas Day crowd:

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Not pictured–tromping through a beautiful snowstorm on Christmas Night before returning to the house for games

Some of the cousins, heading outside to play on New Year’s Day:

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Christmas Events

Christmas Events

Here are some of the fun things we did together around Christmas time…

A family day at the North Pole amusement park:

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The Father-Daughter dance at school:

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A Mother-Son date while Father and Daughter were at the dance:

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A wise man and a sheep in the church Christmas pageant:

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Class parties on the last day of school before break, complete with this huge marshmallow snowman project:

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The annual cookie buffet at my yearly Christmas recitals for the music studio:

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And, believe it or not, that is just a sampling of all the great events that helped us celebrate the wonder of Advent, looking back to Christ’s first coming and forward to his second.  I love this season!!

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!

Happy 4th of July

Happy 4th of July

Thanks to a goodie box from St. Louis, my kids are all set to celebrate the USA in style!  I hope your Independence Day is equally as exciting, full of fun or fireworks or flags, but especially marked by an appreciation for the freedom we enjoy here in America.  No country is perfect, ours has plenty of problems, but I’m sure grateful to live here!

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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!

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!

Nate the Eight!

Nate the Eight!

Somehow my sweet little baby…

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…raced through the toddler years…

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…headed off to school…

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…and turned into this big handsome fellow!

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We celebrated Nathan’s birthday yesterday (and a little last week, and a little next week, in our usual family tradition!)  For dinner he requested a salad bar–all his favorite ingredients that each guest could mix together in their own way.  Nathan’s list included artichoke hearts, mixed olives, pepperoni, salami, apples, cucumbers, tomatoes, cheddar cheese, red and yellow peppers, and carrots.  He also picked out Chile Limon chips and baked Parmesan potatoes.  Nice menu, buddy!

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Dessert was a chocolate train cake, a great use of the cupcake train pan from my favorite goodie-box provider.  It was fun for each guest to pick their own car.

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We also used the cake pan to make a Jello train.  (The Jello corporation is happy–it took 3 boxes of Jello!)

Of course the festivities have also included kind gifts from lots of people–even a sweet sister picked something out!

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There have also been fun cards and treats in the mail.  We like our festivities stretched out around here, and so far that has been working just fine.

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I am so grateful for this book-loving, train-loving, scooter-loving, mom’s-cooking-loving, family-loving, Bible-loving boy that was designed by God to fit just right in our family.  Happy birthday, son!

4th of July

4th of July

The 4th of July festivities are certainly a memorable part of our Idaho trip each year.

Nathan’s favorite part has become the at-home firework show, sponsored by Grandma and choreographed by Than and Uncle Nate.  Lots of planning and prep goes into it, and both kids enjoyed it this year.

Smoke bombs are always the beginning, causing great excitement in their own right.

Later in the evening comes the full display, something different every year.  This year featured a fountain on top of a 20 foot pole, among other excitement!

My favorite part of the celebration is the parade.  I like seeing the floats, hearing the bands, collecting candy for the kids, and observing the fun of life in a smaller town.

I think Than’s favorite part is probably the evening fireworks–the biggest show west of the Mississippi River, 31 minutes of 9 explosions per second, all set to music broadcast on the local radio station.  It is a late night for everyone, but worth it.  Thanks to the gift of noise-protection ear coverings, even Katya liked it this year, once she got over her fear and realized the fireworks weren’t going to fall on her.

Happy Birthday, America!  We look forward to celebrating again next year!

Birthday Pics

Birthday Pics

Some photos of the various ways we enjoyed celebrating Nathan’s birthday…

Several exciting boxes in the mail

Celebrating on our first day up at Beaver Creek with his requested meal of soft tacos, red apples, and chocolate ice cream.  I missed the photo of the candles in the ice cream, but we put candles in the apple too!

The gift of a little digital camera and a photo album, followed by a day of tromping around taking pictures of everything.

Some special meals out, including lunch at Chick-Fil-A with Grandpa Train and Grandma Sweetie

Lots of thoughtful gifts from kind people, concluding with one final celebration at Grandma’s house in Idaho

I love drawn-out birthdays!!