Birthday girl…and special gift…

Hallie turned 11 and in her words it was the best birthday ever. Hallie’s list of wants for her birthday were pretty small. She wanted a fancy water bottle, gum, some hand lettering materials and her ears pierced. She prefaced it with, “I know you’ll say no, but I want my ears pierced.” We already decided this would be a great birthday to get them pierced, but I happily played the roll of concerned parent who didn’t think she was old enough to take care of them properly. We had her fooled big time. And she is one of the best present openers – big or small, she is excited and grateful.

Hallie Birthday ears pierced

Hallie Birthday ears pierced

I don’t have a picture of it because I was recording her opening the gift but when she saw this card she was elated. She was ready, she wanted them done that minute.

Hallie Birthday ears pierced

Hallie Birthday ears pierced

Hallie and I ventured out to complete her birthday present. She was excited but as we got in the car and started driving, I could tell some nerves were starting to settle in. She talked and asked questions the entire 20 minute drive about the process. Did it hurt when I did it? How do they get infected? How long until she can switch them out? How bad does it hurt? How do they actually make the hole? The questions went on and on. She went into this fully informed!

ears pierced

Her last holeless lobe shot.

Hallie Birthday ears pierced

Within a few minutes, she had two dots on her ears (I checked them to make sure they were even and they weren’t close. I asked them to redo the marker – the second time was much better!) and they shot the ears at the same time and she was done. It was much better than she had made it out to be in her mind.

Hallie Birthday ears pierced

I loved being there with her. She’s my only girl, so moments like this are once in a lifetime and I wouldn’t trade them. She’s my little buddy that is on the brink of no longer being little. We went out for some birthday treats after and she chose a cinnamon roll larger than her head and a nice piece of chocolate cake to wash it down with. It was a good day to turn 11.

Hallie is 11 years old…

We call her our favorite daughter. She is quick to remind us she’s our only daughter.

Hallie is the child that made me a mother and she’s also the child that made me question that decision! She went from being the most difficult baby, to the most loving and patient older sister to her four brothers. We tell them daily just how lucky they are to have a sister who is as good to them as she is.

It’s hard to believe she’s 11. 11 going on 18!



















A couple things about Hallie:

When she sees one of her brother’s in need, she is quick to jump up to help them. If there is a crying baby, she picks them up. If Cannon needs help with his shoes, she puts them on. She is a huge helper and she does it without being asked.

She’s got a sense of humor and the older she gets, the better her timing gets.

She’s not a tomboy, but she’s not super girly either. She likes to have her nails painted and a necklace on, but she doesn’t fuss about clothes and she always jumps in with backyard football, obstacles courses or diving competitions.

She saves money. When you ask her what she’s saving for she can’t give you anything specific. Just saving because she likes to see a high number in her account.

She used to be a big reader when she was little and she’s kind of grown out of that interest, but she loves reading books to her brothers.

Her favorite restaurant is Panda Express. She loves the chow mein and orange chicken.

She loves traditions. I’m loving this because I’m turning more and more over to her to do for our traditions and she loves it. Win-Win.

She’s now to the age that she chooses shopping with me over staying at home and watching a movie. I love my shopping buddy. And no matter what errands we’re running, she wants one of the stops to be Target.

I love this girl with every fiber of my being and the older she gets, the more I enjoy her. And she couldn’t be more excited to be 11!


Sports theme birthday party

I like to plan parties based on my kid’s current interests. We could not have a party for Hunter and not have it revolve around sports. He is all about any sport that has a ball. We created a sports theme birthday party to include all the sports he loves.

Sports theme birthday party ideas

For the decor I focused on black and green with some leather sports ball texture. I picked up some fake grass from Home Depot and cut it to be a table runner as well as cut some into triangles for a banner.

Sports theme birthday party ideas

Sports theme birthday party ideas

I hung three different garlands behind the table. A fake grass triangle banner, a black and white fabric rag banner and a paper banner made using textured paper.

Sports theme birthday party ideas

Sports theme birthday party ideas

Sports theme birthday party ideas

I purchased Lofthouse sugar cookies and inserted a topper made using the same textured paper as the banner with a polygon punch. We also served chips, popcorn, green grapes, green mint M&MS and the powdered donut cake.

Sports theme birthday party ideas

Sports theme birthday party ideas

Sports theme birthday party ideas

Markers for our punt, pass, kick game, so we could see where everyone’s ball landed.

Sports theme birthday party ideas

The invite for the party. I planned on crafting them out of textured paper and making them grand and then I realized, boys don’t care. I sent a text to the mothers with this graphic instead. Just as effective and saved me a lot of time!

Sports theme birthday party invite

For party favors, we filled Gatorade bottles with candy and tied a football whistle to them. Target supposedly carries these – but all the Targets I contacted hadn’t ever seen these in their store. Local sporting goods store would have them as well as Amazon.

Sports theme birthday party ideas

Sports theme birthday party ideas

Sports theme birthday party ideas

Sports theme birthday party ideas

Sports theme birthday party ideas

Sports theme birthday party ideas

Sports theme birthday party ideas

Sports theme birthday party ideas

The boys played and played hard. They played soccer. They ran conditioning drills. They played football. They competed in a punt, pass, kick competition. They played 500. They left tired, sweaty and full of sugar. It’s great to be 8!

Cannon the 3-year-old…

This guy turned three over the weekend. He went from this:

Cannon is three

To this:

Cannon is three Cannon is three

We celebrated this weekend with the birthday bucket, watching football, opening presents and movie night.

Cannon is three Cannon is three Cannon is three Cannon is three Cannon is three

Here’s a couple things about Cannon.

He loves books. When I told him it was his birthday and he would get presents, he said he didn’t want presents he wanted books.

He is notorious for taking two hours to eat breakfast. He gets his first bowl of cereal (always without milk). Eats a little. Leaves the table. Comes back to the table to eat more. And if you remove the bowl from the table he freaks out. He likes to spend his breakfast grazing.

He’s recently learned how to put his own shoes on and I’m not sure if he’s more excited or if I am.

He loves the movie Zootopia and Home.

He’s afraid of dogs, no matter the size.

He loves shutting doors, weird, I know. He wants to be the one to shut the garage door. The car door. The refrigerator door. The front door. He wants to be the one that shuts it.

He is a happy kid and smiles with his eyes. With that being said, he’s angry when he wakes up from naps and when his siblings tease him relentlessly!

Happy Birthday Cannon!

Weekly photo project for baby's first year

And just a little reminder of where this kid started out – he was the most interesting baby in the world! As you can see his weekly photos were much more time consuming than Briggs’!




Hunter turns 8…

You only turn 8 years old once in your life and Hunter has been counting down the days. In fact yesterday, he was counting down the hours. We’re all excited that his birthday has officially arrived.

We celebrated with lunch at school (which Bennett and Hallie also benefited from) and “sugar snap cookies” for his class. Hunter told me he wanted doughnuts or sugar snap cookies as a treat for his class. You mean snickerdoodles? Yes, the ones with the frosting? You mean sugar cookies? Oh, that’s what I meant Hunter turns 8

His very own scriptures with his name on them. They were in a case when he opened up the gift and he said excitedly, “A new lunchbox – this is a really heavy lunchbox!”

Hunter turns 8


Hunter turns 8Hunter turns 8

Tonight we had a service project over at Steve’s parents house, helping them prepare for some painting and remodeling. Hunter wasn’t too keen on the idea of spending his birthday doing this – but once he found out his cousins would be there, he was all in. Once all the work was done all the cousins were outside playing soccer and we ended the night with a cake to celebrate.

Hunter turns 8

Hunter’s request was sprinkles in and on half of the cake. Not the whole cake – just half of the cake. Funny kid. His church teacher dropped off a milkshake when we got home. It was a good day to turn 8!

Check out our family birthday tradition – the birthday bucket.

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