Birthday party…

I love throwing themed parties. My kids have parties on their even years and I start planning far in advance. But Hunter turned 10 and thanks to our little remodel – I didn’t have it in me to spend the time throwing a themed party. (which if I’m being honest was a little difficult to let go of!) I explained the situation to Hunter and he was more than understanding. We decided he would invite a couple friends to a trampoline/ninja warrior place and grab some dinner.

A few days later, he came to me and said he wanted to invite a lot more people. He’s a friend to everyone and he wanted everyone to come. So, we changed plans and had a swim party instead and it ended up being a huge success. They played king of the floaty for over an hour. They were exhausted by the time they were done and it was fun watching a pool full of kids screaming and laughing.

The kids could’ve stayed in the pool for the whole party but they were turning into prunes so we had cake and played Hunter’s favorite game – the candy bar game.

For those unfamiliar with the game, you purchase different candies for every person in your group (and we had a large group so it was tricky finding that many different candies when I was trying to avoid chocolate that I knew would melt). You put all the candies in the center and set a time limit – we did 10 minutes. The kids take turns rolling two dice. They roll once and if they get a 7 or 11 or doubles they can take a candy from the center (and hide it behind them) and pass the dice along. If they roll something other than that they just pass the dice along. The dice go round and round the circle, everyone taking their turn to roll the dice. You try and keep track of the candies you like so if you roll a 7, 11 or doubles you can ask someone specifically for their candy. But you have to be able to remember who has what candy in order to steal it from them. Candy gets passed around over and over again. You win some, you lose some. You do this for your specified time limit. We like to make sure everyone walks away with something so after the game is complete, the kids who had more than one candy, kept their favorite and returned the other ones to the center of the circle. Those who didn’t end up with a candy got to choose one from the center.

From the amount of laughing and squealing I can assume everyone had a great time – regardless that there was no “theme” or even balloons!

Happy Birthday…

He’s just turned 10, but he acts like he’s 15!

Here’s a snapshot of Hunter right now:

He lives to play with friends. He does book club once a week with friends, then has soccer practice two times a week and then he’s begging to play Wednesday because it’s always early release and then they’re always planning a late night on the weekend. He’s the bridge between his guy friends (who live outside the neighborhood) and his girl friends (who live in the neighborhood). His friends area always wanting to play at our house because the neighborhood shows up to play.

He loves sports just as much as he loves friends. He always has a ball with him. It doesn’t matter if he’s playing an organized club soccer game, retention basin football or watching sports on TV – he lives for sports.

He’s curious. He likes to tinker and create. He’s still a fan of Legos and asks for new sets every chance he’s receiving a gift.

He’s a jokester and he often has unwilling victims. He’s also a teaser – once again – unwilling victims. He’s happy – until he’s not (which is rare) and then he stomps off and sulks. Gives us a glimpse of his teenage years.

His birthday lunch of choice: Taco Bell
Birthday treat of choice: Doughnuts
Favorite Band: Imagine Dragons
Favorite subject in school: PE and Art
Favorite outfit: Freedom Board Shop shirt, shorts, tall nike socks and adidas low tops
Hairstyle of choice: Longer locks
Favorite weekend activity: ASU Football games

Happy birthday buddy!


Happy Birthday…

We celebrated Steve this weekend as he grew older and wiser. Family in the morning – his favorite sushi restaurant for lunch with his brothers – a little overnight staycation in Scottsdale with good food and great entertainment (improv comedy club).

A couple things we love about him:

He sings songs and makes the kids guess if they’re real or fake.

He’s got a sweet tooth…as long as it’s chocolate, chocolate, chocolate! I think he partially likes his sweets so rich because he knows he won’t have to share it with me!

He works alongside the kids. He knows its the only way to really teach them how to work.

One of his very favorite shirts was a gift from our friends and it has several cat puns on it (from when he worked at Petsmart). He wears it with pride and it makes me laugh every time he puts it on.

He is the best partner when it’s comes to parenting. He plays a large role in the “mundane of parenthood”. He’s on diaper duty, bed time routines and he’s far better when it comes to sick kids. I don’t mind cleaning up the messes but his compassion shines in those moments.

He’s simple (which is why we’re a good balance) and his needs are minimal.

He loves children’s movies and he’s always up for a family movie night. The kids know he has his favorites and often times will protest movie night even before the movie is announced because they know he always leans towards Mega Mind, Kung Fu Panda (the original) and Lego Batman Movie. He’s predictable.

Is he not the cutest!

Happy Birthday Steve-O!

Happy Birthday, 7 years old…

This kid is turning 7 years old and he couldn’t be more happy about it.



A couple things we love about Bennett:

His facial expressions are fantastic and on point. He goes through all the emotions and they are spelled out on his face. This leads him to be a little over dramatic across the board.

He keeps getting funnier. The older he gets, the better his timing is and he usually has us all laughing.

He loves to play with friends and is a friend to everyone. When he gets home from school he wants to know what friend he can play with.

He is not a procrastinator. If he comes home with an assignment he wants to do it right then. If he has an invite to a party – he wants the gift in his hand a week ahead of time. He does all his math homework the first day so it’s done. Once something is on his mind – he must complete it. Or he bugs us until it is completed.

He stands to do his school work and walks around while he does his reading fluency homework. Luckily the teachers don’t seem to mind that he is an active participant each and every day!

He is easily teased and Hunter knows it – we’re working on his reaction as well as the teasing.

He makes his bed every single morning. For a while I found him sleeping on top of his bedspread – that way he wouldn’t have to make his bed. We nipped that habit and he still makes his bed every morning.

He’s grown up so much this school year – he’s losing the little kid look and is growing up on us. He is excited to be considered one of the big kids and all the perks that come along with it.

Happy Birthday buddy!


The Birthday Boy…

Two year olds don’t expect a whole lot on their birthdays. In fact you have to talk up the fact that it is their birthday. We kept explaining to Briggs he was the birthday boy and he would get birthday cake and birthday presents. Even then it was still a little lost on him until he entered the kitchen each time and saw the balloons on the table – he’d then repeat over and over again, “Birthday”.

Birthday Boy

I’m pretty sure he preferred the frosting beaters over his cake – I figured that would be the case. Isn’t the frosting always the best part?!

Birthday Boy

Birthday Boy

Birthday Boy

His second favorite thing was blowing out the candles. Hunter had fun lighting the candles over and over again and Briggs just kept blowing them out – giggling after each time. (Side note: When we go visit my brother and his family, they always have a candle burning on their kitchen island. Their kids are older now and seem to leave the candle alone. Not my kids. Whenever we go visit – they simply must blow out the candle. If they see it burning, one of the kids blows it out. It’s like a secondary birthday candle.)

Birthday Boy

Birthday Boy

Paw patrol puppies, an airplane and a scooter? What more could a kid ask for? Besides lighting the candle just one more time!

Birthday Boy

Birthday Boy

Birthday Boy

Happy Birthday buddy!




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