14 April 2019

Blake is Ten

Blake let it be known that his 10th birthday was a big birthday. We had a hard time locking down what to do to sufficiently celebrate his advancement in age, until I found a great deal to stay at Great Wolf Lodge. The boys had seen their commercial advertisements for years and I knew they would be beyond excited about the getaway.

Blake opened his gift that contained an event ticket the day before the big stay. He jumped up and down and so did his brothers.

Blake had a Robotics competition on Friday night that delayed our arrival a bit, but we enjoyed the novelty of being in a hotel on Friday night and geared up to spend the entire day on Saturday at the indoor waterpark.
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We hardly saw the older boys; they were hopping from one slide to the next all day.
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Even Finn couldn't get enough of the waterslides.
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It wore him right out.
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The whole lobby was transformed into a winter wonderland and we enjoyed some shows there in addition to swimming our hearts out.
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Now all of the boys think that when they turn ten they will earn a night at Great Wolf Lodge. Sounds good to me, I always prefer experience gifts over toys!

Ten things I love about Blake:

1. He works hard at things that don't come easy to him. He has had to work through frustrations and setbacks in piano, school and swim this year and he keeps trying no matter what.

2. He is loyal. When I throw out options to switch swim teams or swim groups within his own team, he won't even consider it. 

That brings me to...

3. He is not a quitter. He finishes what he starts.

4. He is willing to try new things. He picked up cello and Robotics club this fall in an already busy schedule filled with swim, piano and scouts.

5. He values his free time and spends it well; typically building things, riding his bike or scooter, or jumping on the trampoline. He does not like to waste time.

6. He is grateful. He notices small acts of service and he is the first to thank me for taking him on outings.

7. He is responsible. He wakes up before everyone and packs his lunch for school. 

8. He respects rules and authority. He loves to be in charge and make sure everyone else is following the rules. 

9. He is the first one to feel remorse when he makes mistakes and writes me beautiful apology notes.

10. He's such a conversationalist. He shares lots of details and asks lots of questions. There is never a quiet moment riding in the car with Blake and I love having him in the front seat with me; talk, talk, talking away.

Happy tenth birthday Blake!


13 April 2019

Decking the Halls

Each year when we pull out the bins with Christmas decorations, the boys find the burlap that goes around the tree and wrap each other like mummies. 
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After all their fun, Blake hung around to actually help me decorate the tree.
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Ready or not for December, we got two important things checked off the list. We set up the tree and wrapped the children's Christmas books so the boys could open one each day. 
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Sometimes I wish we could skip all of the rest of the December hubbub; shopping, programs, parties and additional decorations, and simply enjoy the glow of the tree lights and gathering around them each night to read our favorite stories. That is my favorite part of December.


12 April 2019

Black Friday

I didn't do an ounce of Christmas shopping, but I sure liked this Black Friday.
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Every time I glanced at the sky, even after the sunset, it kept getting more and more colorful. We've had lots of good beach days but I think this one will always stand out above the rest.


11 April 2019

Thanksgiving

We hosted 14 people for Thanksgiving and thanks to some extra bedroom space since our move, we were able to fit everyone comfortably.
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The boys loved having their cousins around for a few days.
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After rolling out the rolls to rise and prepping the turkey on Thanksgiving morning, we hit the pool. 
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The kids gravitated towards the splash pad.
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We tied ourselves over with appetizers and a turkey shaped veggie platter.
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Our neighbors had a bounce house set up and invited our boys and their cousins to come jump.
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The guys were on supervision duty or something like that.
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Finally it was time for the big feast.
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Troy cooked the turkey with his new found sous vide method and every last dish was delicious. Even after spending several years in California, I am still amazed that we can do so many outdoor activities on Thanksgiving.