Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Handel's Messiah

Maybe it was the Super Moon that evening,

But Nicholas was somehow able to fall asleep to Handel's Messiah as our Sunday Evening Christmas season kick off a week ago.
He took All is Calm to a whole new level.
We were able to rouse him for the final chorus, so at least there is that.

Monday, December 11, 2017


Nicholas.  Ah, Nicholas
Despite claiming you must not belong to our family,  
Despite your savings account built to buy a car and drive away,
Despite your eye rolls at family time,
we know it is all an act.
And we love it when you forget how terrible it is to be part of this big messy family.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Happy Birthday Benjamin: Steadfast

Ben, at 12 your underlying maturity and sensitivity to people does not surprise me, but it does make me so very proud.  Whether you are joking (but not really) that everyone at church was underdressed or explaining how you helped a friend with something hard that even you didn't know how to do, but you figured it out together, my heart swells.

At 11, you didn't even like this cake, but no one at that table that day would have ever known that because your sisters made it and they were excited, so you were too.

At 10, you could disappear and just be with yourself.  I don't know a lot of adults who can do that.

From long before 9, your sense of humor has been amazing and makes me laugh constantly.

You don't ever want to do the family things we make you do.  You are sure to let us know.  But once you know there are no negotiations about participation, you throw yourself into whatever it is.  And I admire this trait, so much.

You have always been able to tell a story whether a re-counting of the day's events or something completely made up right there around the campfire with flare and interest and continuity. 

You love chocolate.  All things chocolate, not white cake with strawberries.  But you smile and enjoy if it is important to the people you love

Already handsome.

The year you told me not to worry, you would always be my baby.
(Sometimes I worry that you intend to live with me and let me mother you for all time, but we'll cross that bridge someday.)  More importantly, that day had been hard for me and you nearly made me cry with such kind words from such a small boy.

Put Ben to bed and Ben would stay in bed.  Right about this time in our lives, that was unimaginably important.

I'll forget the tantrums and potty training for today, and maybe I'll choose to believe that there were no terrible twos for you.  If there were, it was certainly a mild case.

Those eyes, that smile.  How could you be anything but charming?
Well, we all have our days.
We all have our days.  Not sure you were happy about this one.  But it fits the theme, that transition to the world came with reluctance, but since accepting your life here, you have embraced it.  And we are so lucky you are ours.

Happy Birthday Nicholas! 12 Years of Smiles and Energy

Technically, you couldn't smile yet, so we'll let Year 0 go.

Smiles and energy

Smiles and energy
But we had less say on what you would wear by this time, clearly.

Smiles and energy
But making your own food decisions.

Smiles and Energy
But you were going through a no-picture phase then, so this is a bit of treasure right here.

Smiles and energy.
Oh, oh my the energy.

Smiles and Energy
And the beginning of those screens.  Here your first Nintendo DS.  You still have it, and you still play on it

Smiles and Energy
And discovery.  Oh man, the love of discovery.

Smiles and Energy
And chocolate cake.  Nothing but chocolate cake from here on out.

Smiles and Energy
And doing things your own way, for sure.

Smiles and Energy
And just a hit of a young-man-to be showing through.

Smiles and Energy
And guns.

Smiles and Energy
And man, we love it when we get these out of you these days as you turn more often serious, sometimes outwardly nervous, and nearly always playing it cool these days.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Benjamin, Please

Seen here getting a pre-flu shot pinch from his brother as practice for the main event.
We love you. 
We enjoy your sense of humor and your ability to embrace whatever you are doing--no matter how much you protested doing whatever it was to begin with.  The day you threw a fit over going to the park for an hour to play knockerball, you were the last one off the field and the fullest of smiles. When we go on a walk that you never wanted to take, you generally find yourself rolling through the leaves and jumping and exploring and having a better time than any of us.

Please son, stop leaving your socks around the house.
You know the dog likes to eat them.  And you know he is going to throw them back up. And we all know, you will not be volunteering for the clean up.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

A New Level of Efficiency

Elaine wins.
This would never have occurred to me.
The student is now the master. 

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

And We're Off

To the next big holiday celebration.
The girls did an excellent job of decorating the tree, even though they were forced to sit on their hands for half an hour while Patric and I fought through how to hand lights on a tree. 
Tis the Season.