Aug 18, 2014

Jacob's 12th Birthday

Yesterday, Jacob turned 12. Twelve. years. old. Can't believe we have an-almost-teenager in the house. Jake always spends his birthday weekend at his dad's, so this year was no different. But, Scot and I had a couple things up our sleeves to make his birthday extra special this year. (Minus my cold, a busted hot water tank and no hot water or showers for 2 days...yuck.)

First off, we picked up Jake's friends Josh and Michael and surprised him when his plane arrived at the airport Sunday around 6pm.

We had quite the exciting crew waiting for him in the waiting room:

(The boys were trying to look as miserable as possible, and I think they won. Ha!)

We had red and blue decorations everywhere.

And a homemade sign by me and Brooklyn.

She made these funny letter people all by herself.

Our little party at home:

We blessed the meal, and the boys made a toast with their cool IBC root beers - the best root beer there is.

Then, it was time for pizza.

And a good ol' fashioned silly string fight in the front yard.

Jake opened presents.

Which included a note explaining the big birthday surprise that will be coming soon.

The Happy Birthday song was sung before cookie cake, cupcakes and ice cream were devoured.

The boys ended their night-before-school with a quick 30-minute video game.

And Jake's favorite candy bags for the boys to take home.

Love this precious son of mine. My first-born. The one who made me the mom I am today.

Here are 12 things I love and appreciate about Jake:

1. His easy-going, laid back personality.
2. He loves having fun.
3. He loves others well by giving words of affirmation and spending quality time together.
4. He has a big heart.
5. He looks for the needs of others.
6. His avid love for reading. He reads hundreds of pages in different books every week.
7. He isn't afraid to be different and stand apart from his peers.
8. He knows right from wrong and asks forgiveness when he's done wrong.
9. He offers help whenever needed.  
10. He loves our church family and looks forward to attending youth group and church every week.
11. He realizes the difference between money and earthly things and true joy that only comes from God. 
12. He fights with his sister but always makes it right.

He's definitely a keeper in our book - and a handsome one, at that! We love you, Jacob. Happy 12th Birthday!

Aug 13, 2014

First Day of School

Last Friday the 8th was Jake and Brooklyn's first day of school. We were so busy that week I didn't have time to make rainbow pancakes like last year, but we had a little devotion and prayer time over breakfast which was much more important anyway. Can't believe school days are here already!

Here's our new 7th grader:

 5'4" tall // 140 lbs. 
Sizes: Men's small shirts // 18 pants // 10.5 shoe

And our sweet-and-sassy 1st grader:

42 in. tall // approx. 45 lbs.
Sizes: Girls 6/6X // 12 shoe 

A not-so-cool picture for mom in front of the school - ha!:

This is Brooklyn's first year at another new school, so she was pretty nervous. She went to our zoned public school for kindergarten last year (and loved it) and then got accepted into Jake's magnet school, so we switched her. I had so many emotions running through my mind and heart that morning. I worried that she wouldn't find her class or the bathroom or know where to stand for dismissal. (We gave her a tour, but still.) I worried she might be lonely during lunch or recess because she was so shy. I worried she'd have a hard time making new friends, standing her ground with the mean kids...or a hard time adjusting to the magnet program in general.

But, this is what letting go in motherhood is all about. I had to let go, give her little life to the Lord, and trust that He loves her more and will take good care of her this year when I'm not around. I surrendered my kids to the Lord. And I know they're going to be just fine - mishaps, failures and all.

I miss the big kids so much, but this little dude captures a lot of my time these days. And I don't think either one of us are complaining.

Aug 11, 2014

Ohio Visit

We drove to Ohio for a few days right before school started and here's how we kept busy:

Pedicures and a delicious tea-house lunch to celebrate Mom's birthday.

Huge gourmet meal at Tiff and Mike's house - Mums and Pops and plenty of cousin-time included.

We went to the fair one day, the last day it was open.

We went to an indoor water park another day.

Took some family pics on the last day.

Such a great visit with family!

Some other highlights:

Late night pizza from Donatos // Movie night // Trip to Graeter's // Half-Price Bookstore // Picking out popcorn favorites at Al's Delicious Popcorn // Staying at Mom + Brian's and having the downstairs to ourselves // Playing Wii // Getting Mamaw's infamous backrubs (the kids love 'em) // Checking in on Lindsay's labor progress in Cleveland // Scot's neighborhood walks with Connor every morning // Hanging out + chatting in front of the TV each night
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