Monday, January 28, 2013

When at first you don't succeed...

...Call KJ, he understands.

And THEN go try try again.

I'm so proud of our biggest boy!
He FINALLY learned to ride a bike without training wheels.
I say finally because he has taken the training wheels off of his bike twice before and then requested that they be put back on. 
But this time was different.
I'm pretty sure I've never seen him more determined.
And I'm pretty sure I've never been more proud.


Dear KJ,
You, my son, are a super star.  I'm your Momma, so I'll always think that.  But I sure hope you believe it, too.  I have a million reasons to be proud of you, bud, but today it is because you have learned to ride a bicycle all by yourself.  Your Daddy and I would have held on to the back of that bicycle forever if we thought it would help you ride.  But we knew that at some point you'd have to do it yourself.  There were lots of falls, sometimes some pretty hard falls.  Once you even crashed over Lou.  We laughed about how you had conquered bike riding...and conquered your sister.  It was sometimes frustrating and there were lots of bumps and bruises, but you did not give up.  I can't tell you how many times you jumped up and got back on that bike.  You've added a few more holes to your blue jeans and there were times when you'd had enough falling for one day, and had to take a break.  But you always amazed us when you requested to go back out again the next day.  You pushed yourself to accomplish this goal and it was so much fun to watch.  I'll never forget the emotions I felt as I watched you try to learn how to get started.  You'd already mastered riding and balancing and turning.  But taking that first pedal all on your own was a doozie for you.  I stood watching from the sidewalk, pacing a little.  You tried and fell and tried and fell.  You put one foot on the pedal and one foot on the ground, then switched with the other foot on the pedal and one on the ground.  Over and over.  I stopped myself just short of saying "Cmon bud, you can try again tomorrow, lets take a break".  Instead, I stood back with patient expectation and whispered to myself "you can do it, buddy.  I know you can do it."  And eventually, YOU DID.  You took off down the road without so much as a push from me and the look on your face as you came around the turn was PRICELESS.  You were so proud.  And I was, too.  It was official. You were a bike rider.

Buddy, life will be like this.  Your Daddy and I will want so desperately to hold you up, to keep you from falling, to help you succeed.  But sometimes we'll have to stand back and watch you fall.  We will teach you everything we can, but eventually you'll have to be determined to do it on your own.   I hope you know that when we do let go, we'll be standing back just far enough to watch.  We'll be whispering under our breath, "YOU CAN DO IT, buddy, we know you can".  And then we will watch with patient expectation while you try.  You'll try over and over sometimes.  Until finally FINALLY you will get it.  And you better believe that when you come around the turn, we'll be the first to jump up and down sharing your JOY at what you've accomplished.  We could hold on to you forever, but if we did, you would never experience the thrill of riding alone.  And that's worth more to us than the holes in a million pairs of blue jeans.


Because we love you, so much!
Momma



Just for fun, here are a couple of videos.  Totally laughing at myself as I listen to my voice. 
Here is one of the process (including the funny...but not...wreck with Lou.)


And one of the finished product.  A confident (and THRILLED) bicycle rider!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Baby Blessing 2013- An Overflow of HOPE

In January our congregation celebrated all of the babies born or adopted in 2012.  Our sweet Little Bear was among the honored and we were so blessed by this evening.  It is our fourth time to share the rituals of "baby blessing" night and while the traditions, the gifts, and the people look much the same- it certainly never gets old.

This round was unique for our family because RRL couldn't be there.  One of the only times he will travel this entire year for work, fell on exactly the same week.  It couldn't be helped.  But PRAISE THE LORD (and I don't say that lightly) for modern technology.  RRL wasn't there to hold my hand, but I was able to hold my ipod in my hand...and have him facetime during the prayer.  So cool!  Also, my mom and RRL's mom were there.  So baby C was well surrounded in Daddy's absence.

I will always treasure the hands of these two couples as I watched how they patiently snuggled, prayed, blessed and (lets be real here...) corralled all four of my children during this special time for Little Bear.  They were completely sincere in their patience and love and care and more than anything they said, those actions were an incredible sign to me of their love and commitment to helping RRL and I raise these four treasures.

One of the verses shared with Little Bear by our Elders that evening was
Romans 15:13 
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Because of the timing of CTL's entrance into our family I can't even tell you how much these words resonate with me.  Our sweet boy's story, in just these first short months of his life, certainly overflows with hope.  And not because of anything that our youngest son, in and of himself has done or could ever do.  But because of THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.  I've often said that this little one's conception and birth remind me that God never EVER forgot about us.  Not for a second.  In the hardest, darkest times He delighted in remembering us, in providing us HOPE in amazingly creative ways.

I'm so thankful for the place where we worship.  Although it is just that- a place- it is so much more to us.  It is a home.  A home where there are amazing men an women reminding us of TRUTH and speaking it into the lives of our children.  Just like these sweet shepherds did through these words in Romans.  They are claiming our children's lives- not by anything they can do, but by THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.  That they may indeed
OVERFLOW WITH HOPE.

And that is a blessing.

(Please make no mistake about the reason that CTL's big sibs are laying hands on him during this time of blessing.  Poor littlest guy.)
ABL

Monday, January 14, 2013

Countdown to Christmas

In the spirit of keepin it real around here...
I blogged a bit about my "December funk". 
I did still LOVE the idea of counting down to Christmas with our little family.  Taking time to remember and cherish the season of celebration. Honoring our Savior.  and savoring the family he has given us, both immediate and extended.
But ya'll DECEMBER was nutso.  SO very busy.  So not all of the days got their just-due.  Some were quite half-hearted.  But that's the great thing about doing this countdown thing intentionally, even when you don't "feel" like it.  Memories are still made, love still extended and hope still REIGNS.  That's what Christmas is all about.
insert how it is now March and I'm just now getting around to wrapping up the post about our Christmas countdown as an indicator of how we rolled at the end of 2012.

Here's a super quick recap (ha- when have you ever known me to do anything quick in deeprollingrightfield? ha.)

I decided to scrap the idea of making our own Christmas tree.  I mean, I loved last year's green Taj Mahal and all, but seriously, what was I thinking?  Instead, we had die-cut Christmas lights to hang. They started out all white but "turned on" one at a time, all month, for a fun multi colored decoration in our dining room.



1) Get new PJs and wear them to visit Santa.
Score on this one, since my workplace happened to be doing free visits and pictures with Santa that day!
 2) Read a Christmas book before bed

3) Skype with cousins and sing Christmas carols


4) Go on a Surprise Outing with friends.
(I wonder how many years in a row our "surprise outing" can be going to GWL for story time...before they catch on?) 

5) Visit the Firestation and deliver Toys for Tots.
Cbug especially LOVED the added bonus of getting a "tour" of the firetruck.  On the way home Cbug declared "I want to be a firetruck driver when I grow up." and KJ decided "Nah, I'd rather be the guy in charge who rides up front and tells people where to drive".  Lou said she wasn't interested at all.  As you can tell from the photo, she kept a safe distance at all times. 

6) Invite friends over to make S'mores!
What a treat! We made smores over our gas stove with Grammy, J&J. So fun!

7) Make Christmas things out of Playdough

8) Decorate Christmas cookies
Lucked out again, since Aunt J bought the kids gingerbread men when we went to visit here, and all the Aunts and Uncles helped the kids decorate them.


9) J&J proposal day!
Although we had somehting else planned for our Christmas activity, when Uncle J asked us to help with his amazing proposal, we jumped at the chance.  It was so perfect!  So perfect, in fact, it was featured in the Dallas Morning News...not just once BUT TWICE (a second time as one of the year's best pictures).  We were just the "sign holders" but we were thrilled to be there.
10) Make a basket of Christmas FUN to deliver to a friend.
Second year in a row to get zero pictures of this favorite activity.  The kids loved going shopping for Christmas stickers, candy, pencils, games, etc to put in a basket and take to a friend. 

11) Christmas music dance party 

12) WE ARE HALF WAY THERE!
Sing Christmas songs from the top of the playscape 
because what could be a better way to celebrate being half way to Christmas. Either that or their parents ran out of time for any other activity before church. Either way.



 13) Drink hot chocolate before bed.

14) Christmas movie night in Mommy and Daddy's room

15) Bake Treats for neighbors, teachers and friends.
Already blogged a bit about this, but the best part was when I had to borrow a cup of milk from a neighbor...for whom I was baking.  I had all 4 kids baking with me and realized I was out of milk.  Genius!


16) Buy food for the food bank.  Deliver and help sort/shelf it.

17) Help Daddy with the TeenLifeline Christmas party.

18) Christmas caroling with friends. Visit some ministers and elders from our church.
This was extra fun because we got to share the evening with some of our favorite friends!  And we found out that night that their baby #3 was on the way!  HOORAY!  Love watching these four friends (and one curly headed baby friend who sometimes joined in) show how much they appreciate people at their church.


19 and 20) Tell the story of Christmas
 ok, we were traveling so these really happened over a few days time, but I love these videos.  I posted them seperately so you could enjoy the videos!  Oh my, we'll be working on some of the facts before next Christmas.

21) Ornament hide and find
Just as simple as it sounds. Take ornaments off the tree and take turns hiding and finding them.  Always a winner at our house!
22) Buy sibling Christmas presents
I love this tradition we started last year of drawing names and then going shopping together for the "sibling gifts"

23) Make an acrostic using "CHRISTMAS"
favorite part of this activity this year was that we read "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" on our roadtrip and from that moment on, all 3 kiddos worked really hard to find a way to include Gladys exclamation "HEY, UNTO YOU A CHILD IS BORN" into all conversations about the meaning of Christmas.  Check out this year's "S".

24) Read the Night before Christmas and the Story of Christ birth with Nonna

And there ya have it, our 24 days of Christmas countdown.
ABL

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Story of Christmas- their version

One of our countdown to Christmas activities was for each of the kids to tell us the story of Christmas.
I love that each of their ages and personalities become evident as they share.

KJ
Unfortunately not feeling too great at this moment, but looking oh-so-big.  A couple of facts about his version:  1)KJ is so confident in his facts (which are sometimes questionable) that it almost sounds like he is reading.  It also means his version is the LONGEST and 2) Even his teacher at school has mentioned that he is sometimes distracted by computers in the room.  The game he is distracted by in this video is called "Perfection".  Interesting.

Cbug
I'm only showing you two of the...well...SEVERAL videos I tried to get of Cbug sharing sweetly about Jesus.  I got a lot of information about Herod trying to KILL Jesus.  And animals in the stable pooping.  I think it is safe to say he is 5.  Oh my.



Lou
Always the teacher (I love her one-handed-turn-the-book-to-the-class way of "reading".  She is never lacking a dramatic flare for story telling.  I love how she just fills in the gaps until she can think of what to say next.

ABL

Friday, January 4, 2013

Studying the GOSPELS in 2013

Note: This Bible Study schedule has been updated.  Please go here for part 2.

More than a year ago, after I finished studying my way through Nehemiah, I started praying about how to intentionally continue Bible study.  I loved the personal nature of reading and journaling through verses in the Bible so really wanted to continue that type of studying.  But, what made the Nehemiah journey so compelling was that I felt so CALLED to it.  It so closely paralleled the struggles of my real life at the time that I felt like I was drawn into the book in a personal and intimate way.  I think I was waiting for that to happen again.  So, as 2012 started and I decided I was going to study the Gospels (Matthew-John), I waited to get "motivated" ...and in the mean time, I just let life get in the way.  I could give lots of reasons (excuses) why I didn't pursue the study more, but just know that by the middle of the year I'd nearly forgotten about it.

Do you ever find yourself saying "ALRIGHT ALREADY, I'll do it", in response to being nearly beaten over the head with a message? Am I the only one that sometimes has to have things practically written on the wall before you act on it? I mean, really, sometimes I can be so HARD headed.
Commence head beating.
I'm not exaggerating that event after event over the last couple of months have said "Allison, you really need to KNOW Christ, know more about Jesus, who he was, what he taught, how he lived.  STUDY THE GOSPELS already."   So, I'm gonna try again.  Studying the Gospels.  But this time I have something that was lacking in 2012...a (super simple, easy to follow) plan.

So, here's my plan:

1) READ the GOSPELS (in parallel)
I've done some research on parallel Gospel tables and this is the one I like best:
http://parallelgospels.org/
I like it because it is really easy to use and its just the WORD, no commentary (although you can click on links to commentaries very easily from the home page).  And the links for each section work (and are still easy to read) from my ipod touch.  Making the study, like me, very mobile. 
I will say- I don't know anything about this site.  I'm not getting anything for recommending it.  And please click on any advertisements or other links at your own risks, or better yet just don't.

I'm going to do about 4 sections of this breakdown a week, but have divided it up so it flows based on the story and length of the sections (for example the whole Sermon on the Mount is only one section so I left a whole week for that).

2) JOURNAL/STUDY
Because I'm specifically wanting to read and study about Christ, I'm journaling through in a very intentional way.  I've got a spiral divided into the following categories:
- Characteristcs
- Teachings/Commands
- Miracles
And I'm sure as I go I may add other sections.

3) MEMORIZE the Word with my family
Our kids are young, but they can already memorize scripture.  We are thinking about doing 1 verse a month.   Because we hadn't started the reading yet in January, we chose a "prophetic" verse about Jesus to start

JANUARY FAMILY VERSE
"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.  And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." ISAIAH 9:6



Why am I telling you my plan? You know, I'm not really sure. 
I guess I hoped that saying it out loud will help me commit to it.
But I also hope that maybe some of you will join me. 
Adding an element of community perspective to a personal Bible study.

As a busy working mom, I've been frustrated with the structure of Bible Studies I've been part of.  PLEASE DON'T HEAR ME WRONG ON THIS.  I love/need the perspective of community while studying, and I've had some awesome opportunities to be part of those kinds of studies.  However, with 4 kids aged 6 and under, it is very difficult to have something specifically scheduled into an evening, that requires me to drop my children off (yet again) in childcare, and work my way through a workbook that may or may not be at all relevant to where I am right now.  Not that there is anything wrong with that kind of studying AT ALL, it works great for some people, it just doesn't fit into my lifestyle right now. That said- I BELIEVE that the WORD always has/needs a place in my life.  And maybe some of you feel the same way.  If so, you are exactly who I feel called to encourage in this.  Together, we can find a way to dive into the Word in a way that lets it resonate with us where we are. 

If that is what you need right now, do you wanna try this together?

Like I said, I'm following the chart below and I'll let you know each month which verse/verses our family is memorizing (probably one from the previous month's studying).  But feel free to move at your own pace, do what works best for your family, and share what you are learning on your own blog, on facebook, with me via email/text/comment- or don't share a bit.  Totally up to you.  The journaling, especially, will probably look totally different for different people.  If you are looking for a model or triggers for journaling, I've used the "Discovery Bible Study" method and "S.P.E.C.K." prompts and liked both.  I've also just journaled verse by verse.  Do some research, there are lots of good suggestions from others on how to just read and study the Bible without a workbook, so to speak.

 Its only four books of the entire Bible.  Over the course of an entire year.  So, the idea is for it to be SUPER SIMPLE and accomplish-able.  However, the idea is also for it to be very purposeful and intentional. AND to involve our families. 
Because this whole thing may be a huge learning curve, but here's what I DO know for SURE.  The Word is ALIVE, it is TRUE and it is RELEVANT.  And I have to believe that as we study about Christ- his teachings, his life, his characteristics, his miracles- we will know Him in new ways. 

Lets stand there together at the end of 2013.  Because that is the real goal.  Whether you join me in this kind of personal study, whether you attend organized Bible Study, or whether you are attending Church regularly for the very first time.  No matter how different our experiences are as we read and study The Word this year- Let's all arrive at December 31, 2013, and say we know CHRIST more fully, more deeply, and as a result our hearts and lives are changed.  And that, folks, is my New Year's Resolution!

ABL


Here are the first six months.  The numbers coordinate with the numbered sections on this link:
http://parallelgospels.org/


January (I've spent this week praying and planning.  I'll start this specific plan next week, Jan 6th)
Wk 1: 1-5
Wk 2: 6-9
Wk 3: 10-14
Wk 4: 15-18
 
February
Wk 1: 19-22
Wk 2: 23-26
Wk 3: 27-30
Wk 4: 31-35

 March
 Wk 1: 36-40
Wk 2: 41-44
Wk 3: 45-47
Wk 4: 48-52

 April
Wk 1: 53-56
Wk 2: 57
Wk 3: 58-63
Wk 4: 64-67
Wk 5: 68-70
 
May
 Wk 1: 71-73
Wk 2: 74-76
Wk 3: 77-79
Wk 4: 80-83

June
Wk 1: 84-89
Wk 2: 90-93
Wk 3: 94-98
Wk 4: 99-101 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

5 Things for the 5-year-old (continued)

Visit the first 2 posts in the "5 things for the 5-year-old" series to read about Cbug's party that he planned and his 5-year interview; as well as see a video of his first 5 years and read his bday letter.

And rounding out the series, at number 5...
5) the Birthday DAY
Even though we celebrated officially on December 26th, today is his birthday.  And for our calendar/date-lovin-boy its important that we celebrate some on January 3rd, too.  Once again, everything about how he chose to celebrate was predictably unpredictable.  I couldn't have guessed any of it ahead of time, which is why I didn't even bother guessing.  He has specific ideas about how to do things, and they rarely line up with any other 5 year-old I know.  But, as usual, it sure was fun.

I asked Cbug what he would like for me to bring to his school celebration- cookies or cupcakes.  He chose cookie cake.  and had very specific (unassisted) ideas about how it was to be decorated.  I wish I had a picture, or better yet a video, of him explaining this to the very patient lady at the grocery store bakery.


And for dinner, he got to pick where he wanted to eat.  He chose a restaurant that is nearly an hour away that he had previously visited exactly once.  But he remembered it and he was determined.  So, that's where we went.  It was super fun! And then we came home and rounded the night out with opening presents in our PJs.
We had a super fun day celebrating our newly turned 5-year-old!  Love how he keeps us guessing.

ABL

And this doesn't really fit in the "5 things" but...
Cbug also got to have a bonus celebration when he had dinner with RRL's family to celebrate his birthday month- which he shares with Aunt Jac.  I love how much my kids love her!!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

5 Things for Cbug- the video and the letter

I started the 5 things in DRRF for Cbug's Birthday celebration with the party and the interview.  Here are numbers 3 and 4- the video and the birthday letter.

3) The video
Pictures from his first 5 years.  When we made the similar video for KJ's 5th bday, I cried everytime I listened to the song, watched the video, sorted through the pictures.  I'm still nostalgic with Cbug, but it is impossible to look at a complilation of his expressions and do anything but LAUGH.  I mean how many people have a picture of themselves at 4 and 30 pounds, swaddled like baby Jesus? Or a dinosaur hanging out of their mouth at meet the teacher night?  Oh, how the Lord knew I would need Cbug to keep me from taking life too seriously.  This song, from "Slugs and Bugs and Lullabies" (one of our very favorite kid CDs), is SO fitting for him.
"I'm just a kid with a head full of dreams and a dream full of things to get done..."

video

4) The Letter

Dearest Cbug-
I cannot believe you are 5.  In some ways your Daddy and I started treating you like you were 5 long before you were quite ready to be.  You do so much to try to keep up with KJ that we sometimes try to make you older than you really are.  Often you rise to that challenge, but sometimes when you snuggle up in my lap or grin that dimpled grin, I try to remind myself to just let you be little for a while longer. 



I love how you handle your role, as you find yourself almost evenly between KJ and Lou.  You can play with both of them so well.  Sometimes you like to do big things like build with Legos or make up adventures with KJ, but you are also so sweet to play the "Daddy" for Lou when she wants you to play house.  One of my favorite lines that you tell her is "I'll play house with you, Sister, but you have to call me 'Babe'"  because that's what you've heard me call your Daddy.  And many times when KJ is at school, you and Lou really do have a blast together.  Another favorite memory is the two of you sitting at the table for nearly an HOUR this fall while you shared an apple, giggling as you passed it back and forth for bites until it was gone.  Who knew an apple could be so much fun?!?!

Maybe that's a favorite memory because you rarely sit still.  You are pretty much all IN to whatever you are doing.  So you are only still if you are in a zone- building Legos, playing trains, or reading books.  But most of what you do with your older brother involves being very much NOT still- playing Nerf wars or playing rough  and wrestling.  The two of you have some kind of magnet that requires you to be pushing, shoving, or wrestling AT.ALL.TIMES.  This year we invented "hand tag" which is a game you can actually hit each other on the hands, but you have to sit still to play.  I love that you two have so much fun together and I'm constantly praying for ways to encourage you to grow-up with that same spirit of fun...without killing each other.

I love how you love to make Little bear laugh.  You say his name with about 20 syllables and he thinks it is hilarious.  You can bring him from full-on-tantrum to giggles faster than anyone else.  Thank you for that!  I also love that you like to teach him things.  He's going to be really privileged to have a big brother like you watching out for him.

You like for things to be scheduled and you like to know what is happening next.  You need to know what the date is, the time is and you like for things to move quickly from one thing to the next (in the appropriate order).  If we don't help guide you to the next thing, it is sometimes hard for you to make good choices about what to choose to do next.  Ms Tabitha has been a great teacher for you this year because she GETS that and has helped you a ton with how to fit your scheduled AND busy self into a classroom setting.  At home, we have to be ready for things like when you take your last bite of food, because you are ready to immediately move on to the next thing.  And we have to get creative about how we keep you occupied when we can't just move to the next thing.  Sometimes its working on sounding out words, as you LOVE these beginning stages of reading.  And another recent favorite for you has been word math problems.  This is just how your little mind works.  Its crazy to us how quickly you can think through "A Christmas tree farmer has 6 trees and cuts down 2" and how much you love doing it.  We hope you always LOVE learning...and we hope learning is always something you will CHOOSE when you need to occupy your time!

This year we are especially grateful to be celebrating another birthday with you.  You started the year a pretty sick little boy.  We had a scary couple of days with you in the hospital in March.  You LOVED the playroom there, but your Daddy and I are very thankful that we haven't had to repeat that trip.  You've been on different medications for the rest of the year and it has made a huge difference for your asthma.  We are so very thankful!
Cbug, there is no one quite like you.  You steal hearts regularly with your dimpled grin and life-loving-spirit. One of your favorite phrases is "I NEVER run out of hugs" Your love for those close to you runs super deep and you hate to see anyone hurting.  In fact, the hardest part for you, when you were in the hospital was hearing other kids crying.  You hated that.  And vice versa, you LOVE to make people laugh.  You crack us up ALL.THE.TIME and you know it, too.  Ha.  You told your daddy today "I just laugh myself up".  

And that's my prayer for you this year.  That you will continue to use your humor, your fierce love for those you encounter, your tender-heart, and the best dimpled grin I've ever seen to steal hearts for Jesus.  May you bring Him glory as you shine from deep down within yourself.  And may you grow up to know more about a Lord whose Love and Grace NEVER run out, just like your hugs.

We love you so much, Buddy!  And are always thankful for the way you help us just enjoy life.

Love,
Momma

And then one more 5th birthday post for you, buddy, coming soon- the Birthday DAY.

Dum dah dah dum....CBUG IS TURNING FIVE!

Get ready for it, folks! Cbug is turning 5 tomorrow.  I CAN HARDLY BELIEVE IT! 
Five is a big deal at our house.  I mean, being one whole hand and all, its pretty significant.  So, in honor of being 5.  Here are 5 things about Cbug turning F-I-V-E!

First up...A party and an interview!

1)  A Party
one of the 5-year-old traditions we have started is really letting our kids PLAN their 5th birthday.  Usually birthdays for our family are either just at our house or at our church.  Not too over the top.  But for 5, we want to let them really dream big (reasonably).  KJ picked Legoland.  But Cbug had a different idea.
AUNT MARILYN'S HOUSE. IN NASHVILLE.
He's been talking about it for months, ever since she and Nonna came to visit this fall. 
We reminded him that it meant his friends wouldn't be there he said "Yes they will!" And proceeded to list his few favorite adults that live in Nashville.  He wanted to invite Nonna and Papa J, Aunt Marilyn and Uncle B, Aunt Paulie (who shares his bday) and "Grannie Frannie and her children"...who are also adults.  The only kids he wanted to invite were his cousins, Beau and Kylie.  Ok, bud, you got it! 

Then we reminded him that we wouldn't be able to go swimming at Aunt M's because it would be too cold.  To which he responded "That's ok, we can do some other activities".  Oh yeah, like what...well, for starters he wanted to do "a craft" then "play some games" then "read some stories".  Wow, ok, this is getting easier by the minute.

It actually worked out perfectly because we were going to be in Nashville anyway, just one week before his birthday.  He's still BIG on dates so he had to be convinced that it was ok to have the party on a day other than January 3rd, but it helped when we told him he would be at school that day and could take cake to his friends. Instead, he kept calling this his "December 26th birthday".

For the craft, everyone decorated number 5s for Cbug to keep.

 Then, we played Sorry and Uno (his favorite games)


We sang Happy Birthday and ate some cake (decorated to his specifications).  He requested that the "C" be cut out of the middle for him to eat.  Love this boy!

And last, Aunt M (with Cbug's help) read some stories.

All of his requests were so reasonable and sweet it was hard to say "no" to a single one.  As an added bonus, it snowed, so he got to fulfill his Christmas wish of "catching snowflakes on his tongue"

I love that this is how he chose to celebrate.  And he was on top of the world through the whole party.  He had so much fun just being with family and friends, in Nashville.  And I appreciate that all of his adult friends were happy to oblige to his ideas about a party.  I wonder how long it had been since some of them had been invited to a 5-year-old's birthday party.  But they were happy to do it because of the way he so fiercely loves each of them.  What a boy!


2) An Interview
A: Cbug, do you know what an interview is?
Cbug: No, Is it something fun we do together?
A: Yes, I'm going to ask you some questions about being 5.

A: What is your favorite Color?
Cbug: Blue


A: What is your favorite thing to do with Daddy?
Cbug: Going to an apartment because they have outside up things where you can look at stuff
A You mean balconies?
Cbug: Yes.


A: What is your favorite thing to do with Mommy?
Cbug: I get to give you kisses

A: Favorite thing to do with KJ and Lou?
Cbug: Play with Korben's legos
and play in the kitchen with Libby
A: Who is your favorite SuperHero?
Cbug: Batman, but really my best one is Green Lantern

A: Where is your favorite place to go?
Cbug:  Scout and Ryders house
and also visit Josh and Mr Derek.

A: What is your favorite thing to wear?
Cbug: My spiderman shirt and new cowboy boots
A: What is your favorite thing to eat?
Cbug: Icecream and little tomatoes and pizza
A: What makes you laugh?
Cbug: When my brother makes silly faces at me

A: What do you want to be when you grow up?
Cbug: a police man and I also want to be an Inn Keeper and maybe a Zoo Keeper with animals

A: What do you want to teach your kids when you are a Daddy.
Cbug: Things about God and Jesus and teach them Spanish

A: What is your favorite bible verse?
Cbug:  My favorite is Libby's verse "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  All your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Psalm 139:14
A: Do you want to tell me about anything else in your interview?
Cbug: Yes, about God.
A: What would you like to tell me about God?
Cbug: That he watches over us.
A:  Like when you are scared?
Cbug: Yes
A: What are you scared of?
Cbug: Tigers
A: Why are you scared of Tigers?
Cbug: Because I can kill fish, but not lions or tigers.  They would eat me.  I can also kill dinosaurs.
A: But dinosaurs are extinct, silly!
Cbug: I know but, if I jumped into the time of dinosaurs I would be able to kill them. And that's it, now I'm done telling you about things. One more thing, I just wanted to say "I love God and Jesus". Can you type that?  Ok, that's all.