Thursday, May 16, 2024

May 15 Cal's birthday at HIS house

Wednesday:  I asked Kelly if it would be okay if I brought birthday cupcakes for everyone to have for dessert tonight--since Cal's party isn't until Saturday. Erin was a little stressed that there would be no birthday cake for his actual birthday, so last week she announced (!!) that I would be bringing cupcakes for everyone to enjoy. Erin has agenda's, believe me. I readily agreed to her plan, and it worked out just great. I was even able to go to that fabulous bakery near the ZOO and pick up a gluten-free cupcake for Kelly. Unfortunately, I ate something during the day that upset my stomach; so I couldn't eat anything the rest of the day without negative results, so I refrained from eating.

Look at the anticipation ...
Kelly does such a great job remaining cool with so much going on around her all at once. I'm lousy at it! I am growing bit by bit, but it sure is a struggle for me. 
Dear Aidan's face ... 
The only SAD thing that happened all day was this: While playing "Capture the Flag" during gym class, someone collided (with force) with Brendan's face and leg. He is all black and blue and swollen. He is the sweetest person, so my heart really ached to think he was hurting. He handled himself very well, however. He is not a complainer.
Cal eyeballing his four-candled cupcake ...

Erin, trying to restrain herself from blowing the darn thing out ...

Cal! You did such a great job blowing out all of the candles!

Cal really enjoys chocolate!

Erin too ...
I love these pictures of her so much.

And THEN it was time to open presents from his folks and Uncle Shane too.
Cal got some very fancy shirts from his mom and dad--one with dinosaurs, a nice beach one, and I think the other one is a LION!
Aidan and Erin trying to contain themselves during the present opening ... they always like to HELP the process and end up being a little too helpful in the process ...

Cal also got one of those cool dinosaurs that ROAR and move a little bit. I came SO close to buying one of those for him the other day when I was shopping!

When it was time to open Uncle Shane's present, this was what ALL of the kiddos shouted: "Uncle Shane gives the BEST presents!" He does, too! Cal was thrilled to find the softest "stuffy" of a T-Rex (his favorite dinosaur). This is the perfect gift for little Cal.

The roaring dinosaur from his folks ...
I asked Cal to pose with his favorite presents. Erin LOVES a good photo shoot and didn't pass up the opportunity to do a wee bit of posing ...

I love these pictures of the THREE littles ... They are so adorable.
Brendan--you are adorable too, but you are too old now to refer to you that way. But I CAN say that you are a very handsome young man, because you are.

It was such a fun time with everyone today. I am super thankful the Lord has allowed me the privilege of being a mom and a grandma too. It's far easier to be a grandma than a mother, but I am thankful for both.

May 15 Cal's Birthday, at my house

Wednesday:  Little Cal turned FOUR today!!! He's been looking forward to this birthday for weeks and weeks. Time goes so slowly for little ones. When I picked him up from school at noon, he announced to me: "Now I am a REALLY big boy, gwamma!" I told him I agreed completely! 

I did a few simple decorations at my house--nothing fussy--his REAL party is on Saturday at HIS house with friends. But since today is his REAL date of birth, I thought it might be OK to just give Cal a small present, blow up some balloons, and have a birthday cupcake. He seemed to appreciate it very much. 

Isn't he a darling little boy?

I put Cal's favorite dinosaur puppet (Rocky) on top of his dinosaur cup just for fun ... Cal's roars pretty authentically as a T-Rex!

Here he is holding his passenger airplane (below). The super sonic jet plane didn't get photo'd. He flew both of them all over my place today and we had such fun with them.
This darling little face ... before I lit the candle, he kept saying: "Get the fire, get the FIRE, gwamma!"
Cal had eaten a rather hearty lunch, but I had promised he could have his cupcake as soon as he was finished with his hotdog (I only gave him a 1/2), but when it came to eating his cupcake, he was really only interested in the frosting ... but insisted I save the cake part for him to eat later.
Cutie ...

I also had party blowers that made the weirdest sound! Cal enjoyed them very much.

We played at our gravel pit for a long time this afternoon. Cal thought it would be appropriate to land our airplanes there so they could help the trucks do the work ... so ... we landed the airplanes and they went to work.

I love to watch Cal play. He is so imaginative and his sound effects are great!

Cal slept in my car as we drove back to his house. We arrived in time to get the littles off their bus. Pictures to follow of celebrating Cal's birthday with his mom and dad and siblings.

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

May 12 Mother's Day

Sunday:  Today is Mother's Day! I know this is a rather manufactured "holiday", and one that can be not very happy for many people in various circumstances. But I decided that TODAY, I would enjoy it. 

I AM A MOTHER. My boys are the best gift I have ever received.

I failed a lot as a mother, but the Lord has forgiven me for my selfish and often "ignorant" mothering. I'm learning to forgive myself, but it is a process.

I'll tell you the best thing, though, about THIS Mother's Day:

Terry, Ruthanne, and I all attend second service at Calvary, and sit in the exact same seats every single week (I know--so predictable). This week, a young woman and little girl came into our row and sat right next to me. She quietly introduced herself and her daughter. I can't begin to guess her age--maybe 25? She has only been in America for 7 years. She is from China, and her name is Youyou. The service had not started yet, so we had a chance to chat a little bit. Youyou is a single mom. Her daughter is two. She is recently divorced, but she does not seem bitter--just quiet--about that. I told her that I was a single mom for many years a very long time ago. She looked at me right in the eyes and ... we just immediately connected. It was such a wonderful thing. We had the nicest conversation--mostly about how faithful the Lord is, and how only He can meet the deepest needs of our hearts. Youyou is such a sweet person. I am so thankful I met her! I told her she made my day, and tears came to her eyes. We exchanged phone numbers and have already "talked" via text a few times. What a blessing this is to me.

But equally nice was being invited over to Dylan and Kelly's for a little visit this afternoon. It's been over two weeks since I have seen any of them because of my trip to Florida, and I have missed them so much. I arrived at about 3:00 and only stayed two hours--but it was such a fun time. 

I am really thankful for Dylan and Kelly. They are loving and kind to me as a mom. I enjoy watching them love on their kiddos. I love hearing about their lives. I didn't snap any pictures of them--I am always distracted by their little "tribe."

This first picture is of Aidan giving Cal an early birthday present. Kelly told me that Aidan saved up his own money to buy this LEGO car for his little brother. Look at their dear faces!

Aidan helped Cal open his present and built it too. Good job, Aidan. Grandma is so proud of you.
These three cuties are a scream together. To listen to their conversations is truly a treasure. I have to be careful not to laugh out loud--I don't want them to think I don't take them seriously. They are so darling. Brendan is past the darling stage--but I love him so much. I was attempting to say, "Truly He is risen!" in Greek to Brendan when I walked in the door today; and he very sweetly corrected my pronunciation of "Alisthos ..." which I appreciated! Brendan gets his language expertise from Dylan.
Erin was stealing my phone and snapping "selfies" whenever she could. She absolutely kills me. I could squeeze her forever I think.
Look at Cal's cute little face ...
Erin got very creative and decided to make a "TRAIN" face. Okay then. !!!!
I was happy, also, to be in the same room with my son that I don't see very many times during the year. I'm always glad to see him because he holds a special place in my heart. Perhaps he does not believe this, or maybe he would rather it wasn't true--but it just is--and I will always love him. 

At one point while I was over at the house, Kelly came down to the playroom and looked quite SAD. Apparently she accidentally backed into my car in the driveway and left a little mark. !!! I could absolutely NOT care less about anything like that, and I told her so. I hope she believes me. I love her to pieces and would not want her to worry.

Later in the day, I was able to text back and forth with Jesse. I am super thankful for him too. I know he has my back (as the saying goes) and I so appreciate his love for me.

SO ... all of these things made for a very happy Mother's Day.