Category Archives: Birthdays

Ethan Turns 14!

Our first born turned 14 this week.  It is truly crazy how time flies by.  I have been a wreck crying over the fact that he only has 4-5 summer vacations with us.

Ethan is a very talented child who we are so proud of.  He continues to make straight A’s, has made the football team, basketball team and all region choir so far this year.  He keeps us running all over town with all his happenings.  Most days we have to shut down something or other that he is cooking up with friends!  He has a big love for God and his friends and is working on his love for his siblings.  Ethan loves his hair and can still be found fixing his hair many times a day.  We know he will be a great man soon and we are cherishing the time we still have with him.

Early morning birthday breakfast

A visit from the grandparents and dinner at Kabuki

He asked for a big home party this year and big it was.  He had 19 kids show up for his party!  They seemed to have a good time.  We loaded up on junk food and pizza.  I was shocked that we had so much food left over.

What a sweet, handsome boy!

May you have a wonderful year Ethan and many more to come.  You are loved more than you know.  I know it is hard being the oldest child!

Max Turns 7

Another year has passed for our youngest child, Max.  We had a wonderful time celebrating this victory!  Max is the sweetest child we have ever raised!  He has a real compassion for others and loves to cuddle his Mama daily.  He has changed a lot over a year’s time.  He is not so timid of life and is now a bit more into “boy” things like Ninjago, video games and Power Rangers (of course that could be because of all the T.V. he watched this summer).   He still has his two baby dolls and often asks me to play family with him.  It is the sweetest thing the way he looks after them!  One of his favorite things to do is play in his room with his family and he can’t get enough of board games (we raised him well)!  He Is a complete artist and draws incredible pictures.  He also makes really creative things out of bits of trash.  We can’t wait to see what this boy becomes later in life. But of course don’t want to rush these magical years.

We spent the last week of August making a piñata for his party.  Though we were frantically adding the wire and tissue paper to the top minutes before the party started!

As always, I made him a birthday shirt and stayed up until 1 doing so.  When will I ever learn to make their shirts a week before?

We took him out to get a big cookie, to share of course!  We love The Bagel Place cookies!
He received his birthday blessing right alongside of his Godparents.

Then it was party day!  He chose to have a Power Rangers party.  We played many games and had a Morphin good time.  I love home parties because you get to be a bit more creative with the activities.

Max, may you continue to stay humble and kind.  You are loved far more than you know!  Here’s to a great year!  We love you!

A Dog Party

Well, this happened, we threw our dog a first birthday party!  Man did we feel crazy and super epic this weekend.  Maddie is an extreme animal lover and has really taken to our new dogs.  She begged and begged to throw our dog Jack a party.  And party we did.

She came up with the invites, activities (pet talent show), party favors and even made the birthday cake.

The party guest arrive:

Talent show, treats, and cake time

I was pleasantly surprised that all the guests were well behaved and seemed to get along.  It was way more work for us adults though having to keep up with the dogs for an hour!  I thought it was so sweet that everyone brought Jack a present.  He got so many tasty snacks and new toys!

Thanks to everyone who came.  She is already planning the next one, but we have told her  his first birthday party was enough, ha!

Maddie is Nine!

Our sweet Maddie turned nine this week.  She is such a smart, creative child.  She is mature beyond her years.  Maddie wanted to have her party at Starz Gymnastics.  What a blast it was!

All she asked for was a pair of roller blades.  She is a skating fool!!! Her favorite things to do are: read, roller skate, create art, and play soccer.  She recently got 6th place in her school’s spelling bee and she made the Battle of the Books team!  She gets her smarts from John!
We sure love you Maddie.  You are turning into such a caring girl.  We are proud of all you do.

Ethan is 13!

I can not believe our first born is now a teenager.  Watching him grow has been incredible.  And yes, I cry every year on their birthdays.  I stay up looking at baby pictures the night before and the tears are unstoppable.  This year was no exception.  My, where does the time go?

Ethan is really into sports, his appearance (mainly his hair) and his friends.  Most of the time he is off at a friend’s house until dark.  I miss him being home, but I know the job of a parent is to help your child become who they are and to fly away from the nest.  I just didn’t think it would happen so soon!   He is way cooler than John and I ever were in school.

A birthday tradition for our children is waking up to few treats and browsing through the baby books.  We don’t often buy sugary cereal so this was a real treat!
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My mom surprised Ethan with a basketball goal.  That is where he can now be found at all hours of the day shooting hoops either alone or with friends.  Poor kid is trying to teach me how to play!  It has been fun getting to spend more quality time with him doing something he loves.
Ethan is really into brand name everything, as I am sure most kids are at some point.  He grumbled when I bought one bag of store brand chips for his party.  So we decided to throw him a generic party!!  He found a bit of humor in it.
He had 9 other teens stay over.  They played football and basketball until way past dark and then watched scary movies into the wee hours of the morning.  We all had a great time.
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Oh, this sweet boy of ours.  He is trying to navigate the way into the next phase of his life.  Some days are good and others not so good.  He has found his inner back talking, grumbling self.  I sure miss him being my sweet little cuddle bug, but it has been fun watching him change into the man he is becoming.

Here is to many, many more birthdays and the best life has to offer.

Max Turns 6

Our sweet Max celebrated his sixth birthday on the 1st of September.  He is and has always been such a little love.  He is a caring, sensitive, energetic little one.  He loves nature, making art, playing trains, knights, pirates, and he still loves playing with his two baby dolls.  He is still quite the momma’s boy and oh, how I love this.  I know all too well that these babies grow too fast.  I am trying to soak up all his babyish ways before it disappears.

I have been making my kiddos birthday shirts ever since Ethan turned one.  As always, I put it off until the night before!  I stayed up until close to 2 am finishing his sloth shirt!  His expression when he saw it made the long night worth it.   img_7868img_7864img_7876
Another tradition with all my babies has been to go to Chuck E Cheese with the cousins and Grammy to play games.
img_7879 img_7883The magic of being little is still here, if only for just a little bit longer.

Max wanted to have a jungle themed party.  We had a great time playing jungle games.
img_7921img_7927img_7958img_7968 img_7974We played: Anaconda tug of war, guess what animal is on my back, pin the tail on the lemur, jump over the crocodile,  all tangled up like a vine and Legos.  Max had a blast.

He got his first ever “big” kid toy, a Nerf gun!  He has been too worried about losing the darts to even play with it though, ha!  He wore his birthday crown for over a week.
Here is to many more magical years.  May you stay caring and sensitive, my little Baby Bear.



35 years of life

One of my main wishes in this life is to watch my babies grow.  I feel blessed to have gotten one year closer to that goal.  I truly feel like this year of Epic has been one of the best years of my life.

We celebrated my big day with a visit to my parent’s house and then a simple dinner of pizza at home.  Afterwards, we played soccer and Sharks and Minnows until it got too dark to see.  What a lovely evening it was.
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The kids really worked hard on my birthday gifts.  They sure know me well.  They even treated me to a yoga class!sara's b day 054 sara's b day 053 I received the coolest tea mug ever.  I love the colors and pictures my babies created for me. sara's b day 062
A few nights later we had a lip sync battle with friends.  It was a blast.  sara's b day 063
Sometimes I catch myself wondering how I got so lucky.  We never know what life will throw at us, but for now I’m soaking it all in!  Thank you God for another year.

Maddie is 8!

It is hard to believe that our middle child just turned eight.  She is so mature beyond her years that she seems much older.  From the day she took her first breath, she has been spunky, strong-willed and such a brilliant, creative little one.  She continues to be that way to this day.  Her ideas are so grand and endless.  She never ceases to amaze us.
coopsettinguptree maddies bday morning 234 coopsettinguptree maddies bday morning 237 maddie's party 014 maddie's party 018 maddie's party 034maddie's party 032Per her request, she a had a skate and spa party.  The girls were up until 2 a.m. partying!

We wish the best for her and pray that she can achieve all of her dreams, no matter how eccentric they may seem.  Maddie is such a good sister and daughter.  Oh, how we love her.

Birthday Boys

As we write this, September is almost over.  Our baby, turned 5 on September 1st and our first born turned 12 on the 14th.  As always , I (Sara) got a bit emotional the night before their birthdays, recalling all the details of their birth story and crying over the fact that they are one year older, ha!

These boys of ours are each so different, yet so similar.  They have a gentle nature about them with quite a bit of goofiness thrown in.  Ethan is into football this year and enjoys hanging out with his friends.  While Max is really into animals (even though he is terrified of just about every one he comes in contact with) and is also an amazing artist.

For his traditional birthday shirt, Max helped me with the shark design.
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Oh, how I love you my little Max.  You bring such joy to my days. birthdayboys_camping 077birthdayboys_camping 086 birthdayboys_camping 095birthdayboys_camping 111
They chose to have a joint party at a local gym filled with trampolines.  birthdayboys_camping 418 birthdayboys_camping 459 birthdayboys_camping 460 birthdayboys_camping 480 birthdayboys_camping 435
A sleepy Ethan checking out his birthday table.  It is a tradition to have a few small gifts  along with a few baby albums set out for the birthday child to find in the morning.
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Upon Ethan’s request, we took him on a special lunch outing to a Japanese steak house. birthdayboys_camping 518
Another birthday tradition is a quick trip to Chuck E. Cheese to play a few games and spend time with family.  This must have started 10 years ago! birthdayboys_camping 540
Ethan on his 6th birthday…  My, where does the time go?  sept 202
Ethan, was able to invite a few friends to play paintball this past weekend to finish up his celebrations.  His smile says it all!birthdayboys_camping 565 birthdayboys_camping 566
We are so blessed to be their parents and to be the ones who get to share this journey with them.  We feel so fortunate that they are both homeschooling this year.  The extra time spent with them each day is an amazing thing.

Happy Birthday boys.  May your year be filled with many adventures!  We love you both more than you will ever know.