This week we celebrated Ben's birthday. His first ever birthday cake, first ever birthday gifts, first ever LOUD and joyful rendition of "Happy Birthday". It was a very good day.
The weather was nice so we spent the afternoon outside taking photos and waiting on Dad to get home.
Susannah, trying her best to persuade me to slip her a cupcake before the party . . . hard to resist.
Ava and Zane . . . waiting on the rest of the crew to show up for a group photo . . .
Georgia . . . just up from her nap and so.very.happy. that cake was in her near future! Love the wild bedhead. :-)
Olivia . . . it is such a joy to see her grow into a beautiful young woman. She's usually the one behind the camera, but I caught her off guard this day and captured a really great shot of who she is.
Phoebe . . . silly, exasperating, LOUD, energetic, full-of-life Phoebe. Proof of one of three things: God has a really interesting sense of humor . . . OR . . . He has way more confidence in my ability to parent than I do . . . OR . . . He's sent a special little girl to show me my weak spots. She will either be the death of me or help me become a much, MUCH more patient woman. Anyone want to make a wager?
And, the rest of the crew . . . Oh, my heart. I love each and every one of them so much. It has been an indescribable privilege to see them grow up, and now to see them stretch and grow and welcome each other as brothers and sisters. God is good.
The day was really great and Ben, well, the boy was beside himself with excitement in anticipation of opening all those gifts. In our family, all of the kids go on a shopping trip with me to pick out gifts for the birthday boy or girl. They each get a $5.00 budget and get to be as creative as possible with that money. Surprisingly, they pick out some really great stuff. This is when being in a big family REALLY pays off. You're guaranteed 10 sibling gifts AND gifts from Mom and Dad! Makes all those annoying siblings totally worth it. :-)
Lovin' being in the birthday seat and wearing the hat . . .
This year, some of them decided to pool their money and buy something bigger. Ben LOVES soccer and will start his first ever soccer practice for his first ever team next week, so soccer gear was on his list. (So was a motorcycle. The boy has expensive taste and isn't afraid to tell us. His dad replied with, "I have three letters for you pal . . . J - O - B!")
First practice next week and he's dying to lace up the cleats and strap on the shin guards.
And the best gift of all? His first ever bicycle. Oh, to be able to hold the memory of his face when he laid eyes on this. Not sure there's ever been a happier boy.