Thursday, September 17, 2015

Xander is 7

My Xander is 7 years old today.  That seems like such a big kid.  He knows it's bittersweet for me and last night after I had put him to bed, he got back up and said, "Well, this is the last time you'll see your 6-year-old.  Better take a picture."  So I did.

This morning he said, "Here's your first look at your 7-year-old."  Then he opened a couple presents and got ready for school.

We went to school to have lunch with him, and it was Papa John's day (where his cafeteria has Papa John's pizza as the meal).  It's his favorite lunch day at school, so that was cool.

Lucas had to work this evening (his second job), so he picked Xander up a tad early so we could both see him open his last gift, and I'm very glad we did.  He was super excited and squeezed us both so tightly.  It was awesome to see him so giddy.

After that, my sister and her kids dropped by to tell Xander happy birthday.  Then my mom came because we were going to dinner to celebrate.  My niece and nephew really wanted to come eat too, so we brought them along.  And Xander loved it.  He even shared his birthday dessert with everyone.  Okay, mostly Paxton.

Earlier in the day I continued the tradition of his tree.  We planted it for his very first birthday and I take his picture with it every year.  They just keep growing and growing.

Another fun fact is that when we adopted Raja the vet estimated she was "around 3," and Xander had just had his third birthday, so we said they have the same birthday.  So she got some extra bones for her 7th birthday today as well.

Xander's first birthday, and today, 6 years later.

Xander is my Wonder Kid for sure.  He's scary smart and feels deeply.  He's funny and likes being known as funny.  He's sweet and generous.  He pays attention and tries his best.  He doesn't like to lose or fail in any capacity.  He's always talking and asking questions, which is both amazing and, at times, annoying.  He loves his brother and sister and is good with them.  He thinks of others.  He's kind and tough and confident and stubborn.  I love him so much.

Hope you had the happiest of birthdays, Xander.  You deserve it!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Football and Minecraft party

Xander's birthday is this Thursday, but we celebrated this past Saturday.  The day started with an early wake-up call from a super excited boy, ready for his first "real" (not scrimmage) football game.  He had to be at the ball field at 7:30, but was trying to put on his pads at 6:04.  A little early, bud.

But it was, indeed, exciting. Some of our family and even one of Xander's friends came to watch him play.  And he did really well!  I hate to say I was surprised, but I was a little.  He's not the biggest guy on the team, but he's one of the best listeners for sure and he has soaked up a ton of information.  He made some fantastic blocks and did great.  Plus, he was super cute.

There he is - number 37

I'm not sure what's going on here, but I'm certain it was after the whistle.  Kid doesn't give up - even when the play is dead.
You can't see Xander's face here, but he's making a great block.  His teammate scored on this play.

Love.  It.

After the football game, we went home and I did some more prep, then we had a Minecraft party!  It's been a while since I really did a "theme" party, but he knew what he wanted, so we were all about some Minecraft.  Even the food was from the game.

Xander has wanted a cookie cake the past couple of years so Lucas made his famous "Lucas cookies" into a cake and I made it look like Steve.

The party was at a local park, so we played on the playground and cool zipline too.

We also had "Pin the Eyes on the Enderman" - using a giant Steve head as the blindfold.

My nephew Riley as Steve

Xander got pretty close
And there were presents.  Lots and lots of presents.  Xander loved them all and was so excited the whole time.

And of course the pinata, again with the Steve head acting as a blindfold.

And then after all of that, we went to get pizza with some good friends (but I didn't take any pictures of that). 

We had such a fun time celebrating Xander, and we're not finished yet!  We still have a few surprises for him on his actual birthday in a few days.  And then of course the tree picture.  Can't wait!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Labor Day weekend

I had every intention of writing this post on Tuesday, which was also my mom's birthday, but Paxton woke up sick so all my plans for that day were pushed aside.  Then I got a pretty terrible head cold and I just haven't felt like doing anything I don't absolutely have to do.

But - tomorrow is Xander's birthday party so I wanted to talk about the Labor Day weekend before we get to that.  So - here we go.

Last Saturday Xander had his first (scrimmage) football game.  It was so fun and he loved it.  He's been really paying attention in practice and during last night's practice he got two tackles and a fumble recovery!  I love it.  Can't wait for the game tomorrow morning.

After the game my mom took Xander to Toys R Us and I tagged along and made them go in a few other stores as well.  Xander got so bored he turned into a mannequin.

Sunday morning we went to church.  Piper didn't want to take a picture beforehand.

Then after church we went to Price Park off the parkway and had a cook-out for my mom's birthday. The kids splashed in the creek (and one of mine may have relieved himself in the creek), and we ate and laughed and practiced football moves and traded Shopkins.

Our Raja came along

Mimi and her grandkids

After lunch we went for a "hike," which was really a walk.

No one knows where they're going.  Well, Piper does.  They were supposed to be heading to the left.

My brother, Daniel, and his wife, Caitlin, who repeatedly grabbed plants to tickle our ears with when we weren't looking.

We took Raja too, so I forced everyone to stop for a family picture.

Best we could do.  Yes, really.

I'm not sure if you know this about Paxton, but he's my straggler.  Always the last to the car.  Always behind.  He just takes his time and looks around as he walks and stops to check things out.  And on the hike, he kept stopping and asking me to take his picture.  To which I obliged, of course.  But this method put us very far behind everyone else.

So eventually Lucas and I decided to take the twins back and let everyone else continue the hike without us.  They went an extra mile or so and we only made it back to camp about 2 minutes before them.  Because toddlers.

Piper found a mushroom and let Paxton touch it.

Piper's happy place

She wanted to climb this tree and get her picture made, so then Pax had to do it too.

But he was a tad scared.

In her own little world, as usual

We had a blast, and almost everyone was worn out for the ride home.  (Paxton had fallen asleep on the way there so he had a bit more energy.)

The next day was Labor Day and we hung out at home for the morning, then went to some friends' house for food and hanging out.  They have a boy who is a couple months older than the twins and a girl who is the exact same age as Xander.  Seriously - they were born on the same day.  (Although they've figured out that Xander is a few hours older.)

It was difficult to get a picture of Xander because he didn't stop moving.

Paxton found his buddy Jak's hat and wore it for quite a while.  Pretty sure he even tried to keep it when we left.

I told the kids to line up and jump.  At least we tried.

And of course Lucas has to get in a toddler toss or two.

It was a really fun weekend.  Now I'm heading to bed before football and birthday party tomorrow!  Happy weekend to you!