Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Uzziah Turned 3

Once again, time seems to be marching on much more quickly than I would like to accept, and my sweet Uzziah Joel turned 3 today. THREE! How can that be? (I know I start every blog post about my kids' birthdays in a similar fashion, but seriously, this time marching on stuff is crazy fast!). Uzziah was super excited to have a birthday because he got to make cupcakes. We went in to sing happy birthday to him this morning, and he said, "can we make cupcakes now?"
 He chose the ever popular donut for breakfast.
 And of course, opened presents.
Uzziah is really into "Jake and the Neverland Pirates" these days and he had a very Jake-inspired birthday. He got a jake spy scope, headband and treasure map, Jake pajamas and sheets, and a Jake game. He's set on Jake gear until he either outgrows it or graduates high school.
As I mentioned, Uzziah's chosen birthday activity was to decorate cupcakes. So while he rested, I got all the fixings prepared.
 His brothers were pretty excited too!
We try really hard to avoid having a lot of sugar, but for birthdays, I say anything goes. Thus the donuts for breakfast and the cupcake mounding with gummy bears, chocolate, sprinkles, and other treats. Uzziah built his own cupcake and was pretty proud of it.

Happy birthday to the baby of the family who brings us all so much joy. We love you more than you will ever know or understand!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Asher's 9th Birthday

Asher turned 9 this year! Wow, time does sure fly. As has been the case in the past few years, Asher has wanted to go to the Lego store. So on Friday, we loaded up and headed to Denver for a birthday celebration.

Asher (and all the boys) have been saving their money, birthday & Christmas dollars and gift cards for about 6 months in order to buy the Lego set of their (current) dreams.

We got up early and had a birthday breakfast (as a side note, the Elmo balloon was for Uzziah... Asher lost interest in Elmo about 5 years ago).

 Opening gifts.
After the boys got their dream sets at the Lego store (not sure what Obed is doing).
We stopped for lunch, per Asher's request, at Park Burger in Denver.

Then home for a Lego building marathon. It took the boys about 10 hours to build their sets.
During the process:


And the finished products:


Happy birthday to our passionate, loving, tender-hearted son. We love you more than words could ever express.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas 2014

We like to celebrate Christmas for the whole month of December and draw out the fun and celebration of Jesus for as long as possible! And this December did not disappoint. Each of the boys got to have a special date with dad and then go Christmas shopping for the brother he chose. Asher, Ezra and Solomon each bought a Lego gift card for his brother. Obed got a Jake doll for Uzziah and a Play-Dough for Solomon.

Vince and Asher went to Little Bird for a date.
Obed and daddy went to the Bean Cycle for their date.
 Solomon and daddy also went to Little Bird and had peanut butter cookies.
And Ezra and daddy went to Starry Night and got carrot cake and a pumpkin pie steamer.
One of my favorite traditions is driving around and looking at Christmas lights. We found a house this year that the boys particularly liked. It had over 35,000 lights and every single light danced to music. It was something.
We had some friends over to decorate gingerbread houses.


The last several years we have gotten a puzzle to do during Christmas week. The boys really enjoyed doing it this year and were able to do it in about 2 days time (it had 550 pieces).
We made cookies as a family.




Stockings on Christmas morning.
 Just before the gift opening began.

This was Asher's gift to Ezra. Got to love brotherly love!
One of my favorite parts of Christmas this year was that Ezra hand made gifts for most of the family. He made a purse for me. For Uzziah he made a bunny.
And for Obed he made an Angry Bird.  I love his thoughtfulness and pray that as he continues to grow into a young man, his thoughtful nature will grow with him.
The after Christmas morning carnage.
Solomon playing with his Lego set he got for Christmas.
The boys got Battleship for Christmas this year, so we spent a bit of time on Christmas, sitting by the fire and playing.
Even Kevin got a Christmas present.
Uzziah got a hat and some new bear boots.
The boys all got Nerf guns this year, which they all decided were their favorites, along with a new-to-us Wii, complete with a FIFA soccer game. We had a great day as a family and were blessed once again.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Climbing

Some friends from church are lovers of rock climbing and have gone on all kinds of adventures doing just that. They also belong to a gym here in town that has a climbing wall and generously invited the boys to come give it a try. Obed didn't feel like he was quite ready for such an adventure, but the older 2 boys were game, and so last week, they headed to the gym to learn all about it.

First came the harnesses and ropes.

And off they went! Asher started out right away and scrambled up the wall. Ezra worked hard to overcome his anxiety and did a fantastic job as well.

Asher at the top.
Both boys agreed that they loved climbing! Thanks to our friends for exposing the boys to something new and exciting.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Time to Decorate

We decorated for Christmas this past week. The boys once again have a tree in their rooms to put their growing ornament collection on. It's hard to believe Ezra is tall enough to reach the top of the tree!
Obed really loved unwrapping each ornament and thinking through what he remembered about each item. He has a really sweet and sentimental side.
Uzziah was so excited! He and Solomon hung all their own ornaments (in about a 2 foot area).


Meet Kevin

This is Kevin, the newest member of the Black family. He is a mix of lab(ish) and terrier(ish). The rescue place didn't actually know for sure, but lab and terrier was their best guess.

Warnie died about 10 weeks ago. I had really hoped to wait quite a bit longer before we got another dog (like a year or two). But alas, not a week has gone by since Warnie's death that at least one or two of the boys have been in tears multiple times a week over missing him. We put up our Christmas decorations this past week, and as I hung a picture of Warnie on our tree, one of the boys pulled a chair up to the tree, sat and stared at Warnie's picture, and just sobbed. Every time we've left a friend's house who had a dog, the boys left and cried in the car, wishing they had a dog. It seems that with time, the boys' sadness and longing for a dog has grown rather than diminished.

So after much searching, much research, some prayer and a bit of "just going for it," we found Kevin at a local rescue. We have a week to "test him out" to see if he fits with our family (ha!). Thus far (after having him for all of 8 hours) the boys have said at least 20 times "I'm in love!!!!!" or "He's SO cute!!" or "I'm SO HAPPY to have a dog again!" Here's to hoping he's a good fit with the family of Blacks.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Gigi Came to Visit

We had the special blessing of having my 92 year old grandma visit us in early November. She flew from Canada to spend some time with some of her US family. Although my oldest 3 boys had met her, they didn't remember it, as it was 6 years ago, so we all thoroughly enjoyed getting re-acquainted (or meeting for the first time, as was the case for Solomon and Uzziah).

Gigi is quite sprightly. The first night she was here, she stepped up onto a bench in our school room to show the boys something on the map.
She spent a lot of time telling stories to the boys about her childhood. It was really special for them to hear about her upbringing and much of what she lived through.
She and Solomon played a lot of games. She tried to get Solomon to play Chinese Checkers according to the actual rules, but Solomon prefers to play his own way.
Gigi with 5 of her great-grandsons. What a gift for them to get to spend time with her!