Little Man Turns One!

Tomorrow is Little Man’s first birthday. On Saturday we had a big, fun party for him! It was a gorgeous day for the party.

Does he look impressed with his cake?
Gardening was one of the many activities at the party.
Baby E has the cutest grin!
Other Baby E was a delight to play with.
Playing with Cousin J2 was more fun than eating lunch
Cake and candle time! Of course, Little Man went for the candle – but it was windy so he didn’t feel the flame.
Little Man had more fun playing in the frosting than eating, I think. It didn’t hurt that he had just finished lunch! 😉
What’s the big fuss?! You, Little Man!
The next morning, Little Man was dedicated.

{N.E.C.} Oh, The End of School

This last winter I had the privilege of meeting and being a part of the Gustafson family and watch the three kiddos grow and learn new things: N (four), E (three), and C (9 months).

For our last ‘Kandi Day’ we had a day-long party. Lucky us that indoor activities had also been planned, because it was rainy and blowy and lunch and playing in the park was out of the question. N requested that we watch Court Jester and E wanted Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. We finished off the finger paints, made bath paint, had chocolate cake for snack and after lunch, watched some movies, played hide and seek, and pretended to be kitties.

1N is so…so…great! She tells great stories and sings the greatest songs. N is full of great art sense and it was fun seeing how her coloring changed in these past months. Playing Queen and tag were a blast with N and also curling up for Scary Zoo Stories which could last for hours on end. We may have had a bit of a rocky start (with new-adult-telling-me-what-to-do-when-I-just-want-my-mom, who wouldn’t?), but in the end, I will miss most this little girl who is a great helper. N works hard at keeping her siblings in line, because she wants them safe. She would often pick up toys ‘to make Mom happy when she gets home’. And MY mom loved getting the flowers N would pick for her ‘for another mother’s day’.

2E was two when I first met her. She immediately warmed up to me and we snuggled on a chair and read books all morning on the days N was at preschool. E still loves books, but she likes the park even more. She tells fantastic stories and likes to do whatever N does. Her good-bye ‘sloppy wet kisses’ were a highlight of my day (three year old’s are excellent at giving them!). E really knows how to encourage people in whatever they are doing. She is good at sharing and letting others have their way and making others happy.

3

C is such an easy baby to take care of – even when he’s sick! I got to watch him grow 7 teeth, learn how to scoot, crawl, pull himself up to standing, and walk around a (short) table. He loved being able to climb the steps to the kitchen while the girls were eating lunch and play under the table! C’s favorite song to fall asleep to was Baby Mine by Alison Krauss. He would do a little dance when Lauren Mann and the Fairly Odd Folk were playing.

This was my prayer over the kids for the last month of watching them. It is Lullaby by Lauren Mann and the Fairly Odd Folk.

Picture 1PS – in all the jobs I’ve had, this is the only one I cried about ending.

It’s Been a Year Already!?!

On your first birthday,
I’m thinking about how much light and sparkle
you freely dispense wherever you go,
how your sunny smile lights up any gathering.
Every birthday marks another year
of you radiating positive, happy energy,
contagious happiness
that infects all who come in contact with you.
May your next birthday find you the same–
glowing from within,
beaming bright joy on everyone you meet.
I feel blessed to know you.

Golden Rob

Rob’s golden birthday was this year.

A bash was had (planned by the wonderful Kristina). People came from far and wide. We surprised Rob.  Cake was eaten after tons of candles were blown out. There was drumming on bowls in the kitchen. Balloons were written on and chewed. There was a performance by Cole, future Rockstar. Good times had by all.