Sunday, September 28, 2014

Lucky Number Seven

Seven has always been my favorite number.

Six boys and an hour car ride....I hope I never do it again. Lol!

And, for the past two Saturdays, we celebrated my P-Man's 7th birthday.

Look at how grown up this guy looks.  I just can't believe it sometimes.
First up, a visit to Lego Land with some of his best buds from school {and his brother}.

They were so so so excited!
Man, I love these kiddos.

Best buds.

They are the sweetest boys ever and I'm so glad they could all be with my Parker to celebrate his birthday!
My favorite.

I love this photo because in the background, Brandon is making sure all of the boys have his cell phone number in their case they get lost.  We were so worried about loosing these boys!

Love them.
This is Parker's 'Touchdown!' face.

Getting ready to leave.  They were all tuckered out!

Lunch at the Crayola Restaurant...Parker's favorite at Crown Center.
Happy birthday, Parker!
Best buddies.
Was I blowing out candles?!  Ha ha.
One of Parker's buddies gave him battleship....we've played it every day since then.
Lights out boys!

Then, we had a family day!  Parker had so much fun with his grandmas and grandpas, cousins, aunts and uncles, and brother....we were so excited for Parker's big day and it was everything it could be!  Here's the story of Parker's 7th  birthday, in photos.

Before Parker woke up that morning...

Opening gifts from us!


These boys love Legos!  Parker had asked for a 'big' set.
Parker's first 'real' football.
Posing with his football.
Parker is totally in to Pokemon my dismay.  But, he asked for them and got more than enough at his family party!  He loves them.

Look at this handsome man.  Wow!  He looks old here.

Parker had also asked for birds for his birthday.  He didn't get them that morning, but to his surprise, we went with Grandma Robbie after his soccer game and got the birds!  Oh, how we love Bob and Andrew Jr.  They are the perfect addition to our family.  They really are sweet birds...


Playing football...

And more football...

And more football.


I love our families.  I love it that they all come together to celebrate with us and we all fit together so nicely.  Reese loves Olivia!

Pizza on the deck.

Aunt Kasey and Olivia.

Iron Man {Avery} even made it to the party!

And the costumes didn't stop we have a strange wolverine, spider man, explorer, nerd...and Super Andrew! {I think Reese was worried about Morgan!

Grandpa Mike gave Parker some pretty special baseball cards...George Brett and Frank White.  They are now his most prized possessions!

Parker looks so excited about his cupcakes. Lol!

It takes a lot of wind to blow out seven candles!

Reese enjoyed the frosting...

As did Andrew!

We had a great day and always love having our families together to play at our house!

As the boys get older {and as the toys in our family room seem to be multiplying at faster speeds}, I want to add something more meaningful to their birthdays.  This year, I decided to try it with Parker.

A couple of months before Parker's birthday, I asked him if it would be okay to ask his friends and family to bring gifts for Prairie Paws Animal Shelter in lieu of gifts for him {knowing that his dad and I would make sure he was still given plenty of what he wanted for his birthday}.  He was all for it and acted excited about the idea of 'presents' for the animals at the shelter.

Fast forward to the week before his birthday, when I reminded him of this fact, and you would have thought I'd told my little man that I was going to cancel his birthday!  My first mistake was reminding him of this right before bed time...and his response....I don't even want to share it with you.  But, as the days went on, I kept reminding him that I was sure his grandparents and cousins would not show up empty handed and that his dad and I knew just what he wanted for his birthday...and that he didn't need to worry about presents.  {I also reminded him to take a look around the family room at all of the things he owned already.}

And, as the pile of dog and cat presents started to grow {and take over our living room}, I think Parker started to get pretty excited about it.  Parker's friends and our family members are so generous.  We took so much out to the shelter and they were excited when we made, not one, not two, but four trips in and out to the truck to bring in all of the goods.  Their response made Parker smile from ear to ear and I could tell that something clicked with Parker that day....there are so many organizations and people {and animals} that need things way more than we do.

I think it's okay if our friends and family 'go easy' on the gifts for the kiddos and bring something substantial for an organization in need.  Not only does it help out, but it teaches our kids that they can make a difference in a life, just by having a birthday. {Although, in our house, it's never 'just a birthday'!}

Parker had a 7th birthday that is going to go down in the history books.  We loved every second celebrating our big guy and can't wait for what this year has in store for him!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Why was I worried?

I love this time of year.

Not only is it cooling off outside, but it's the start of birthday season at our house....fall sports start up...we celebrate our anniversary {which is the big 1-0 this year!}, and it means that we are back on track with a school schedule.

I'm gonna be honest with you all today.

I was super worried about this guy going to preschool.

I wasn't worried about him following the rules.  I wasn't worried about him having fun or being excited to go every day.

But, I was worried about his speech.  About his teachers and his classmates understanding him.

There are moments when I see my little man around strangers {and sometimes people close to us} and he's a jabbering away and all they can do is nod their head in agreement, because they have no idea what he is talking about.  Usually I'm there to interpret for him.

But, not at preschool.

So, that first day, when I dropped him off, I was worried.  I felt like he was going in to deep water without a life jacket.

And, even after that first day, I had no idea what had happened....except that he loved playing outside and they had a granola bar for a snack {you know, the important parts of his day}.

I had no idea....that is, until that evening, when one of his teachers messaged me and  told me this:

Hi Brooke- I just want to let you know... Andrew did so good at preschool today! I got to know all about your dog and Grandma and Grandpa's dog. We talked about his favorite colors are blue, pink and green! He is going to be such a great member of the class! Hope you have a good evening! Jess

This little message meant the world to me.  Miss Jessica understood my Andrew-Man!  

Today we are meeting {once again} with the school district to map out Andrew's speech plan.  And, I have to admit that he's come a million miles in the past 18 months and I am so proud of this guy.  Long gone are the days of frustration for him....and for me, as his Momma.  Long gone are the days of my shy, quiet Andrew.  But, I am excited for this new adventure.  Andrew's school adventure.

An adventure where I don't need to be worried or scared for my little guy.  But, an adventure where we can be excited and super proud of our Andrew because of the sweet, smart, and outgoing guy that he is!


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Soccer and Flag Football

So, I don't have much time to write, but just wanted everyone to know that we are loving this fall season!

This year Parker decided to play soccer again {for the 3rd year} and he is trying out flag football.

He loves them both and seems to get both of these sports so well.

He's a champion in my book always, but really, I am so impressed with his ability, now that he's becoming a little bit more competitive.

Here are some pics for ya.

Up first, my!

Look at that hair! Lol!

When did this kid get so big?!

A high five after a goal...such sweet teammates!

And, football, of course.
{I found that it's really hard to get pictures during a football game...just so ya know.}

Parker's best bud is on his football team...

I got a lot of pictures of huddles.

Our first game was a late one...on a school night...45 minutes from home.


The season has just begun and I can't wait to see how it goes.  Happy fall you guys!  My favorite time of year!