A Whole Handful ~ Happy Fifth Birthday!

Seneca's Birthday25


When I stop to think about the fact that you’re turning 5 it shocks me!  It seems like a strange combination of much longer and just yesterday that I was blessed to become a mother to an adorable daughter.


There are so many times when you act far beyond your years.  And somehow, each of those times has added up to a collection of days, months, weeks and years and here you are, a beautiful soon-to-be-kindergartner who loves dress up and dreaming about fanciful things.

Seneca's Birthday50

Thank you for reminding me to slow down, enjoy the journey and to find magic in ordinary things like an empty field, and old log, tutus and fairy wings.

Happy Birthday, my sweet!



:: Sweetness ~ BSM ::

I fully intended to have this little series up last week, but I’m kinda weird and felt like I wanted to wait until after his “official” birthday to share this sweetness.  What?  You’ve seen them already?  Oh, yeah…Flickr! 🙂  I remember last year when he sort of “got” what the birthday thing was all about.  This year, it was more of the same.  He so enjoyed having all his friends come to play – something we need to do more regularly if you ask me!

Typically, my best shot is at the end of a post, but this one, this precious look of excitement and joy as his family and friends sing him “Happy Birthday” – it has to be my best shot this week! 


In fact, I couldn’t resist looking a little closer at his adorable expression…seriously, who couldn’t love this kid?! 🙂


He had great fun blowing out his candles.  And with his party being a full week before the actual day, we had to something to celebrate the occasion.  So he got a candle in his cereal (before milk, mind you), a cookies from good friends, and a candle in his pizza that night for dinner.  I do think we’ve created a monster though, because this morning he declared it candle-in-my-Kix day again.  I explained it was just a special thing we do for birthdays and thankfully he was good with that! 🙂



The much-anticipated eating of the T-Rex cake!  He finally decided on a piece of the teeth. 


Since I try to take advantage of any opportunity that allows us to get a family picture without the use of the self-timer or remote control, a birthday celebration seemed perfect!  I find it funny that in too many pictures our kids are busy looking every-which-way…while we’re desperately trying to stay positive and focused in one direction.  Perhaps it’s because we’ve started reading a very symbolic book with my students, but I’m thinking there’s some life application to be found in this picture…


…then again, maybe not. 

See what’s what for other Best Shots this week!

:: He’s Turning… ::


I can scarcely begin to think of any words to adequately capture all that is my pre-schooler!  More often than not, I have to remind myself that he is in fact a toddler, despite the fact that words like therapod, omnivore, and diplodocus are frequently thrown around with surprising accuracy.  And I’m learning, albeit slowly, that certain things I think are funny for a moment end up completely ridiculous when dealing with a kid who seems to forget very little.  So you see, while I thought it would be funny to hear him say “flatulate” (because we’ve already agreed to be a “toot” household as opposed to “fart”) well, now it’s nestled nicely amongst his other everyday phrases. 

While he soaks up the world around him like an absolute sponge, the slight misunderstandings and imagination that make me stop and smile are the very things that I adore, and will so desperately miss when he grows out of this stage.

C: I go to the doctor.
M: You sure do, buddy. Your doctor’s name is Dr. Israel.
C: {quietly thinking} Yeah. ‘Cuz he’s not pretend.


C: {mouth full from the backseat} Mom! My -nds all d-n—ry!
M: {tentatively} they’re what?
C: {emphatically} di-n-sry!
M: dinosaury?
D: What’s “dinosaury?”
C: You know, when you eat dino grahams and you’re hands get all “dinosaury!”
M: {to Dad, quietly} duh?! dinosaury, Dad!

You are becoming such a couragous and kind-hearted boy.  Whether you’re busy exploring the yard for creatures and treasures (and of course testing the boundaries) or offering kisses, hugs and congratulations to your sister for a job well done.  You listen intently and ask a million questions, which is both exhausting and exhilarating. 

Looking back over this past year, I’m astounded by how much you’ve grown.  With all the changes on the horizon – new friends, starting school, summer fun – I can only imagine how much more you’ll change right before my eyes.  Today, more than ever, I am reminded of the blessing of you.  Happy Birthday, Buddy!


:: Craft Tuesday ~ Party Time 2::

After spending a wonderfully productive weekend with fellow NWP colleagues in Kansas City, I arrived home very late Sunday night, reconnected with my women’s Bible study group on Monday night, snuck in Seneca’s well-visit Tuesday afternoon before baking cookies for the Empty Bowls fundraising dinner I helped coordinate at our middle school.  The much-needed breather on Wednesday evening, was followed by all-day training meetings on Thursday, travel shots for our upcoming missions trip to Panama, pre-school open house for Calder and worship band practice. 

Amidst all this chaos, I was thrilled to have Friday afternoon completely free.  A leisurely lunch followed by naps meant “Let the Baking Begin!”  Cookies baked and bagged, the favors were pretty near done.  I forgot to snap a picture of the cute little dinosaur song and story (Five Enormous Dinosaurs) that we printed on bright cardstock. 




I’d never used a shaped baking pan, so I admit I was a bit nervous that it wouldn’t work exactly as I imagined.  My neighbors were probably wondering what the squealing was all about when I saw that I didn’t have major holes or chunks missing!!  This was a yummy Peanut Butter Marble cake – a favorite Betty Crocker recipe.


Despite the hours it took to actually complete frosting this terrible T-Rex, it was totally worth it to see Calder beaming.  That, and hearing “Is it cake time yet, Mom?” about eighty-billion times between Friday afternoon and Saturday morning!  While I didn’t get a great shot of the cake itself, you get the idea of how it turned out below. 


{Love that sweet little dino face!  Too bad I didn’t think to move that stupid silly lighter!  Ugh!}


He kept going back and forth between “I want the eye, Mom.  No, the teeth!  I think I want to eat the tail!”  All told, he ended with a sweet tooth (literally).  Guess he’s a boy after his Momma’s heart! 🙂  I think I’m sold on the shaped pans, which means we’ll be needing some crafty help to figure out how to use these for future celebrations! 

I’m just barely sneaking this little bit-o-craftiness in today, but be sure to stop by Carrie’s to see the other fabulousness she and other lovely ladies have going on!

:: Crafty Tuesday ~ Party Time! ::

While I’m not sure this constitutes actual craftiness, it’s the best I’ve got!  We’ve known for a while that there would be a definite dinosaur theme, so when I found this adorable little digital scrapbooking set, I thought I’d give it a whirl making his invites.  They turned out so much better than I could have hoped.  We simply printed them on white cardstock and sent them as postcards!

Party Invite Web

Party Invite Back

Post-birthday party I’m sure we’ll have lots more pictures of the festivities and some of the other little crafty fun we’re planning for the cake and goodie bags.  He’s already so excited and I can’t believe it’s coming up in just a couple of weeks!  Yowsa, Mom better get busy!

This is the first time I’ve really ever done anything with digi-scrap stuff.  I suspected I would like it, but playing with this I think I’m hooked.  I’m not quite sure about how to use some of the embellishments, especially the cute cords and ropes, or getting things to have that sewn effect.  Any digi-scrappers out there with tips or hints.  Not that I need any more blogs to add to my reader, but if there are places with good tutorials, I’d love to learn a bit more!

Be sure to swing by Carrie’s for some creative inspiration!