Monday, August 22, 2022

{Bear's Birthday & Ball with Buddies}

We are taking a soft start to school this year and began on Monday with adding a couple things to our morning rhythm.  We were able to finish both of our read aloud this week...The Wizard of Oz {and watched the original film version with Judy Garland which is quite different from the novel} and Dietrich Bonhoeffer's biography.  After a couple of books we read this summer and Bonhoeffer's biography, we decided to focus our history on the time period around the Second World War.  

I've tried to make sure that I am getting my own reading done as well.  I thoroughly enjoy my morning devotions {Bible, Streams in the Desert, Elisabeth Eliot selections & AW Tozer's Pursuit of God primarily} but want to make sure I'm also challenging myself with other reads.  This one was highly recommended.  I loved it and finished it in two days.  Audiobooks aren't always my first preference but I seem to get further along in some of them this way.  Thankfully, this book was a good one to listen to. 

This girl!  Her fashion sense makes us all laugh!  And she is every bit of confidant, too! 

On Wednesday, we loaded up and headed to Charlotte to meet some dear friends for an early birthday surprise for Luke!  They live in Raleigh {or nearby at least} so this was a good halfway point.  We met at Freedom Park and had the best afternoon!  We played and picnicked.  

The boys had the best time playing football while the girls swang, did the obstacle course and played on the playground and train a little.  

Love these kids and their friendships!  Also, love their mama who I got to catch up with while they played! 

These two have the sweetest bond and always have since the day they arrived home from their birth countries.  Our families were in process together for them, got their referrals nearly at the same time and brought them home months apart.  AG adores her Mia! 

Since we knew we would be officially celebrating our new teenager over the weekend, we still wanted a little something fun for his actual birthday.  So, we made a gf angel food cake which was truly divine and then whipped up a tropical topping for a sweet treat on top!  We just used sliced pineapple and mandarin oranges in Cocowhip.  So easy and so delicious! 

Keely blessed me with a handmade pottery mug and it fits my tiny hands perfectly.  I put it to good use right away with my evening tea.  

Birthday Boy Breakfast!  Gluten free & dairy free chocolate donuts?  YES, Please!  They ate every single morsel! 

AJ cracks me up with her drawings!  She was asked to trace her hand...mind you her hand doesn't quite resemble the one she adorned although the size may be close.  Fingernails and bracelets added for effect, of course! She's so girly! 

It may be his birthday but he's still working hard! 

More swimming this week...and with a mermaid! 

The Tropical Angel Cake Treat complete! 

On Saturday, we had a sweet little celebration for our Bear!  I had heard a couple months back about instead of stressful parties and expensive stuff to instead create memories/take a simple trip or outing together and then celebrate small and meaningful.  Since birthdays and the parties themselves have been quite stressful in the past, we decided to give it a go with Bear first and see how it worked making a change.  It was absolutely the BEST!  Our day trip to Charlotte with his friends and then the small family gathering were exactly what we should have done all along.  Scott and I have talked at length about implementing this in the future with him taking the boys and me taking the girls...truly building a tradition that we can continue when they are grown.  What a special time celebrating our Bear turning 13!  

Bubba made it home, too!  

Grandaddy and Mimi came and surprised Luke with a new double pedal for his drum set.  Scott and I got him two new cymbals and Bubba got him a new knife.  The girls made him the sweetest notes! 

AG is quite the little checker queen!  She loves to play any moment we get! 

Grandaddy and Mimi also made Luke some homemade boiled peanuts that he likes to eat at their house.  He was so happy!  

Doing a little Sabbath painting! 

And another pool night while Daddy and Lu hunt! 

They are the best of friends and just love to play together.  I pray they always stay this close.

I was able to read a little and listen to a podcast while they swam until it was almost bedtime. 

Our Sunday ending with cuddles on the couch and a few heart to heart conversations as this darling boy cried his heart out for his brother.  Youth band was the one thing they always did together and this Sunday morning was so incredibly hard for him to walk through without his brother.  They would ride together and play together and so much more.  Luke looks up to Wyatt so much and just adores him.  Taking this step without his brother leading the way was so hard for him.  We are so proud of how brave he is and how he shows up and serves with all he has.  So, when he wanted to cuddle and then fell asleep in my arms, it was truly the perfect ending to a lovely and yet quite different week for us all.  

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