Much Belated Birthday(s) Post

James had his sixth birthday a little over three weeks ago. Six! He is growing up so fast. Right now James loves learning, being crazy, drawing, dressing up as a knight, viking, or whatever tickles his fancy at the moment, being sweet to others, and just loves life. James is seriously such a sweet and amazing kid.

We were still in California for his birthday but Jack decided to get sick that morning and we kind of cancelled the food celebrations. We were leaving the next morning and wanted to make sure all of us felt as good as possible. Ha. Though there was no cake (actually, there was. i just didn't make it. my parents had picked one up the night before, I was just super lame and so focused on Jack I forgot to have him blow out a candle. mom of the year, right here) or fun dinner, he still got to have both sets of grandparents over and get fun presents. He got a baseball mitt and ball, a bag of balls, new pants and a shirt, and a hiking backpack. Well, that day. I was awesome and forgot some of his birthday presents at home. Did I mention I'm super excited to not be traveling for the holidays/his birthday next year? Because I am. When we got home we gave him the rest- new church sweater and shirt, winter boots, and a Star Wars AT-AT shirt (which is basically the coolest shirt ever).
We partied hard
The Saturday after we got back, I was finally able to make his birthday dinner and cake. The morning we headed back home, I woke up feeling horrible and was out of commission for basically the whole week. Yay for winter... or not. James had requested a Transformers cake and I did what I could- not too shabby, right?
 In his new church clothes. And first of the year church picture- all boys are in Primary! Crazy!
AND going through pictures, I realized I never posted about Gavin's fourth birthday. I'm telling you, mom of the year!! Not that forgetting to blog about your child makes you a bad mom, but when you have a yearly habit of doing it and you forget... makes you feel kind of bad. That's just me :) On a somewhat completely different tangent, these pictures also make me miss summer. Which is silly, because winter has been great (so far). I don't think I'll ever get used to colder winters, though. And Oregon is so mild compared to Idaho. But it's no California. OR I just don't like winter.

Moving on...
 THIS FACE!! Says it all
Sometimes I forget Gavin is as young as he is- he is just so sharp, funny, and articulate for being four! But then he reminds me with some tantrums and fits and brings me back to reality :) But really, Gav is one amazing little guy. He is such a ham, very honest, a hard worker (really, he gets mad at me if i do chores without him), loves to learn and can't wait for kindergarten next year, and is so sweet. We are so blessed with these sweet and awesome boys of ours, for reals. 

His birthday started with balloons, streamers, and donuts. So perfection, really. I don't think we did anything out of the ordinary that day, but I do know it was a good one. We then had our friends come over for some cupcakes and ice cream. Gav got lots of books (which we loooove. and that isn't sarcasm. book nerds over here), new clothes, art supplies, and a Star Wars toy.

We sure love these two boys of ours (and the third one, obviously... but i blogged about him already). They really are such good kids and I have to remind myself that a lot. James is a great oldest brother and Gavin has really taken to his middle brother role. As much as I want to stop the clock with these boys of mine, I wouldn't pass up on watching them grow and learn and develop their awesome personalities. 


The Big Day and Horses

You know what I wish? I really, really wish I could be that person who takes over 350 pictures (oh yeah... guess i'm making up for all those times i didn't take pictures), chooses 10 awesome ones, and says, "Look what a fantastic holiday we had!" And that's the end of it. But I'm not. Just shows you how horrible I am at decision making and my kids are just too dang cute to not put as many pictures as possible up on here. Never fear, pretty sure this is the end of the Christmas posts. And what a wonderful Christmas it was.

Christmas Eve found us spending time with my family and making sugar cookies for ol' St. Nick.
Let's take a look at these next pictures... notice Gavin in the front. Take a look at the flour and what James has decided to do... yup, flour up to his elbows...
Judging by his face, may not have been his best idea...
Trying to get excess flour off arms...
Well, that was fun! Tried to slap it off and you know what happens when you do that with flour
Totally worth it
That evening was spent with my awesome in-laws for dinner and back to my parent's. The boys got their first Christmas Eve jammies and I'm thinking they were pretty thrilled with them. Might have to jump on that bandwagon of a tradition...
Christmas morning! I love opening presents. And I love taking our time doing it- watching others open their gifts, hearing the "thank-you's" and giving hugs, kids getting so excited for what they are getting and them also getting excited seeing what others got. This year did not disappoint (does it ever? methinks not). One of the bigger, and surprising, hits for the boys was How To Train Your Dragon 2. I knew they would love it. Duh, it's a great movie. James literally watched the first one almost daily for a year. We love Hiccup and his gang in our household. But that was years ago. But I didn't know how much they would love it. I'm talking screams and yelling about what they got. It was pretty awesome. Once the presents were all unwrapped and we all got ready, we headed over to my Gramma in her new care facility. She showed the boys the birds that live there and Gavin and James held her hand while Brad wheeled her to different rooms. It was so sweet. We wish we could have stayed longer. We love you, Gramma (great)!

Over to the Westmoreland's for family and more fun! It was another full house and we loved it. Brad and I even got to have some extra fun and played Ticket to Ride. It's been way too long since we've played and reminded me that I should have followed my instinct and bought it when it was on sale at Target. Next time, for sure.
Showing off their new superhero jackets
Heading out to see the horses
Jack the entire time we were out there. Slipped on mud, ruined his life forever
All the grandkids that could make it! Add in 9 more and you've got the whole bunch
Silly face time
Gavin and Luke
James and baby Jace. James loves babies and was so in love with this little guy (so was i!)
Saturday we were able to ride my in-laws' horses. The boys had been asking us every day when we were going to finally do this and were so excited they could!
And with that, I bid our Christmas vacation adieu. It was so wonderful to be around family. Our kids tell me daily how they miss everyone. It's hard to hear them say (because we miss them too), but also means a lot that they are old enough to understand how important family is. I'm so grateful to be a part of two amazing families, where my kids and us feel so loved. Thank you all for making our holidays extra special.