Fifteen minute assembly…

…yeah right!


Maybe if you had already done it once or twice, but doing it the first time took probably a total of 120 minutes.  However, now that I have done it, I probably could narrow that time down to 30-45 minutes.  15 minutes?  I don’t think so.  Who comes up with these times anyway?

With all the bike riding that we do in our cul-de-sac and on rides out and about, we figured it was time to get Caleb a bike that actually fit him and his skill set.  The current 14″ bike that he had was long overdue to be replaced.  Not only were the tires practically balled, but because the wheels were so small, even if he was pumping his legs considerably harder and faster than Rylee, he could not keep up with her on her 18″ bike.

So we got him an 18″ bike with 4 pegs for his birthday.  It is actually a freestyle BMX type bike that he might actually learn to do tricks with.  He can stand on the pegs and even rotate his handlebars around 360 degrees.  Out of all of our kids, I can envision him pulling off some of those crazy stunts sometime down the road.  After all, he was the one that was carving sweet turns on his razor scooter before he was 2.  Happy Birthday Caleb, let’s go for a ride!

Well, it didn't take him too long to figure out what to do with the new pegs. Nice trick pal! So much for "sometime down the road."
Using his "pegs" like his big brother.
Using his "pegs" like his big brother.

Happy Birthday Caleb!

Today has been one of those utterly perfect days.  When Caleb was turning 2 and 3, I planned big parties with too many people.  Now, thank the Lord, I understand my eldest son much better.  Those parties were not fun for him, truly not at all.  He was overwhelmed and doesn’t like being the center of attention.  So we’ve toned it down a lot and he is much happier for it.

Last year we celebrated Caleb’s birthday with snowsuits and hot cocoa but this year was the antithesis with warm sunshine, shorts and burgers on the grass at Seattle Center.  For months Caleb has been talking about going up the Space Needle with his Nana.  So that is what we did to start the day.  Nana and Daddy took the three oldest kids up while Papa, DeeDee, Mama and the babies waited at the bottom.

Then we went to get burgers and took them outside to sit on the grass by the giant fountain in the heart of the city.  We are all a bit pink but my goodness did we enjoy the sun on our faces.  Tears rolled down my sunburned cheeks as I walked behind and watched my children and my oh-so-gorgeous-husband up ahead.  I was overwhelmed with the gifts they each are.  We laughed and smiled so much today that my face hurts.  I thought of a song from high school that said “These are the days, to remember…”.  Indeed they are.  And I’m loving every moment as it comes…puking, dirty diapers and lack of sleep mixed in with the giggles, kind words and faces that melt my heart.  I am well aware that this will quickly pass and they will only grow more indepedent from here on out.

Here is Caleb’s birthday letter (trying to do one for each birthday for each kid!):

My dear oldest son,

You are 5 years old today.  I remember so well washing my car the day before your due date desperately hoping to go into labor, so ready to meet you.  It didn’t help much but the Ukranian dinner I went to at church that night surely did.  A few hours later, you were born.   I was determined not to name you until I met you but it became so clear to me that God’s name for you was Caleb that by six months I finally resolved that no other name would suit you.  I prayed then and still do, that you would be a truth teller even when it isn’t popular, that like the Caleb of the Bible you would have courage to do what is right.   With great relief, I rejoiced that you were born full term after your sister had come so early and been so very sick.

Having grown up with sisters, I’ve sometimes felt like I didn’t really ‘get’ you. You are a boy after all.  You are complex.  You are strong.  You are very bright like your Daddy.  You feel deeply.  You have provided me with great challenges and I have learned so much about life because of you.  You changed my heart.  You opened up a part of it I didn’t know about.  Your smiles and hugs are of high value to you and I am always delighted when you share them with me.

You surprise me still with your understanding and comprehension of things.  You bless me with your tenderness towards your siblings.  I love laying in your bed at night telling you stories.  I love watching you share your things with Kyler.  I love watching you  ride your bike, climb the rock wall, swing on the rope and tend to the fire.  You thrive when you have a task to do.  You are on your A-game when you are outside, with lots of wide open spaces and can roam free.  Burning things is likely your favorite activity at present.  You are very careful and responsible with the fire just like your Dad has taught you.

I love knowing you Caleb and am forever grateful for the ways you’ve changed who I am.  Your beautiful blue eyes and long, floppy blond hair are one of my favorite things to look at in all the world.

Happy Birthday sweet boy-you are a treasure.