Friday, October 17, 2014

What a Day, Glorious Day That Will Be

Said a final earthly goodbye a few weeks ago when I kissed my grandpa on the head and was fairly certain it would be the last conversation I had with him in this life.

Just a week after that, he breathed his last and left this earth.

Death hurts. It doesn't feel right. And it certainly doesn't feel good.

And it shouldn't.

It should leave us longing for something more. It should leave us searching for what life is really about. It should lead us to realize that until Jesus returns, things on this earth will not be right. There will be pain. There will be sicknesses. There will be injustices. There will be evil. There will be death.

And it should hopefully lead us to our knees realizing our need for our Savior. And longing for the day when He will make all things right and we will see Him face to face.

"There is coming a day when no heartaches shall come;
No more clouds in the sky,
No more tears to dim the eye. 
All is peace forevermore on that happy golden shore.
What a day, glorious day that will be.

What a day that will be when my Jesus I shall see.
And I look upon His face,
The one who save me by His grace.
When He takes me by the hand
And leads me through the promised land;
What a day, glorious day that will be.

There'll be no sorrow there,
no more burdens to bear,
No more sickness, No pain,
No more parting over there. 
And forever I will be with the One who died for me.
What a day, glorious day that will be

What a day that will be when my Jesus I shall see.
And I look upon His face,
The one who save me by His grace.
When He takes me by the hand
And leads me through the promised land;
What a day, glorious day that will be."

Grandma requested that the grandchildren sing that hymn at Grandpa's service. 

Try to get through that song in one piece while grandma, his wife of 67 years, sits in the front crying.

We fully believe the words. And I know she does too.
But it still leaves those left behind hurting.

Robert Jackson
August 13, 1927 - October 7, 2014
Robert Jackson passed away late Tuesday afternoon, October 7, 2014 at his home. He quietly slipped from his tired body to his heavenly home.
Bob was born August 13, 1927, to Herbert and Anna (Taylor) Jackson at home on a farm in Wells County, IN. He grew up on a farm during the depression. He left high school early to serve in the U.S. Navy in WWII. With the service and war behind him, he married Phyllis Werling on July 4, 1947. Together they set out to farm and raise a family. For 67 years, they met life's trials with a smile. They shared everything-including identical birthdays!
Bob was a faithful follower of Jesus Christ all of his adult life. He and Phyllis set a shining example as a loving couple for all to see.
Bob is survived by five children: Barbara (Sam) Strahm of Walkerton, Sharon (Doug) Miller of Fort Wayne, Bob (Linda) of Goshen, Dennis (Francine) of Mill Creek, and David (Janet) of Silver Lake, IN; 19 grandchildren; and 28 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents, a brother, and a sister.
Bob retired from farming and the Kosciosko County Highway Department. Bob was a farmer at heart, but his best "crop" was his children. After retirement, he worked with other farmers in the spring and fall. In his spare time, he enjoyed model railroading and antique tractors. He used and played with Allis Chalmers machinery for 75 years, orange was his favorite color! He enjoyed many good times with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, whom he prayed for daily. He will be missed by all and we look forward to a reunion in heaven.

Here's a couple of my favorite pictures that I have of Grandpa:

I'm the little girl in green on Grandpa's lap.
On our wedding day, August 2003.
Holding Heath.
And even though we will not see him again this side of Heaven, there are still many little things in life that will remind me of my Grandpa. Like a handful of candy corn mixed with peanuts.


Thankful to be the granddaughter of a man who lived his life faithfully for the Lord. 

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

A Night in the Woods

Even though our life felt like it had stopped a year ago because of Adam's injury, 
it has not even slightly paused since we celebrated the 1-year anniversary last week. 

Which is why its taken me almost a week to put together some sort of blog post about it.
I haven't even had the chance to attempt thinking about it until now.


A beautiful night for a walk through the woods. 
Really, I'm not sure that the weather could have been any more perfect.

We tried to list and count up the people that we saw that had come out. 
Just shy of 50 people from various aspects of our life.  
It was a great group and we were elated to have their presence.

During that day, I was telling myself not to be discouraged about local friends and family that were telling us that they couldn't make it. Obviously, I know life is busy. I understand that. There was still a very big part of me though that felt weak and needed to know that we had a human support system around us.  It seemed silly, but I needed to know that we still had people that cared about us and viewed Adam's recovery as big of a deal as we did.  It just meant so much to us to have everyone come out that was able to.  

Here's the main group. There was another few groups that had arrived later.
The path wasn't easy. It was winding. Narrow in spots. Rocks and tree roots jutted up out of the ground.  And you had to be aware of oncoming mountain bikers enjoying a ride.
And it was especially tough if you were carrying a 25lb. toddler. :)

Having never been on the trail before, I was grateful to have a chance to take it in. 
It wasn't necessarily a sentimental time. There was no speech or presentation.
I was trying to keep track of kids and so were others.


But it was a special time for us.
If we had just sat on the couch that night and reminisced about where a year had gotten us,
this moment would have been forever lost and not valued for what it was.





We are grateful to God. 
So grateful.
We don't hesitate for a moment to praise God for Adam's recovery.
Yes, he is a driven man. 
Yes, he was able to be at a good rehab facility.
But this was God.

We are thankful for the change in our hearts that has taken place.
To be more desperately in need of Him.
To be more aware of His presence.
To feel His comfort and peace - like no one else can offer.
To see ourselves for what we are - weak, broken vessels.
Any good, any strength, any capabilities, any overcoming - 
that's because of Him.

Here's to hoping we never, ever forget that.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

1-Year Anniversary Event Invitation

We are quickly approaching the 1-year anniversary of Adam's mountain biking accident that resulted in a spinal cord injury.

We wanted to find a way to celebrate the healing and recovery we have seen. To remember and reflect upon the seriousness of the injury and the potentially difficult outcome we were facing. But mostly, we want to thank God for his presence, comfort, faithfulness, and mercy we were shown throughout the past year.  We want to praise God for being good, for being who He is.

If you are local, we invite you to join us for a simple event. No fanfare. No big agenda. No fundraising. Just a simple opportunity to ride, run, or walk alongside us as we travel the trail that Adam started off on his bike a year ago - but had to finish by being carried off in a stretcher not knowing whether he would ever be able to move his arms and legs again.


The trail is a bike trail. It is narrow and somewhat rough in places and not paved. (i.e. not stroller/wheelchair accessible). Those that mountain bike are free to ride the trail.
Adam will.

But we invite those that aren't bike-riders to run or simply walk the trail.
At about 1.5 mile in is the site of his accident. It is marked by an A-frame bridge.
Adam says you can't miss the area.

It is there that we are also inviting you to build an altar with us.

In the Bible, we see that God's people built altars.  This act of erecting an altar marked many significant events in the Old Testament.  Altar building was always directed towards God.  They involved a sacrifice. At times of joy, they built altars. At times of sadness. At times they were in need of repentance.  At times of victory. At times of defeat. At times of celebrating God's faithfulness. It was a symbol of their submission to God. A renewal of their commitment to Him.

They were motivated by their recognition and reverence of God, identifying that He had intervened in their lives. They built their altars to worship and to express dependence and thanksgiving to God. They built their altars not out of ritual, but with deep feeling and desire to connect with God.

Our desire is to build an altar out of stones for many of these same reasons.

We invite you to build this altar with us,
Bring a stone with you or we'll supply some at the trailhead for you to take in with you.



We would love to have you join us if you are able:
Thursday, September 25
6:00 - 7:00 pm
(Because people will arrive at differing times, this is more of a take-the-trail-as-you-are-able sort of thing)
Merrell Trail in Rockford, MI
Directions to Merrell Trail : From GR area: Take 131 N and get off on the 10 Mile Rd exit.  Go east (turn right) off of the exit ramp. Turn south (right) (Stoplight at Meijer intersection) on drive next to Macatawa Bank and take road back to parking area. We'll try to have some signage in the parking lot directing you to the trailhead and what trails to take. 


Adam was riding the Mix Master Trail and his accident occurred at about the spot where the "3" is. 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

If you give Becca a paintbrush....

Once again, I started a project and didn't take a BEFORE picture. Whoopsy-daisy.

Our guestroom has housed numerous people in the past 5 years that we have lived here. More than what I want to try to list. We highly value having a room in which we can easily extend an invitation for people to stay with us. 

And I believe I usually apologized for it. It wasn't messy or unkept. It was just a bit.....ugly. 

Two teenage girls had shared the room prior to us buying the house. Each wall was a different color - bright pastels. And the carpet was pink. We have re-done many parts of our house, but there are a few pockets of space left that we haven't touched. And up until now, I just didn't want to make the effort to paint it. It was just the spare room.


Well, I got the itch to paint it a few weeks ago. 

Although, I didn't want to spend money on replacing the pink carpet, so I had to think about what color scheme would look good with pink carpet - and I didn't want it to look feminine (more on that in a bit). Or moreso, IS there a color scheme that would look good with pink carpet without it looking feminine? 

I decided on a gray color. Actually, it was called "Coastal Pleasure". And well, once Becca paints a wall, it ends up being kinda like those "When You Give a Mouse a Cookie" books. 

If you aren't an avid reader of children's books like we are and you find yourself unfamiliar with these stories, it all starts out with a mouse who wants a cookie and so you give him one. Well, then he wants a glass of milk. Then he spills the milk. Then he gets out a mop to clean it up. Then he notices that the window is dirty. Then he opens the window and sees his friends playing outside. And so he joins them. Then a cat chases them all........And the story continues to build all the way back around until the mouse wants a cookie again. (The book doesn't go quite like that......but it's something like that). My point is that once I did one thing, then I wanted to do something else, and something else, etc., etc. 

I'm not sure if its possible for me to just paint a wall. 

So, after I painted the walls. I thought the room would look so much better if I painted the bedroom set that we had in there - a passed along used gift from some family a few years ago. This included a headboard, a nightstand, a large dresser, a desk/vanity, and a benchseat. It was stained a dark wood. I wanted it black.





And after I painted the furniture, then I wanted to freshen up all of the hardware on them as they would look much better in a silver.



Then I wanted to get a new bedding/comforter set.

Then I wanted to re-cover the benchseat cushion.



Then I wanted to paint the doorknobs on the closet doors. 

Then I thought the outlets and covers should be replaced.

Then I wanted a ceiling fan in place of the light fixture.

And I'm still looking for some artwork that I would like on the wall.

But I'm happy to report that my ambitious exploits that I don't really have time for have brought me great temporal satisfaction.



And the reason why I didn't want it to look too feminine......we offered ourselves up to host a male exchange student from Taiwan for the school year.  Adam is picking him up from the airport as I type this. Another ambitious exploit that we might not really have time for? Possibly. :) But hosting someone in our home and opening up our hearts and lives to them - that could potentially have great eternal impact. We have a big house, let's use it and share it. 

Do not worry, out-of-town friends and family - we plan to get to work ASAP on framing and finishing off a bedroom in our basement. Hope to have it done by Christmas time. In the meantime, if you should visit, we are more than happy to sleep on couches while you get the luxurious master suite. Luxurious might be too strong of a word for that. After all, the master bathroom is one more area we haven't redone and the walls in there are covered in old pink wallpaper. Maybe I should do something about that? ;) 


Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Goodbye Summer/Hello School!

The first day of the 2014-15 school year is in the books!

Landon is ready for 1st grade! Conquered tying shoes a few weeks ago. 
He loves school and was raring to go this morning.

Man, these 2 guys are handsome!
There is no bussing options for us this year, although we have planned some carpooling with friends to help lighten the load for everyone. 

We are at a new school this year.  A local charter school.
The main reason for the switch is that I wanted Tate to do a Young 5's program and most of our regular public schools have phased this program out.  He's a smart kid and I wasn't worried about him academically. He could just use a little more time to be more sure of himself and more confident in trying new things and being in social settings.  He'll now always be one of the oldest kids in his class, but I think we have gained a great deal in giving him a little more time to develop before he jumps into the more rigorous academic demands of school.  He'll go to school 5 days a week in the afternoon.

And once he got accepted into the school, they have policies to bump siblings up on the priority list.  So, Landon was first on the waiting list for a spot in 1st grade and, thankfully, a spot opened up for him so that they could be at the same school. 
(This was the school that we applied for Kindergarten for Landon last year and he was #93 on the wait list.)

 Tate looks so sweet here. 
This photo was taken in much haste and frustration though.
Previous to this, as I was loading Heath in the car, Tate came bounding out the door and locked it.
My purse and keys were sitting just inside the house door still. 
AS:LKFJ:LFEO:IC:LKFDJJL:KFD:JLCLKCMLK!!!!!!

We were doing so well on time.

So, yes, we were the last ones to arrive for Tate's class.
Someone has to be, I guess.
Tried really hard to not take it out on him and let it ruin the excitement of the first day of school.

I did learn the house is more difficult to break into than I thought.
Which is good. 
Adam answered on my 3rd call to him and was able to come home quickly and let us in.
(Note to Adam: You might want to fix the screen on the family room slider that I ripped partially off).

Happy to be reunited after the 1st day of school.
This is what 2 brothers do when you ask them to get together for a picture.
Apparently, it translates to "try to squeeze your brother as hard as you can."

And with the start of school means the end of summer.
Pretty sad about it. 
It goes too quickly and I love having my boys home.
We had a full and busy summer. No lazy, hazy days for us.

Here's our bucket list. 
The only thing not crossed off was "Pick Blueberries."
(Although I decided awhile ago to let this one go when we were super busy during blueberry season and someone who "picks blueberries like a migrant worker" (her words, not mine) needed to share an overabundance with us.

We crossed off the following: *Go to 15 different parks *Play with water balloons *Pick Strawberries *Go bowling *Play in the rain *See a movie in the theater *Get a donut at Sandy's *Mail a letter to someone special *Jump off the diving board *Go on a picnic *Host a neighborhood ice cream social *Camp in the backyard *Have RootBeer Floats *Make recycled crayons *Go fishing with dad *Read a chapter book together *Memorize Ephesians 2:4-5 *Go to a splash pad *Catch lightening bugs *Go to the beach *Play tennis *Have a scavenger hunt 

Plus, throw in a week at Grandma & Grandpa Vig's while mom and dad are on a missions trip. And a week at Lake Ann Camp. And a week with Grandma & Grandpa Strahm at Prairie Camp. And a busy week of VBS. And multiple youth hangouts, pool parties, and other shenanigans. And a Spanish teenager living with us for most of the summer.

It was a good summer, but we must say goodbye to it!
Praying to have an open heart and willing attitude for all that God has in store for us this school year!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

11 Years Ago We Made a Choice

August 23 marks our 11th wedding anniversary.
To the teens that we work with that sounds like a long time to be together. 
To my grandparents, who just celebrated their 66th (or was it 67th? I'm guessing they may lose track after that long as well) wedding anniversary this summer, we have hardly begun to fill the bucket.


To those who haven't crossed the marriage line yet:
Choose wisely.
Yes, it is a choice.

Know what is most important to you in a life partner. Yes, marriage should be for LIFE. That's how it was designed and intended - not by man, but by God. I actually made a list of items that were important to me when I was 18. Some were on the silly side and I knew were not essential. But I knew which ones were essential to what I should commit my life to.  He had to love Jesus more than he could ever love me. He had to pursue me. He had to have a heart to serve. He had to be an honest man. He couldn't be caught up in money and material things. He had to make me feel beautiful and make my heart race. Non-negotiables for me.  Some pursuing guys did not make the cut.

Adam did.

He wasn't shy about his relationship with Jesus. It was clearly important to him. It was a matter of easy conversation for us. He initiated praying with me before I went on my Spring Break missions trip when we were still just friends. He was eager to serve others and help them, often sacrificing his time to do so. And I loved that he drove a very rough-looking little Corsica and didn't seem to be bothered by it one bit.

And man, that guy pursued me and made me feel special. Notes. And lots of them! Good old-fashioned calling a girl up and asking her to hang out or go on a date. Sweet guestures. Flowers. Did I ever tell you about the time he sorted through a box of Lucky Charms and gave me a box of just marshmallows because he knew how much I liked them? That boy covered many miles to see me throughout our summer breaks. And he embraced my decision not to kiss until there was a ring on my finger (a decision I made after kissing a few, but before he came along) (Honestly, one of the best decisions I ever made.....probably material for another blog post).  And did I ever mention how he proposed? (definitely material for a blog post)


I chose Adam. And he chose me.
And every day, we need to be reminded of that choice.
And that commitment we made to one another 11 years ago.

Some days it is easy to love one another. Very easy.
And other days, it's hard. Very hard.

Many of our days we get along great and we are in sync with one another and laughter comes easily and he is still the most attractive person I have ever laid my eyes upon.  He is thoughtful and kind. I am considerate and pleasant. So easy to love one another on those days.  Blissful even.

And other days. Oy. Its like we are two hangry (hungry + angry) bears that have awoken from winter hibernation and we walk around cranky and taking swipes at each other. Our sinful human nature pokes through and is ready to be selfish and hurtful. Or life circumstances simply happens. And its hard and difficult and messy and we just keep getting knocked down.


That's when our choice is put to the test. That's when the opportunity to love really happens. That's when we have to stop and be reminded of what is required in the covenant of marriage that we vowed before God and 300 of our friends and family. We have to think about the sacrificial love of Jesus that we both have experienced and come to know.  He shows us how to love.

Some say that love is a choice. And yes, it is. We have to choose whether or not to express or extend love in many circumstances throughout our day.

But I have already made the commitment and choice to love Adam.
I need to see it through to completion.

11 wonderful years down.
Excited for the years to come.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Bucket Day

Well, Becca is away so the boys will play and I will post.  I normally don't post on the blog as Becca is a much better writer than I am and knows how to use grammar and punctuation properly.  But every so often I get adventurous and desire to do something postworthy. (this is different than when i am adventurous and then Becca posts about me  :) )

So back to the title of this post. Becca and the boys created a summer bucket list


So with 3 boys and no Becca I dubbed today as "Bucket Day" and took on the task to cross off as many of the items on the list as we could in one day.  The boys all got onboard with my idea so away we went. 
 Here is a timeline and list of our day with some pictures and comments:

Start time: 10am
Park #1 - Alpine sports complex


park #2 - Alpine E/lementary



Park #3 - Wahlfield park




Park #4 - English Hills

Park #5 - Orchard Hills


Noon - Lunch time. We stopped at McDonalds and I treated the boys to a happy meal and we were surprised to find that the 3 best Mcd's employees were all working at the same time so we got a photo  to document it.  Thanks Lydia, Christi, and Grace!

Splash Pad at Millennium Park - check off go to a splash pad :)

Park #6 - Millennium Park




Park #7 - Sunset Hills


Park #8 - Community Park




2:30pm - Home 
Swim time - Task: get older 2 boys to jump off the diving board. Success! I have a video I will post on Facebook.  This was no small feat as our boys don't like getting their heads wet or going under the water but with the excitement of "bucket day" and the bribery of going to a movie,we made it happen.  Now the real question is - will it ever happen again???  Only time will tell.

3:00pm - Heath - nap time
3:30pm - the Amazing Lydia who got off work at 2 came over to hang at the house while I took L & T to go see a movie in the movie theater. Check off another bucket list task.  We went to see "How to train your dragon 2."  Pretty good movie we all enjoyed it. I think i liked it better than the first one as it had strong themes of sacrifice and servant leadership.  I am sure there are other themes in it as well both good and bad but the boys and i were entertained and we used the refillable popcorn bucket i got for Becca for mother's day - and brought home a full bucket, so score!

6:45pm - return home and release Lydia, feed older two boys dinner (Lydia fed heath and herself before we got home. She is so great)
7:00pm - give all 3 boys showers/ baths
8:00pm - boys to bed
8:15pm - Dathan & Emily stopped for a quick visit.  They were the program directors for jump start program at lake ann camp this summer.  So i got to know them when i spoke at camp this summer and i recently helped Dathan get a new bow so we did a few tweaks, caught up, and then they headed on their way.  Very nice couple that Dathan and Emily. 
9:30pm - start working on the bucket day blog post.

All in all I would say it was a very fun and busy day and would rule it a success.  My highs from the day were watching Heath conquer the tallest slide on every playground - that kid is a thrill seeker we better watch out.  Out of the 3 boys he would always protest the most when we would leave a park but was also very excited when he saw the new slide at the next park.  I also enjoyed motivating the boys to jump off the diving board and going out to a movie with them. It was a great father son day that is for sure.  I hope this is a day the boys will remember for awhile. 

-Adam 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

10-Month Anniversary

We still get asked frequently by people we don't see regularly on how Adam is doing, so I figured we were due for a blog update. We have passed the 10-month anniversary of Adam’s accident.  The one that resulted in trauma to his spinal cord and broke his neck in the C4/C5 area. Oh yeah, that accident. 

Sometimes my mind and heart still go back to the early moments and days. The shock of it all and the emotions can still seem very fresh. The needing to be present enough in mind to make decisions about how to proceed and having to choose whether or not to move forward with surgery not knowing how much it would help - and risking that it could cause more damage to his spinal cord.  The pressure I put on myself to be put together and presentable for those stopping by to lend their support and prayers – and the feelings of desperately wanting to have them there so I didn’t feel alone.  The moment of looking at my boys in a quick trip home and not knowing how to parent them and just simply feeling like I had nothing, NOTHING, left to offer to them.  Having to watch my life partner needing aid for simple, everyday tasks as well as needing to have others care for him in personal ways in which no one wants to have someone else do.  Conversations with God, not out of anger, but with desperation and human certainty that I could not handle being the caregiver for a husband that could not function from the neck down – and if that was the case, the guilt of my admission that life would be easier if he had instead died. 
(Gulp. Yes, I thought that.)

But, here we are.  God saw it necessary to allow Adam a level of healing that most professionals would say was not possible.  We’re humbled, but also incredibly grateful. Strangers would have no idea there was anything different about him.  He is doing so much.
                In late June, he led a missions trip to New York. He drove the church bus for long hours. He participated in construction projects (not to the same level he used to be able to, but his skills and knowledge still lend him as more capable than most).

                He’s riding his bike. He’s never rode for more than 6.5 miles, but he says he thinks he could and he’s noticing its getting easier. He’s started wearing his bike shoes again – the kind that clip into his bike pedals.

                He mows our lawn on our stand-up riding lawnmower that requires a decent amount of hand/grip strength.

                He carries Heath, our 25-lb toddler, when needed to.

                He does all of the old stuff around the house that he used to. I honestly cannot think of anything that I need to pick up the slack on these days.

                He no longer takes any medication.

So, is he completely back to his old self? Well, no.

Here’s where we still notice some differences:
                He doesn’t have some of his fine motor ability/feeling back. Recently, he had some french fries in a bag from a fast food restaurant. He was trying to reach his hand in and be able to distinguish in being able to feel and pick out just one french fry. He couldn’t do it.  If you watch him do anything with fine requirements, it might look a little awkward.

                He made the comment last week that he doesn’t like going to bed. Its at the end of the day when he finally feels like his body has loosened up and able to function a little smoother. He wakes up in the mornings with everything feeling like it has curled up and gotten tight and sore. 

                He still can’t do anything that requires quick, graceful, or of anything with decently athletic movements.  He got a bit lazy with working out for a bit, but he’s back at it again. He’s noticed that it takes a lot longer for his body to recover from a workout where he has pushed himself. He says it is different than how it used to feel and the soreness sticks around longer than it used to.

We are still just blown away and thankful for how we are really back to a pretty close resemblance of how life was before the accident.  We won’t forget what we’ve learned and what we’ve gone through. And we still hope to use this to point others to Jesus.  Human support was beautiful, abundant, helpful and so appreciated.  We still run into people that we don’t know….but are friends of friends – or heard about Adam from someone that they knew – who say they were following his story and recovery and had been praying for Him.  Um, WOW. Always makes me feel that the world isn’t so big after all. 


But it was the hope we have through Jesus that made all of the difference for us. Despair never stuck around for very long – even in the early days. God granted us peace in most of our moments – even when there was so much uncertainty and unknown. We would come to Him and He would comfort and deliver.  I knew in my heart that no matter the outcome, He was going to supply what we needed and get us through – in His power, not our own.  And even if things were overwhelming and difficult, I knew that this frail life was just temporary and if we could just make it through our numbered days here on earth, we would have an eternal, perfect, heavenly dwelling with no more suffering and hardship.  We would be face-to-face with the Savior who loves us beyond what we can imagine.  There’s nothing that can compare with that. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Tate turns 5!

Our Tate turned 5 earlier this week!

His birthday was on Monday. We somewhat quietly celebrated at home. We let him choose what we had for breakfast (Lucky Charms) and dinner (Stromboli). We went to the zoo. We opened some presents and cards from far away family and from us. We let him stay up late and catch lightening bugs. A good day. Here's a few pics:
Tate loves the Schleich brand dinosaurs - especially the ones that have mouths that open and close.
And Grandma Vig loves to indulge his little heart.
Tate, and his birthday buddy, Lydia, at the zoo. Same birthday....just 12 years apart.
Great-Grandma Willis and Heath watching the gift opening.
Tate LOVES bubble gum! 



But then, what he had been waiting his whole life for up to this point:

His 5-year old Birthday PARTY! 

Theme: Sharks! 

Tried to keep it simple. But I like order (as opposed to chaos). And I'm a planner. And well, it's F.U.N. to throw a birthday party! I still felt like I kept things pretty simple, but we kept the 2 hours hopping with activities and food and attempting to reign in the energy of 10 young boys! I'm pretty sure the boys would have been happy with just running around our yard, kicking balls around, and yelling. But again, I like order. And I was in charge. :) I was also the only girl that was allowed at the party. Tate said this was to a be a party with "only boys." 









Here's what Tate is like at 5 years old:
- He's showing to be a bit of an introvert much of the time. Still gaining confidence in who he is and figuring out how he feels about being in groups. (2 years ago I would not have predicted this!)
- He loves ferocious things with sharp teeth! (Dinosaurs, Sharks, Dragons)
- He has a GREAT memory and will recall details that I often struggle to remember.
- He's very observant at times and just likes to sit back and watch what is going on.
-Yet, he also has a great deal of energy and at times, it is like it is bursting out of him and he cannot contain crazy body movements and even crazier noises. 
- He loves to eat! He is often thinking about the next meal or asking for a snack.
- He still takes a 2-hour nap almost every day. 
- He can throw some HUGE fits when he doesn't get that nap. 
- He is almost as tall as Landon. 
- He can be a big sweetheart! 
We love him very much and cherish these 5 years we have got with him so far!