Sunday, September 04, 2011

Grins Turns 5!!

Grins had grand plans for a "Huge Darth Vader Birthday Bash".  He and Angel planned a whole day's worth of activities and food for the big event, from light saber fights to building a Star Wars ship to Darth Vader cupcakes for dessert.  Unfortunately, the only thing missing from the party was the guest list.  Grins' two closest friends moved away a couple of weeks before his birthday, and two other friends were out of town for the summer.  The only remaining friends were a girl and a much younger boy, and while he wanted to at least invite them, his already over-scheduled mother (ahem) felt overwhelmed at the thought of all the preparations such a party would take, that the thought of doing it all for just a guest or two seemed a bit much.

Fortunately, the easy-going, happy-camper that Grins is, I was able to talk him into having a "Party Day" with his sisters and I.  I offered Jokers, Chuck E Cheese or the Children's Museum as optional venues - but in the end, he selected the following activities for his Birthday Schedule of Events:

Grins opened gifts from Oma and Opa the very first thing in the morning.  When he discovered his first very own set of Legos, he wanted to spend the remainder of the day building them - so of course, he built that into his birthday schedule!  

Crepes for Breakfast, with nutella and whipped cream 
(he didn't request the kiwi, but we had to add something with a little nutritional value!  
Grins made the Mr. promise to wake him up before the Mr. left for work - so the Mr. brought Grins breakfast in bed at 5:30 am!  Poor Grins was so sleepy that he didn't actually eat then....but he immensely enjoyed them later!)

Tennis:  We walked to the tennis courts down the street from our house.  Unfortunately, it was very hot and sunny, so our tennis game didn't last nearly as long as he had hoped, since his tennis partner (mom) had to forfeit due to excessive thirst and heat stroke (ok, an exaggeration, but you get the point...).

Tennis took so long that we ended up forgo-ing the bike ride to the cemetery that day....but we have made it up several times since then! :)

Lunch: Chicken Nuggets and carrots, eaten on the trampoline (we had to snap a picture at the table, because it was so hot and sunny outside!)

 Building Legos (from Oma & Opa) and Plasma Car (from Grandma & Grandpa) - Grins had an incredible time putting together the police car helicopter and fire truck!  I think we sat there working on them together for at least 3 hours - and since it was his birthday, I could justify just sitting there with him, building legos!  What a rare treat for both of us!  I often wish I could hire a cook and housecleaner, so I could enjoy more moments like these!

Since Grins' birthday fell on a Tuesday, our Mutual night, we picked up a pizza on the way to the church.  Grins selected the toppings: BBQ sauce, cheese and pepperoni.  Fortunately he also requested a tossed green salad so the meal still had some nutritional value!  The kids ate dinner in the Nursery at the church while I conducted Young Women.  And then, as a special surprise and wonderful ending to the day, The Mr. got off work "early" and came out to the church to collect the kids around 7, so they could go home and watch "How To Train A Dragon" and eat 'honey popcorn' and brownies.  

Not quite the huge Darth Vader bash that he had originally planned, but it was a beautiful day, enjoyed by all! I love this Birthday Boy with all my heart, and will be forever grateful that he is part of our family!

Dear Grins,

         My darling son!  You will never know how much my heart swells with love for you!  You are SUCH a precious little boy!
         If I could use only one word to describe you, I would have to choose "Happy".  It is hard to imagine you without a huge, dimply, toothy smile on that cute little face of yours.  Your giggles are so contagious - you spread laughter wherever you go!  A close second would be "Loving"!  You are SO full of kisses, snuggles, and hugs.  You love to have your cheek against mine, or your head against my chest.  You love rubbing my arm or face.  And you especially enjoy snuggles.
        You are a boy, through and through!  You are CONSTANTLY on the go - you must always be moving (unless you are snuggling!).  You run almost everywhere you go - on your tip-toes, with your arms up and hands hung down (it seems to be your trademark run - I don't think I've seen anyone else run quite like you!)  If I ever ask "What would you like to do?" you ALWAYS answer either "Ride bikes", "Jump on the trampoline" or "Play ball outside."  Even during the winter, when it's freezing outside, you want nothing more than to play outside.  Sports thrill you - and though you don't seem overly competetive, you are incredibly hard on yourself, and get very angry if you don't hit or catch the ball.  I'm afraid it's my fault - you would probably be a professional ball player if I would practice with you as much as you would like to...I wish I had nothing else to do than pitch a ball to you all day!  I don't think you would EVER get tired of it - it seems you can practice for hours on end.  You love baseball most of all, followed by soccer, basketball, and tennis.  The other day you played kickball - with a group of youth and adults (you were the youngest by at least 10 years) - and you were fantastic!  I said "You did great!" to which you replied, "I know! Because it's just like baseball!"  You are so much fun! 
      Despite your 'rough and tough' play, you have kept your sensitivity!  You love snuggles and hugs, and if I say I'm disappointed with a choice you've made, you are devastated.  You take things very personally, and you try very hard to do what is right.  You get upset when you make mistakes or get in trouble - but you are always so quick to make up!  When you and Angel sit on the 'repentance bench', you are always first to say what you've done wrong, apologize, and give hugs and kisses.  You can't bear to be angry or have someone angry with you.  You love snuggles!
      You are SUCH a hard worker, just like your Daddy!  On Saturdays, when we clean the house, you are first in line to choose your chores, and you dive right into your assignments!  Your favorite chore: cleaning the toilet!  You always pick that one!  And you work really hard to get everything done right.  You moved into your own bedroom a few months ago, and since that time, you have kept your room immaculate!  One day, you said "I need to go clean my room - it's so messy!" I asked "How did that happen?  It was clean a few minutes ago." to which you replied, "There's a book on the floor!"  In addition to cleaning everything, you always insist on having at least one or two of your creations on display on your dresser.  Which reminds me....
      You LOVE building things!  You can work for hours with your TRIO, K'nex and, now (your latest discovery which began at Oma's house this summer) - Legos.  You are constantly building 'weapons' (mostly arrows and darts), submarines, rocket ships, and anything else you can imagine.  Building is certainly a favorite past time of yours!
       You are SO gentle with your sisters (most of the time.)  You love them so much!  Angel is your best friend on earth.  You two can play for hours on end.  You love going along with her ideas, and adding your own to the game.  You love dressing up with her (sometimes as a knight - other times as 'one of the girls') and painting your toenails with her.  You are so excited to go to school with her, and you want so desperately to be in her class!  You are especially tender with Wiggles.  If I ever get angry with her, she cries, "I want (Grins)!"  You always comfort and console her when she's sad.  Of course, you do love teasing her, too!  If I ever hear her running and screaming, I almost always find you a few steps behind her. :)
      When you grow up, you want to be a "baseball player, soccer player, and basketball player."  When you're not playing ball, you want to be an astronaut who flies rocket ships.  You keep asking to go visit NASA in Florida, so you can learn how to be an astronaut.  You have the determination and the work ethic to do whatever you set your mind to.  I know you will go far in life, my darling boy.  I hope you will have the courage to go after your dreams, and that you'll always have lofty aspirations and grand plans for your future. Please always keep your willing attitude, your loving nature, and your giggles and grins.  And above all know that you, my son, are loved more than you'll ever know.  You fill my life with love.

I love you, my Grins! 

Love, Mommy

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