Monday, October 5, 2015

Fantastic Fourteen!

It's here. Wonder Boy's big day! He's knee deep in the waters that make up his teenage years now. And we are as proud of him as ever!

Wonder Boy ...

Your big day takes us back to the day you were born,
Like a little angel you opened your eyes, your beauty they adorned.

You looked at us and gave us a smile so divine,
even in the darkness, your sweet smile did shine!

Today when we see you, the smile seems much the same
As are the deep chocolate eyes, from Heaven they came.

But even more than your looks, we love your precious heart,
we love also your keen mind, so probing and smart.

No one else can touch us like you do,
And we hope you know just how much we truly love you!

Happy Birthday Wonder Boy!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Project 14 to 14: Day 14

Today, on the Boy's last day as a 13 year old, we will be sharing some "words of wisdom" found safe inside some crunchy cookies:

These came from a special almost-birthday dinner of take out from of our favorite places. And really, I wish the Boy could have seen these the day BEFORE this special dinner. Because, unfortunately, these are lessons he had to learn the hard way this morning - especially the top "fortune."

Since the Boy's birthday falls on a Monday (and a very busy one at that), we had hoped to spend the day celebrating his last moments as a 13 year old. But instead, we spent a large part of the day in discipline mode. BUT, in the end, we all came together for this special dinner and we got these wonderful little reminders of how the world really works.

We all have bad days. Even on "special" days. But love, especially the love of one's family, is just the fire to keep us all going.

At least, that is the message that I hope the Boy will take out of this day.

In our look back to 2014, about a month before the Boy's 13th birthday, we see BOTH of my guys together:

This little snap shows the guys enjoying a new family hobby. For Wonder Dad's birthday that summer, the Boy and I surprised him with a bow. It's something Wonder Dad had always wanted to try. And he had SUCH a great time with his bow, that it didn't take long until the Boy was clamoring to join him at the range. So, we invested in a second bow and let the Boy give it a try as well. Some of our best times (when the weather is not too hot) come out at the archery range these days. It is my hope that the boy will long enjoy this sport.

And with this share, we wrap up this project for the year.

Tomorrow the Boy will celebrate another birthday. And I'm sure that I will again wonder why it is that time has to march on so quickly.

But for today, I am going to sit back and enjoy knowing that, even on his not-so-great days, Wonder Boy is a good kid, with a good heart. And I hope that, as he looks back on this day, he will understand that he has a family that loves him no matter what.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Project 14 to 14: Day 13

Day 13 has arrived and it's GAME DAY once again! Wonder Boy's team is off to a FANTASTIC start to the season as they picked up their second win (4 to 2) over another very tough opponent! Wonder Boy didn't score this week, but he had a GREAT assist and took some pretty nice corner kicks as well!

We got a breath of fresh air for this game too! It's not what I would call "cool" just yet, but the more moderate temperatures sure made a noon ball game more enjoyable for all involved!

In our look back to 2013 today, we see the Boy enjoying his 12th birthday!

This "balloon prank" might be one of his all time favorite birthday pranks. The night before his big day, Wonder Dad and I stayed up quite late, huddled in our closet (in order to keep things on the DL) blowing up more balloons than either of us ever imagined we would be inflating! Then we filled the alcove outside of the Boy's bedroom with said balloons. When he opened his door to start his big day, the balloons went flooding into his room. I don't think we've ever managed to surprise him that much before or since!

I think this might have been one of the Boy's most memorable birthdays. We started with an epic prank, followed it up with ANOTHER prank (we re-gifted a still un-opened Christmas gift), watched the Boy and his soccer team win in spectacular style, and ended the day at dinner with his 2 best friends at his all-time favorite restaurant. It was a GOOD DAY. And I know Wonder Dad and I enjoyed it as much as Wonder Boy!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Project 14 to 14: Day 12

It's Day 12 now and for today's look we get a look that one day will surely be called the classic millenial look:

Phone in hand, Wonder Boy is just like almost all boys his age. He likes to keep his phone handy for those times you need to text a pal, google some interesting fact, or work his way through the latest Crossy Road level.

I think cell phones are to the Boy's generation what big hair and neon clothes were to mine.

I wonder what the in-thing will be for my grandkids? (not that I am in ANY rush to find out!)

For our look back, today we flash back to the Boy's birthday in 2012 (his 11th birthday):

In case you can't tell, that's a pile of brand new underwear wrapped up with paracord bows and a cute little card. These little "gifts" were scattered throughout the house while the Boy was at school that day. Each card had a cute little poem which revealed a clue leading to the next little surprise!

You see, the Boy had been not-so-subtle in letting us know EXACTLY what he wanted for his special day. And the ONE THING he really did NOT want to receive was underwear. SO ...

being the loving, supportive parents that we are, he got a HUGE pile of new underwear and a string of frustrating clues that actually DID lead him to his heart's desire.

Wonder Dad and I MAY have enjoyed this more than the Boy. But only just a bit!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Project 14 to 14: Day 11

On Day 11 of this count down to the Boy's big day, I wanted to show you a glimpse of the Boy in his happy place - sitting at the computer.

Not only is he at the computer, but he's working on a game project. This particular game project is for school, but this is something he would never consider "work." No, this is the boy at his happiest these days. He loves piecing together all the moving parts and creating something he can't wait to share with his friends (and teammates on the Robotics team at school)!

I am always in awe of his creations. And I can't wait to see idea he works on NEXT!

Our look back today, to the morning of his 10th birthday, is one that always makes me laugh out loud!

Come on - you laughed too, right??

Does this look like the face of a boy with one of his favorite foods on the morning of his BIRTHDAY?? NO! It looks like I feel on the morning of an extra early meeting before my first cup of coffee.

But the reality is that this is what the Boy looks like most mornings - including birthdays and even Christmas! He is just not a morning person and never has been. By the time he finished his milk and started in on the cinnamon rolls, he was good to go and ready for a day of fun and celebrations and PRESENTS! But he needs that blood sugar boost like I need my morning caffeine.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Project 14 to 14: Day 10

For Day #10 of this super fun project, I wanted to show off one of my favorite times of the day: BED TIME!

So what is it about bed time that is so special? Well ... I would say that the truly special part is that on most nights (schedule permitting), we still have reading and/or cuddle time with our favorite Boy before lights out. And how many parents of a nearly 14-year-old get to say that?

I really savor this time of day night.

We're a family of avid readers. Wonder Boy has a book he's reading for school and another book he keeps loaded on his e-reader for fun (or long car trips). He has a book he's reading with Wonder Dad. And yet another book he's sharing with me. Yay for books!

So the first part of our nighttime ritual involves quality time with the Boy and a beloved book.

The next part of the process depends on which of us is in there with the Boy: when it's my turn, reading is followed by cuddle time and a discussion of plans for the next day. I find it a great way to wind down and to know that we're all set for the next day. When Wonder Dad has tuck-in duty, serious silly time starts as as the book is closed. I LOVE listening from the next room as the sound of uncontrollable laughter rings out.

And THAT is what makes bed time such a vital part of our routine.

In our look back today, we see Wonder Boy at school on his 9th birthday.

Just look at the glee on his face! Almost every picture I have from this day (and from the party that followed on Saturday) show the boy just like this: bursting to the seams with joy and excitement!

It's an expression like this that just warms me all over. Seeing this kind of joy on the face of your child ... well ... there just are not many things in this life that can top that kind of happiness, imho.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Project 14 to 14: Day 9

Today I want to highlight something that has been a TRUE blessing when it comes to having a teenager in the house:

You don't hear it mentioned very often, but having a teenager in the house can be down right USEFUL!

The Boy is capable of all manner of help these days! He can run a load of wash - and I mean from start to finish. He grabs clothes from all around the house, sorts by color, etc., and when there is enough, he runs them through the washer and dryer, folds and hangs them, and then puts them away!

I got VERY spoiled this summer as this was one of his main duties (when he wasn't away at camp). He also helped out with dusting, vacuuming, care of the dogs, and many more household duties.

It has been such a blessing to ask for his help and know that it will truly be HELPful!

Our look back today is a bit more lighthearted though:

This image, taken just after the start of 2nd grade for the Boy shows off one of his many creative pursuits: balloon twisting!

During this phase, he filled our home with all manner of balloon animals and structures. I loved all of the animals, of course, including the above featured octopus. But my favorites were the structures. And specifically, his "pyramid of Giza." That one led to all kinds of interpretations! He made it once with green balloons to which we then tied smaller, multicolored balloons and used it as a Christmas tree centerpiece for our Christmas Eve celebrations!

I love this aspect of Wonder Boy's personality. He likes to learn new things, to use his hands and raw materials to make something new.

I can respect that.