Wednesday, January 15, 2020

We Have A Teenager!!!!

Holy Moly....we have stepped into the tumultuous teenage years! 

Heaven help us! :) 

Really it's not that far! Of course he's only been a teenage for a few hours...there are many more minutes, hours and years to come. I'm sure those teenage colors will come shining through brightly at times, but for right now we're doin' good! 

A year ago on Owen's birthday I was pretty worse for wear...having just had major surgery I wasn't really able to do much, but sit on the couch. Thankfully Rachael was amazing and offered to bake Owen some birthday cupcakes. They are the best cupcakes I've ever had! 

Michael handled Owen's 12th birthday...he took Owen and his friends to Laser Quest and then brought them back to eat pizza and watch a movie. It was pretty low key really. Ga-Ga & Pa even picked up the pizza and there were enough leftover cupcakes for the day of his party. I honestly didn't have to do a thing! 

About a month out from my surgery we ventured out for the first time as a family to go to a park. We were all pretty stir crazy. Owen is actually a major homebody so it can be hard to get him out of the house. He'd rather stay home with his books or games. Once he gets out though he usually ends up having a blast. 

Snow is by far one of Owen's favorite things! 

Snowmageddon 2019 was the best thing in the world for him! 

Hours and hours of entertainment outside. In fact Owen goes outside more in the winter if it snows than he does in the summer when it's warm out. 

Owen is still a Mama's boy and my personal Love Bug, but I will say this last year he hasn't been quite as snuggly as before. 

During the big snowstorm each of the kids got to help me in the kitchen. Owen did great helping me make chocolate chip cookies. This last year he has become more independent in the kitchen. He can make Chicken Nuggets, Mac 'n Cheese, Top Ramen and Frozen Pizza all by himself. I'm sure there are probably other kids his age that can make meals more difficult than those, but I was never big into helping my mom in the kitchen and neither are my kids. I know they'll eventually know how to cook so I'm not worried.

Owen has definitely grown out of the pretend play phase. He'll still do a set up of his army guys every now and then, but playing school with his sister happens very few and far between. 

If I do want to get him outside the sure fire (pun intended) way is to have the fire pit going. Owen is and always has been fascinated by fire. 

One of my favorite things about Owen is his ability to be a goofball. I love it! We all have a nerdy side and Owen knows how to show his off. I will say that as he's been approaching his teen years he has ebbed and flowed like waves where he'll be super goofy with me and then sometimes he'll just rolls his eyes at me because he thinks I'm a total dork. I just have to catch him at the right time. 

Going to the Pacific Science Center with the kids last year was so fun! I have always loved going and the kids had a blast. I was especially excited when we got to watch a live demonstration all about Combustion. Anything that makes a big BOOM in a preteens mind is AWESOME!!! I was definitely a cool mom that day! 

This last year Owen has actually said he likes new foods. Hamburgers, Shrimp and Sausage & Pea Risotto to name a few. He has also been able to deal with eating veggies. He doesn't mind canned pea, green beans or corn. He will also eat raw carrots, but he hates frozen carrots because they are "too hard and basically water". 

I caught him in a goof mood at Great Wolf Lodge!!! 

Our church's kids church is for ages Kindergarten - 6th. Once you get to 5th grade you can start helping with the technical stuff in the back. Owen was having fun doing that occasionally. Later in the year they started up Middle School Ministries so now both Owen and Jack are in big church with us during worship and after that they go down the hall to their own classroom for their lesson time. The boys love it! Especially since every Sunday they can get coffee before going into the Auditorium! 

Even though he's a preteen he's not going to pass up a chance to get candy at our church's Egg Hunt! 

I was actually surprised that Owen got his face painted...he has a thing about texture and touch. He did come right home and wash his face before bed though. 

Not too big to hunt for eggs at Ga-Ga & Pa's house...especially when some of them are filled with $$$!

Owen posing with his cabin that Pa made him! All the cabins are in the dining room lite up all the time. They are so cool! 

After Michael and I got home from Maui we took a day trip down to Oregon for a family wedding. The face that Owen is making in this picture reminds me of his cousin Camryn SO much! I had never seen the resemblance before, but I think it has to do with the way he's scrunching his nose! 

Owen really excelled at his first year in Awanas. Both him and Jack earned a spot at summer camp. 

Goofy boy shining through! 

If you haven't noticed yet go back and check out how many pictures Owen is wearing these same Darth Vader jammies or his blue hoodie coat. Almost every single picture! Something that's really hard for Owen is change. He gets really upset when he grows out of clothes...even if I go buy him the exact same thing in a bigger size. We've had many discussions about how change can be a good thing and change is just a part of life. I remember struggling with thoughts around his age that I would never be able to find something that I loved and replace it once I grew out of it or ran out of it. I feel like Owen knows he's at a junction point in his life...he's no longer a boy, but he's a young man and that can be a little scary for sure. 

3 awesome dudes! 

A huge day for our family...June 5th 2019...the day Owen, Ella and Zeke were baptized! 

One of my favorite things to do with my kids is have deep meaningful conversations. I am not one to shy away from hard topics. I love to read the Bible to them and talk about Biblical things. They know infinitely more at their age than I did about the Bible. I absolutely love it. I also really do enjoy talking about the birds and the bees with the kids. It's a normal part of life and it's a beautiful part of life if kept within the boundaries the Lord has designed for sex. I even had a riveting conversation with all the kids about pornography and sex trafficking this last summer. I don't get embarrassed by much and I'm so happy that my kids feel safe and comfortable talking to me about these important issues. 

Another great way to get Owen outside is to go camping. Get away from the option of electronics and he thrives! Outside throwing pinecones or rocks and he's living his best life! 

Climbing and exploring are also high on his list! 

But of course the best part is the fire and roasting things! 

Finishing out the first year of middle school! School is still tough for Owen...not in regards to the work or his teachers. He struggles with kids his own age. Owen doesn't necessarily enjoy the things the other kids do and he's also younger in his maturity level than a lot of kids his age. Honestly I am completely ok with both of those things. Kids grow up way too fast these days. I want him to stay a kid for as long as he possibly can. Michael and I have discussed it and let the kids know they will not be getting phones until they are driving. There is honestly no need for it! The kids take the bus to school they don't walk. I can contact the school if I want to get ahold of them. I drive them to Awanas and I have the leaders phone number. We go to church as a family. There is nothing that they do that would require them to have a phone. The one and only exception has been when we go to Wild Waves...Owen or Jack will take our house cell phone with them so I can contact them. They are only allowed to make calls or text me from that phone. It is not for playing games or looking online. I know for some parents they have good reasons to allow their kids to have phones at a young age, but for our family it isn't necessary. 

It's still crazy to me that I have two middle schoolers now! 

Another fun outing was going to the Flight Muesem...of course the kids aren't really into reading up on all the history, but the exhibits are fun!

Owen and his siblings....that is a complicated issue. Owen can struggle with those relationships. He has a hard time being the bigger individual in situations. It's something we are working on. 

This is hands down Owen's favorite thing...the cat! 

He still loves to build things! 

Arts and crafts have never been Owen's favorite thing, but he did enjoy painting the shield that Papa Martin cut out for him. What I love about Owen is he's super decisive. Once he's figured out what he wants to do he just does it. He doesn't falter or second guess himself. He knows what he wants and he accomplishes it. That's a great character trait to have. 

This summer Owen enjoyed helping Daddy rebuild the fence using the nematic nail gun! I tried to teach him how to use the chop saw, but he wasn't ready for that. 

Owen loves water and he can be a little fish. Last summer since we had season passes to Wild Waves he didn't swim very much in our pool at the house. Ga-Ga put up her pool on 4th of July and even though the weather wasn't super warm he got in for a dip! 

It was so fun watching him decorate his shirt. Like I said before he was so decisive and knew exact what he wanted and when he was done he was done. It was a finished masterpiece. I loved it! 

Fireworks are another one of the best things in Owen's eyes! 

Riding on the lazy river with my boy! 

Not only did Owen and Jack both earn their spot for Awanas summer camp, but they also got to go with our church youth group. This was their first time truly being away from home.

It was fun getting updates from Ron about the kids. They learned a new card game called Trash. 

They also had a great time building a fort! 

And checking out the sights on the way home. The only part Owen complained about was the drive there and home...according to him it took 7 hours!!! 

With all the work we were doing on the house we needed to make a trip to the dump and I was so happy that Owen is old enough he can help me now. 

He did so good throwing things into the pit and rolling tires over to the bin. It's so fun to see what the kids are capable of as they get older. 

It was also super fun to take the kids on a little drive around the neighborhood in Papa's truck! 

A not so fun thing last year was finding out we had lice less than 24 hours before the boys were supposed to go to Awanas summer camp. Thankfully Michael found the Lice Clinic of America in Kent. We all got treated and the boys were lice free and off to their second summer camp for a whole week! 

He's a 7th grader!!! 

And a weirdo! 

7th grade has been good for Owen. He seems to keep to himself. He has a small group of friends that sit together at lunch. They don't really hang out together outside of school, but that doesn't bother Owen at all. 

Enjoying a hike with Daddy on our Fall camping trip. 

Still dressing up and enjoying Halloween for as long as he can. He loves his candy! His favorite candy is kind of peculiar though....Owen loves peppermint candy canes. He will eat them all through the year. 

Again his most favorite thing on this earth is Charlie! He loves that cat! 

One thing he does not love is when his sister sleeps on the floor in the boys' room. 

Our Beautiful Blessings! 

Owen definitely enjoys all the festivities of Christmas! 

It was so fun to really surprise Owen with something this Christmas. He absolutely loves Unspeakable on YouTube. He watches all his videos about Minecraft and silly stuff. Getting him Unspeakable merch was expensive, but so worth the smile on his face Christmas morning. 

Wearing his Unspeakable hoodie riding on a hover board...livin' the life! 

Owen got an early birthday present from Karah the girl he's had a crush on for years. It was so sweet of her to get him a Creeper from Minecraft! Of course if I try to talk to him about Karah he gets all embarrassed and tells me to stop. Another sign of the teenage years! 

Owen wonderful 13 year old...I am so excited that you are teenager. I know that might not be the thing that most moms say at this point in time, but it's true. I'm excited about the things you are going to learn, experience and the memories you're going to make. Your teenage years are a very pivotal point in your life...a lot of the decisions you make during the next 7 years will impact your life forever. Some of the things you choose to do will be good, but also some will be bad. You will learn...sometimes the hard way, but you'll learn. No matter what decisions you make good or bad you will always have your Dad and I here waiting for you with open arms. Sometimes to congratulate you, sometimes to correct you and sometimes to guide you. We will always be here even if you screw up and feel like there's no way out...even if you disappoint us by going against the rules and suffering the consequences. We will always love you! 

Owen sweet boy...I am praying that as you grow these next few years that God grants you the desires of your heart. That He will show you the place He has for you and the purpose for your life. I pray that the God given talents you have will be used to further the Kingdom of God. I pray that you will be filled with compassion and kindness that overflows from your heart for those around you. I especially pray that the temptations this world has to offer will not deter you from the path God has set before you. That you will never question His never stopping, never giving up, unbreakable, always and forever love for you! 

Happy Birthday Owen!!!

And just for fun I've linked all my past birthday letters to Owen below.