Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Owen Michael Is 12 Years Old!

This sweet tenderhearted boy that made me a Mama is now 12 years old!!! I almost have a teenager!!!! I'm not sure how I feel about that. 

I love the growing up Owen has done, but when I stop and think about the fact that he's only got 6 more years as a child/young man that makes me sad. He's 2/3's of the way through childhood. 

One of the things I'm super grateful for is the fact that Owen is a kid. I mean a real kid. He still enjoys things that he should. He's not overly concerned with knowing what's the "in" thing and I'm really happy about that. I want Owen to stay young as long as he can. Life is way too complicated so let's just keep it simple. 

Owen very much loves traditions and he likes things to happen in a certain way.

Owen has been trying harder to put other first and to think about their needs. He does good with this in regards to adults, but he still working on doing the same for other kids. 

Owen still loves having me around especially at school. I've went on 2 fields trips with him this school year and they were both great. 

Owen still amuses me when it comes to all my picture taking! :) 

Owen is quite the thrill seeker. He was the only one that was able to go on this Kamikaze at the fair. 

He is still all for dressing up for Halloween and pretending to punch Jack even if this picture was a total accident. 

 I would rather have teenagers coming to the door wanting candy than wondering what they were out doing. 

Also who doesn't enjoy getting their face painted! 

Owen's love for the Armed Services has diminished a bit, but only in the fact that he doesn't talk about it all the time anymore. He still enjoys all things Army like when we see a convoy on the freeway he freaks out or going on a tour with Pa to see the inside of a Destroyer.  

I would say the number one thing that Owen struggles with is school. Not grades...he does great at school work and he really enjoys learning and he loves his teacher. He has a hard time relating to other kids his age. Owen has always been more drawn to adults than kids and that hasn't bothered him in the past, but in the last year it's really started to bother him. He's getting to the age where he's concerned about what other people think of him and he wants them to like him, but since he's really not interested in what they are interested in that makes it hard. Plus he's a rule follower to a fault so when kids aren't following in the rules that really bugs him and as you can imagine there are a lot of kids in middle school that don't follow the rules. 

In all honesty I'm super glad that he's not into what the other kids are into. We have talks quite frequently about his feelings and how much it bothers him. I remember going through the same thing during my middle school years. Who actually has a good time during their middle school years? They just plain stink! He has talked with the school counselor a couple times and I really hope he talks to her more since he always feels better afterwards. 

The great glasses saga with Owen...I actually love Owen with glasses, but he's constantly taking them off and leaving them places. At one point he broke them and I got them fixed and then he misplaced them again. At this point we haven't seen them for weeks so who knows where they are!!! He says they make it so he can't see far away so I guess they aren't necessary. 

One thing Owen does not like is change. He gets used to things a certain way and then he wants it to stay that way. In this instance it was summer break...he didn't want to go back to school. Also he gets really sad when he grows out of clothes. The shirt he's wearing in this picture he shouldn't be wearing anymore, but he hates it when I move his clothes on down to Jack. The other day he actually got emotional about having to throw away a pair of pants because they had a whole in them and were too small. Sweet boy! 

Speaking of clothes...Owen got moved up from the IKEA kid hangers to using all adult hangers! He was as you can imagine...not happy about this change! :) 

I love that he's old enough to stay home, take care of his younger siblings for a short time and go off and do things like Magi Quest at Great Wolf Lodge. He's getting so much more responsible. 

Owen is quite good at games even if he's not always sure about the rules. If he doesn't know about the rules he might just go ahead and make up his own Owen rules. 

Owen LOVES Charlie and could talk about him to anyone at anytime! 

Owen is just like his Daddy...he's a homebody! It can be tough to get him to do things because he wants to stay home all the time, but I'm always encouraging him to do this or do that because once he gets there he's going to enjoy himself. For example he wasn't super excited about going out on Pastor Andy's boat, but oh my goodness he had the time of his life!!! 

One change Owen was happy about this year was not having to make Ella her sandwich for school anymore. My rule is that the older buddy has to make the younger buddy their sandwich until they entered the 2nd grade. Since Ella is now in the 2nd grade it's her responsibility. 

Owen is still not a huge eater...at all! I keep thinking that teenage eating is going to kick in and he's going to eat me out of house and home, but so far I don't see it happening anytime soon. 

I don't think I blogged about this at all. We had a church picnic and one of the guys from church is a BMX biker. He and his buddy put on a show for us and they jumped over a couple of kids and Owen was one of them. He loved every minute of it! 

Owen is like most boys and gets super stoked about things that explode! I think this year we are going to go to the reservation to pick up fireworks! 

Sometimes Owen has a hard time deciding if he should do things the other kids do like this craft for 4th of July. In the end he broke down and decided to participate. 

The silliest things can make him so happy. Like licking his ice cream cone down into the tiniest little cone. 

This sweet boy has the best smile!!! 

Owen loves to learn new things and last year he learned how to play the guitar. He played it at the schools music informance and did great! Even though we stopped doing piano lessons since I'm no longer working he still enjoys playing around on it. He also has a fun taste in music...his favorites right now are Immortals & Phoenix by Fallout Boys.

Owen's best friend is Jordan. Jordan lives in our neighborhood and is a grade younger than Owen. They both like Minecraft, jumping on a trampoline & playing Monopoly Ultimate Banking. This last year they've gotten together to hang out more and more. It's been great seeing their friendship develop...I just wish they were both in the same grade! 

Owen now has is own savings account. He's saving for a car! Michael says we are going to give Owen and each of the kids $2 for every $1 they save. Right now Owen has over $60 saved so he's really got over $180 saved. 

Owen is still my own personal love bug!!! 

Owen really LOVES Charlie! 

He's a giant goofball! 

Did I mention that Owen LOVES Charlie!!! 

Owen does love a good road trip even though I think most of that isn't because of where we are going or what we are doing it's more to do with the fact that he gets to watch a movie in the van. 

Owen is very leery about trying new things....even sweet and sour sauce from another restaurant. Since we were at Wendy's he opted for ketchup instead! 

Yep he loves the cat! 

He's good at saving when he has a goal in mind...like buying an AT-AT walker Lego set!

In fact he saved so much money I traded him for all his money so he could have a $100 bill!!! 

He loves his AT-AT Walker, but he doesn't really play with it all that much. At least he was happy with this purchase. 

 My sweet twelve year old boy....I love you! I love you for you. I love how God created you. He gave you such a sweet tenderness. He made you super persistent and I know that will serve you well in the years to come. He gave you such an amazing ability to remember all sorts of facts. You are a fun kid and I love hanging out with you. I love playing games with you. I love cuddling with you during a movie. I love laughing with you and being silly. I love that you bear your soul to me and I hope that doesn't change. 

You are amazing and I can't wait to see what God has in store for you this year. 

Happy Birthday Owen!!! 

Monday, December 24, 2018

Christmas Activities - Week 3

Third week of Christmas Activities! 

December 15th 
Christmas Movie

I can't remember what we watched. It might have been Christmas related it might not have been. I know so far this year we've watched, Christmas Chronicles (SO GOOD!!!!), The Christmas Project (Super cute), Dolly Parton's Coat of Many Colors & Circle of Love (I loved them so much I bought them on Amazon) and Christmas Inheritance (Typical Hallmark movie, but cute). 


December 16th 
Christmas Musical & Drive thru Nativity

For both services at church the adult choir sang 10 songs in our musical performance called The King Is Here! 

There were a bunch of solos and everyone did great! 

It was exhausting standing for that long, but it was totally worth it when you could hear how much people really enjoyed it and that the message shined through. 

That night we were supposed to go to a Drive Thru Nativity at a church in Normandy Park, but then I got a call from my friend Margie saying that she could get discount tickets to the Nutcracker. Jack's best friend Hansi was playing Fritz and it was the last showing of the season. 

Jack, Ella and I jumped in the van and headed to Renton to the IKEA Performing Arts building. Our seats were great! We were on the right down in front, but far enough back we didn't have to lift our head to see the stage. This was a first for Jack and Ella. 

Of course they don't let you take pictures during the performance. Hansi did a great job!! He was perfect for Fritz...he has that mischievous look down perfect! 

Funny thing is before this night I had NEVER seen the Nutcracker. I didn't even known anything about it. I had to ask Margie about what was going on and then I had to read the story in the book she gave me. 

When we first walked in to the building I saw Pastor Andy and then I saw Jessica. Jessica's son Grady was in the production as well. He was one of the Party Boys. We got to meet up and chat a little bit during intermission with Jessica and her hubby Mike as well as with Colleen and Andy. 


December 17th 
Baking Day

Michael has a Christmas work party every year and every year I make treat bags for all the co-workers.  I love having the kids help me make the treats and they enjoy it too. 

The first thing I have them do is wash their hands really well. :) Then Ella and Zeke had the job of putting the pretzels on the cookie sheet. If there were any broken pretzels they had to separate those from the whole ones. I'm pretty sure they ate lots of those broken ones. They might have even been responsible for some of them getting broken! ;) 

Owen and Jack got to unwrap all the Rolos and put them in a bowl. This year I had each of the kids wear an apron. They really enjoyed that. It's funny how such small things can bring joy! 

Once Ella & Zeke were finished laying out the pretzels they got to open all the peanut butter cups. They also go to count out Oreos. Owen and Jack got to put the Rolos on the pretzels and then press down the pecan once they were softened. Ella ended up being the only one to stay with me and help almost the whole time. I really actually enjoy this time with them...which honestly surprises me! :) 


December 18th 
Wrap Sibling Gifts

I have all the kids go upstairs and then bring down one kid to wrap the present they bought for their sibling. I had them use the special paper that the kiddo picked out, but I let them pick the bow and the tag. 

I had each of the kids fill out the tag themselves. I love seeing their writing. 

Owen's present for Jack was a really unusual size so we had the hardest time finding something to wrap it in. I had a giant box in the garage, but it would have been SO huge next to the tree. I was really wanting to avoid using that, but I also wanted to avoid going out and buying another bag. I decided to organize all my bags and thankfully I came across this one. It was exactly the size we needed. 


December 19th 
Holiday w/ Lights

It was pouring down rain so we moved this to the 20th since the weather looked better. So instead we watched the Survivor Finale with the kids. 


December 20th
LEGO Christmas Creations & Family Movie Night

This got changed to Holiday w/Lights instead. Owen did come home and make a Christmas scene out of LEGO's though.

This is the view from the street. The round circles are the walkway. The gray box is the mailbox. The big rock thing is a yard decoration. The guy standing there has come outside from his house that isn't there and he's picking up packages. 

Here the view from the other side. The guy hiding behind the rock sculpture is the one that dropped off the gifts that the guy is bending over to pick up. I love his creativity! 

Ga-Ga was recovering from bronchitis so she decided to stay home. Pa came to our house and had dinner with us and then we all rode in the Aspen together. 

The first place we had to go after parking was the season pass area. I had bought season passes for the kids and I on Labor Day, but I hadn't ever come to get our wristbands. 

The weather was SO much better than the day before. It was VERY chilly though! 

Cute penguins! 

The kids were so excited about the rides. I don't even know the name of this one, but it shoots you up. Jack and I rode on this side and Michael and Owen were on the side to the right. Zeke stayed with Pa since he wasn't tall enough. It gave me major tummy tickles and I was screaming. When we got off Michael said it was so boring! 

The next ride was hang gliders, but unfortunately Zeke wasn't tall enough to ride so it was just me and the older 3. 

After that we knew we had to find a ride that Zeke could actually go on. Michael took the older 3 to go ride more thrill rides while Pa and I took Zeke. 

Our first stop was the carousel. The line was long, but thankfully we were able to make it on after two cycles. At first both Pa and I were going to stand next to Zeke, but then I saw a few open horses so I asked Zeke if he wanted me to ride as well and he said yes. 

So Pa stood next to Zeke to hold onto him. 

I was riding up in front of them. 

At one point during the ride I looked back at Zeke and said, "Zeke....my horse is beating you!" He thought that was funny! 

The older 3 were still off having fun so we went in search of more Zeke friendly things. We saw this entrance to Toyland and thought they might have some fun crafts or something. 

No crafts, but they did have an area that was "snowing"...it was just soap bubbles and it was everywhere. Shortly after this we heard Michael and the older kids. 

They had lots more of these picture taking opportunities. 

Cute toy soldier! 

All of my kids are the best presents God ever gave me! 

After this we walked around trying to find more rides that Zeke could go on, but everything that was open was for bigger kids. Michael wasn't surprised since Wild Waves is now owned by 6 Flags. He said that they are more geared towards teenagers and adults. I did see a bunch of rides that weren't open that I think Zeke would be able to go on though. So hopefully next summer he'll be able to have more fun. 

Michael did take the older 3 kids on another rollercoaster while Pa and I just walked around with Zeke. 

This was probably my favorite light desplay. It's hard to see since it's so fuzzy, but it's not two different lights is just that there is water there so it's reflecting on the water. The lights are the 12 days of Christmas. It's the number with a picture of that that day so it's a 1 with a partridge in a pear tree and so on. It was super cool! 

I decided to buy kettle corn so we could just munch on that while we waited for the older kids to get back. There was also a candy store so we went over there mainly to get out of the elements since it was freezing!!! 

Zeke picked Sour Skittles, but I didn't buy them until the other kids got there so they could pick out candy as well. 

In the candy store there was a real beard Santa. None of the kids wanted a picture, but when there wasn't a line Pa went over and talked with him and found out that he actually did know Santa Al. That was so fun! 

Outside the candy shop! 

Pa, Zeke and I sat out here chatting while waiting for Michael and the kids. I was SO cold I was ready to go home and get warm. When they came along we bought their candy and then headed out. We got there around 6pm and left around 8:30pm. 

It was fun, but honestly I was disappointed. Since it was called Holiday w/Lights I assumed there would be more light displays like at Zoolights. There were lights, but they were just on bushes and not really in any sort of display. Really it was mainly all about the rides. The website said that 25 rides would be open, but there were not that many. Michael said he saw a sign that 8 of the rides were down. I don't know if that meant they weren't working or if they didn't have enough staff to operate them. 

Next year I think we are going to drive up to Warm Beach Camp and check that out. Zeke won't be old enough yet to do the dinner theater, but I bet there is still plenty of fun stuff for us to do.