Wednesday, September 12, 2018

andrew's 11th birthday

This is the only picture I have of Andrew before his heart surgery.  It is the only picture of him that exists before his tiny scar made an impression on that little chest forever.  It doesn't even seem real to me to see him without a scar, as it has just become a part of him.
I wanted to share this incredible self portrait Andrew drew in art class in 4th grade.  I think it amazingly captures him.  Along the sides are skylanders and figures that he loves and always has.  And the body shows the INSIDE of him, including his "special heart."
This brought tears to my eyes.  We've always called his heart special, and I think this is very telling for him to include in a self portrait.  All his life we have tried to teach him to be proud of his scar, and everything he's been through.  This simply proves that we succeeded.  I love it so much.
In other news... at school on Andrew's birthday his principal dropped by his classroom for a selfie.  He does this with all the kids and I think that's so awesome!
We brought in popcorn and M&Ms that sort of follows the healthy snack policy.

That night we had dinner with Ga Ga and Papa at Andrew's choice- Pizza Ranch!
The chicken legs are his favorite- he was so excited!
Then we came home and opened presents!
He loves these chain reaction toys!
And of course, a new Big Nate book.
Andrew loves his snorkel set from Christmas and when we go to pools he always wears them and puts his hand up by his back, pretending like he's a shark.  So I couldn't resist this!  Now he can strap on the fin and scare his sister!  Ha ha.  It might be meant for a smaller child, but let's face it, Andrew is still a kid at heart!
Reading his card from Papa
At Christmas Kerigan got a robe from Ga Ga.  Andrew was so sweet and thankful for all his gifts, but later after he had opened everything he quietly said to her "Ga Ga, someday I would like a robe too."  It was SO cute.  And of course the next day Ga Ga went and found him one for his birthday!  Ha ha.
I love how Belle gets so involved with gift opening!  Ha!
During P.E. at school the kids had been roller blading.  Andrew could not stop talking about it.  He loved it so much.  So he was thrilled when he got his very own pair of roller blades!
Next it was Kerigan's turn to give him her gift.
I just love his faces he made as he tore off the paper!
Everyone who knows Andrew knows he is obsessed with figures.  Skylanders, Ninja turtles, anything Disney, etc.... I could go on and on.  His latest is Ben 10.
He was so happy Kerigan knew just what he wanted!
He requested a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting.  Easy and done.
This was the first year he got to decorate his own cake with these little ninja action figures (because, what else?)
I made him a birthday cake sign and we were good to go.  Gone are the days of the fancy parties, and Pinterest decorations and cake.  And I'm perfectly fine with that.  Ha ha.
The birthday excitement is always there... Pinterest or not!
I love how he lets Kerigan be involved and that she loves celebrating Andrew's birthday as much as her own (well, almost!)
It was a perfect day celebrating our special 11 year old.
Now if only I could freeze time.

Monday, September 3, 2018

birthday bouncing!

My plan this year for Andrew's birthday was to keep things low key- just invite a few friends to Sky Zone.  We ended up with a nice crew and they all had so much fun!
There isn't much Andrew loves more than dodge ball.  He loves playing it at Sky Zone so we knew this would be a perfect place to take them!
Dodgeball with cousin Jayden= his happy place
He's ready to throw that ball!

This is probably the sweetest girl in the whole grade- Grace.  Andrew adores her.  He wanted to invite her so badly so I texted her mom and made sure she knew she'd be the only girl amongst a lot of boys!  Ha!  Grace thinks the world of Andrew and she was so excited to come.  She made his day!
So many of these pictures are the same, but I loved his expressions!
You can just tell how much fun he's having- he's made this face ever since he was a little boy!
Andrew and his good friend Tanner.  These two clicked right away when we moved here even though they were in different classes the first year.  Then this year Tanner and his family moved to a new school in the same town so we are so lucky these two still get to see each other!
This girl got to bring her friend Rylee and they had so much fun too!
I think they spent almost the entire time doing this

I tried to get them both in the air but they kept jumping at different times!  Ha!
After lots of fun jumping, we took everyone to Orange Leaf
They loaded up on froyo with lots of candy on top!
These girls were having so much fun too!
This is the nicest group of kids right here- Andrew is so lucky to have such nice friends!
After the party fun, we dropped everybody off and brought Jayden back home and Grandpa and Grandma joined us!
Andrew opened his presents
I say this every year but Andrew would be happy to get no presents or a party if he could just spend his birthday with Jayden.  Cake and presents are just a bonus.  I just love their relationship so much.
We had a ton of fun playing spoons!

Then Evelyn and Aunt Rachel joined us for cupcakes!  Evie had been at Volleyball so she couldn't jump with us.
We tried to figure out how to put 11 candles in cupcakes so we finally just put 2 big candles in and they looked like 1's!  Ha!
That face!
The next morning it was more games with Grandma and the early risers!
Then we made breakfast
And had fun putting together Legos!
Grandma has way more patience with these than I do!
The next week he had his well child check up and pretended to be upset- Ha!
I'm telling you, this kid

More from his actual birthday coming soon...

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