Our 2nd weekend in February brought Everett and Jackson's birthday party. Everett will be 1 on the 15th and Jackson will be 9 on the 28th, so we had one big family party this afternoon. Since it was Everett's very 1st birthday and ONLY family would be there, Jackson agreed to my suggestion of having a "monkey" party, which is very fitting since Everett has grown into a climber. The last climber we had (Mia) ended up with a concussion a week before her 2nd birthday, so I hope he will be a little less adventurous in his endeavors.
Since I am writing this blog mainly for my own benefit, please bear with me while I make a list of guests from today: Nana, Pop, Carley, Anne Kennedy (Carley's friend), Grandmommy, Granddaddy, Uncle Matt, Kenzie, Isaac, Ezra, Grandma, Grandpa Jerry, Debbie, Aunt Tamela, and Dylan. We missed those that weren't with us, but everyone had a good time.
We decided to open presents first so Everett wouldn't be covered in cake for the remainder of the party. Parker was so excited when we said open presents. He ran over and sat by me with a huge grin on his face. At 3 years old he still doesn't grasp the idea that every party is not his party, but he settled for helping Everett open gifts. Everett had just woken up from a much needed nap, so he proceeded to lay down in front of us through the first few presents. Once he saw the tissue paper flying, he was up and ready to help. He got lots of clothes, toys, and his first pair of new balance tennis shoes!
Jackson opened clothes, games, a journal, an odometer (for his favorite present), a mentos geyser, and lots of other things, but his favorite present was the one he got last night. He spent the evening with Nana and Pop shopping for a new bike. It has hand brakes, gears, the works. Then they went out for shrimp (Jackson's favorite) at Red Lobster. With 8 grandkids, just getting Nana and Pop to himself was gift enough. He woke up around 7 this morning and immediately got on his new bike to tour the neighborhood.
After the den was covered in wrapping paper it was time for food! Jackson planned the menu (since we had a "baby party" theme). We had fruit and dip, chocolate covered strawberries (courtesy of Nana), chips and dip, peanut butter chocolate bugles, ice cream, and cake. We lit the candles and sang to the boys. We even managed to get Everett to keep his hat on, but Jackson is not a hat man.We all waited for Everett to dig into his cake. I think all the smiling faces and flash bulbs intimidated him a little, but he eventually got the hang of it. He never would get a handful, but he loved picking off the icing polk-a-dots. He proceeded to try to share his bites with Jackson and Mia, which they refused by saying, "Eww, gross". Fortunately most of what he grabbed made it to his mouth. He is by far the cleanest 1 year old birthday boy I have ever had to clean up after!
It always amazes me that God has given Jeremy and I the blessing and responsibility of being parents to 4 of His children. I pray everyday that God would lead them closer to Him through us. We are not perfect parents, but I hope they will see us striving to imitate Christ's love and be impacted by it. I look at my children and am overjoyed to be their mother. Happy birthday to 2 of my favorite boys!