Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Bookend Babies' Birthdays

Benedict and Charlie are my bookend babies, the oldest and the youngest of our family story - the life story we are writing for our children and grandchildren and their grandchildren.  However, if  the Good Lord in Heaven decides to squeeze another baby into this trailer house, (p-a-LEASE, Lord, squeeze in a sister!) then Mr. Charles will be lovingly moved to the middle.
We got the idea of the "book ends"when Charlie was born (catch up on that story here).  He and Benedict were both born in the same hospital in Garden City, and are just a few short hours from sharing the same birthday.  Benedict born just before our move to Kansas City, Charlie born just after our move back to Garden City.
Last weekend, we celebrated Charles' first birthday, and Benedict's 11th birthday, all in the midst of a big trip to Topeka for the State Wrestling Tournament (more about that to come!).  Before heading out the door, we had our traditional birthday breakfast with Charlie.   
His first bite of an ooey-gooey frosty-licious cinnamon roll was Mmmmmm-Gooood! Enjoy it while it lasts little buddy, because after this, it's back to the "fruit is dessert" philosophy.
How 'bout a side of brotherly love to go with that cinnamon roll?? A rare photo of calm kindness snapped just before the karate chops and limb-flailing ensued.
A few little gifts to enjoy while mom and dad pack up the wagon for our trip.
Yes, it blinks, lights up and makes nerve-wrecking noises, but when it comes to the first birthday, I'm a bit of a parental weakling.  The bright side of buying a gift that is made in China is:
a.) he will probably get bored with it before long
b.) a brother will most likely destroy it "accidentally" before I have to make it "mysteriously" disappear
c.) it will be recalled for toxic paint and choking hazards.
Granted, sitting around all day on his birthday watching Andrew wrestle was not Ben's cup of tea, but knowing the day would end with swimming and Famous Dave's BBQ helped ease the pain of sacrifice.  The boys have a built in Famous Dave's radar.  Keeping them away from it when we near any metropolis is like holding the hounds back on a coon hunt. 
We all get a kick out of watching the boys eat ribs.  It brings to the imagination images of our caveman ancestors.  There's no shame in flashing a saucy smile over a plate tasty BBQ!
Since my parents are now part-time Topeka residents, we loved that they could be a part of all of the weekend action.  They were an incredible help from offering up sleeping quarters for our tribe to lending extra sets of hands at the tournament and birthday party.
The great surprise for our family over the weekend was having our #1 girl (George's secret girlfriend), Elena, come from Kansas City for the birthday party. She is just like family, and has a standing invitation to be our resident nanny!
Birthday cupcakes for our little Charles.  I love seeing him celebrate right beside his big brother Ben.
Charles, you're about to discover a beautiful thing: you get your cupcake devouring skills from your mama!
A chocolate K-State cake for Benedict, towering with candles, and flanked by two younger brothers who took careful measures so as not to be tempted to help extinguish the flames.
It was you, dear Benedict, who set the flame for family alive in our hearts to burn strongly with desire for more - more children, more life, more love, more craziness, more Faith, more gratitude, more sacrifice, more JOY!  We love that you are leading your brothers in so many beautiful ways, taking those first steps through life, creating a pathway and reaching back offering a hand to help them along the way.  You are amazing, and we love you 11 years strong, and counting!!

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