Well, my friends, we officially have a pre-teen for the first time ever. What a marvel to watch these little people on their journey towards adulthood, growing more in the grace of God and the image of Christ with each passing year!
As I’ve mentioned in the past, Elliott has declared that the only thing he ever wants to do for the rest of his birthdays is have Epic Capture the Flag parties every single year. Each year it has become a bit more epic, and I will say this year was definitely the most epic year of all. I am not sure I can handle if his birthdays become any more epic, so perhaps this is the climax of epic-ness. (I know….unlikely…and that’s okay.)
Elliott continues to be the child who, just like his mother, always wants to invite EV-ER-EEEE-BOD-Y. That “EV-ER-EEE-BOD-Y” was taken to a whole new level this year when 83 people came to his party. Yes, that was not a typo. EIGHTY-THREE persons graced our property on that chilly, yet perfectly gorgeous Colorado day. (Eighty-seven if you count parents who did not stay to hang out, but just dropped off/picked up.)
We had over 50 kids playing Capture the Flag and it was, may I say, EPIC.
We had a dozen or so more kids join after the group photo that was taken towards the beginning. Good thing we got smart this year and procured a megaphone for the big day!
You can see them scattered about our property in the above picture. After a couple of games, everyone headed back to our back yard for lunch and ice cream.
On his actual birthday, he got to open some thoughtful presents from his parents and grandparents. I just love watching my kids open presents. The expressiveness of their gratitude never ceases to delight my heart. I love how Selah’s expressiveness just magnifies Elliott’s.
As a family, we celebrated with waffles the morning of his actual birthday, leftover croissant sandwiches from his party for lunch, and pulled pork BBQ and baked beans for dinner. And, obviously, mud pie for dessert!
Our “big” present to him this year was to allow him to foster a red-eared slider. She was in need of a home and our neighbors wondered if she would enjoy our pond. Elliott has long wanted a turtle to keep as a pet and so Brian and I decided to give it a shot, knowing that if it didn’t work out we could set her free in our pond. Elliott was over-the-moon.
What we didn’t know when we agreed to take her was how HUGE she was. She would really need her own 50-75 gallon tank and you probably know that Elliott already has one of those filled with fish. Our house is not big enough for two 75-gallon tanks! So we enjoyed her presence for a couple months and then decided to set her free into our pond– a space we knew she would enjoy much more.
It occurred to me that “twelve” marks being 2/3 of his way to 18. It’s just so hard to believe!! Look at this little guy at one year old, six years old and twelve years old. It’s just amazing to watch, as a parent, how your child can grow up and change SO MUCH and yet be EXACTLY THE SAME as you remember him as a baby. He has the same joy, the same smile, the same personality, and yet he has GROWN tremendously. A true and beautiful paradox of life.
Happy birthday to our favorite Epic Elliott!