Please let me start with a sincere thank you for all of your kind comments about yesterday's post.  I had comments here and on facebook, and I even received several text messages about it from friends who have been there.  Which I suspect as parents, most of us have at one time or another.  It's a tough plight in life to be the oldest child, because as their parents, we are just figuring it out as we go.  Learning all the hard lessons for the first time.  And doing our best.  So from the bottom of my heart, thanks for being so sweet as I use this blog to let y'all in on a little bit of our journey.

    That being said and gotten out of the way - today is a special day.  It marks the anniversary, 34 years ago, that one of the greatest people on Earth was born.  He's tall, he's smoking red hot, he's smart, he's athletic, he always takes out the trash and does all the yard work, he stayed after Charity Dinner and helped all of us ladies clean up without being asked, he can always tell when I'm on the verge and is a pro at diffusing my meltdowns, he is currently slightly obsessed with golf, he has stinky feet, he leaves his clothes all over the place, he loves me, he loves God and wants our kids to as well, he works very hard, and did I mention he is smoking red hot?

      Happy Birthday Aaron!  We love you so so so much!

    And in honor of his birthday today, I thought I would do something a little different.  There are several recent pictures of him on here already so I thought I would take today to show you some baby pictures.  And clear up once and for all who our kids look like.  Because even though I don't really believe my kids look much like one another, they ALL look like their daddy.  Prepare for your mind to be blown.

    Here, my friends, is the proof.


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Little Aaron
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Little Super-G
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Little Aaron
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Little Turnanator
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Baby Aaron
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Baby Destruct-o-girl
    Do you see what I'm saying to you?  Do you?  At least there is no doubt who's my baby daddy.  And since they all look like him, I guess it's a good thing he's smoking red hot :-)

Happy Birthday Aaron,
the luckiest girl alive
 
You know the thing about babies is that they always start out so tiny.......
But in no time they get all attitudnal with their new personalities........................
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Whachu talkin' bout Willis?
Soon they are sneaky..............
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Cupcake? What cupcake? I haven't eaten any cupcake.
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I don't know why you keep accusing me. I have not been in the markers!
And you know all kids go through phases........................
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The sad dragon phase was definitely the worst
Before long they are doing grown up things with ease................
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Hey Mama, look at me! Hey Daddy, watch this!
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Do.Not. kiss me in front of everybody!
They mature...............................
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Can I hold her and take a picture please?
But sometimes the attitude still shows through.............................
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If you don't stop taking photos of me right this second and wipe this mess off my face, I'm going to cut you. Seriously. I do not kid.
You know the thing about babies?  One day they are brand new and then just a few more days and they are celebrating their sixth birthday.   And while all that individual stuff is going on that seems to last forever (like the colic and the sad dragon), it turns out it all adds up to six of the quickest and most wonderful years of your life.  Funny how that happens.
Son, you are the most amazing little creature with your handsome looks, and funny quirks, and hat poking up off the top of your head.  You're so smart and so good and so loving, and you are so much like your daddy in so many ways.  You are the best surprise that could have ever happened to me and I love your little face off.  Thanks for making the past six years wonderful. 

Happy Birthday Turnanator!
 
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Me: "hey cutie.  How does it feel to be two?"
D: "shree" (three)

Me: "what are we going to do for your birthday?"
D: "nothing because I'm a third child and my mother has become too lazy to throw parties for toddlers that won't remember them."

Me: "what did you get for your birthday present?"
D: "nothing.  In fact, my mother hasn't even bought me anything yet because she is lame."

Ok, so maybe she only answered the first question like this, but it sure was cute.  The other two are just sadly true.

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Me: "is that cake good?"
D: "(condescendingly) um..it's cake.  Duh"

Icing.  Yes.  She is soooo her mother's child.

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Me: "hey boo, whatcha' got there?"
D: "a light-up, talking disney princess vanity set complete with hair straighter, working blowdrier, perfume, and jewelry that you took me to Toys R' Us to buy today"

(ok that wasn't quite her answer either, but more truth.  really it went more like this.............)

Me: "hey boo, whatcha' got there?"
D: blablagobbledygookyaddayadda want wips (lipstick)?

Dear Boo girl,
  As your mother I just need you to know that you are the most wonderful little creature, and even though sometimes you behave like a wildabeast at high tea, I love your face off.  Thanks for being born.  I am lucky to get to be your mommy.

Happy Birthday Destruct-o-girl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (p.s. It is unfathomable to me that she has been here for two years.  cheesy, I know, but true) 
 
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Pretty much all I could think about around the time of this picture is, "I cannot believe they let me bring this thing home.  I have no idea what to do with it or how to take care of it!"  But it turns out you need very little knowledge, just a little common sense, and if you play your cards right...................................

and pray a lot, and stay up a lot, and worry a lot, and cry a lot, and laugh a lot, and hug a lot, and pray a lot more.....................then you might just get lucky enough to end up with something like this..................
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Happy Birthday my wonderful child!!  We are so blessed to get to be your parents!  You fill our lives with joy, and noise, and sports equipment, and love. Thank you for every day with you that makes our lives better. 

                                           Love,
                                   your adoring mother

 
    So this is one of those posts where I am strickly looking for your advice and opinions.  Coming up very soon, Super G will be having a birthday (man he is growing up fast!) and I find myself having the yearly birthday party discussion with him.  What kind of party do you want? Where do you want to have it?  Do you want a theme?  Who do you want to invite?  And of course his answers are as crazy as he is.  He wants a "Legends of the Guardian" party (seriously, who even knows what that is?  I think we are the only family on earth who has repeatedly watched a movie about owls) in his back yard with everyone he knows including his teacher from kindergarten. (shout out Courtney!  you made the cut!)  And then there is the whole question of a pool party since we do have a big ole' swimming pool in our back yard.  Y'all are welcomed to call us a bunch of fuddy duddies if you want, but swimming parties make me a nervous wreck.  I just never know who can swim at what level, whose parents are actually watching them and not talking, who would sue us if their kid drowned, etc., etc.  And it doesn't help that we had an incident already this summer where I had to jump in with all my clothes on and pull Destruct-o-girl out of the water.  Let's just say that will make you a little gunshy.

    So all that being said, I really began to do some hardcore thinking and internet searching last night.  The thing is, neither sets of grandparents and extended family live here in town and we always do a party with both sets at the grandma's houses - so that's two parties already.  When your mom is oldest of four and dad is second of five and you already have 9 first cousins, it doesn't take much to make a for-real party.  Then, when you add a party here in town, it's a lot of cake and presents.  At what point do you tell a kid "we're not going to have a party this year"?  You all know that once you get school age, there are birthday invites constantly, and even if you want to go, you just can't make them all.  Everyone is busy these days.  My first grader alone is now signed up to do piano, soccer, art lessons, scouts, and a junior leaders class at church, all this semester.  You just cannot do everything.  So every single party is not feasible for us or you.  Which then begs the question, what in the world would I do if we plan a party and then no one really shows up?  How devastating to my kid.  I know that is a tad bit extreme to worry about, but I actually have a friend whose son it happened to years ago.  How hard to explain to a little boy.  Anyway, I was just wandering, have you made a birthday decision?  Do you skip the party and just do something special?  And then is it fair if smaller siblings still get parties because they haven't had as many as the older kids?  It feels like a stupid thing to stress out over, but I'm the type that invites worry.  It's what I do. I figure lots of you don't do parties every year.  Have you never done them?  If not, when did you start/stop?

    The next question I have for you is, "if we do have a party, how do you feel about the movement of gift-less parties?".  I think it is a wonderful idea.  We have such a large family that Christmas and family birthdays alone cause our playroom to burst with stuff.  Our playroom looks like the bowels of the earth with stuff exploding in every direction.  But Aaron disagrees.  He thinks if we are going to have a party, then we shouldn't take away the childhood experience of getting to open gifts.  I don't know.  I love the idea of no gifts or donations to a charity in leiu of gifts.  Is there something to be said for having less and appreciating it more?  Is there something to be learned from graciously accepting gifts even if you don't love them?  Will it make more people show up if they don't have to buy a present or will it make people feel bad if they still allow gifts for their kids?  This is also not an earth shattering, world peace type issue, but I was reading some articles about it last night and thought it would be a question worth posing.

    So if you ever were a kid or have any kids now, please, share your experiences with me.  I didn't have a party every year growing up and neither did Aaron, and somehow we managed to grow into functional adults.  What do you do?  Have you heard of the "no gift/donation parties" before?  Have you done it?  How did it go over in your world?  Advice?  Suggestions?  Any birthday horror storie?  Lay 'em on me.

Love you like a back-yard, owl themed, night, swimming party with your kindergarten teacher,
Cassie
 
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You see that tall guy with the handsome hind-end walking along with my babies?  That's the world's best husband (most days).  I love him dearly, and today is his birthday.  So in honor of his birthday, I am not going to spend much time on here today.  I am going to tell you all how much I love ya' and then get out of here. 
    If I know my man, and I think I do...., there is nothing he could want more for his birthday than for me to not spend a dime, to come home to a clean house, and to eat a delicious home cooked meal.  
    And since those three things have probably never happend on the same day before in the history of the earth, today is going to be hard for me.  I have a lot of work to do in a short time.  So wish me luck, say a little prayer, and be impressed.  Because today is a special day, I fully intend to shower at some point, even if it is just a Tuesday.

Love you like birthday cake
Cassie