Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The January Three--Part 1

Out of all 10 of us, our birthdays only span a six month period, with all of the major holidays in between (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, Valentine's Day, St.Patrick's Day, Easter, then Mother's Day). And coincidentally, it also happens to be hockey season during that same exact time span. It is a crazy six months, and quickly drains our energy and pocketbook dry. If we are not too frazzled, Bob and I sometimes are able to remember our anniversary which occurs one week after the last birthday on our list. By the time mid-May comes around, we are partied out. Big time. It takes us the next six months just to recover.

The most hectic month for us is January. Hockey season is in full swing, tournaments are around every corner, kids are getting back into the school groove, it is bitterly freezing cold outside, our insurance deductibles start up all over again (my blood thinning injections last year while I was pregnant set us back $10,000 by May...), the stores are clearing out toys for annual inventory gathering, the girls start selling their Girl Scout Cookies(and my duties as Troop Cookie Mom goes into full swing), and three of us have birthdays to celebrate.

Michael's is first. On the 12th day of Christmas, we celebrate the day he entered this world and into our lives. Such a small, quiet baby long ago. He is now a rather tall, strong, tough, independent, 15 year old hockey star. In fact, he has been playing hockey (against medical advisement) with a broken hand for the last 3 weeks. A Broken Hand. Broken. Hand. (it is a bit difficult to see above....the fingers are NOT in this picture--those are hand bones you see)

He got to celebrate his birthday by having an intensive hockey practice at dinner time. I made chocolate cupcakes with mint frosting to share with his team. Though normal cupcake sized, they seemed to be miniature treats as all those big, stinky, and very hungry, hockey players grabbed them from the tray.

At home, we dined on butternut squash ravioli, garlic cheese bread, and applesauce before Michael opened his presents. The kids have really been getting into the giving spirit this year, and just about everyone had either spent their own money, or made Michael something to open. Laura's was the most elaborate gift: she made a calendar complete with numbers and illustrations, in hanging-on-the-wall-flip style.

Jonny's gift may have been the most creative, as he made his card into a puzzle. (We have been on a puzzle kick around here lately!)
But the birthday presents that seemed to cause the most excitement were a plastic carrot and a bottle of water. Seriously. I guess you never can understand teenagers.
A quick round of "Happy Birthday to You!", and a few bites of cake later, Michael was off to do his homework for the night. High School has been going fabulously for him.....coming over from 3 home schooled years, he is easily maintaining straight A's! He is also participating in both high school jazz bands, and has made the award winning marching band. Hooray!

Though looking forward to life with Michael on the other side of these challenging teen years, we are proud of everything he has and is accomplishing in his world. He is a kind, caring, moral, and enthusiastic leader in his sphere of influence. And even if we don't always get to reap those benefits at home, we are glad to witness the positive effects he has on others. And when he is not looking, we get to enjoy the interesting dynamic he brings to our family.

Happy 15th Birthday, Michael!

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