August's 7th Birthday

6:00 AM

On Friday, July 17th, a very important event occurred.
August turned 7.
I know, I find myself wondering how in the world that could be possible.
I remember vividly the morning I went into labor with him. 
A hot, summer morning when I awoke to contractions and the knowledge that our house was going to be filled with a second child in a matter of hours.
Little did I know just how incredibly amazing that child would be.
And how much I would love him and respect him and watch him grow into a boy who can break my heart with his tender sweetness.
This August is a treasure.

In a complete reverse order of events, I show you the opening of his gifts. In our family, we have adopted a non-party policy that really works amazingly well. Rather than spending tons of money on party after party, we turn the day into a family affair that revolves around the special birthday child, but doesn't overdo the elements that get so expensive and exhausting (aka...all the party guests).
If the birthday falls on a weekday, then Kyle takes off work and hangs out with us all day.
We spend the day doing special things for the birthday boy/girl, and conclude the day with presents.
Hence the backwardness of these photos.  

We love books in our particular books by William Joyce and Patricia Polacco.
August is OBSESSED with the book The Mischevians, which makes perfect sense when you read it. It's truly wonderful! Especially if you're a 7 year old boy. I won't spoil it for you - go check it out from the library. Now that August has his own copy of the book, the odds are much greater than the library will have a copy in stock.

As you can see, Brooklyn was also pretty excited about The Junkyard Wonder book. It's another favorite around our house. I HIGHLY recommend it. Now, I will qualify this by saying that Patricia Polacco has some books which I don't check out for my kids - books that address certain topics that I'm not yet ready to discuss with my children. As a Christ-follower who definitely has a world-view different from Mrs. Polacco, I like to proof-read all the books I check out by her. But, on the whole, she is an amazing author and we own several of her books and love them. She's definitely someone you don't want to miss.

August had a very specific list of requested birthday items. Top of his list were a watch and a wallet. They've actually been on his list for quite some time, but this is the first birthday we felt it was the perfect time. Kyle made him an awesome "Drivers License" and a few "Business Cards" to include in his wallet. Have I mentioned lately how amazing my husband is? Not just as a husband, but he is a stellar dad. He also found August a Lea and Luke pair (Luke is disguised as a Storm Trooper) which was very well received.

Bringing the day back to the correct order - we served up August his breakfast of choice and then headed out to explore someplace we'd never been before as a family - the Big Dam Bridge!
We decided to make a picnic of it, so we grabbed lunch from our favorite place - Boulevard!
Yes, Wyeth is Cheesing it up again.

As an aside - the Main Street Boulevard is my favorite location, largely because there is a Mexican gentleman who works in the kitchen who makes my day every time I'm there. He makes it a point to come give hugs to all my kids, congratulates me over and over on having such a large, beautiful family, and just generally spreads a lovely blanket of joy around us when we see him.
This time, Kyle was with us, and he soundly congratulated Kyle on his success as a father. I love it!

Yes, we tackled the Big Dam Bridge smack dab in the middle of the day when it was blazing hot, and we felt every degree of it! But we did it anyway and it was great!
I wore Wyeth on my back in his Boba carrier (which he seriously loves!), and we proceeded to walk all the way over the Bridge. I have run and ridden this bridge many many times before, but never walked it. And it's quite a walk, particularly when keeping up with 4 kids.
There was a mild bit of complaining from Brooklyn and Dorien, but not from August. He loved it.

I'm not sure the kids really get the whole "almost cuss word" thing going on with the BDB, but they still took every opportunity to throw out the three words. It made me and Kyle exchange some grins.
Reminds me of a funny article I read recently about "Christian Cussing."

One reason we thought it would be neat to check out the bridge is because we studied hydro-electric power generation at the end of our school year in May, and I really wanted to show the kids just how powerful water is. And when you stand on the Bridge and see the Arkansas River flowing and then EXPLODING out the other side of the Dam, it's pretty plain to see just how powerful it is. 
Mind-blowing, even.
We talked a lot about what was happening, how the locks on the Dam was education as well as really fun.

After we wore ourselves out on BDB, we drove over to 2 Rivers Park (where we were THE ONLY people out), walked over another longish bridge and found the world's biggest picnic table in a gloriously shady area. Amazingly, there were no bugs. It was as if God blessed us with a perfect picnic for August's birthday.

We chowed down on turkey sandwiches, soup, veggie hummus sandwiches, fruit cups and chocolate chip cookies. It was seriously delicious stuff.

The table was plenty big for Wyeth to just plop down in the middle of it.

Here is the birthday boy - hot, sweaty and exhilarated to be outside for his birthday. 

Later that evening, we headed to the "Train Store" (Barnes & Noble) for some train time. Brooklyn and August got funky with their footwear for the occasion.

It was a lovely birthday. We wrapped it up with August's dinner of choice and a dessert I made, and a good time was had by all.
Happy birthday, my August Banner.

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