Photos courtesy of Ryan Prouty

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Happy Birthday Gabriel!

 Okay...don't judge me...on several levels. Yes, this blog is SUPER overdue (I am sure you know this has nothing to do with the measure of my love for my firstborn!) AND, I let my child have an Airsoft war birthday party AND, I made his cake in the shape of a gun. Well, actually Paul cut it out and I frosted it. So it was a team effort...don't judge us! The kids had a great time and we adults did too. Gabe's birthday was on a Saturday so he had a few of friends over (we didn't manage to get a group shot) who brought their Airsoft guns for some games of capture the flag in our backyard/preserve. Our yard backs up to a wooded area that the kids have taken over as their personal wilderness/exploring area/battle ground. It has been great fun for them and the perfect place for capture the flag, Airsoft style. While they were playing, we were cutting out and decorating the cake:
 We were very pleased with how it turned out. It was an exact replica of their Airsoft rifles. Except Paul put a sniper's muzzle on it as his own signature (the squarish thing at the end of the barrel). I am not sure who had more fun with this, he or I!
 Heading out to hide the flag:
See the safety glasses? Everyone had to have them so no one would shoot their eye out. They were amazingly willing to wear them. I guess that is what happens to a generation who grows up with safety equipment like bike helmets and the such.

The finished product. I was horrified to find I had no black frosting after getting it all cut out and to our likings. I was quite glad when it came time to eat it since we weren't all wearing the black frosting on our lips and teeth! The camouflage turned out okay after all.

After pizza and nachos, we had cake. It was quite funny hearing the big boys singing happy birthday with our family.

As another treat, Paul's parents arrived late Saturday night to spend time with Gabe for his birthday and escape the the Iowa weather. We had a great visit!

It is so amazing to think we have been parents for 14 years now. Poor Gabe has been the experimental child. I have explained to him that I believe that is why the firstborn in Biblical times got a double portion of the inheritance as his birthright! Gabe has taken all of this in stride his entire life. He is so easy going, such a helper, and has even turned into a neatnik, harassing Riley until he cleans up his side of the room! It has been fun watching him grow and mature into a young adult. My friend Cindy Hogan helped us decide not to use the word teenager because of  what it congers up in the mind (irresponsible, rebellious, disrespectful), but to use the words young adult because that is what they are physically and should be striving for emotionally and spiritually. Speaking of physically, Gabe's growth spurt has continued and we are not sure when this one will stop, but finding clothes for a 5'11" young adult who only weighs 115 pounds is quite difficult right now. I know all the supermodels would be quite jealous of his eating habits and ability to maintain his figure!

You are such a blessing to our family. I know we couldn't survive without the help that you so willingly (usually) give around the house. We pray that your relationship with Jesus will continue to be a priority in your life and that you will always know that you can tell us anything, ask us anything, and we will  NEVER stop loving you! We are so proud of the leader you have become in school and in your youth group and the heart you have to serve at church. We love watching you with your first job; learning to budget your money, give regularly, and accept more and more responsibility. We are amazed at your work ethic and ability to work hard and not complain. Keep up the good work! WE LOVE YOU!