Monday, November 28, 2011

Happy 9th Birthday Josiah!

This was a non-party year for Josiah. But I still wanted to make it super special for him. It's a little difficult, because we don't live near family, so it's not like there is an automatic 15 people here to celebrate with him if it's "just family". It's just the 6 of us. And his birthday falls smack in the middle of an extremely busy time of year. But I understand how that goes (my bday is Dec. 31 - talk about busy!) so I wanted to make sure that he still felt special on HIS special day.
We started out with birthday donuts of course.
Caleb loved the football donuts!

I went and had lunch with Josiah at school but don't have any pictures because some cute little 4 year old was playing with my phone on the way to school and left it in the van. Sigh. But we were there! I brought him his favorite sub - Club on a Sub - from Firehouse Subs because they give you a free sub on your birthday. He was stoked. And ate the whole thing (it's an 8" sub people!). Then we handed out donuts to his classmates (it's what he wanted this year...not cupcakes, but donuts!)
He was super excited when David came home early in the afternoon so he could open his presents! VERY excited when some money fell out of his card from Aunt Daree!
He got a wallet from Aunt Kelli and Uncle Scott...
...and proceeded to run upstairs, get all of his money, come back down, and start putting it away in his wallet.
He was so cute - he was asking me where to put everything and where the "right" spot was for his money, etc. He opened up the wallet, I showed him where to put the dollar bills, and there was already a dollar bill in there! Then I showed him what the other slots were for - library card, pictures, etc - and Kelli had already put a wallet sized picture in there too! Isn't she the best?
In his back pocket, just like Daddy :)
He got the Wipeout 2 Wii game from Gramps - some VERY excited boys about that!!!
A Brain Teasers book from Tutu - which he exclaimed "YES! This is just like what I do in EAGLES!!!" Super excited!
A new puzzle from Tutu...

...and a Magic set!!! VERY exciting!

It was an all Gamecock birthday from us - a coozy for his Waterbottle, a cap, a sweatshirt, a Phiton necklace - all USC Gamecocks. He was PUMPED! He's turned into quite the Gamecocks fan this year and it's been really cute to watch!
He decided that afternoon that he wanted Hibachi for his birthday dinner, and I certainly wasn't going to complain, so off we headed to Miyabi for his birthday dinner! Good thing we made it in time for the Early Bird Specials!

Callie LOVES the soup there!

The last time we took the kids to a place like this, Callie was totally freaked out by all the fire. So she sat in David's lap like this - with her hands over her ears and ready to cover her eyes - the whole time. Just in case. She did fine though :)
I ordered Josiah an adult meal because he REALLY wanted steak and shrimp but that wasn't an option on the kids menu. He did well - and is really good at chopsticks! :) Yea for leftovers!
We stopped at a different Firehouse Subs on the way home for Josiah to pick up one more free birthday sub to take the lunch the next day. Gotta take advantage of these birthday freebies! :)
We let him stay up a bit later to play his new Wipeout game. It's pretty hilarious if you like the show.
We were cracking up the whole time.
had to improvise a bit with the candles on his cake. Couldn't find enough candles in my cupboard. So we used Jacob's old #7 candle, made a "plus" sign with toothpicks, and then added 2 candles and called it a "math" cake to equal 9! :) Whew!

I can't remember why in the world he was laughing so hard, but he totally got the giggles and could not stop laughing. It was a riot.
Happy birthday Josiah! I can't believe that it has been 9 years since you made me a mom! I remember so clearly the Thanksgiving day that you were born - how thankful we were that God gave you to us. We have had so much to be thankful for over the years! This year has been one that we have seen you grow by leaps and bounds in your confidence, your learning, your strength. You are excelling so much in school, in your advanced EAGLES program, in your karate. God has given you such a wonderful mind and such skills that He is going to use to bring Him glory! But beyond that, you can be such a wonderful helper for me with your younger brothers and sister. Thank you for being patient with them and helping me. I love your willingness to teach them things. You are a wonderful leader Josiah and I am SO proud of you! I love you!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A little dance party before saying goodbye

Emily brought her "Just Dance" Wii game and we had a blast with it! The boys had never seen this or played it (we're sort of stuck in total boy games over here), but it was hysterical!

The cousins
The silly cousins
David and Sharolyn

We had a great time, Hassell Family! Come back and see us any time! We loved having you!
Daddy and Callie hung the outside Christmas lights up too!

Friday, November 25, 2011


David got sucked in. After he heard about my huge SCORE at my "Black Thursday" shopping the night before, he decided to come with me for Black Friday. The kids were all in bed. David's sister & her family were all asleep. It was about 11 pm and I was finalizing going over my list and I jokingly asked David if he wanted to come with me. He said "sure!". I couldn't believe it! So off we went - we headed to Kohls first, met in the van when we were done (because we may have been shopping for each other too!), and then headed to Target for some more success. We did great - I had HUGE success at both places and both stores were staffed extremely well!
This is one of the signs that I passed while in line at Kohls :). I love Black Friday. I'm able to get the things on my list for 80% off sometimes - can't beat that! And I will say that I liked the midnight opening of these two stores. It's easier for me to stay up until midnight, hit a couple of stores, and then get back in bed than it is to start my day at 3 or 4 am and then be up all day long. Yuck! We got back home around 3 am again, headed to bed, and then woke up bright and early for another great breakfast and a fun day ahead!
We took our cousins to the zoo (I know you're surprised by that) and the weather was gorgeous!
I suppose alot of people were still shopping, because it wasn't very crowded at all!
David's sister Sharolyn (her husband Wade stayed back at our house to work on a little problem they had with their car during the road trip)
We headed to feed the giraffes first. It's always such a huge hit - especially with people that have never done it before - and we wanted to get there before they ran out of lettuce!
Noah and Emily LOVED it!!!
Noah is alot like Jacob in a lot of ways He could have stayed here all day with the giraffes!

Noah, Josiah, and Jacob - these three had a BLAST together!
Emily and Callie

"Show me your best tiger face!"
LOVED feeding the lorikeets - who were extremely hungry this morning :)

Callie and Caleb and I rode the carousel a few times while the big boys were tackling the rock wall

After a few times on the wall, the big kids came and joined us on the carousel.

Noah gave it a good shot - but his shoes weren't the best for scaling palm trees :)

Caleb...AGAIN....talked non-stop about how he wanted to ride the horse. David was convinced he wouldn't be afraid if he was with his this time. Wrong. Again, he chickened out right at the front of the line. Beginning to make me look like a total loser parent that is pressuring her kid to ride a horse or something!!!

Gotta milk the cow in the barn!

David and his big sister Sharolyn
We came home and enjoyed a late lunch of Thanksgiving leftovers. The kids were absolutely having a great time at their "own" table - I caught them in a moment of hysterical laughter...over who knows what!!!
Wade & Sharolyn, Danny, and David
Danny is David's cousin that lives near Greenville. He came down for the afternoon to visit and catch up a bit - it was a real treat to get to see him!!