Listening better… and birthday wishes

Well, I took my own words to heart and tried… really TRIED… to make sure I listened to all of my kids today (but especially the one I mentioned yesterday). I hope he noticed that his mom gave him all of her attention — a smile, eyes looking at him when he talked, and giving him real feedback (rather than an “um hum.”)

In other news, it’s Christopher’s birthday tomorrow! (He’s the one holding the little guy in the picture above. Wow… that picture is soooo old). He will be turning 12, which is painful to think about — another one of my babies becoming an (almost) teenager.

And speaking of teenager-ness, I must say that I am thoroughly enjoying the teenage years of my children. By God’s grace, we are having a blast! The conversations, the laughter, the genuine enjoyment that we have in being together is a gift, pure and simple. I am privileged to be living with these people!

But getting back to Christopher, he is turning 12 tomorrow. As per our family tradition, he made his own cake this evening. I know that sounds terrible. I made LOTS of birthday cakes over the years, but it turns out that one gift they all looked forward to the most was helping me make the cake. So, starting about 5 years ago or so, that’s what we do. The birthday person and I go to the store together to get the ingredients and then have a great time in the kitchen. No other little ones are allowed to help. (Joseph, the baby… who will be turning [gulp] 4 this year — see? That picture IS old! — is already planning out HIS birthday cake. It’s getting more elaborate with each telling!)

I’d take pictures, but right now the boys have taken my camera and are busy in their room making stop-motion films. They are having so much fun, so I’ll just have to wait for pictures tomorrow.


  1. Our kids love to help make their cake too, and the older ones are often doing in themselves when I can’t – they want to though, so I guess it’s a win-win! So glad to hear of another family enjoying their teens. 🙂 Of course we have many “teen-ness moments” but that’s not who they ARE, and I think they know we know that, so they rise above. 🙂

  2. Wow! that’s so nice! and a nice tradition! what a blessing to say that your teenagers are enjoying such a hard stage in life! Love you so much!!!

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