The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock, and exalted be my God, the rock of my salvation
2Samuel 22:47

30 April 2011

A Party Tale

A few weeks ago a cry went out through the land for some of the bravest {5ish yr old} knights to gather for a special banquet and festival

celebrating {sir} Ryland's 5th Birthday.

The cry did not go unheeded, and today

the castle was decked out with the prettiest flowers gathered from the surrounding forest

{or from the North side of the garage}

the finest details were attended to

{such as signing the official knight certification documents}

the royal ribbons were tied

and the Knights of the Round Table, otherwise known as the Knights who can sit in a round circle, gathered for a day of festivities and adventure.

A few training exercises were in order before the great battle, so we huddled around our rectangular 'Round Table' and engineered and built some of the finest cardboard catapults you have ever seen.

We almost lost a few eyes in this training exercise, but you know the ol' saying

'No guts, no glory' and so we pressed on . . .

The knights discussed the many uses of cardboard catapults, such as binoculars to spy on nearby castles.

And then the brave knights headed out into the Concrete Wilderness where a mighty foe is said to dwell. After laying siege to the castle, they began to bombard the walls with a secret weapon. . .


{ was this ever fun!}

After a few minutes of being bombarded with said lentils, we decided to pull out the ultimate secret weapon - Swedish Fish. Nothing like tossing diseased animals {or leftover Easter candy} over the castle walls to scare and persuade an enemy.

As it turns out, the inhabitant of this castle actually likes fish. And mice. So our brave knights decided to eat the fish and go back to lobbing lentils.

{our brave knights and their catapults!}

Still, our young friends longed for more adventure and so we talked about a Coat of Arms and its purpose and designed our own before heading out into the great wilderness.

The knights all decided to make a dragon and a cross their knightly symbols and went to work right away. Who wants to waste time when their is a battle to fight?

With {foam} shields in hand and {foil}swords in fist, they headed out with the King's most trusted {oldest sons} knights in search of a fearsome dragon that terrorizes our backyard. Their reward for being brave and capturing said dragon?

A picnic lunch and roasting s'mores.

I cannot tell you how excited, and a bit scared, these knights were - but brave nonetheless and headed into danger with shoulders straight and faces looking straight ahead.

The king of the castle {the greatest husband ever!} loyally tended to the royal fire pit and. . .

with his shortest squire, headed out into the dangerous wilderness to place a fearsome, inflatible 'dragon' for our adventurers to find - hopefully before too long, as our 'dragon' will only hold air for 32-minutes {yes, we timed it last night! Poor thing has a few holes in it. I wonder how it happened?}

Such courage!

Mission accomplished - they decided to bring him to the castle and try to tame him so we would have something to start a campfire for our hotdog roast and marshmallow toasting.

One of my brave young friends very kindly pointed out, "Excuse me, Mrs. F. Ummm...your dragon, it's really a T-Rex!" with some sympathy in his voice as obviously I should have known the difference.

Sir Ryland enjoyed sitting on his royal beanbag and opening some fun gifts as his King-Dad roasted hot dogs for the hungry group.

Lady Nora - I hope she has a princess party someday. And I hope I will not be too old to be invited. My life with boys. . .

In lieu of cake {oh this made my life easy!} - s'mores! Perfect.

The day went by so quickly, Moms showed up to take their brave and exhausted knights back to their own castles

and they all lived happily ever after.

And that's the tale I have to tell to you!

26 April 2011

The day of the Birthday

Ryland's 5th Birthday started out with a bagel breakfast with Dad and getting to have his milk from the special birthday 'goblet'.

Ryland also got to help frost and decorate his own cake - he is getting to be such a responsible boy with 5 birthdays under his belt now!

He did a great job and I enjoy the whole birthday cake process so much more now that I have abandoned my perfectionistic ways.

Ryland is really fascinated with knights, dragons, swords and castles these days, so of course he asked for a castle cake! He wanted to save his cake for this coming Saturday, though, when he will celebrate his birthday with friends. I'm still trying to convince him that roasting marshmallows over the flame of a fire-breathing dragon would be way more fun. {And easier on his momma, but. . .he's five. He has his own ideas.}

Ryland had special friends drop by to wish him a happy birthday.

Getting ready for some present unwrapping action. . .

A bathrobe made to his very own specifications by Gramma Carol. Can you sense the excitement?

A whole package of copy paper for drawing out his battle scenes. If you could only see the floors of my home each day to know what a great gift this was for him - he draws *literally* hundreds, yes hundreds, of pictures of battles and they litter the floors of our home. If only I could auction some of the scenes off to be used for wallpaper. Any takers?

And of course, each picture is "my most precious" so we have had a very hard time getting them into the recycling bin.

Popular Mechanics from Granpa Bill {see Braden waiting in the wings to get his hands on it. . .}

And an *outdoor* stomp rocket from Granpa. Any guesses on how many times I've reminded them that this cool toy is for the great outdoors? Amazingly nothing has been broken yet, but we have had some near misses.

The birthday boy and his best friends.

And finally getting to enjoy a slice of castle cake at the end of a very full and fun day.

We are ready to party this weekend! You can bet we'll have some pictures coming soon.

25 April 2011

The {Easter} Family Picture

The one without Langston. . .

And {sort of} with.

This is why we need to pay someone to take our picture! But, we are all here -

no matter the squinting and closed eyes!

23 April 2011

Waiting, Anticipating. . .& Egg Coloring

Tomorrow morning we will wake and find

the rock rolled back

and see the tomb that could not hold Him.

And then we'll dress and shoe-up and hurry off to be with our family of believers, and then those glorious words that we live for all year long. . .

He is Risen

He is Risen, Indeed!


And in the midst of waiting for Sunday, the little guys and Mom dip our farm eggs in brilliant colors and talk of family traditions and eggs and new life and Easter.

And it seems so new and exciting every time we celebrate.

I feel the years stretching long {how does this happen?} as my older boys are off working and too tall now to seek the thrill of crayons and dipping eggs. Not too old, however, to hide these beauties for the little guys who look up so much to them.

And so we wait with much anticipation.

Happy, happy Easter.