Derrick turned 34 this month. He is starting to get more gray hair but he didn't quite reach his goal of salt and pepper colored hair by the end of residency.
These kids sure love their daddy.
Derrick had to drill for his birthday so we met him at Willie's for lunch. It's one of our favorite restaurants because the kids can play in the sand pit while we eat.
Cami's Birthday Party
It's so hard to believe that this little doll is already five years old. My pregnancy with Cami was definitely the hardest, but she has made it up to me the last five years by bringing pure sunshine and joy to our family.
Libbie and Lanie are Cami's BFF's. These three amigo have been close ever since the twins started calling her "baby Cami".
Clark and Kennan. Umm....I can't remember what kind of reptiles they are.
Apparently this is what a "Queen Bee" looks like.
Because I had been so busy with the move and getting settled in to our new house, I had no time or energy to plan something fancy for Cami's birthday. I had just casually invited a bunch of friends to the park to play and eat cake. However, my friends never disappoint. Not only did they all bring fabulous presents, but Kim also brought ring pops for all the kids and Jan brought her paint kit and volunteered to face paint all the kids. I truly have the most amazing friends. And the kids all had a great time.
Jan's face painting talents are unmatched.
Kevin's Birthday Party
Hispanics sure know how to party. They had Kevin's bday party at chuck-e-cheese starting at 8pm. I decided to throw away my parenting rule book (that says kid's eye balls should never been seen past 8pm) and I let them stay up. I kept looking around at all the kids marveling that so many parents let their kids stay up so late. It felt so foreign to me. All the kids got tons of cake, pizza, and tokens.
Alyssa's 3rd birthday
Unlike my pregnancy with Cami, Alyssa's was (somewhat) better, however, her unexpected, scary, premature birth followed by month in the NICU just about did me in. But she too has made it up to me by being our little miracle. She has developed perfectly and hit all her milestones appropriately. What a delight this little spit-fire is. We sure love little 'Lyssa'. But don't call her "Lyssie" she hates that.
When you're three in this family you don't get a birthday party, and you only get one present (see Dog) but you care as long as you get ice-cream and cake.
Emmaline's first Birthday
We went camping for Emma's first birthday with the Francisco's. Or at least we tried to...We had decided that we didn't want to stay the night but that instead we would eat dinner, let the kids fall asleep with their friends in their tent, and stay up late chatting with Ben and Jan. Well this plan went perfectly and we had a wonderful time with our friends. But when it was time to leave we packed up the kids and tried to leave but found the exit was locked. It was around 11pm by then and everyone was asleep. So we decided we had no choice but to spend the night in the minivan. We tried to make ourselves comfy as Derrick laid back his seat and I tried to lay on the floor. The kids slept okay, but Derrick and I basically laid there frustrated until 2 am when I had to get up to nurse Emma. While feeding her I started looking online for any clues to how we could exit. We found out there was a code written on the ticket (which we didn't have because we weren't going to stay the night). We didn't want to wake our friends so we peered in to their van with a flashlight trying to read the numbers on their ticket. We were so relieved when the code on the gate actually worked and we made it home and were in bed by 3 am. What a night!
We have a tradition of letting the one year old dig in to their own birthday cake. Emma was by far the best cake eater. She had no problems getting her hands dirty like Kennan did with his first bday cake.
The rest of the kids generously dig in to help her out with finishing off the cake
Towards the end she began to throw the cake and become very animated.
Blue Bonnet baby
Look at how these kids have grown this past year.
Not too shabby for a family timer-selfie picture. We sat the camera on a random post.
And these pictures are taken by the kids.
P.S. These are not professional pictures, just snapshots we captured one Tuesday evening on the way home from scouts. That's why Kennan has his scout camp t-shirt on. Bluebonnets are the state flower and they grow spontaneously all over (like on the side of the freeways). But they only bloom once a year and only last a few weeks in the spring. They die off as soon as the weather starts to heat up.