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Austin turns 6 today!!  I can’t believe that he’s growing up.  He’s still short, and he is skinny and scrawny.  But he’s looking older.  Fewer people are commenting that he and Clara look like twins, though she’s catching up to him in height (and weight).  I first sang “Happy Birthday” to him at 1:45 am on the way to the airport.  I think all flights in the summer arrive here at 1:30 in the morning.  I’ve made that trip several times in the past year.  At least it’s not dark.  As we drove north from the airport we were able to watch the sunrise (didn’t see it rise, but saw the beautiful colors of a sunrise/sunset on the horizon).

The plumber came.  I’m very glad to have had use of my sink all day long and the ability to wash dishes, but wow, it’s expensive to have a plumber visit on a Saturday.  To be an Army wife, I need to become a little bit more hooah, learning how to fix some of these things myself.  Maybe then everything would all stop breaking, the fear of knowing Chase can fix them keeps them in order while he’s here.

Then it was time to decorate the house for the party.  Streamers and balloons.  We had fun hanging Lego colored streamers (ie streamers of all colors since Legos come in all colors) all over the house.  Michelle helped blow up the balloons.  Heeheehee.  Boarding at my house may not cost money, but my cousin has learned that I will extract some form of payment.  Last year it was hiking with me, this year filling dozens of balloons.  She then taught my children that they could rub the balloons on their heads and the static electricity  build up would allow the balloons to stick to the wall.  They thought that was cool.  Xavier found a way to stick the balloons on the ceiling of the entrance.  It looked cool, and they boys were so excited about it, I left it that way.

Then Michelle took us out to lunch.  I am going to now reveal something that may leave some readers who know me well shocked and stunned.  We went to Red Robin and I did not order the Teriyaki Chicken Burger.  Take a deep breath and recover now.  I think I’ve ordered something other than that maybe three times since I first feel in love with that burger when I was sixteen years old.  And I eat there a lot, it just so happens to be my favorite restaurant.  I was just in a hamburger mood.  So I did something different, and it was delicious.  However, as good as the Whiskey River burger was, next time I will go back to my old friend the Teriyaki Chicken burger.  After we ate the waiters delivered an ice cream sundae to Austin and sang to him.  I wish I had a camera to capture the look on his face.  He loves being the center of attention.  I read somewhere that young boys who are smaller than their peers (that is Austin) tend to make up for their lack of stature with humor and become the “class clown.”  I may have read that ages ago (possibly around the same time I discovered the Teriyaki Chicken burger at Red Robin), but I think they somehow transported to the future and were describing my son.

Then it was time to go back home.  We finished decorating, I wrapped presents.  Then it was time for cleaning.  But I just did the bare essentials.  It was a beautiful day and I had a six-year-old to celebrate.  We read some of his favorite book, White Fang, and then I took the kids outside.  First sunny day in ages, I’m glad I got over the dust and the fact that I really needed to vacuum to go out with the kids.

Then it was Austin’s party.  Unfortunately only one child came.  I had a feeling that two of the invited children wouldn’t be there (their Dad’s home on R&R, I can’t blame Mom for deciding that it was more important to have time with him doing family stuff).  I could have invited more children to replace them, but there were still two children who were planning on coming, and I knew that I’d have my hands full.  I can handle children only in small doses.  And I wanted a happy party not a stressful one.  But those two children didn’t make it.  But even with only one party guest the kids still had a blast.  We didn’t actually play any of the party games I had planned.  But the kids were having so much fun on their own, I just decided to let them do their own thing.  Plus, Julie bought Austin the coolest game, HeadBandz.  We all played.  Clara mostly told us what we were wearing, but the boys were all getting into asking and answering questions.  It’s a way cool game.  Did I already say that?  Well, I just like it that much.

After the party was over, I got the kids ready for bed.  Then I sat on my bed to check my e-mail and fell fast asleep.

Today was a good day.  Okay, it started late.  Yesterday’s workout kicked my booty.  I happily blame Julie for making me go to the gym.  I plan to give her credit if progress is ever made, but now I just blame her for the pain and make faces at her as I exercise.  Yesterday, I hit the point where it just hurts.  We’ve been at it for about a week and a half now.  At first, I was sore, but a good sore, an-I-just-did-something-good-for-myself sore.  Now, my muscles know what is awaiting them, so as soon as I get the elliptical going, my calves are screaming.  And I’m being super wimp right now, level 1.  I know that in theory it should get easier, although Matt says that when it gets easier that’s when you should make it harder, therefore keeping yourself in a constant state of pain.  Matt says constant state of soreness, but I can read between the lines, constant state of pain.  I don’t know having no experience.  This is about where I usually get frustrated and give up.  I can’t see results yet, and I feel worse than when I started so I quit.  This time I have Julie and Krysta, if nothing else peer pressure will keep me going.

Kids have been very good today.  Not much complaining about homework.  Okay, Clara complained.  She complained when, after an hour, I made her stop. I had other stuff that needed to be done.  She reluctantly played after that.  All three worked hard, even though it’s summer break here in Alaska.  I don’t believe in summer break, however, I do believe in summer slow down.  Especially on beautiful summer days when the outdoors and friends beckon, an hour was enough time to keep their brains in shape.  We will have plenty of time for all day school sessions when the snow comes back and the sun leaves.

Got back to working on my own Bible study.  I’m very excited about it, and keep thinking about all that I might just learn.  However, while working on it, it’s overwhelming how much, not knowing Greek, I need to learn.  There are lots of words I need to look up.  Did I really think I could do this?  But I will try.  It’s good for me, right?  I am getting much better at typing as I transcribe all the pertinent verses on the computer.  I am also seeing the Bible characters as much more human than I used to.

We also planned Austin’s birthday party today.  The theme will be Lego.  I had been waiting to make exact plans until Chase came home.  He was supposed to be on a plane this week.  However, things got busy and he’s pushing his leave back a little.  Now, not knowing just when he’ll be home I’m blazing ahead with plans without him.  Army or no Army, we have a life to live and the coolest Lego party a six-year-old ever had.  We planned the date, the guest list, the menu and the games today.  I am so excited.  The guest list is short.  I like children for the most part, but only in small doses.  Small numbers of children that is, we can hang for a long time as long as there aren’t too many of them.

So last week I bought myself some birthday presents.  I bought several sets of the Lego Friends.  Note to people shopping for my daughter, if that’s what you want to get her later in the year for birthday or Christmas, ask me what we have, although I will say duplicates will be welcome, we can always use more pink and purple Legos. Anyway, I was so excited.  Then it hit me.  Rush Limbaugh (get over the source and stay with me here) celebrated his wife’s birth week when they were married.  I’ve always thought that would be a fun tradition.  So I asked my husband if I could be allowed a birth week, instead of just a day.  He said yes, probably laughed at me at the same time, but my wish was granted.  After asking, I thought of course he’d be okay with it.  We’ve been doing unofficial Lori birth week for the past few years.  He’ll get me a present he’s so excited about that I’ll get it early.  Then there’s my actual birthday, when I get to open presents from everyone else and go out to a nice dinner.  Then there is the day we finally get around to eating my birthday cake, because we were all too stuffed from eating out to touch a cake.  I’m spoiled, I fully admit it.

Asking for a birth week is something I would have never done years ago.  Somehow I got it in my head that all the cool people didn’t want to celebrate their birthday.  They just downplayed it as another day.  So I downplayed it thinking I was too cool for birthday shenanigans.  Then, one year I caught myself dropping hints about my upcoming birthday.  I heard what I said and thought with horror this is what sad people do when they really want others to acknowledge their birthday but don’t want to ask for it.  Turns out. you know what, I want fun.  Please don’t confuse fun with singing waiters and waitresses.  But I do want the birthday tiara and all the fun.  Laughing, sharing stories, playing goofy games and eating lots and lots of birthday cake.  So I’ve stopped denying my birthday.  I fully plan to enjoy it.

So I planned to start the party train today.  Didn’t know how or what, maybe just putting together a Lego set.  But even though I got up early I didn’t have time today to do the whole birthday thing.  It’s not that I had a lot I had to do, it’s just that I spent the morning doing little things I wanted to do, like call some companies while they were still open since I could.  Then at about 2:30 when I was exhausted and didn’t want to get any more done, I still had the stuff that had to be done tomorrow left to do.  Clara’s room had to be made ready for her new furniture arriving tomorrow.  I had to finish the worship stuff for PWOC.  If not for the gotta do’s I would have decided it was break out popcorn, candy, and a movie at about 3.  But then it hit me, today isn’t the start of my birth week, today would be Lori’s birth week plus one day.  So all my hard work this morning was just knocking stuff out of the way so that I can really celebrate Lori’s birth week, without little things hanging over my head.