The boring one first. Yet kind of comical. Please don't laugh at me though. I wasn't sure what to do for Steve's birthday, not to mention I never know what to get him. He likes cars and computers. They are both way too expensive to buy for gifts so I'm always stuck, matchbox car or DVD movie? Those are getting terribly old I'm afraid. And what to do? You don't give a grown man a party do you? Unless he is turning 40-which he was not. Not yet. :) Soon.... very soon. :) At any rate, I was stumped so I got on the computer and looked up events in May in Atlanta. I looked through the list and the only thing I could come up with was a Peter Pan play at Atlanta Center for Puppetry Arts. I figured it would bring the "kid" out in him and purchased tickets for us and the three older boys. Since he would see the charge on quicken I went ahead and told him, I told him rather sheepishly that is. He was
Alright, alright, God came through on this one. I got to looking in the Gwinnett Park's and Recreation publication called Gwinnett LIFE and lo, and behold, they were hosting at the Lawrenceville Historic Courthouse BREAKFAST WITH THE VETERANS on Steve's birthday! (---and she is rounding third base, and she runs, she slides, she is SAFE!)
I was able to switch the puppet show tickets to a later time to go with my homeschool friends and bought us tickets for the breakfast! It turned out lovely. Let me share some pictures and then, we will get on to Benjamin's birthday. It contains adventures that follow only, yes only, the Walsmans.....
We got to meet a World War II veteran! Steve and the boys got to ask him questions. I felt like I was standing by a living, breathing, walking and talking history relic!
There is a wonderful little museum underneath the court house that the veterans have put together. Steve and the boys got to see lots of neat artifacts and ask questions of other veterans. It was a really special time.
Alright, now, on to Benjamin's birthday. First I'll share pictures. We celebrated his birthday during our trip this past week to a cabin in Ellijay. It is the same cabin we stayed in last September.
First, an early birthday present. We bought Benjamin those little African water frogs. I went to the School Box to get flash cards and while I was buying them I noticed the ladies tag said, "Would you like frogs to go with that?" And I was out also looking for gifts for Benjamin and I thought, "YES! Frogs would be perfect for him!" That advertising-how handy and how effective! :)
Here we are at the cabin-Benjamin-who likes to help with everything is stirring the hot dogs he requested for lunch.
Here the boys are turning to look at the apparently, very fascinating Thomas Happy Birthday sign!
Benjamin even had to get up to get a closer look! :)
For his cake, since we were going to be out of town, I wanted to buy a box of organic or all natural chocolate cake mix, something easy to make-but I wasn't able to get to a grocery store that carried one. To remedy this, I got a 1/2 gallon size Ball jar-and measured out all the dry ingredients for chocolate cake. All I needed in addition were easy to bring. It made the cake making so easy! I'll have to remember that for the future.
Here's the little guy
Do I look a little over-excited! Well, let me tell you why.
So I got the bright idea to take Benjamin and the boys river tubing for his birthday. :) The weather had been off and on raining, but forecast looked promising-no rain until 7 pm. So we headed out about 3:30 and were out on the water by 4:30. The company we got tubes/life jackets from showed us where to get in and told us to get out right after we go under the first bridge we would come to. The ride was to last about an hour.
We got a bit separated. I rode with Samuel in my tube. He was supposed to wear a life jacket-but I took it off pretty quickly because he was tantruming so violently in it. There were no rapids in this river so I wasn't concerned about being able to hold on to him. Steve got in a tube and held on to Benjamin's tube. The river was beautiful, it reminded us a bit of Okefenokee swamp with all the trees and roots off to the sides and the dragonflies buzzing along with us. I was thinking (at first), "wow! what a great idea-what a lovely thing to do with the boys."
Steve and Benjamin stayed consistently about 20 yards behind us. When they caught up Steve told me that Benjamin was constantly saying, "I'm hungry" and "I want to go back to the cabin." Oops-river tubing for three year old might not be a great idea after all.
That was the first indication of a bad idea. Next, about 30 minutes into the ride the boys stopped off on a little rock type island in the middle of the river. I thought it would be a great place to trade with Steve-he could hold Samuel-and I would hold onto Benjamin's tube. Somehow in the mix, Micah let go of his tube and it floated on down the river. Big oops. So we sent Isaac to get it-he went rather slowly and reluctantly into the river. Steve and I switched babies. So he had Samuel. And then Micah (who was still without his tube) crawled in to his tube too. This would have been fine, if the tube hadn't been so small, and if he wasn't holding a baby without a lifejacket as well. I was beginning to really freak out. About this time...rain drops began to fall.
And boy did they fall. Thankfully we got Micah back in his tube before the torrential downpour was unleashed upon us. As the lightening bolts began to hurl down around us the cries and screams of scared children did as well. We were probably about 10 minutes from the bridge when the severe thunderstorm began. When we finally got under the bridge-we forgot that we were supposed to pass all the way under it and get off to the right. We just felt safer under the bridge and we didn't want to go one inch more on that river. As we stood amidst the rocks under the bridge the lightening was hitting all around us. I've never heard such loud thunder as that which reverberated under the bridge. It was unbelievable.
We got out and crawled through kudzu and waited in the wrong pavilion for our ride from the tubing company. Steve finally went in dairy queen and called them and they came to get us. The man who came said he saw the lightening strike an telephone pole right by the bridge. It really was that close.
I guess we gave Benjamin a birthday he won't soon forget. None of us will.
I'm so glad that lightening isn't random, it isn't just a force of nature that strikes wherever it may. It was with these words that I tried to console the boys as we floated down the scariest river they had ever been on!
He fills his hands with lightning and commands it to strike its mark.