Bennett Wesley :: Six Years Old (tomorrow)

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Once again, I’m sitting here writing out another post for my oldest boy’s birthday.  Another trip around the sun for his beautiful soul.  Another blessing of a year in my life, having him as my son.  Where to begin?  This angel of a child who makes me proud to be his mama every single day, I don’t know where to start.  Let me try…

This boy… budding baseball player, avid martial arts student, math lover, dinosaur expert, reading extraordinaire… bicycle rider (two wheels only)- sometimes with only one hand(!!), master of interpretive dance, repetitive song listener (current fave is Thunderstruck by ACDC), maker of gourmet peanut butter and jelly sandwiches… role model big brother, focused student, and free drawing enthusiast… you are a rare gem, my handsome boy!

Ok, story time.

Bennett has always been a bit on the shy side, never thoroughly enjoying the spotlight and big crowds.  Last year for his birthday (of course Covid was new) we had a very small, family only, party for him and he was in heaven.  He loved it!  He’s a simple man, doesn’t need much to be content…  I absolutely love this about him.  So this year, I have chartered a fishing boat and captain for him and his best buddy and their dads to  go out tomorrow morning for some goooooood fishin’.  When I told him that’s what I planned and that family would come over later in the day to swim and have cake, he seemed totally fine with that idea.  Well, two days ago, I was at the school fundraiser art show and ran into two moms of kids in his class, both of which told me that Bennett, “invited them to his party on Saturday”…. ummmmm…. excuse me, what?!?  I explained to them that I had not planned a big party for him this year, that family was coming over and I was going to attempt to make a Oreo cookie cake for him… and they totally understood! I had to laugh for a moment, because this is SO unlike him… or maybe it IS!  As usual, I checked his take home folder that evening and saw a piece of paper with writing on it.  It said:

Bennett’s Birthday

3 days

(Lists 5 kids names- who I won’t mention) with check marks next to the names

Oreo 

Cookie

Cake

For some reason, in that moment, as a mom, I felt like I had dropped the ball.  This whole time I’m thinking he doesn’t need a big party, he likes his small circle (just like mama), but in reality, this year he has gained a whole new confidence in himself that I must have overlooked.  It was so sweet and sad at the same time, that he made his own little invitation list and checked it off one by one as he invited his buddies from class.  Dropped. The. Ball.

I went to bed uneasy, but woke up refreshed!  I emailed his teacher, who is the sweetest by the way, and asked if he could bring cupcakes to school on Friday, she said YES, of course, and they will sing happy birthday to him and he will have that special time with his classmates :).  He was so excited getting ready for school today, because he knew the cupcakes would be happening.  It was so cute.  And I think he is still totally content with how his birthday will be tomorrow with his close buddy and family (and friends who are family).  I pinky promised him that next year, in first grade, when he turns seven, I will throw him the biggest birthday party and he will be able to invite whoever he wants- so if anything happens to me- Husband, you better fulfill my commitment!!!!  I think it’s so telling of how much he has matured this past year.  His confidence level has grown tremendously, and I’m in awe.  So proud of him, as always.

Bennett, I love you so much.  You are such a huge light in my life and I hope you shine brighter and brighter, as you have been, for the rest of yours!

xo Mom

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Special thanks to my beautiful friend Laura Gattis for always taking the most organic photos of my children.


Nueve Años

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Well, it certainly isn’t Tulum, Mexico, our destination of choice for our anniversary this year that had to be cancelled :(, but we are certainly making the most of this gorgeous day that we share with Mother Earth!

Two nights ago, I was scrolling through social media before bed and was stopped in my tracks by my favorite farm that’s located about an hour outside of Tampa, Sweetfields Farm.  I saw that they were having a U Pick event in their sunflower fields from 10AM to 1PM for Earth Day, and I knew immediately that it was the perfect thing for us to do as a family to get us out of the house for a little bit.

It was magical.

 We got there 15 minutes before they opened so we were some of the first ones in.  They made sure that they limited the amount of people could come in and when we left the line was pretty long, so I’m glad we got there when we did.  You could spend as much time as you wanted, there was no rush, and everyone was allowed to pick 3 sunflowers each.  The boys absolutely loved it!

I’m so thankful we were able to do something different to celebrate our anniversary… I’m still not sure how Husband puts up with me year after year, but to say I’m the luckiest to have him would be an understatement.

I love you, Husband, and there is no one else I would rather be trapped inside (for our NINE year wedding anniversary) quarantining with than you. Xoxo.


Homeschool Science 101 :: Butterflies

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I’m sure many of you super mama’s out there have done this with your kiddos already, but for those who haven’t… this was awesome!

So, about 3 weeks ago, when I realized we would be home bound for quite some time, I started to research fun activities for kids that were more step by step learning.  I found this butterfly kit on amazon (of course) and it was a huge hit!  From the arrival of the teeny tiny caterpillars, to when they became chrysalis, then morphing into Painted Lady Butterflies, the kids enjoyed seeing the transformation every single day.

Yesterday, on Easter, was the perfect day to let almost 15 butterflies fly free from our home.  Remy was a little more reluctant to hold them, but Bennett absolutely adored them and was what I called a “butterfly whisperer”!  Not that Remy didn’t enjoy the experience, he just really enjoyed watching his buddies fly away LOL!

Anyway, not the most glamorous photos of the transformation but… it’s science!

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We have one butterfly, “Lefty”, that was born with a severely disabled right wing and he has a friend butterfly who didn’t want to leave him behind that we are still fostering in the habitat.  Something about them has been so sweet to watch and I don’t want to let them go.  I fear that if we let Lefty go, he will not make it very far… he has yet to show any attempt at flying :(.  I will keep an eye on him and continue to feed him fresh fruit and homemade nectar until I feel it’s time to let him go.  Until then…

Please try this at home with your kiddos!  They will love it!