Jacob turned 9 years old today. I'd love to show you what the day looked like and a picture of the birthday boy, but I didn't take any today. Jacob will not look at the camera and it seemed a shame to waste time that we could be enjoying with him while trying to get him to do something that he is NOT going to do. So I thought I'd paint you a "word picture" of Jacob's special day.
Jacob has RAD, selective mutism, and maybe a touch of Autism. This was his 4th birthday home and the 1st time that he made it obvious that he definitely knew it was HIS special day and was excited about it! When the first person told him Happy Birthday before church today, he took off dancing around the room. He even tried to sneak and look in my Walmart bags when I came home from the store the other day and he heard the kids ask where to hide his presents! (Come on special needs Mamas - you know that is big stuff!) He also stood up for the Birthday Song at church this morning, but looked down like he was shy - yet had a very ornery smile on his face!
After church I headed to pick up the cupcakes and got some other stuff at the store, while everyone here had lunch. When I got home, they were all very ready to get moving toward the wonderful day that was ready for them outside! We got them ready quickly and out they went. They played for quite a while. I went out and got Cody to climb the dome climber all the way to the top. That meant that suddenly Jacob and Zeeky wanted to as well! :) ( I love good peer pressure!)
Late this afternoon we went out to the picnic tables in the front yard and had Jacob's cupcakes and some milk. He was very excited about it and was very excited to open up the gift bag (yes, we've learned that especially with special needs kids that takes the stress out of it!) to see what he got for his birthday. He was thrilled with the toys that you step on or it the little "thing" (very technical tonight aren't I?) and the Cars characters project from it. I made sure to get 3 of them so that other kids would do it with him and it would be more enjoyable.
Then 7 of the kids and Brent played a game of wiffle ball out front. I was putting on dinner, so I put Cody and Julianne in the plastic gate thing. They'd only been in it 5 or so times ever, so they were excited about that even. There were tons of giggles coming from that enclosure! After I got dinner on, I went out to check on their game and bounce those big soft balls off of Julianne and Cody which was just a thrill full of continual laughter! (Have I ever mentioned how much I love my life!?!)
I planned dinner to hit right after it got dark, since they weren't hungry from all the cake until late! We took candles (real and batter powered both) out and ate on the picnic tables. We had pork chops, asparagus, and stuffing. The kids thought that was the best way to have dinner out in the dark! Then, Dayton started sneaking up on people on scaring them while they were at the table. Unique was laughing so loud that I had to make them quit. The "non-homeschooled" neighbor children would have to have a hard time getting to sleep with all that loud squealing and laughter!
Then we started bringing some of the kids in for baths and showers, while the rest stayed outside in the dark with the glow sticks! Yes, that is a favorite summer activity and they've been begging to since the first warm day. Julianne, Cody, and Zeeky were done by that point and asking to come in, so they got to be first up for showers and baths. The children managed to keep their squealing down to a minimum and played like crazy outside. I was very glad that the gate was locked and I knew they couldn't get out. I could however see glow sticks flickering all around the "ark" play structure. :)
There is so much fun to be had in a large family. Homeschooling gives us a flexible schedule that allows so much family time and we can adjust our schedule to what works best from day to day. We don't take "snow days", but we can take a "Sun"day instead. We can play out late, sleep in later, and still get a good days school in. We get to spend time together and my kids are the best of friends. The kids have a full "party" of kids here and can put together a game of about any size any day that they wish. We don't need a bunch of activities, because their are enough of us to be active without the planned times. :) God has truly blessed us and right now all I could wish for us for our next 5 to be home with us too.
Now the children are all soundly asleep and the business day is beginning in Bulgaria, so I am going to head to bed myself and pray myself to sleep begging God to take care of my 5 Bulgarian Blessings as well as move our adoption through quickly so we can get them home.
The next birthday here is only 2 weeks away. Destiny is exactly 2 weeks younger than Jacob and will turn 9 on Sunday two weeks from now. I guess we really better get some rest!