Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Nate the Great Turns 8!

January marks the first birthday celebration of the year! Nate the Great turned eight and he wanted an Army-themed birthday party. Thanks to some creative thinking (and my new addiction - Pinterest), he said he had "the best birthday ever!"

Ten little soldiers received their "draft notices" hand-delivered throughout the week. The official notice notified them they'd been drafted to the celebration in honor of Sgt. Nathan. We included hand made dog tags.

Then I set out to make a cake but not just any cake would do. We needed something big. Something grand. Something ...deadly? How about a tank?

Two rectangle cakes cut in the appropriate shapes.

Three containers of white frosting and tons of food coloring.

Tootsie rolls, oreo cookies, and pirouette cookies helped complete the cake.

The soldiers began to arrive promptly as all good soldiers would do. Early in the day, Rob had made a trip to the army surplus store and got each soldier their own helmet. Nate waited eagerly for his friends to arrive.

I love this boy! Let me count the ways:
1 - His smile is infectious. He lost six teeth and you can't help but smile when you see him.
2 - His imagination is like no other. He can play with his toys for hours. Sometimes it's army men, sometimes its legos but regardless, he's acting out some scene from his imagination.
3 - He's an entertainer! Leave it to Nate to dance around, tell a joke, or say something funny just to make you smile.
4 - He's independent and stubborn like a mule. I know sometimes this drives me crazy but it also means he's shaping up to be quite the leader.
5 - He's smart and he loves school. He's always so excited to bring home his A+ papers, he passes spelling with flying colors and he loves to write stories.
6 - He still likes to cuddle!
7 - He loves his family fiercely!
8 - He's Nate the Great and that pretty much sums it up!

The soldiers all played army games for hours. This army was equipped with blow dart guns

And they hid in a big fort (Rob turned the downstairs into a giant fort using camo netting and tents he picked up at the army surplus store):

And they played out in the dark, shooting eachother from the deck
Our weekend didn't stop there. Nate made it to the regional wrestling classic so we were headed to Redmond to watch him wrestle. It was a fun meet and excitingly, family met up with us. My nephew Liam was wrestling there too.

My sister Tara, cousin Corrie, and I waited in the stands to watch the little boys wrestle.

Marcus and Max alternated between watching and walking. They were pretty proud of themselves (they collected a few phone numbers from "girls who thought they were cute) and Marc taught Max to "cruise" - apparently, Max likes to walk fast and that's not conducive to collecting phone numbers.
Nate wrestled very well. It's fun to watch his progression. Believe it or not, it's starting to look like wrestling and not just rolling around on the mat. Of course, maybe it's because I'm learning more about the sport.

In this photo Nate is on the bottom, about to get pinned. What you don't see is that he actually escapes which is really a big deal in wrestling!

Here Liam watches Nate's match:

While we were in Redmond, we used the opportunity to visit some tourist attractions like Operation Santa Clause, a reindeer farm just outside of town.

We were surprised to find that reindeer are actually kind of small. Like a big goat.

We also went to the High Desert Museum which I highly recommend. The kids loved it. I did feel a little old when in the toy exhibit they had something I played with as a kid (that's an Atari for those of you born in the 90s):

They had really neat things to see. The creepiest of which was this "cooling bed" which at first glance appears to be something you might have sunbathed on. But you'd be wrong. It was used during VIctorian times to cool dead bodies to prepare them for embalming. ICK!!!!
They also had a typewriter that the boys could type on and then hang their letter up on the board. Do you remember these? It takes herculean strength to get the keys to strike. My mom had one. No wonder she could pinch as hard as she did...

It warmed my heart when I read what they typed...

Yep, that says "I love mom"

Awww....I love them too!!

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