T has had a really great year this year. His hormones and all the related changes have ceased and he seems to have come out of the other side of adolescence relatively unscathed. He has the most amazing group of friends, which I am so pleased include his twin sisters, who he hangs out with at every opportunity. He has found his niche at church and is very appreciated and loved in that role. Academically he has moved forward, and is anticipating his physics IGCSE on the 19th of this month. His faith has become personal and he and I have many discussions about his future and what direction he would like to take with regard to university, dating and finances. He is thinking about the big stuff, and nobody is more ready for it than him. He loves life and as a result life loves him.
Usually T’s birthdays are a quiet affair. He is blessed to have been born at the time of year when Granny and Grandad from Northern Ireland visit for a week. Each year he chooses to go to RHS Wisley with his family (including next door Granny and his visiting Grand parents). As this birthday approached, he asked if he could have a movie night with his friends, go to a garden center with his family and then have a party similar to the girls later on in the evening. The answer, of course, was yes to all three!
He had his movie night a week before his birthday. I made some Mars bar scones:
And created a hot chocolate bar:
They all sat down to watch Jupiter Ascending:
The day of his birthday he had asked for fruit salad for breakfast, as well as instead of a cake later on:
He opened his presents, and thoroughly enjoyed the thoughtful presents his sisters had bought him. We had already got him a really good quality bike which he paid half of, so he wasn’t expecting anything more from us. The day before, though, we had gone shopping and in the sales we had bought him some much needed clothes. He was delighted! Here he is modelling his new outfit:
Lorna, B14 and K12 were coming at 230, whilst Nik was joining us at 4ish with her two boys. The children all went to the park while we laid the table, cooked the lasagnas (which T had asked for), made salads and heated garlic bread. I only took photos of the table, because once the guests arrived I didn’t give my camera a second thought until right at the end. But here’s the table, snow flake themed:
Nik had made a gorgeous normal trifle, an experimental trifle (lime and chocolate), the squidgy-est of snowflake chocolate brownies, some Nutella tarts and of course we brought out the huge fruit salad. Food was yummy and we were all stuffed by the end!
After food we played charades and then settled down for a short time of prayer. I had really wanted us to all sit down and pray for T and his fourteenth year. I asked each family if they were okay with it prior to them coming, which they all were. I asked T to come up with five or so things he wanted prayer for over the next twelve months. Nik, who is a school teacher by profession, led the whole thing as she is so very skilled at drawing everyone in. She chatted with T about the coming year, and wrote the things he felt were important to him on the mirror using a white window marker:
Nik then brought out a battery operated candle, and explained that we would all be praying one by one, going round the circle. The person whose turn it was to pray would hold the candle. When they finished they would pass it on to the next person. We turned down the light, so that only the glow of the candle lit up the room:
It was such an incredibly beautiful time. The prayers were so meaningful, with everyone’s hearts turned towards T and his wishes and dreams for the next twelve months. There were tears shed as we prayed whatever was on our hearts. Everyone prayed including B4 and A7. In fact the moment it was finished, A7 exclaimed how much she would like something similar done for her birthday. I can’t tell you how special this was. The next morning the twin girls both, independently, asked that we do the same at their birthday dinner, so I think this might become an annual event for all the children.
Nik had also printed off the Numbers 6 blessing:
We all spoke these words over T14 together, after which we imprinted our finger prints on the back of a luggage label which contained those same words. All our finger prints were in green and then T left his finger print in red:
He could keep this with all his other memory verses, tucked into a painting his Grandfather gave him when he was about four, that he has hanging in his room:
Afterwards we asked my mum to pop in and take a photo of us all, as I had forgotten to take any early on:
Feeling very, very blessed <3
Apologies to all of you who have emailed me. I have Gary’s lovely parents here at the moment, and with T’s birthday I simply haven’t had the time to respond. I promise I will reply as soon as things have calmed down.