Austin reached the big 14 on Tuesday, May 1st. It's amazing to watch how he has grown over the course of the last few months into a full grown man, taking on a man's responsibilities. Since Austin is already two years ahead in school and projected to graduate at 16, Mom and I thought we might be lenient teachers and give him the day off of school.
The morning of his birthday, he went out for breakfast (as is the tradition in the Spafford household) with his two teachers at Hudson's Bar and Grill. Mom and I were convinced that this growing fourteen-year-old boy had a bottomless pit for a stomach as he consumed every bite of the salmon skillet before him... including part of mom's corn beef hash.
After we got back from breakfast, I got to work preparing quiches, chocolate souffle, and orange slices for his afternoon lunch party...though mom and I weren't quite sure where we'd get the appetites to eat this feast after such a gourmet breakfast. :)
Later that day Austin challenged Ania to a game of battleship. It took an interesting turn when Ania realized that each battleship she struck was located in the exact position as where she had placed her battleships. When the game was complete, they realized that every single one of their battleships had been placed in the same strategic position as the others. Strange indeed. :)
Birthdays are always automatically a day off from household chores, but for Austin, making 12 loaves of oatmeal molasses bread was the one exception. Mom would have had a hard time kneading dough for a quintupled recipe of bread, and Austin's big, strong arms were exactly what she needed for the job.
The first visit was from Mom that morning. She paid a visit to the office with a delivery of her favorite coffee and a bundle of balloons. Kayleen came just around lunchtime with a burger and waffle cut fries for her lunch. I came with her third delivery that day bearing a gift from Cosette, the three littles, and myself.
The grand finale was when Dillon, a friend of hers, walked into her office dressed in a poncho and sombrero delivering a plate full of chocolate frosted muffins.
Leisel's reaction to it all made our planning well worth the effort :D
With all of the sunny weather we have been having, we decided to start up ultimate frisbee again with a small group of friends. The warmevenings have been perfect for getting outside and running around. It has also hasprovided us with the perfect excuse to add some exercise to our weekly routines.
A group of friends came over to our place after a day of working out in the yard. We had shaped up the garden, power washed the porch and Austin had built a nice little fire pit in our backyard with some cement bricks and gravel. We were continuing our tradition ofhymn singing with friends and a time of prayer, only this time, it was around a warm crackling fire. Dillon had brought along his guitar, and we sang hymns together for an hour, enjoying the smell of smoke permeating the air, but escaping from the trail of smoke that seemed to follow everyone every time they changed seats. Since we didn't have any marshmallows on hand for roasting, we got creative... roasting string cheese, carrot sticks, bananas, and toast over the fire.
We wound down that night with a walk around the neighborhood. Perhaps,was a bit of a late time to start a walk. Dillon insisted that everyone keep their pace to a slow southern saunter, turning what should have been a half hour walk into a two-hour stroll.
There is no feeling quite like that of standing outside your own house, a turn of the key away from entering the front door, but with that sinking realization in the pit of your stomach that you don't have a key to your home, it's almost two in the morning and everybody in the household is now fast asleep. There was only one thing to do...and that was to waken Kayleen. We stood outside her window for half an hour making multiple calls to her cellphone, shining flashlights at her room, and throwing bark chips at the window. Finally, she arose and unlocked the door for our group.
Cosette has four fewer teeth than she did a month ago, and perhaps a little less wisdom as a result. The dreaded day had come for her to get her wisdom teeth removed. She angsted about it for days, anticipating the horrible effects of laughing gas, the helpless feeling of being put under, the ghastly sight of rubber gloves and needles; preparing for that wonderful feeling of foggy unawareness worrying about what she was going to say; fearing that the surgery would result in dry sockets and anticipating her cheeks blowing up to double their size. She wisely remained mute for the first few hours after her surgery although it was quite obvious that she was very much out of it all. After a few days of soft food and Mother's care, she was up and around again.
Dad recently contracted what has universally been known as the "man cold". The Urban dictionary well defines it as..."The name 'man cold' disguises the true terrible, debilitating disease that is the man cold. Nearly all men will die from man colds unless they are administered immediately with large amounts of mindless TV. It is essential that they not move from bed or a comfy sofa to allow for rehabilitation, and must have tissues and man cold medicine (such as chocolate biscuits, or a nice cup of tea) brought to them constantly by a nearby female. No one has ever been as sick or tired as one who catches the man cold."
Austin caught this untimely virus a few days after Daddy had and took leave of his homework for three full days, bemoaning his condition from the comforts of a plush couch. He did use his time though in a very educational manner, pouring over government history books and John MacArthur's book on Systematic Theology.
Jonathon left on his fourth trip to Malaysia for a three week period of time. A highlight for him over the weekends was rock climbing. He made a total of 15 trips scaling a 40-foot wall. He did find some time to pick up scuba diving again as well.
A few of us Spafford girls and some friends from church took a day trip up to Seattle to support a friend who was singing with her old school choir. We decided to head up early that day so we could have a little bit of time to tour Seattle.
The space needle was closed that day and it was a two-hour wait for the Ferris wheel, so we opted to do a lot of walking around and seeing the "free" sights of Seattle.
After stopping in at the Rocket Fizz Candy store, Dillon discovered that a good majority of the group had never tried warheads before. He righted this by purchasing a bag of these sour candies and passing them out to the group.
After we had viewed the overwhelming variety of food available at Pike's Place Market, we settled on a place to eat and took our lunches to the waterfront to enjoy them.
We headed back to the cathedral in time for a lovely concert with a selection of familiar tunes. The choir did an amazing job singing a song in Latin, a Venezuelan folk tune, and some sort of mouth music.
Our two drivers taxied our group back to where everybody had parked their vehicles earlier that morning, while their five passengers konked out in the backseats of their cars. Atin the morning, we concluded a long, fun-filled day with friends :)
Besides all of these eventful episodes in the Spafford family, Kayleen is now dating. Besides being absent for a majority of the time nowadays, even when she is "present", she is never really mentally present. Her car has suffered a great deal as a result as well... driving into a ditch, backing up into our van, and getting a flat tire all because of one man and in the name of love :)