Hazy Days

Archives for birthdays

Micah is 6!

Micah Peter Hayes is 6!

For me, 6 marks the end of of an era of babyhood.  5 is still little.  6?  6 is big. 6 is reading and writing and school.  And this little guy is no exception.  In just the last two weeks, he has chosen to start reading small three-letter word books on his own accord.  This, after a good year of gentle reading introduction through Reading Eggs online. Just the other early evening, Craig and I chuckled when we heard his little voice in the lounge, labouring over a difficult word, sounding it out with all the diligence he never possessed just a few weeks ago.  Bob Books are now his favourite thing.  For now.  But, I figure if patterns are anything to go by, then Lego, Playmobil, Angry Birds and now, Minecraft, will still top the pile of favourite things in days to come.

Micah Hayes

Even though he is becoming my big boy, there are still those little moments that remind me that he is still my baby.  Like his tears when he realises that his favourite little toy rabbit, (Easter) Bunny, is missing.  Or the little voice I hear from time to time next to my bedside in the middle of the night, “Mommy, I had a bad dream.”  The little body that snuggles next to mine, still smells of sweet baby sweat.

Micah Hayes

The ways in which he grows more mature are a delight, however.  This is the year he tackled riding a bike for the first time on his own.  Later than the others purely because we never got to teaching him.  But, he pretty much taught himself, thanks to the wonders of the JD Bug.  One attempt on a pedal bike at Greyton and off he went, riding like a pro.  What delight!

This is also the year he decided to start gymnastics.  Loving it?  Absolutely.

And his latest step towards greater independence is banana-smoothie making.  Or hot oats porridge.  Or some other strange culinary concoction.

Not so successful was his attempt at hair-cutting this week.  Another big chunk out of his fringe.  Yes, another.  He did that last two years ago.

Micah Hayes

But, despite the funny hair, the ever-present aggression that he finds difficult to keep a reign on, and the persistent need to let rip with some daddy-defeating farts (Yes.  I do believe that Micah is the reigning champ in that regard) he has this incredibly impish grin that can melt this mother’s heart in seconds. 

Micah Hayes

My favourite thing, however, are his questions.  Deep questions.  Questions about God.  Questions about Jesus.  And the questions that start, “Do you know what I’m going to give you, mommy?”  Closely followed by breath-squeezing hugs and bruising kisses!

So, six it is – and on we go! My prayer is that he will grow in maturity and understanding – that his questions will gain answers that he will be able to own.  And that he never stops with the loving, sweet hugs and kisses.

Happy 6th Birthday, Mr Micah!

Kiera is 12!

Dear Kiera,

What a year! It’s been a ride and a half for you, young lady.  So many fun things have happened.  Gym contests and even a few podium wins, including a first place!  Meeting one of your favourite authors.  Writing with one of your favourite authors. Writing your own stories galore.  Drama eisteddfods.  Infatuation with musicals like Matilda, Oklahoma and Annie.  You are on the brink of so much, yet when I compare your “Kiera is 11!” post to the girl we know today, there is so much that is still the same.  You are still our hologram girl.  Yet, we are beginning to see larger glimpses of the women you will one day become. 


The past 12 months have proven once again that you are determined and dedicated.  I admire your hard work, each and every day.  I wish I had the motivation you have to do things like learning French and Afrikaans, or learn screenplay writing, or churn out another movie.  I love that you dive into your interests with passion.  One day you will look back at this post and smile – this was the year when you determined that your future job would be … film director!  And, screenplay writer. And, singer.  And, dancer.  And, Broadway stage actress.  And, Olympic gymnast.  Yes, you’re a normal 12-year-old girl with dreams and ambitions. 

Speaking of so-called “normal”, this year you’ve continued to surprise us.  No longer the strict “tomboy”, you’re gradually morphing into a girl who is choosing to wear skirts, earrings, clips in her hair and, yes, you’re even been caught wearing pink!  But, as fascinating as this metamorphosis is, the changes that warm my heart have nothing to do with gender-stereotypical preferences. 


It’s the determination to love, grow and mature in ways that are godly.  I love how responsible you are with your school work; how you choose to work hard first and foremost.  I love your heart – how you reflect deeply about things.  And I love how you are choosing to rise above yourself and exhibit self-control in so many areas.  Sometimes you think that I don’t notice, but I do.  I notice when you take a deep breath and carefully and calmly restate your case.  I notice when you modulate your tone and make sure that we understand your intentions.  I love how you choose to speak kindly and gently to your siblings when you’re frustrated with their silly antics.  I love how you have come to terms with your health issues and are learning coping mechanisms – taking charge of yourself.  I love how you talk with people of all ages with ease and enjoyment.  I love that even when you suffer disappointment, you choose kindness instead of anger more often than not.  I love how you’re excited about being a part of this family in the way you invest in everyone – making dinners, roping your siblings into your movies, helping them, caring about us all, doing your chores with a great attitude and more. I love your sense of justice – yes, sometimes it feels overwhelming and the world seems so unfair, but you’re determined to see what’s right and fair come to pass.


But most of all?  Most of all this year I’m proud of your choice to love your sister.  It’s not been an easy relationship over the years.  You two are so different from each other.  Your struggles in the past have been many.  But, this year you chose your sister.  Above friends.  Above yourself.  You chose to work towards a deep and meaningful relationship with your only sister.  And it warms my heart no end.  Seeing you girls giggling in Katie’s room together.  Hearing you read aloud Harry Potter to her, switching out voices with each character. Watching you wrap your arm around Katie and returning hugs.  These things make my heart swell with joy.  My prayer?  That these choices will be more and more characteristic of you.  That your desire for justice and goodness will grow, but not overpower grace and forgiveness.  And most of all?  That Jesus will ALWAYS be your #1!

Happy birthday, sweet Kiera!

Love Mom


Katie’s 10th Birthday Day

The morning of the 3rd FINALLY arrived.  Katie has been counting down the days, full of excitement at the thought of finally turning 10.  We feel that 10 is pretty special and since Ms Kiera got a lovely bike for her 10th, we thought long and hard about a special gift for Ms Katie.

After much deliberation, we got her…

Cadbury’s Mint Bubbly!


She also got a rug for her room and a tablet.

Now before my future self reads this and shrieks, “WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?” let me explain our reasoning.

We were going to get her an mp3 player.  She finds it so much easier to get on with chores and schoolwork if she’s listening to music (Kai?!) – her own mp3 player would facilitate that nicely.  But, then we’ve been umming and ahhing about computers and tablets, because the kids all rely on my iPad for a lot of their educational apps like Spelling City and Maths Drills.  Katie doesn’t have a computer, so she has to wait to use mine or one of the netbooks in order to write emails and do research online.  When we looked at mp3 options and computer options, we realised that it would be cheaper and make more sense to get a Samsung tablet for under R2k that she could use exclusively for school work, music, research and all that jazz. 

Of course, we did discuss it a lot and finally decided to go with it.  We loaded a special app that only allows access to pre-selected apps and presented her with the biggest surprise birthday gift ever!

Also known as a birthday contract.


She wasn’t super happy about all the rules (only 2 hours’ a day max?!) but the prospect of no tablet vs limited tablet was a no-brainer.  She signed.

And when her Granny and Grandpa gifted her with a cover for the tablet, she was A for away!

Selfie time with the family.


As is always the case with Ms Katie “Gadget Girl” Hayes, she has the entire thing figured out and knows all the shortcuts and is already making movies, downloading apps (with permission) and so on.  The tablet is loaded with K9 web protection and she only has access to the K9 web browser – to protect her from stumbling into the shadier neighbourhoods of the Internet.  And the app we’ve got loaded protects her from herself – not so necessary now, but a precaution that we prefer to have in place as a precedent.

Another “being 10″ bonus is that they get to taste their first coffee.  I’m not big on kids and coffee, so the idea is that once in a VERY blue moon they can have.  Such a blue moon that Kiera has actually never had her first coffee yet and she’s almost 12.  Yes, I’ve been delaying the 10 thing. 

So, with Dad at work and unable to do his Daddy date with Katie until the weekend, and the boys at their friends’ house, I got to take the girls for a coffee date.

Katie all smiles before her first coffee latté.


Yeah, not so much.  Neither of the girls were particularly thrilled with the taste of coffee. Sorted!


We had grandparents around for tea and cake.  And then dinner was Katie’s great favourite – SUSHI!  Yum.  Plus, mint choc ice-cream with kit-kats:


All in all, she was thrilled with all the birthday buzz!  Happy 10th birthday, Kates!

Katie is 10!

An entire decade! From this:



to this:


Katie was born on a warm, sunny winter’s day in 2004.  I remember that day well – walking around the garden taking photos of our house to send to my sister in Israel.  I was fairly sure that I would be going into labour that day.  And so I did.  While it was a short labour in total (7-8 hours) it was near on 3 hours of intense pushing and Katie almost needed intervention to make her way into this world.  But, instead, she not only decided to take her time, she chose to come out when she was well and ready and very much in her own way.  After her birth I was absolutely spent – physically and emotionally.  But, the love that kicked in for this little girl who had caused so much pain and fatigue was indescribable. Not much has changed in the last 10 years!  Katie still arrives at milestones in her own time and ways.  Invariably, she does pretty well, despite not liking the effort required!    

Right from the word “go”, Katie has loved all things stereotypically girly – pink, accessories, dress up, make up and, yes, even phones.

2014-03-31 - Susie Leblond Photos

Dresses and fashion and all things pretty are her thing.

2014-03-31 - Susie Leblond Photos

And pretty much have been for 10 solid years. 

2014-03-31 - Susie Leblond Photos

But, despite all the girliness, she breaks the stereotype in other ways – like being a tree-climber of late.  She dives into imaginative play regularly with her siblings, never shying away from sword fights or gun battles.  She’s our gadget girl, as past posts have pointed out. She’s the one who has all the technology in the house figured out before anyone else.  Thanks to her, our old iPhone, which we use mostly as a music player and school app provider, has received a new lease on life.  Its home button is temperamental.  But Katie figured out how to create an onscreen home button.  I never figured I’d be the mom who turns to her kids for techno help, but she sure is threatening to surpass me!

This past year has seen some surprising changes.  Sometimes it scares me – especially when I see glimpses of teenage attitude from time to time.  But, sometimes I catch myself in mid-mommy-meltdown and realise that the child before me is not reacting in the way she normally does.  The pattern for years has been Katie doing wrong, Mom eventually losing it, Katie digging in heels and reacting badly still.  Lately, when I find myself going off the deep end, she’s still there on the side, calmly accepting her wrong-doing and willingly choosing obedience over defiance.  It’s quite revealing of my own misbehaviour when I find myself splashing alone in the waters of angry outbursts.  Ah, nothing like a kid or two to expose one’s own sinfulness!

One of the areas of huge increased self-control is in her school work.  In the past month, she’s been diligently completing her school work with much less pushing from me.  “School” has never been her favourite thing. Anything that involves writing, thinking hard or prolonged intensity has her frustrated and angry.  Well, it did.  Nowadays, she’s persevering harder than ever.  She’s embracing difficulties and the results are awesome.  She is a walking advert for “better late than early” – my prayer is that all the pushing and worrying from me for the past few years has not ruined her potential.

When it comes to science, however, I doubt anything could suppress her enthusiasm!  If it weren’t for Ms Katie, half the science experiments in our home would not take place.  She’s the one who rummages around in the science kits and ropes her brothers in all sorts of fun experiments.  Over the years, the balance between successful and unsuccessful / abandoned projects has begun to swing in favour of successful.  For me, it’s all been an experiment in independent learning and personality types.


Katie continues to be a child who feels deeply and loves wholeheartedly.  These days she is grappling with the nuances of popularity and friendship, superiority and compassion.  She’s well-loved by friends – an intoxicating feeling – and so she struggles with the war between compassion and popularity.  Her honesty means that not only does she recognise the war, but she hates that it exists within her.  She mourns the loss of the deep sense of compassion she knew she once had – a compassion that feels somewhat dulled by age, sin and experience. 


It’s an ongoing conversation with her.  Sometimes I wonder if it’s one of those trade-offs that happens with age – with the benefits of greater self-control comes the loss of intensity of emotions, both good and bad.  That she’s aware and grappling with it, is a good thing, I suspect.  One way or another, it’s a prayer issue for sure. 

She’s still a child who loves, however.  And that was reflected again this year at her party.  The list of friends to invite was long.  And inclusive!  This year, she wanted a Movie Party.  I relented on the numbers, for the movie party means less craziness in our house.  Even then, we had to cut the list down and long after the invites went out, she remembered more children she would have loved to have had at the party. The children that came ranged across her circles of friends and in age – many sibling groups and all great kids.  From 5 to 13, they all had a ball.

Spiritually, Kates is showing a great desire to live her life pleasing to Him.  Quiet times are now more of a desire than a burden, although she still struggles with regularity and discipline.  She talks more about Jesus and asks deeper questions than ever before. It’s as if we are seeing the awakening of ownership of spiritual maturity.  It’s a journey I look forward to being a part of.

And now, to my sweet Kates – how incredible this journey has been.  10 years of watching a beautiful flower unfurl and grow, stretching its face towards the Son – what a privilege.  And then looking into the face of that flower, I discover a mirror to my own soul; reflecting the depth of my own sin and need for Jesus.  My prayer this year is that you continue to grow in maturity – maturity in discipline, understanding and love.  But I pray too that your love will continue to be deep, your compassion strong, your care continuous and your enthusiasm for discovery and life to grow bigger and brighter with each new day.  I thank the Lord Jesus for the gift of you!  Happy 10th birthday, my sweet girl!

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Page 1 of 28:1 2 3 4 »Last »
Hazy Days