A Summer Party for Levi's 6th Birthday

Happy Birthday, Levi!  Six years old.  You are still a little boy, but I know that first grade will make you grow up so quickly this school year.  You are such a stud.  I hope you never outgrow that curly haired mop or cuddling with me on the couch as we watch movies.  You'll always be my cuddle bug, right?   

I wish I was a cool as you, Levi.  You seem to follow the trends and even be a trend!  You're a fun kid!  Charismatic, you just get people.  You are a leader among your friends.  (Sometimes a bossy leader, but hey, I think you'll figure it out.)  Best of all, you can be so thoughtful and helpful towards me, your mama.  You have an ability to notice what's going on around you, recognize where there's slack, and pick it up.  It's one of your best attributes, actually.

Levi, you are a pleaser.  I need to you stand tall this year and try your hardest to choose the right, even when it's not popular.  Because you are a leader, people will follow.  You have the ability to make a difference in other children's lives by just being a friend!  And I know you'll make mistakes.  Be forgiving of yourself and know that I will love you unconditionally, no matter what.  Heaven knows you can win me over with that sweet smile and a hug every time.  

Things come easy to you, Levi.  So this year, if reading or math or even a sport seems difficult at times, remember that you are smart and capable.  Every talent that ever was takes time and practice to accomplish.  You'll get it.

As my middle child, you're already picking on your baby brother.  No worries, he deserves it; just remember to be gentle.  And words can't express how happy I am that Jed has you to pal around with.  You two are pretty inseparable: best frenemies.  I know you look up to him and try to keep up with everything that he is doing -- two years ahead!  But just know that Jed depends on you too.  I pray that you always look out for one another and grow up always having each other's backs.  Brotherhood is such a special gift.

I love you, Levi!  You have brought so much joy into my life since the moment you were born.  You are everything and more than I could have ever imagined in a son.  Happy Birthday!!!

Love, Mom

Levi's birthday party this year snowballed from an idea we had way back in the Spring when we won a bid at the annual ward youth auction for this awesome bouncy waterslide rental.  At first, I thought we'd invite just a few of Levi's friends and their families over but before I knew it, I'd invited nearly the entire neighborhood!  So Levi's birthday party turned into a neighborhood backyard block party.  Surprisingly, I wasn't a stressed out mess because the chaos of at least 75 people was going to be outside.  I can clean one bathroom and handle that!  I bought a bunch of beef hot dogs from Costco and a couple of cakes for dessert.  Friends brought side dishes.  I think it turned out great!

We adults chatted while the kids played in the water.  And then, towards the end of the evening, I joined the kids on the water slide.  That thing was such a zippy wet blast!  It was addicting.  The kids even chanted my name!  As the sun set, Bron and Aaron were zooming down it too.  I hope we can do this again next year.  Except next year, I'll request that all the adults wear their swimming suits too!  We'll have an "adult swim" while the kids chow down on hot dogs.  Yeah, I like that idea.  Hehe.        

^^A snapshot of some of our neighborhood guests at the beginning of the party.^^
^^Paisley.  She's only one of the cutest girls ever.^^
^^The line to ride the slide!^^
^^Scared of the splash!^^
^^Birthday boy!^^
^^Some hilarious outtakes.^^
^^Dinner break.  Kid likes his yellow mustard and relish.^^
^^Addy girl.  She's just about to turn five!^^
^^Scavenger Conrad.^^
^^Then he dumps his own stuff.  No surprise.^^
^^A loud round of the birthday song before cake and presents!^^
^^As the sun set, the neon green grass drove my eyes crazy... black and white for the win!^^

Happiest of Birthdays, Levi!

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