Friday, December 31, 2010

December Peanuts

  • Matthew the flirt: "I told her I had boogers in my milk, then I drank it. She said, 'Eww!' and ran away... then she came back."
  • "Muzzy vocabulary builder" is less boring if you watch it at 50% faster-than-normal speed.
  • Matthew shared his chocolate bar with Isaac. It had nuts in it. Isaac doesn't like nuts. That's why I had to clean chocolate-covered nuts off the carpet.
  • After going to the book fair, Matthew shares the facts of life with his sister: "I told her about The Tax."
  • Filipino cooking fits my personality. Cups of soy sauce, heads of garlic, large quantities of pepper... very straightforward.
  • We had a ton of excellent chocolate mousse cake left over from Rachel's birthday. I explained to her that I would have given the kids some for breakfast, but the thought of the mess Isaac would make stopped me. Rachel was not impressed with my parenting... but ten minutes later she and Isaac were having cake for breakfast.
  • Matthew's teacher told Rachel that he didn't complete his study guide for the test. "Well, maybe he'll learn a lesson," Rachel replied. Matthew brought home his test Friday, with a 97. I think he learned that public school is mostly make-work.
  • Rachel: "I just had a disturbing thought. I can't remember when it was that I last made Matthew take a shower."
  • The doctor gave me a shot of cortisone in my backside to fix something latin-sounding in my spine. I hardly felt the needle at all, but the cortisone made it feel like the world's largest bruise shortly later. That is a lot of butthurt.
  • Me: "[Squeezes hard] This wood glue is totally clogged." Rachel: "No, it's not. [pop!]" Me: "Hey, I've never seen a wood glue that had a pop-top nozzle." Rachel: "Me, neither, but it was totally intuitive."
  • I'm under 170 pounds for the first time since... probably since Matthew was born and I stopped going to the gym. Rachel's thoughts on my diet: "You have boring munchies."
  • Isaac likes Looney Tunes.
  • Rachel booked our first babysitter through facebook. Let's hear it for technology.
  • Melissa discovered Photo Booth effects. She was glued to Rachel's macbook for close to an hour.
  • Melissa: "Can I play with Franco?" Me: "You can play with Franco." Rachel: "Franco's in Argentina." Me: "You can't play with Franco."
  • I was typing when the mouse cursor started going crazy -- Isaac found the bluetooth mouse in the other room.
  • Matthew enjoyed singing the holiday classics: "Jingle bells, batman smells... "
  • Melissa: "Can you tie this ribbon in a knot around my doll's neck? A shoelace knot." Rachel: "She means a bow."
  • Me: "Salut!" Matthew: "Sally!" Rachel: "No, that's not it. It's a French U sound." Matthew: "But it sounds like an EE sound!" Poor Matthew; he tries hard, but he needed speech therapy for English, let alone another language. He just can't hear the difference between the sounds.
  • Matthew thinks it's boring that rice only comes in white and brown. "It would be cool to have red, blue, and green rice for dinner."
  • One extra-large Slim Jim is a fine thing. Two extra-large Slim Jims is a gastrointestinal horror show of epic proportion.
  • Isaac isn't very good at opening peanuts. When faced with an especially difficult one, he eats it shell and all. Part of me admires his tenacity, but the rest of me shudders.
  • I took the kids to the Dollar Tree to do their Christmas shopping. Melissa really tried hard to figure out what the alien mind of her brother would want for Christmas. Agonized, even. I hadn't expected that.
  • Mental note: even if it's not raining _now_, the playground could still be covered with water.
  • Took the kids to Pump It Up to get some wiggles out. When I had to use the bathroom, I could hear Isaac screaming as soon as I left line of sight. Nothing like having to rush your business because your kid is causing a scene in public.
  • Isaac can take off his diaper now. This is cute when it's bath time. It's less cute when he hands you a poo-filled diaper and says, "Teenty [stinky]!"
  • According to his coach, Matthew has a natural aptitude for Gymnastics. The Ellis family tradition of excelling in sports with no funding is alive and well.
  • The other day I cut the fingernails of my left hand, but not my right. Yeah, I get interrupted a lot these days.
  • Me: "Unless we have nine children, we'll either have an even number, or a prime one. Isn't that a pleasant thought?"
  • Me: "Matthew, go empty one of the clothes baskets in Mom's room, and unload the clothes in the dryer into it." Rachel: "Wait, you skipped a step: if one of the baskets is already empty, use that." Matthew can be very pedantic.
  • Kim Jong Il will never taste Rachel's Christmas Gingerbread. Score one for the free world.
  • Remember when they had to debug console games _before_ shipping them? Merry Christmas, Son. Enjoy playing "Downloading update data... 31 Minutes Left."
  • Teacher unrolls the Italian flag: "Does anyone know what this is?" Matthew: "That's the pizza flag!"
  • Rachel: "Matthew, those socks don't match." Matthew: "How can you tell?" Yes, he's his father's son.
  • Thursday's gymnastics class was cancelled due to the holidays, but I didn't know until I got to the gym. Making the best of it, I made a detour past McDonalds on the way home. While waiting, Matthew made the best of it too and started teaching kids in the play area how to do cartwheels.
  • Rachel: "Adults have to put on deodorant every morning." Matthew: "So that's why you smell funny?"


Christmas eve we invited a couple over to celebrate with us. Their grandkids all live in another state, and they really seem to enjoy Matthew, Melissa, and Isaac. In fact they have kind of adopted them as surrogate grandkids. This is just as well since dinner was...boisterous. After dinner some of us settled down to read the Christmas story in Luke. Others were more interested in the ornaments on the tree and climbing on top of people. Not the most reverent rendition of Christ's birth, but ya do what ya gotta do when you have toddlers. After that we drank the best hot chocolate ever (which they don't sell here in Texas) while watching a short version of the nativity and listening to carols.

As is tradition, the kids get to open on package on Christmas eve right before bedtime. The gift is always new pajamas and a stuffed toy. Even Isaac was excited about his new stuffed llama, the pajamas, not so much.

We sent them to bed with kisses and dire threats if they woke their parents or baby brother up before dawn.

Christmas morning Isaac let us sleep in until 7:15. We're not sure what time Matthew and Melissa got up, but early enough to have raided their stockings and played with the toys that Santa left unwrapped. They were dancing with excitement and quite impatient.

In the background you can see Melissa's new, pink, and ever so girlish, bike. She loves it.

Matthew's very own copy of StarCraft. Now he can play with his uncles online. He is thrilled.

Melissa's first polly pockets. With all of the tiny accessories, I may live to regret this gift.

Matthew is into cacti lately. He bought one with his own money and wanted another one. I figured he might enjoy growing them from seed even more.

Isaac unwrapping a present from big brother Matthew. He made the wrapping paper himself.

Christmas day was fun. For breakfast the kids requested German Apple Pancakes. In the process of making the pancakes, I discovered that our garbage disposal is even wimpier than I had previously imagined. After three apple peels worth of apples it gave out and clogged the sink but good. I had to take apart the pipes, and part of the disposal to clean it out. Didn't place the bucket quite right and got myself, the cupboard, and the floor very drenched. Okay, so that wasn't the fun part. The pancakes with cream were tasty though.

After breakfast, Matthew and I put together his erector set robot and setup his cacti greenhouse. Melissa took her new bike out for a test ride with Matthew. Isaac went around the house finding candy and leaving wrappers and sticky globs in novel places.

That night Uncle Jeremy, Aunt Andrea, and Gwendolyn joined us for dinner. The Nortons and their two children came as well. Kate Norton was full of interesting stories from Cleveland, and Mike has a wry sense of humor but a very busy work schedule so we haven't been able to have them over sooner. Regrettably I forgot to get pictures.

December Pictures

Decorating the tree.

Not the most flattering photo of me, but you can see a bit of the baby bump.

Making gingerbread.

Birthday flowers! The lilies are from my best friend from high school. (I also received some wonderful spring bulbs from my mom-in-law, but forgot to get pictures of them. They were lovely and the hyacinth smelled wonderful. Thanks mom!)
Looking back- I can see we need to start taking more pictures! Here's one of my New Year's resolutions. In 2011 I will get behind the camera more often.

Thanksgiving: Reader's Digest version

I'm a little behind the times...

For Thanksgiving we had a full house and loved it. Cousins James and Cameo along with their two kiddos Jacob and Eli, cousin Heather, Aunt Andrea, Uncle Jeremy, and baby Gwendolyn joined us for our trip to Sea World. The day was really nice and warm and the park was a bit busier than last year. The shows were fun and we all had a great time.

Matthew and Melissa were ecstatic to have cousin Jacob over for a slumber party. They both love playing with him. Isaac and Eli were more rivals but I imagine they will be friends once they outgrow THE twos.

During the Shamu show we sat behind Muslim family speaking Arabic. They bought some dippin' dots ice cream. Melissa, ever the shy one, asked "What's that?" pointing to the ice cream. The lady patted her on the head and gave Melissa her ice cream. I was a bit embarrassed and politely tried to give it back but the lady insisted and smiled at Melissa. That girl is a charmer. While watching the show, Melissa shared her ice cream with Jacob. Later she chattered in her usual happy manner to the lady. I don't think the woman understood a word she said but she grinned, nodded, and patted her cheek.

Later that afternoon little ones played at a very busy playground. While there I had the scariest 3-4 minutes of my life. The playground had a lot of nooks to hide in and 3 places to exit. (Terrible, terrible design, I think.) Isaac managed to dart out of my sight and I couldn't find him. The place was swarming with kids making a search harder. After the first few minutes I concluded he wasn't in the playground any more. I started a sweep around the playground when I heard him crying above the general din. An elderly couple was carrying Isaac and saw my frantic face. "Is this one yours?" Isaac lunged into my arms. "We found him running towards the alligator pond and thought he might have come from the playground." My kids are determined to give me gray hairs before my time.

When the kids got tired we trekked back home for a big Thanksgiving feast. Everything was cooked the day before, but it still took many hands to get the tables setup and the food reheated. Thanks all!

After the meal (and dessert!), we were too tired from the day's activities to have our traditional cousin games. We lounged on the couches, full and satisfied.

We will miss James and Cameo when they move from Houston. :(

Sunday, December 26, 2010

November Peanuts

  • Grandma Linda: "Melissa do you want to wash your hands?" Melissa: "No."
  • Parked in the principal's spot to vote. (Turns out I wasn't registered. Oh, well.)
  • After months of vigilance I left my backup mouse out overnight. Isaac was unable to chew the mousewheel off -- guess it was tougher than the first -- but he did get something sticky inside it so it barely turns now.
  • Thermostat says it is 70 degrees inside. I am wearing a jacket. Either it is lying or Texas has made me a wuss.
  • Rachel made a Tree of Thanks for us to fill with leaves on which we write things we're grateful for. I'm putting "no eye surgery without anesthetic" on my next one, which sounds flippant if you hadn't heard the guy in church today share the story about his freak basketball-to-the-eye accident.
  • Had some trouble getting my power cord out from a table-top power hub one-handed, so I slid my fingers under the edge of the plug for more leverage. Touched both prongs at once. Yes, that stung.
  • Rachel's new phone came with Swype pre-installed. Jealous.
  • Melissa: "I'm going to be a mommy." Me: "Yes, you'll be a mommy and Matthew will be a daddy." Melissa: "But Matthew doesn't like kisses!" Matthew: "Eww!"
  • Melissa: "Daddy, can you put my picture in my folder?" Me, rolling my eyes: "You can put your own picture in the folder." Melissa: "No, I need help!" Me: "Fine. Bring me the picture and the folder." Melissa brought down Rachel's laptop: she wanted her picture saved in the 'Melissa' folder.
  • Me: "We mostly talk about work. I see him post things about his family on facebook, sometimes." Rachel: "That's just enough to know his kids are still alive."
  • Total Isaac bathtimes that ended with an emergency abort to scrub poop out of the tub: four. Then he stopped doing it. Weird. Not that I'm complaining.
  • Driving home with Isaac. I hear spitting noises, and "duck!" [yuck] I hear this repeatedly but I can't figure out what he could be talking about -- maybe he just wanted to practice for dinner. Turned out he'd gotten bored enough to eat his shoes. Why he didn't stop after determining it was yuck -- maybe try each of them once, for good measure -- I don't know.
  • I had the minivan washed for Thanksgiving, inside and out. Matthew folded the paper floor mat they left into a hat.
  • Got a handwritten, page-long Jehovah's Witnesses solicitation via US Mail. Part of me is impressed with the effort it takes to do a spam campaign in longhand. On the other hand, spam is spam.
  • Thinking about buying my first desktop in about 10 years: Matthew and Melissa are starting to fight over whose turn it is to use Rachel's laptop. Not to mention sometimes Rachel actually wants a turn.
  • Briefly considered buying a quality solid-wood desk for kids to do homework on, and to put the desktop on. Then sanity returned: particle board it is!
  • Melissa is crying in bed now because her pillow is not as fluffy as Matthew's. That is one tired five-year-old girl.
  • We tried letting Isaac choose which piece of Halloween candy he wanted. He'd pore through his booty for half an hour, picking up each piece and inspecting it for tastiness potential. Eventually we'd lose patience, and take the candy away, leaving him with his most recent selection, and he'd HOWL (then he'd squash the candy to show us how mad he was). So now we just pick a piece for him and everyone is happy.
  • "Melissa, take your foot out of the cereal box."
  • Usually google voicemail transcripts are useful but this one cracked me up: "Hi, Whether. Ellis, this is sister method. I was just returning a phone call that I did, and my phone or Switzerland that that you really called anyway. Just want to know we got yours. But the phone call with Mr. Just barely talk to you later. Thanks. Bye. "
  • It's officially Christmas season, and the kids are working on Dad. Melissa: "Lights that glow are so pretty. You need to put some on our house since it's Christmas time!" Matthew: "Do you know what Christian's dad did? He let Christian climb on the roof with him to hang lights!" Humbug.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Rachel made pregnant gingerbread women this year

It's my mom's recipe. I'm glad I'm almost done eating them because then I can go back to my low-sugar diet.

I'll be glad when this isn't funny anymore

Isaac is still making his rounds several times a day. Like a doctor checking on his patients, he checks to make sure everything is on the floor where it belongs.

Friday, December 24, 2010

You can tell this is a professional wrapping job

Check out the bow. I know you're jealous.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Tu parles Francais?

This morning as Matthew left for school he waved to Isaac and said "Au revoir!" Usually Isaac responds with "bye, bye!" but today he distinctly replied, "Au revoir! Au revoir!" and waved back.

I think that counts as his first French word. On the English front, I heard the words the new words "star" "hat" and "socks" yesterday.

To Isaac, all letters are "I." He likes to point at the letters in words and chirp, "I! I! I!" Son, that is an R and that an E. He'll repeat after me and then joyfully go back to "I! I! I!"

Monday, December 06, 2010


Went to the dentist today for the usual cleaning and checkup. The hygienist I usually see was booked so I had Monica for the first time. I let the office know that I was expecting, so no x-rays this visit. The hygienist gave me advice regarding teeth and pregnancy throughout the cleaning.

At the end of the visit she asked, "So, is this your first?"

I smiled and said, "No, actually this is my fourth."

She looked stunned. "How old is your oldest?"

"He's eight." Her jaw dropped. I could see her mentally trying to calculate how old I must have been for the first.

Before she got the wrong impression I added, "Well, I am in my 30s."

She looked surprised but relieved. "Wow! You age really, really well. Guess you're not a spring chicken anymore."

Thanks, I think.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Riptano peanuts

  • I had a nightmare that I was back in Europe, paying for metered internet. Over dialup.
  • My back exploded two months ago while moving furniture. I still can't bend backwards. Odds that Rachel will succeed in making me see a doctor after I write this: 40%. (I put it that low because it I think it is getting better, very very slowly. Two weeks ago standing up straight hurt.)
  • Some time in the past year Amazon decided that what I really wanted to see on my Shopping List was everything I ever bought there. Thanks for ruining my list of potential Christmas gifts.
  • While riding shotgun with Matt P, in a personal record for most cables in a moving vehicle, I streamed
    • to the aux input from my laptop,
    • which is tethered to my phone over usb
    • and plugged into the cigarette adapter for power

  • Matt P: "I guarantee there are less than five people in the state of California who drive a minivan more badass than I do."
  • Jon H, who is 22: "Quit being so old!"
  • Tyler H: "I dreamed you assigned me a really interesting bug. It was so vivid that when I got in to work this morning I double-checked my mail in case it was there."
  • Really, really glad Matt P does the salary negotiations with new hires. That would stress me out. Plus I'd like to be on their side.
  • Flew enough since starting Riptano to get free Economy Plus seating on United, which means I can (barely) use my Kinesis keyboard on my lap in-flight.
  • Email roulette: going through my backlog until a song I don't like hits
  • I know Matt P's plane must have landed when I have my inbox caught up when I start watching a show with Rachel, and when it's done I have 17 new mails.
  • Pro tip: when submitting code for a job interview, try compiling it first.
  • Even our vp of product is mailing me about distributed counter design now. It's the new black.
  • Tyler H doesn't understand that engineers aren't supposed to make sales. So he just does it anyway.
  • Took the family out for ice cream to celebrate hiring Ben C. I worked with him years ago at Northface (now Neumont); I've been looking forward to doing it again ever since.

October peanuts

  • Matthew: "Good thing Mom doesn't put bacon in cupcakes."
  • My mother-in-law bought me t-shirts from woot for my birthday. On the one hand, very cool. On the other hand, my mother-in-law knows about shirt.woot!?
  • I spent a good part of my childhood eating home-ground wheat. No way am I getting Rachel a wheat grinder.
  • Adrenaline messes with your mind. Played some starcraft, got my heart rate up, totally unable to concentrate on code. Did the dishes instead. Rachel was happy with that solution.
  • Matthew spent the night with Aunt Andrea and Uncle Jeremy. They let him set his own bedtime. "We were watching Harry Potter until about 11:20 and he said, 'I should probably go to bed.'"
  • For my sore throat I tried eating salsa with a spoon because Rachel says it is antibacterial. I think it helped.
  • ITunes playlist editing sucks so much that I stopped trying. Instead I just use the skip hardbutton on my keyboard. Welcome to 1999.
  • Matthew: "Did you ask if they had any diet doughnuts, Dad?"
  • Rachel: "How does pizza sounds for dinner?" Isaac: "'Izza! 'Izza!"
  • Yes, I made a powerpoint deck for Family Home Evening. It worked better than you probably think.
  • Tried to wear the "Back the F:\ up" shirt that Devin K hooked me up with. Rachel stopped me: it's too vulgar. "But Paul C came up with it!" Still vetoed. I sneaked it into my bag for the Devoxx trip instead.
  • Isaac bounces through the house like a pinball. Most of the time, he puts his hands up before crashing into a wall or table or couch. Most of the time.
  • Isaac spilled the pastels. Melissa made the bag into a mouth that chomped them up with relish. A couple minutes later Isaac dumped them out again and fed them to the bag again, making "nom nom" noises.
  • Matthew: "What's revenge?" Me: "When you get back at someone." "What do you mean?" "Like when Melissa broke your dart, so you hit her on the head."
  • Me: "I never thought I'd say this, but we need better-tasting water."
  • Isaac is watching a kids show. "When we have a question, we look... " on Google! "... in a book." Wow, this must be old.
  • Matthew just discovered woot. So much for saving up for an ipod touch. Also, now that I bought him a charger for his Sansa that Uncle Jeremy installed Rockbox on, he think that's just about as good.
  • shirt.woot does not have long sleeve shirts. This means Rachel is in charge of 100% of our kids' wardrobes again for the next four months.
  • Me: "I sent an explanation of why I don't think I owe an extra $1080 but I got another CP2000 in the mail with no changes." IRS dude: "Can you hold? ... It looks like we owe you $638." Wish I'd gotten him the first time around.
  • Good news: Matthew is legitimately better than me at something -- he went 20-0 against me and his uncle Brian in Galcon. Bad news: I won the 21st game and he accused me of cheating and stormed off in a huff.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Ellis Baby # 4

Tonight at dinner Melissa was discussing the new baby. She is very excited. "Maybe I'll have a baby sister!" Then she looked a tad glum, "It's probably another brother, huh?"

I'm sure she'll fall in love with the baby once she sees him or her.

Bouncing Baby, "BB," is due right around the first part of June. So far I've been more tired this pregnancy, but otherwise feel great. Early on I stocked up on a bunch of ginger, but didn't really need it this time. Yippee!

Friday, December 03, 2010

Poor sick Isaac

Poor sick Isaac
Originally uploaded by jbellis

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Matthew's first pack meeting

Matthew's first pack meeting
Originally uploaded by jbellis

Smashin' pumpkins

We didn't carve all of the pumpkins we had for Halloween this year. Left over was this gorgeous fairy tale pumpkin. Other web sites mentioned that it was a sweet cooking and canning heirloom pumpkin. The first thing I noticed when cutting it open was the shockingly bright orange flesh inside. The second surprise was that some of the seeds inside had already sprouted! I think the warm October weather helped them along. The flesh was still firm and tasty so we processed the pumpkin anyway.
Matthew and Melissa are good helpers. They did all of the squashing and cranking.

We got 25 cups of "pumpkin guts" out of it and have made several delicious pumpkin pies (one of which we ate for Thanksgiving). The rest is stashed away in the freezer.

The kids saved some of the seeds and now we have half a dozen pumpkin plants growing by a warm sunny window.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Family pictures

We went to the Sunken Japanese Tea Gardens for family pictures this year. The pond was filled with large red, gold, and white Koi.

After many, many attempts, this was the best picture of the group of us. (At least everyone is looking at the camera and no one is scowling.)

We'd planned on wearing our new Fall attire since it was the end of October, but it was in the upper 80s that day so we had to make some last minute wardrobe adjustments.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Gwendolyn's baby blessing

(Gwendolyn in the same blessing gown that her mother wore when she was blessed)

That weekend was a busy one! The day after Matthew's baptism, baby Gwendolyn was blessed by her father. They blessed her at home, which was very nice.

Grandpa holding his newest grandchild.

Brian and the girls. Not quite sure what Andrea and Mom are looking at...perhaps a SQUIRREL! He he.

Matthew's baptism

Matthew was baptized on October 30th. Grandma Linda, Grandpa Don, Uncle Brian, Aunt Andrea, Uncle Jeremy, and baby Gwendolyn all made a special trip to see him.

Still a bit damp, but very happy!

After the program, grandma worked the refreshments.

Melissa worked the grandma. She knew where to find good things.

I am so pleased with the decisions Matthew has made in his life. He has a strong sense of right and wrong and is just a good person. I look forward raising him and watching him grow into the wonderful young man that he will someday be...


Isaac's favorite word currently is MINE.

If he wants it, it is MINE!
If a sibling has something, it is MINE!
If he ever played with it at anytime, it is MINE!
If he sees something new, it is MINE!
If it is old and/or broken, eh, it's yours.

The "tumultuous" twos have hit. He can go from oh so cheerful and playful, to a flailing, full body tantrum in seconds flat. Ah yes, we've seen these tricks before! We're on to you kid.


Saturday, November 13, 2010

My Guy

A few nights ago Jonathan and I were watching a show that featured New York bagels. I made some offhand comment about how delicious they looked.

The next morning he and Isaac disappeared for about a half hour. When he returned he brought a bag of fat, East Coast style bagels. They were amazing!

Later that day he volunteered to take Isaac to lunch while I helped out with a funeral. While at lunch with Isaac, he decided to take my car into the shop to have the oil changed and front tires replaced.

I am utterly and completely twitter-patted.

Rachel *heart* Jonathan


(Matthew's pumpkin top, Uncle Brian's pumpkin lower left, Melissa's pumpkin lower right)

(Some of our Halloween decorations. Pink flamingos = tacky; skeletal flamingos = cool!)

This year with Halloween on Sunday we opted to celebrate early.

Friday night was the ward "trunk or treat." Before setting them loose to mooch candy we had big bowls of chili and cornbread. As Jonathan realized a few years ago, it's a tradition!

Matthew was off like a flash with one of his buddies, Jonah.
Melissa wanted to be a kitty this year.
Isaac was a pumpkin, naturally. Sans the hat. He did not like the hat.

I'm still kicking myself for not getting better photos. Next year.

It Is Great to Be 8!

Matthew turned 8 on October 9th. He had a slumber party the night before at Aunt Andrea's and Uncle Jeremy's house where he stayed up well past 10 PM watching Harry Potter. Eventually he decided that maybe just maybe he was tired and that it was time for bed...

The next day he went with his Aunt and Uncle to a huge scout jamboree.

He passed off some badges, saw "super cool" things, and came home one very excited boy.
We celebrated that night with a Batman cake. The yellow is lemon frosting and the batman logo is dark chocolate and oreo.

He received his first pocket knife from Grandma Ellis, a fine Buck knife. "Every boy should have one!" He was thrilled.
Grandma Linda gave him some books which he devoured in record time.

The highlight of the night was the robot kit from Uncle Jeremy and Aunt Andrea. He wanted to put it together that night but it was getting late. He and I assembled it the next day.

All and all he had a fantastic birthday.

The party continued the following week, and Jonathan wrote about it here.