Charlie is now a decade

Yes it’s true. Charlie is 10 years old and he is very happy about it. He had a “real” birthday party and everything. By real I mean he invited friends. With a family of about 85 (give or take a few) we usually just have family parties, but this is a big milestone.
So Charlie wanted his party at his favorite home away from home… the junior high room. There were many video games played and much candy and junk. Great fun was had by all.
Ten simply wonderful things about Charlie:
1. He can read like nobody’s business.
2. He chose to have funnel cakes instead of birthday cake.
3. He takes great care of his brothers and his sister.
4. He loves reading biographies.
5. He is a very talented musician.
6. He is not afraid to do his booty dance in front of his class at church. (slightly embarrassing for his mother)
7. He is very thoughtful.
8. He doesn’t mind wearing the same exact sweatshirt every day of every week.
9. He loves hanging out with his family.
10. He made up the saying “I don’t know about that and I don’t think about that”. (This is our favorite phrase and has been passed on to many)
Happy birthday to my firstborn!
Charlie's 10th birthday 010
…early on in the evening
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The “kids” really enjoyed rock band
(and by kids I mean Jen, Jillian, Andy, Jackie and Jason)
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Funnel cakes for all…

Andy’s Charlie’s completed project Here it is. The grand finale. Charlie did finish off this project. He cut out the parts and painted it. So there you go. Charlie's music program 011 Charlie's music program 012

Sisters, continued… So I have made a mistake. I left out a sister-in-law. I don’t have a picture of her with all the rest of us because this is a sister-in-law I inherited when I got married.  This is someone that I don’t see as often as my other sisters, someone who I may not have as long of a history with. This is someone who I really only met a handful of times before I married her brother. But this is an amazing woman, and I do mean amazing. This is Sarah.  I love Sarah. She is the kind of person who always knows just what to say. She talks to anyone, and I do mean anyone, as if they have been her friend for years. She does this because she genuinely cares about people. This was exemplified by all of the people who came to her wedding. I was amazed as I watched people that Sarah had known since middle school show up for her wedding in a little town in South Dakota. People traveled all over for Sarah. She has this affect on most everyone she meets. I mean this is the woman who made sure her brother and I had french press coffee every morning in Eagle Butte, South Dakota. I will never forget her boldly walking into the gas station, french press in hand, to fill ‘er up, since we had no boiling water in our motel. And even though she drinks it black, she had half and half on ice and sugar for this spoiled coffee drinker. This is love. I always look forward to spending time with her. She makes me laugh and she loves her nephews and niece so much. She has so many wonderful things about her and as I write this I am so happy I get to see her in just a few days. Sarah's wedding 093

Andy’s turn… So Andy has been working on a little project of his own. Well, Charlie’s project, I should say. Yes, this is Andy’s “house fly”. It was Charlie’s turn to come home with a project and as soon as Charlie began explaining what was required, I knew. This had Andy’s name written all over it. Magnetism and Electricity Project This required two things that, for me, (and I use Charlie’s quote from when he was 3 yrs old) “I don’t know about that and I don’t think about that”. Maybe I was still recovering from my house fly experience, but I had no interest in a motor, battery, wood and wires. No thanks. But I could see Andy’s eyes light up like a Christmas tree when he came home from a trip to the store with Charlie and all their necessary equipment. So on that Saturday that was supposed to be reserved for yard work, the assembly began. As I was out pulling weeds and listening to the sweet hum of whatever that tool is that shaves, carves, sands, etc. I was so happy for my extremely handy husband. I look over my shoulder and see Charlie out riding his bike. “Why aren’t you helping Daddy with your project, Charlie?” “Oh, he doesn’t need my help with this part. He’s got it. He said I could help later.” Oh how I laughed and I laughed. I know this all too well. All of my feelings of making the best house fly EVER came back to me. I just sat and smiled as Andy showed me his handiwork of how he had carved the wood out just so to fit the battery. “Come on. Look how nice that is. You have to admit it’s pretty amazing.” The project is not in its completion just yet. I will be sure to put up a picture as I know it will blow all of your minds…   Charlie's 10th birthday 001 Andy eagerly pulls out the supplies. Where’s Charlie? Probably on his bike…enjoying his Saturday.   Charlie's 10th birthday 002

Sisters…sisters…there were never such devoted sisters… Oh how true this is. I love my sisters. I actually grew up only having one sister (ten years younger than me), but I now have several variations of sisters, but all sisters none-the-less. I have been thinking about them more often as of late. Maybe that’s because some are not nearly as close as I would prefer them to be. Friends are important and I care deeply for them, but there is nothing quite like a sister. One who you call to ask for some fashion advice. One who is the only one who can bear the task of shopping with you and give you an honest opinion…even brutally honest. One you can call hysterical and upset over the loss of a little life within. One to be there to watch the birth of your children. One to share your best recipes with. One who knows just how to take care of your kids when you aren’t around. One who sees what kind of person you really are.  One you can laugh so hard with that you almost pee your pants. These are the women who mean so much to me. These are the women I respect, love, cherish, would do anything for, and absolutely love every moment I get to spend with them. These are Jillian, Brynn, Jackie, Whitney and Natalie. P1030204 Jen, Whitney, Brynn, Jillian, Jackie, Natalie (2009)

“Coleman’s” insect projectColeman has been researching the house fly for his insect report for school. He is learning fascinating facts such as the fly vomiting out food and then sucking it back up through his “sucker”. So the assignment reads like this in a note from the teacher:These insect reports will require a 3D model of the specific insect using any materials of their choice. This may include clay, paper or any household items like egg cartons or pipe cleaners. It is up to the student’s imagination.Somehow I must have read “it is up to the parent’s imagination…or more specifically, Jen’s imagination”. And so it began. My ideas of what a house fly should be. Of course I tried to get Coleman involved…Andy too and they did contribute. But when it came down to it, I had something specific in mind and I really needed to let my creativity show. I just knew that Coleman would have the most creative model…EVER! And in an instant I became that annoying parent that takes over and tells their child how it should be done. I am not proud of it. Now it’s not that Coleman wasn’t willing to help. The poor guy tried, but things just weren’t working out the way I had dreamed up in my mind. Coleman came home and said that kids were starting to turn in their models. Some were made of clay, some egg cartons and some of gummy bears. Really? Gummy bears? Oh please. The Hirschman’s are much more capable than smashing together some gummy bears. So now it is finished. And I am a little sad that it hardly looks like what I had originally imagined. Oh the dreams I had for that little house fly. And as I made Coleman sit there with me to “help” on his project he looked at me and said, “it looks more like a spider”. Ouch, that hurt a little. I must learn my lesson from this. No more. I really should have just coughed up a few bucks at the craft store for some clay and let Coleman have at it. He is, after all, the artist. I’m sure my parents are wondering where all this creative determination was when I was in 2nd grade, and the rest of my school years. I’m a late bloomer…what can I say.whatevers 004 For the record, Coleman did shape the legs and wings and glue on the eyes and wings.

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