We are now the proud parents of a preteen. I guess I always knew this would happen, but it didn’t really hit me until the night after the party and before the actual birthday. Our oldest son, known here as Brother, is officially a preteen. He turned 11 years old. How did this happen? I think to myself. Of course I know how, but I still wonder… where did the years go? Are they still out there floating around in a mysterious ether of sweet, innocent childhoods? Or have they vanished like an egg under a cup in a magicians trick only to reappear scrambled in a pan for tomorrow’s breakfast?

Brother’s best friend, his mom, and her boyfriend (remember them from our Labor Day camping trip?) joined us on Sunday to celebrate this birthday milestone. Family Man set up some fun games for the boys in the yard. Balloon darts (like at the county fair) on the fence, bobbing for apples, and ball toss. So much fun!

Brother, friend, and Young Son playing balloon darts on the fence in the backyard

Brother and friend bobbing for apples in the big metal washtub outside

all the boys playing ball toss in the front yard

We also played a fabulous, horrible, hilarious Jelly Belly game called Bean Boozled. This was a gift sent by my sister. Thanks Sis! Some of the jelly beans are the regular tasty flavors, but identical ones are also awful flavors like skunk spray, baby wipes, dirty socks, barf, and moldy cheese. You spin a wheel and pick out the color and hope you get a good one and not a bad one. It was a riot to watch everyone.

Brother, friend, and Young Son playing jelly bean game bean boozled

Brother and Young son playing bean boozled

friend's mom tasting a bad jelly bean

We rounded out the party with cupcakes and ice cream, in traditional birthday fashion. The next day was Monday, Brother’s actual birthday, and he went to school, did homework, had soccer practice, all those good wholesome fifth grader activities. We had gifts and more cupcakes and ice cream that evening, too. Next stop, Young Son’s birthday which is happening in just a couple of days. But before that, I will share with y’all a picture from the morning before school photos. We had a quick impromptu photo shoot at home before they went to school in their dressy shirts. You can check back for that tomorrow. Until then, I hope you are all enjoying yet another beautiful day in paradise…