Kanyon doesn't usually have an opinion about things like presents or birthday parties. He has plenty of opinions about other things like car seats, where he sits, which car he rides in, and who sits beside him, but as far as having an idea or a vision about some big event, he just goes with the flow. I'll admit I was running really low on birthday party motivation this year. Once we got to Paris I decided I'd ask Kan what he wanted. Much to the surprise of NO ONE, Kanyon said, "Peter Pan, John, and Wendy!" I was happy he had an opinion and knew he would get pretty excited about his Peter Pan party. His birthday was in a couple of days so we didn't do much planning really, but somewhere in the discussions, we realized we could probably come up with "costumes" for the whole cousin crew. With most things in the Spencer family we go "all out" in a very thrown together, white trash, ragged sort of way. So that's exactly what we did. Misfit, incomplete, and such, we managed to get the whole cast of Peter Pan! Thanks to lots of leftovers Halloween costumes and a thrown together crocodile head we did just fine! The costumes were also a fun way to go from normal cousin time at Paw Paw and Gay Gay's to PARTY TIME!
Left to right:
Jaylie June as Nana the dog (the suit was made for a one year old. Ha! and we used a coffee filter for her hat.), Roselyn as Wendy (she wore this dress for halloween like 4 years ago, so it was a little short, but it was without a doubt the highlight of Kanyon's day. He still talks about Ro being Wendy!), Nolan as Captain Hook. We called a truce for all Neverland enemies for the party. Avery as Mr. Smee, Ellie as Tinkerbell, Quinn as Peter Pan, Marion as a mermaid from Mermaid Lagoon, Mallory as Tigerlilly, Kanyon as John (of course), Baby Colbie as Michael (complete with teddy bear), and Landry as Tick Tock Croc ( I would've never thought to include that character but she had the idea and it was great!).
Wendy and Nana.
If birthdays are for favorite things, we had to include the Mule in Kanyon's birthday so we did a treasure hunt on the Mule. They have certain places around mom and dad's house that they've named so most of the clues led them to those "famous" spots on their Mule trail. Those spots include, Muddy Pig Water, The Christmas Tree, The Pokey Forest, and other stops along the way! Here they are loaded up and ready for the first clue.
I still can't get over the fact that these kids can READ!??! When did they turn to adults?
Paw Paw and Peter Pan followed on the 4 wheeler.
We hung a happy birthday sign by the clue on "The Christmas Tree".
The final clue led them to the treasure on the front porch.
But before they could open presents, they had one more game to play. Uncle Clay is telling them that Peter Pan's shadow has escaped again and they have to find it and catch it.
Uncle Clint dressed up (In true scrappy Spencer fashion) as Peter Pan's shadow and ran around until they caught him. Only a few kids were scared of him and I almost died laughing watching him running around. As you can see in the picture, he wore panty hose over his face and the other leg of the panty hose was just dangling around like an elephants trunk. Ha!
Here's the shadow up close. Hahah!!!
And a shadow action shot! haha! We. were. dying.
They managed to catch the shadow and return him to Peter Pan.
2 children weren't brave enough to have their picture made with the shadow without Paw Paw. Fair enough. It was a little freaky. (notice Peter Pan and his shadow are back together posing)
No shortage of help for the present opener.
The kids drew the BEST Peter Pan cards!
Ready for supper. The map on the table was a map of their Mule treasure hunt.
Call me crazy, but after 8 years, I'm sort of losing motivation for cool cakes for a kid that hates cake. When I saw this idea for Peter Pan cakes I ran with it. Character inspired cupcakes. Captain Hook, Peter Pan, Wendy, and Tinkerbell. By far my easiest birthday treats ever! Yay!
Chalk another birthday cake success up for Mom!
Kan wanted his birthday candles in a "Wendy cupcake" but made sure I knew that he didn't want to eat it!
Here's the sweet little birthday boy with his 8 candles!
Now THIS is the treat he wanted for his birthday! CHIPS!!!!
These 2 little rug rats enjoying their cupcakes. At least the tops of them.
We ended the night with some of the Peter Pan movie. It was the perfect day for Kanyon Luke. He is still talking about it. All the cousins were so sweet to dress up as whatever Kanyon wanted them to be and do things his way that night. It was absolutely one of his best days ever!
All good things must come to an end. Everyone was leaving (just for the night...we'd see them all day the next day! ha!) and tears were falling. Ro came over to try to make him feel better. Sweet Ro Ro. He still randomly tells people "I'm 8 and Ro Ro BE WENDYYYYYYY!!!!!"
By the time I'm writing this, Kanyon's birthday has come and gone, but thinking about another year with him always gives me LOTS of feelings. 8 years in and I'm still learning and messing up and figuring it out and guessing at the next thing to do. But 8 years in I have a hilarious, fun loving, hard working, party animal, go getter, that makes my world go 'round. In some ways each year gets harder and harder, but watching him grow and mature is a thrill. I worry way less about the future than I used to. Somewhere along the way I think I learned it doesn't even matter. We'll do what we'll do no matter what. We are thankful for a God who provides us with every thing we need day to day and even minute to minute.
Kanyon is sooooo close to walking with his forearm crutch and even takes a few steps across the room with no assistance. He loves swimming and can hold his breath forever. He gets to do swim therapy twice a week and it is so good for him. He still totally owns the rocking chair in our house, loves to ride in other peoples' cars, and asks Kory every day, "Dad, do you need a partner to work?" hint hint. Ha! Any mention of sneezing, skunks, or hiccups will get a belly laugh from Kan every time. He talks way too loud and gets pretty bossy when he asserts his role of biggest brother. He had a great school year with the greatest aide ever. A girl in his class named Carmen was his biggest buddy and the sweetest little friend in the world. Every kid in town knows him, but he recognizes (much less knows names) of very few. He knows all his letters, counted to 60 something at the end of the school year, knows a few sounds, and still does lots of drawing. His favorite questions are "what does (name a color) and (name another color) make?" and "What does (name a number) + (name another number) make?" He asks more questions in a day than I could possibly count. We work pretty hard with sensory input, but he is still an emotional wreck a lot of the time (you can imagine what this does to me. ha!). He loves to bounce on the trampoline and can bounce on his bottom amazingly high. He likes for me to "tell a story in my mouth" which means tell him a story instead of reading a book. He is my easiest kid to feed. If you've known us his whole life you know the irony of that statement. He eats lots of vegetables but is pickier about his fruit. He will eat almost anything if he can dip it in something. Anything really. I've seen some pretty gross combinations. His favorite drink is "apple juiced mixed up with orange juice mixed up with water". He loves to build with any sort of blocks and has a very active (and loud) imagination. He is still a thrill seeker, but seems to be developing some natural and healthy fear. Thank goodness! He loves anything fast, bouncy, wild, and unexpected. He still talks about skiing and is looking forward to skiing again this year. He is signed up for Tball with his brother so we'll see how that goes. He's pumped to be playing. As you can guess, he refuses to be left out of anything. He is quite impossible to reason with/motivate/threaten, so that makes things pretty hard on everyone. He and Quinn are the biggest buddies and get along amazingly well. Thanks in large part to Kanyon's willingness to cooperate with pretty much whatever Quinn says. We have named Kanyon the King of the Marble Run in our house because the marble run he got for Christmas from my parents is played with every single day multiple times a day. His laugh should be bottled and sold because it has got to be one of the best sounds in the whole world.
I just can't believe how proud I am of him and how much we love him. I don't think I ever knew something that was so hard and so draining could simultaneously be the best thing in the world. This child has and is refining me every single day. He changes the way our family has to function, and sometimes that is easier than others, but we are proud of who we are. I said it on Instagram, and I'll say it again here. Kanyon Luke is everything good in the world. He is so worth it. So worth everything it takes to be his mom. Happy Birthday to our Kan Man!!