Ethan’s 16th birthday



It was my son Ethan’s sixteenth birthday yesterday and the day dawned bright and cold, after little sleep for yours truly.  I awoke with a headache and a bewildered feeling, “what a wild night”.  Rich didn’t sleep well either, and after I got up I discovered that Jacob had also been up in the night.  He didn’t go to school yesterday because he was sick.

Wednesdays are a very busy day for us because I have my Bible Study, of which I am a core group leader (facilitator) for a room full of wonderful sisters in Christ.  The day is typically nonstop and yesterday was even busier because I had a birthday to prepare.

Funny things Seth and Sarah said as we were going Bible study:

Seth:  rambling on and on about his night.
Sarah (not to be outdone):  “I had a dream last night, TOO!”
Me:  “He wasn’t talking about a dream, he was talking about reality.”
Sarah (not to be outdone) “I HAD REALITY, TOO!”


And then, as we were going in the church:

Sarah: (cheerfully) “I have to go to the bathroooooom!”
ME:  groaning because I really have to get to opening prayer, “really?  okay, let’s go.”
Sarah (on potty):  nothing is happening
ME:  (impatient) “I don’t think you really need to go.”
Sarah:  (loudly) “I DO!”  (and then, whispers) “And YOU ARE GOING TO STAY WITH ME.” (big blue eyes leaning into mine)

Then, she called perfume, “my fume” which is the best way to say it, really.


I was at study from 9-1:30 and then we headed to Target.

I had to return a 29 dollar garbage can that I bought on Monday and brought home, only to discover that it was broken.  Then, I got a big gift bag and found a bunch of little things to give to Ethan for his birthday.  He ordered some fancy sneakers last week but they won’t be in until April and we all agreed that he needed something to open on his special day.  I got the ingredients for his requested dinner, too.

When I arrived back home I discovered that my sick boy had cleaned the living room, kitchen, and new addition spotlessly.  He even rearranged the kitchen things a little to make it all fresh and nice.  Oh I was so encouraged by that!



I found Jacob and the birthday boy in front of a nice fire that they made, playing computer games.  I hugged them and chatted with them and then set right to work making Ethan’s birthday pies.



I used purchased pie dough and filled each with a can of cherry pie filling, three apples, a sprinkling of sugar, a dusting of cinnamon, and a tablespoon of flour.  (They were not as high as Bob would make his pies.)



When the pies were baking, and the little brothers were home from school, Ethan was looking in the cupboards for a snack so I knew it was time for him to look in his birthday bag.



My vision was blocked by the excited siblings.  His bag contained a new nerf gun, 75 bullets, and a bunch of snack stuff (which he promptly opened).



Ethan’s pies





I made honey baked chicken for dinner.  I trimmed chicken breasts into smaller pieces and poured over the top: One cup of unsalted butter whisked together with one cup of honey, one cup of mustard, and 3 T of curry powder.



I was supposed to let it marinade for at least 4 hours but alas, I had no time to spare so I let it sit out (with foil on top) for about 1/2 an hour before I put it in the oven.

As it baked, I had to go to school to pick up Grace (the galloping music of life plays on).

Zachary and Michael came to help celebrate the evening with Ethan.



With the chicken, we had egg noodles, broccoli, and corn.



Rich entertained us all with his stories.

I think the part of the night that I want to remember the most is all the story telling.  Everyone talked and talked.  The family needed this night, a night to sit around the table and be together full of happiness because it was another birthday to celebrate.



In fact, I had to finally ask for silence, because after Jacob lit the candles the talking continued until I was afraid the pies would fill with melted wax.



He took a deep breath and blew out 16 candles at once.  We clapped and he smiled.

We all told our favorite stories of “E”.

Aunt Mildred called to wish him a Happy Birthday.

Rich and I served out the pie and ice cream on paper plates as the talking continued.



Grace had my camera and took some close ups.









And the birthday boy!


It came to pass, during our conversations, that the source of Jacob’s illness was revealed as pure gluttony.  He made himself sick by buying himself an energy drink and drinking it down with some Mountain Dew (while at youth group).  To make things worse, he then came home he made himself a bedtime snack of bacon and sausage, of which he ate a great deal more than he should have.  We all agreed that it was a good thing he threw it up.


This morning the sun is once again shining but it is only about 10 degrees.  Let us hope the temperature climbs up forty degrees today, but even if it doesn’t, God is in control, He is holy and pure, His ways are perfect, nothing surprises Him, and he has abundant love for His own.


“What a mercy, of more value than a thousand worlds, to walk in the fear of the Lord all the day long; to be enabled to live above the smiles or frowns of this world, and to find the love of Christ all-satisfying to our souls; to feel all creature-love swallowed up in Christ, and to know that he loves us better than we love ourselves.  Have felt these few days very comfortable, stayed upon the Lord; and today, sweet peace and joy, arising from a believing view of the ever-blessed gospel of the Son of God.  As soon as I take my eye from Jesus, and look for anything like comfort from this world, or look within for something to rest upon, I begin to be in trouble, and have again to run into the name of the Lord, which is a strong tower to my soul at all times.”  Mary Winslow’s diary, January 21, 1829



14 thoughts on “Ethan’s 16th birthday

  1. Another Happy Birthday to Ethan! Those pies look so yummy, and with cherry added you can’t pile them to the sky like Bob. I love the idea of the apple and cherry mixed. I was thinking how beautiful your new room looked, so nice of your “sick” boy to help out mama. Relived it wasn’t stomach flu, and maybe he will learn 🙂 Our youth leader always had so much “junk” for the boys, I felt like the mom when I told a few…”that’s enough!”
    Glad you continue to give us the Sarah and Seth stories. So cute. A night around the table sounds just right!

    • I’m always thankful for the moms who look out for my children when I am not there, I wish someone had stopped J from his antics. LOL Love you, Jenny!

  2. I love it all! Homemade pies? My kinda guy! Lol that was too funny about why he was sick. 😉 What a sweet birthday party with the people who matter most! Youre such a good mom. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Hi Shanda …I loved reading your blog today and every day …I always try out your recipes and this evening my Husband and I had the Honey Baked Chicken turned out really great ..obviously I scaled down the ingredients for two ….My Husband said it was extra yummy…have put it in my recipe folder to use over and over again …God Bless to you and all of your dear loved ones …regards Janet

    • I’m so glad you liked it, Janet. I had some for lunch the next day and it was even better after sitting in the honey mustard sauce all night. Blessings to you!

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