And now I have to live with a teenager

For  his fabulous birthday dinner Israel had a 99 cent TV dinner. (He picked this out and was very excited about it. He got a Thanksgiving feast later in the day so I don't feel real  bad.) His dad reserved the whole day on our family calendar to mark his day.

Israel is now officially 13. His birthday stretched on for more than a week this year, so I feel a little less guilty about him not ever getting to have much of a real party. Having a birthday right around Thanksgiving (or right on it this year) always makes it difficult because everyone is busy with family or hunting or both. A few years ago we found date that worked and he had a bunch of people over for a huge sledding party at the Dam and chili at home after, but since then, there hasn't even been snow on his birthday. This year we decided to go a whole week before and do some paintball. And then we did have snow, so we had paintball in the snow.
Some of the guys getting equipment ready at home before heading up to Michael's to meet everyone.
Heading out to the cedar forest. It was pretty wintery. I was afraid it was going to be a little painful since we realized it was so cold the paintballs weren't even breaking at first, just bouncing off the trees & rocks and whatever everyone was shooting when we were getting all the equipment ready to go. Everyone seemed to survive.
Daij, Israel, Peter, & Peter Ryan. I never did get a photo of everyone together.

Israel & Daij: I think they definitely look related in this photo! (Maybe it's just because they are dressed exactly alike.)
They are probably all shooting the trees right beside out camp. That seemed to be their favorite target--maybe because they didn't move. Every time they'd come to reload they'd shoot off about half of the new ammo making sure their guns were working and ready to go. That's what they said anyway. I think they just liked shooting the trees.
After the paintball we headed back into town to watch the Griz-Bobcat football game on TV.  It was freezing Saturday. Subzero temperatures half the time and the wind chill on top of that (which was the worst part). I was actually glad we didn't go to the game once I discovered how cold the afternoon was going to be. I actually didn't get to watch much of the game, because on top of the chilly wind we had slippery roads. I think the ambulance went out 4 times during the game. Luckily none of the wrecks were serious, but the nurses said they turned off their scanner at 3pm because there had already been 13 dispatches because of the roads and they just couldn't keep up. It was a good afternoon to stay warm inside by the fire.

But if course these were teenage boys so they ignored that "inside" part. Israel got a new zippo lighter from Michael for his birthday and had to try it out. This photo was from one of the times I went to go try to convince them to come inside. I didn't even notice till I downloaded the photos that Peter didn't even have real pants on! (Probably because I had a hoodie and a hat and the hood of my coat bundling me up.) They thought their fire was big enough to keep them warm. I thought they were crazy.

Israel got a new hunting game for the PS3 from Dan. The kids fought over who got to play it as soon as they got home from school all week. For the mid-day section of the party I just made cupcakes instead of a cake. They were much tastier than the box cake. (Pumpkin filled with pumpkin mousse and butterflinger.) I should start baking more things from scratch. I don't even like cake most of the time but I've been finding all sorts of cupcakes I like recently. (Which I could make into whole cakes if I ever got around to it.)
Later in the evening a bunch more people came over to watch the UFC fights. (Photo by Lex...interesting angle by a very short person. I guess I should've let him take a few more before I took the camera away. I didn't take any that evening.)

Zoran and Azia taking a break to read some Thanksgiving books. 

Since the two of them have the same birthday, we were going to do a cake for Israel and Peter Ryan that night, but Peter Ryan got sick that afternoon and didn't even make it back for the fights.

Since I realized we never got around to the generic birthday stuff at any of Israel's whole day of celebration and activities, he got a birthday dinner just with family on Monday night. When I told him it would be just our family he said,  "So that just means you and Dad and Azia and Zoran and Lex and Yaya and Papa? And maybe Daij and Gage?" My kids don't seem to have real typical  understanding of "immediate" family.
We didn't ever even get around to decorating his cake. Oh well it's working just fine to hold up hiscandles and that's about all we needed it for.
Israel got his birthday dinner requests fufilled. Steak and potatoes and corn with Yaya and Papa in attendance. After we ate and had cake and ice cream we watched his birthday video:

And then we had almost a full 24 hours before celebrating the next birthday (Aodhan).

Israel got to spend his actual birthday Thursday hanging out and entertaining his little brothers, baking peanut butter cookies (his contribution to the Thanksgiving meal) and endlessly counting down how much time was left before it was time to head over to Yaya and Papa's for dinner.

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