Paintball, Snow, Football, & Food: Israel turns 14

Israel's Birthday was today, but he had his party last weekend.

Having a birthday in the third week of November is just pretty bad timing if you want to hang out with your friends to celebrate. Really often his birthday is on Thanksgiving (or the big shopping day after like this year) or the last days of hunting season. It's usually weekend everyone is likely to be spending with their families. So, the weekend before works a little better.

We did paintball last year for his birthday and apparently it was a pretty good birthday activity because he wanted to do it again this year. (And then again today when one of his friends was back in town visiting.)

Exploding paintballs, wool socks and handwarmers to keep the CO2 tanks warm and a fire to keep the people warm. . . all  aspects of winter paintball. 
Dev getting Zoran all ready to go.
taking cover. . . avoiding the other team

warming up around the fire: Israel, Tyler, Beedo, Gage & Zoran
Azia was a bit more interested in target practice than combat at this point.

Zoran jumped right in with the big guys. (And he has a big welt/ bruise from one of the shots that got him to prove it!)

Paintball boys:

After the morning paint ball, everyone headed back to our house to watch the UM win the Cat-Griz football game.

We had food and cake and ice cream waiting for us back at the house.

(and I must get a double-my-current -sized crockpot if I want to feed groups of teenage boys in the fall/ winter!)

Aodhan was ready to help blow out the candles.

Him and Israel are birthday buddies. Their birthdays are 2 days (and 12 years) apart.

Israel got a new phone for his birthday. It is a little ridiculous that my teenager has a smart phone, but it's the only "toy" he's actually been excited about for years. (He didn't ask for one--having one wasn't even a possibility he considered. He was just pretty happy about it after we surprised him with it.) He loves researching things he might want and working toward getting them, but when he does, he quickly forgets about them. He's never really been big about possessions. But, this phone has a camera and an ipod (the things he does use all the time) and he has been using the facetime all week to talk with one of his best friends who moved away last year.  Also, if anyone else wanted to help me out as much as he does everyday, I would gladly pay for any iphone for them instead. He's sort of my handyman, babysitter, housekeeper, errand-runner and I need to be able to get ahold of him!

His phone also has his birthday movie loaded on it. This was the only real request Israel had for his party. He wanted to be sure I'd make him a movie of his year:

He chose his own music. Country songs about drinking and girls shaking it? Not probably what I would've chosen.  And last month, Lex chose Ozzy Osborne and ACDC for his. I don't know what this says about my children, but I'm pretty sure Dev is the musical influence behind those choices.

After watching the game the boys had a grand plan to build an igloo. Then they were going to sleep in it.  Unfortunately we only had about 3-4 inches of snow. That's not really enough if they wanted to build something big enough for them all to fit in so they began moving it from all other parts of the yard.

Pretty soon it got dark and they gave up (not sure which of those two happened first) and then they spent much of the night running around in the dark. Maybe they were sledding.

It was a pretty good day, though. I was out watching the fights later that night at saw Israel had updated his facebook status from his new phone: "Just had an ausome birthday."

(We'll focus on the birthday fun for the day and start working on spelling next week.)

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