I love waking up at Katie and Nick's house and getting to play with the boys right away. Redford is already up with Kate and I get to go in and get Lincoln out of his crib. He's definitely sleepy for a little bit but still so precious. It didn't take him long to find the Red Flyer big wheels bike that I gave him for his birthday.
The dashboard makes noises and lights up-- it's his favorite part of the bike.
We took it outside to try it out on the sidewalk and he pushed it forward and back. Linc figured out he could put his water bottle on the back of the bike as he pushed along.
We explored all over the yard as we waited for the whole family to arrive for the birthday party.
Ever since my family went to Alaska for cousin Kevin's wedding Lincoln has been obsessed with bears. Every time he gets in the car he points out the window looking for bears. Mom and Dad borrowed this giant carved bear from their neighbor for decoration at the birthday party.
Did you know Lincoln carries his juice with him everywhere? All day long he always has a bottle of 1/2 apple juice and 1/2 water in his hand. Mom and Redford came out to play with us too.
We climbed up into Lincoln's new fort and he had fun pushing me down the slide.
He's a little Explorer-- driving the steering wheel, looking out the windows and yelling hi to people in the yard.
He found the baseball gloves to go play with Mom. He'll do anything with her all day long. They're just the very best friends.
The birthday party was a huge picnic for the whole extended family and a few friends from church. This year's special hot dogs were the Grizzly Dog (mac and cheese, bacon and bbq sauce) and the Polar Dog (cream cheese and caramelized onions). Nick is always coming up with interesting food concoctions. I made a combination of the two and it was delicious.
After eating most of his hot dog chunks Linc resorted to just scooping up the ketchup and sucking it off of his fingers. He thinks it's delicious.
Then we all just played more in the yard-- riding the bike, trying out Uncle Nate's bow and arrow, playing Nick's home run derby game to get a snack prize. There are twelve grand-kids and they were all running all over the place, well the ones that can run.
We all sang Happy Birthday to Lincoln and he got to blow out the 2 candle before we all grabbed dessert.
There were cupcakes with bears on top, brownies shaped like bears and ice-cream.
Love this little man and so thankful for him and all the joy he brings to this family.
We love the Dekoster family, now complete with little Redford.
Lincoln and Red are lucky to have all four of their grandparents living so close by.
The trick to get Lincoln to smile in pictures lately is to ask him what he wants for his birthday. He grins and shouts, "MONEY!" Grandma pulled through and gave Linc a bag of change today. They put every coin right into the piggy bank, he was unconcerned that it's not his piggy bank.
Lincoln's birthday weekend also always lines up with Hope College Pull, one of the coolest and most intense traditions. Nick was a puller and pull coach while at Hope and we always go back to watch the event.
The Pull is a giant tug-of-war across the Black River. Even Year (red and white) is on one side and Odd Year (maroon and gold) is on the other. Both teams have twenty pullers in pits that are holding onto and pulling the rope for three hours.
The Pull is insane. Pictures don't do it justice and it's something you've really go to see in person.
So many alumni come back for the event and I got to see a handful of friends. Mostly I played with Linc as we walked around the Even Year side and threw sticks into the River. Everyone loved his 34 Pull shirt (the Pull team he'll be on one day if he goes to Hope). I asked him if he could put his arms down so I could take his picture and he got very stoic.
Lincoln takes the Pull very seriously.
The Dekosters are quite the Pull family. Redford had on a 36 Pull onsie too.
The five of us met Mom and Dad for dinner at the Brewery, our favorite spot in Holland. Nick and I got texts during dinner that Even Year was victorious this year and Nick was elated. We had a low key night back at the farm house reading books to Linc before bed and then watching Master Chef Juniors (so impressive and entertaining). Between Linc's bday, cheering at the Pull and spending so much time with family it was a really awesome day.