Turning Five With John Deere and Michaelangelo

Mr. David has been celebrating his birthday for three days now.  He turned five on Friday and we were able to have our little family party for him yesterday.  He has been such a delight.  He gets these looks where his moon eyes sparkle and disappear into a face-wide smile and those baby chipmunk cheeks...oh.  Sometimes we just want to eat him up.  I'm not sure we're allowed to anymore, though.  After all, he's five now.  You'd never know it from looking at him because he has yet to stretch out of the toddler body.

He chose eggplant parmesan and brussel sprouts for his birthday dinner.  Because clearly he is vying for favorite child status.

He has been wanting a "John Deere" birthday for months now.  Every single day for almost a year when Brian heads out the door to work he asks, "Papa, if you see a worker on your way to work, can you see if he can make me a tractor that I can ride?"  There aren't a plethora of children's tractor makers on the commute to the office so every day he's heard, "No, I didn't see any workers today, David."  But not once has he given up or let it frustrate him.  He just hopes for the next day.

So a John Deere birthday it was.

I was sort of proud of my sign even if it did curl a bit :)  Please ignore our sorely neglected timeline.

(The deets:  Three loaf pans of cake cut to shape, donuts, and I used spirulina powder with a few drops of India Tree's natural yellow food coloring and it came out the perfect shade of green.)
He was kinda thrilled with it...sorry for the bad cameraing.

I know.  You're in awe of my punny cleverness, aren't you?  

For birthdays in our family we usually just have grandparents and Godparents and their family over.  It works pretty well.

We were blessed with a beautiful day yesterday so we got to hang out on the porch the whole time.

A toy tractor!

And John Deere gloves from his Godfather, who thought that the gift idea I mentioned to my sister (you'll see below) as something he might like was just too weird for a five year old ;)  He slept with the gloves last night so I'm pretty sure he likes them.  And the hat, too...

This is the best.  John Paul and Michael went in on a little statue of Michaelangelo's David when we were in Rome.  (I got the vendor down to 5 Euro from 15!)  I love that John Paul knew it would be the perfect gift for him.  And I love that my quirky little five year old not only knew exactly what is was but was thrilled with it and plans to put it on his dresser.

Legos from Grandma out of town

The other gift from the Godparents.

This is how awesomely weird my kids are.  That's a portion of The Last Judgement by Michaelangelo.  Their absolute favorite painting.  Yes, the one where people are being cast into hell or pulled up into heaven.  That one.  David is very excited to hang this incredibly sobering picture right in his bedroom.  As my brother-in-law said to my sister, "That can't be the right one."  Yep.  Yep, it is.

And then for the gift from us and the grandparents...

Close your eyes...

"David, I finally found a worker..."

We bought the tractor on clearance after Christmas and have been holding onto it for months.  Brian put the cart together out of pallets.

Dreams made.

See?  Don't you want to eat him?

"I can do a lot of work for you with this, Mama."  
All right, then.  I'll be making my list ;)

Checking out the new goods...

I did have some games planned but the kids were happy just playing and the adults were enjoying visiting so they got scrapped.  Insert imaginary pictures of a wheelbarrow race and a hay forage here.

And Luke just hangin' out in a wheelbarrow.

Happy birthday, our sweet David!

I'm pretty sure you got a hint these past few days of how special you are to us and how much you are loved.  As we were praying before bed, you said you were thankful "for all the visitors we had and how nice they were to me."  (John Paul also prayed for the soul of John Deere.)  I hope you always know deep in your heart how loved you really are and always seek to share the joy and love He's placed in you with everyone you meet.  May you always strive to be a man after God's own heart.  You are a delight to us, little one, and we are so grateful for the person that you are.


  1. Wow!! So much cuteness and amazingness! Can you be in charge of planning and executing my kids' birthdays?? They'd think they died and went to heaven :) and no one would ever miss my traditional cake in a glass pyrex pan...
    Thanks for sharing all these great pix!

  2. Happy birthday David! Mary, this looks like such a great time! I love everything about it. The real tractor is awesome. And Im so glad you scrapped the games and went with the flow of the party!! You already had a real festivity!

  3. The cake is amazing! I love the little tractor. So very cute.

  4. Happy Birthday Sweet David! I love the gifts, cake and just how unique and special your boys are! He looks so much like Brian to me!

  5. What a darling little guy. I remember when my boys were five and wearing green, red and blue (not all at the same time) Lands end overalls, and shortalls. Oh, they ARE so cute you could eat them (now they are 24, 22 and 17 and I no longer ever have that desire, so cherish it!).

    That looked like a really great birthday with quite a bit of culture, considering the theme. ;-) Go John Deere, go David!

  6. What a sweet boy and what a sweet birthday!

  7. man, can i be your kid when its my birthday? its july 19th and the theme can be, "chocolate and a clean house; can the two coexist?" haha, i love how jp prayed for the soul of john deere! classic.

    1. Done. I'll provide the chocolate and make sure Mike gifts you a cleaning service in lieu of singing lessons - Happy birthday :)

  8. Oh my heart! Sooo beautiful!!! The birthday boy, the brother's love, the parent's love (that cake! -and all the decor, that tractor and trailer! the father's tender words), the love of family, and the love of God suffused throughout this post---so, so beautiful. Thanks for sharing and may God continue to bless you all richly.

  9. This is all incredibly precious. Happy Birthday David. Amazing cake Mom!

  10. how neat! you did so well!!! may God bless you and your beautiful children!!!

  11. Truly the perfect birthday celebration for our little man, David, who you seriously do just want to crunch & smunch & nibble those cute little cheeks. He is such a spunky, happy, outgoing boy who makes you smile. He is pure joy!
    I love what John Paul said about praying for John Deere's soul-that made me laugh out loud!
    They are all so precious! Great party Mary! You've done it again! God is so Good!

  12. Thanks for the pictures. I look forward to the day when I can drop in for the boys birthdays but until then will live vicariously through the pictures. Happy birthday David. Love and hugs and kisses from Grandma out of town.

  13. So thrilled he got a tractor!! Probably wants to sleep with it! lol:) Must have been soooo hard waiting to give it to him!

  14. ohmy, what an exciting day eh!! Happy Birthday David from Canada....eh! ;)

  15. So cute! I love their taste of art. Happy belated birthday!!

  16. This is so awesome! That tractor and cart are amazing and the cake is SO adorable! And he and my John Paul totally have the same taste in religious art and statues ;) Seems like a totally normal thing to me!

    1. Ha! I know. We need to get our boys together some day, right? My husband was like, "so we're having a fifth birthday theme of tractors and nude art. All right then."

  17. Oh my cuteness! Happy Birthday, David! What a sweet boy! Everything about the birthday was great!! Love the picture of The Last Judgement by Michaelangelo. My husband and I actually purchased a print in Italy on our honeymoon almost 9 years ago, and I had just recently framed it. It is in our living room....I often wonder what are guests think when they come over. It is a great reminder that that both heaven and hell are real.

    1. It is so sobering, isn't it? I can't believe the boys appreciate it so much! They really like all the "hidden" pictures in it to find.

  18. Oh my goodness, this is all amazing and just the cutest. Love that they connect with Michelangelo at such a young age! Totally saving that tractor cake idea for my little boy who LOVES watching any tractor-like machine at work. There was a red tractor up on the St. Peter's Square Mass platform 2 days before the canonization and he was so distraught that Mama wouldn't let him "help" Pope Francis "drive it." Ha!


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