tall tales

from the gallagher five.

silas, our young man. March 8, 2017

Filed under: Silas — gallyfam @ 8:03 am
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our oldest son, Silas, turned 14 this past January! it always seems to take me longer to post photos and share about our oldest son than the younger two… probably because it’s a bit harder to hang onto Silas long enough to snap a few photos. when he’s not in school, he is most often out galavanting around the neighborhood or around town with his buddies. and, after 14 years of having his photo taken by Mom, at this point, he is only reluctantly putting up with the tradition because he is about as sweet and good-natured as a teenager can be (knock on wood). so, here we are in March, already past Tate’s birthday too, and i’m finally able to post photos and tell you a little about our Silas, the 14-year-old.

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Silas. what a good kid. i mean man. or, young man, let’s say. as always, Silas is a good student. he is smart and uses his time wisely and has never had any issues in school. he is an academic natural — enough so, that we had a conversation in the past half-year about what a valedictorian is and told Silas that for him, it’s an attainable goal. IF he wants to pursue his academics hard-core — he is entering high school next fall. Si is such a social guy, and our community is SO very athletics-driven (while Phil & i aren’t so much), that my guess is that he’ll stick with sports. we do love that he is active and enjoys the camaraderie that team sports provide. and we’d both hate for him to feed his [inherited] perfectionist nature by becoming ultra-competitive with grades, so i don’t see either of us pushing too hard for a top GPA. but, it had to be said. there could be more to life as a teenager than sports. Silas played football again this past fall and loved being on the 8th grade team. i am grateful that he made it through 3 years of football without any major injuries. this spring, he is replacing track with lacrosse, and my guess is that he’ll love it. it will be fun to watch him discover a new sport and to play with so many of his friends.

one of my favorite things about Silas is his creativity. this past year, he and his friends made a few videos of themselves doing fun contests, edited the footage and posted the videos on youtube. they are pretty entertaining — Si’s sense of humor comes shining through the finished products. they also spend a lot of time downtown coming up with creative things to do — creating games to play involving the gondola, “hammocking” under bridges and in the woods, riding the free bus around the county, and hanging out at two different “loaf & jug” gas stations. i’m thankful that he has remained close friends with the other 8th grade guys in the neighborhood and that they’ve added new friends to their group as well. Silas is also creative at home — over the week that the boys had off of school in February, Silas decided to turn one of his favorite games on his phone, “Clash Royale,” into a board game. he and his youngest brother, Tate, spent many hours designing, drawing and coloring an intricate game board and Silas created individual cards for each of the characters in the game.

like every other 14-year-old, Silas has his “teenage” moments. he says all sorts of new words that he has determined are cool to say — “sick” and “woke” are good; “roasted” and “riiiiip” (as in R.I.P.) are bad. all three boys seem to make noise constantly. just try sitting down with our family to play a game of any sort and you’ll see what i mean. at first i thought it was really just Lincoln who couldn’t sit still and Tate who was constantly making noise. now i realize they get it from Silas! he’ll say a phrase or make a certain noise over and over and over until one of us says, “okay, Silas.” and then a few moments later, he’s on to the next repetitive sound. it’s enough to drive any parent insane.  : ) Silas also tells more and more jokes these days. let’s just give him credit by saying some of them are funny…

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Silas has been sharing a bedroom with his brothers ever since Lincoln was a baby — ten years ago. he has been such a good sport about it and such a great big brother. he has asked over the years if we think he will ever get to have his own room. he’s never begged or pleaded and very rarely complains about having to share. so, now that he’ll be going into high school, we have decided to re-arrange our small home to make it work for Silas to have his own room. in our minds, he has most certainly earned his own space — and we’re so excited for him! with this privilege (and growing up in general), will come more responsibility — like setting his own alarm (i usually wake him up in an attempt to let his brothers, whose school begins much later in the morning, sleep in longer), doing his own laundry, more chores around the house, etc.

while there is so much more to say about our firstborn, i’ll just finish by saying: Silas, you are our pride and joy! thank you for being AWESOME. we cannot wait to see all that this next year of your life has in store for you!

 

our teenage Silas. March 5, 2016

Filed under: Silas,Uncategorized — gallyfam @ 4:44 pm
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well, once again, i realize that it’s been ridiculously long since i’ve posted.  also, it’s taken me way too long since silas’ actual birthday to take (& therefore post) these pictures.  we celebrated tate’s 7th birthday yesterday, which was the final kick-in-the-pants.  enough is enough.  here are my black & white portraits of silas, and some of si & his brothers, too.  instead of writing a post about the teenager himself, i thought i’d share the letter that i wrote to him for his big “NOT Mitzvah” celebration.  we gathered over 20 letters to silas, from friends and family near and far.  it was a special night of celebrating the wonderful young man that silas is and giving him good advice for becoming a man in our world.  so, without further ado…

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dear Silas,

happy 13th birthday, my son, my Si-Boy!  as we celebrate YOU tonight, Silas, i am filled with emotion…  it is bittersweet to say good-bye to your childhood while we anticipate all of the exciting adventures awaiting you in adulthood.  the first 13 years of your life have truly flown by and i cherish all of the special memories we have made and moments we have had together.  in my mind, you have had an exceptional childhood — not because of anything Dad or I have done, but because YOU have always been one amazing boy.  tonight YOU get all of the credit for the smart, thoughtful, kind, loyal, funny, and compassionate young man that you have become.  when i think of you, Silas, my heart bursts with pride.  i am SO very proud of you.

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tonight marks your rite of passage as you enter manhood.  i must say, i cannot wait to watch you and walk alongside of you in this journey, this new chapter of your story.  whether it’s navigating high school, girlfriends, driving, facial hair, first jobs, college or sports, i know that you will do a spectacular job, and we will always be here to cheer you on.  we will be here to give hugs, high fives, advice, prayers and help when you need it.  my hopes for you as you enter your teenage years are these:

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**like your parents, you are a perfectionist. i hope that you will work hard, but that you’ll also let yourself off the hook every now & then and call it quits at “good enough.”

**i hope that you will continue to have the confidence to always be your true self — the unique individual that God has designed you to be.

**i hope that you will have the courage to make wise choices, regardless of what others choose to do.  where you lead, i believe others will follow.

my prayer for you tonight is the same prayer that i have prayed for you and your brothers at countless bedtimes over the years — that you would become everything that God dreams for you to be.  and also this, that you would have the eyes to see and the ears to hear God’s presence in your life and his voice speaking to you.  He will help you write a one-of-a-kind story with your life!

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i love you, my teenage son.  you will always be in my heart and I will always be here for you.

love ALWAYS.

mom

 

 

TWELVE. February 20, 2015

Filed under: Silas — gallyfam @ 4:33 pm
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our oldest son, silas, reached the ripe old age of 12 last month.  pretty incredible.  even now as i sit here to blog about our si-boy, our trail-blazer, several “firsts” for him (& for our family) come to mind.  just in the past handful of weeks, silas has been trekking across uncharted territory — the exclusive privilege for the first-born child (and the only child, i suppose!).

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back in january, silas invited a handful of new (and a couple old, faithful) middle school friends to join him for a paintball birthday adventure.  we took 7 friends with our family down to a new paintball facility in Denver.  i think all of the 6th graders were both excited and fairly apprehensive, as none of them had ever actually played before.  they all came dressed in layers, hoping to minimize the pain & welts that are infamously attached to paintball legends.  i daresay, they were NOT disappointed!  they discovered, it DOES hurt, but they bravely withstood the pain and walked out proudly, hours later, with the welts battle wounds to prove their courage.

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the paintball crew.  silas is in the black hoody, 3rd from the left.

a couple weeks ago, we had some dear friends over for dinner.  not long after they arrived, silas, who had been tubing near the neighborhood with a friend, came in crying hysterically.  it was a distinct cry that screamed (literally) of intense pain; a cry we don’t often hear from silas.  we rushed him to the ER, after our friends graciously offered to stay home with lincoln & tate.  the x-rays confirmed that silas had indeed broken his collar bone… silas’ 1st broken bone.  he has been instructed to refrain from physical activity for 5 weeks to let the bone heal.  we are grateful that he doesn’t need surgery or even physical therapy.  but it is heartbreaking to watch your children suffer, isn’t it?  the first broken bone is one rite of passage that comes upon us without warning or a countdown.  i’m glad to say we’re on the other side of it, and silas is healing nicely, although it is killing him to have to sit out of PE!

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his final “first” is happening TONIGHT.  silas is participating in his first “LOCK-IN” — a privilege extended to middle school SCY students.  our new hire for SCY (the non-profit youth organization that phil & i have run together for the past 13 years), rachelle, and a great group of adult volunteers are willingly giving up an entire night of sleep to hang out and play with the students, ALL night long.  no sleep required.  these adults are saints for torturing themselves like this — and i’m so grateful that silas is on the receiving end of such amazing selflessness this year.  i hope he has a blast with his friends and makes memories to last for years to come.  it’s a little bittersweet that his first lock-in experience is our first year NOT going as well, but i know we planned it that way on purpose.  it is truly a gift to have other adults come alongside and care for and take an interest in our children.  i believe that we can do MANY things as parents, but i will embrace anyone who chooses to spend time with my sons, affirming their worth & value and building their confidence, especially as adolescents.

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so, silas.  who is he as a 12-year-old?  he is much the same as he has been all through his younger childhood years.  he is a smart and silly boy, who likes to both play with and pick on his younger brothers.  he has a big heart, but he isn’t much for sappiness or expressing the sentiments that he clearly feels on the inside.  he still is, and has been for years, my only son who doesn’t like to say, “i love you” at bedtime — or anytime.  we’re okay with that.  it’s just a thing, and we know he loves us all deeply.  he is a thinker and a listener — always listening.  he likes to be in the know.  he is more extrovert than introvert and is a fiercely loyal friend.  he has been playing percussion in school, which is fun since phil is an excellent drummer. he is also excited to start track in march and plans to run the “Bolder Boulder” once again over memorial day weekend, much to my delight.  he straddles the worlds of “boy” and “young man” well — playing pokemon cards with his brothers and laser tag with his friends.  he is responsible and has a good head on his shoulders — a wonderful babysitter in training.

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one of the things that we have enjoyed doing as a family lately has been watching the Cosby Show.  growing up in a family of girls, i have to admit that i spent much more time noticing how cute rudy was, being annoyed by vanessa, and idolizing denise, probably like every other girl in America.  watching these shows with our boys now, especially having started from the beginning of season 1, it is intriguing and entertaining to watch THEO.  i’m drawn to watching cliff & claire as they parent their only son, and our boys think that theo is hilarious!  i am privileged to be a boy-mom, and i hope and pray that we fulfill our role as parents to silas (and lincoln & tate) with as much grace, humor and wisdom as the huxtables, fictitious though they may be…

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happy 12th birthday, silas phillip.  we couldn’t be more proud of you, and we love you like crazy.  we pray, like always, that everyday you grow more and more into the young man that God created you and dreams for you to be.  love, mom.

 

 

 

come & gone. October 13, 2014

Filed under: Lincoln,Silas,Tate — gallyfam @ 3:16 pm
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some of these things have come & gone…  i had hoped to blog about them closer to when they actually happened, but then life took over…  here are some photos anyway.  enjoy!  more to come… (i say that every time, don’t i?!)

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silas has already completed his 1st quarter of 6th grade at the middle school. here he was with dad on his first day!

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silas & mom on day #1.

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catching the bus to the middle school on the first day… at 7:03am. yikes!

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here is lincoln and a few friends (typical lincoln — he has LOTS of friends at school!) on his first day of 2nd grade!

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tate’s 1st day of kindergarten… which he absolutely LOVES!

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and yes, fall sports are already officially over… here is a typical sight on the field during one of tate’s early-season games. tate is on the right. got to love 4 & 5 year old soccer! (phil bravely stepped up to coach.)

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and lincoln, the experienced 2nd grade soccer star. he had a great season, improved a lot, and he also got to have dad as his coach!  three cheers for a great fall of soccer & football!

 

re-arranging… September 15, 2014

Filed under: Lincoln,Silas,Tate — gallyfam @ 6:36 am
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i used to LOVE re-arranging (and re-organizing, now that i think of it…) my bedroom when i was younger.  for whatever reason, it gave me such a KICK to make things feel fresh & new.  if you know me, you know that hasn’t changed — hurrah for something that has NOT changed!  ha ha!

anyway, this summer, we made quite a few changes in our home.  lots of the changes were just some re-arranging, with some fresh paint thrown in there.  others were some major projects that i can’t take any credit for, except for the dreaming/scheming of what i wanted the end product to look like.  phil’s dad made my visions come to fruition.

we promised the boys a move to the [slightly] larger bedroom upstairs this summer.  granted, they are all three still sharing a bedroom, and probably will be for quite some time.  BUT, it’s a new and larger space, and we all really like the outcome.  here are some before & afters — their “old” bedroom and their “new” bedroom, in what used to be the guestroom/playroom…

BEFORE: bunkbed in the old green-striped room.

BEFORE: Bunkbed in the old green-striped room.

BEFORE: Silas' bed in the old room.

BEFORE: Silas’ bed in the old room.

BEFORE: Dressers.

BEFORE: Dressers.

AFTER: Chevron accent wall I painted in the old guestroom/soon-to-be boys' bedroom.

AFTER: Chevron accent wall I painted in the old guestroom/soon-to-be boys’ bedroom.

AFTER: Tate's bed in the far corner.

AFTER: Tate’s bed in the far corner.  Silas’ bed is just inside the room, to the right.

AFTER: Silas' bed & door to the room.  Phil's dad made these semi-loft beds for the boys from scratch.

AFTER: Silas’ bed & door to the room. Phil’s dad made these semi-loft beds for the boys from scratch.

AFTER: Lincoln's bed, on the opposite wall from Tate's.  We did away with dressers & opted for these drawers that fit under each of their beds instead.

AFTER: Lincoln’s bed, on the opposite wall from Tate’s. We did away with dressers & opted for these drawers that fit under each of their beds instead.

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AFTER Part 2: New bedding on Silas’ bed and some more re-arranging…

AFTER Part 2:  After Tate fell off his bed and bit through his lip (yeah...), we pushed his & Lincoln's beds together.

AFTER Part 2: After Tate fell off his bed and bit through his lip (yeah…), we pushed his & Lincoln’s beds together.  Lincoln’s new orange bedding, too.

AFTER Part 2: Looking in from the door... Added a chair for a reading corner, where Tate's bed used to be!

AFTER Part 2: Looking in from the door… Added a chair for a reading corner, where Tate’s bed used to be!

 

athletics. September 11, 2014

Filed under: Silas — gallyfam @ 5:43 am
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our oldest son, silas, has changed his fall sport of choice from soccer to football…  this is him (#3) at his first football game on tuesday.  he plays on a 6th & 7th grade school team, as one of the wide receivers.  yes, he is one of the shortest guys on the team, but that doesn’t seem to get him down.  he has LOVED it since Day 1 of football camp at the beginning of august.  the verdict is still out on how mom & dad feel.  we’ll let you know at the end of the season…

 

a new era. August 23, 2014

Filed under: Lincoln,Silas,Tate — gallyfam @ 9:12 am
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this is tate’s first kindergarten assignment that he brought home.  i love his little name that he wrote out at the top.  and, i love his drawing, too — his prediction, of course, is 100% BOY, just like tate.  this piece of paper marks the beginning of a new era for us — all three of our boys are officially in school.  it is a strange sensation to be sure.  one that i haven’t grown accustomed to in the slightest — granted, they’ve only all been in school for two days so far…

i post this photo in an effort to jumpstart my blogging.  i’d really like to post more regularly now that the boys are all in school, while we navigate the first months of this new life stage for us Gallaghers.  so, i hope to be back real soon.  in the meantime, here’s a first-day-of-school photo for you to enjoy!  thanks for reading.  : )

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lincoln (2nd grade), tate (Kindergarten), silas (6th grade)