Throwback Thursday: Twelve years of friendship

We send Ethan home today after being my third son for a short week. I wasn’t present at his birth because while Ethan was making his arrival in Chattanooga Chuck and I were in North Carolina waiting on Jeremy. The boys are five hours apart. It was the sort of supernatural gift only God could orchestrate for two best friends.

Jeremy and Ethan collage

In 2007:

jeremy and ethan in 2007

In 2014:

Jeremy and Ethan in 2014

They’re quite a pair. No matter how much time passes they seem to pick right up and forget they live in different cities. My hope is that this friendship goes on infinitely, that it matures and sticks. Eventually our parental efforts will wane and it will be up to them to carry it on. Until then, we’ll continue these visits as little deposits into their future.

Yesterday we went to the Sunsphere and a local playground. The weather was completely perfect.

Knoxville Sunsphere

From atop the sunsphere

The water they can't play in

I love how Jackson smiles with his eyes. 

Jack smiles with his eyes

Thanks for coming to visit Ethan! You always have a place here.

Jeremy and Ethan Knoxville 2015

Jeremy and Ethan at the playground

Jeremy and Ethan play 2015

Fall Break Guest No. 1

This is a week of house guests, starting with Ethan for four days. Love this boy so much! He and Jeremy have been friends since birth because Karin and I made sure of it. 

Today I took the boys bouldering.

Big cliff

Bouldering

Squeeze

The older boys in black and white

The view of Maryville

Major loved it, but he tuckered out after an hour and found a spot to rest. He could watch all of us from this point, which is an endearing quality he has. He’s noticeably happier when everyone is together.

Major goes bouldering

Group shot bouldering

Other than bouldering, the boys have played outside most of the time and binged on Minecraft at night. Ethan calls me his second mom, which is the best compliment ever. He’s already asked to stay an extra night. 

Friday at the Little River

It’s Ethan’s last day with us, and the only thing he actually asked to do during this mini-trip is go to the river. So we did.

God saw fit to give us perfect weather today for an afternoon of throwing rocks.

This is my favorite picture of the day (click on the photo for a larger version):

Ethan’s Turn

Tuesday night was our last evening with Alex, so they boys played to exhaustion. Chuck even took all three of them on in a wrestling match. (They never stood a chance.)

We met Corey and her mom for lunch in Chattanooga on Wednesday afternoon and then said our goodbyes. Thanks for coming, Alex!

On our way back we swung by Ethan’s house and brought him home with us. Within minutes they were savoring the hot sun and playing with the water hose.

I just adore this child. His happiness is contagious.

This morning we went straight to the park since the weather was nice so the boys could ride bikes. Jackson doesn’t ride a bike yet, but that didn’t keep him from running alongside the big boys.

Of course, they had to play in the creek and get muddy. Oh well! As you can see, Karin, your sweet boy is doing just fine.