Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Happy happy birthday, Snappy Sam!

I don't feel like I have a lot of words this year, but I'd be amiss not to share a few about you, Sammy, today as you turn eleven years old.

You've always been a pretty chill kid. I remember when you were just hours old, you laying beside me as we dozed together, resting up after a fairly easy labor and delivery (at least as far as labor and deliveries go)!  I woke to find you awake, content, just staring at me with your baby grey-blue eyes. Always adorable, you were and are as sweet as can be.

You're steady like your dad. I can always count on you for a joke at exactly the right time (or to be deeply amused at the humor around you), but you also regularly surprise me with your depth and heart. You trust big things to God in prayer -- much more faithfully than most.

You're a treasure. A gift from God. A balm to the aches and pains of this world.

We love you, Snapper. Keep snapping.

Happy, happy birthday.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Happy Easter!

Monday, April 6, 2020

Happy Birthday, Talia!

You're four years old today, our Tally Shark!!

I know this year is different. It's sweet, but it's hard, and I'm sure that someday we'll look back and talk about this time for all its distinctness.

But no matter how we look back on this time,

I want you to know that today, you are a sweet gift. Every day, you are a sweet gift. And we are so very thankful for you.

Your personality has really blossomed this year. You have this funny way of being oh-so-quiet (while smiling with every ounce of you) and then launching into full stories out of the blue.

You remind me regularly not only what your favorite color is, but what everyone else's is, as well.

You are already planning your wedding to your sweet friend, Micah.

You bring me oh so many flowers -- usually dandelions -- and you smile so sweetly when I tell you that you are my favorite flower.

You love to learn and to draw and to play the piano, and you love talking about your good friends and your aunts and your teacher.

You're a delight, our TallyGirl, and we love you bunches.

Happy, happy birthday, our Sweet Girl!

Thursday, March 26, 2020

You're Seven, JJ!!

Happy Birthday, Jeremiah!

It's been a good year for you, J.J., and I can certainly imagine your next year being just as good if not better.

You are a good, sweet kid. You love your mama and still make sure to give me my cuddles, but this year, you've also set your eyes on another sweet young lady, of whom you'll boldly say, "We're in love. We're gonna get married!" Of course, I applaud both your taste and confidence.

You have the best belly laugh. I was remembering earlier today your toddlerhood...we'd imitate fake laughs ("Hahaha, hohoho, heehee!") and lately, your boisterous laugh has had me cracking up and thinking back.

You're working hard on your reading skills and your math skills have skyrocketed this year. You also love piano lessons and Speech!

You and 'Lijah are great buddies, but you also are a sweet big brother to the little ones.

We're eager to see what yo

ur future holds, dear son, but in the meantime, we'll hold you close and cherish these days. You're a gift from God, and we are thankful!

Happy happy birthday, J.J.! We love you!!

Monday, January 20, 2020

Happy happy birthday, Butterfly!!

Selah, you're 12.

We tease you that you've been practicing being a teenager since you were eight... but really, you're a pretty sweet young lady!

You bring so much joy and laughter to our house. You're always up for adventure. You excel at friendship and baking and getting your schoolwork done.

I love that your favorite types of shoes have wheels, and you take great joy in all that sparkles and lights up our world.

I've seen you maturing and in doing so, you're sweet and thoughtful of those who are younger than you. You seek out wise counsel and have found good role models.

We pray that this year brings you a depth of joy and peace and love and kindness that exceeds all that has come before. We love you, Butterfly, and we thank God that He saw fit to put you in our lives!!

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

A Note from Eliana

Hi everyone! This is Eliana (y’know… the first one?) sneaking onto the family blog (with permission, of course) to make this post. =D 

So… I myself have been blogging since February, and I just redid my site and made it pretty, so I thought y’all might be interested in taking a look. It is at ElianaTheWriter.com now. You can find the welcome post here if you’d like a summary of the new stuff.

Let’s see, what else do you need to know? Oh, I post weekly on Saturday mornings, and I mostly write about faith and family. I also have an email list where I share fun “Household Happenings” as well as some freebies. 

If that sounds like something you’d like, please, go check it out! My hope is that it will bless your soul and encourage you in Christ. <3

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Happy Birthday, Keanna!

You're FIVE years old, Buttercup.

I can't tell you how thankful we are for you.

You're a bit of an old soul for a five-year-old. You started TK (transitional kindergarten) this year, and I love watching you in the co-op classes. You're confident but quiet, observing those around you and soaking in all the learning you can.

We love how you soak in the world around you, and we love how you fit into our family.

We love you, Keanna, and we thank God for His sweet gift in giving you to us!  We pray that your next year is wonderful and that you always know how very, very loved you are!

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Happy Belated Birthday, Danny!

So as this year’s tradition continues, I am more than two weeks late writing your blog post!

Regardless, I don’t want the next family birthday to arrive before we get the opportunity to wish you a very happy year via this blog post.

Danny, you’re a good kid. You’re sweet and thoughtful; you’re an early riser and you’re oh so good at remembering to make coffee for your tired parents on your designated coffee making days.

You regularly check in on others to see how they are doing, and I do believe you know more of the people who go to our church (and have had more significant conversations with them) than anyone else in the family.

You also still love video games. Nothing new there!

We hope your teen years treat you well, Danny, and we hope you know how very loved you are. Most of all, we pray that your peace and confidence will be found in the perfect and all-sufficient love of God.

We love you, Danny! Happy, happy 13th birthday!

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Happy Birthday, Wazowski!

Maybe this is just the year of the late birthday posts. Or maybe it has just taken me this long to finally admit to myself that you are actually FOURTEEN YEARS OLD. That is craziness, Kid. I'm pretty sure I never okayed that.

On one side, we know that you come by your stubbornness and smart-alekyness naturally. (And we both know which of your parents you are NOT allowed to attribute those attributes to!). Thirteen saw these skills alive and thriving.

But on the other side, this last year has also brought a sweet and responsible side of you that is nothing but admirable. We've seen you really step up in your academics and other responsibilities. It's really nice to not have to battle with you on those fronts.

Your guitar playing is now quite enjoyable to listen to.

And the fact that Squishy counts you as one of his very favorite people speaks volumes. I suspect the feelings are mutual.

Mikey, you may very well be the child my mama prayed that I'd have one day. But honestly, that just repeats that you are clearly a gift from God, even when our, uh, debates continue much longer than is humanly natural. You may drive me bonkers (I know, I know -- it's not a drive; it's a short putt. Much thanks to my dad for giving you great quotes to carry on), and I may regularly threaten to give you away, but dude... we love you. So very much.

We hope and pray that this year is remarkable for you,  that you delight in the delight of God, and that you know His irresistible love more and more each day.

Happy, happy birthday, Mikey!

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Happy Birthday, Eliana!

Soooo would it be absolutely shocking if we actually got your birthday post posted on your birthday?? Let's see if we can make that happen...

Fifteen years since that day you were born. Fifteen years. Just about here, all the phrases that all parents have said about the quick passage of time rush through my head. But I'm pretty sure I've said them all before, in previous years.

Sweet, beautiful girl... you have grown up so much this last year. I know you were writing a lot before this year, but at some point, you may look back at this past year and see that this has been a big transitional year for you. In a lot of ways you really blossomed from having writing as a hobby to being a writer. (And not necessarily just because you were published three times over this summer)! (Pssst...if you haven't checked it out yet, you can find Eliana's blog at elianathewriter.com).

You are quite possibly the most self-driven, self-disciplined, goal-oriented person I've ever met. There are many things that you accomplish that make me sit back in awe. There are times that I worry about you burning out, with all that you push yourself to do.

But I love that you purpose to embrace God's new mercies for you, each and every morning. Even as you have developed thinking far beyond your years, your spiritual growth has been even more evident. Your love for the Lord, and your love for others, your patience, kindness, and goodness... those traits shine through not only in your writing, but in your day-to-day actions and reactions.

We praise God for His kindness to you and through you.

We pray this next year blesses you, encourages you, brings you peace and joy that will last your lifetime and more.

We love you, Baby Girl. Happy, happy birthday.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

A Very Merry UnBirthday to you, Elijah!!

Hey Elijah-

At this point, I'm so late writing your "happy birthday" post that it's far too late to virtually wish you a happy birthday!

Sorry, kid... I'd write a list of excuses for my tardiness, but the idea of making excuses in your unbirthday post is amusing, to put it mildly. Because at 8-to-9 years old, your and my biggest battle right now is over your inherited uncanny ability to make excuses for any and all behaviors. I hope one day (many years from now, as I picture most of my kids finally digging though their birthday posts of years past) that you read these words and laugh and say, "Haha! That's so true! I used to make excuses ALL the time...I'm so glad I've conquered that tendency!" And I hope that I'm right there, identifying with you in the conquering, too.

'Lijah, 'lijah, 'lijah...we love you so much. You are a delight. You have so many words. And so much heart. And so much wisdom and steadfastness.

A few years ago, you were really troubled over not having picked a future wife. You talked about it, prayed about it, and sought counsel from your Sunday School teachers for months, before a beautiful, kind, smart, amazing young lady caught your attention and devotion. I remember you telling me about her, and her devotion to another young man... When I worried about your unrequited love, you encouraged me and said, "That's okay, Mom. I just plan on being a really good friend to her and if it doesn't work out for her to marry [that other sweet, wonderful young man] maybe she'll decide to marry me instead."

(You still do that -- I heard you yesterday, working hard to see the good in a hard situation. You were battling for the right attitude, and I love and respect that about you. So much.)

Back to your devotion. It didn't take long -- though it did take a few months, which felt like a really long time back then, I know -- for you to win the attention of your intended. Thus blossomed a precious, precious season of notes and declarations of love and affection, and even some photographic evidence of hand-holding between you and your love.

As your mama, and considering the mama of your intended is a good friend to me, I both absolutely loved seeing this side of you and feared the potential heartbreak should this relationship falter, for either or both of you, simultaneously.

The surprising reality is that years later, I still feel the same way. Because even though your relationship has weathered times of more or less communication, times of more eyelash fluttering from across the room and times of seeming disconnect and unawareness, your expressed heart and intentions remain the same. In fact, this year I heard rumor that you intend to begin saving for a ring!! ::swoon::

You amaze me, Elijah. And I don't know the future for you. I can't promise you that things will work out exactly how you hope. But I do know the One who made you to be the incredible, steadfast, deep young man you are.  Keep grabbing on to Jesus, our precious son. God loves you, and He alone can carry you through in a way that effectually matters for all eternity.

A very merry unbirthday to you, Elijah. We hope that this year is the best one yet, for you!

Monday, July 1, 2019

Happy happy (belated) birthday, TinTin!!

Baby, baby, baby...you're one year old!!

I was re-reading your birth announcement yesterday (of course, on your real birthday. You're one. You really don't care that we saved the cake for today instead) and of course, it all started coming back to me.

Auntie Charity always likes to remind me that we weren't really crushed during that season of loss after loss after loss that led up to your birth (2 Cor 4:8) but, if that wasn't crushed, I don't want to know what is. I praised God in that season because He is worthy of our praise, but not because I felt I had anything to bring to His throne of grace in worship. I knew that God draws near to the broken hearted, so I knew He was close to me. But it was a hard, dark, lonely place to be. 

Throughout that season, I regularly remembered the verse that got my mama through some of the darkest, scariest days of her life, "I would have despaired, unless I had believed, I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living." (Psalm 27:13)

A dear friend was blessed with her own sweet baby boy a couple of weeks before you were born. I remember often tearfully saying of both of you boys, "this, this is the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living."

Jonathan, you are a joy to our lives. We love all your antics, we love your joy and your smile and your emerging curly waves at the nape of your neck. We love how you wave your arms like a conductor while you sing and how you clap your chubby adorable hands whenever we say, "yay!!" We love your cuddles and good humor and how you bring out the sweetest, tenderest side of everyone around you...and especially your older siblings. 

We love you, Sweet Boy, and we thank God for you. May His face shine upon you all the days of your life.

Happy Birthday, Son!