Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Happy Birthday, Danny!

You're eight! And living life to the fullest!

Danny, you're a sweet, cool kid. You love life and people. You're happy and kind and confident. You love talking on the phone to anyone who will answer. You love electronics and learning and playing games. You love singing and music and anything that has anything to do with "How to Train Your Dragon." You hoped that we would name your youngest sibling "Hiccup."

You don't love soccer. But you are enthusiastic about encouraging your siblings on in their endeavors!

You are sweet and affectionate and your eyes light up as you share your excitement with the world. You're kind to strangers and you make friends easily.

You're adventurous and fearless, always up for trying new things. You easily express gratitude and appreciation.

And we love you. God knew what He was doing when He placed you in our family, and we are genuinely thankful that He gave you to us. We hope and pray that as you grow in wisdom and maturity, you will find your peace and confidence in His goodness and His love for you.

Just remember: we're on your side. Happy, happy 8th birthday, sweet Danny!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Happy 9th Birthday, Mikey!


*Yes, this one is late, too, but hopefully we're back on track now!*

You're such a fun kid, Mikey. You're out there. You're bold. You're confident. You can talk more than the rest of your family put together, and in the extreme scenario that no one is listening, talking to yourself is not out of the question.

You're rough and tumble. You're  spontaneous and sometimes impetuous. You're constantly thinking and constantly doing and sometimes that creates and sometimes that... well.... destroys. But you're growing and learning and maturing and every day, we can see more and more of the man that you are becoming. And that is good and exciting!

You are kind. You are thoughtful. You are affectionate. You are sweet to your mother, and that means a lot, Mikey. That means a lot. 

You have great dimples. Great dimples. Seriously -- when you're excited, your eyes light up, your dimples pop in, and you brighten the room. It's both endearing and terrifying. But that's a conversation for another day.

We love hearing your thoughts. We love that you share your heart with us. We love knowing how you process deep, deep realities. We love how you feed knowledge with TRUTH and you love mercy and grace and forgiveness. 

We love you, Mikey, and we're proud of you. We're so thankful that God gave us to you -- in His perfect timing and His perfect design (even if you hold some records in the process! ;)) and we are so blessed, so privileged, so humbled and honored to be your parents. We may mess this up on a regular basis -- both the training and the growing and the teaching and the learning -- but we are in this process together and we have a very good and loving God guiding our course. Look to Him, remind us when we falter, and we'll remind you when you falter and we'll get there, sweet son, we'll get there.

Happy, happy birthday, dear Mikey! We love you! 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

You're Ten!!

*Another belated post. Sorry, Folks!*

Dearest Eliana,

I looked at Daddy recently and said about you, "She's growing up. We're going to have to figure out very soon what drug is needed to stop that." But then I had to admit, "But actually, I really like how she's growing up... so far, her growing up has been really neat to watch!"

It's true. We really like who you are, Sweet Girl. And who you are is just getting lovelier and lovelier all the time.

Now you're ten -- a whole decade old. "More than halfway grown up," you told me. And though we know that there will be stumbles and falls along the way (this is part of being a person, you know!), we are thankful for the young lady that you are becoming. You are responsible and kind, thoughtful and generous. You light up and glow when talking about any of the number of things that delight you (art, nature, animals, your friends, your youngest siblings...). You speak confidently about your faith in God and His goodness and you have much peace in His forgiveness.

You are sweet, and you are mischievous and the twinkling in your eyes as you harass your dad brings joy to us all... even your dad.

Remember that we're on your side. We love you and we're here for you, as we figure out this whole "growing up" thing together. You'll mess up, we'll mess up... but there is much grace and much love in the process. We want the very best for you, and we are confident in the One who loves you so much more and better than we ever could... we eagerly push you toward Him as we continue to push toward Him ourselves, knowing that what He desires for us IS the VERY BEST!

So happy, happy birthday, loved daughter. We hope you have a year as beautiful as you are, and we hope at the end of it, you know even more the depth of love you have at your disposal!