Monday, December 21, 2015

Friday, November 27, 2015

Monday, November 2, 2015

Happy Birthday, Keanna!

It's hard to believe that it's already been one year since you were first placed in our arms, we first kissed your cheeks, snuggled you close, and ran our fingers through your hair. It's hard to believe that it's been a year since you made your appearance and stole so many hearts.

I watched you, today, as your eyes lit on Daddy and you wiggled with everything within you, your already huge smile completely dwarfing the rest of your face, squealing and arching your body in his direction, anticipating him gathering you into his arms. I watched his eyes twinkle in response and a smile take over his countenance as he cooed a greeting at you.

We see that joy when you call "Elw-ya-ya-ya" (Eliana) and "IiKkkkk" (Mikey) when you want to play. We see that delight when Jeremiah comes in to give you a hug and a kiss and you pet his hair, grabbing on as you hug and kiss him in return.

We see the tenderness that blooms when our rough-and-tumble boys fall head over

heels for their baby sister and want to tell the world just how adorable you are. We see the care that each of your big sisters loves to dote on you. We see how sweetly you love extended family and friends and how much they treasure you in return.

And we thank God that He chose to gift all of us with YOU. You are a joy and a delight, a go-getter and a sweetheart, and in your short time with us, you've brought life and love and hope during some sad and dreary days.

We love you and can't wait to see God's good plan for you as you grow... but no rush, Sweet Girl. Take your time. We're enjoying each day with you.

Happy, happy birthday, Buttercup! We love you!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Happy Birthday, Danny!!

One of these days, we're going to realize that our little kids are getting bigger. I can't believe that you, Danny, our THIRD child, are nine years old today. That's halfway to all grown up (at least going by current and locationally determined societal standards)!

You're sweet and smart and witty and fun. You never lack energy, which is not too surprising considering that you were never a laid-back child; it was full-speed ahead during my pregnancy with you and you weren't much of a sleeper as a baby. You've always been go, go, go!

But you do love people and love to stop and relate to those around you.

You're getting super good at piano this year and you have finally convinced us to get you some new wheels. We can't wait to see what this next year has for you!

Our greatest desire for this next year is that it sees us all loving God and through Him, loving others better than we do now. That's our prayer for you, too, sweet Danny. Love Him, first. Everything else comes out of that.

We love you, Danny, and we thank God for you!! He knew what He was doing when He gave you to our family. Have a very happy birthday!!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Ten years!!

Ten years ago today, you made your unique, full-speed-ahead entrance into our world, and you haven't slowed down since!

There are so many things that we could reminiscence about regarding that special morning, and the ten years since, but I'm pretty sure that we've already talked about all of that many times before.

Because if there is anything that you are exceptionally good at out of your many, many talents, it is talking. We all know that you practice THAT enough!

We do very much enjoy pondering life with you, and hearing how you think about and process the world around you. Grandpa was just talking tonight about some good career options for you -- politicians, ministers, and salesmen all talk a lot!

You're also very good at math and music and mischief... but I think the aspect of your personality that I've really started to notice more recently is this: You're a fixer. Like your dad. You see a problem (or, uh, a non-problem that you perceive as a problem) and your mind just won't let it go until you have a solution for the problem. This is a good thing. Our world needs more problem solvers, and with your giftings, and your dimples, you'll be a good one!

We love you, Mikey. We are so thankful that God gave us you -- a sweet promise of hope on the anniversary of a broken day. We hope and pray that as you grow in wisdom and stature, that you will put your confidence not in the gifts that have been given you, but in the Giver of those gifts. He loves you and has given the greatest Gift - His Son - as the perfect ransom for your life.

Happy, happy birthday, Mikey! Have an awesome year!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Eliana is Eleven!!

Well, Eliana, despite our best efforts to keep you little, you're eleven years old now and growing up fast. You and I often talk about how Daddy and I are really practicing on you. By now, we've got a routine about how to deal with babies, potty-training, and four-year-olds. We kind of know the drill on kids starting school... but having a child on the verge of adolescence? That's as new for us as it is for you to be at this stage!

But I've found myself saying to friends and family this past year: "The prospect of my kids growing up scares me. But when I look at how Eliana is actually growing up, I'm just blessed and thankful by the reality." It's true. You are a blessing to Daddy and me, and we are so thankful to see the beautiful, kind, thoughtful, patient, joyful and thankful young lady you are growing up to be. 

Of course, you have your moments when this world drives you a bit crazy, but most often you choose to respond with grace and gratitude. You are such an example for me! When I'm getting impatient and irritable, you quietly, humbly comment on good, lovely things to ponder. You're patient and forgiving of both me and the little ones... in fact, it's such a delight to see you play with and care for your younger siblings, with such sweetness and joy in your eyes.

We don't know what this next year will bring, but we are excited for you. More than anything, we love seeing your faith in God blossom as your own, and the sweet fruit that comes from it. He loves you so much. He is good and faithful and generous and forgiving. Remember those truths and continue to think on these things. We love you, and we're so, so thankful for you, our beautiful Eliana!!

Happy, happy birthday, Sweet Girl!!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Elijah is Five!!

Dear Elijah,

We want you to know how important you are to us and how thankful we are for you!

You're five now, and you're really budding into quite a little man. You've come a long way from the two-year-old that was springing out white hairs on your mama's head, left and right!

You're a smart young man and you'll officially be starting school this year. You and Sammy are still best of buds and you love anything Luigi, as Sammy has Mario well covered. You are hovering between wanting to grow up and wanting to stay in Never-Never Land a while longer. I can definitely understand.

We love you. We've seen you grow so much this year, more and more often choosing obedience over defiance, while still embracing challenge and adventure.

You've also grown in tenderness and compassion this year, often choosing time to just cuddle and chat with your mama over the countless other things you could be doing at any given time. The twinkle in your eye never fails to warm our hearts.

We love you and hope and pray for good things for you this coming year!!

Happy, happy birthday, Elijah!!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Sammy is SIX!!!

Oh, Sammy! You're six! And you, my little love, are amazing.

This past year has seen you growing from one of the little kids into one of the BIG kids. It's been a bumpy transition at times, but you've done it with such sweetness that I could just about burst thinking about you!

I joke that you are a one-woman man, as you are happy to tell just about ANYONE how beautiful your mom is, how much you are kind of in love with her, and how much you love to give her kisses. Seriously, kid. You melt my heart! You're also very good at telling your older sisters (and poor aunts) that you ONLY love hugs, kisses, and dances with your mom. Though this year, you have also decided that it's nice to share some of your love with your baby sister. I don't mind sharing.

You're compassionate and thoughtful. I stayed home the other day to rest while your daddy took you and the rest of the kids to see Mrs. Zook's iris garden, and as you were admiring the beauty, you contemplated that you wished that I was there to smell the flowers. Such a sweet guy, you're constantly thinking of others and what they would enjoy. I see this kindness in you as you think about your little brothers and sister. I can only imagine what a gem you will be as you grow into a man!

As kind and generous as you are, you are also rough and tumble! Your favorite games include swords and lightsabers and battles of all kinds, always fighting the bad guys! You still love Star Wars but Mario, Luigi, and Sonic the Hedgehog have also won your devotion over this past year.

We love you, Sammy. We thank God for you and we delight in the person that God is making you to be! We pray that your sweet tenderness to love the Lord with all your heart continues to grow and flourish as He shows you His unfailing love and mercy.

Happy, happy birthday!!!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Happy Birthday, Jeremiah!!

Well, it's been a while, but we officially have a two-year-old in the house again. You don't talk much (vowel sounds donated to certain people, things and "hi" and "hug" being a large extent of your repertoire), but you're sweet and happy, cooing over your baby sister and flashing your dimples at a moment's notice.

I do have to keep my eye on you as you love to empty drawers and cabinets, but you also love sweeping, dusting, and putting away clean clothes, so I really can't complain much.

Well, other than the whole "I only say 'Mama' when I'm sick and miserable and otherwise, I'll talk about 'Daddy' just to tease you" thing! I can complain about that all I want. But I understand. You're not the first kid to play that game!

You're a gift, sweet JJ, and we are very thankful for you. You add bonus joy to our hearts and home. God was kind to give you to us, and we won't forget that easily.

We love you. Have a wonderful year, sweet son. Happy, happy birthday!!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Happy Birthday, Selah!

You're seven! It's amazing how time flies.. and how I think I probably start all my birthday posts with this contemplation. I can't believe how quickly you're growing, sweet girl.

We're so thankful for you, Selah. You are joyful and exuberant and competent and girly! =) You love all things pink and flowery and pink. You love to dance and to dress up and to talk and to play with your friends. 

You love to dream about your future ... and it's sweet to see you working with Eliana to make beautiful artistic creations. 

You can be so kind and considerate, and you always take the time to coo at your baby sister or play with your youngest brother. You seem to really like your daddy, too.

You are a gift from God and we look forward to seeing what His good plans are for you. We pray that you'll know His love more and more each day. 

Happy, happy birthday, Sweet Selah! We love you!