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!!