seven so soon

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My sweet, sweet boy.  In a house full of girls, it can be hard to be the one boy but he handles it so well.  Sometimes he needs some boy time for sure, but he plays well with his sisters.  It has been such a neat year watching him grow and develop and to see more of his personality shine through.  He has come a bit more out of his shell and often surprises me with his strength and bravery.  He loves to move, laugh, wiggle, and play and his energy is truly boundless.  All of my children are active and full of energy, but Noah’s boyishness shines through so often in his dire need for time to just run and jump and play wild outside.  On rainy days, he truly starts climbing walls and bouncing around like a ball.  He is such a delight to teach and flies through his school work, eager to learn and hungry always for more.  It is a true joy to watch, and I so desire to spur him on!  His hunger to learn has made him a voracious reader.  This year he really took off in his mountain biking, flipping on the trampoline, and in fishing.  He lost his first two bottom teeth this year too, and it has so changed his little appearance.  He treasures time alone with daddy and loves to help work in the garage, mow the lawn, and build things.  He loves music and began piano lessons this year, really enjoying learning and having time with his piano teacher.  He loves drawing and coloring.  Lately he’s really gotten into writing letters and he checks the mailbox daily to see if any of his pen-pals have sent him anything.  I see him growing spiritually, too, which blesses me endlessly.  I love to hear him laugh, it truly is the best.

Brandon built him a see-saw for his bike, as they’ve enjoyed some mountain biking together this past year and Noah really loves the sport, especially a see-saw feature at a local mountain biking area.  He actually had been helping Brandon build it over the last few weeks but didn’t know what it was.  It was so neat to see him be so surprised!  He played on it all day, in and out of the house either on the see-saw or riding his new roller blades around the house (I think I got a size too small so we will be exchanging them for a size up, so until then he is only wearing them inside).

We also gifted him his first real bible.  This is so special and he was pretty excited.  He has really excelled in reading this year and when we had family bible reading, it would be nice for him to have his own scripture to become familiar with.

I knit him a sweater of course, but this time he specified the design and the colors.  He really loves my sweaters and wears them constantly at home, which makes it always worthwhile to knit for him.  He had also asked this year for a doll, and Brandon and I felt a little uncertain about it and tried to persuade him otherwise.  But when I saw this waldorf-style doll called a “boy’s big friend” I felt like it would be a good choice for him.  I knit a little sweater for the doll (which he named James) with yarn leftover from Noah’s sweater.  Is it weird for him to have a doll?  I don’t know.  I think he just wants a little buddy to take care of and cart around, and he is a very nurturing boy.  But he also loves cars and trucks, biking and sword play like all boys.  I think it’s sweet that he wants a little someone to take care of and love.

He really developed a love for fishing this year, though we haven’t gotten to take him often.  I was inspired at the last moment to make his cake a little more fun and fancy by adding a few fishing details.  He really loved it.

Happy seventh birthday, my sweet treasured boy.  You are a delight and bring such joy to your parents!

her seventh

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Dear sweet phoebe girl

Seven years with you has both flown by and also seemed like a lifetime.  I can barely remember what our world was like without you in it.  You came and you brought so much light and joy to our home, you made us a family.  You were so small, wrinkly, and frail and we thought there was no way we should be entrusted to care for such a precious little bundle.

Year after year you have delighted and surprised us.  You have gone through so very much in this last year, probably one of your hardest years yet.  Watching you undergo your second and third endoscopy and colonoscopy, as well as doing the hardest elimination diet I’ve ever known for 3 full months–so tough that none of us even felt we could do it with you.  It was painful to watch, to walk through with you, the tears, the questions you would ask, hearing your sweet prayers asking God to heal your body.  And then finally, a glimmer of hope.  A clear endoscopy, but still elevated antibody levels in your blood.  By this year’s end, we finally got those numbers under control–so much work and so much “going without” for you, and I’m so proud of what you’ve had to endure.  It’s going to be a long road ahead for you, but you are the strongest, bravest, most positive little girl I know.  I think you’re going to do just fine.

In the process of all of that, we moved from our rental in with Grandpa and Rainey while we waited to find and then close on our house, then finally into our new home.  Lots of change and busyness, us trying to keep up with your schooling in the midst of it.  Summer came and we found out a new baby was on its way to us, and momma was pretty wiped out with sickness for the next few months.  Then, in the fall you began first grade!  You were so proud, telling everyone everywhere we went about it and how grown up you are now.

Its sort of ironic that you are the firstborn, and yet your birthday comes last in our string of holiday birthdays.  It’s so hard for you to wait until it’s finally your turn.  In the barely-there hints of morning light you came stumbling out of bed to see the house decorated for a day just for you, pink wrapping and homemade birthday banners strung up around all the christmas decorations.  We gave you the option to open all your gifts right away, knowing how hard it is for you to wait, but you wanted to do what Philippa and Noah did and open a few at breakfast and save the rest for later.  You opened the bonnet I knit for you, which you’ve been asking for for a long time.  It just fits, but maybe after a good blocking it’ll fit a bit better.  We also gave you a new dress for your Kaya doll (American girl doll) and some of her trading accessories for when she would go to trade her wares.  What fun it was last year to read through all the Kaya books with you, and we need to reread them!  You immediately had to dress her in her new things and you were so excited to have her with you all day long.

It was a rainy, gray day so we decided to go into town for a little walk.  It was the first time we’ve walked around in our little hometown and gone into all the shops that interest us.  It was really fun!  You pushed Kaya around everywhere and were so careful to keep her dry in the rain.  Later in the afternoon, you opened the rest of your gifts.  Your dresses and new pjs from grandparents.  We gave you your first real bible, now that you’re reading.  What a fun time your daddy and I had picking out just the right one for you at the bookstore.  I gave you the sweater I had knit for you, and you threw it on right away.  I love knitting for you because you enjoy it so.  I had also put together a little sewing kit for you–your own little scissors, needles, pack of floss, embroidery hoops and aida cloth.  You were so excited, as I thought you might be, and wanted to get started on it right away.

You wanted pizza for dinner and of course chocolate cake with strawberries.  What a sweet and joy-filled day, simple cozy and full.  It never feels adequate to sum up how we feel, but we love you so very much.  So very proud of you and excited to walk with you into this new year, wondering what it will hold.  How I treasure our morning snuggles, our tea and knitting time, reading together, cooking together.  Grow strong and true, my little girl.  Let go of what you can’t hold onto anyway.  Lean the full weight of who you are and your desires on your Savior.  He loves you more than we can imagine, He has a good plan, He is busy working it all out for your good and for His glory.  Run your race with joy, with hope, with faith, and keep those little eyes fixed on Him all the way.  We’re right here, cheering you on in every step.

Love you always and forever