|Last day of 6th, 4th, 2nd, and Kindergarten 2013|
- My eldest son, at twelve years old and going into seventh grade, will often stop in front of me mid-morning (arms stretched wide) and say, "I don't think I got a hug today!" No matter what pre-teen hormonal episode we might have been through already, how could I NOT hug that kid? Priceless, and I will surely return the sentiment when he stops initiating on his own.
A huggable kid for sure. My big kids have been helpful this summer.
- My #2 son, who particularly has a gift with younger children, will jump right in when I'm overwhelmed with baby sister's moments of panic, fear, or emotional outburst. He is quick to engage her and divert her attention from whatever she is consumed with at that crisis moment. Today I was with them at the library and I really didn't think I would make it out WITH books but WITHOUT a meltdown from her sudden, unexplainable panic. He jumped in by grabbing a book that she chose and said, "Come over here and Sauce-Sauce will read you this book." She willingly followed and my heart was warmed by his awareness and generosity to share our burden for her. I'm sure he will be using this gift his entire life for great purposes.
Sauce saving the day.
Always sharing and caring for her.
- My rockstar #3 son, at eight and one half years old is our resident peacemaker. He is me in male-form. His radar immediately picks up on pain or discord. He is a prayer warrior for any loved one in need. He also has his dad's knack for neatness. He regularly leads the charge and picks up slack in the cleaning and organizing department in this messy family of seven. Feel like snuggling? Need a hug and a kiss and a pep talk? This is your guy.
Creative, sweet and organized. The snuggler.
- Oh, this six year old. How can he be six???? I'm aching just from the memory of my LAST wonderful childbirth. He entered into our world wonderfully and has marked each day since with pure delight. His smiles just light up the room and his humor and "go with the flow" attitude is very much under-appreciated. How impressively he has taken on being a big brother to an "instant" two year old - never getting to experience the days of overlooking a baby sitting in a bouncy seat. "I love you more mom!" is one of his regular expressions and he won't believe me that it is really I who love him the very most.
Birthday boy on his sixth birthday. A smile that lights up a room.
- This girl..... at three and a half years old, has felt and wrestled with more than most of us do in our first decades. I am constantly impressed with her fire inside - although it causes her "fight, flight, or freeze" response to so many situations that we consider ordinary, she continues to learn and adapt, little by little. We adapt as well. How much more I now see into her soul when she makes "the face," indicating that she is not sure how this moment will play out in her life story. I have learned to draw her close, to teach and not reprimand, and to always lean on grace, because I did not witness her first 26 months of life, therefore, I must rebuild carefully. She cracks us up with her expressions, "owadare" (underwear), "I tumin' mom! (I am coming mom!), "I wike-a da fwim fwim" (I like to swim), and of course "Lellow tar! I on Mom's team!" (Yellow car! ...). She is a tough cookie with a big heart that is grafting into our family more each day - and we all adore her through thick and thin. She has changed our family for the better in a way that was impossible without her.
She loves to be close to mama. She excels at any sport she tries.
- My man... this man of mine. I could say so much but will only say that we have come through a season that was painful, difficult, and messy. He has purposefully risen above the mess, sorted out the details, and led us out to the other side with wisdom and gentleness. He always strives to be a better spouse, parent, and Christ follower and inspires me to do the same. I could not imagine this adventure without him. He is my rock and I'm grateful for him.