Archive for August, 2015


Our annual letters remembering who these guys are today:

August 3, 2015

Dear James,

Today, you turn 6! You are such a sweet and handsome boy and we cannot believe you’re truly a big kid now. Just the other day you discovered you were 47 pounds and 46 inches and you said, “I’m almost a square!” We love your sense of humor and your super smart way of looking at life.

You express some self-doubt about how much you are loved and how smart you are, which makes us sad for you. You are incredibly tender and sensitive, which often makes you so sweet, but this can also make you sad when you see the world in a slightly different way than we do. You can be quite concerned (you ask a lot of questions about cancer) and cautious (fearful of drowning or getting hurt on your bike). You are not a risk-taker or a daredevil. You’d rather stay safe and sound, especially in the arms of mom. You have not outgrown—and hopefully never will outgrow—your need for a tight hug and a reassuring word.

Your thoughtfulness plays out a lot in our home life. Though you’re more apt to “stir things up” (as mom says 85 times a day) with your brothers, you and Ellie have a fairly amicable relationship. You cooperate with her and tolerate her lead and you two have a special bond. You were very upset when she left for camp.

Even when you doubt yourself, we see great signs of what a smart boy and quick learner you are. One example is in your faith. You have an amazing understanding of the Bible and how theological concepts all weave together. Your comments and insights often get us thinking in ways we never have. You have even said you want to be a minister when you “grow up.”

You tend to get easily bored and tire quickly of activities. You seem to be uncertain as to your true preferences in activities. However, your love for sports remains constant. You thrived in both soccer and baseball and you have an incredible ability to quickly learn and apply the feedback of your coaches. I think they enjoy having you on the team and you are also great at encouraging your teammates. You chose Sportsmanship for your word this year and you embody this well on the field. You were very disappointed when you learned that we didn’t sign you up for basketball last winter. We won’t make that mistake again!

You are looking forward to starting piano and playing soccer this fall. We are eager to see what this year holds for you. Stay sweet, keep on hugging, and never doubt our love for you.

~Mom and Dad


August 3, 2015

Dear Jack,

We wish you a very special 6th Birthday! Just last week you lost your first tooth, so there is no denying you are growing and changing. You continue to have a voracious appetite and prefer a diet of limited variety (mostly carbs and dairy!). You are small and quick, and absolutely cute!

You are a lot like mom. You are rule-oriented (and are especially concerned with getting arrested), easily frustrated, hate to be late, you want to get things done and will not stop until they are completed, you are NOT patient, and you have good manners.

Though you are only older by a minute or two, you take on the role of the “big brother. “ At the same time, you are trying to figure out how to make friends and play without picking on people or annoying them. The word you chose to work on this year is Helpful, as you are trying to figure out how to be aware of the needs of other people. You are really great at helping mom and have learned to ask, “How can I help you?”

We bought everyone a watch this past year, and while your brothers have lost interest in theirs, you have kept a close “watch” on yours. You keep us on schedule and you like to live by a timetable. In fact, spiritually, you have decided the time (8 years-old) when you will invite Christ into your life.

We see some major strides in your faith life. You are a literal thinker and the idea of Jesus being in your heart is confusing and unwelcome. Yet, you are open to the idea of Jesus being the center of your life. Semantics aside, you understand a lot about who God is and how His big story unfolds and centers on Jesus.

You are a hard working boy. You made major improvements in baseball in a very short time. You went from not being able to hit a ball to hitting a home run in just a game or two. You have also worked very hard on speech therapy, you are starting to read, and you are superb at math. You will soon outsmart us, for certain.

Nothing brings us more joy than making you laugh and hearing your sweet giggle.

We REALLY love you (as you often say to us!),

Mom and Dad


August 3, 2015

Dear Thomas,

Today you are officially six, but you’ve been telling people for weeks that you are six (or almost six). You have an unmatched zest for life and your energy and enthusiasm are nearly always evident. You like to be in the middle of everything that is happening. You are also very talkative. Sometimes we find you talking to your stuffed animals or just talking to anyone. Often, when you get in trouble it is because you are talking when you shouldn’t be or trying to be silly when things need to be serious. You are a lot like Daddy in this way. You play hard every day, but you are also a great sleeper (and snorer).

Your reading is coming along very quickly. You often amaze yourself as you see what you know that you didn’t know the day before. You like to show off for your brothers and you recently finished reading the Mercy Watson books.

During our recent travels to Colorado and Belize, you enjoyed working on the huge Nancy Drew puzzle, going to sports and jumping facilities, swimming, playing with Wilson, and exploring with Dad.

You are watching Dad closely these days. If he takes his shirt off, your shirt goes off. If he is running, you are right beside him. You love to throw the football with him and to draw special notes for him.

As you have a magnetic personality, the challenge you will face is making sure you include others in games and activities. Some people may be pushed out of the way from your wake, and so you picked Respect as your word to focus on this year. Showing this respect will help everyone discover the source of your energy, love and passion for life.

Spiritually, you are growing. You accepted Jesus into your heart last Christmas Eve. It was a very special moment. You remember the characters in the Bible stories very well and you are good at connecting stories to bring together the central ideas of scripture. It is hard for you—as for all of us—to apply what you learn in order to live it out. But, your curiosity and desire to do so is notable for your age.

As Ellie says, even if you can sometimes be obnoxious, you bring a lot of joy and fun to our family. We completely agree and are so thankful for you.

With SO much love,

Mom and Dad


Read Full Post »