Freckles and Curls

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This year you turn seven and our love for you has steadily increased since that moment you were born on that August day.  Your adorable freckles that you get from your daddy and your halo of somewhat uncontrollable curls you get from me.  You love everything about life little girl and I love that about you.

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You’re a great big sister and I can always depend on your help when I’m organizing something.  I see us packing for many more vacations in the future, you’re my helper for sure.  And that laugh and smile that can light up the dreariest of days.  We can’t wait to see you continue to grow and see what God has in store for your future.

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We love you sweet girl, Happy Birthday!

Nolan’s Nine

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Today you’re turning nine, just one year away from double digits.  It’s been exciting to watch you grow this year.  You’re finding your own way, deciding your likes and dislikes, and not being as influenced by your older brothers.  Also, seeing you take on the big brother role to your younger siblings, you’re a great protector.  You are still one of the funniest kids I know, and your heart is so big.  There aren’t enough Lego’s in this world to build all the things you would like to at once.  You just started fiddle lessons and we can’t wait to see what you do with that.

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Happy Birthday, my brand new nine year old.  We can’t wait to see where the Lord leads you in the future!

Love,

Dad and Mom

March Birthdays

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Here we are again in the waiting phase of spring, everyone wishing, praying for the weather to get warm and stay there. And in the midst of all the discontentment every year your birthday falls.

Your birthday.  One of the most content people I know.

This year makes you thirteen.  When we asked you the other day what you thought you might want to do when you get older you said pretty much anything outdoors.

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“As long as I can be outside most of the day”.  You can see beauty in creation, beauty in everything really.  You take time to appreciate all things, and I’m sorry that we sometimes have to speed you along.  For you, life moves at a slower pace.  I pray that that doesn’t change with age.  I pray that you can always sip and not slurp, chew and not devour.

I pray that you continue to bring out the very best in people, not everyone can do that.  I pray that you continue to work hard and soak in every bit of information you can.

Thank you for teaching us all to be more content.  I can’t wait to see how the Lord will use you in the future.  You are special, you are loved by many, and you are made for something great!

Happy birthday, we love you!

Dad and Mom

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14 Prayers

Tomorrow dawns the celebration of a new year for you, our oldest child.  While this year is certain to hold plenty of things new for you from clothes sizes to high school to the thoughts of driver’s education, as parents our prayers for you increase accordingly every year.

14 Prayers for our 14-year-oldgavyn14-2

  1.  Fail small and fail early – These are the words we heard from a christian film maker last year and they have stuck with me.  It sounds like a strange prayer, but praying that you never meet failure is both unreasonable and unhealthy. With more freedom comes more opportunities to fail and we pray that these failures come early in life while we are able to walk them with you and on a much smaller scale the potential failures in your future.
  2. Lead like Jesus – God put you in the position of oldest child in this family for a reason.  He knew you would have those leadership qualities for the job.  We pray that he continues to help refine those qualities so that you will be the gentle, loving model that he intends you to be.
  3. See the importance of relationships and seek the healthy ones – God made us social beings, we need relationships.  We pray for guidance as you navigate the sometimes difficult slopes of friendships.
  4. Always be a hard worker – While you are one of the hardest working teens I know, distractions will come one day one way or another.  Hard work is a gift and should be looked at as one, keep your focus, work hard.
  5. Learn from others – As you know by now your education comes in so many different forms and there are so many people around you to learn from.  Be a sponge and soak up as many skills as you can.  Be careful though about the people who you let shape your worldview.  Learn to spot the difference between these different people and glean only what you should from them.
  6. Be a light – Don’t separate your faith from your everyday life.  These things should and must overlap.  Live a transparent life, be a light.  Always give the glory to Him.
  7. Love well – Don’t be afraid to tell people how important they are to you. Don’t let your age stop you from giving that hug you would have given five years ago.  Let others know that you appreciate and value them, even the people that you think should know these things still need to hear it from you.
  8. Have Biblical standards – The world and media are telling you what it is to be a man.  Everyone has their own definition.  Don’t look to these unhealthy stereotypes.  Seek after what God has for you and who He wants you to be.
  9. Compassion – God has placed in you a dedication and a heart to work. We pray that you continue to seek out ways to join that gift with the compassion God has given you.
  10. Strong sense of responsibility – Don’t be afraid to step up and take ownership of mistakes, learn from them, and move on.  You will be better for it and more respected as someone who does not fear to step up and lead.
  11. Grow closer to the Lord – Read your Bible, not just reading the words on the page, truly taking the time to let the words and meaning fill your heart. Lean on the Lord for guidance for future decisions.
  12. Guard your heart – Don’t let temptation and worldly lusts get the best of you.
  13. Step out of your comfort zone – Seek out opportunities that give you that feeling of uneasiness, make your knees a little weak or give you butterflies in your stomach.
  14. Don’t take those God has placed in your life for granted – In a time when the stereotypical teenager wants to pull away and be alone, spend time with your siblings and family.  Show them love, treat them like kings and queens, lift them up and above all spend time with them.

Happy Birthday, we love you!

Dad & Mom

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Up next…

Well today is finally your big day!

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You, my now FOUR year old, have been waiting through all of your siblings birthdays with great anticipation.  Today, it’s your day for sure.  It’s amazing the big personality that is in the little body of yours.

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You’re super funny, and very loud (we’re working on that), you have a big imagination, and you’re such a sweet boy.  You’re also a great brother!

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We love you big man and can’t wait to see what the next years hold for you!  Happy Birthday!