Friday, June 22, 2012

Happy Birthday Daniel

This is a long overdue post - and I'll probably try to place it where it belongs and then add a link in it to the current date.  His birthday was over 2 months ago and the summer has just slipped by.  

My little boy is 8.  Really, I know I say this every year and with every child, but how can that be so?!  He is getting so big, but I also remind myself that he is still young too.  Its a fun age, isn't it?

We started his day at church as this was our VBS/Kids Week.  He wasn't sure he wanted to go on his birthday, but in the end decided to go.  We sang Happy Birthday to him during snack time.  (This is where I was working so it was easy to get a photo.)  

When we got home, there was more fun in store!  His brothers planned a scavenger hunt for him.  Complete with story line and lots of action.
And running around the house with friends.
And a villain.
And this is just the beginning of it being a lego kind of day.  We had a pizza lunch and then opening a few gifts.
And then we headed to the Lego store.  Daniel is captivated with Legos and he was delighted to be able to spend birthday money getting some new ones.
We made a quick stop at the Disney store.
Oh, does she love these guys!  LOL
Can you see the bag full of fun just waiting to be played with?  Filled the rest of the afternoon easily!  And much beyond that too!
We had tacos for dinner.  Its our  tradition to have whatever the birthday person wants to eat for the whole day.  :-)  And we all love tacos so this was a great meal for everyone.  Daniel is holding up 8 fingers to show his age and also has the red "you are special" plate.

No birthday would be complete without a cake.  He loves this design and has picked it for several years running.  :-)

Happy 8th Birthday precious Daniel.  I love you so much!  You were a much wanted and prayed for child!  You were wanted from the beginning and every moment since.  I love your creativity and imagination.  I love that you enjoy talking and sharing stories with me.  I love that you still enjoy cuddling up to me while we read books - and any other time too.  I love your smile and I enjoy seeing how much you have grown and matured over the last several years.

I love you forever and always.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Off to Wildwood

We've been watching the days and they seemed so few.  Especially in juggling all that our family has had going on. We have been given lots of opportunities  to trust and walk by faith these last several weeks.  Trusting that God is good and that His plans are better than ours.  Even in the midst of challenges, we can see His hands at work and sometimes that is even sweeter than seeing His blessing when all is going well.  Or maybe its just that it is more easy to recognize His hands at work when in the midst of trials.

As we were winding down our days of having Christopher home with us, one of Daniel's concerns is that he would miss his birthday ... again.  He really wanted to celebrate his birthday with Christopher and so we made a little bit of a compromise and had a bit of celebration.   

Christopher picked out his gift and hid it in the lovely sombrero.  

 As you can see, Daniel was thrilled to put it on.
 Once he found what was underneath, he was delighted.
 Can you see the big grin on his face?  Its an Avengers hat for those who can't see or recognize all of it. (And by the way Christopher, he loves it and has worn it ALL day!)
 Just snapping photos and sometimes you get a good one.  I love this one.  I want my children to know and love and depend on each other.  I want them to be great friends.  I want the younger ones to look up to the older ones and the older ones to mentor the younger ones.  I mostly want them to love each other.  I love being with my family and am so very happy that they love being together (most of the time).
 Christopher's friend Alex who is going on project with him came over for dinner with his parents.  It was so nice to meet them and have a chance to get to know them better.  Alex stayed the night with us so that he and Christopher could leave together early in the morning.  I am thankful for the opportunities to spend time with Christopher's friends and to get to know them better.  He has wonderful friends!

More celebration.  We made cupcakes and put lots of candles in them.  Lots to celebrate - upcoming birthdays (Daniel and Alex), and the beginning of a wonderful summer project for Christopher and Alex.

 The youngest two were selected for blowing out the candles.
 They are the ones that appreciate it the most.
 We stayed up late.  Talking, playing games and enjoying being together.  All too soon it was late and we knew that our wake-up time was coming very early.  4am.  Christopher and Alex had planned to meet another friend in North Durham to get a ride to NJ.

This is what Christopher is taking for the summer.  Can I just say that we fit an amazing amount of stuff into those bags?
 I didn't take many photos in the morning.  It was 4:30 by now and everyone was tired and not really wanting a flash in their eyes.  (Not that it has stopped me in the past.  LOL)  Eliana didn't want to give Christopher a hug.  I don't know if she thought that by not hugging him that it meant he would not go?  He obviously did get a great hug from her.

As we loaded in the car to leave, Eliana was still sitting in this doorway.  Sobbing.  Just looking at us and crying.  So very sweet and sad too.  Christopher, know that we are all missing you already!
 As I said, not many photos, but I did get this one of them driving away.  Headed north to Wildwood, New Jersey for the summer as a part of Cru (Campus Crusade) summer project.  It was 25 years ago that I went on a summer project.  I loved it and it shaped my heart and who I am today.
 I know that God has great plans in store for Christopher and his friends.  I see God raising up a generation that is passionate and excited about serving Him.  I love this and I look forward to hearing more about what He is doing in their lives and in the lives of those they are working with and ministering too.

Please join me in praying for Christopher and these students as they spend the summer learning more about who God is and sharing His love with those around them!  Please pray too for their families and friends are home - that we would know that God has a plan for us too.  That ALL of us would grow in our faith whether we are home or serving in a new place.  God has a purpose for each one of us and a plan for us right where we are.  That is exciting!

I'm so thankful that Christopher has this opportunity and appreciate the many of you who are praying with us!

With love