Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A birthday for Joel

a surprise brunch with friends


and presents

campfire cake for a boy who loves fire and camping

the surprise waiting for him in the basement, his friend, Bernado who'd come for supper--Mark's famous chicken curry

Hope you had a great day, Joel
Dear Joel,

I just wanted to tell you today how much you are loved and how glad we are that you were put by God into our family.  Of all the little boys out there in the world, how do you suppose it is that WE got to have YOU?  It's just hard to believe sometimes, but we are thankful anyway. 

You know you just make this little family so happy, right?  You are so full of energy and cheer that we can't stay too glum when you are close by.  I love your jokes and your big laugh and the way your face looks when you don't want to laugh at me but you just can't help yourself (because I'm so funny too!)  And the way you quote parts of movies or comedy acts or stuff we hear on the good!  I love how you say, "Who am I?" and then imitate someone or act out a part of a story we've heard.  How do you remember it all so well, is what I'd like to know!

It warms my heart how you always want us to be together in the same room, and when one person is missing, especially at supper like on Monday nights, you just can't handle it.  I love how you love your brothers and want to be with them.  They love you too, I hope you know!

It's been so fun this year to watch you learn to read.  You are so good at it now, I can hardly remember a time when you couldn't read.  Remember how we used to cuddle up every afternoon before you went to school and read a big stack of books?  I like it when you ask me to do that now, even though you can read by yourself.  And I love that you still ask me to pick some "yummy" books for you when it's bedtime.  I hope you will always feel that way about reading.

I think my very favorite thing that you do is when I drop you off at school sometimes after lunch, you turn around when you are almost to the door and wave and smile at me.  I know you won't always do that, so every time you do, I try to store it up in my heart so I will remember forever.  What a gift that is to me.

I hope you have a great year, Joel, growing and learning.  I hope you understand more and more every day just how much God loves you and how much Dad and I love you because it's the truth.

I love you as much as all the matching pairs of socks you have.  No, that's not right!  I love you as much as all the feathers on all the birds in all the world.  There.  That's how much I love you!