Tell me about it.
I can't even handle it.
It makes my heart ache in spite of the fact that this is what is supposed to happen and we want for them to do this growing. So for this post: pictures and updates. :)
Let's just start with my beautiful Ella~
This morning in church there was a young couple sitting in front of us. They have one little girl. I thought of this mother and her sweet little girl and what their days must be like together. It really doesn't seem like it can be possible that it has been fourteen years since it was just the two of us, me and Ella, sharing our days while Mark was at work. We would sleep as long as we could, then lay on our backs and read books together. We chatted and played and did everything together, her and I. When Mark came home from work we'd be waiting at the window and she would squeal with delight at the sight of him. This morning I glanced down the row and let my eyes rest on my dear Ella girl for a moment. Those days are far behind us. Now she's nearly as tall as me. Truly. It sort of stuns me, actually-- how old she is and how fast this has all gone. I love her so.
Ella is always singing. She is cheerful, sweet, kind, thoughtful, responsible, prayerful, compassionate, encouraging and helpful. She has a great sense of humor. She loves all babies and little children. She loves to bake. She plays piano beautifully. She loves to read and is an excellent writer. She loves being outside. She knows so much about birds and flowers and seeds and plants. She loves to garden and tend all living things. She is creative and loves practicing her handwriting with me. :) She plays with and leads her younger siblings well. She loves God so much, and for that I am most thankful. She is a dear girl and has grown into a sweet friend of mine.
Then there's my Isaac, who is imaginative, creative, soft-spoken, thoughtful, thorough, brilliant, sensitive, kind and gentle boy. He is such an artist and he loves to figure things out. He likes to draw comics and writes stories and still astonishes us with his great LEGO creations. He is so inventive. He loves baseball and whittling with his knife and puzzles of all kinds. He is grateful and thoughtful. He is the first to offer to pray for me whenever I'm feeling sick or when he can tell that I am stressed. He will come up to me and say, "Mommy? Can I pray for you right now?" And proceed to lay his hand on me and pray fervently. He has a genuine faith and strong, quiet conviction. He reminds me so much of his daddy.
Isaias is eleven and my most helpful and hard-working child. Any time he sees me in the kitchen he comes in to ask if there's anything he can do to help. (That's SEVERAL times a day, mind you. I'm in the kitchen a lot.) He is goofy, playful, and teachable. He is all boy, and loves being outside and doing anything active. He likes to read, he likes animals, football, and he is a kind boy. He has grown so much in truthfulness and in his faith. He is physically strong and is growing such good spiritual muscles, too.
Adelia is my eight-year-old full of energy and questions. She is so social that she constantly wants to talk and know what's happening next and who's doing what and what did that person say and why can't I do/have this or that? She is always loudly bounding around the house trying to find someone who will play with her. She has a great sense of humor and keeps us all laughing. She loves snuggling up on the couch and being read to. She also loves the water, and would swim every single day if she could. She is generous and feisty and stubborn. She has grown so much in empathy and in recognizing when she's in the wrong, and is learning how to accept no and not to argue with mommy about every single thing. She is the one for whom I most often take to my knees in prayer for during this season of parenting, asking God to grant me wisdom, understanding, graciousness, and kindness rather than exasperation or anger. She is a delight, and I can't wait to see how God will use her strong personality for His glory.
Audra is seven and sweet. She is cuddly, sensitive, chatty and creative. She is our paper crafter. She always has some paper craft in process-- and we are all often stepping around her piles of paper scraps and tape (dollhouses made of cardboard and cardstock, whole life-sized creatures taped together with paper, board games, dolls and toys. You name it and she's made it with paper.) She loves to be outside, and is also a little nature lover. She holds my hand wherever we go and still tells me I'm the best mommy in the whole wide world. (She's also currently the smiliest for the camera!)