Friday, December 17, 2010

Hudson turns 7

Happy Birthday Hudson,

What an awesome kid you have grown into. An example of just how sweet you are is last night I asked you what you wanted for breakfast on your birthday. You said, "cinnamon rolls." Then you said, "no pancakes, or how about both?" When I said you needed to choose one or the other, you said, "which one will be easier for you?" What a love. The other thing this little exchange shows is how important food is to you. You are pretty much always hungry.

This has been such a fun year with you. You are huge. I know I will think I'm crazy when you are 14 and have grown a foot taller than me and I'm saying your so big now at 7, but seriously, you have grown up so much this year. (I'm probably going to look back at the previous paragraph where I talk about how much you like to eat now and laugh compared to what you consume as a teenager, but I'm just going to enjoy being naive right now.) You are this little, big, grade-school boy. You love legos, nerf guns, and playing with your friends.

Speaking of friends, you are quite the social little guy. You really like playing with friends, and get along so great with them. You are able to play with different kids at whatever level they are. If the kid is super physical, wrestling all the time, you are right there with them. If it is a different friend that wants to just play with legos or draw, you are up for that too.

I have loved so much watching you develop into this boy who loves to play outside and be just a total boy. You love playing with Colby, a neighbor boy, all the time. I feel a little like it is a story out of a book from the 1950's. (or maybe that is just the extent of my experience with your age of boys playing). You guys will take off, and do who knows what. I think mainly you entertained with making forts, exploring the magic of pocket knives, riding your bikes, and building lego creations in our attic. I do know if the amount of fun you have is proportional to how dirty you get, your having a great time.

School is going great. You love first grade, and I am loving watching you learn how to read. If you had your way, about 90% of school would be P.E. or recess. Your standard response to questions about school is, "I don't remember." It takes quite a bit of questioning to get much information out of you. The day before yesterday you built the base of a gingerbread house at school. That night I got an email that had a picture of yours, which went way beyond the four walls and a roof and had a porch on the front and back, along with an extended addition to the house. Mrs. Breyer wrote, "Hudson is TAG at building gingerbread houses." So cute.
You have been plotting out this year's birthday party for quite some time now. Your goal was to get a bowling pin. So a bowling party it was. Narrowing down the guest list was torture for you. You really wanted to invite just about every boy you have ever met. We did a bowling theme for the party, but for your actual birthday at home (your party was the Saturday before your birthday) the cake had to be camouflage with lots of army guys on it. You love setting up little battle scenes and arranging the army figures. Your cake reflected this obsession. You couldn't wait to stick the figures on it after I had done my best to frost a camo design. Because really, what says "Happy Birthday" better than miniature, plastic weapons?
Once you decide you are going to learn how to do something you stick with it. For the past few months you have spent a great deal of time practicing some sort of cartwheel/hand spring. It is pretty cute to watch you practice it over and over. Amazingly even though most of the time your doing it in our not huge house, you haven't hurt yourself badly or broken anything. Yet.

You continue to be amazingly sweet to baby Reagan. I am still just shocked at how much you just adore her and how great you are with her. You and Ainsley still have such a good relationship and play so well together. You and Camden are a little more complicated. You sometimes play amazingly well together, and sometimes (okay, a little more than sometimes) your main goal is to elicit a reaction from him. You know better than anyone how to get him upset, and his reactions are so interesting for you to watch you do it frequently. WE NEED TO WORK ON THIS BECAUSE SOME DAYS IT MAKES ME CRAZY!!! I"m pretty sure that some day when you and your siblings sit around and talk about me as a mom, you will say that I always said, "don't stir up trouble!" I think you get tired of hearing me say it. But if you would just stop stirring up trouble I wouldn't have to! I am praying that this is a year that you and Camden really enjoy each other.

You really like going to Kids Club at church. You are the one who reminds everyone to take their Bibles. You have become more quiet, so it is sometimes hard for us to know what you have going on in your head, but more and more we hear you pop up with something that totally shocks us that you are understanding or know about. This year you finally got to go with the big kids at VBS in the summer and they have more of a worship band, this was the first time you really got into music. You now have some songs you like and are interested in. We are really excited about this, because until then you never really wanted to sing much at all.

You played soccer this year, but you LOVE basketball. Daddy can't wait for this season to start because of how much he thinks your going to like it this year. You also are really liking tennis and have an amazing swing for a kid your age. So far in the team sports you have played you have good skills, but haven't developed a competitive drive. You are just out there having fun, which mom thinks is great, but dad is looking forward to lighting a little competitive fire under you.

Hudson, I just can't even begin to tell you how much I love you. Your just such a great kid. Thanks for bearing with me as I learn how to parent a boy. Your daddy and I just adore you so much. We can't wait to see what amazing things God has in store for you. Love you big boy.

P.S. As I was just uploading pictures I have to mention how excited you were that we gave you the Lego Police Headquarters. Delighted beyond belief.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

We made it through 3!

Happy Birthday Camden!

May you be blessed by the Lord,
the Maker of Heaven and earth."
Psalms 115:15

I am sighing a huge sigh of relief that we have made it to four. I have always argued that three is much harder than two, and four is a breath of fresh air. Three was for sure harder than two, so I'm hoping that four is easier. (the last few months have been, so I have high hopes!) I love you like crazy Camden, but there were days this past year I wasn't sure I was going to make it. Specifically most days in March, April, and May of 2010. Most of the days in that hard stage...well... you won. I was chewed up and eaten for lunch. You have an iron strong will, are pretty impulsive, and are crazy smart. I have learned that I have no business judging other parents because each kid is different and just when you think you have parenting figured out (as if) God humbles you in a new way.

I'm sure I talked about this in your letter last year, but it bears repeating. Your language skills are amazing. The sentences you compose are beyond complex for a child, and they are often quite funny. I wish I could think of one to quote right now... but nothing. So I will move on to vocabulary. You NEED TO KNOW what everything means. If you don't know a word it can't go un-investigated (not a word). Yesterday we spent a good five minutes trying to define "endure" to your satisfaction.

As a family we have been learning a Bible verse to go with each letter of the alphabet for Sunday School. One of them is "My son, give me your heart." This has been perplexing because you can't wrap your head around the idea of giving away your heart. It has also been fun because you don't just repeat things without considering them. The verse, "Go into all the world and preach the Good News" has brought up many conversations. We have had to explain over and over what the Good News is, but the part that you have really fixated on is "go into all the world." You asked, "but how can I go into the whole world, even farther than Sunriver?" (Where we went a few weeks ago and you were convinced that the three hours it took to drive there were about the same as if we had driven for three weeks and arrived on the other side of the world.) Your daddy and I have especially loved that if you can't remember a verse you just confidently default to your favorite of the verses, and you YELL, "Depart from evil and do good, seek peace and pursue it."

We have really seen God moving in your life this year. You have such amazing questions and observations. We went through a stage where you passionately expressed that you didn't want to die because you didn't want to go to Heaven. You didn't want to go to Heaven because you didn't know what it looked like. Despite my descriptions it just wasn't enough information for you. You are very literal and need to be able to understand something. Once you have a question no one should stand in your way of discovering the answer. If you hear a sound or see something and don't know what it is you must, right then, go and investigate. This may not sound like a big deal, but the thing is, sometimes that happens at inconvenient times.

A month before your third birthday you became a big brother. So this year you have learned how that works. You adore Reagan so much, even if you are a little wild with her sometimes. Despite the fact that she should be a little scared of you because you are not always clear on "gentle," she is absolutely enamored with you. You are so fun and exciting. You are her biggest source of entertainment.

You and Hudson have an interesting relationship. He knows how to push your buttons quicker than anyone can imagine. He does it skillfully and often very quietly. Your response is never quiet. The two of you have wild fun together when you both feel like it. You are so good for each other, and would stand up for each other in any situation. Hudson can wind you up, and Ainsley can calm you down. She is patient with you and can get on your level to play with you so well. You told us one night at dinner that your job is to help Ainsley pick a good boy to marry. A few weeks later, (happily you were willing to repeat it for a video camera) you said that you just want me to pick out the girl for you to marry when you grow up. I'm all for that honey!

You are so funny, even when you don't mean to be. Last week you came to me and said, "Mom, I've got some good news, and I've got some bad news. The good news is most of the pee went in the toilet. The bad news is a little of the pee went in my underwear."

Grandma Arlene is so great to come every Wednesday to hang out with you and your siblings. You were a little sad about Ainsley and Hudson going back to school, so she started doing, "Grandma School" with you each week. You love it. You have your own little desk tag and she brings papers to do with you. You think it is the greatest think and look forward to it all week.

Camden, your amazing. I'm not sure anyone on the planet has ever elicited the range of emotions in me that you can. Sometimes from one extreme to another all within a period of 2 minutes. You are going to be fun to watch grow up. You have so much potential. We know that God will do special things with you if you chose to walk with him. Our greatest prayer is that you will chose to follow God all the days of your life.

We love you so much Camden. Happy 4th birthday.

***All the rights and responsibilities of being four are now bestowed upon you. Specifically, you can now go up on the top bunk in your bedroom, and now you must eat the crust on your bread.***