Friday, December 16, 2011

Happy Birthday Hudson!

Dear Hudson,

What a fun 8 years it has been with you. You started out this tiny little baby who slept perfectly and almost never cried, grew into a pretty wild toddler and pre-schooler, and have grown up into a sweet, independent full-on-grade schooler.

You are a kid who really has two sides. You are sometimes shy and quiet. I see you sit back and wait to see how something is going to turn out before you try it. You have no interest whatsoever in doing anything up in front of people. What is so funny is you have that laid-back sort of charm that you can't teach someone. It means that other kids are drawn to be with you because you sort of make them work for your attention.

It is the second side of you that is why they want your attention. You can switch from being quiet and shy into this silly, outgoing, pretty wild kid. You will laugh loud, talk a ton, and play really hard. You live to play with your friends. You come home from school and just want to go outside to find Colby.

I've noticed in the past year that you are really pretty artistic. For a kid who didn't really pick up a crayon until kindergarten this surprises me. You really like to draw right now. One of your favorite things to do is have me print out pictures of things on the internet (star wars characters, snakes, eagles...) and then you try and copy them. You shade colors well and have good perspective. Your handwriting... well.. that is another story. It could use some work!

You are really into the Oregon Ducks right now. You are definitely starting to align yourself with your daddy. You've of course always loved and looked up to him, but it is becoming different now. He's your role model, and he loves Duck football- so you do too.

I marvel at how completely "boy" you are in everything you do. Your whole birthday is a great example. This was your family party year so last Saturday we went swimming at the North Clackamas Aquatic Park. You took Jackson Glover with you and the two of you had an amazing time. You did the slides over and over and had crazy amounts of fun. You and Camden shared a cake that day, and you guys picked a dirt bike hill cake. For your birthday dinner tonight we had meatballs shaped like footballs, salad and bread. To top it off the cake you wanted was a bomb. I'm doing my best at parenting boys Hudson, so I did my best at making you a bomb cake. It said "boom" on the side of it and an actual smoke bomb on the top.

Your doing great in school, not that you tell us anything about school. You love your class and love going, but don't have much to report despite my probing questions. It is interesting because when you are in the right mood you can be very chatty and tell us lots of things, but on a normal day you don't tell us much about what you are thinking. You are in Mrs. Terveens class this year and she is a great teacher for you. It is pretty funny that you are in her class because I was job-sharing with her in a second grade class when I was pregnant with you!

My biggest worry for you is that you can be a bit of a follower. It is probably because you and Ainsley have always played so well together and she directs what your doing so it just comes naturally. One of my biggest prayers for you is that you will choose right and stand up for what you know to be true.

You are really a super sweet kid. From someone just hanging around with you initially they might not initially see how gentle and kind you are, but you have a soft, tender little heart. You are getting so tall and so grown-up, but you will still snuggle in my lap, even though you don't fit. That reminds me- I can't believe it has taken me until almost the end of the letter to mention how much you eat. Man, you are ALWAYS hungry. You eat so much and then are still hungry an hour later. It is crazy. I can't imagine what you will be like as a teenager because as a 7 year old you about ate us out of house and home. Your the tallest in your class and are taller than some of the kids in Ainsley's 5th grade class.

Daddy coached your soccer team this year and it was great. You did really well, and so did your whole team. It was so fun to watch you play and do well. What you are really excited about though, is basketball. You love basketball and are so excited to play. Daddy is coaching Ainsley's team and you go with them to practice most times. Your doing great. Last Friday night I went and watched a Barlow boys game and thought about how someday I will probably see you out there playing in high school. It is going to be fun to see what you do.

You are a wonderful boy Hudson. It is such a blessing to be your mom. I pray that God will fill in all the things that your daddy and I miss as we are caught up in the day-to-day work of parenting. My prayer for you right now is that God would grant you wisdom to make good choices and see that walking a life with the Lord is the greatest and most fulfilling way to live. Proverbs 16:17 says, "The highway of the upright avoids evil; he who guards his way guards his life."

Hudson, your daddy and I couldn't love you more. Thank you for being such a wonderful son and sweet brother to your siblings. We love you so much. I hope your eighth year is a wonderful one.

Love, mom.

This was outside setting off the smoke bomb from your cake.

Grandma and Grandpa gave both you and Camden remote control cars for your birthday and you love them!

The dirt bike hill from your shared party!

Monday, December 5, 2011

A hand-full. (as in 5)

Dear Camden,

Today you turned 5. And sweet boy, now you are officially a hand-full. And I couldn't love you more. As I sit down to write this, I don't know exactly what I will say, but with you I'm thinking it will pretty much write itself.

The thing that stands out about the last year is you starting pre-school. You are a Bruin Buddy. To say you love going to school would be a colossal (one of your favorite words) understatement. We didn't really know what to expect as far as how you would act at school, but evidently you are quite the little rule follower. You listen and obey. We are feeling really good about that.

You like girls. You play hard and wrestle and have lots of playmates who are boys, but you also love girls. You don't necessarily play with them, but you really like to take care of girls. We have had to have conversations about not hugging girls and holding their hands at school. You also love your cousin Eleison so much. Tonight after talking to her on the phone you cried at bedtime because you want to see her so much. A month or so ago we went to the Woodards (from church) for dinner and as we were getting ready to leave you asked if you could wear a pink shirt. We were so confused, because of course you don't own a pink shirt. After questioning you about it you explained that Abigail (their 5 year old daughter) likes pink so you wanted to wear pink so she would like you. You settled on drawing a pink flower picture for her. So cute.

You are a thinker Camden. Your mind is always going and trying to figure everything out. This has led to some interesting theology. You do fully understand that God should be the most important thing in our lives. You frequently say, "I love you, but not as much as I love God." Or you will say, "This is so great, but God is the greatest."

A good word to describe you is passionate. I know it is cliche, but about you it is true- if you are going to do something, you are doing it 110%. Good or bad. If you have something to say or do you usually feel very strongly about it and it is hard to stop you. You are SO opinionated. If you believe something, your mind rarely will be changed. This year for our Sunday School Halloween party daddy and I dressed up as Samson and Delilah. When we came out and you saw us you said, "I know what Samson and Delilah look like and it is not like that!" In the past few weeks you have been saying, "I have some advice for you." Then you let us know what you think we should be doing differently.

Your crazy smart. You love numbers and doing math problems. You are sounding out words and continue to shock us with your vocabulary. It is amazing. You are strong and coordinated. You came home from playing at Jalen's house this fall and said, "Hey, I can ride a bike without training wheels." Sure enough, you had gotten on his bike and without us ever teaching you, you took off riding.

You are an awesome kid Camden. Nothing with you is ever boring. People say to us all the time that it is going to be fun to see what you do with your life. Whatever you do it won't be something dull. You have more personality packed into your now 5-year-old body than most people ever have in their whole life.

Your choice for your birthday dinner tonight was hot dogs and Cheetos. It was interesting. That pretty much that sums up your whole life. You, my little love, are always interesting. I'm not sure we have ever worn you out. Your energy is without end. I so hope that your daddy and I can be the kind of parents that you need and deserve. As long as we can help you channel your energy and passion in the right direction, you will be amazing.

Happy Birthday Camden. It is such a honor that of all the moms in the world, God chose me to be yours.

"Grow in the grace
of our Lord and Savior
Jesus Christ.
Get to know Him better.
Give Him glory
both now and forever.
2 Peter 3:18