Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Thankful Heart

I assume it’s just normal toddler behavior, but we have been battling Eli’s selfishness so much in the past few months. The word “MINE” became a big part of his vocabulary, and we have just gotten so sick of hearing it! We’ve been trying to teach him to have a thankful heart, to think of the person/people who work hard to provide him with what he needs and so much of what he wants, to remember that everything good is a special gift from God. And, dare I say it, we are starting to see glimmers of a truly grateful heart in him.

The other day I handed Eli a cup of orange juice, a totally normal occurrence. He took a sip and then handed it up to Eric, saying, “Taste this Daddy! It’s so GOOD! Taste it!” Eric took a sip and Eli said, “Good, right? Really good!” It cracked us up. But I love that he was so grateful for something as seemingly small as a glass of orange juice.

Yesterday he was playing in the big bathtub in my bathroom while I was getting ready, just climbing into it and out of it, having a good time. He said, “I LIKE this bathtub! Thank you, Mommy, for buying this bathtub for me!” Again, it was comical, but I am SO thankful to start to see him apply the lessons we’ve been trying to teach him for months now. When he enjoys something, he is learning to choose the right words to express himself… instead of claiming what he loves for himself by saying, “MINE,” he is learning to be grateful for something to enjoy and for the person who provides him with it.

This has been a big lesson for me, too, as I’ve been trying to teach Eli. It is all too often that I tightly close my fist around something I love or enjoy, essentially saying with my heart and attitude, “MINE.” I am trying to teach myself, as I teach my son, that everything good is a gift from the Lord. Instead of claiming what I have as my own and trying to protect it, I need to instead express my gratitude for each and every gift and willingly share it.

Being a parent is humbling work! I am thankful, though, for the sin that God is revealing to me in myself, as I try to parent my son well! Hopefully after 18 or so years of parenting we'll all have hearts that are a little more thankful and a little less selfish! :)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Lake Whitney

We spent the past weekend at Lake Whitney. This spring has been so busy for us, and we were thankful for the opportunity to slip away for a few days, just the three of us. Eli had a blast, as usual, and we so enjoyed just playing and relaxing and being outside!

Of course, the trip included lots of fishing...

Eli was super proud of this big perch!

Roasting marshmallows...

Playing the the pretty water...

A good time was had by all! This will probably be our last camping trip until the fall, so we were super thankful for the PERFECT weather and such a fun time together.

Monday, May 9, 2011


Dear Eli,

Today you turn three years old! Today I will tiptoe into your room at 5:04am and kiss your sweet, soft cheek, and I will remember so vividly the very first time I kissed you three years ago. I can't believe that my tiny baby is now a boy!

And what a boy you are! You are so full of life, Eli. You love to play outside, to have a catch, to go camping and fishing, and to play hide-and-seek. You love tractors and trains, ice cream and cheetos, bugs and snakes. You are sweet and tenderhearted, the first one to offer help and compassion, good-natured and fun. You love your cousins and your grandparents, and you still love to be cuddled by your mommy. But you are your Daddy's boy through and through! You are a joy to us, sweetheart, sunshine in our lives.

I am so proud of who you are, Eli. Daddy and I look at you and just smile with thanks to the Lord, remembering just how far you've come from a tiny little preemie in the NICU. What a fighter you are! And you've come through with such light and life and joy!

We pray daily for you, that you will become a man of God strong and faithful and fully of kindness and integrity. Already we are seeing your love for Jesus develop, and we rejoice in your tender heart. We pray that this gentle and pure love for Christ will remain for the rest of your life.

Today we celebrate YOU, Eli Dane! We celebrate all you are and all you do, a wonderful and special creation of the Lord. Daddy and I love you more than anything else in this world, and we always, always will.

Happy birthday, my sweet boy! I am so thankful and proud to be your mom.


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Eli's 3rd Birthday Party

On Saturday we celebrated Eli's third birthday! We had family and close friends over and celebrated with food and fun in our backyard. I think everyone had a good time, and we are so thankful to celebrate with such dear people!

Our birthday boy...

Our friend Kate brought a little bounce house, and the kids had a blast playing in it!

They also played on the slide, the swing, and the sandbox! Eli and Rye...

Eli loved his train cake- it turned out so well, and we're so thankful to know people with such talent! :)

Most of the kids...

And our birthday boy again, with Zeke...

Eli and Jacey...

Eli and Cooper...

Eli and Andy, tired from all the bouncing...

Some of our dear friends and family...

And the three of us!

We are so thankful for such wonderful friends and family and their wonderful influence in Eli's life. It was a really fun day, full of laughter and fun and celebration.

Happy birthday to our sweet Eli!