November 25, 2010
Dear Karli, Drake, Brant, and Aubree,
I am writing you this letter on Thanksgiving morning while you are all sleeping soundly in your beds. The peace and quiet is very nice. I can actually hear the thoughts in my mind for a change. Our lives can get quite loud most days. I remember a time, before I had kids, when I relished peace and quiet. I imagined that the hardest adjustment I would have to make when I would have children would be to get used to noise. But, you know what? Dad and I sometimes lie down in bed after a busy day and look at each other and ask, "What did we ever do before we had kids? Our lives must have been so boring!" It's hard to remember a time when any of you were not around.
There have been difficult days in our home. Times when we didn't necessarily like each other very much. But, every day, I love you. I love you each as much as one human can possibly love another human. I absolutely love you more than I love myself.
Karli, I cannot get over how much you amaze me. You have grown so much from the time when you were a one year old ball of personality with your "squinty" little smile. You have turned into one of the most responsible people I know. My heart is blessed every time I see you step in to advise your brothers and sister just before they do something that might hurt them. You are a natural born care-taker! I also see you struggling at times to grow up. I just want you to know that you're doing a great job. I know that you do make mistakes, but, the important thing is that you learn from them. I see you trying really hard and I couldn't be more proud of you!
Drake, I am on a journey that is all so new and exciting to me. I am witnessing the first-hand account of a boy growing into a man. It is so amazing to me to see you now as a boy who is anxious to "get puberty". I can remember the tornado that used to be the two year old you. It is such a pleasure to see this transformation! You are so smart and funny. I often wonder what your future holds in store for you. There are unlimited possibilities at your feet. Choose wisely, my son. I am also blessed beyond words to see you explore your relationship with God. Your hunger to learn is special to me. Don't ever lose that! I could not be more proud of you!
Brant, you are truly one of a kind. You are a very special boy. Having you for a son is a privilege. I love that you still have that wonder and heart of a child. It is a gift to me. The days can be long, but the years are so short! My soul smiles when I see you playing and enjoying life in the simplest of terms. Your affectionate spirit warms me from the inside out. All of my life I have wanted to be loved and I have been loved well by you! It is very sweet to see your concern when I'm not feeling well. Your kisses and hugs are the best medicine ever! You are strong willed, but it can serve you well in your life if you use it wisely! I am so proud of you and I am blessed to call you son.
Aubree, you keep our lives interesting! You are one special girl. You have a sweet spirit, just like your sister. You are very well behaved and even more funny! You are so smart and perceptive and curious and loving. What did we ever do without you? You complete our family. God knew you were exactly what we needed. My cup runneth over. I look forward to watching you grow and blossom and I count myself truly blessed to have a front row seat to your life. I am so proud of you, my beautiful baby daughter.
I have a lot to be thankful for today. I am thankful for the "noise" and sounds of my life! I am thankful for the constant beat of our home. I am thankful for the chaos as well as the peace. I am thankful for the love that fills each room that would not be here without you. I am thankful for the four of you, because you make our house a home. You each have a very special place in my heart that cannot be filled by anyone else.
I pray that you know how very much I love each of you and I never want to spend one single breath without you! I pray that you each live a long life filled with love. I pray that you continue to grow in character. I pray for health and happiness for you beyond measure. I pray for success beyond your wildest dreams. I pray that you each find that one special person designed for you by the hand of God. I pray that you seek God daily and develop a strong relationship with Him. I pray that you can easily recognize His love, grace, and mercies every day of your lives. I pray for healthy, beautiful grandchildren. I pray a prayer of thanksgiving for each one of you~ you are so special and beautiful, and my life is so much better by having known you!