Bennett — Year Seven

Bennett!

Okay, this is it. You’re officially MORE than halfway to being a teenager! What even! I can’t handle it.

This year, you rocked first grade. We took a BIG step up from kindergarten with the amount of work we had to do, and you totally stood up to the challenge. In CC, your tutor was Mrs. Reyna, and you finally got to be in class with Luci again! I think it was our best homeschool year yet!

Sports this year were SO exciting! You played flag football for the first time, which was a lot of fun even though it got rained out a lot, because Titus was on your team! In the spring, you hit your first home run playing baseball with the Wolves, and you really learned what it meant to be part of a team. You practiced hard and learned so much that you even won the game ball for “most improved” at the last game. As the baseball season wound down, you started swimming. You then worked hard for months to be able to make it the length of the pool and back, and you learned all four strokes. You gave it your all, and I am so impressed by your hard work and all that you accomplished! You can officially swim!

This summer, you got to go on a guy’s trip with Daddy to see the Orioles lose to the “Boo-jays,” and then you two stayed in the Watergate Hotel and toured D.C. You called me every day to give me a recap, and you just made every single moment sound amazing! Strange that this trip still can’t quite compete with the Atlanta trip, though!

And, saving the best for last, you became a double big brother this year! We welcomed Dillon Kyler to the Wade Brigade, and your love for him is just so obvious! You sang an impromptu song for him when you first met, which has stuck, and now you play with him and let him hold your thumbs while he practices standing. His whole face lights up when he sees you, probably because he knows he is so blessed to have a big brother like you, and boy am I blessed to have such a great helper with your little brothers.

Bo, you are just the best. I have seen you grow so much this year in responsibility, commitment, tenacity, integrity, and leadership. You’re learning that life isn’t always fun, but that it is what you make of it, and that there is always something to be thankful for. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to walk through these days and years with you as you grow into a young man. You bring such joy to my life every day, and I can’t imagine life without your smile in it. Happy birthday!

Love,
Mom

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Bennett’s Year Six Birthday Letter

Oh My Bennett!

Happy birthday! Now that you are six, you will have to use two hands to show it! You’ve finished kindergarten and your second year in CC, this time with Mrs. Sickmond. In keeping with tradition, you dropped the “Mrs.,” and just always called her “Sickmond”! We went through our first year with a “real” math book, and it’s been so fun to watch your math brain work. You totally aced it. You’ve also graduated to independently reading chapter books, your favorites being Magic Tree House and Hank the Cowdog. You frequently walk around with your nose in a book, and you’re sure to keep a few on hand in the car for those “long” trips to the grocery store. Just like me, you typically have several books going at once. I just love witnessing your excitement over Jack and Annie’s time travels and Hank’s adventures on the ranch. Your love for reading makes my heart so happy!

On the other hand, you are also always on the go! You create elaborate superhero adventures with Luke every day, protecting the household from bears, monsters, and bad guys. Sometimes you have to swim oceans and climb mountains to do it, but I always know I’m safe with you. You are, after all,training to be Superman. I’ve been so impressed by your dedication to exercise and endurance training in this endeavor; you even conquered White Rock Lake by biking around the whole thing – 9.3 miles – on a bike with training wheels! Incredible. Since then, Daddy took off your training wheels, and you have officially ridden your bike without them! (We won’t talk about the fence that got in the way and slowed you down.) You’ve also learned how to stay afloat in the water, swim short distances, and swim down to the bottom of the shallow end to retrieve diving rings. This year, you played for the Red Sox, and we were so impressed by how much you’ve grown. Not once did I see you put dirt in your pocket this season! You really stayed focused and played hard for your team. You had a lot of fun trying out soccer, too! Oh, and another big milestone: This year, you went on your first real hunt with Dad – full camo and everything. You guys are definitely two peas.

There are so many other things to remember about this year:  The joint jumping celebration with Liam every time you see him; going on adventures with the Bennies at every opportunity; looking forward to GC every week (and very especially when it’s a cookout); going to work with Daddy and taking such wonderful care of his patients; losing two teeth; finding out that you have a new little brother on the way to love and, eventually, to wrestle with; and so much more. It has been such an incredible joy to watch you grow and to learn more about how God made you. I am inspired by your compassion, your energy, your helpfulness, your hospitality, and your forgiving and evangelistic heart. You are an incredible blessing in my life, and I thank God for you every day. Here’s to another year of growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus! I love you so much.

Love,

Mommy

Bennett — Year Five Birthday Letter

Dear Bennett,

Nope. You’re not turning five. You’re not going to start kindergarten this year. It’s not allowed. I’ve changed my mind. Growing up this fast is now completely against the rules, okay?! Don’t you do it!

I can’t even wrap my mind around how big you are and how much you’ve grown. Over the past year, I’ve had my first taste of being Mama to a “big kid,” and it was crazy exciting! You played on a real t-ball team with real uniforms and a real team name — the Knuckleballers — and a real coach named Justin Wade, who wasn’t your dad. How in the world did you get a coach with your dad’s name? So funny! And for the first time, I got to take you to practice every week and spend my Saturday mornings watching you run the bases (and sometimes put dirt in your pocket). Watching you play t-ball was so much fun!

You also finished your first year in Classical Conversations. You had the best tutor ever, whom everyone else calls Mrs. Buffington, but you simply dropped the “Mrs.” right from the start and just called her “Buffington” all year. She was your absolute favorite, and I’m pretty sure you won her heart, too! You learned so much about so many things, but your favorite subjects were History and Latin. Your best two history songs were about the Industrial Revolution (“Watt’s steam engine, Cartwright’s power loom…”) and the Cold War (“In the 1980s, ooo ooo ooo ooo, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher…”). And I’m not sure if you loved Latin because the future tense had “bo” in it, or because of Hannah the Hippo! Either way, our first year in CC was a blast, and I was so excited to watch you learn and grow with all your new friends.

Much to your mama’s surprise and delight, you started reading chapter books by yourself this year! It started with Nate the Great and Henry and Mudge, and now you’re into Magic Tree House books. It makes me smile every time I see you reading, and I love how enthusiastically you read aloud. Never stop reading! You will learn and grow so much!

This year was also a year of traveling. Early on, we went to Mexico, and you couldn’t stop talking about how you wanted to live there because it was the best place ever. Last month, you went on a guys’ trip to Georgia to watch the Braves play, and now Atlanta has taken Mexico’s place in your heart. Whenever people ask you, you can’t even seem to remember much about Colorado, where we were only a week ago, because all you can think about is Atlanta!

Bobo, you’re my best Bo in the whole world. I love you more than all the eyelashes, all the doorknobs, and all the worms. [Reader: That’s just an inside joke.] I love you infinity plus infinity plus infinity. Thank you for being my Bobo and for teaching me every day how to love more like Jesus, and thank you for being such a superheroic big brother for Lukie to look up to.

Happy not-birthday, because you’re SO not allowed to turn five today! Happy Tuesday!

Love,
Mommy

Bennett — Year Four Birthday Letter

Dear Super Bennett,

Happy birthday! You have had such a big year that I don’t even know where to begin. Not only did you keep working the garden with Daddy so that we could have fresh food, but you also helped him build a fort so that you could have the most awesome backyard ever! This year, you had your first t-ball lessons, started learning piano, and went fishing and ice-skating for the first time. You’ve also grown in your songwriting, as you sing impromptu, original songs to God nearly every day.

After very much hard work, you accomplished two huge feats this year: you joined The 100 Club, and you can read! Numbers and words are the foundation for all types of literacy, so I’m so excited that you’re now on the doorstep to a lifetime of learning.

Most importantly, this year you’ve proven that you are the best big brother ever! From the moment you found out that little Luke was growing in my belly, you 100_5784loved him and helped me take care of him. (Do you remember how you used to try and shove food in my mouth so Luke could have a snack?) You even picked his middle name; it certainly couldn’t be “Evan,” because then we’d have to put him in the oven! After all that, it had to be Bryant. And now, Luke Bryant sure thinks you are the funniest, coolest, superheroey-est guy around. I would have to agree.

And here’s something really awesome I can’t forget: by your side through all of this has been your (imaginary) friend, Boggyx! With blue hair, yellow skin, red fingernails, pink ankles, and every cool and fun thing you could think of, he’s definitely a great buddy to have around.

Super Bennett, you are totally super! You’re kind, tenderhearted, creative, smart, fun, hardworking, hospitable, worshipful, and faithful. I can’t believe you’re growing up so fast, but I guess it makes sense. The world needs all the superheroes it can get! I’m super-blessed to know you and even more blessed to be your mom. Thanks for being you.

Love, Mommy

 

Year Three Birthday Letter

100_4321 Dear Bennett,

What a full and fun year this has been! You’ve grown from speaking just simple sentences that only Daddy and I could understand to having entire conversations with people. I love that you’ll talk to anyone, without reservation, and you’re always so glad to see people you know. You often greet them with the most adorable and excited “Oh, hey!” that just warms everyone’s heart. As your vocabulary has expanded, so has your delight for silly, made-up words! Among your favorites this year have been “goggyx,” “lofkins,” and “exibent,” which all have very flexible meanings. And although your favorite number changes daily, you almost always say “5 and 3” when I ask you how many of anything you want: carrots, hugs, whatever. “Five and three, please!”

You’ve grown up a lot this year in other ways, too. On your last birthday, you still wore diapers and slept in a baby bed, but now you’re potty trained and sleeping in a big-boy bed. What!? You’re so big! You even aced your first year IMG_0955of home school — which you loved — and you finished your first swimming class. And even though you cried the first few times I dropped you off, you grew to love BSF more than anything in the world (with Urban Air running a close second). You have even declared Tuesday your favorite day because you get to go to BSF. Now we’re just waiting for it to start again in… wait, when does it start? Yep, you already know — September! B-S-F!!! B-S-F!!!

As exciting as all of these things have been, my favorite thing about this year has been watching you grow in your sensitivity to people and in interceding for them. You treat others with such a gentle and caring spirit that can only be a gift from God. And although there are many examples of your heart for prayer, the biggest this year has been for your “Ms. Chantatel” as she fought against cancer. You have undoubtedly been one of her most faithful intercessors, and you have driven me to prayer many times for her and for many other people in times of deep need, even though we had no way of knowing they needed our prayers so badly. There is no explanation for that other than you responding to the Holy Spirit, and I am humbled by your sensitivity to Him. My prayer for you is that you nurture this gift and keep listening for God to lead you deeper into His presence. He is growing your heart to be like His, and I am so blessed to be your mommy! Don’t ever forget that you’re my favorite Bobo. Happy birthday!

 

Love,

Mommy

Year Two Birthday Letter

Bennett and mom easter 2014Dear Bennett,

You are two today! Can you show me with your fingers? How many is two? We’ve been working on it, so now we have an easy answer any time someone asks us how old you are. How exciting!

This year has been such a blast! You’ve learned so much and grown so big, and you have become such a little man. You’re speaking in two- and three-word sentences now, and you’re becoming very polite with your pleases, thank yous, and bugbees. (“Bugbee,” of course, means “excuse me.”) And over this past year, you’ve gotten your first two freckles: one on your left hand between your first two knuckles, and one on your left cheek. I love your freckles! They’re a special gift from me.

This year has also been the year of favorites. Your favorite animal is the rhino, and your favorite food is hamburgers. You love guitars, cars and trucks, lawnmowers, weed eaters, baseball, fireworks, the park, the gym, the library, singing, doing jigsaw puzzles, naming all the letters and their sounds, and so much more! Even better, you love to pray about these things at every opportunity.

One of the best things about you is that you are teaching me so much. The biggest lesson I’ve learned from you this year is to see the whole world as divided into two types of people: Friends and Fixin’-to-be-Friends. You’ve never met a person, animal, or vehicle that you haven’t tried to befriend. I love that about you.  Your delighted smile and enthusiastic greeting for every passerby reminds me every day that the first order of business should be to show Jesus’ love.

100_4099[1] My kind-hearted, funny, brave, joyful, prayerful, outgoing, strong, sensitive, brilliant, adventurous little outdoorsman, you make your mommy’s heart sing every day a million times a day. Being your mommy is my favorite job God ever gave me. I’m so excited to see what the next year holds! Happy birthday! I love you SO much.

Love,
Mommy

 

Year One Birthday Letter

100_2867Dear Bennett,

You are turning one today! Can it be true? I remember when you were the size of a tiny poppy seed in my tummy, and now here you are—such a big guy! Even though the time went by so fast, I have had so much fun watching you learn and grow this year!

Can you believe that you already have EIGHT teeth? I am pretty sure that you regularly eat more than I do, but maybe that’s because you use up so much energy practicing your walking. (You’re getting better at it every day!) You’ve also had more haircuts than Mommy recently—two in two months!—and your hair has turned from brown to blond! Oh, and those blue eyes you used to have are such a perfect shade of light brown now.

I love that you love books and hugs and head-bonks, and what could be more fun than watching you wrestle with Daddy? Peek-a-boo is one of your favorite games—you’re definitely a pro. Speaking of games, you’re already learning how to play catch! We’ve also discovered that playing the piano is one of your favorite pastimes, and that you love listening to music and shakin’ First Year Pictures Eternal Stories-1007your bootie to the beat! One last thing: since you were very little, you’ve always had a lot to say. Now you’re getting better at different sounds, and you even say, “DadaDA” and “Mmmma!” Both of these bring huge smiles to our faces!

Without a doubt, you are the very best baby I know, and I’m so thankful for you. My son, my blessing from God, you are truly a miracle. I love you with all my heart, always and forever!

Love,
Mommy