Friday, April 6, 2018

Letter to My Birthday Girl: 8 Years Old

Dear precious, beautiful, lovely LilliAnn,
I'm in complete denial that you are EIGHT YEARS OLD! People always say that time goes by so fast, and it seems like the older you get, the faster time goes. The only way I know to start this letter is to tell you that you are just a GEM! I always wanted a little girl, but I never could have imagined that I would have a little girl that is as precious as you. Every single day you make my heart swell with pride, and I thank God every day that you're mine. You are kind, intelligent, fierce, spunky, sassy, and caring. You are my dream come true...and so much more! 
You're favorite thing right now is dance. We drive to Seminole four days a week for competitive dance classes, and you absolutely love it! You love a challenge, and spend a lot of your time at home trying to master new dance moves or work on your turns. You are extremely self motivated, and you practice and stretch on your love trying to get better! I feel so blessed to have a daughter like you. I don't have to constantly tell you to do things or remind you what needs to be done, because you are super responsible and always take care of business. You have a fantastic memory, and you are always reminding me about things we need to do, or important dates to remember. Your nickname is our "best finder girl" because you can ALWAYS find anything that is missing. It's kind of crazy, like you have a little radar or something, because even when we've looked everywhere, you always seem to come up with whatever we're missing! 
You argue and fight with your brothers, like siblings do, but you absolutely love both of your brothers. You are a little mama to Rush, and you always talk about how much you love his funny personality and his cute little voice. You love to aggravate Reid, but you care so much for him. You're always getting him little gifts or prizes...even if they are things like hot dog erasers. Lol! I love your relationship with Reid because you joke and pick at him, but you love him deeply. 
You're an excellent student and you do really well in school. You love to read and write, and your latest hobby has been writing stories (mostly autobiographies) on the computer and making PowerPoint projects out of them. You are very talented at writing, and I really think that you may become a writer some day! You are thoughtful and are always making people little cards, notes, or crafts. Some of my favorite things are the little pop-up cards you've made me, or the sweet little note that you leave for me. 
Other moms always tell me how fun and kind you are, and how much they enjoy having you with them. It really make a mom proud to have a kid like you. You are funny and have the cutest, silliest laugh (daddy just loves it!), and spending time with you is such a JOY (unless you are really tired, then you turn into a drama-queen diva)! You are still a girly-girl who loves all things pink. You love ruffles, and ribbons, and bows, and braids...and all of that makes me so happy! You are my precious princess, and you will always be my best girl.
I love this expression so much!
LilliAnn loves:
-a challenge
-The Greatest Showman soundtrack
-slime, writing, and crafting
-Audrey, Carly, Grace, Bella, Ella
-cereal and pancakes
-Freddy's french fries and granny's french fries
-black leggings
-curling her hair
-"pink" steak
-Nana Karen
-bath bombs
-playing the piano
-doing back walkovers and back handsprings 
As I tuck you in a few times during the week, I'll say "God says...," and you'll say to me things like, "I am fearfully and wonderfully made." And again I'll say "God says...," and you'll say, "I am His and He is mine," "I am the daughter of a King," "I am His masterpiece," "I am loved," "I am forgiven, or "I belong." This is my most favorite thing that we do together.  I want you to rehearse these truths and treasure them in your heart, so you will always know that you are not who the world says you are, you are who God says you are. I pray that you will be sure, and solid, and firm in your identity in Christ, and you will know the depths of his love for you. 

On your eighth birthday, this is the verse I will pray over you.
"I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you."

My prayer is that you treasure His Word in your heart, and that you continue to walk in His light. I'm going to leave you with these words that I came across recently that speak my exact heart for you. It is called "Grace's Prayer," but for me, it's "LilliAnn's Prayer."

My heart for her is that she will learn that her journey is where she will become strong. Her strength is from God not within herself. That she stands when no one else does. That she speaks for those that cannot. That she be the light when everything else is dark. That she has the eyes to see the lovely in the unlovely, for that is so often where we see God. That she lives loved. Because she knows she is loved by God. That she hears His song over her each and every day. And that she is able to forgive because she knows the depth of her forgiveness. 

All of my love forever and ever,

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Letter to my Birthday Baby: 4 Years Old

Rushton Jeb Walter, 

Oh, how I adore you! I cannot honestly say that I have savored and enjoyed every single drop of your "baby-ness." You're my little sidekick, and I've loved hanging out with your every day while the big kids are in school. You were supposed to enroll in Pre-K a few weeks ago, but I just couldn't' do it. You'll be really old for your grade, but you're my baby and I want to keep you with me for just one more year. Your personality...oh your personality! In LilliAnn's words, "What I love most about Rush is his adorable personality and his kind heart." You are extremely outgoing and social, and you make friends easily. Everyone you meet falls in love with you, and you have a way of making people smile and laugh. You're sweet and gentle, but also fierce and intense! You LOVE to wrestle and "battle," and playing super heroes is among one of hour favorite things right now. 
You still sleep with mommy and daddy, and you like to hold my "booby" every night while you fall asleep. Daddy thinks it's super weird and awkward, but I see it as your comfort and your lovie. You nursed for three years, and snuggling up close to me became your routine and makes you feel secure. 

You played soccer last fall and did well, but you're really wanting to play "the tackling game" (football) and wrestle! You're wrestling stance is pretty cute, by the way! You've been riding your bike without training wheels since your last birthday, but this year you're finally starting to ride it on the road instead of just the driveway. You love hanging out at Nana and Papa's, and you have become pretty attached to your Papa! He loves hooking you up with the latest basketball shoes, or bringing your donuts for breakfast. He also sneaks you Coke when you stay with him, and you think it's so funny!
You're not crazy about learning your letters, but you know all of your numbers and can count past twenty. When I ask you what a letter is you say, "I know it, but I'm not telling you." Haha! You do, however, know all of the letters in your name and how to spell your name...and you and sort of write it as well! hold your pencil like a caveman just like Reid! You are SUPER stubborn and when I try to teach you how to hold it correctly, you won't have it and only want to do it your way! You may not know your letters very well or hold your pencil correctly, but you have an AMAZING vocabulary for your age, and you are very intelligent. You use words like destruction, species, extinct,  damage, and lioness in the correct context. And you love asking questions and trying to understand complicated concepts. I love your curiosity! 
One of my favorite things is that you're left handed...just like me!! You write, eat, cut, and throw left handed, however, daddy thinks that you'll be a right-handed batter. Working with you on baseball fundamentals has been a little bit harder for daddy than it was when he started teaching Reid. You are quite a bit more stubborn and like to do things your way, Daddy doesn't want to push all the sports stuff and says that it will all come with time. He's learning his second go round!
Something that daddy and I recognize in you that is very special is your heart for the Lord at such a young age. You love praying and talking about Jesus, and one of your very favorite things in our family devotion that we do at dinner time. You are always engaged and asking questions, and when I ask if a book of the Bible is in the New or Old Testament, amazingly, you always get the answer  right! You really enjoy going to Sunday school or church classes, as well as your class that you go to during my Tuesday morning Bible study. You love watching Bible story cartoons, Bible Man videos, and Veggies Tales too! 
Besides Jesus, your favorite Bible character is John the Baptist and you love saying that he "wears camel hair and lives in the Wild Wild West." You love the story about Jesus being baptized by John the Baptist, and the other night at dinner you asked why you couldn't get baptized when you were three. I tried to explain it to you, but you insisted on praying to Jesus to tell him that you wanted to be able to be baptized when you were three because He lives in your heart. 
Sometimes you start praying out of nowhere, and there have been times that you are just praying to God out loud to yourself. It's seriously the cutest and sweetest thing ever! Daddy and I say that you're going to grow up and be our preacher. It's amazing how you are so in touch with the Holy Spirit at such a young age. Jesus says to come to him with "the faith of a child," and even though you are little, you are brightly and boldly shining Jesus's light to everyone around you! 
Rush's favorite things:

-You Tube (Ryan's Toy Review)
-"mote control" cars
-playing animals and toys in the playroom
-Dinky the Dinosaur book
-bigfoot and abominable snowman
-any dress up costume
-"lemomade" & rootbeer
-Lion Guard
-wrestling or "battling"
-brushing you teeth
-"Bron" James
-"cool clothes" (Nike and Under Armour)
-friends: Cece, Korbyn, Collins, Ella
-your "brothers" Rowan, Know, and Baby Vaughn
-playing with Russell
"Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity."
1 Timothy 4:12

I love you a bushel and a peck,