Seeing as it is Becky's birthday tomorrow, I think it is high time to put up the pictures from Solomon's birthday last month. He turned 12 at the end of September.
As is usual on birthdays around here, the excited kids were all up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed shortly after 5 a.m. FIVE A.M.!!! In the future, I am seriously considering opening birthday gifts the night before their big day, just as we do for Christmas. It might afford us all more sleep.
Isaac picked up this gift for Solomon on a recent field trip to a new attraction in our area, "Butterfly Wonderland"
It is a wind-up butterfly that really flies. Very cool!
Becky with her gift for big brother
She gave him her favorite bear!
I once read somewhere, "When a child gives you something, always take and be thankful. It was the best they could give, and they chose to give it to you." This is so true. Often, when the little kids surprise one of us parents or their older siblings with a "gift," it would be easy to dismiss it as childish, worthless junk. But in truth, little children don't have the money or resources to buy or make expensive and elaborate gifts. The little love note and picture, their favorite toy gift-wrapped in an old blanket, or a pretty rock they found truly are the treasures that money can never buy.
We didn't do a big party this year, but rather just had cake after the evening service in honor of his birthday, plus Dad and the three oldest boys went on a day of "man hiking" 2 hours up north. It had actually snowed a lot there the night before, and temps were in the 20s, so their plans for what trail to take changed when they realized they were not equipped for snow and cold. It was still about 100 degrees every day down here at that time. The weather in Arizona is so crazy and diverse! The guys had a blast and all came home alive and in one piece, which is pretty much all I hope for when the boys go off playing like that.
My nickname for Solomon is "Big Boy," though sometimes I call him "Baby" and he still answers to that, too. He will often come up and put his arm around me or squeeze me "as much as he loves me." I still have an inch or two on him height-wise, and can beat him at arm wrestling, but I can tell it won't last much longer.
Solomon is truly growing into a wonderful young man. He is responsible, smart, resourceful, affectionate, considerate, and mature for his age. He loves church and preaching, reads his Bible every morning, and just generally far exceeds both my husband or myself when we were his age. God takes our feeble efforts, and by His grace uses them to send our children out as mighty arrows one day, far beyond our human capabilities. It is very bittersweet seeing my little baby grow up into an adult little by little. I still so vividly remember holding him for the first time, I can almost feel it. I remember when he was a little newborn, and I would just stare a him in amazement as he would be asleep on my bed, atop a little quilt I made for him while I was pregnant. He still has the quilt, but has long outgrown it!
Having children has been one of God's greatest blessings, second only to eternal life, and a godly husband.