To Kaden on your 5th birthday!

Birthday breakfast: Funfetti pancakes (his favorite) with sausage.

My sweet Kaden,

I can't believe you are F-I-V-E today! Where is the time going? It seems like just yesterday you were the sweet, chubby cheeked little two year old that I adored. And today? Well, you're still the sweet little five year old that I adore minus the chubby cheeks!

You are growing up so fast my sweet boy. While it makes me sad that you've lost your baby look, it makes me so excited to see you discovering things and growing on your own. I love that you still want to snuggle with us and wouldn't trade cuddling up with you before bed time for anything in this world.

Kaden, you are just a precious child. I know I'm biased because I get to call you mine, but you are something special. Your heart for others shines so bright.

You are one popular kid, too. Your friends love to be around you. Daddy and I went with you on a field trip to the planetarium last week and the girls in front of us were blowing kisses at you and all the boys wanted to play with you.

You love almost everything - well, except for potatoes and some vegetables. You particularly love your family and Jesus. Daddy and I tell you all the time that the two most important things in life are loving Jesus and loving your family. You like to tell us this, too, and I hope you don't ever forget these two things and always live them.

You are so funny. I love to hear your little laugh and watch your face as your laughter lights up the room. You like to tell us stories, too.

You love food. Candy is one of your favorite things in this world. In fact, each time someone has asked you what you want for your birthday recently, you've said candy. Don't worry, we don't let you have too much of it. You really like noodles like your older brother and still make us smile when you say "Burger (buugher) King."

You love to play about everything. No matter what you are doing, you are fearless. You love to swing, drive your Gator and play soccer and baseball at home and with your teams. You also love to play Mario Galaxy with Daddy. The two of you make a great team! You also like to paint and make things and play with your Easy Bake Oven. Your favorite thing, though, is to ride on Daddy's skateboard.

Reading is something you really enjoy, too. Each night before bed, we read books. You like Clifford, The Magic Treehouse series and The Magic Schoolbus books currently. Your favorite Bible story is David and Goliath. You and K.C. take turns picking out a Bible story every night and nine times out of ten, you pick out David and Goliath. You know the story by heart. I pray you'll grow up to be like David and always keep your trust in God.

School is one of your favorite places. You love your teacher, Mrs. Goff, as well as your classmates. You list Caleb, Elliott and Gray as your best friends. You also love our neighbor Annabelle. You and Annabelle have so much fun playing together. Don't ever forget that you are our best friend, too. Daddy, K.C. and I are so thankful for you!

Kaden, you are the first to say "I'm sorry", kiss boo boos and want to help. Your heart is full of compassion and it is seen clearly each and every day. You tell us you love us each and every day and it melts my heart to hear you when you say we're you're favorites and that we have the best family in the world. Being your parent is an incredible blessing and you make it easy, sweet child.

You are an awesome brother to K.C. You look up to him in all you do. You really want to be just like him. I hope the two of you always stay as close as you are to each other and share the love you have for each other. Always be there for your brother.

Kaden, you have a heart that loves and a mind that questions. Continue to always ask us questions to learn more and always follow your heart. Let God guide you through all you do.

My sweet one, there are many moments that stand out in my mind when I think back over your fourth year. You started 4K, played soccer twice, made new friends in Sunday School, dressed up as two different things for Halloween, celebrated Easter, Christmas and Thanksgiving, fun trips to the beach, the zoo and EdVenture, field trips, playing in the ice and snow twice, making memories, sharing secrets and most of all, a year full of love. There are a few things however that really stand out. 1. Our conversation in the Sams parking lot about being a Christian and what it means. 2. Those times recently when you've asked to call me mommy. 3. That night that you wanted to pay me and Daddy each $1 for being a good parent. 4. The time when we talked about what you want to be when you grow up and you said you really want to be a dad and have a wife. Kaden, if you watch your daddy and the way he loves you, K.C. and me, you'll be well-prepared to be the best daddy and husband in the world. (And we don't even want to think about that yet!)

You have become quite independent this year. You want to brush your teeth yourself, write everything on your own, dress yourself each morning and fix your own drinks. You don't like to open the drain in the bathtub though.

Sweet boy, you melt my heart each day. I thank God every single day that He chose me to be your Annabelle. It is a gift  that I don't take lightly. You are a light in my life and I learn new things from you each day. Thank you for always being you. I love you more than all the stars in the sky, my sweet, sweet five year-old!



April 9, 2014

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