Just For Fun Friday: Happy Birthday, Matthew!

Every year, I try to write a letter to my kids highlighting some of the things that they did, how they have grown and so forth. I have been doing fine so far until last year, when I realized that a whole year had slipped by and I had not written. So, to make sure that I do not do this again, I am going to make sure I do this today!

My oldest son, Matthew, just turned 11 this week, so this page is dedicated to him (isn't he handsome?). I'll post the other kids' pages in future. Here is the letter I wrote him this year:

Dearest Matthew,

Happy 11th birthday, my oldest son! I am so proud of who you are becoming. As you enter into these pre-teen years, I have been praying fervently that the Lord will preserve the wonderful character traits that I see in you.

First of all, I thank God for your sweet and sensitive spirit. You have continued to have an openness and a sensitivity to the Lord and his work. You are quick to see and understand people and what they need...and then offer a hand to help.

I am also thankful for your patience and your kindness that you have shown not only to your little brother but to your older sister. You know how to relate to each one just the way they need it. With Jonathan, you have been a willing companion (most of the time) in his 4-year-old play. He loves what you love and adores you. Whatever you share with him, he remembers, whether it be Genesis 1:1 or the intricacies of Star Wars lore.

I am also enjoying watching your relationship with Janna develop too. Now, as the "older kids" of the home, the 4 year difference between you is still there, but I can see that it is closing. I know you would be willing to protect and stand up for her, even though you are her little brother. That is just the kind of boy you are.

That is one thing that I pray most fervently for you, Matthew. I pray that you will become the leader that God has created you to be. Over the past two years, we have seen glimpses of it as you encourage your teammates on your volleyball team, tell stories to your little brother, or when you take the initiative to pray for others in need. You lead from a quiet place, but it is still leadership. I am so proud of you for that.

It has also been wonderful to watch you develop good friendships. Noah, Timmy and Hudson are your best friends right now, and it is a joy to see you with them. But that doesn't seem to stop you from making friends wherever you go. This past year, you have gotten to know Evan Hori through our homeschool PE class. I am so thankful that you have good friends wherever you go.

Over the past two years, you have had quite a few adventures: your first time at Mt. Hermon Family Camp, four seasons of USYVL volleyball, two seasons of Upward basketball with Noah, and starting your own Lego online store with BrickLink (with Daddy's help, of course). You even made a few sales! You love Ninjago, Star Wars Legos, Nerf guns and have just taken up stamp collecting. In your spare time, you like to play basketball, make up Star Wars stories and make charts of all kinds of data.

In school, we have been studying American History over the past couple years, and have completed in-depth studies of the Civil War (our favorite!), World War I and are starting a study on World War II. You are fascinated with the weapons, war strategies, and biographies of the generals. Because of your love for detail, we have been able to go into much depth, which has been as much fun for me as it is for you.

Even though school is still not your favorite way to spend your time, you are a willing and enthuasiastic student. I have especially enjoyed our times together reading Beyond Boyhood and Do Hard Things. I can see the light go in your eyes and know that you want to rise up to be that kind of young man. I hope that you will continue to trust us as your parents as you move into your teen years. We desire the best for you and love you very much.

So, here we are, starting a new year! I am looking forward to seeing where God will take" you. I love you, Matthew! Happy Birthday!

Love, Mommy

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