(Better late than never! Ephraim's actual birthday was April 20, 2011.)
I can hardly believe that my BABY is four years old. You have changed my life for the better in more ways than I could've imagined. God used you to make me a mom... and being a mom is an ongoing process of sacrifice and sanctification. I thank God for that, and for you, every day. I pray for you every day. I pray for your present and for your future. I pray, more than anything, that you will know and love God with all your heart and that your life will be a testimony of His love. I pray that you will quickly understand your identity in Christ, and that you will live your life in freedom, basking in His love. I pray that you'll be wise from a young age, and that you will be the kind of young man who can learn lessons from others, rather than having to "find it out for yourself" (like your momma!).
I love that you ask questions, but I admit that it drives me bonkers sometimes. You are so inquisitive, and you want to know about EVERYTHING! You have started reading, and I couldn't be prouder! You are sounding out every word that you see. It's amazing! You are hilarious and say the funniest things! You reflect back to me the best and worst of myself. Most recently, you've helped me eliminate "duh" from my vocabulary after giving me a "duh Mom!" (More sanctification!)
I absolutely love that you love to do crafts with me! Almost every day when I ask what you'd like to do, you tell me, "Crafts!" We make all sorts of things together. We color, paint, cut, and create. You are a particularly adept cutter. Scissors keep you busy for hours!
You help me cook, clean, and care for Aspen. You are a loving older brother, constantly showering little lady with hugs and kisses. Sometimes you call her a "drama queen" though, and I confess you got that from me... and so did she. ;)
Right now, you LOVE Spider-man and sing "Spider-man, Spider-man, anything you can do, is Spider-man!" whenever you feel intimidated. We haven't had the heart to tell you those lyrics are wrong because they are just too cute! You typically add an extra "-ed" to all past tense words, which is also fantastic. At dinner, you ask, "May I be excused-ed?" It's adorable. You make all sorts of crazy faces and scowls. Usually your mouth is twisted sideways when you are thinking hard or trying to explain something to us. You've also recently started bonking yourself on the head in surprise or confusion. It's hilarious. You're a nut.
You adore your Macclenny friends, and I'm pretty sure you'd spend every single moment with them if you could. You've also just discovered your "boy-ness" and need to do "boy stuff" with the "boys" and "NO GIRLS." ;)
You often remind momma and daddy of the prayer requests we forget. It is very sweet, and we are thankful that you already know the value of prayer.
You just started riding a big boy Spider-man bike and picked it up right away. You are careful, but you love it. We bike ride every single day.
You just told me that your favorite colors are "white and blue and black and white." So, that clears it up. ;)
This year on your birthday, we had a fun family day. You were given your new bike and we went for a quick bike ride. We then went to Adventure Landing because you LOVE go karts! We played some games and went to your favorite, Chik-Fil-A, for lunch. We had a fun day celebrating the fact that you are four years old! We had a very small gathering of friends and family on Thursday night at the park. You had some Spider-man cupcakes. You've begged, since Aspen's birthday, for your own smash cake. You got one, and you actually put your face in it! I had my doubts. I struggled to put together your birthday invite list this year because we try to do big parties every other year, but it just seems like our small number keeps getting bigger and bigger. Friendships evolve and change in the course of a year, and I did the best I could. I think you had fun, and that's what really matters.
I haven't yet forgotten that your little brother, Ransom, might just have shared this birthday with you. I don't know if I ever will, or if it will always be the bittersweet taste in my mouth on your big day. You talk about him often, and pointed out just a couple of days ago that Aspen is really the "third baby." I am thankful that we can talk to you about your brother, and that you know and understand he is better off than all of us, because he's with Jesus.
I love you, my little big boy. This has been a tough birthday for me. Four feels like a really "big boy" age. I don't think I can hold on to your baby-ness much longer. I won't be trapped being sad about what's gone by, though. I will enjoy every moment with you. Now, it's time for a bike ride.
Happy Birthday, Ephraim!