Can you believe those are my precious babies, now turning four tomorrow? Always 2 peas in a pod, they held hands even from the first days after being born. I loved sneeking up on them in the crib, always delighted by the way they would cuddle up to each other while sleeping. Nevermind that at about 9 mo we had to move them apart because they'd drive each other crazy... stealing pacifiers, sitting on each other, etc :)
And now they continue to grow and blossom. I'm so delighted to see how lovely my little ladies are. They have a beautiful love for Christ already, and their sweet faith inspires me to be better myself. They have learned so much in the past year... how to recognize letters and numbers, how to associate sounds with those letters, how to ride a bike (with training wheels), how to care for (and be infuriated by) their little brother. They play board games and work puzzles, they recite songs from memory flawlessly (better than I can), and they can play on the bigger parts of the playground without my having a heart attack. They now no longer scream and run fearfully at the mention of going in the pool- and even swear they're going to learn how to swim this year. And they continually surprise and delight me (with occaisional infuriation thrown in).
Hannah has had her share of tough times this year. Her asthma seemed to really worsen in severity. And we must have dragged the poor kid all over town trying to find answers to why she would occaisionally turn blue-lipped, complain of tiredness all the time, and tummy aches. But my goodness that girl is plucky. She has so much spirit and humor and wonderful cuddliness to her that it amazes Ryan and I. She has an amazing temper, and tends to blow her top sometimes just for sport, it seems, but in the next moment after she's always looking to crawl into one of our laps and get a good long cuddle, which she calls "loves" (as in, "Mommy, I want some loves")... often with thumb in mouth. We tease about how tough she is, too, in that when disciplined she has an amazing ability to keep a stiff upper lip and appear unfazed by rebukes. She has a thick skin, which is a great trait in this tough world, in my mind. Hannah loves to play games, thoroughly enjoys a good plate of spaghetti, loves singing songs (loudly and with the funniest changes in wording), and adores animals (unfortunately at times, because she's also allergic to them). She has also surprised me in her love of school this year. Though attention to and recall of things learned appear to be difficult for her at times, she really appears to relish and appreciate school, and tries so hard, often to the point of perfectionism, with all she puts her mind to. In fact, Sarah and I often have to soothe her during tantrums after a letter is not perfectly written and reassure her that it's ok to move on and try again rather than getting upset about imperfections. And the girl LOVES crafts. When school starts, it's "what are we going to make today"- she loves all things crafty. And also surprising has been her continued bond with Caleb. She is his guide and protector around here. She is quick to tell others how he should be cared for, and is my little helper whenever I need assistance with something for him, whether it be diaper fetching, feeding, entertaining, etc. etc. I really thought she would be the one who was jealous of him, but she adores her brother and we just love it!
Sarah has had a tough year, on the other hand, adjusting to having another sibling and sharing the attention with him. Sarah's love language has always been quality time, and she has been none-too-happy with Mommy's time being split three ways. She is a smiling, goofy, silly little young lady who also happens to be completely addicted to t.v. - I think she'd sell a sibling (or two) for the chance to watch t.v. more often each day. We've giggled over her new langauge this year, too, as she apparantly speaks "cat"- that's right, she speaks in meows when she's feeling her silliest. And she is so ridiculously curious. Sarah's word is "WHY?"- she must ask it a million times a day. But she's also very quick to pick up on new information. And technical-minded, as well... she can build some amazing things with just a jar of tinkertoys and some imagination. She is imaginitive in so many ways, as well, often leading the games of pretend, and often getting herself in trouble in equally imaginitive ways (i.e. having water-park-like escapades in the bathroom while supposedly handwashing). Sarah has a sensitive, brooding side, now too, in that she gets her apple-cart upset very easily by a look or a word, often leading to cascades of tears and loud sobs from hurt feelings. And when feelings are upset, we've also noticed a new tendancy to snap back and sass at Ryan or I, largely out of a sense of apparent righteous indignation at being rebuked for something she sees as perfectly ok. Her greatest loves are learning new things (esp. about the natural or mechanical world), playing games, esp. with Mommy, imaginitive play with Hannah, and riding her new bike. She loves Caleb, too, as long as he's not in the way :). I just love watching her figure stuff out and absorb information like a sponge, and she's a constant source of funny comments and phrases, often taken incorrectly from something she's heard from the adults around her. She's a silly, fun-loving spaztastic little girl, and keeping up with her energy is rough, but fun!
Happy Birthday my little darlings. Mommy and Daddy love you with all our hearts, and we always will. That's a promise.