I decided to go through our pictures over the past year and choose some of my favorites to share. I have no doubt I missed some because there are just so many. I take a lot of pictures of our children. A lot. One day when we're old and gray, Vipul and I will have quite a collection to look through. I just know that these are the sweetest days of my life. The most exhausting yet beautiful, soul-changing days. And they began with this little man.
This picture was taken at his 4th birthday party, one week after he turned four. In some ways I think he looks the same now as he did then. But then in other ways, he looks so much older. He has matured a lot over this year, especially in the last few months. I am so thankful though that he still asks for me to hold him, to rock him at night and often in the morning, to give him hugs and kisses. Although we're pretty sure his love language is quality time, he loves physical touch and is very affectionate. I try to soak this up, as I know there will come a day when he won't ask to snuggle.
I love the picture below because it was taken when he was still really into Winnie the Pooh. He still enjoys it, and was very excited to see the characters at the breakfast in Disney earlier this year. But Veggie Tales, Thomas the Train and Curious George are the favorites now.
He was so excited about his Christmas present - his first bicycle!
Anlon truly marches to the beat of his own drum. One day he decided he wanted to connect this wagon to his tricycle (he does ride his bicycle but still loves his tricycle so much), and he decorated the front with Christmas ornaments (mama approved ones) and filled a bucket with more treasures to carry.
On this day he decided it would be fun to wrap a pool noodle around himself and then add some Christmas lights for some additional decoration. I really try to foster his creativity and assist him in these endeavors. As long as they're reasonably safe. :)
He is a collector of things. All sorts of random items are little treasures to him. He loves to fill up containers, bags, trains, this school bus... He decided to tape buttons on the front of this bus for fun. (there are few days that go by without the need for masking tape).
Our sensory beans have continued to be a source of entertainment. Most days I am very thankful that messes like this honestly don't bother me. I know that one day our home will be tidy and free of toys in every room. This season is fleeting and I want to embrace it as much as I can.
In this picture, he's holding Nofy (a snake made of string that was a special friend for awhile). I don't know how he chose the name Nofy. I verified the spelling.
In this picture, he made a train by taping markers together. And then made a road for his trucks with packages of diapers we had just brought home. He's extremely focused when he's playing. It's always very important and he must give his full attention to whatever task is at hand.
There was a season when he was falling asleep in the car after we had been out, but would wake up when I would transfer him upstairs to his room. (He had previously transferred well). So I started making a little bed for him on the sofa, and successful naptime resumed. He is beginning to nap less, despite showing every sign of exhaustion. It has made for some fussy afternoons when he really still needs this rest. Quiet time has helped, although this is a work in progress.
There aren't enough wonderful words to describe Anlon's preschool teachers this past year. Ms. Sandy and Ms. Janay poured their hearts into our little boy and taught him so much. He attended our church's "WEE school" Mon/Wed/Fri mornings and absolutely loved his time there. We know that God provided the perfect teachers for Anlon.
He played soccer for the first time last summer. But he didn't really enjoy it until this summer season. He's become a lot stronger and more coordinated over this past year and I think this has increased his confidence too.
I'll share a series of questions that I asked him in another post.
My dearest Anlon,
I've told you this many times, but I'm so thankful that you're my little boy. Of all the little boys God could have entrusted us with, He chose you. You are kind, loving, creative, silly and serious rolled into one. You have the most adorable little voice and the best laugh. You are articulate and inquisitive. Your imagination is inspiring. You work very well with your hands. You have the sweetest innocence that I long to protect. You enjoy other children very much, but love interacting with adults. You always have. You are the best big brother ever. After you cry, you ask me to wipe your tears. You love animals, and whales are your favorite. You enjoy running, jumping, climbing, searching for bugs, watching for planes, finding sticks...but you are also sensitive and gentle. To know you is to love you. And your daddy and I love you so very much.
Your name means "Great Champion". And my prayer above every other prayer is that you would become a great champion of Jesus. He loves you more than you could ever imagine. I can't wait to see the plans He has for you. But I also wish you could stay four forever.
"And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him." Luke 2:40