Saturday, June 11, 2011

Birthday Boy

I know it happens. I just didn't think it happened this fast.

Where did the past 12 months go? What happened to the last 52 weeks? And, my oh my, did I blink and miss 365 days?

It's been a year already and today you are five. Five

Grady Lee, Dad and Mom love you more than you'll ever know, but just a fraction of how much Jesus loves you. We hope that in our best efforts to love you and point you to Jesus, you come to know and love him with all that you are!

I took time to review pictures from this last year - yikes! - there were a lot of them. Impossible to choose just the cute ones, cause they're all cute. Impossible to choose just the funny and silly ones, cause there are a whole lot of those, too. 

So, I decided to take a couple of pictures from each month that highlight you. Not you and your brother. Not you and your friends. Just you.

You've definitely got a knack for art - painting, cutting, coloring. You like to learn new techniques and discover new ways of doing things. 
Yes, yes, yes - a true boy that loves the dirt and the mud! It doesn't matter where we are or what we're doing, you can always find it.
You developed a lot of independence in the water this past year. Typically not one to brave things with possible danger, you surprised all of us with your willingness to jump and swim without Dad or Mom!
Curious. Inquisitive. Fascinated. Eager. Intense. This bodes well for you with learning and discovering new things.
Despite being impulsive and rough, you have an obvious tenderness, too. It may be a frog or a lizard, but you demonstrate care and gentleness when you hold and handle little things. You recognize God created these little critters and you "want to help keep the earth safe for them to live in."
You'd choose to visit Carowinds everyday, I think. You love the rides. I can't wait to go when you're a tad taller and let you experience a real roller coaster.
God has given you an attitude of joy for helping and working. You ask all the time, to help cook, clean the bathtubs, mow the lawn, vacuum the steps, fold the laundry...! When someone asks you to pick up your toys, you are usually very quick to obey and are sure that each toy is put in it's proper place. You're almost organized to a fault, but you can blame that on me.
Melt my heart! I could never have imagined the love and joy and tenderness and devotion you would have with your baby sister. It was truly love at first sight. From the moment you first held her, you haven't stopped cuddling her, talking to her, and smiling at her. No one, and I mean no one, is coming between you and your sister.
You've always enjoyed playing sports, but this year was the first time you played on a team and had to listen to a coach. You had a rough start - nervous and very unsure of yourself. But you know what? Dad and Mom watched a total transformation by the end of the first season. You not only participated, but you did so with enthusiasm and aggressiveness.
I remember taking this picture. You were in la-la land and wondering out loud why the bubbles "had rainbows inside them when the sun shines on them?" Promise me you'll always stay curious and interested in finding out why things are the way they are, kay?
Look at that! You do slow down and rest (occasionally). You wake in the morning and hit the ground running all day until it's time for bed in the evening. You play hard. You learn hard. You work hard. You don't seem to do most things half-heartedly.
Silly. Crazy. Quirky. But only because you have a deep-down joy that is sometimes hard to control.
Here's a peek at the artistic side of you again. I've no doubt your focus will reap big benefits for you in the future. That means Dad and Mom have the high calling to help teach you to surrender that focus to what is eternally important.
You love treats! I'm pretty sure your eyes roll, your lips quiver, and your throat quakes when you swallow sugar. It just makes you happy in a really strange way!
You hit the hay at 8:00 pm each night. I think that by 8:01 pm you are out cold. You operate in high gear all day and when it's time to stop, you shut down fast.
When Dad or Mom ask you what you want to be when you grow up, you will almost always say, "A builder or a fireman." Hhmmm, never would have guessed. *wink-wink*
Here you are - focused again while doing an art project. I remember making these wreaths for Valentines. I assumed you and Micah would each make one, and was surprised when you spent over an hour making six of them!
"I can run super duper fast and jump really, really hard to make the rocket touch the clouds!" And when the rocket landed on the roof you were devastated.
If anyone asks you what your favorite season is, you'll no doubt say winter because you love snow.
Spring came around and you couldn't wait for Saturday each week so you could play soccer! You scored several goals that season and Dad and I watched your confidence increase and your willingness to listen and obey your coach improve.
Time and time again, I'd hear Annalyse laughing or squealing or giggling and when I'd walk into the room, you'd be on the floor causing it! She loves you, Buddy, I know she does.
Here's that silly, quirky, crazy personality showing itself again!
I've yet to find an animal that you don't want to touch. You like to pet, feed, and hold anything you can. (But no, we're still not getting a puppy anytime soon!)
If you could be anywhere at any given time, it would be outside. Doesn't matter if it's hot, or cold, or raining. You love the outdoors! I do lots of laundry because of that, but I don't mind. I know your mind and body are interested in and active in God's big world and I love that.
And here we are on June 11 again. Five years old! Dad and Mom love you. We are proud of you. We are thankful for you.

You are a gift and we treasure the responsibility to care for you and help enable you to be all that God intends you to be. We are learning each day right alongside you. We've made mistakes this past year. We have new goals for this coming year. But mostly, mostly we want you to never ever question the safe and penetrating love of Jesus.

Happy Birthday Grady Lee!


  1. I love ya little buddy. I still remember holding you at the hospital on the first day. I can't believe you already 5. Keep the energy up. Keep learning and growing. Lord willing, you are going to amazing things in life. I'm confident of that!

  2. Happy Birthday sweet Grady Lee! We love you...everything about you! So glad that the Peelers have a lil boy like you! You are so very special and precious!!! Hope your day is so wonderful!

  3. Grady Lee, I met you briefly when you were just a little baby--so much smaller than Annalyse is even now. It is wonderful to see how much you have grown into a five year old who is learning to love God and explore His world. Happy birthday!

  4. Okay, this post has me in tears! It is beautiful & so sweet! Hope that you all had fun celebrating Grady Lee's birthday & I can't wait to see the pics! What a precious boy; surely the Lord has great things in store for him! God bless you Grady Lee!