Probably like the baby of most families, we tend to orbit around him. He gets a lot of attention from all of us. The three older kids get tickled with us when they ask (just to push his buttons), "Can I share your food?" and he squinches up his nose and defends his territory, "MO! (NO!) Mine!" We all tickle him too much to make him giggle. They insist on playing his favorite "Bock Bock" song on the Muppet soundtrack to make him happy. They laugh and splash with him like wet, slippery fish in the tub. Ben smiles when he pounds his keyboard and when I am wiping the floor and he takes off at a dead run to hug me, I melt. I'm still referring to him as my baby even though he's turning two. He may just be my baby forever. His name means "Gift from God". He is a gift to our whole family.

Last week Ruby was taking some pictures of him for a project...and I brought along my camera too, surprise, surprise.

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Last Sunday I wanted to take a few more birthday shots of our boy. We left the big kids in the van so they wouldn't distract him at the park and Ben and I ran him out to a little grassy area.

How he loves his "La-lee". He wants to cuddle and wrestle and laugh. He runs to the garage and yells, "Beep! Beep!" when Ben drives away.

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I taught him to say, "Mamaaaaa" when I ask him several times a day, "Who loves you?" He plants wet slobbery ones on my check. He wants to be kissed and squeezed and tickled and rubbed.

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He's such a fun little bug. Passionate about cheese in particular, his pleasant personality dissolves to chaos if he suspects there is cheese around that he's not having. He loves to sword fight with the Darth Vader mask on. He tackles Tymen and Jasper and cannot leave Ruby alone when she's doing homework. He runs into Tymen's preschool class, hugs Miss Megan, and then points to her candy jar (she laughs and opens it up for him.) He's not talking a whole lot that is understandable but he sure is tracking with what's going on. He likes to be a part of things and thrives on attention which he does get just about everywhere we go.

He's a big hearted, loving boy that is a true grace gift in our lives. Happy birthday, Theo. We love you so much!

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Here's a stack of some of my favorite shots of him this past year. I think his life is pretty well documented :).

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To all of you who care for our boy and our family, thank you for investing in our lives. And to God who has given us this gift, we are grateful.