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Andrew's fifth birthday poem:

My Little Simba

Andrew, my five year old son
You've come a long way from my "Little One"
Tall and handsome
Sensitive and loving
Loud, Playful,
Bright eyed, curly headed
Andrew!
My little Simba
Facing the world with joy
My 5 year old boy
Learning and growing
and I'm just not knowing
what I would do without you!

There's so many things you've learned this year:
You are so smart! Sometimes I can't believe my ears
As you pronounce loud and clear
a phonetic rule that's twenty words long
(Rules that I still always get wrong)
And I say - "How does he remember that?"

Yes, your learning to read, and doing quite well
learning to write, learning to spell
Listening for vowels, sounding out words
And getting better and better at it,
I'm assured
That soon you'll be reading

We think you're the best
as you get an 80 on your spelling test
16 of 20 words - that's pretty good
for a four year old - but we knew you would
catch on quick
So we just jumped into the thick of it
And you've done great!

Plus, geography is just a snap
What you can point out on a map
is truly amazing
The continents, you know those
You can point out the Islands Galapegos
And India, Yemen, and Antarctica too
From Sri-Lanka to Timbuktu
Is there anyone like you?

Of course animals still catch your special imagination
And you seem to know each one
in the whole of creation
Dromedaries and Bactrians,
Lions and Wildebeasts
Mustelids and Tigers
From the largest to the least
You love them all

And your life's not all brainwork
It's reason AND rhyme
You love a good rompin' stompin' good time
Pretending to be (generally)
an animal of one sort or another
You like the outdoors (if you had your druthers
you'd spend alot more time out there)
You like your friends
You like your bike
You love life, and that makes me happy

You're my little Simba
Adventurous, Inquisitive
Ha Ha! You laugh at danger
(of course unless a puppy stranger
steps up to say "Hello".... UH OH!
No matter that the doggy is as small as a mouse
You'll "laugh at danger" from safe inside the house!)

But I must say
Of all the events of this past year
Of the good, the bad,
times of sadness and cheer
The most important time, the one that most pleased us
Is when you gave your life to Jesus

As He has blossomed in your heart
And as we have seen Him shine through you
You have truly grown in Wisdom and Stature
So that we have known that it is true
He lives in your heart
and your life with Him has had it's start
this year.

You love your sisters, and Mommy and me
Most of the time that is easy to see
And your love for your friends, Scott and Ross,
seems to have no end
But when we ask you who you love most
We can tell Who that is
(no one else comes close!)
Without hesitation, with a smile and arms open
You say "It's God!"
and I'm truly hoping
that you hold on to that sweet simple spirit that's in you
Because there's so many changes, and so much
growing to do
But if you hold on to that childlike faith
you will finish the race set before you
victorious!

So I give you this wish and blessing
Andrew, my son who I love
and in who I am well pleased
I wish for you
that you have the joyful attitude of Simba
as a friend, tried and true
and that as you grow you develop the strength
of Mufasa
mixed with gentleness, too
that the nobility of a lion's heart
may be in you
But most of all, I wish for you
that you have Holiness, like Aslan
for though he is just a child's story
He represents the real Lord
Who is your Glory.
and Who shines through you.
He is the real Lion King.

And now, my precious lion cub Prince
Happy Birthday
from your Daddy who loves you so.

Love, Daddy
September 7, 1994