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Bethany's ten year old poem:

Bethany Is Ten

Bethany is ten - no way!
Wait, I just checked the calendar,
What can I say?
I can't believe it but it is definitely true
And I marvel just to look at you
Growing up into a beautiful young lady
Fifth grade! Now tell me,
Do you rule the school?
I would imagine so! You're so very cool
And how well I know you and the unique way
God has fashioned you, with special care
There's only one Bethany, and I would dare
anyone to find another one just like you

I love that motherly instinct you display
With Blake as together you two play
And as you read to him at night
As his nearest big sister, you are just right
Though sharing a room is, I'm sure, a bit of a drag
You've done fantastic,
though I don't mean to brag
It was great to see you act and sing
In your school's production of Annie and the King
You were awesome, and so cute too
And I was sad when the last performance was through
And oh the plays you write, and stories and songs!
And now you've got a young protege,
Blake is where he belongs
Right there beside you, doing whatever you say
As his producer and director, you've got a good gig
I really think someday you will hit it big
You've been given a natural born zest for drama
And Blake is very blessed to have you
As big sister and part-time mama

I love our Daddy dates
Though we need to have more
And picking a restaurant can be quite a chore
Let's see
There's Black Eyed Pea
and,
(wait, let me think)
Then there's Black Eyed Pea!
Hmm.
But it's great to spend time, just you and I
As we talk together and you eat your favorite of all dishes
Pasta marinara -
And next time you'll be adventurous and try
Some pasta with maybe a little marinara on top. Delicious!.

God made you athletic
Soccer season was fun
When you break free with the ball on the run
It rocks!
Then there was Soccer camp
And my sporty Beth in her cute dreadlocks
In swim team you did tremendous
The ribbons flowed in
You were stupendous
And the Spirit award you won
Was well deserved
With you energy is never something
To be conserved.

You've always been the type of girl
Who accumulates devoted best friends
It was sad when Destiny had to move
Because it's never fun when a good thing ends
You two were a pair, a great match
One outgoing, one shy
And of course there's you and Callie!
Say "oh me!" say "oh my!"
I know Kids Praise will be amazing this year
And you two will spice things up!
(Hopefully not too much)
But I'm so proud because you can be such
An encouragement to the younger kids
And you'll definitely add some life to that choir
You've got more moves than Lizzy McGuire

And God made you smart
You are very sharp
With a mind that's never on the shelf
Competent, confident, outgoing and fun
And most of the time quite sure of yourself
Well aware of all that's going on out there
Always active, always on the ball
And I sit here now thinking of all
The ways you excel, my sweet
little, smart little green-eyed girl
In Speech meet and Math Olympics
You were Excellent and Superior
You do so well, we couldn't be cheerier
About your prospects in school.
You've got more than your share
Of brain-power, oh, and did I mention your hair?
Now you're sporting a new, older doo
No more bangs! Well I think it's fair
To say that it fits you well, it looks great on you!

And God made you level-headed
As you wondered why your camp friends
Were either wearing too little or
Wearing things they don't need - heck I'm amazed
At your stories of them breaking out their B-R-As
Well, I suppose it's an elementary girl craze
But I'm glad you don't feel rushed
There's plenty of time for that!
Yes, it seems silly to my mature daughter
It seems silly to me too
I want you to stay you

And as you grow and mature
May God keep your heart pure
And make your paths straight
And your steps firm and sure
As He takes each wonderful trait
To use for His glory
To make this play that's your life into
A wonderful story
For I can see Him using your leadership
To lead others to Him
And to show them the right
And I can see Him using your motherliness
To show younger ones His light
And even your feisty-ness, oh yes
So that you will know how to fight
For even a girl needs God's armor strapped on tight

I pray that your life will be like your name
Yes, just like the little town that's your namesake
Just the same
The town where the Lord met with friends
And talked and laughed and ate and prayed
Yes, Bethany is a place where Jesus stayed
And with Jesus living inside of you
Through you He can be there
For your friends too.
And so this is a prayer
from the heart of me
That your whole life people will meet
Jesus in Bethany

And through it all we'll be by your side
Watching you grow with great love and deep pride
And though a large part of me wants you
To stay a little girl
I'm glad you're growing up
Preparing to go out in the world
Where I know that you will do fine
And shine, sweet Bethany,
I'm sure you will shine
Happy birthday my love
I'm so glad that you're mine

Happy Birthday
Love, Daddy
September 5, 2003