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Molly's eleven year old poem:

Molly is Eleven

Molly my sweetheart
My angel, where do I start
To tell you all that I think of you?
To describe all that you mean to me
You are so precious
Growing up - now eleven
Good heavens, it's hard to believe, but it's true
Here you are at ten plus one
What can I say, but here comes the fun!

You are blossoming in so many ways
a beautiful young lady
The changes will be coming fast
But hopefully not furious
And I must admit, I am a bit curious
As to where this year will take you
Although I'm sure that whatever happens
It will be good
and for your good
And that God will continue to mold and make you
Into the person He wants you to be

Your CCCS days have come to an end
I know it's hard to say goodbye to friends
And wave farewell to your elementary days
Though I hope that each fond memory stays
With you, to build upon in Junior High
And may you never have to wonder why
You've made this change, but just be glad
In the good times ahead, and the good times you've had
Still it can be hard, saying "bye" to things you know
And to the new saying "hello"
A fond adieu to teachers and a school that's been so good
Yet I know that in your new Arnold neighborhood
You will do fine, although I'm sure
Those first few days will have their confusion de jure
Traversing the hallways, locker combinations
And meeting a bunch of new teachers
a delicate operation
Making new friends, I'm sure you'll do great
And that each day will find you in a happy state

You continue to make me so proud
As you grow as a musician, singing and playing
The keyboard in church in the Kids Praise band
You guys are great, you deserve a big hand
But I know that as you play every chord
It is all about praising the Lord
And singing, you do it at every opportunity
With beautiful voice, lifting a song
And though Andrew may, at times, be somewhat snippity
I say keep singing! Loud and long
I love to hear my sweet daughter rejoice
And I'm glad God has gifted you with a lovely voice

You are quite the young athlete as well
Though I'm not surprised, truth to tell
At how good you are
- sad to say, you get it all from your mother!
With hoopin' skills like no other
A fifth grader in the midst of older girls
You shot the lights out!
Your team took the winning route
You played a major role in a season that was a dream
My personal choice for MVP on that undefeated team

And volleyball, well don't even get me started
You've got such hustle, it's so cool
There goes Molly
Diving for the ball to keep up the volley
Girl, you rule
My sporty chick
And to add to the sports
There's my little "Blue Angel" (in her red shorts)
Hitting that softball, pitching and fielding
And to defeat never yielding

At swim team you were like a little fish
Knifing through the water, your only wish
To be faster than last week, always to improve
And if you ever fell short, you were very soon moved
To tears, though to us you triumphed every time

And, speaking of time, I realize "it's about time" for you to shine
In 249
And that's a little strange, I admit
To finally be one of those student workers
With multiple kids in the student ministry
It makes me say "Yikes!"
Still, one of my biggest likes
Is hanging out with you, and now we'll have
Even more time together
And I hope and pray that you never ever
Get tired of giving your dad a public hug
That you won't ever sweep me under the rug
And pretend you don't know this aging dude
Though I can't imagine you ever being rude
Like that (hint hint),
and I promise to give you your space
During your student stint
As you grow, learn and play in that cool student place
That 249 is

And I know that someday
(Though hopefully not very soon)
Some lucky young man will make you swoon
I'm sure he will treat you like the princess you are
Opening your door as you exit the car
(Well, time will tell if I've trained you well)
Treating you with respect,
And as one to protect
So different from what the world teaches today
As your dad I can dream that chivalry's not dead
(and if it is I'll give rude-dude a hard smack on the head)
Ha ha just kidding in that last line, but seriously
My desire during these years for my little lady
Is that God's best will always be your fullest goal
That in your Spirit, Body and Soul
You will desire what He wants, and excel in His way
Whether in school or sports teams
Or if you meet the boy of your dreams
That the wisdom, the peace, the security
Of your Heavenly Father
Will be yours in great measure
As you fulfill His good pleasure
For your life
What more could I want as your earthly dad?
This would truly make my heart glad!

May you keep hold of your childlike faith
So that when you are no longer a child
It will continue to anchor you to the Truth
And the love of the Father
That throughout your youth
And beyond
Jesus will be to you your daily strength
And constant guidance

So, I come to the end of these stanzas
Knowing that I cannot express, though I try
How much I love you
and I am so blessed
When I rise up in the morning,
till I lay my head to rest
To have you for my daughter
My prayer for you is that this next year
God will take you places you have never been
And though trials may come you will persevere
And win
And that you will have joy, and fun
Knowing that there is One,
The Lord
Who loves you more than any other
And gave Himself for you
And I praise Him too
Because He has blessed me with you
And I am so happy and proud
To be your Dad
So enjoy this year, my dear,
And may it be followed
By many, many more
And no matter what's in store
Always know that you are beloved
Forever

Happy Birthday
I love you

Daddy
July 26, 2002