It's hard to believe that our little man is already 1 year old! Israel is getting so big and changing so quickly! We celebrated with some of our friends on Sunday and will have a piñata with the little children at church this evening. Below is a note we wrote to Israel about this special time in his life. Since he won't remember all the little things that are going on right now (and we will likely soon forget!) Grandma C encouraged us to write those down too, so you'll see we have tried to document many of those little things in the form of a journal entry/note to Israel, that he can read for many years to come.

April 6th, 2016

Israel David, mommy and daddy love you so much! Your name means, "God will Prevail" and "Beloved of God." Just as the children of Israel are the apple of God's eye, so you are the apple of our eye. A year ago today we held you for the first time and thanked God for giving us you! We pray you will come to know Jesus at an early age and follow him all the days of your life!

Israel, it's hard to believe you are already a year old! On Sunday you got to try cake and ice cream for the first time with a bunch of your friends watching you (you smeared it all over your legs! lol). You are a handsome little fella, and here in Central America you stand out a little with your blonde hair and blue eyes. You are walking everywhere now and love to play soccer (fútbol) with your friends. You have 7 teeth and the 8th is gonna pop through any day now. Your favorite foods are bananas, papaya, and avocados, plus the new treats Grandma C brought for you to try (puffs, and GoGo Squeeze). You have just started pointing and love pointing at all the balloons and streamers we have up in the house. You can say, "mama," "papa," "nur-nur" (when you wanna nurse) and "uh oh," as well as several words in sign language. You think that anytime you say "more" or "please" in sign language you should be given whatever you're asking for. ;-) You love giving big slobbery kisses (or "besitos" in spanish) whether we ask you for one in English or Spanish. You love music and always dance to it when you hear it, or clap with the congregation during worship time in church. You respond with a big smile and raise your hands toward the ceiling when we ask you to say, "Gloria a Dios." You love reading books with us and helping us turn the pages. You like to drop your toys when you're standing and you throw your sippy cup when you're finished, so mommy and daddy have had to learn to make sure our feet are out of the way, at least until you learn the difference between soft balls and hard objects. You love water, as long as it's not the waves at the beach that look like they're gonna get you. You're such a happy little fella. You nap well during the day and sleep well at night.

Israel, momma and papa love you so much and pray your first birthday is just the beginning of many more happy ones to come! XOXOXO

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