For those of you who haven't seen our kidlets much, let me introduce them:
Ariana is my fabulous four year old. She is also my friend--we have great conversations and love to share a cup of tea. She is very sensitive to others and will pick up unerringly on emotional undercurrents. In fact, she empathizes so well that we have to work at giving her tools to handle feelings before they overwhelm her. She loves art, and her favorite activities usually involve drawing or painting. She also loves to cook. Right now she is into butterflies and superheroes. Every night before going to sleep, she an Carlos swap stories about Firestar (her alter ego), Spiderman, various villans, and Ipis and Upis (invented by Carlos). Much of her time is spent dancing and riding her bike. Ariana is also very content to do her own thing and occupy herself. Like me, she sometimes gets focused on her own thoughts or activities and tunes out everything else. She is fiercely protective of others, and if she perceives any need to defend someone she loves she doesn't hesitate for a second. She'll also grasp concepts quickly and think about them long after I've forgotten an incident. She has tremendous compassion. Before she was born, there were some words saying she would be a healer. She loves science and biology, so I could see her studying medicine, but regardless of her career choices, I know her love will bring God's healing into other people's lives.
Joel is our two year old dynamo. He is in perpetual motion. If an object can be climbed, jumped off of, or crashed into, he will do it. (Some of you remember when he jumped off a 6' slide a few months ago). He will make a marvelous stuntman . He is also extremely affectionate, and gives lots of hugs and cuddles. At night, he will wriggle around until he is touching as many of us as possible. He is fascinated by trains, planes and automobiles. He has Carlos' athletic ability and can throw things with remarkable strength and accuracy (we are working on limiting this to objects like soft, squishy balls that are unlikely to injure anyone). He delights in making us laugh. He is quick to help out. He is also devoted to his sisters and makes sure that if he is given anything--a piece of candy, a toy, whatever--that they get one, too. In spite of his physical rough-and-tumble propensities, he is very gentle with his sisters. If he sees someone who is sad, he instantly tries to cheer them up. His grin is contagious. It is a good thing that we aren't really into punishment, because his smile is so cute that he would wiggle out of it often. He loves to eat, and to cook (most days he and Ariana both help with every meal). He also like hot coffee. Before I ever took the pregnancy test, I felt like God told me that he would be a child of faith. I can see already the trust and fearlessness that he has, and I know that this kid can turn the world upside down.
Elena is not yet two months old, so we are still getting to know her. She has an adorable smile and her cheeks and chins are growing daily. She likes being snuggled and carried in the wrap, and lots of leche. As with the other two, before I even took a pregnancy test, I woke up in the middle of the night knowing that I was pregnant, and believing that God was speaking to me about the baby. I feel certain that Elena is going to be a mighty warrior, and while I hope that she doesn't have too many battles in store, I believe that she will be strong and courageous when they come.