Today marks a significant life event for our Mr. Jake – for today is the day that our sweet Jake turns 16 years old!
You may be just as amazed as John and I are – where did the time go? The exodus of these calendar years is beyond our parental comprehension! Suddenly, the brand-spanking new baby who was gently placed in our arms on October 26, 2001 has transformed! A tall, handsome and very special young man stands before us. And yet, even as this gentle giant of a man-boy interacts with us, his child-like demeanor and innocence remains.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again and again and again. There is no one like Mr. Jake.
How well do you know our sweet boy?
Well, in honor of his birthday, I will share 16 fun facts about our birthday boy that emphasize what a great kid Jake is and how delighted we are to count him as our son!
So, here they are!
The Top 16 Facts about Jake – in no particular order –
- Jake’s favorite color is blue. Well, I think many of us already knew that. But do you know how many blue shirts Jake has hanging in his closet? No? I didn’t either. I opened Jake’s closet doors and peeked inside. As I counted, Jake said, “I have a lot of blue shirts.” Yes, Jake you do! I counted 25 blue shirts – some he dons so often that they are about to wear out and others that are worn according to the South African seasons.
- Every Friday, our family plays a game together. This game playing practice began as a means of encouraging more social, give and take interaction for Jake and Caleb. Friday Game Days have become a Witherow family favorite. But do you know what Jake’s favorite game is these days? No, it doesn’t have anything to do with Thomas the Tank Engine. Jake is growing up and Thomas has become a childhood friend of the past. Jake’s current game pick is Sorry! He particularly enjoys saying “Sorry” to his brothers.
- There is something I never, ever, ever request of Mr. Jake. Any guesses? Actually, there are two things. I never prompt Jake to clean his room or make his bed. Jake keeps his bedroom in order and is probably the best bed-maker in the family.
- Did you know we call Jake the fly-whisperer? This kid despises flying insects. Yes, indeed. To remove these creatures from the house, Jake has taken up the careful, deliberate, and quiet habit of herding flies and other flying insects out the door. Somehow, Jake surrounds the trespassing insects with his arms and with circling, encompassing arm motions, Jake steers these unwanted critters outside. Who knew it could be done?
- Every Thursday, we host our PCS (prayer-care-share) time with our mission team. To let everyone inside our property, Jake stands outside and mans the gate. He’s our resident gate keeper.
- As each PCS guest arrives, Jake proceeds to give them a welcome hug. He’ll stand watch until every single person has arrived and he’ll make sure every single person is warmly received!
- This is true of anyone Jake meets. Jake will offer a hug in greeting and a hug in farewell. I cannot think of anyone who has ever turned down one of Jake’s sweet hugs.
- Most days of the week, our family reads the Bible together. This month we are reading 1 John 3 (Check it out- it’s a fantastic chapter!). Jake prides himself on reaching the Bible verses first. He’s so quick! Rarely, does anyone in the family arrive at the spot where we will be reading before Jake does!
- Speaking of the Bible, Jake’s all-time favorite preacher is Andy Stanley of Northpoint Church. You may have already known that. However, Jake has been a fan of Pastor Stanley for seven years. Right now, our family is viewing the Brand New series from Pastor Stanley and Jake is loving it!
- When I make coffee cake for breakfast, Jake typically cuts his cake into bite-size pieces before eating it. As Jake begins to cut, John swoops to Jake’s side and asks him if he has counted the pieces. Jake responds with an emphatic “NO!” To Jake’s misfortune, John then begins to count as Jake cuts his cake, “150, 14, -3, 22, etc.” Jake grimaces and says to his dad, “You’re teasing, Dad! That’s not counting! Oh brother!” This is a regular routine between these two teasers!
- Jake has an amazing memory. All I have to do is ask him about a particular event, and Jake can relate where we were, when we were there, who was there, and what we were doing. For this aging parent, that’s a real help!
- There is a lot of laughing and joke-telling or rather attempt-at-joke-telling in the Witherow house. Jake doesn’t tell jokes. However, he always seems to be in on the joke as he smiles his way through the moment. Jake has a great sense of humor.
- Along with reading the Bible daily, our family prays together regularly as well. Jake always, always, always prays for his grandparents – my mom and dad and John’s mom. He is also quick to pray for anyone who is sick or injured. Recently, he’s been praying faithfully for his great-uncle Richard who had heart surgery. He is also concerned about the fires that have besieged Oregon and California. He has prayed for the families affected in this region nearly every day as well.
- For his birthday this year, Jake has asked for …. drum roll please…. cinnamon rolls for breakfast, cheeseburgers for dinner and a vanilla cake with blue frosting for dessert. The cinnamon rolls were a no-brainer for Jake. However, we weren’t sure what he might like for his birthday dinner for his 16th He keeps us guessing on that!
- Jake may come across a bit gruff to others – he’s a to-the-point-kind-of-guy. However, that crusty exterior encases a soul of great depth who loves others with great loyalty and devotion.
- And that’s the most important characteristic about Jake. Jake is a kind-hearted, loyal, and true-to-the-core human being who offers his family and so many others his expansive, generous love.
So, there you go!
Do you know something new about Jake?
If yes, let me know what you appreciate about our sixteen-year-old!
Happy Birthday Jake!
We love you very, very, very much!
There is absolutely no one on this earth like you!!!