Saturday, March 31, 2012

Our 5th Anniversary... by the Numbers.

I could have never fathomed what our life would be like five years ago.  It's been more humbling, challenging, and blessed than I could ever put into words.  Looking back now, I see how God put us together at the perfect time and how He specifically planned this life for us.  Though He had long ordained our paths to meet, we never realized that our first time meeting on the Jamaican mission field would lead to a talk 3 years later at Starbucks in which a pastor and a member of his congregation learn, by His guidance, that they are to be married.  Yet here we are, five years later, and so much has happened (and changed) since then, and I find myself more in awe of God by what we've become, seen, and endured. 

Numbers In 5 Years:
8 days of honeymooning
24 months together before children
10 days of REAL alone time since then
1 home sweet home
11 rooms painted
1 "For Sale" sign
2 lawn mowers owned
2 dead trees
3 different churches
3 "jobs" left behind
5 (or 6) Gatlinburg trips
8 conferences attended
4 mission trips
240 Sunday sermons preached
115 trips to the prison to preach/teach
90+ speaking engagements at the Mission
5 months since taking a job at the Mission
20+ revivals and youth weekends attended
4 heart-breaking deaths
6 friends' weddings
1 30th birthday surprise party
9 states visited
4 countries seen
3 mountains/hills climbed
2 flights canceled
6 cars owned
2 cars totaled
1 move into a minivan
5 Vacation Bible Schools
4 summers with James Evan
177 canvases painted
5 positive pregnancy tests
7 baby showers
2 miscarriages
10 days of bedrest
2 boys' births
31 total hours of labor
3 first days of Mother's Day Out
1 baby on its way
6 amazing babysitters
17 pairs (or more) of Crocs
4 zoos visited
3 amusement parks
2 broken bones
1 blue cast
1 bulging disc

Hospital visits
Loads of laundry
Carpet cleanings
Can openers destroyed
Chick Fil A meals eaten
Gallons of tea prepared
Books purchased
Times we've rearranged furniture
Nail pops on the walls
Willow Tree figurines
Miles travelled
Sleepless nights
Diapers purchased and changed
Prayers answered

Our 5 Year Anniversary

My husband got me the perfect gift...

Friday, March 30, 2012

A Dear Friend

We made some very dear friends one year ago this month...  Brian was called to preach a revival in Alaska (forgive me for never posting pictures), and we just became forever attached to the pastor and his family over the course of the 9 days Brian and I were there.  Being friends with people who live across the country isn't easy...  We don't actually get to "spend time" together too often, but when we learned that Brother James was going to be in our state in March, we were ecstatic!  James had never met our boys, and they were anxious to see who this "James" character was.

We took Brother James around Nashville, and Brian showed him some of the important places of his/our life.  Not all that entertaining compared to the Alaska sites he showed us a little over a year ago, but we were just thankful to spend some time with him.  We ate lunch at Jason's Deli then drove James to our house where the fun was just about to begin.  :)

Thankfully, Brother James came
bearing gifts from their family.
Mary, these bubble tools were genius!

And, since it was cold outside,
we opted to play bubbles indoors.

Seriously, the most fun they've had in a while!

We hadn't seen a smile this big
on Samuel's face in a few days... 
He had just gotten his cast on that week.

Learning to blow bubbles through
the bubble wand

Getting the hang of it

Samuel loves the star wand.

Looking over the building plans
 to the Anchor church... 
Daniel approved.

Our usual shy and timid Samuel
actually was willing to take a picture
with Brother James!

All of the boys!
If only Josiah and Micah
could have been here to join in...
AND Mary, Grace, and Anna
could have been here to get a
girls' shot with me!

Needless to say, we thoroughly enjoyed our time with Brother James.  We were even able to see him later in the week, and the boys were very happy.  It is such a blessing to have dear, Godly friends across the country.  God has truly given us some precious gifts!  We love you, Keen family!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

1 Month Away from Turning 3

Daniel is actually getting way too close to turning 3 years old.  In fact, he is only one whopping month from it, and his birthday party is a short two weeks away.  I honestly cannot believe how quickly he is growing, and each and every day I am reminded at how blessed I am that God chose me to be his mom.  I am honored (and challenged) to have the opportunity to raise him into the man of God I pray he one day becomes.

In his 35th month, Daniel:
Weighed 34 lbs.
Wore a size 8 1/2 - 9 in shoes.
Wore 3T clothes.
Completely potty trained
EXCEPT when asleep.
Counted to 15.
Could say all of his ABCs.
Pretended all of the time.
Acted out stories and movies with his toys.
Really enjoyed the bookstore and storytime.
Always wanted to "cheese" for pictures.
Liked watching basketball.
Thought every team was the Vanderbilt Commodores.
Became quite particular about what he wore.
Celebrated his cousin Kallie's 1st birthday.
Loved giving kisses.
Saw hail for the first time...
and some major warm weather.
Always wanted to buy a movie.
Needed every toy he saw on t.v.
Told us that things were "for my birthday."
Enjoyed being outdoors.
Asked to swing everyday.
Liked to color with crayons and sidewalk chalk.
Needed to know where everyone was...  everyday.
Wanted to go shopping all the time.
Would tell us, in detail, about his day.
Could say prayers all by himself.  So sweet.
Loved holding hands with Samuel.
Was very worried when Samuel fell and broke his leg.

Some of Daniel's Favorite Things:
Food(s):   Pizza
Toy(s):   Thomas Trains, Balloons
Show(s):   Thomas & Friends, Doodlebops
Movie(s):  Toy Story 1-3, Thomas Day of the Diesels, Wall-E
Snack(s):   Chips, Gummies, Cake, Pretzels, Popsicles, Popcorn
Song(s):   Who Built the Ark
Color(s): Blue and Red
Thing(s) to Do:   Pretending, Picnic, Swing, Wrap Gifts, Color
People: Shia, Samuel, Mimi, Grandpa, Natalie, Gavin
Some of Daniel's Popular Phrases:
  • I am sorry, Mommy, for not listening.
  • It's racing day.
  • You're my best friend.
  • I color today.
  • What's that?
  • Where're you taking me, Mommy?
  • What's he got?
  • Where is ______?
  • I wanna play in the "yard sale".
  • Let's have a pickquick (picnic).
  • I need to buy that.  It's Alvin and the Jiplunks.  It's for my birthday.
  • I wanna eat a pop-lart.  Cook it for me.
  • You have to be gentle.
Sidewalk chalking with Samuel

Giving Kallie a hug before heading home

Behaving so well for storytime

Best part of storytime?
Seeing all the Thomas trains for sale.

Getting a haircut with Aunt Jessica

Admiring the hail in the backyard

Holding brother's hand in the car

His big surprise from his Mimi
after a BIG potty milestone.

    Wednesday, March 28, 2012

    All Things Work Together

    When I woke Tuesday morning (March 20) at 8:28 a.m., I found it as no accident.  On a day when I was expecting the worse (and still was), I was reminded so clearly of my favorite scripture, Romans 8:28, which states, And we know that all things work together for good to them that love the Lord...  I had no idea how timely that verse would be throughout the remainder of the day. 

    I quickly got myself and the boys ready for Mother's Day Out.  Samuel had insisted on wearing his brother's John Deere hat from Grandpa, his baseball outfit, and his Scooby Doo Crocs, and I, despite my best intentions, allowed him to mismatch himself all the way into school. 

    When backing out of the garage, I noticed the most beautiful tulip in our front yard...  One simple, red tulip.  My heart was overwhelmed with God.  While nothing else seems to grow in our yard other than weeds and bugs, the tree that had once been in the center of our yard had died, so Brian had planted what seemed to be rotten tulip bulbs in its place.  Two years later, this beautiful flower appeared.  I was in awe of how God had placed that one tulip in our front yard on this particular day, when I just-so-happened to be filled with fear and anxiety.

    I ran errands that morning until time for my OB appointment at 10:30, expecting that this would be the appointment in which I went on bed rest.  After having had strong contractions all day on Sunday, I just imagined that at 31 weeks all of my "running" would be over.  Much to my surprise, my OB was not surprised.  He smiled gently and explained that he thought all I was experiencing was normal with my history of pre-term labor with Samuel. 

    While waiting to leave my appointment, I received a text from Brian who had left work due to an injury he had received Monday while playing basketball.  He explained that he was at the chiropractor who had discovered his injury was in fact a bulging disc.  Brian was instructed to do no heavy lifting or strenuous activity for 3 weeks. 

    I went about my day so thankful for God's provision of keeping me off of bed rest especially when my husband was going to be unable to lift the boys.  Stockpiling diapers, getting groceries, and running errands were my mission for the day.  I also had made plans with my sister to pick her and sweet Natalie up around 1:30 that afternoon before picking the boys up from Mother's Day Out.  Natalie was to turn 5 in just two days, so we had decided to take the cousins to McDonalds for ice cream and play.  We had originally thought we'd go to Chick Fil A in Rivergate, but I thought it'd be less crowded at White House McDonalds (and get 50 cent cones).  So, we headed to pick up the boys.

    We arrived at McDonalds with three very excited kids.  Daniel and Natalie went running into the Playplace while Samuel, his normal, timid self, took his time climbing up the one step and onto the platform.  Mimi had gone to order our ice cream while Aunt Ca and I watched the kids.  I had just told Jessica that Samuel would simply climb the stairs and platform but never enter inside the Playplace.  True to his usual fashion, he crawled up the stairs but stopped just before going into the tunnel.  We'd been there a whole 7 minutes when Samuel fell face first onto the platform while Mimi still waited in line.  He screamed for Mommy when Ca got to him first, and she passed him to me.

    We were certain he'd just gotten scared and that his face was hurting him.  It was just a simple fall, from the step to the platform.  He had twisted towards his left side downward onto the platform, but it wasn't anything major.  However, Samuel continued crying...  When Mimi returned with our dipped cones, Samuel would not take his - an indication that his fall was more than a scare for him.  I would go to sit down, and he would sternly say, "Stand up!" over and over again.  When his crying lasted for over 20 minutes and people began to stare, I asked Mom if she thought this was normal.  She agreed that it wasn't, so Samuel and I climbed into the van, leaving our family behind.  Just before heading out the door, I looked at him and said, "Samuel, tell Mommy what is hurting.  Can you tell me what's wrong?"  He looked up with his tear-filled eyes and quietly stated, "My leg, my leg."

    Samuel was very quiet as I carried him into the pediatrician's office which was just two lights away from McDonalds.  I found it strange that while being examined, he kept his leg bent and his toes raised, resting his whole left leg on my stomach.  We waited as they decided to send us straight to imaging down the street.  Being 31 weeks pregnant, I knew I'd need to return to McDonalds to get my sister to hold Samuel for his x-rays.  The x-rays were difficult; I waited in the hallway as I listened to Samuel yell for Mommy and allowed Jessica to hold him.  Jessica knew he was in pain, and it hurt her to have to hold his leg with the grimacing expressions on his face.  I think she realized the outcome before I did.

    We returned to the pediatrician's office only to be taken straight back to Room 1.  The nurse entered with a significant dose of ibuprofen for Samuel, and I believe this was my first indication that something might actually be wrong.  Moments later, our pediatrician walked in and said, "Well, he has broken his leg...  (my heart is sinking at this point) in two places."  I began to tear up because the emotions of the day were finally catching up with my hormonal, pregnant self.  She informed us that we'd be looking at 8 weeks of a cast...  and here I was, almost 32 weeks pregnant.  We really didn't have 8 weeks!

    Jessica, Samuel, and I were sent to Vanderbilt Children's ER because all of the orthopaedics were closing for the day.  Thankfully, Brian was able (despite his bulging disc) to drive to McDonalds, leave his car for my mom, Daniel, and Natalie, and my father was able to take him back home where he remained on the couch for the next day. 

    The wait seemed like ages in the ER, but we were home by 11:30 that night, equipped with Loritab for Samuel's pain and a cast from his thigh to his toes.  He'd had to endure the cast saw, and the doctors saw fit to saw a slit from the top of the cast to the bottom to allow for swelling.  The next few days were hard, adjusting to life with Daddy down and out, Mommy 32 weeks pregnant, and Samuel unable to walk.  He learned very quickly to scoot and crawl despite his 5-10 lb addition. 

    Frustrated at the possibility of NOT playing at the train table

    This is really cramping my style.

    Learning to sit and sing with his cast.

    2 days after the injury, a smiling Samuel
    climbs his way up onto the chair.

    Yesterday, Jessica and I took Samuel to the Pediatric Orthopaedics at Vanderbilt where he received another round of miserable x-rays and a new "outer" coating for his cast.  He's sporting a heavier, blue-colored cast which he will wear for only 3 weeks.  A splint may be necessary when we return to take the cast off to help him transition back to walking. 

    This isn't too bad!

    My mind, throughout all 8 days of this, has constantly gone back to the clock that I woke to a little over a week ago.  8:28.  As clear as the sky (and Samuel's cast) is blue, my God is still God, and He will and has already worked all things together for good.

    Tuesday, March 20, 2012

    Baby #3

    He is actually Baby #5, but because in the world's eyes due to the fact that his brother and sister were miscarried, we'll stick with the number 3. 

    I haven't talked about him much.  I haven't really shared some of the fun and not-so-interesting stories of this pregnancy, but as I look back over the past 31 weeks, I'm realizing this is yet another one of God's amazing miracles.  This baby made himself known around September of 2011 when I just wasn't feeling well.  I was sore and tired and I knew I needed to take a test.  Much to my surprise, two faint lines appeared over and over, after every test I took.  It was on September 11th when we realized for certain there would be another Johnson baby.

    The next few weeks were hard.  I was incredibly nauseous.  I had all-day sickness and had two toddlers watching my every move.  I rarely was able to "rest" as the doctor insisted.  I craved apples (weird because I dislike apples but have craved them with all 5 of my pregnancies), yet when I ate them, they made me ill.  Smells and foods that had never bothered me before were too much for me to take, and things I thought I wanted would taste so good then would have me in the restroom for much of the night. 

    I began to show around my 8th week.  I realized that we would be unable to keep this pregnancy a secret for long, and honestly, I didn't want to.  I've been the bearer of bad news with pregnancies that were never announced and ended in miscarriage, but I wanted to deeply relish in the fact that God had/has given us another child. 

    Oddly enough, I was almost certain (secretly) that this baby was a girl.  My symptoms were so different than they were with the boys.  I ached in placed I didn't think I could, didn't sleep well laying down, and continued to be sick throughout my first and second trimesters.  Actually, the nausea was worse in my second trimester when things are supposed to get better.  My prediction would be put to the test during the first week of January.

    Around that same time, God revealed a name for the baby to Brian.  We have a "thing" about names since God burdened Brian to change Daniel's name 5 weeks before he was born.  Since then, we've decided NOT to choose our own names, but to let God reveal them to us.  It wasn't until the day of the ultrasound when I was 21 weeks that God also gave me a name.  Ultrasound also showed us that we were definitely having another boy!

    The pregnancy has flown by since then.  I've not taken pictures of my growing stomach or kept track of everything that has happened, but it's been memorable to say the least.  I've enjoyed how different this pregnancy has been.  I've been super anxious over the idea of having three children.  I sometimes find myself worrying over how I'll run errands or get sleep, but I am certain that God has a perfect plan in mind for our growing family. 

    Here are a few things I don't want to forget:
    • Cravings:  Green Apples, Chinese food, Cereal
    • Aversions:  Any Green Vegetable, Spicy foods
    • Changes in Self:  Mood Swings, Emotional Wreck, Thick Fingernails, Itchy Skin, Red Cheeks, Exhaustion, Sleeplessness
    • Weight Gain:  14 lbs as of 30th Week
    • Difficulties:  Sleeping, Not Being Able to Lift Daniel, Getting Over-Heated, Nausea, Heartburn, Anxiety, Saying No Because I've Had To
    • Enjoyments:  Wearing Maternity Clothes, Watching Daniel's Face When He Feels His Brother Move, People's Reaction to Our Growing Family, Waiting On Baby's Name
    • Times to Remember:  Revealing the Gender via Cakeball Cookies, When Daniel Went through a Phase of Wanting to Call Him BABY JESUS, Hearing Samuel Say What Could Be the Baby's Name
    Other Memorable Moments Thus Far:
    • 4th Week (September):  Sick and Tired - exhaustion leads to a positive pregnancy test or two
    • 9th Week - (October):  Shared the News - after first appointment, we told family members and close friends about the pregnancy
    • 11th Week:  Popcorn - began feeling baby movements but wasn't sure...
    • 12th Week (November):  Making It Public - In a Facebook update on thankfulness, I mentioned for the first time the pregnancy, but very few people seemed to catch on.  It read, I am thankful for God's gracious gifts of two children to raise, two to look forward to meeting in Heaven, and one on its way!
    • 18th Week (December):  Braxton Hicks Contractions - early tightness considered normal with third pregnancy
    • 20th Week (January):  Secret Revealed? - announcement that I'm 20 wks on Facebook gets MANY questions and congrats
    • 21st Week (January):  It's a Boy - ultrasound easily reveals gender
    • 23rd Week (January):  ER Visit - difficulty breathing + chest pain + lots of testing = bronchitis
    • 24th Week (January/February):  Asthmatic Bronchitis - worsened symptoms meant more antibiotics, steroids, and breathing treatments
    • 26th Week (February):  Super Nauseous - heartburn makes for miserable meals
    • 27th Week (February):  Big Meets Baby - Daniel feels his baby brother's kicks
    • 28th Week (February):  Baby Needs a Name - Daniel and Samuel, when asked to choose between the two names God has given Brian and me, always say a certain one... 
    • 29th Week (March):  Heat Wave - strange warm weather makes me one hot momma
    • 30th Week (March):  Nesting - nervous over the house being dirty, toys being everywhere, not having enough groceries, needing to run errands, frantically planning the older boys' birthday party for April
    • 31st Week (March):  Day of Contractions - Sunday, the 18th, was a day of MANY contractions.  Woke at 6 a.m. not feeling well, and contractions soon followed.  Taking an afternoon nap and drinking a TON of water caused them to slow down.

    Friday, March 16, 2012

    From the Mouth of Babes...

    Seriously, the things that come out of their mouths is too much for me at times.  Sometimes, I'm completely embarassed, while at others, I'm in total awe.

    • He's got pick-ups.   - Daniel, explaining to me that Samuel has 'hiccups'
    • I'm wearing a Roll-up.  I have a Roll-up diaper on.  I need to pee, but not in my Roll-up.  In the potty, okay?!   - Daniel, making certain he remembers for himself to NOT have an accident in his 'Pull-up'
    • Top, Danyule.   - Samuel, telling Daniel that he should 'stop' stacking the couch cushions in order to build a tower
    • It's a six, see?!  Right there, you can see it.  - Daniel, shocking his mommy beyond belief when he recognized the number 6 on our gas station pump
    • Samuel's coughing, Mommy.  He needs to go to the doctor check.  - Daniel, being a really great big brother realizing Samuel wasn't feeling well
    • Doctor Check, you make Samuel better?  You give him medicine?  He's got boogers in his ear.  Get them out, Doctor Check.  Daniel's not sick.  - Daniel, speaking to Dr. B then 1)calling her by the name he has given every doctor, 2) telling her about the ear wax in Samuel's ears, and 3) making sure she knew he didn't need to be checked as well.
    • It's stars, Mommy.  Look!  He made them for me.  - Daniel, noticing the display in the sky, and remembering that God made them
    • God don't change.  - Daniel, recalling a family devotional his Daddy gave a few weeks ago

    Thursday, March 8, 2012

    He Gets It from His Momma...

    I promised no potty-training stories, but this was a learning experience for both my child and me.  I hope you see the simple message here and focus less on the potty parts of this blog.

    I see so much of myself in Daniel.  His tendency to be a bit dramatic, his need for details, his love for going and not sitting at home, how he loves to go shopping, his outgoing personality, his passion for music and singing, and his tremendous creative ability (we'll focus on that today) are without a doubt qualities and traits Daniel obtained from me.  I never imagined I could look at one of my children and see a reflection of myself looking back at me, and yet Daniel seems to teach me that I still have areas in which I need to grow because he is so much like me.

    Just yesterday, I realized Daniel had gotten quiet.  Way too quiet.  I rushed to find him standing in his room with no bottoms on.  I proceeded to change Samuel's diaper when I was amazed with what I found.  Let's face it, Daniel has always found ways to surprise me...  from lining up his cars and trains with their front sides all facing the same way to learning how to open every child safety lock in this house.  However, yesterday's creative genius went beyond my own belief!

    As I said, I went to change Samuel and discovered that the wipes box was empty...  well, somewhat.  I have been the recipient of many items in our wipes box (from trains, crayons, and forks to paper, books, and more), but I have never once found anything liquid inside.  Until yesterday.  Daniel had actually used the empty case as his very own, personal potty - thus, his naked bottom half. 

    In disbelief, I look at Daniel and ask, "Honey, did you pee in here?"  He replied (creative as ever), "I so sorry, Mommy.  I not make it to the potty fast."  In other words, Yes, Mom, I peed in the wipes box, and I really am sorry about it.  However, I couldn't make it to the potty in time.  When telling my sister about this event, she asked if I scared him by freaking out over the pee in the wipes case.  To be honest, I would have totally been shocked if this were any other child but my own, but I was actually impressed that he was clever enough NOT to make a mess on the floor but grabbed the next best thing he could find.  It's quite genius. 

    In that moment, I happened to see a little bit of Jenna in Daniel.  Just like his mom, he attempted to avoid a problem situation by coming up with a better idea.  He even was creative in the way he apologized and told the truth about his misdoing.  I could have been angry, and while I did say over and over that "pee goes in the potty," I was astonished at how his little mind took something simple and used it in a creative way.  Isn't that what I do when I paint?  Isn't that what I do when I embroider?  Isn't that what I do when an idea for a birthday party pops into my head?  I take simple things and allow the creative ability God has given me and use it to the best of my knowledge. It doesn't always turn out pretty, and it might not even be done correctly, but it's what I do.  That's what I saw in Daniel yesterday...  the fact that God has given him a precious ability to be creative even at almost 3 years old, and that itself is a beautiful thing.

    Sure, I'd much rather him use the potty next time...  :)

    Monday, March 5, 2012

    I have to remember this...

    I was very certain in the years and days before I became a parent that I would never share naked-sitting-on-the-potty pictures or tell stories about my children regarding their toilet training events.  I don't even like discussing or mentioning pee or poop aloud, much less writing about it.  However, Daniel just made me laugh so hard that I do not ever want to forget how difficult, yet hilarious potty training can be.

    Daniel at 34 months old has been potty trained for about 2-3 weeks now.  He really had no problems with it once he realized he actually could do it.  That took all of two days.  I didn't use any treats, tricks, or bribes with him.  That is, until about a week ago...

    He began to regress in a not-so-fun-for-mom way.  Daniel continued to pee in the potty with no accidents, but there were other ways in which I was becoming so frustrated with him that I was desperate.  I literally looked at my almost three year old and said, "Daniel, if you will "mess" in the potty all of the time and not in your underwear, Mommy will buy you any Thomas train you want."  At first, I'll admit that he honestly could care less.  He's a hands-on, show-me-right-now kind of kid, so when he continued making messes in his underwear, I wasn't surprised. 

    However, Daniel soon found the Thomas object of his affection.  While reading his Danger at the Dieselworks book one afternoon, he discovered a toy he decided he couldn't go without.  He has talked about this Dieselworks Playset for about 5 days now.  Anytime he heads to the bathroom, he is usually mentioning the "crane" or the "diesels."  BUT, he's only messed in the potty once.  ONCE since then.  He's still certain about getting the Dieselworks set, but he isn't so sure about using the potty to do so. 

    Just moments ago, after sitting on the potty trying to get the Dieselworks pretty much all of today, he was over in the play area scooting trains around the track when he popped up from the train table.  He dashed by me where I was sitting on the couch, exclaiming, "The poop is coming!  I have to do it for the diesels."  Serious as all get out.

    And sure enough, mission accomplished.  Two days in a row.  One more time, and I feel a certain $33 toy is on its way.  I, for one, am quite proud.

    Friday, March 2, 2012

    21-Month-Old Samuel

    In 3 whopping months, Samuel will turn two.  Something is just not right about that!

    In his 21st month, Samuel:
    Weighed 26 lbs.
    Wore 12-18 month clothes.
    Wore a size 5 wide or extra wide in shoes.
    Was in size 4 and 5 diapers.
    Began liking Mother's Day Out.
    Stopped crying when dropped off.
    Was very timid and shy.
    Was uncomfortable around crowds.
    Was never sure of unfamiliar faces.
    Didn't like being touched.
    Became very sick at the end of January.
    Tested positive for strep and pneumonia.
    Had his first, scary case of hives.
    It was related to the strep.
    Didn't enjoy taking antibiotics...  3 rounds.
    Talked all the time.
    Was a deep thinker.
    Was always listening and thinking.
    Did what he was told.
    Was a Mommy's boy.
    Began to be more independent.
    Liked hearing the doorbell ring.
    Finally liked to swing!
    Disliked getting his diaper changed.
    Wasn't big on sharing his toys or books.
    Could count from 1 - 9.
    Recognized most colors.
    Had a huge vocabulary.
    Understood exact details and followed them.
    Was VERY tender-hearted.
    Cried when he got in trouble.
    Seriously was the sweetest child.

    Some of Samuel's Favorite Things:
    Food(s):   Spaghetti, Bread
    Toy(s):   Books, His Grill and Play Food
    Show(s): Curious George, Elmo's World
    Movie(s):  Cars 2
    Snack(s):   Goldfish
    Song(s):   ABCs, Jesus Loves Me
    Color(s):   Blue
    Thing(s) to Do:   Sing and Read
    People:  Daddy, Mommy, Daniel
    Some of Samuel's Popular Phrases:
    • Stop it.
    • I lub you, Danyule.
    • Where Daddy go?
    • Hi, Mommy.
    • Yep.
    • Nope.
    • I finished.
    • I swingin'.
    • Danyule's funny.
    • Hurry up!
    • I like it.
    • I not like it.
    • I want cereal.  Peez?
    Other 21st Month Fun Facts:
    Samuel helped his Mommy celebrate her 29th birthday!
    Can you guess who ate ALL of his cake,
    then wanted more?!

    Night time fun with Daddy is the best!

    Just another morning with my brudder...
    Moments before Daniel started kissing Samuel's cheeks!

    Sick Samuel
    This was the morning we discovered Samuel
    is prone to getting hives when he is sick.
    His face was Mommy's indication that
    something wasn't right with Samuel that day.

    The best part about big brother potty-training?
    Getting to wear Mr. Incredible underwear for fun!

    Samuel, who do you love?
    I lub Daddy.