To Sam: Year 4

To Sam: Year 4

I love the fact that we can look back on each year of your life and remember what you're doing, so I'm still writing it, even if it's a few months late.

You have grown from a toddler to a preschooler this year. You rarely take naps anymore, but play in quiet time. You love to play with your brother, except when he picks on you (which is a lot).

You're my big emotions kid. You love with everything in you and you fall apart over little things. You love to give kisses, telling me "I'll love you forever," give hugs, and snuggle. When you fall apart, it's usually whining and throwing fits because I asked you to do something you don't want to do. We work through it (sometimes with discipline), but you're learning!

You love to play on the iPad, read books, and play outside. You love to help me do just about everything from baking to washing dishes to doing laundry. I love how you help!

This year you learned how to ride your bike without training wheels! This is so much fun because now you can go on bike rides and be able to ride on your own instead of in the bike trailer.

You have the BEST laugh, smile, and giggle!

More fun things: we went on 2 vacations to Florida this year! We went to an Indians baseball game. We went to the circus. And we got a puppy!

I love being your mom and watching you grow. Love you!

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To Luke: Year 6

To Luke, Year 6

I can't believe how unbelievably late this letter is! But I am writing it, so that counts as a win, right? :)

You grew up SO much in the last year. You started helping without being asked, cleaning when you knew something needed to be done, getting your own breakfast ready for me to help with, etc. It's been very fun to see you becoming more independent! And also not so fun because you developed a big kid attitude and now have big kid emotions that go with it!

You started not needing to take a nap very often, but one day you did fall asleep.. underneath Sam's shirts and gave me the scare of a lifetime! You were having quiet time in your room and when I came to let you know you could come downstairs, you were gone. Not in your room, not in your playroom, not downstairs where I'd been, nowhere. The doors were all locked, so you hadn't gone outside. I was TERRIFIED. I called your dad and he left work. I called Grammy and Papa and the whole church staff showed up to look around the neighborhood for you. I asked all the neighbors if they'd seen you. No one had. I called the police and they were sending a police officer over to look for you. I was hysterical because you were lost and I had no idea where you would have gone. After we'd all been shouting and screaming and praying for you to come out, you come walking down the stairs still half asleep. We were all SO thankful you'd been there all along and I just cried and cried because you were safe.

You started your year out with the 4 year old Pre-K class at Rock Paper Scissors and did SO well. And then you started Kindergarten right before your 6th birthday! You love to learn and are SO smart and remember things very well.

You absolutely adore your sister and love to help her with anything. You love to play with Sam, but you also love to torment him by pushing his buttons and trying to get him riled up. It works most of the time.

We took 2 trips to Florida this year. One with just our small family and one with Grammy, Papa, Holly and Brad. Both times we ended up at Great Grandma's house and I love how you know her and want to go to her house now! It was so fun to watch you start swimming at her pool where I remember swimming as a kid. And you can swim without a life vest now! (You also tried climbing a palm tree and got about a million tiny splinters in your hands.)

You have the biggest, goofiest, want-to-have-fun personality and you love to be around people.

Other highlights: an ER trip because you hadn't gone to the bathroom for too long and got a compaction. A trip to the circus. Swallowing a penny (and another ER trip). Our first mother/son dance. Losing your first tooth. Riding the zipline at camp. First trip to an Indians baseball game.

And lastly, but most importantly, you decided on April 15 to ask Jesus into your heart. You learned what sin was, that you sin every day and that that separates you from God. You learned that to get to heaven you have to ask Jesus to come live in your heart and follow how He tells us to live in the Bible. This was THE BEST MOMENT of your entire life and I hope you always continue to live for Him.

I love you so much and am so proud of the big kid you're becoming!

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