To Sam: Year 3

To Sam, 
You are getting so big, so fast! Literally and figuratively. I think you're going to be the tallest kid in our family.

This year, your hair finally started to grow in! It came in super blonde and super curly. We can't go anywhere without someone commenting on your beautiful curls. Plus those blue eyes and long lashes. You are absolutely adorable. And you have the personality to go with your looks. You give the best hugs, love to be touching all the time. Even when we're eating dinner you have to be halfway sitting on my lap. You have the sweetest smile and the best giggle. You are sensitive and sweet. You're also very stubborn and emotional! When I have to drop you off at a class, whether it's for church, MOPs, or Bible study, you still cry every time I leave. You're definitely Mommy's boy :)

You passed some big milestones this year! We took the paci away in anticipation of having a new baby, you moved to a big bed in Luke's room, and you potty trained! I probably could have potty trained you months before I actually did because you would tell me all the time when you were going. Funny story: About 2 weeks after you started potty training, we went up to Michigan to visit Great Grandma Bush. While we were there, we went to the beach one day and you really had to go to the bathroom. We told you to just go pee in the lake, thinking you'd go into the water and pee. Nope. You dropped your swimsuit on the beach and peed INTO the lake. It was hilarious!

You love to read! You have the Very Hungry Caterpillar and Brown Bear Brown Bear books memorized. It makes me very proud of you!

You do your absolute best to keep up with your big brother. You love playing with him, but you also don't mind doing your own thing. You love ice cream, but otherwise aren't a big sweets person. Your stuffed puppy, Rufus (you call him My Yufus), and your blankie are your favorite things. Mommy and Papa are your favorite people. You love to wrestle, snuggle, watch movies, and play with technology. You love your baby sister and have no idea what a space bubble is.

I love you so, so, so much!

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To Luke: Year 5

Every year on my kids birthdays I write them a letter so we can remember what they accomplished and the fun things we did throughout the last year. 

To Luke on your fifth birthday,
WHAT?! How, how, how do I have a baby that's 5? I am LOVING watching you grow and HATING that you're getting so big at the same time.  

We have done so much this year. You started preschool last fall at Rock Paper Scissors and loved it. You learned so much and excelled completely. Not that I’m surprised; you’re super smart! You know how to write all your letters now, can read and spell your name, Sam, Mom, and Dad. You played soccer for the first time and Anniston was on your team. You guys spent most of the games playing with each other instead of playing soccer :) You learned how to swim without a lifejacket! You also learned how to ride a real four wheeler (and have your own!) You’re a daredevil on anything that moves (bike, 4 wheeler, scooter, skateboard) and it makes me wonder when our first ER visit will happen.

You’ve stopped taking a nap and have quiet time instead (most days you do end up falling asleep for a little bit, which is good for your attitude later in the day). You like to play with your hotwheels cars and read books during your quiet time. You love to dress up in costumes and play super heroes.

You’re turning out to be an organized, scheduled miniature of your mommy. You always have to know what’s going on and when it’s going to happen. And being just like me means you’re very challenging to me! We seem to butt heads a lot, but I’m hoping God uses me to mold your independence and stubbornness so you end up a strong man of God who isn’t swayed by the world.  (And you also have my sweet tooth!) 

We moved this year and you love our new house and neighbors. There are tons of kids on our street to play with. Our closest neighbors are the Stevens. They have 4 girls and Coraline is the closest to your age. She is a lot like you too, always has to be going and doing something, which is great when you play together! The Wagners live 2 doors down and you love when Mia comes out to play, too. You would rather be outside playing than anything else. You love riding your bike, playing in the sandbox, riding your scooter, shooting baskets at the park next door, playing with the neighbors, swinging, etc. 

This year is the year you’ve really started to develop your own opinions and attitude. We’ve had to work really hard on how you talk to people, the way you say things, not whining and complaining (Philippians 2:14), listening, and obeying without arguing or throwing a fit. You also love to be in charge, make people laugh and be the center of attention. And you have the BEST smile! 

I want to end with how much you love family. Your favorite person to be with is Daddy. You love to play with Sam. And you LOVE your baby sister. From when she was in my tummy to after she was born, you have loved her so much. You are always asking if you can hold her and snuggle with her. You’ve even helped me pick out her clothes and change her diaper! And you always want me to come snuggle with you during your quiet time. Not to mention your grandparents and aunts and uncles. You’re capable of big love! 

I am so thankful to be your mommy. I love you!

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