Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Mark is EIGHT years old!!!

We also celebrated Mark's birthday this month! If you are new to the blog, Mark is Hannah's little brother and for this ONE month they are BOTH 8 years old which she thinks is pretty cool. Mark is a very cool little guy. He loves baseball and swimming and any kind of action hero. He is really smart and is in gifted classes at school. He loves animals and is good at caring for them. He has a wild imagination and loves adventures. I love how he takes up for Hannah ALL the time, even when she really is at fault. He is extremely patient when she has her episodes and will just walk outside b/c he doesn't like to watch/hear. I think it is b/c these two were in foster homes together and will always share that bond. He can be very silly and yet has such a serious side to him. He is so amazingly sweet with my Sammy and takes such good care of him. I try to stress the importance of Mark being on his best behavior when he is around Sammy b/c of how much Sammy learns from him and I think he does a good job. He is patient and really tries to show Sammy the ropes and teach him about "all kinds of sorta boy stuff" in his words. I love how protective he is of me, he also takes excellent care of me and always tries to be sure I am safe when we are out. He likes to help me clean even though I know that of all of them, Mark and Hannah hate cleaning the most but I really think he does it solely for that one on one time which I will gladly dish out. He never wants me to carry things that are too heavy and it just melts my heart. Most reading this probably don't know he had a twin brother, Mathew, who passed away when he was a toddler and although I never new that little guy I can honestly say I think of him almost EVERY time I am with Mark. I wonder what he would be like and if they would still look identical and oh how I desperately wish Matthew could have been sitting there at the table with us that night. I can not wait to meet Matthew when I get to heaven, hopefully it will be a long wait but I will make up for all our lost time when I finally get home. Lastly, I love that Mark shares his secrets with me. He has a big one right now that is so sweet and I love watching the bright red shade he turns when I ask him about it. So adorable! I hope I am still in his life when he is a teenager/young adult so I can tease him about it then. ha ha! That is so wrong of me, isn't it?

Well as you can see, he is a super amazing little guy and so when we found out he didn't have any bday plans we decided to take him out for a night on the town! His "Big Brother" Terry came and we had such a great night. I baked his favorite kind of cake and thankfully Juancho and Gloria were home and could come help me decorate it. I have had some probs with my wrist lately (yes my dissertation and running too many data analyses are too blame!)and I couldn't squeeze the icing out but it was much better it worked out that way b/c they did such an excellent job! I had a great pic of them with the cake but Juancho wouldn't let me post it so all you get is the cake on here. Boo!

We met up at Pizza Hut and surprised Mark with balloons and the cake and boy oh boy was he a happy camper. He kept saying how he just couldn't believe he had his very own fish cake and then right after we sang to him and he blew out the candles he said "I feel just like I am in Heaven right now you guys, for real, I really do! I think this is what Heaven is like. You just feel happy all over and have so much fun. I know you guys all love me, I love today!! " um... is that not the most adorable thing or what? I told you he was precious! He is such a sweetheart. It just so happened there was a Gator Basketball game that night AND Big Brothers Big Sisters had free tickets for us all to go! We even got free popcorn and drinks! Yea! We had front row seats, they announced happy bday to Mark on the speaker, and Sammy LOVED watching all the action. His favorite was definitely the band. He tried to name the instruments and danced the night away, I think a close second fav moment was him seeing Albert, our mascot of course. It was a great night and I am glad Mark had so much fun.

Hannah "helped" Sam take this one so they are both missing from it
My little loveys
Mark & his big brother Terry
He made a VERY long wish, no clue what it was but it must have been a good one. I was worried the cake would catch on fire while we all waited
Me and my girl.. she was posing with some of her new clothes from our friends, she looked so adorable all fancied up!

Doing the gator chomp!
We were surprised to see their friend Michelle there! I love Michelle, she is one of my favs from their daycare, I don't know how such a big personality fits into that tiny little body. Michelle is an amazing singer in fact she was there this night b/c she sang the national anthem! Go Michelle!
She loved her free gator tatoo! Unfortunately Sammy kept trying to pick it off of her....
Our poor birthday boy got a little too carried away running up the stadium steps and took a pretty bad spill skinning his chins, so the first aid folks got him all fixed up with some ice packs

Sammy was VERY excited to see Ali coming heading our way, he could not contain himself, it was hilarious. He even started to stutter and couldn't get his words out! ha ha!
This was Hannah's picture idea, Sammy on her lap and then her on my lap. Yes, it hurt.

Feliz CumpleaƱos Samuelito!

WOW we sure have been busy! February has just flown by it seems. I can't keep up! We have made so many fun memories. Sam has adjusted well to his new job and is loving his work. So far his schedule hasn't been that bad, the 12 hour days get long but otherwise it has been good. Although, I should mention he hasn't started nights YET so we shall see how that goes. I have been swamped with school. I am wrapping up the testing of the last 30 or so kids in my 3 year study and working on publishing some of my work. I have also been making progress on my job search and will hopefully be hearing back on an interview soon. Please pray with me that God will open the doors He wants opened and not those that do not fit into His plan for our lives. No matter how great a job may seem I surely don't want to be there if it is not His plan for me. I have had a rough couple of weeks as I had one deadline after another and it all piled up. It was extremely stressful and I actually dropped out of my program for a few hours one Sunday and had myself a ginormous meltdown. I'm talking meltdown of all meltdowns. Thankfully I have an amazing support system who helped me stay in the game and stay the course. I am happy to report that everything is now turned in, my presentation went great, and I am doing much better. Anyway, I have had so many things that I have wanted to blog about but just couldn't find the time. I have a lot of thoughts swirling around in my head (its a fun place to be , ha ha) but haven't had the time to sit and blog them. Lots of things that are heavy on my heart. For now though, I since I should technically be working, I will keep this one light.

We celebrated 4 birthdays this month! Each of these are all people who are extremely close to our family so they were all very special. The first was that of little Samuel! Samuel is one of Sammy's little budies who is just the sweetest little guy you will ever meet. We met his family through Gloria as she began watching him when he was I think around 6 months old or so, he and my Sammy are about 4 months apart. For a while there it was just Sammy and Samuel (Samuelito and Samueline as she calls them) at her house and they so enjoyed their days together. Their little friendship has just blossomed since and they are too cute together. Sammy adores Samuel's mommy, Nathalia. He talks about her all the time and always says "Nathy nice and pwetty mommy", awww!!!! Samuel's parents moved here from Columbia so they speak Spanish too and I have loved hearing Gloria and Nathalia tell me about their country and watching my Samuelito embrace Spanish will all his little heart. In fact, I had a weird moment at Samuel's party where I realized just how odd it is to have your child fully understand and know something more than you do! I was the only one there who was not fluent in Spanish. Sammy had no prob chatting and singing with the other kids and fully knew what was being said. I could catch the drift of what was everyone was talking about but missed out on some of the details. Of course everyone would switch to English to talk to me but I insisted they speak in Spanish so I could try to learn more. =)
I hope you enjoy these pics of little Samuel! I have sure loved watching this little guy grow up. He has blown me away with how smart he is and how sweet. He has a tender heart and is just so caring and loving. He has such a good nature about him and I know that whatever God has planned for His life he will surely excel at anything he does. Thanks for allowing us to be a part of your lives Nathalia! We just love your sweet family and look forward to making many more memories with you!

** Everyone MUST watch the video, it is SO FUNNY! I think him blowing out that candle is the cutest thing I have seen in a while. He tried his VERY best!!! After they sing the birthday song in English they then sing again in Spanish and Samu started dancing up a storm! Priceless!****

Samuel & Sammy with all Samuel's cousins
Happy 2nd birthday!
Sweet family pic, love that smile!
Yes they let both Samuels dig in and enjoy some icing before the cake was cut =)
Look at that face!
Our best attempt at a pic of them together. They were very tired by this point
Sammy with is buddy and his "Ya-Ya" (Gloria)