Thursday, May 24, 2012


The Hough and Floyd Families came over for lunch and helped us celebrate Joshua’s 9th birthday.  At his request we ate my homemade Napolitana empanadas and mandioca bake and for dessert, an alligator cake. 

            I love that you cannot put Joshua in a box.  He is a unique middle child who I just can’t figure out at times.  And just when I think I have, he surprises me.  Joshua was a great baby.  He slept hard, ate well, and cried little.  But as soon as he could walk, he was trouble with a capital T.  He ran away in public, he opened everything, pulled down everything, broke everything, ate everything, and climbed on everything.  With two other preschoolers and a newborn, Joshua was at times way too much for me to handle.  I look back at those years and tremble.  I cried and cried out to God for help, I wrote and wrote in a journal, and I stocked up on bandaids (our Canadian teammates said that Joshua looked like a hockey player always with a fresh black eye, a cut on his face or a busted lip).
            When Joshua was 5 and 6 years old (and should have been way out of that hair-cutting, temper throwing stage, selfish, reckless, leaving a trail of destruction everywhere he went stage), no amount of discipline or reasoning seemed to get through to him.  He’d stick his tongue out at us and do the offense again.  I had never met a child so stubborn and hard-hearted.
            HOWEVER, watching Joshua blow out 9 candles today on top on his alligator cake, I am again reminded of the wonderful boy he has become.  He is a delight to teach; soaking up all I throw at him (he is obsessed with the Presidents and knows that all in order, first and last name, part affiliation and major accomplishments).  He is so helpful.  He asks constantly if there is anything he can do to help, or more often than not, he sees a need and just does it (mom, I noticed the trash was full so I took it out a day early).  His tender heart shines through when caring for Julia.  To say he adores Julia is a HUGE understatement.  He is inquisitive and curious about life, God, and how things work.  He is a hands-on kid – he loves playing in sand, doing experiments, reconstructing magic tricks, working on his loom knitting (he has finished 7 scarves) and making bubble gum (he was delighted to get a refill kit for his birthday). 
            This year he wanted two other missionary families to come to help celebrate his birthday (a change from last year when he wanted just our family).  He played for several hours and now, while kids still are running around, he has reached his “people quota”.  He is tucked away on his bottom bunk with sheets for walls that make up his cave.  Ginny (his best friend, who also has a “people quota”) is next to him.  They are listening to Adventures in Odyssey.

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