Sammy is officially 5 years old! He's been trying to get away with telling people he's 5 for a couple of weeks, but now he can officially claim it! Sammy was so excited to have his birthday and all the fun that went with it. We started the day with the traditional "Happy Birthday" wake up, even though he was wide awake and just dying to get out of bed, then had a really huge birthday party for him and Josh. Just for future reference, self: 20 kids is too many for a birthday party! It's my own fault, I'll admit -- I just didn't know where to leave off inviting people. But it was really fun and Sammy especially loved it. (Josh started getting violently ill in the middle of it and was not a happy camper.) I was especially grateful to my mom and Toby who helped out and really saved the day for me.
Shortly after the party Sammy started to feel sick, too, so we spent the rest of the weekend home with sick kids. We had to miss the ward party, so the boys and I had our own hot chocolate, cookies, and a Christmas movie at home. On Sunday evening we headed over to Nana and Bapa's house for a wonderful birthday dinner for Sam, where we all got to say what we loved about Sammy and he serenaded us with "Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer." Good times.
Ah, what can I say about Sam? He is one amazing kid. Most everyone who knows him already knows he's a total genius. He reads on a 2nd or 3rd grade level and constantly amazes us with how analytical his mind is. He really thinks about things in depth. He loves to write emails to family members and post on our blog. But if you ask him what he loves doing the most, his answer is always "being an artist!" He loves to draw and "paint" on the computer, and he's done some pretty cool stuff! He also loves to write stories to go along with his drawings. He loves going to preschool and playing with all his little friends. He and Joshy are always coming up with imaginative games to play. Soccer is his favorite sport, and he can't wait for spring to come so he can play on the team again.
Sammy has such a generous, tender heart. At preschool the kids earn "achievement dollars" for good behavior and then use them to buy little toys and goodies from the teacher's "store" at the end of the week. Sammy always buys two of whatever he gets so that he can bring one home for Josh. A few days ago he did something that really touched my heart. We were heading to the grocery store and checked the mail, and there was a birthday card for him in the mail with $5 inside. He was so excited to take it to the store with us to buy something special. When we got to the store he saw the man ringing the Salvation Army bell and he shouted, "Mom, Mom, give me my $5! I know just what I want to do with it! I want to give it to that man!" I said, "What will he do with it?" He looked at me with the happiest face and said, "Mom, it's for poor people!" He ran right over and put that whole $5 in, just as happy as could be. He has so much love in his heart -- what a great example. I almost asked him if he maybe just wanted to put in a little bit, but that just goes to show the kinds of lessons we learn from our kids. He was happy to give everything he had.
He is also such a tender big brother, especially to Eliza. His whole world revolves around her. He'll happily entertain her for as long as he can, and he always wants to make sure she's happy and well. He has to give her a hug and kiss before he can do anything else or before she goes anywhere, and he gets really worried if she cries for more than one second.
I love my little man Sam. I can't believe he's getting so big and grown up. He's a great helper and a friend to everyone, and I'm so proud of him. I'm sure I'll think of other things to add, but in the mean time, here is a slideshow of all the birthday fun: