Happy 9th Birthday Josh!

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Dear Josh,
Happy 9th birthday my sweet, wonderful son.  You are such a joy in our family and we love you so much.  Your cute face has had me wrapped around your finger since the day you were born.
This year, the one word I think describes you best is “thoughtful.” You are aware of the feelings of others and you try to be kind and helpful.  Two stories come to mind.  You overheard me talking to dad and I was complaining that I always spend so much time planning and prepping meals and all anyone ever did was complain and tell me it was gross.  That night after dinner (that you didn’t really like) you came up and gave me a huge hug and said, “Thanks, Mom, for making us dinner.”  It made me feel so happy inside.  You always tell me thank you after we’ve had a fun day, or you are always quick to give me a hug when you can tell that I am stressed.  The other story absolutely melted my heart.  Blake has a very hard time getting ready in the mornings and I was at my wits end.  I had threatened with everything I knew how and nothing was working so I told Blake if he wasn’t downstairs ready to go I was going to leave him behind and he’d have to walk to school.  You ran upstairs and said, “Blake, hurry! I’ll help you!”  Well, Blake still wouldn’t hurry and it was time to go.  I called for you to come and you slowly came down the stairs.  Then you slowly checked your backpack to make sure you had everything you needed for the day.  I realized you were trying to buy Blake more time and I gently said, “Josh, this is so nice of you, but Blake needs to learn from his consequences.” You looked up at me with tears in your eyes and said, “But Mom!  He might be scared here all alone.  Please don’t leave him.”  How could I not honor that request?  I gave you a huge hug and then went to drag Blake to the car.  I was so proud of you for putting the needs of others before yourself.  Never change that about you. 
You are also so fun to talk to.  You ask such good questions and love to listen and learn.  I love that you are getting old enough to have your own opinions on things and we had some fun discussions. 
Some of my favorite moments are snuggling you in your bed with your electric blanket.  Usually you and Daddy read Harry Potter together at night, but you let me read the 5th book with you.  I had so much fun going on adventures with you, Harry, Ron and Hermione (even if you often read ahead Smile)
You still love your alone time in your bedroom each day.  You love audiobooks and we will often find you in bed at 10pm still listening. Your favorites are Land of Stories and the Hero’s Guide series.  Your favorite ipod app right now is Goat Simulator and you are also learning to make Minecraft Mods. Your favorite food is pizza and you are so happy when it’s Friday, which means Pizza day at school.  You love to play at the park and groundies with Dad is your favorite thing to do there.  You also love kid dates.  I think you like kid dates the most out of all the kids.  It’s so fun to plan dates with you because you are so excited.  And Dad and I love that one on one time we get with you. 
You love to be home and it is sometimes a challenge to get you out and being active.  It takes a lot of work to convince you that we’ll have fun, but you always come back with a smile on your face, happy that you came.  And sometimes I see you struggle when I know you want to complain, but you’ll give a big sigh and then try to smile and “have a good attitude.”  I know it’s not easy, but I really appreciate when you do that.
You are so funny.  You say the cutest things and always bring a smile to our faces.  My recent favorite came after our ward switched all the sacrament bread to gluten free.  You said, “Mom, it’s really hard to think about the Savoir when you are trying not to gag.”
But perhaps your favorite thing ever is beating Dad to say, “Oi es el dia!” every day.  You run into our bedroom first thing, or often  hide when dad is coming home from work so you can jump out and scare him.
Josh, keep learning and growing, and don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone and take some risks.  You don’t have to follow all the rules all the time Smile.  I love you so much and can’t wait to see what adventures this year will bring. 
Lots of love,
Josh planned a pretty fun birthday this year.  He was up at the crack of dawn to open presents.  He got a Quarter Map, Minecraft Mod software, and a quardcopter drone which he named Fred.  We’ve had lots of fun learning to fly him!  G&G Cornell gave him an Amazon gift card so he could buy Inside Out and G&G Banks gave him a game called Pie Face.
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josh 9th birthday
Halle and Blake made him the cutest cards.  Halle’s is shaped like the Audible app, and Blake’s sings Happy Birthday.  Blake included coupons that said things like, “make you egg sandwich,” “Anki races,” and “alone time.”  So cute. 
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Then we had his favorite breakfast—Egg and bacon sandwiches and Reese’s Puffs cereal.
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The party didn’t stop for school.  I picked up Chic Fli A and came and ate lunch with Josh and his buddies Nick and Nolan. 
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The evening concluded with dinner from Noodles and Co, Lamar’s donuts and watching Inside Out as a family.  G&G Banks helped us sing Happy Birthday to Josh through FaceTime. 
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