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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Josiah Neal {3 years old)

Dear Josiah,

Have three years really gone by since the day you made me a mommy?  I remember everything about that day as if it were yesterday.  But the thing that I remember more than the pain and the twenty six hour delivery is that the Lord saved you that day. 

Most people hear the words "It's a boy" or "It's a girl".  Your daddy and I didn't even get to touch you when we first saw you for what we saw was a blue baby not breathing as he should have been; not breathing at all.  One whole minute went by without hearing your cry of life.  That minute might as well of been an eternity. And in that "eternity" your daddy and I cried out to God like we never have before.  We were completely helpless. But God in all his love and power bestowed grace upon us that day and breathed life into you.  Your cry was the most beautiful sound that I had ever heard!  Your daddy and I vowed that you would grow up knowing "your story" and knowing that God performed a miracle in you that day...on your birth day.

Oh, how your story has made me understand the gospel so much better...  To know what it is like to watch your son slip away...if  I had the power to save you myself that day, I would have.  I wouldn't have sacrificed you for this rotten world.  But God did just that with His son.  And he had the power to save Jesus as He hung on the cross.  He sacrificed His Son! That statement brings tears to my eyes, Josiah.  What love the Father has for us...God sacrificed His son...Jesus sacrificially gave His own life...those two facts are two in one...what grace!

Oh Josiah! How your daddy and I long to instill this in you at an early age.  We pray for this daily...that God would draw you unto himself...that you would know His mercy...know His love...His forgiveness...His grace. 

So now, on your third birthday, I know that none of this makes any sense to you.  But maybe you'll be reading this on your 7th, 8th, 9th, or 10th birthday and it will mean something to you.  But for now, just know how much daddy, mommy and Eli love you...know that you are so special to us. 

At three years old, you are:

1. counting to 10 with your fingers.  I love to watch you pop each little finger up and hold down the rest with your other hand. It's genius!
2. saying your alphabet.  My favorite part is when you get to L, M, N, O, P. 
3. still hating to get haircuts
4. still a picky eater.  You would eat cheese for every meal if we let you!
5. loving on your brother more and more.  But you still have "your moments"...I hear this only gets worse.
6. you started sleeping through the night around two months, but within the last couple of weeks, you have started waking up around 3 am.  Without making so much as a peep, you run into our bedroom and snuggle in right between me and daddy and fall right back to sleep.  I actually love this.
7. you still love to throw things, but you have learned that it is only okay to throw outside (unless we are tossing a ball back and forth in the house).  We are still working on not throwing at cars and people...
8. you LOVE playing on my kindle and daddy's three, you seem to know how to operate them better than I do!
9. mommy is in the process of getting things ready to start homeschooling you.  We've already been working on a lot of things and at three, I know I can't expect too much in terms of a schedule, so we are going to be really flexible.  My main goal is to work on your attention span and get you saying more words.
10. you constantly talk but we don't understand much of it.  Here is what we do understand: no, yeah, ouch, ow, whoa, wow, yay, dah-ye (daddy), E-i (Eli), jew (juice), bye, hey, tay-u (thank you), pwease (please), uh-oh, ball, jump, "roll em up", achoo! (you say this when anyone sneezes), wee!, mommy (occasionally), bubba, go, cool, baby, shoe
11. did I mention that you can spell a little? you have these alphabet foam letters and your favorite word to spell is "cat".  You have even spelled "stop"!
12. you and your daddy have this awesome hand shake that you's way too cool for mommy because she can't ever remember how to do it right.
13. your love language is "words of affirmation"...discovering this was a huge  break through in the talking department. We noticed that you were mumbling a lot of stuff under your breath. We also noticed that if we ever corrrected a word or alphabet letter that you said wrong by saying "no", you immediately shut down.  So we started encouraging you more and clapping when you said something right and not focusing on the things that you said wrong. I guess even at the age of three, insecurities and fear of failure can be debilitating. 
14. Just in the last few weeks you have become much more social.  You used to only interact with people who were at least a few years older than you. Now you are starting to play more with kids your own age. 
15. You have been listening, understanding and obeying commands so much better.  Some of the commands that you usually obey really well are: "sit down" "go get in your bed" "lets take a bath" "go get in your eating chair" "go sit in your stroller" and "go stand in time out" just to name a few. 
16. Your girlfriend's name is Paula Bebian.  She is twenty years old and married. : )

("birth" day)

(one year old)

(two year old)

 (3 year old)

We love you baby boy! Happy 3rd Birthday!


  1. Happy Birthday sweet boy!!!! We love you!! From Uncle Bubba, Auntie Lou, Jeremiah, SaraBeth, EllaGrace and Micah!!

  2. So precious! What sweet memories and heartbreaking/warming birth day story! You are a GI Jane of Christ, Channing! I love reading your sweet posts. You are definitely one blessed lady!

    1. Thank you Danah! I enjoy reading your posts as well! And I love the "GI Jane of Christ" phrase...gonna have to remember that one!

  3. He's adorable! Arabelle has been doing the same thing at 3am, I love it until I have a foot in my face.

    1. Thanks Robyn! And I know what you mean about the foot in the face! We just upgraded from a queen to a king and we hardly even realize he is there now though. : )

  4. I can't believe how much he looks like his Daddy! If you are looking at actual curriculum for homeschooling I am loving All about Learning's programs for Joy (reading and spelling) Their preschool stuff looks great!!! Are you ever in the Houston Area? I would love to chat with you about homeschooling! It's a great thing! Next year if you are interested in coming the the THSC convention which is here in the woodlands let me know would be glad to give you a place to lay your head (I am in Cypress now) plus it is free for parents of only preschoolers! It's a great way to get overwhelmed with information! So excited you are on the homeschooling journey! Please email me or chat with me on facebook if you want some information! You are a great Mom and doing great with those boys!

    1. he does doesn't he?...I was given some homeschool curriculum for preschoolers by Horizon so we are using that for now but I'm currently researching Veritas Press and A Beka for when they get older...I'll add All about Learning to the list to look into as well : ) We are hardly ever in Houston anymore but if we happen to come that way, I will be sure to let you know because I would love to sit down with's been so long! Do you know the date for the THSC? We live in Oklahoma now so I don't know how beneficial it would be for me to go to the Texas Homeschool Convention...I've never been before though so you'll have to let me know if it would be worth the drive and everything.