The Boys Are Back in Town

Samuel and Levi are coming to our house tonight so Bethany and Micah can have a date night. We’re so excited to have them. Samuel is staying overnight, but Levi will need to go home for his feedings throughout the evening. Someday Levi will be able to stay overnight, too, which is great because the Friday night pizza/sleepover is becoming a thing, and I love it! Pancakes follow on Saturday morning. 😊

Last night we had a spontaneous rendezvous at the Fairlane Avenue Park here in Myerstown, followed by take-out dinner from Tosco’s, our local Italian restaurant. (Wherever I’ve lived, the Lord has made sure there’s a high-quality Italian place right down the street!) The weather was perfect, and we had a delightful time. I even had a “mush moment” at one point, quietly thanking God that our beautiful munchkins live so close that we get to see them often.

Oh, and fall is in the air. What could be better?

Have a lovely weekend. Be blessed.

💙 💚💙 💚💙 💚💙 💚

Levi has a laser focus, and he’s starting to smile at us.
Such a happy boy.
Samuel loves to pick the garden. Unfortunately, he doesn’t like to eat most of what he picks.
He knows what he’s picking, too. It’s o.k. that he stumbles at okra. No one needs to know what okra is.
Learning to spell one’s name can be hazardous.
When you love your baby brother, you just have to say so.
The song is dated, but the chorus is iconic and has been adapted by several sports teams. Skip the raunch in the later verses.

Bonus:

A New Red Wagon for the Boys

Last week I got a new red wagon for the boys that I can hook up to my lawn tractor. It’s our own little Knoebel’s ride—with no tickets necessary (though my next door neighbor offered me two bucks for a ride. Unfortunately, he couldn’t fit)!

Samuel likes the wagon, though he doesn’t really like the noise that comes from the tractor. We did several laps around the yard, and then I dropped him off at the garden, where he loves to help us pick the ripe stuff. As we love to say around here, “He’s the best Bubby ever.”  

Levi is becoming more alert and used to our voices. It was fun to feed him for the first time last week and sing him to sleep. He is so precious, and Samuel is (mostly) gentle with him.

Bouns

‘When Are the Boys Coming Over?’

I just got back from church camp where I had the privilege of sharing five evening messages with a responsive and appreciative crowd. Their favorite, by far, was a sermon called “It Is Finished” from John 19:28-30, where Jesus says, “Tetelestai!” from the cross. It’s the gospel in a single word, and I got a bit exuberant preaching it! 

While I was away, Samuel and Levi kept being cute, and I missed them greatly. I gathered up a few snaps and clips upon my return, and now I have some new ones to share. I may have shown a few of their previous pictures via PowerPoint during one of my sermons. 🙂 Do you remember that picture of Bubby washing the car? And the one where he’s holding a sponge, covered in suds? The camp folks are now smitten, too!  

Here’s something I’ve been eager to say for the past nine months, and now I can say it: “When are the boys coming over?” Haha! Actually, Samuel was here yesterday (and it was SO good to see him). He’s coming tomorrow, too, so I’m super spoiled. I’m thinking it’s time to establish a Friday night pizza tradition at our house, with them staying overnight and having pancakes for breakfast on Saturday morning. 

Enjoy a few glimpses of my cherubs. And a song that may send your spirit soaring.

💙 🩵 💚 💙 💚 🩵 💙 💚 🩵 💙 💚 🩵 💙 💚 🩵


Tetelestai


Bonus

I made a reference to Disney’s Beauty and the Beast in one of my camp messages: “Barely even friends, then somebody bends unexpectedly.”

More on Our Little Nugget

Joy abounds as we get to spend more time with Levi. Micah revealed his first nickname: “Nugget.” So, now we have Bubby and Nuggy. 😊 Samuel is learning what it means to be a big brother, and his interactions with Levi have been charming. Mommy and daddy have been working hard to make Samuel feel special despite all the attention his baby brother needs right now. So, there are some snaps of him below, too. He’s in “Sudsy Bubby” mode. Enjoy! 

💙 🩵💙 🩵💙 🩵💙 🩵💙 🩵

Bubby Bonus:

Welcome to the World, Dear One

Samuel’s brother Levi Timothy was born today at 5:35 a.m., checking in at 8 lbs., 8 oz., and 20 inches long. He is so precious—ruddier, chunkier, and hairier than his brother, who he was born nineteen months ago. Maybe they should have named him Esau. 😊 

I’m told Bethany did well. She was accompanied by her husband, mother, and mother-in-law, who is a nurse. After about 9 hours of labor, she needed only four pushes when the time came. 

I wasn’t able to blog through the night like last time because I was babysitting Samuel—which is always an utter delight—but I was keeping up with all the action by phone. And, of course, when I heard Levi’s strong and healthy first cry, I melted into a puddle of tears. Again. 

Samuel saw pictures of his baby brother this morning, and he was able to say, “Levi”! I will share some pictures later. For now, here’s a hymn that is meaningful to me this week in light of both the tragedy of premature death (a good family friend) and the beauty of newborn life (Levi Timothy). 

The song is in desperate need of an update, but the message is timeless and true: God is always there. In good times and bad.

Sticker Shock!

Micah and Bethany recently got Samuel a Cocomelon sticker to put on his wall. He was absolutely thrilled with it. He started yelling, “Bus! Bus!” because he associates Cocomelon (or as he likes to say, “Coco”) with the video the two of us most often watch together: “The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round.” After that, we usually watch, “Old McDonald Had a Farm,” followed by “The Bath Song.” Then we try to do something less passive and more cognitive, like reading books or playing in the yard.

Speaking of the yard, the flower beds are now mulched, and the Mother’s Day flowers are now planted. This year we’re trying geraniums (red and white) in the back row, and marigolds (burnt yellow) in the front row. For the ten hanging baskets, we’re going to give impatiens (multi-colored) a try. We’re also trying impatiens (purple and lavender) for my mother-in-law’s flower patch. We also planted tomatoes and peppers in the garden. Lots more to come, but it’s a good start to the new season. Such a joyful time to be alive. 💙 💙 💙

The new Cocomelon sticker.
Helping Daddy Micah with the yard.
Helping Daddy Micah wash his car.
Did Daddy Micah help Samuel wash his car?
The new vanity license plate.
When you can’t even wait to get out of your pajamas.
Flower beds mulched.
Geraniums and marigolds planted.
The blooming roses.
Decorative rock wall restored (though I need to work on it more).
My Japanese maple is giving it a good go.
Back to another Samuel clip: “Bubby bubbles!”

The Best Bubby Ever!

I was out of state last week teaching a doctoral residency (along with conducting another remote learning course, a prayer meeting, a variety of staff meetings, and even some dissertating). I couldn’t wait to get back and see our little Bubby. (Yes, and everyone else, too.) In fact, I got choked up on the flight home at the thought of reconnecting with this little munchkin and getting to make a “Samuel Sandwich” again. 

What a joy to return to this adorable, pleasant, and wonderful little boy. His receptor language has always been good, and now he’s starting to talk up a storm. He said “Bible” the other day, which was another reason to get choked up. He was also the ring bearer at a wedding last week. He’s only 17 months old, but he made it down the aisle (with a little help)! 

He’s the best Bubby ever, and every day I get a little more smitten. Below are some random snaps and video clips, in no particular order. 

Enjoy!

💙🥰💙🥰💙🥰💙🥰💙🥰💙🥰💙🥰💙🥰💙🥰💙🥰

Happy about eating out.
Exploring the great outdoors.
Pondering the mysteries of the universe.
Too cool for school.
Time for a piano lesson.
Working in our flower bed.
Taking a happy break.
Challenge accepted.
Dressed for the wedding.
Out on the dance floor.
Down the slide with “Gaga.”
Sing us a song, you’re the piano man.

Out of gas, but resting up for tomorrow.

In addition to which…

Here are a few bonus pictures that didn’t upload the first time.

Trying to eat a grilled cheese sandwich in one bite.
Lots of room to roam.
The label on the swing gets it right.

The First Haircut

Snip, snip here! Snip, snip there!
Watch the barber cut your hair.
It’s the perfect place to stop.
Sneak a peek in the barber shop!

– From a children’s book I read to Samuel. 


Our little Bubby had his first haircut today. He did well—no fear, no tears. Of course, it helped that he sat on daddy’s lap the whole time. 😊 He also went to a new park today, and he enjoyed it. All the swings were new to him, as was the merry-go-round. He had to think long and hard about whether or not he liked spinning around in a circle like that. 

I can hardly believe it, but Samuel turned 16 months old today. Yesterday he helped me celebrate my birthday. Actually, I got him two presents. Nothing wrong with that, right? They’re riding toys, and he had a blast breaking them in. (As noted previously, I’m the softie. Haha! I enjoyed going back and looking at that post again.) 

💙 💙 💙

Samuel got me a matching picture frame for his brother’s sonogram, and I adore it. One birthday anticipating another. I can hardly wait to meet Levi.

The curls prompting the cut.
Digital distractions are helpful.
Looking good.
The finished look!
On to the new playground.
Learning to drive already.
Changing a flat tire.
Do I like this thing or not?

Yawning and Snoring on Cue

Micah and Bethany are such good parents. Below are two clips that make my heart smile. The first is Mommy reading a “dino-snore” book to Samuel. He’s learned to yawn and snore at just the right time during the story. It cracks me up every time I watch it. The second clip makes me a little nervous, but it’s still adorable. Daddy gets a bit physical in mimicking the “Swish! Swish! Swish!” line of “The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round” song. Please don’t drop our little Bubby, Micah! 🙂 💙

Boy, Oh Boy!

On Mother’s Day 2021, Sonya was opening her gifts from her children. At one point she held up a gray T-shirt and started to cry. I was sitting on the other side of the room and couldn’t see what it said. I thought to myself, “I’m sure it’s a very nice T-shirt, but we don’t usually cry over T-shirts now, do we? So, what’s up with that?

What’s up with that was the writing it featured on the front: “Best grandma ever.”

“Is this true?” she asked with a gasp. 

It was. And after she turned the shirt around to where I could see it, I started to cry, too. Micah and Bethany were expecting their first child. As readers of This New Life well know, Samuel James White was born on December 1, 2021. I’ve been utterly smitten ever since.

Bethany always felt kind of bad that her mom got the news a split second before I did, so on Christmas Day 2022, I opened a similar gift. This one had a little red Christmas stocking in it with a piece of paper inside. “What in the world is this?” I thought. I was mystified—until I saw that the little paper was actually the sonogram of child number two. 

I may have cried again once the news sank in, causing the others to wonder what was going on. It was my turn to be smug this time as Sonya was sitting across the room in confusion. Eventually everyone came to realize that Samuel was getting a sibling.

Last night was Micah’s birthday. We celebrated at Dogood’s Tavern here in Myerstown, and then we came back to our place to give him his gifts. To our surprise, he then gave us a gift. We had a hunch it might be some sort of gender reveal, much like they did for Samuel.

Sure enough, when we opened the box, a little white onesie greeted us with the joyful announcement:

Hello, my name is Levi Timothy.

Samuel has a brother, and that brother’s name will carry my own. Are you surprised that there may have been more tears? I’m still stunned. And I’m smitten with Levi already. This week he’s the size of a lemon.

We expect to meet Levi sometime around July 18, 2023. Until then, my prayer for him will be Luke 5:28: “And Levi got up, left everything, and followed [Jesus].” Come to think of it, that may be my lifelong prayer for him.

Until Levi makes an appearance, Samuel has the stage all to himself. So, here you go…

Tubby time.
Only three teeth so far, but they all need to be brushed.
The sock and the sonogram from Christmas Day. The onesie from the big reveal on Micah’s birthday.
Samuel is happy about the new one to love, too…
Spaghetti time. And time for another tubby time.
I wonder who’s having more fun?

Our Cackling Little Bubby

Samuel is such a happy little boy (except, of course, when it’s nap time). Lately he’s been hootin’ and hollerin’ and having a grand ol’ time with his newly discovered capacity for cackling. There’s even a brief clip below of daddy helping him learn how to scat. Maybe he’a a jazz singer in the making. It’s hard to believe he’ll be nine months old in two days. He’s an endless source of joy and laughter, and I love him to pieces! Enjoy a few slices of life through a child’s eyes.

Response to mommy coming home from a wedding shower.
Loving life on daddy’s shoulders.
Watch out, Ella Fitzgerald!

And a few pics…

Helping around the house.
First time in a grocery cart.
Just being adorable! 🙂

The Beach Bubby Is Back!

I missed this little guy so much last week while he was at the Outer Banks. From the pictures we received, it looks like he had a great time on his first trip to the beach. He also tasted ice cream for the first time, and the video below registers his verdict. (I may have given him some myself last night while we were watching him for a few hours. Shhh!!!) Oh, and I’ve made about a dozen “Samuel Sandwiches” since his return. 🙂

Bonus

Thank you, Kirby Keller for the new “squish baseball.” Dr. Keller caught it at a recent Reading Phillies game we attended together and gave it to Samuel. This could be the start of something big!