Twelve years ago, things were a little chaotic in our family.  Well, maybe not compared to today, but for that particular time in our lives.  You see,  we were packing up our 1st house, cleaning the new old house that would soon become ours and getting ready to have a baby.  On a Wednesday, I went to the doctor, being 40 weeks pregnant and upon examination, he suggested we go straight to the hospital and have a baby, but I wasn't ready...I needed to go home and cuddle with my 18 month old one last time while he was our only child.  So, home I went, packed a few more boxes and made some phone calls to family explaining that we were having a baby the next morning and would they come help us finish packing and cleaning.  The house was almost completely packed up, and just needed to be loaded and moved.  (To this day, they won't let me forget how wrong I was about that statement...I really did think I had efficiently packed everything up, but they say that they still packed for an entire day.)  It was good that I was in the hopital so I couldn't boss anyone around. 

That very next afternoon, we welcomed baby boy #2 to our growing family.  BEAUTIFUL.  Joshua Eric--"God is salvation".  He was an experienced traveler by the time he was four days old.  We took Joshua home to his first home for one night...cleaned it and loaded up the last load and then to our friends' home to spend Sunday night, and on Monday we closed on our new house and took him there for the next five years!  Mind you, this was all during a very busy tax season as well.  I guess you could say we weren't very good planners, but even the result of our chaos was extraordinary, for we had a little boy with the biggest dimples on his cheeks and the chubbiest rings of fat around his little legs.  He ate and slept and smiled.  For the most part, not much has changed in twele years except those rings of fat.  Joshua still eats and sleeps and smiles...he is well known for his big heart.
For your birthday, we went to a fish fry and surprised you with a birthday cake (chocolate eclair per your request) and singing. 
You were a little embarrassed and by the end of our singing, everyone thought it was Sam's birthday instead!

Happy 12th birthday Joshua!  You have been a joy.  You are a talented child and a gifted athlete.  You have a smile that is always there, through every story you tell, and even the times that you try not to smile, your dimples and the sparkle in your eyes give it away.  You are eager to be in the middle of everything and can entertain the littlest people or have an intelegent conversation with adults.  You have great admiration for those that you love.  You leave a lasting impression on all whom you meet--they can see the good in you without really even looking for it. 

You love to play baseball and football, sleep in late and play video games.  You're naturally talented in any sport that you try, but you don't necessarily like to work at'd rather just play in the games, but not have to practice.  You share a room with Jakob and Jon, and depending on the day, you either love it or hate it.  You are a schmoozer...always saying just the right thing and sometimes sounding so cheesy, but you're genuine every time!  You truly do have a heart of gold.  You love Jesus and aren't afraid to let it be known, which we are so very proud of you for.  We are proud of you for many, many things, but even extra for your desire to please God.  You are a gifted dancer, which you certainly did not get from your mother, and have provided us with much entertainment for lots of years with this little talent! 

Joshua, you are such an important part of our family and we love you so very, very much.  Happy birthday.  Thank you for being born!