September 19th was Daniel's third birthday. We celebrated at Pop-pop and Gramme's house by grilling hamburgers and hot dogs along with having cake and ice cream. The theme for Daniel's cake was an aquarium with Nemo and Dorie. He liked the cake but didn't like the "chocolate part" (ie. icing is all that's needed).
His favorite gifts were a dog (Named "Naggie" translation....Maggie after David and Charlotte Frederick's dog) from Pappy and Grandma Slagenweit and a little bulldozer from Poppop and Gramme.
I thought these pictures were good of Dad and the boys....dad's face is a little swollen due to some dental surgery two days before.
We're so thankful for the dimension that Daniel adds to our family. All three of our children are vastly different in personality and this guy is the one who brings some of the lighter moments in our home. Two quick examples:
A week or so ago we were over at the cafeteria getting ready to eat lunch. I was dividing the food and grinding Stephen's when I realized (out of my peripheral vision) that Daniel was doing something odd. I know mother's should be more in tune to what their children are doing but there was a lot going on and I wasn't paying attention. I turned just in time to see him, nose upturned, spit into the air! I was horrified! "What are you doing?!" I asked him. He turned to look at me saying, "I'm an archer fish and I'm catching my lunch." I think the idea of spitting not being appropriate is lost on him since God created this fish to do just that! Hopefully after our conversation he understands that God didn't create him to be an archer fish and so spitting is not appropriate.
Last week I needed to run to the grocery store and decided to go before the boys woke up. Unfortunately, Daniel woke up about 6:30 so I decided instead of having him go back to his bed and risk waking the other two boys that I'd just take him with me. Again, my mind was on getting what I needed and getting home before anyone else got up. Being that early none of the cash register's were open...just the U-Scan. I began scanning my items while Daniel struck up a conversation with the attendant on duty. There was a "hiccup" in the conversation which caused me to break concentration from what I was doing an listen to what was being said. The attendant was saying something to the affect, "Are you okay with that? Does that make you happy?" Daniel gave her an affirmative answer so she said, "Well that can be a good thing." The hesitancy in her voice prompted me to ask, "What did he just say?" Her reply was, "He told me he just got a new daddy!" She doesn't know me well but by watching us enough she knew that he probably hadn't just gotten a new daddy. I told her that he's had the same daddy he's always had and there's no plans on changing that! We laughed but I think in the future I'll pay better attention to what my children are saying!
Daniel has blessed our family and taught us so much about ourselves in the process. Most recently his example has challenged me to "take everything to God in prayer". Periodically you'll come upon him hunkered down talking to himself and if you ask him what he's doing he'll say, "I'm praying". The other day I found him like that in the hallway about 10 minutes before naptime and I asked him what he was praying about. He said, "I'm asking God to help me be quiet and stay in bed during naps." (These are the two rules of naptime....he has trouble with both) How often I should be asking God for help instead of trying to manage the situation on my own. In the process of teaching our children to love God with all of their hearts and help them develop Christlike character, I have realized that God also is using those children that he has placed in our home to help us develop Christlike character. It's not just a one way street. What a joy to be growing together towards what God wants us to be!