1. Josh came home from camp, and showed us a video that was taken at FBC that summer. We began to hear about "Leah" and after a little bit of a name game - we found out the connection. I went to the same church as her dad, and knew her mom as well. Small world. Even though we were not part of the brethren church circle any more - it was amazing how God still brought someone into Josh's life that we knew a connection.
2. I will never forget the first time I met Leah. It was at a Thomas Clan Reunion, being held at Faith Bible Camp. I believe the year was 1999. She came into the motor home to visit - and we were having burgers from Lester Beach for lunch. Not a real impressive meal that's for sure - but we got to meet her. Although they were "just friends" I think
3. We heard more and more about Leah. I asked Josh if they could come and help me out at the daycare event. Leah came. I remember at first Leah was pretty quiet around us - perhaps trying to figure out who we were and what we were up to. Scary family perhaps!
4. I loved the way Ashley and Leah hit it off. That was so important for Ashley, and for us. When you only have 2 kids, you always pray that they will eventually have spouses that love the sibling. And Ashley and Leah are best friends. I love that!
5. Leah spent many weekends out in the country - in fact - we gave her Josh's old bedroom as hers. I will never forget the night she went into Ashley's room and said she thought she heard a mouse. Well in the morning Alvin downplayed it. I figured she likely had - because living in the country meant there was always at least one token mouse a season! Sure enough - when I was cleaning up behind Josh's desk - I found a garbage bag with LOTS of old Halloween candy - and well - Mr. mouse HAD been in there. That was obvious.
6. Leah is organized. I often wonder if my un-organized life causes any stress! I love how organized she is!!
7. Leah is a list maker. I totally resonate with that!! I love making lists too! However, Leah often gets hers checked off!! So not only can she make the list - but she can fulfill the list!! (and maybe even do a great job of delagating!)
8. Leah has such a wonderful hospitable side to her! People will always be made to feel at home - and at ease in their place! I love that as a mom-in-law, I also feel very welcome. I know that is not always the way it is - and don't take that for granted.
9. Leah's house is her palace (as the saying goes) and she is a very good homemaker! Leah loves to be at home. That is very obvious in the way she is.
10. Leah is the No. #1 Kindergarten teacher!! I had the opportunity to help out in her room (on three occasions) while teaching at Calvin Christian. It was so clear that the kids loved her, and responded to her kind, gentle, loving but firm way of teaching. It was so much fun to learn with Mrs. Klassen!
11. Leah is a good sport! Sometimes she has been rooked into doing things that were not exactly her thing, but she went along, participated, and had fun.
12. Leah loves sunglasses!! She has a sense of style that is unique to her!! Everett loves wearing his mom's glasses.
13. Leah loves to laugh! Sometimes when Josh gets going, and everyone gets laughing - Leah is the one that is cracking jokes right alongside of him. I love the sound of laughter from her.
14. Leah is a woman who loves God! I have often witnessed Leah reading her Bible, or have had discussions around some aspect of God. I love that she is not afraid to ask questions that strengthen and challenge her walk with God.
15. Leah is a gift from God for my son. From the time Josh was a baby - I prayed that God would send a woman that would love Josh, but would also love God. This was so important. I am so pleased that Leah is that gift to Josh, but to us too!
16. Leah is a wonderful mother of 3 boys. Jay lives in Heaven. Everett and Roger live here. Leah loves that she has 3 and that they are 3 BOYS. And well, we love that too!
17. Leah will celebrate their 9th anniversary this year. She looked like a princess when she walked down the aisle toward Josh. Their relationship is very giving and I have learned alot by watching them grow more and more in love.
18. Leah has a good sense of style - not everyone can wear leggings and a jean skirt and rock it!
19. Leah loves to read!
20. Leah and Josh worked with the youth for a portion of time until the youth pastor was hired. The youth respond well to Leah and Josh. When they worked at FBC they made a good team - with Josh working the front line, and Leah working hard behind the scenes making sure everything was in order and ready to go.
21. Leah loves tulips!
22. Leah embraces us as "parents" and I am so thankful. I love the conversations we can have, and even love it when the phrase starts with "Mom, what do you think about ..."
23. Leah loves to travel. We have enjoyed some family travel together, and she has also travelled with her girlfriends (prior to getting married) and has also done a mission trip where she, Josh and Ashley built the cinder block septic tank for the house in the D.R. Leah and Josh have also traveled on their own. However, some of the most favorite times for Leah have been spent at the lake, where she grew up enjoying her summers, and where now we enjoy time together at our cottage, and also at her family's cottage.
24. Leah has great taste and sense of design and decor. In fact - in our new house, there are a few things that we copied from their old house.
25. Leah lives a very disciplined life style. I admire and appreciate that - and wish I was more like her!
26. Leah once told me that she likes to play it more "safe" than to take a "risk" (this came out in a discussion about paint color choices. That being said - she loves life fully!
27. I will always think of when Leah was singing the song "testify to love" with full hearted enthusiasm. She loves worship music. Come to think of it - she loves music PERIOD.
28. Leah is a great dancer! Leah and Josh love to dance! It is no wonder that little Everett loves to dance too! He quickly makes everyone come and join him. Dancing is such an expression of joy.
29. Leah is contemplative! I see this - how she thinks and rethinks things, and all the possibilities!
30. Leah loves her family. The biggest smile on her face can be seen when she is with her boys and Josh. The love oozes. They are blessed!
Leah on this birthday I just want to say I am so glad we get to share it with you. You have taught me a lot through your example. You are a wise woman - and I love you. I am thankful that you are my daughter-in-law! It is my prayer that this birthday year will be most wonderful for you - and that God blesses you with more than you could ask for, think of or imagine! You dear one, are greatly loved.