It's hard to believe that I haven't posted about Sam and Mike before, because they play such a huge part in the lives of my kids. 'Mrs. Sam' has been my babysitter, nanny, daycare provider, since Anna was a wee tot back in 1995. She keeps children in her home. 'Mr. Mike' is her husband who has been there helping all along. He just retired a few months ago, so he's home more often now and they pretty much co-sit the kids.
Mike and Sam both have a 'way' with children. Do you know what I mean? A 'way' that many of us simply don't have. Sam has been able to get all 3 of my kids to do things that they would never do at home. Case in point; taking a nap at a regular time, on cue. Also, eating all kinds of non-kid-friendly vegetables, like broccoli, cauliflower, and okra. Mr. Mike has a garden across the street from their house where he grows amazing vegetables and is nice enough to share with us 'moms.'
Did I mention Sam is an incredible cook who makes the best eggplant lasagna and gumbo I've ever tasted? The kids she keeps actually request different meals on her 'menu' when they're off for the holidays.
I've found that Sam and Mike are akin to an extra set of grandparents for my kids. They've been there for them through every stage of their lives thusfar, and have never failed to give them just what they need. They are a permanent part of my 'thank-you' list in my prayers, because I do realize how incredibly blessed we all are to have found them.
(Here's a shot of Mr. Mike hanging up the clothes last week on Mrs. Sam's birthday, when he promised to take over all the chores.)