James Michael Class turns 29 years old today....29!!! I can hardly believe it, and imagine he can't either. haha
For the moment Jimmy made his appearance into this world (2 weeks early) at a whopping 10 pounds, nothing could have prepared me for the amount of happiness he has brought into my life.
Jimmy was just the sweetest baby, and unlike my first two, loved to be held and cuddled and fussed over right from the very beginning....He started off HUGE and didn't slow down until he reached his full height of 6" 3" 19 years later. haha I felt bad when he was young, as everyone it seemed always expected sooo much out of him, thinking he was sooo much older than he really was...When he was 2 and half years old, he went through his rain boots and undies stage and pretty much no matter how he started off the day, he quickly changed into this ensemble. haha For at least a couple of years it seemed, he was my "little companion" as his older two brothers were in school all day, and he and I spent our days together. We had just moved to Chino Hills where I didn't know a soul, had no idea where anything was, and felt I was living in the middle of nowhere. I'd dress him and we'd head out exploring the area around us.....I can still remember him pointing out different things...."Look, mommy this seems like a nice place to be.." haha I'll never forget those times of just me and him enjoying our time together. Jimmy was a VERY VERY active little boy and he and his daddy had MANY MANY wrestling and fighting sessions. Jimmy lived for these....He was Rocky and his daddy was Thunderlips and they'd go into their wild sessions. haha The very minute his dad arrived home, he'd come running and it would all begin. Needless to say, Jimmy LIVED for that moment....haha As Jimmy grew into young boyhood, he was a wonder at school. He was always VERY popular and everyone seemed to loved him. His teachers, the other boys, and especially the girls. He always did well in school, and excelled especially at speech....little did we know the day would come when he would make his living speaking to large groups of people.....but the Lord was already getting him ready....He also excelled at sports, and I remember literally countless of his games with me cheering on the sidelines. He and his older brothers had a very typical "brothers" relationship I think in that they were always at each others throats, and yet always had each others backs. His relationship with his little sister Melody was the envy of many of her friends. Being a full 6 years older, he was always protective of her, and never shooed her away, or acted like she was a bother in any way.....He OPENLY adored her, and she loved him to pieces.....When Jim was in junior high I worked at his school. Could have been an embarrassing time for him as most kids that age don't like to even admit they have a mother, let alone one that works at the school telling them all how to behave. haha And yet Jim openingly hugged me hello and good bye, carried the trash out to the dumpster for me when it was my turn, and made all the women I worked with comment all the time on what a GREAT kid he really was.....He was junior high president BOTH his 7th and 8th grade years. As Jim went through high school and his teenage years, he made his share of poor decisions and choices, but I have to say I never really worried about him too much. His in born nature was giving and loving, but I will admit I spent ALOT of time in prayer for him during those years....but even in his rebellion, he remained someone I truly enjoyed being around. At 19 Jim made his decision to live for the Lord, and his life was never the same again. He headed off to Bible college, made a couple of missionary trips, met the love of his life, and grew into a mature, loving, Godly man.....A youth pastor now, I have had the privilege of sitting at his church listening to him teach and preach the Gospel, and I couldn't be prouder. His wonderful wife Larissa, has been such a wonderful addition to our family, I wonder now how I ever got along without her. My grandchildren Capri, JD and little Donatella are some of the greatest sources of joy my life has ever known. Little JD (or should I say GIANT JD, haha) is his daddy all over again and my pleasure at watching him can hardly be contained....I know I sound like a VERY prejudiced mom, but Jimmy Michael has made me sooo happy over his 29 years here on this earth, it would be hard to even really explain it well. All of this of course is just a tiny little glimpse into what it was like to raise him....I will be FOREVER grateful that the Lord blessed me with him, and I will love him beyond reason till the day the Lord takes me home. HAPPY BIRTHDAY my Jimmy Mike, and may the Lord always shine His face on you!!!!!