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Posted August 21, 2016
Samantha, 23, is my middle child, therefore she loves recognition and validation and talks brilliantly fast to ensure that she is heard. And she deserves to be noticed. She is an eager helper and pleaser to anyone around her, and she is a persuasive negotiator even though she also likes things done her way. She is particularly a big help to her younger brother Jacob, constantly teaching him and helping him along with meals, his homework, or his computer. She likes to do her own cooking and laundry, even though I try to send her laundry out. She likes to take business trips with me and she is highly respected by adults. She does her homework independently. She is social, competitive, diplomatic, funny, and particularly generous.
Samantha is busily intellectual. She is 23 years old, but has college credits from five colleges, the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Metropolitan Community College-Blue River, Washington University in St. Louis (where she attended at age 16 and 17), and she is currently a student at Brigham Young University and the University of Missouri. She graduated from high school a year-and-a-half early, and still had year of college credits such that she is technically a college sophomore at age 17. She earned straight A grades at her high school, and mostly A+ grades. When she was in 1st grade, she read 1,200 books when 20 were required, and the principal had to invent a special award for her. She was third in the Kansas City region (two states) in a math competition, and one of the top spellers in her school spelling bee. She volunteers for extra assignments and creative projects, including the recent Reflections contest where she she submitted entries for not one, but five categories: literature, music composition, visual composition, photography, and graphic arts. In 2007, Samantha was home schooling so that she could travel with her family. Her extreme drive and intellectualism made her highly suited for this and she progressed at several times the rate of her former classmates using the same textbooks. Samantha returned to school that fall having advanced an extra year into 9th grade. In high school she had a 4.1 GPA and a 29 on her ACT. Samantha went to the national/international DECA (business) competition.
In the past, Samantha has participated in organized swimming, baseball, gymnastics, jazz dance, ballet, walking club, and piano lessons. Her strength is not in her natural skill, but in her drive. She liked to bicycle with her family until the third time she got stitches on her chin. She likes to ski but she scares me because she is so confident. But Samantha is also one of the top three runners in her high school. She won the first school cross country race that she ever ran, and was the top runner from her school in every race in middle school year, 7th grade. She bypassed 8th grade in the school district, and has consistently been in the in the top three runners on the varsity cross country team as a freshman and sophomore. She has recently run as far as 18 miles at a time, in training. She loves running with me. In 2007, she and I finished a 26.2 mile Marathon; and she dragged me through two more; she has now run eight marathons; including a recent 2010 first place finish for the 17-and-under age group in the Kansas City Marathon and a 2011 Little Rock Marathon that she traveled to alone in Arkansas. She also has a life-time membership at 24-hour Fitness and enjoys lifting weights. Additionally, Samantha has been playing the violin for three years. After a year, she began to play in the Youth Symphony of Kansas City, was designated as first chair in her grade, and got into honors orchestra at school. She has been taking 2 to 4 half-hour private lessons each week in our home. My best word to describe her is driven.
Samantha is always curious to sample new things, getting interested in them easily and getting over them just as fast. As a small child, top gift requests were a pogo stick, a unicycle, a metal detector, and a sewing machine: Always some new adventure. She is also the self-designated baker in the family, and with her energy she is the only one of us who can afford to eat what she makes. Samantha is highly fashionable and detailed with her makeup and girlyness. Samantha has visited 20 countries, and the country that she most wants to visit is Egypt. Her favorite foods are feta cheese, on almost everything, and sushi.
Samantha is highly logical and driven. She is savvy with technology, learning html programming on her own, and created her own health food website when she was about 12. She is detailed about health, momentarily been a vegetarian, and determined about abstinence. She loves Jesus Christ and the prophets, and is meticulous about getting things right, and will always seek truth and logic in religion. She is great with audio, video, and graphic technologies. She is quick to learn the features of computer peripherals like cameras. She reads more non-fiction than my other children, and loves to be in a bookstore, but recently started reading fiction again which is getting her much needed quiet time.
Samantha could be a lawyer someday, and she would be a good one, but she can do anything that she wants. She already gives sound business advise that is invaluable to me.
Samantha is pictured below as photographed on a date, 2013.
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