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St. Louis Road Trip!!

The Johnson’s took a road trip over President’s Day weekend.  Grandma and Grandpa J loaded up the van and headed over to Sam’s house in Illinois, and then we all went to St. Louis to watch Madi perform in a gymnastics tournament at the Millennium Hotel – right down town by the arch! 

We were able to see Madi perform, and Madi got her highest score ever on the uneven bars – WhooHoo!!  Good job, Madi.

Madi’s other Grand Parents were there too.  And along with Grandma and Grandpa Mines there was Uncle Louis, Aunt Jennifer, and Madi’s brand new cousin Anna Bell all soaking in the sights and sounds of Madi’s big city gymnastics event.


It was a great time!  And a pretty good cheese burger too, huh Sam!!

Sam’s NICU Guestbook

The following are the good wishes and prayers of Sam’s friends and family while he fought for his life at St. John’s NICU, and while he struggled to grow strong that first year. 

At this posting, Sam will be celebrating his 5th birthday next month!!  Whoohoo!! 

Hi Sam – Happy Belated BDay! U don’t know who I am, but Granda J does & Uncle Todd (I work w/them). Anyway, I have been watching you (along with Santa) & am pleased that everyone’s prayers have been with you. Keep up the great work little man. Jo


Yeah! So excited to see an update on the webpage! Wow! A true Birthday Extravaganza was had by all, it sounds like! Great photos! What a year! Way to Go, Sam! Keep it up! Trish Matson Buus


Hello Everyone! Merry Christmas!Nice family photo! May you all have a joyous & blessed holiday. Love to you all– Trish Matson Buus


Samuel not only was it Thanksgiving but your 7th month with us and such a special blessing. Ruby Ruby Buesking


Wow! Great new pictures! You look so happy, Sam! And so BIG! Chris & I just returned from Italy today, and I was pleased to read that things are going well. Love you guys! Trish Matson Buus


Sam I am – you have grown so much! Glad you are feeling better.Your journey continues. Give a hud and smooch to each other from me. luv u Judy D. jduy davidson


Hi Sam! You are absolutely adorable! Give your mommy and daddy a hug for me! Kristin Olson


Way to go, Mommy!!! You keep on top of those docs, Jenna! I often experience similar frustrations while trying to advocate for my patients. You deserve a pat on the back! I hope things improve over the next few days, and Sam, I sure hope that you can get back to that business of eating, which I enjoy all too well! Keep being a blessing, Little Guy! Trish Matson Buus


Hey, Sam! Looks like you had a good 6-month birthday! I like your new giraffe! If he needs a friend, you let me know…my mom collects them & she had zillions of them! Hope to visit real soon! Take care! Trish Matson Buus


Just saw the 6 mo. birthday photos – WOW!! Sam looks great!! – The family pictures are wonderful!! – I can’t believe he’s over 10 pounds. I definately have to take his outfit back and get a bigger size. That is just awesome!! Keep the updates and pictures coming – we really enjoy them. Becky Barbour


My husband and I are friends of Janet Landgraf’s. She was a faithful visitor of ours when we had our twin girls, Mary and Grace, at 27 weeks weighing about a pound and a half a piece. We have been praying for Sam ever since we heard of his early birth. God’s blessings! Sarah and Jake Pennekamp sarah pennekamp


Hello Jenna & family! Trish gave me the website info a while back and I have enjoyed checking on Sam’s progress. What a miracle! I have two little miracle boys at home myself. They are twins born at 32 weeks and also spent some quality time in the NICU here in Sioux Falls. Today, Blaine and Bryce are happy, healthy, and highly energetic 2 1/2 yr olds, as I’m sure Sam will be too one day. I w…(trimmed) Vicki (Dybdahl) Huitt


Hello, Mike, Jenna, & Sam! It’s a big day for me today, but I wanted to check in with you all, too. It’s so amazing that Sam is almost 6 months old & weighs nearly 10 pounds. What a miracle. I’m glad that everyone has settled in to the home routine well! Jenna, I wish you could be here today with me. You’ll all be in my heart though! Love ya! Trish Matson


Linda, Jenna and Keith, Just thought I would check your website. Glad to see Sam is doing great. Maddi is also very cute. Iwatched the slide show. I made me miss you all. We are still keeping you in our prayers. Love, Kathy Kathy Mead


SO good to see ALL of you looking so well. Sam I wish I could kiss your cheeks!! Glad to hear you had such a good visit with your Pa-Pa. Keep you the good work ( and the good sleeping and eating habits!!!) LOVE To ALL, Jill Jill Wilmarth


What a great new bunch of photos! Everybody looks great! What a big, bright-eyed boy you are, Sam! Can’t wait to meet you, Big Guy! Trish Matson


8 lbs 4 oz – WOW!!!!Sounds like things are moving in the right direction! Great news!!! Cathy Munyon


hey,sam,how are you my boy?i am waiting to hear from you.what are your parents up to? no one answering my phone, so i am concerned ,then i got the update from grandpa .i lost all the phone #”s,so please call me.love you all. tresa tresjoseph


Holy Cow!!! Sam, you weight over SEVEN POUNDS?!?!? Wow! Super job, Kiddo! Good luck at your doctor’s appt in St. Louis later today. I like the picture of Mom giving you a bath in the basin. Don’t hold out on us though—I know there must be a zillion new cute photos! Still checking in all the time & thinking about you all… Trish Matson


We sure miss hearing about you every day, Sam!!! I hope the transition home has been wonderful! Jenna & Mike, congratulations! I’m still thinking about you all the time & keeping you in my prayers. Love you guys! Trish Matson


I have been praying for you all! Welcome home baby Sam! Thank you for sharing your journey with us all! Jenna and Mike, you are always in my prayers. What a special little guy! Melinda Todd


Sam – I miss you so much! I can’t seem to find anyone to replace you. You are in my thoughts and prayers always. I have seldom seen such a strong will and spirit as I saw in you night after night in the NICU. I wish you the very best always. It was an honor to care for you and yours. Although I have “empty arms” now I know you are in the very best place you could possibly be – HOME! Stay strong an…(trimmed) Judy Davidson


Oops! Can’t spell too well on Mondays… CONGRATULATIONS!! 😉 Trish Matson


Oops! Can’t spell to well on Mondays… CONGRATULATIONS!! 😉 Trish Matson


Congrastulations on your first week at home, Sam, Jenna, & Mike! What a wonderful place, huh, Sam?! I’m so happy for you all! Can’t wait to hear more & see new photos! Trish Matson


This weekend just didnt seem the same without all of you, but I am so glad that you are finally getting the chance to be at home together as a family!!! Keep up the good work Sam!! (Jenna and Mike too!) I will anxiously keep wathcing you progress online (Thanks to grandpa J for this amazing site!!) Love to all, Jill Jill Wilmarth


Hi loves! Hope all is going well. Sammy, I miss you sooooo much! I’ve added your website to my list and hope to keep up with your many accomplishments. My love to all, please give Sam a big kiss for me. Shelly. shelly allen


Mike, Jenna, & precious little Sam: What wonderful news to hear you are home! We thank God for all of the answered prayers. We hope to meet you someday soon! Dean, Anne, Hannah, & Rachel Bredlau


Sam, from all of us at Vapotherm glad to see you home. Bill Niland Chairman Vapotherm, Inc Bill Niland

Hey, Sam!! We are so proud of your accomplishments. You and your mommy and daddy have been our thoughts and prayers continuously. We love your pictures on the website – can’t wait to meet you in person!!! Becky Barbour


Way to GO, Sam! I hope your first car ride was swell! I’m so excited for you all! Trish Matson


Lots of prayers are on their way from Switzerland. I will be thinking about ALL of you tomorrow. Thanks for this great website, Keith. It has made it bearable to have Jenna (and Mike and Sam) so far away. Anita


I visit this site every single day… it is the most beautiful expression of love I have ever witnessed! I can’t wait until Thursday and I see pictures of the family and Sam at his new home. Lori Statl


I have never seen anything like this!!! You have such an amazing documentaion of SAMs jouney so far. It has been such a priveledge to meet all of you who are Sams fan club!!! Jill Wilmarth


What wonderful news that your grandson may be home soon! He sure has proved to be a fighter! God bless all of you. Dean, Anne, Hannah, & Rachel Bredlau


Oh, and one more thing, Sam… Now listen…slow down already with the bottles, huh?! I know you had to wait a long time to have them, but don’t worry… you’ll get lots more! So, easy on the guzzling, OK? 😉 Trish Matson


Sam, you just don’t strike me as the kind of guy who’s gonna let a little green gunk get in your way! You know what to do, Tiger! You knock that pesty little infection out, & get ready to head home to see the beautiful house that’s been waiting for you back there in Mt. Vernon. The world holds so many wonderful things for you outside those hospital doors! Congratulations on how well you’ve don…(trimmed) Trish Matson


We just got the good news. Welcome home soon, Sammy. You have lots of people wishing you the best. sandra clark


Oh, what wonderful news! The nursing, the absence of needles, the post-snack sleeping…. aaah, that’s the good stuff, eh?! Way to go, Big Guy! I’m so happy to hear all the good news! God has blessed you all, and may He continue to do so! Trish Matson


Continued……You have the BEST & the BRAVEST Mommy & Daddy a little boy could ever ask for! Love, Grandma J. Grandma Johnson


Dear Sam, 14 wks. ago today you were the most amazing miracle I have ever witnessed! Today you are our miracle baby still – thanks to the many Dr’s. and nurses who care for you. It has been quite a blessing to watch you grow into a full term baby right before our very eyes. You have touched many hearts in your journey and in the wks. ahead we all look forward to you going home. I will continu…(trimmed) Grandma J.


Dear Sam. As I am sitting here in Grandma and Grandpa Johnson’s living room, I am anticipating my trip from Cincinnati, OH to St. Louis, Missouri to meet you in person for the very first time. Since your birth you have been in my prayers every day. God loves you and so do I, and I will see you very soon. All my love to your lovely Mom and great Dad from Great Grandma Bev. Great Grandma Bev


Glad things went well yesterday, Sam. Now for the next couple days, you have an excuse to sleep all you want! Rest well, & dream of all those bottles you’ll get to guzzle down shortly! Mmmmm! 😉 Trish Matson


I am so glad Sam’s surgery went well. We are all thinking of you. Sam you will be home before you know it lil guy. God bless you and your family. Felicia Berry


Your all in our prayers Brenda Mines


Hang in there little Sam — you’re doing great! You and your mommy and daddy are in our prayers. Cathy Munyon


Good luck on the surgery tomorrow, Sam! We’ll be so eager to read tomorrow’s update from Grandpa, but I just KNOW that you’ll do great! Get a good night’s sleep now, Little One! Trish Matson


Sam is a true miracle and God has great plans for him. He has the greatest parents and family. It was my privilege to take care of him. The St. John’s NICU doctors and nurses all love him. Tresa Joseph


I know your surgery will go great, Sam. Those docs will get your tummy troubles all fixed up! Until then, you just continue to work on your breathing so that you can get off the vent right after surgery is done! Jenna: Chris & I are making a quick trip up to St. Paul for the Prince concert on Thursday—maybe we’ll try to find your favorite Thai place! Love you guys! Trish Matson


We keep praying for little Samuel! Keep the faith – God does perform miracles!! Dean & Anne Bredlau


Its Felica again, just wanted to say how beautiful Sam is. I keep up with him everyday via this site. my lil girl came home May 6th, so we arent in the NICU anymore. Sam has the best family in the world. God Bless you guys. Felicia Berry


HI, you dont know me, but I am a mom of a 30w preemie, She was born 4-3-04 and in the same NICU as lil Sam. Ashli Smith told me about you guys. I check on lil Sam everyday. I pray for him alot. I know how hard it is to have a baby in the nicu. Congrats to Jenna and Mike!! Felicia Berry


Way to go, Sam!! Maybe now, your theme song should be “Movin’ On Up!” from 70s TV show, The Jeffersons! Hee hee! Have a great time in your new bed! You’re such a big boy! Bless you & your family! Love, Trish Trish Matson


Hi, Paige just told me about your website. You’re in my prayers. Believe me I can strongly empathize with your experience. Hang in there….one day at a time. sandra clark


I miss you and hope Sam feels better.Love Mike Michael Mead


I miss you all, wish Icould be there to help. Our prayers are with you. Love, Kathy Kathy Mead


Keep those updates, coming, Grandpa! The photos and the entries are great. And, Sam, you keep on trucking, little man. Lots of folks in Minnesota (and soon to be in Switzerland) love you and are praying for you. Anita


I can hardly believe that you’re already 3 months old, Sam! Holy smokes, does time fly! And look how far you’ve come in that time! Way to go! I ‘spose by now, you can show some of the newer babies the ropes around the NICU, huh? Still thinking about you all the time! Love, Trish Trish Matson


Jenna, my prayers are with you, Sam and the rest of the family. Life is so precious, and we are so blessed to be a part of it. Tim Landers


Hi. Jenna is on the PROM list and I saw her mention Sam’s website and wanted to check it out. It is amazing! I too had PROM…mine at 29 weeks. I gave birth to Jaxson at 33 weeks on 3/22/04. Hang in there Jenna, Mike and Sam. We are praying for you here in Kansas. Sierra Bauer

I too delivered a son prematurely, Samuel Charles. He was born at 25 weeks after premature rupture the same day. We were both very sick. Little Samuel lived 25 days and went to Heaven on 9/17/03 after severe sepsis stopped his heart. We miss him so much but I know he is smiling down on his “preemie brother” Samuel Henry. Way to go little guy, it sounds like your Mommy and Daddy love you so mu…(trimmed) Stella Wheeler


Love you Uncle keith. You are AWESOME. Melanie Wilson


Way to go, Sam!! You must be feeling pretty FREE since you got rid of some tubes! Your throat will probably be a bit sore now for a day or two, but then you’ll be able to make some little noises when you’re cuddling with Mom & Dad. Boy, they’ll love that! Are you having to wear the CPAP mask again though? I can’t wait to see some new pictures without that darn ET tube. Have a good day! Trish Matson


Hello everyone. Glad to see Sam is doing better today. I am sorry I don’t live closer and can see you all. Love Julie (Latham), Greg, Rebkekah, Patrick and Mariska. Julie Ramey


Dear Grandson, It was so nice to see you wearing clothes for the first time and getting to hold hands with you. You sure made your grandmother’s day! I am so proud of you and pray for you to grow stronger everyday. Hugs and Kisses, Grandma Buesking Grandma Buesking


Hello, Little Sam & everyone! I continue to check in on the website at least daily, and I’m thinking about ya & praying all the time. You’re a trooper, Sam; you can shake that infection! I sure like seeing your photos, especially when those gorgeous eyes are open. Give Mom & Dad a hug for me! Love, Trish Trish Matson


Dear Sam, Mike and Jenna, All of you are in my prayers. Sam you are such a cute and sweet little boy. God has truly blessed us with you. Love, Karen Karen Lecke


We would Pray for Sam. We would watch his progress through this web site. Jenna stay postive your prayers will be answered.Keith and Linda wonderful website.Lot of hardwork. Madi and Sam pictures are very cute. Anu Riti and Ravi


Hey, Jenna… I forgot to tell you that Deb (Klimisch) Koski told me to please let you know that she is thinking of your family and hoping for the very best for Samuel. She took a look at the website a while back, before the guestbook was added. 🙂 Trish Matson


Way to go, Little Man! Keep beefin’ up…soon you’ll be arm wrestling with Daddy! Thinking about you & your parents all the time! Trish Matson


Jenna, SO glad you’re feeling better & have been discharged from the hospital! Stay well now! I hope you gave a wonderful birthday & a great Mother’s Day! Miss you! Love, Trish Trish Matson


Freind & former neighber of the family.Sam, Jenna & family, you have many here in Mt. Vernon that continue to pray form you all. Hang in there, it’s just going to get better from here! Dave Ruff


You are in my prayers, little one. you too, Flannel Twin and family! Love ya. Christi Froiland


I know Shelly from Madi’s gymnastics and I would like say your family is in ours and my churches prayers. Julie Beyer
julielbeyer @yahoo.com


Mike Jenna and Sam,our thoughts and prayers are with you.Take care and GOD BLESS YOU.Love Ron and Linda. Ron&Linda Snyder


Jenna and Samuel I am praying for you. I would love to see some new pictures of you. Hang in there Jenna. God Bless You. Love, Karen Karen Lecke


My friend Shelly gave me this address so I could check up on her little nephew! What a work God is doing in your family! You are truly blessed to have such awesome Godly support from your whole family. I will be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. Many blessings. Carol Ramsey


Mike, Jenna and Sam — you are in our thoughts and prayers. Colin & Mary Jo Jameson


Mike, Jenna and Sam — you are in our thoughts and prayers. Colin & Mary Jo Jameson


Hey Sam, keep fighting! Your great-grandfather Lyle is smiling down from heaven right now continuing to encourage your fight as everyone here is doing the same. We continue to pray for your healthy progress. You are loved by so many. Wendy Suddendorf


Sorry to hear that you’re back on the vent, Sam. 🙁 You are fighting so hard every day, so you’re bound to get pooped now & then. Let the vent help you get strong again. Sending big hugs your way! Trish Matson


We are relatives of the Johnsons through Grandma Bev! So glad to hear that Sam is doing SO well! We’re keeping him in our thoughts and prayers! Dan and Amy Norton


Hey, Sam! Glad to see that things are going well and that you’re tolerating your feedings. Wait till you get to try your Mom’s Sunday-afternoon-CHILI or her fresh mushroom/grilled cheese sandwiches! They are the BEST! I think of you all often. Till next time… Trish Matson


Hi Baby Samuel!! We think you are so special!!! And we are so glad to have you in the family. Try your best to remember to breath. We love you and are so thankful for you. It is true that some of God’s greatest gifts come in small packages. Oh, how we have learned even more to appreciate every breath of life God gives to all of us. Love, Your Aunt Deb : ) Aunt Debi


Mike, Jenna and Samuel keeping all of you in my prayers. I am so happy to view Samuel’s life per this Web page. He looks so cute. I love the pictures with his hand on his chin – he is really pondering something. God Bless all of you. Karen Lecke


Dean & I know Jenna through my sister, Ruth Timm. We even played softball together a few years ago in Minneapolis. We just wanted to write and first of all, say Congratulations! on your new grandson. We have been able to keep fairly updated through my sister as well as Mike & Jenna. When we read the entries regarding Samuel’s first days, it is so obvious to see God’s hand in it all. We contin…(trimmed) Dean & Anne Bredlau


Hey, Sam! I hope you’re letting that CPAP help ya out a bit. CPAP isn’t so bad, but I bet you’re not gonna let them put in that breathing tube again, are ya?! Darn thing. How’s that caffeine treatin’ ya? Careful now…you don’t want to end up like me…I usually drink a whole 2 liter bottle of Diet Mountain Dew during my 10-hour night shift! Uh, yeah…that’s a little over the top, I guess. …(trimmed) Trish Matson


Hey, everybody! What a great addition to the website! I’ve been checking in on Miraculous Little Samuel’s progress every day, as well as keeping you all in my prayers! Sam’s doing SO great! Keep it up, Little One! Welcome to the World; so glad you’re here! Trish Matson


Sam’s 2nd Birthday

Samuel March 25th

Happy 2nd Birthday, Sam!!!!

Sam is two years old – Can you believe it? 




A “Blues Clues” birthday with lots of family and friends to help celebrate, and Batman may now be Sam’s new best friend!  Check it out!  Sam has his own Laptop computer!  Hmmm.  Computer engineer or Train engineer?  Decisions decisions!

Please excuse Grandma J’s confused camera. It put the wrong date on all the following pictures, and as we all know March 25th is really Sam’s birthday.

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Sam’s 1st Birthday

Samuel March 25th

Happy 1st Birthday, Sam!!!!

Can you believe it’s been a whole year? Sam still has some things to work through, but take a look at this happy little man on his first birthday.  I don’t think he was a fan of the plaster hand print though.

His birthday just happened to fall on Easter weekend this year, so naturally Sam had to endure a bunny costume complete with ears!



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Sam’s Journey


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A new family – 3/30/2004
Sam & his lamb – 3/29/2004
Kangaroo therapy with Mom – 3/30/2004
Kangaroo therapy with Dad – 3/31/2004
Sam and Dad – 3/31/2004
A size perspective – 3/25/2004
Sam wears Dad’s wedding ring on his arm – 4/6/2004
Cool Shades – 3/27/2004
Still Styling – 3/27/2004
Sam Jenna and Grandma B – 3/30/2004
Sam Jenna and Grandpa B – 3/30/2004
Sam Jenna and Grandma J – 4/17/2004
Sam Jenna and Grandpa J – 4/17/2004
Grandma J and Sam – May 27, 2004
Grandpa J and Sam – May 29, 2004
Grandma B and Sam – 6/7/2004
Grandpa B and Sam – 6/7/2004
A special moment with Grandma B part 1 – 6/7/2004
A special moment with Grandma B part 2 – 6/7/2004
Sam’s First Bottle – 6/18/2004
Sam after surgery – 6/22/2004
Sam Coming Home – July 12, 2004
Welcome home, Sam! – 7/12/2004
Sam is home! – July 16, 2004
Mom, Dad, and Sam – 8/22/2004
Mom, Dad, and Sam – Christmas 2004
Sam’s 1st Birthday – 3/25/2005
Sam’s 2nd Birthday – 3/25/2006

Sam’s Place

Sam was born March 25, 2004 at 6:27am.  He weighed two pounds two ounces, was 13 inches long, and came into this world about three months early. 

Samuel now has his own email address!  Anyone that would like to drop Sam a personal note can reach this young man at:  Samuel@LindaAndKeith.com.  I know he would love to hear from everyone.


Sam’s Journey

Sam On The Wall

Sam April 5

Sam April 16

Sam After Surgery

Sam July 25

Sam Aug 22

Sam Sep 2

Sam Oct 1

Sam Oct 23

Sam 03252005 


Sam – 12/30/2006


Sam’s First Bottle

Sam’s 1st Baby Shower

Sam’s 2nd Baby Shower

Sam and Family July 29

Sam Sept 25

Sam Oct 31

Sam 03252006



 Sam April 28


Madi’s Third Birthday

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