Friday, March 22, 2013

Grace - Six

Dear Grace,

We have just wrapped up a whole week of celebrating you turning six. 


That's only one year older than 5. Just one bigger number. But something about 6 seems so much more. Six requires 2 hands, and I admit, I'm having a hard time with you turning 6.  Birthdays 1-5 were exciting, but 6 is different. Six is no longer a baby. Not even a little kid. Six is a bona fide big kid. Over the past few days, I've teared up more than once. I hear you reading or see you standing at the kitchen sink washing your hands, and emotion washes over me.  

Sadness because you are no longer that newborn baby that taught me the joy of smelling freshly bathed baby skin. You are no longer that smiling little muffin that toddled her way across our old living room for the first time.  You are not even the tiny girl who insisted on skirts every day for over a year. 

Pride because of the person you are becoming. Grace, you are beautiful inside and out. When I see you playing with classmates regardless of the color of their skin, their gender, or their mental abilities, it reminds me that carefree goodness is alive and well.  You are growing into this little person who is realizing the effects her actions and words have on people.  

You have had a big, big year!  you saw the ocean for the first time, rode a horse for the first time, lost your first tooth, and learned to swim without floaties.  You have shown bravery and tenacity.  Last April, when you broke your arm, you hardly shed any tears.  Not because you weren't in pain, but because you have this ability to show grace in stressful situations.  Even when the doctor told us about the surgery you would need, the anesthesia, and all these things that were foreign and scary to me, an adult, you, the 5 year old didn't waver in your bravery.

Last fall, when you learned to read, it's like this sponge emerged, and it hasn't stopped soaking in all the words it can!  You read every chance you get.  When we're at home, there's often a book in your hand.  When we're in the grocery store, you're reading every aisle sign.  When we're driving down the road, you're reading every sign and billboard.  I am so excited for you because this whole new world has been opened up to you!

When you started kindergarten, you and I began a new phase in our bond.  We get to share a new special time together.  We have such great conversations during the car rides to and from school, and I am so proud getting to walk down the hallways of the school with my daughter.  Those notes you leave on my desk or in my mailbox in the workroom that read "I love you, Mama" simply make my day.

It seems that each week, your jeans get shorter.  I keep telling you to slow down growing, and every time, you give me that same tilt of your head and big grin, reminding me that it's not your fault; God is making you grow. So, we'll keep buying new jeans and try to soak in every moment.

You have so many special qualities, my dear girl.  You are beautiful, and special, and kind.  You are compassionate, funny, and smart. You are my daughter.  My first born.  You are six.

Happy Birthday, Dear Grace.


Friday, March 8, 2013

Valentine's Day 2013

On Valentine's Day, I was supposed to be writing a paper on the Ithkuil language (Google it when you're having trouble sleeping).  But instead, I was watching my Love Bugs scamper and squeal their way through our house on a scavenger hunt to find their Valentines.  Instead, I was having pizza by candle light.  Instead, I was thinking about the ones I love.

This One that I love taught me about being a mother.  She keeps me full of pride over her accomplishments and the compassion that is growing in her heart.  This One loves to read, play outside, and dress "fancy".  This One has hands that are capable of much beyond her years.

This One that I love is full of laughter.  She loves to laugh and make others laugh.  This One is my cuddle bug.  She makes my heart swell when she talks about Jesus and proclaims the gospel.  This One loves to play with baby dolls, be read to, and says she loves me a little more than brownies.  Considering her affection for brownies, I'll take that.

This One that I love is thisclose to being spoiled rotten.  He is babied by his sisters, his grandparents, his aunts and uncles, and maybe just a little bit by his mama and daddy.  This One loves to rub my face as he falls asleep.  He loves to pinch his sisters' legs when he spies them getting dressed.  He loves big trucks, horses, and playing ball.

And, this One that I love: He is my best friend.  My soul mate.  He and I share this life that is so much more than I could have ever dreamed.  I thank God daily that He chose this One as mine.

Our Top 12 of 2012

1. The Littles' First Trip to the Beach
In April when our family went to Disney World, we spent one day at the beach.  It was the first time 30 little toes had been sunk in sand, the first time 3 little mouths tasted salt water, the first time we got to hear the shrieks of our Littles as they enjoyed the ocean.

2.  Emma Kate's Idol Came to Life
It's no secret Emma Kate has had a fascination with Snow White since she first heard of princesses.  So, when she learned we were going to Disney World, her number 1 goal became talking to the "real" Snow White.  The look of awe on EK's face when Snow White put her arm around her was well worth the dehydration that nearly occurred as a result of waiting in line.

3. Grace's Broken Arm
When Grace fell on her arm at tumbling and barely made a whimper, I thought, okay, let's get that baby iced, wrapped, and rested.  When we got home and I could see the angle her elbow jutted out, I thought, a broken arm, that's okay.  Not our first rodeo.  When the ER doc told us we needed to transfer to a children's hospital because it would need surgery, I felt my first streak of panic.  My baby was going to need surgery??  Anesthesia??  But, Grace handled it like a pro.  She barely shed a tear throughout the entire process.  As long as she was informed of what was happening at each step in the process, she was able to deep breathe her way through.  And, when she woke up with an arm plastered in pink sparkles, she smiled and wanted to know if she could get to school in time for the Earth Day parade.  I am so proud of this brave girl that I get to call my daughter.  Someone needs to remind her she's only 5 though and tell her to stop growing so fast.

4.  Reece Learned to Walk
At a mere 10 months old, our Baby Boy took off, and hasn't slowed down since!

5.  Littles 1 and 2 Learned to Swim
Grace and Emma Kate have always loved the water.  Swimming without floaties came fairly easy last summer through swim lessons.  Ms. Myra taught them how to blow bubbles so that water wouldn't get up their noses, swim, dive, and be safe in the water.

6.  Daisy and Toby
It's no secret that I am not an animal person.  It's not that I dislike them, it's just that I don't really get into them.  But, a friend giving us 2 itty bitty cutie pie kittens changed that.  Grace came up with their names - Daisy and Toby.  The girls love them with a capital L.O.V.E.  And, Reece is intrigued, but only on his own terms.  Apparently, we are animal people after all.

7.  Grace Started Kindergarten
One of my favorite parts of being a teacher - getting to take my daughter with me to school every day.

8.  Reece Turned a Year Old
How did this happen??

9.  Emma Kate Started Preschool
Finally her turn!  Emma Kate has been waiting to start school ever since Grace got her first back pack.  She goes 2 mornings a week to a Mother's Morning Out Preschool, and loves every second!

10.  Grace Learned to Read
She knew all her letters, etc. when kindergarten started, and could tell you the first sound in words, but she now just picks up books and runs with it!  I am so excited that this new world has been opened up to her!

11.  Halloween
We had our very own Wizard of Oz cast for Halloween this year.

12.  Christmas
Once again, we had a magical Christmas getting together with family, spoiling each other with presents and food, and most importantly - celebrating the birth of Jesus.