Kate's class at church on Wednesday nights has been working on memorization of bible verses. Kate and I spend a little bit of time each evening reciting a new verse for the next Wednesday. Kate loves it and is so excited to go to church to tell her teachers the verse she has learned. (And, she's also pretty excited to earn a price for memorizing it.) Anyway, Karsten is almost always around when Kate and I practice and she has picked up quite a few verses herself.
This past Wednesday, we were driving to church and I was trying to get Karsten to recite her verse. This week's verse was "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made!"
When Kate was a baby, my mom and dad gave her a small JellyCat bunny for Easter. She played with it some, but it basically got put into a box with lots of other stuffed animals that just sat in her room. Kate likes Barbies and figurines (like Lion Guard plastic animals, etc) but was never one to play with stuffed animals or baby dolls. Just wasn't her thing.
When Karsten was born, we pulled out a few small stuffed animals for her room and the JellyCat bunny was one of them. Almost from the first time she held that bunny, she became attached. She has since named him "Bunny" or "Bun Bun" and he goes everywhere with her.
There have been a couple of almost-disasters with Bunny when we have misplaced him. Cooper also snatched Bunny out of Karsten's arms one day and ran around the yard with him in his mouth. If we had lots of neighbors, Karsten's screams would have sent everyone running. (In reality, we don't really have many neighbors close to us, so there wasn't a false alarm.)
After the Cooper incident, we got a backup. And then the backup ended up staying at my Mother in Law's house because we left bunny up there multiple times and had to drive to her house at 10pm a few nights to get him because Karsten wouldn't go to sleep without him.
So we got another backup. We now have three bunnies and I'm hopeful that these last us a while!
Bunny has definitely been Karsten's first friend. She's had a few other stuffed animals that randomly make their way to her arms. We've had a stuffed Max from Secret Life of Pets, a stuffed Simba and Nahla, and a few others. Karsten has played with them a few times, but nothing will replace Bunny.
Bunny has been with Karsten through so many growing pains in just a few short years. He's been there to comfort her when she has gotten a boo boo. He's been there for her to snuggle with every night. She needs him at bedtime to fall asleep, but somehow she still needs him through the night because she'll be clinging to him tightly hours later when I check on her. He's been there to keep her brave in church nursery when the separation anxiety was intense. She's dressed him up in sunglasses, held him up to watch tv, read him stories, given him sips of her apple juice, and probably tried to shove a cheerio or two in his mouth. But hey, isn't that what friends are for?
We joke that Bunny may end up going to college with Karsten. :) And just maybe he will.
I know one thing though, if this girl grows up to love Jesus as much as she currently loves this bunny, God can use her to do great things. And that's my biggest prayer for both Karsten and her big sister- that they know and love Jesus.
It's no secret that Kate has always been a Daddy's girl. She may have said "mama" first, but her Daddy definitely has her heart. I'm so thankful for the relationship they have. Last night, Kevin got the privilege of taking her to her very first Daddy/Daughter dance.
Kate has been looking forward to this night for WEEKS. Almost every day she would ask "Is the Daddy/Daughter dance tonight?" About a week ago, I took her to Kohl's to pick out a dress. She specifically picked this one because it was "twirly". Oh, and it had a necklace. Five year old priorities, y'all.
I warned Kevin that when they got to the school, Kate would very likely ditch him for her friends. And guess what? That's exactly what happened. Ha! Kate had a blast though, and that's all that matters.
Sunday mornings are busy in our house. Since Kevin is a pastor, he needs to spend some time Sunday mornings studying and preparing for the upcoming service, and he also leaves to get to church a bit earlier than us. Because of that, he kind of does his own thing. And so I get the girls ready for church. I probably should wake up earlier to get going, but I really like an extra few minutes of sleep, so Sunday mornings are pretty rushed. :) We always get to church about 15-30 minutes before the service starts, but there aren't any extra minutes to spare at home.
So this morning, when I walked into the living room to start getting Kate ready, I was not prepared for her to tell me "Mom, I got something in my hair." THIS is what I saw.
That is silly putty, and it is ALL in her hair. This is the only picture I took, but this was just the front part that you can see. There was at least this much more wrapped up on the underside of her hair too. She apparently went to bed holding the silly putt and in the middle of the night.... well, it ended up like this.
Google was no help (FYI - conditioner and olive oil don't help) but my Facebook friends came to the rescue. If you ever run into this in your house, JIF is your friend. Peanut butter seemed to do the trick and an hour and a half later, I finally got the comb all the way through her hair.
Prior to trying the JIF, I honestly thought Kate was going to have to get it cut out of her hair. She wasn't upset about that, but wanted to make sure that the Silly Putty was saved. I assured her that she didn't need to worry about that, because Silly Putty is no longer allowed at our house. Ever.
I don't know where you're reading this from, but here in SC the weather has been AWESOME. It's the middle of February but 75 degrees, so we broke out the sandals for Valentines day. Happy Valentines day from these two sweet girls! They are nothing alike personality-wise, but (usually) get along so well. I am so thankful that they call me Mama.
Karsten is my sensitive, thoughtful, loving little helper. She will pull all of her play food into the kitchen and throw it on the floor to "help" me cook. She is a mamas girl through-and-through. She likes to cuddle and will randomly say "Guess what Mama!? I love you!"
Kate is strong willed, determined, and caring. If you have a boo boo, she's the first to try to help you. She had a somewhat rough start to kindergarten, but is now reading almost everything in sight. I can't believe how far she's come in 6 short months. She is my independent little extrovert and I wouldn't be surprised if she is high school president one day. :)
Happy Valentines day from my three Valentines. I sure do love this family of mine! God is good!
I have a friend, who I have known since I was 4 years old, named Jillian. Jillian is actually the one that introduced me into the land of blogging after she started a blog when she was pregnant with her first child back in 2011. I joke with her (and on her) because her blog is something that she will not touch for a month or so, and then will go back and write about 20 posts and put them up all at once. And now clearly, I have turned into the same thing. C'est la vie!
2016 was a fantastic year, filled with lots of great memories. Here is a (very) quick rundown of just a few of our highlights...
We got SNOW in South Carolina. So much fun!
Lori and Bobby (and Bobby's mom Stacy) drove up to spend the day with us.
Karsten turned 15 months old and we were still going strong with the nightly bottles.
Karsten also joined in on a few bedtime Bible stories, but we quickly determined that she had zero attention span.
We had some unseasonably warm February weather, and spent a lot of time doing fun outdoor stuff, like sidewalk chalk.
We celebrated Valentine's day together!
I went to my home town for our first annual friends dinner (which was definitely repeated in 2017)
The primary elections were held, and Kate was bummed that she didn't get to vote. So, she decided to make her own card and hold a kid's election. She brought her home-made voter registration card with us when we went to the polls, and then we all got fussed at because we were told our polling location could be accused of voter fraud.
We signed Kate up for soccer at the YMCA and she was so excited to get her soccer gear.
We celebrated Easter 2016
Of course we had a few Easter egg hunts :) Karsten caught on pretty quickly!
I drove the girls to a friend's peach orchard and took their pictures in the beautiful blooms
Kate had her first official soccer practice and game. At this point, we were still pretty undecided as to how the season would go.
April finally brought some WARM weather. And warm weather means bathing suits, sprinklers, and outside fun.
We pulled out the water table, and Karsten seems to love it just as much as Kate did. We've had this thing for 5 years and I have to say, it was definitely money well spent!
The soccer season continued and we realized Kate did not heart soccer the way her mommy did. She preferred the sidelines with her friends over chasing the soccer ball.
May was a crazy busy month. First up, Kate's LAST day of K4. It was a sad and exciting day for all of us.
Next up - VACATION. We went to Sunset Beach, NC and Kate has been begging to go back there since we left.
Also in May, I celebrated my 5th Mother's day. What a blessing and honor to be Mom to these two girls.
At some point during the month, Kate's school held their Kindergarten orientation, so we got the chance to visit her new school and tour the facilities.
We spent a lot of June just doing fun things at home.
We made a few lake trips and always love being on the water.
Our church had a waterpark day.
Kevin attempted to teach Kate how to hit a softball, and she actually started hitting them!
Kate took swimming lessons and through the course of 2 months, she pretty much learned how to swim AND she learned to dive!
Kevin and I took Kate with us on our annual mission trip with church. Karsten stayed home with her Nana and got to soak up some quality grandparent time.
We celebrated the 4th of July.
We wrapped up our mission trip
Kate turned FIVE. We tried to celebrate with a birthday party at a local waterpark, but got rained out. So we improvised, and had a party at our house!
Kate started Kindergarten. Somehow I have a school-aged kid!
We had plenty of lake days again - so fun!
Karsten started Parents Day Out one day a week. After the initial tears and separation anxiety, she quickly got over it and now LOVES to go to school and see all of her friends.
Kate started gymnastics and I think we found an extracurricular activity that she can stick with.
We spent one Saturday at a waterpark (the one where we were supposed to have Kate's birthday party).
Kate lost her first tooth.
Our church had a Fall Festival.
We visited a farm / pumpkin patch with Kristi and Davis, and got lost in a corn maze!
I took the girls to a Clemson game and we watched Clemson ALMOST lose to NC State.
We celebrated Halloween (Princess Elena and Princess Anna)
Karsten turned TWO. Of course we celebrated with a Frozen birthday party. What else would you expect for this Anna and Elsa loving little girl?
Kevin and I went to Las Vegas for my continuing education. We tacked on a few days to the trip and visited Zion National Park, in Utah, went to the Hoover Dam and went to see the Grand Canyon.
Kate was in a Thanksgiving play, and played the part of an ear of corn. Ha!
We hosted Thanksgiving at our house and did not burn the house down.
We filled the month with LOTS of Christmas fun.
Kevin and I attended my work Christmas party.
The girls visited Santa (Karsten was not impressed, yet again)
Kate helped me with some Christmas shopping and got to get a red cup full of hot chocolate from Starbucks.
My parents came to visit for Christmas, and we went ice skating.
SANTA stopped by our house and left lots of goodies.
Clemson played in the college playoffs and WON, so they were bound for the National Championship.
And that, friends, was a wrap on 2016. Each year I am beyond amazed at the ways that God has blessed me, and this year was no exception. I am so thankful to have a life filled with an amazing family, great friends, and so much love, laughter and fun.
Karsten is going to kill me for these one day, but currently she can't do anything about it. :)
I keep the church nursery often on Wednesdays and a few weeks ago, we were in one of those situations where one kid would cry and cause other babies to start crying. Needless to say, all of the volunteers arms were full with babies! Karsten was perfectly fine and playing with toys until she turned around and saw me holding one of the younger babies. And then, it was over.
She kept saying "Put dat baby down! Don't hold her! That's my mommy!"
Of course you can tell that I obviously thought it was funny and grabbed my phone to snap a few pictures.
This is yet another example of how God makes each kid so uniquely different. Kate was so NOT a mama's girl. She was so independent, she would have rather had somebody else besides me in the nursery in the first place. Not Karsten. She loves her Mama in a clingy sort of way. And I kinda like it. :) At least for now.