Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Kindergarten Kid!

Today, Kate started kindergarten.

She was SO ready.  I was SO not ready.

I woke her up this morning, thinking that she would take a while to wake up. She is not a morning person at all. You know those stories about Mom flipping back the covers and turning on the light to get their kid up?  Yeah. That's gonna be Kate in a few years.  We're a bit nicer to her for now...

Anyway, I thought it might take a while to get her up, out of bed, and to the table for breakfast.  Well I was wrong. When I first said "kindergarten", she was up and ready to go!  She breezed through breakfast and was ready to head out the door.  Too bad silly Mom had to get a few pictures. :)

And then it was time to go!  I planned to get to school early so I could park and walk her in. Well... I had no clue how bad the traffic and car line would be.  I got near the school a little before 7:30 and they were so backed up, by the time I got up to the school itself and parked, it was 7:55.  Kate kept telling me to just drop her off in the car line.  She said "I know where my class is!"  Of course I walked her in anyway.

Her school had a sound system and DJ (who I'm sure was the assistant principal or another staff member) by the front doorway and they were blaring Pharrell's "Happy" and had a strobe light going. Kate danced her way down the hall to her class.

She showed me her desk, gave me a thumbs up, a quick kiss, and then told me it was time for me to go. Ha! This girl is Miss Independent for sure. 

I did great until I was walking out of the school and then it hit me that my baby (who isn't a baby) is in SCHOOL.  I said a quick prayer in my car for Kate- that she would have a great day and year, that she would love school, that she would be a good friend to others, and that she would remember the most important thing (to love Jesus).  And then I drove to work. 

I won't be picking her up from school normally, and the original plan was for my mother in law to pick her up, but I changed my mind and decided that I wanted to do it on the first day.  I mean, your kid only has one first day of kindergarten ever!  And besides, if I didn't pick her up, by the time I got home from work and asked her how her day went, the only answer I'd get would be "good".

She had a GREAT first day, but was less than thrilled when I picked her up.  They put a sticker on her shirt with her car number, and apparently she thought it was a BUS sticker.  She did not want to get in the car with me because she said "I was gonna ride the bus, MOM!"

I told her she would probably get to ride the bus on a field trip and that temporarily resolved the problem.  She is super excited to go back tomorrow.  I'm hoping this enthusiasm lasts all the way through May. What are the odds?  Love my girl and am so thrilled for her new adventures. 

Here's to a great K5 school year!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Happy Birthday Kate

Today my oldest little girl turned five years old.  And tomorrow we go meet her kindergarten teacher. My mom-heart almost can't keep up.

This was a picture of her before she put on her pajamas for bed last night.  Her very last night as a four year old...

As much as I'm sad to see her grow up, it also makes me happier and prouder than I could have imagined. This girl...  Here she is on her first day as a FIVE year old...

Five years ago today I was sitting at working, wondering when this little girl would make her appearance.  She was already 2 days past her due date.  Around 10am I got the phone call that her birth mom had gone into labor and that she was on her way.  I quickly wrapped things up at work, and Kevin and I were eating lunch together when we found out she'd been born. Less than 24 hours later, we were meeting her and holding her for the very first time. 

Five years ago, I had no idea that the 8 lb 3 oz sleepy little girl in my arms would turn into the sassy, spunky, and hilarious girl that she is today.  But I knew I loved her then, and my love for her grows a little bit more each and every day. 

Kate is a water-loving little girl. Just tonight we were watching the Olympics together. She saw the swimming and said "Oh, Mommy! I want to do that!"  Maybe she will.

She loves her sister fiercely, and Karsten loves her too.  These two are just now starting to interact enough to really play together, which is good and bad.  The fighting is starting to begin... I would have been happy to put this "stage" of life on hold for a little bit longer.

Like I said earlier, kindergarten is right around the corner.  Kate is SO ready and is excited to meet her teacher tomorrow.  Me?  Not so much.

After a couple of beach trips this summer, Kate has discovered her love of seafood.  Shrimp - yumm!!  For some reason, she calls shrimp "french".  We aren't really sure where that one came from.

By far, her favorite is crab legs.  Girl has expensive taste.  I have to agree with her though. Crab legs are the best.

She went on our church's mission trip again this year.  She's not big on serving and helping, so we're working on that.  But hey, what kid really does want to do WORK over playing on a slip-n-slide with all of the kids?  I don't blame her a bit!  

She is a total Daddy's girl and he HAS to be the one to tuck her in at night.  When Kevin's busy or tied up with something and she has to settle for me tucking her in, she always tells me "make sure Daddy comes to give me a kiss when he comes back in."  Their nightly bedtime story and prayers together are such a sweet part of her day.

Happy birthday, Kate.  I know that there are BIG things in store for your life and I can't wait to watch you do it all. We love you.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Conversations to Remember

Sometimes, I just have to stop and write down my conversations with Kate, because they are little snippets of our life together that I never want to forget.  This is one of them...

A few days ago, Kate and I were driving back from her swim lessons.  It is very rare that I just have ONE of my girls with me, but this was one of those times.  We were listening to the radio and the song "Your Love Never Fails" by Jesus Culture came on the radio.  I started singing along to the song and Kate piped up from the backseat.  When the song ended, she and I had this conversation:

Me: Kate. I didn't know you knew that song!  Do you know all of the words?

Kate: Yep! "Your love never fails. It never gives up. It never runs out on me!!!"

Me: That's right! Do you know whose love they are talking about?

Kate: Jesus?

Me: Yep! His love is SO big that it never runs out.  And Jesus never gives up on us.  That's a LOT of love.

Kate: I've already got a LOT of love from my Momma, and Daddy and Sissy and everybody! And Jesus too.

Oh, how I love that girl!  And she is most certainly right. We love her more than she can imagine!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Little Fishy

This month Kate has taken swim lessons.  With my parents basically living at the lake, we definitely want our kids to learn about water safety and how to swim, as soon as possible.  This is the 3rd year Kate has done swim lessons, and they are finally starting to pay off!

I'd have liked for her to have started the lessons earlier in the summer but it just didn't work out.  With vacations and other things going on in May and June, we didn't want to pay for lessons and her miss 1/4 of the classes. July has been a good swimming month though!

My expectations of swimming lessons were this- they would teach her how to not drown. 

The reality is that they have been teaching her the proper way to do the freestyle and backstroke, as well as how to float on her back.  I'd have been happy with the doggy paddle, so this exceeded my expectations! 

And since Kate is so tall for her age, she can easily touch in the area of the pool where they practice.  I think being able to touch the bottom gives her confidence in what she's doing, so she isn't scared at all. She has no problem going underwater without holding her nose and is willing to try just about anything that her teacher asks...

Until they go over to the deep end of the pool.  The first 3 classes they spent the last 5-10 minutes of the class in the deep end.  On the first class, they just jumped in.  Kate wouldn't do it. 

At the second class, they were supposed to jump in and then the teacher tried to teach them to dive.  Kate wouldn't do it. 

Same thing at the third class.  She just couldn't get up her courage, and if she doesn't want to do something, she is NOT going to do it. So she didn't.

 By the fourth class, she'd worked up her courage enough to try it.  And then she LOVED it.

We've just got 2 more classes left, but we're contemplating doing it one more month.  

Isn't it fun to watch your kids learn new things?  I think I'm more proud of her than she is of herself! 

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Karsten - 21 Months

I realized a few weeks ago that I hadn't posted an update on Karsten since her 1 year blog post.  Call me a slacker.  Since I'll be posting one in a few weeks when Kate turns FIVE (craziness), I figured a little Karsten-update is due, along with some more recent pictures!

So... Karsten has grown a LOT since she turned one.  Here she is at one...

And here she is now at 21 months...

What a difference 9 short months will make!

This girl is so sweet, and her raspy voice is the cutest.  She talks in complete sentences, and knows more words than we can even count.  Her big sister is a talker and we think this little one is just trying to keep up! 

She smiles ALL the time, until I pull out my camera. These are the best pictures of the best because normally I get a blank face when the camera comes out. Ha!

She is a dog lover, and her favorite thing to do when we get home is to "go see the boys".  She also loves their pen, and will walk down to the woods and lock herself in their gate.

She is stubborn and strong willed, but gets her feelings hurt SO easily.  A simple "no" will cause her to bust out in tears and run to you for comfort. 

She loves to sing and will often break out in one of the following songs: 
  • Jesus Loves Me
  • Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus
  • Hakunah Matata
  • Let It Go
  • Do You Want To Build A Snowman
  • Summer (Olaf's Song)
  • Hey Good Lookin'
  • Rockin' Robin
And as soon as we get in the car, she'll say "Mookik up, please" (i.e. - music up please)

If you couldn't tell with her song choices, Karsten is OBSESSED with Frozen.  Kate loved it for quite a while and right about the time that she was starting to move on to other things, Karsten discovered the movie.  Kevin and I are pretty much past our Frozen limit and if we never see the movie again, we'd be perfectly fine with it.  However, Karsten walks around our house saying "I want Anna-Elsa" ALL.THE.TIME.

Disney, you knew what you were doing there. Hat's off to you.

She is a total Mama's girl and has gone through a major separation anxiety stage in the past 2 months.  Church nursery was nearly impossible for a while, even though she had been going to the nursery since she was a few months old and knew all of the volunteers SO well.  I think (and hope) we are moving past this stage, but I can't lie, it made me feel good to know how much she loves me!

Kate never had a blanket or lovie that she was attached to, but that is not the case with Karsten.  She has "bunny" and takes that stuffed animal EVERYWHERE.  She even holds bunny up and faces him toward the TV so he can watch TV with her, while saying "See bunny!"  

We recently had to buy a replacement bunny because she'd almost worn the original one out. He was getting threadbare and skinny. He must have been losing some stuffing!  We thought for sure she wouldn't like the new one but we were able to find the exact same bunny as before (same brand, color, size, etc).  We gave it to her, and she stuck him under her arm.  Then she realized he felt a little bit bigger, fluffier, and cleaner than the original one so she pulled him out and examined him all over. We told her bunny got a bath, and that seemed to do the trick. Crisis adverted. 

For a one year old, she has pretty decent manners!  Please and Thank You are a regular part of her vocabulary, and she remembers ma'am and sir pretty often as well. We hope this sticks around!

Karsten is normally still asleep when I leave for work in the mornings, but I do get to get her up on weekends. I'll walk into her room and she will hold up bunny and say "I got Bunny!  I got paci!"  

And yes, she does sleep with a pacifier.  This is the only time she gets the paci.  I tried to take it away a few nights ago and she cried and worked herself up so much, we figured it just wasn't worth the fight yet. 

She knows her ABC's, and can count to 20.  She knows most of the months of the year, and a few of the color songs that Kate learned in preschool last year.  Oh the joys of having a big sister!

She loves dress up, from head to toe.  She will bring me a dress and say "put it on", which I'll help her do.  And as soon as she gets the dress on, she will twirl around, and then stick out her toes and say "I need princess shoes".

She knows she is one but if you ask her how old she is, she will hold up her hand and say "I'm FIVE!".   After you finish laughing at her, she'll hold up one finger and say "I'm one." 

So for now, we're enjoying the last 3 months of our ONE year old. 

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy 4th!

Happy 4th of July! We had a great low-key holiday at our house today. In fact, we didn't even LEAVE the house.  We spent the day catching up on household chores to get ready for the work week, playing board games with the girls, watching movies together, and just hanging out inside.  Let's face it. It's 100 degrees outside and nobody wants to be out in that.  We did pop outside for a few quick minutes to take a few pictures to document the day and prove that we were at least being patriotic with our attire. 

And oh man. Just for fun, I flipped back to last year's 4th of July pictures and nearly fainted. I can't believe how much the girls have changed in a year.  I knew Karsten changed a lot.  From 9 months to nearly 21 months is a big change. See...

But I just wasn't expecting to see the big change in Kate. I mean I knew she had grown, but I guess I didn't realize how GROWN UP she has gotten. Ah! 

Can't wait to see what next year brings!

Hope you and your family had a great 4th of July.  People (including myself) complain about the state of our country sometimes, but in spite of any of the things we don't necessarily like, I am so thankful to live in a country where we have so many rights and liberties. It's easy to complain about what you don't have, but let's never take for granted the things we DO have.  And let's also never forget the men and women who served our country to earn, and keep, our independence.  

But most importantly, we should all remember where TRUE freedom comes from: 

Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings.  And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 
John 8:31-32

Happy Independence Day!


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