Sunday, September 6, 2015

Kaitlyn turns 8

I am wondering when I will stop being surprised by my kids' birthdays....I know each year will add a number onto their age but I always feel a bit shocked when I realize how fast they are growing up. I love, love, love that I can be a part of their lives, their memories and celebrate their birthdays with them....
My 8 year old Beauty
Kaitlyn has seen a lot of changes in her 8 years....lots of hello's and good-bye's, different cultures, being far from family, seeing the world.....she just takes it all in she said to her Gramma a while back...."I'm having my 8th birthday in Morocco"....what 8 year old has an international birthday and casually throws that into a conversation??? We are blessed with such an adaptable girl....

Here are some of the things that we want to remember about Kaitlyn this past year.....

- She was desperate to lose a tooth, and finally, when she was 7.5 years old, 1 tooth fell out, followed by 2 more....but that's it so far!!! She doesn't seem too bothered by it, even when her friends have lost 8+ teeth.

- Kaitlyn is such an artist/creative person.....she doesn't get any of that from me....she loves crafting, and making elaborate forts with sheets, and designing dresses out of scarves or bedsheets and a belt, painting her nails, creating picture books, making cards....she has an eye for fashion and's gonna be cool to see where that takes her as she grows up.

Always up for trying out new riding a camel!
- Kaitlyn has a capri leggings obsession....good thing we stocked up from Canada....

- Kaitlyn loves to read which is awesome to see....hope that never ends.

- Kaitlyn loves anything fancy.

- Kaitlyn has a sweet tooth...unfortunately this doesn't bring out the best of her character as she attempts to gratify her cravings without permission....lots of work done and to be done on that one! It's all just chances to shape her candy-sneaking episode at a time! :)

Loves her little sister!
- There was a period of time where Kaitlyn was obsessed with a purple sparkly belt that she got for her 7th birthday....she wore it cinched tight around her waist every day....I'm talking with dresses, sporty shirts, tank tops, t-shirts.....the purple belt was always there! That is....until it got lost.

- Kaitlyn enjoys drinking tea out of a travel mug....even if she's just around the house.....I think she thinks it's a grown-up thing to do....

- Kaitlyn loves her friends and loves being with them....I always say to her: "If I was 8, I would want to be your friend!"....

- At one point, Kaitlyn's favorite hairstyle was half of her hair up in a ponytail and the other half, hanging loose.....

- Kaitlyn is a great helper with Evie, entertaining her when I need an extra minute to finish something, reading her books, walking with her.....she loves to hug and kiss Evie (much to Evie's dismay....not the most touchy feely kid). Kaitlyn is going to be a fun Aunt and an awesome Mom.

A girl with a sweet tooth...
- Kaitlyn is great at tidying....everything might not be back in the right place....but the floor sure looks spotless! :)

- Kaitlyn loves to talk on skype with her cousins.....we'll call them up and then just leave the kids to chat away...often times they'll talk for an hour! Ok, talking, maybe not, but giggling and having fun....yes!

- Kaitlyn loves tacos, spaghetti, chicken pot pie, jello, peaches and plums (can't get those in Chad so she stocked up in Morocco.....3-4 per day!!), chicken noodle soup and apple sauce to name a few of her favorite foods.

- Kaitlyn really wants to get her ears pierced and I would let her but I told her that when she lets me near her scrapes and injuries to clean them and bandage them without screaming at the top of her lungs and refusing.....ya....THEN she can get her ears pierced. I foresee major ear infections and her not letting me treat them....and so we wait a couple more years.
- Kaitlyn is an expert rainbow loomer (in my books)....she can whip up a bracelet in no time!

- She loves to paint her nails....never just 1 color....

 Blue is her color of choice!
- Kaitlyn loves art, gym, and music....but math isn't her favorite...wonder where she gets that from?

- She is a great big sister to Lily, most of the time....besides the normal sibling squabbles, they get along great and play really well together....they both have great imaginations and can personify any object and make a game of seeing that creativity and sister love!

'Happy Birdsday' cake at a restaurant in Morocco....
So sweet of them to try! :)
- Kaitlyn has made her first, real best friend here in has been cool to see her with such a close and special's going to be hard to say good-bye in December when Anna's family leaves.....praying that Kaitlyn will adjust and make another best friend here in Chad.

- Kaitlyn has a pen pal named Zoe....

- Kaitlyn has been praying that Gramma would come to visit for about 6 months now.....persistence pays off.....Lord willing, she's coming in December!

May your dreams come true.....
- Kaitlyn loves to be snuggled with, to chat at the end of the day, to hear stories about when she was little or when I was little and she likes to be tickled on her face before sleeping.

Horseback riding on the beach in of the things
we did on her birthday.
- It has been cool to see Kaitlyn grow in her knowledge of what being a Christian is really all about, to see her strive to do what's right, to acknowledge (sometimes with prompting) when she is wrong and to live out her faith. Reading her devotional book before bed, praying with the family, reading scripture and talking about it with us, thinking about what it all means (although she is a people pleaser and often tries to give 'Sunday school' answers....but we are working on that--I want her to really think about it, not just give the answer she thinks we want to hear) and how that applies to her life, even at 8.....I hope and pray this is all laying a solid foundation built on Christ's forgiveness and hope, grace and that when she is older and on her own, she will have a living faith and confidence in her Savior. That's all that truly matters.

Anna and Kaitlyn....BFF
- Kaitlyn is off to a great start in 3rd grade! Her teacher's name is Miss M and sounds fun and sweet.

We love you Kaitlyn, and are so proud of you. You are a good friend, sister, and daughter and we can't wait to see what this year holds for you.....praying for you....always.



Evelinne Rose turns 1

In the blink of an eye, Evie is 1. I don't know if I have even gotten used to the idea that we have a baby again in the family! :) Wow....that first year just flew by. What a joy it has been to have another little girl, to welcome a new little life, and to experience all the 'firsts' again.....smiling, sitting up, crawling, walking, eating new foods, learning how to wave hello and goodbye, and seeing her adorable personality start to show....Evie is a gift.
Kaitlyn and Lily adore her, and Phil and I love her a ton....she brings lots of giggles and smiles to our family.
Evie has been a fairly easy baby....she has always slept well, fed well, and is content most of the time....she really only fusses if she is sleepy, hungry or wanting to go outside and can't!
Even though at the age of 1, Evie is just beginning to show who she is, it has been fun to see. Here are some of the things that we want to remember about her:
Taking a break from exploring

- Evie's two big front teeth are A-dorable! She loves to grin with her top and bottom teeth cute.

- When Evie finds a bucket/bowl/cup....she pretends to stir with a spoon or fork or whatever she can find that will do the job. She does the same thing when she eats her yogurt by herself....what a smart girl!

- Evie has her cupboard....she knows how to open it, and then proceeds to empty if out completely, all over the kitchen floor....literally throwing things behind her and reaching for the next....hence....the plastic dishes! Lately, Evie prefers to take a plate or bowl in 1 hand and a utensil in the other hand and walk around the we find plastic dishes and cutlery scattered throughout the house at the end of the day.

Daddy's girl
- Evie loves to be wherever the girls are playing and most times the girls love her with them....but every so often I hear screams of "E-VIEEEEEEE" when she has entered their room and started dismantling their playmobil set up or whatever else they are playing in their room. We are in the process of teaching Kaitlyn and Lily to distract Evie with a toy, or to gently take her out of their room, give her a toy to play with, and then close the door if they really don't want anything to be disturbed. The girls are pretty good about doing that.....but it's still a work in progress. Can't wait for the day til Evie can play right alongside of Kaitlyn and Lily without destroying everything! :)

Peek-a-boo....and a great artsy shot by Phil!
- Evie can wave Hi and Goodbye, and she gives open-mouthed kisses (slobbery but we don't is so precious!)

-She knows how to sign 'all done', 'bath' and 'kitty' but we are working on getting her to sign consistently.....once she gets that one, we will introduce more signs. Sooo adorable to watch her communicate and be so pleased with herself!

- Evie understands the words 'food, sleep, water, outside, birdie, daddy, mommy, Kaitlyn, Lily, hi, bye, help, hot, no, don't touch, dirty'.....and maybe more? Hard to tell at this age just how much she understands but for those words, we have seen her respond appropriately, so we assume she knows what they mean.

- Evie took her first long walk (20 steps) while we were in Morocco and has now left crawling behind,  preferring to walk everywhere! We welcomed this accomplishment as it meant getting her up off of the 'hard to keep clean' sandy floors in our house.

Soooo wanting to touch the candle....
- When the girls dig holes in the sand, Evie always crawls over and backs up towards them with her leg out, trying to fit into the hole....haha.

- Evie eats alot! She loves eggs (hard boiled or scrambled), toast, any fruit, and she usually eats what we eat.....

- Evie LOVES cats, and always wants to pet them and kiss them, much to her annoyance, they never let her! :)

- When Evie is falling asleep, she loves to feel the tag on her blankie (whatever muslin blanket we have for that day....she isn't attached to one specific one), and when she's sleepy, she likes to suck on the tag. Just her little thing she does before bed.

Big smiles after tasting her those teeth!
- Putting Evie to sleep is the ONLY time that girl stays still! I cherish those snuggly moments.

- Evie loves to swing (it's in her genes!)

-Evie loves being outside and has figured out how to open the front screen door!! The handle is low enough for her to reach....trouble!

-Evie LOVES her daddy and when he gets home from work I say....'lets go see daddy' she gets all excited and points to outside and reaches for him with big smiles and hugs.

Those are just some of the cute and memorable things about Evie. We love that she is part of our family and can't wait to see what adventures this next year holds for her.

I love this girl!