Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Nature Study

"sit here, and write what you see"

“It is infinitely well worth the mother’s while to take some pains every day to secure, in the first place, that her children spend hours daily amongst rural and natural objects; and, in the second place, to infuse into them, or rather, to cherish in them, the love of investigation...

The child who learns his science from a text-book, though he go to Nature for illustrations, and he who gets his information from object lessons, has no chance of forming relations with things as they are, because his kindly obtrusive teacher makes him believe that to know about things is the same as knowing them personally...
Let them once get in touch with nature and a habit is formed which will be a source of delight and habit through life...

Do children keep tadpoles, and silkworms, and caterpillars in these days? Very few have given us the results of their own observations. We have many capital descriptions from books, and that is better than nothing, but the very essence of natural history is that it should, so far as possible, be drawn direct from Nature. -Vol 6 Charlotte Mason

..when children are old enough to understand that science itself is in a sense sacred, and demands some sacrifice, all the common information they have been gathering until then, and the habits of observation they have acquired, will form an excellent ground work for a scientific education. In the meantime let them consider the lilies of the field and fowls of the air. PNEU article, Dowton


I have big plans to grow our nature study even larger, but for now we are taking our Nature Journals out to any observation spot (sometimes our backyard) and writing/drawing what we see. We've been learning the 5 senses and it's a great connection to teach them to write down what they see, what they hear, what they smell, what they feel.

Not surprisingly, this has become one of the children's favorite parts of school and mine as well.
Today was hot and Violet fell asleep in the car so I spent our time walking out to oversee them, then coming back to the car parked nearby (running, with the AC on) and peeking in the window on the sleeping babe in her car seat.

Nature Studies turn children's brains on. It's like something clicks and they are unleashed. Ruby writes entire pages of what she sees, sometimes more. Nora's attention is actually kept as she draws pictures of what she's experiencing. This delights me as a mother and a teacher.

Soon, we'll incorporate less observation and more touch. More immersion in nature itself. Set the notebooks down and EXPLORE, then journal about it when we get home, or back in the car. But for now, with our schedule and ages and introducing the idea of it all, this works wonderfully for us and we're all enjoying it immensely.

It is such a lovely reminder that there is so much beauty and life going on around us, if we only pay attention.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Library Days

Nora, Curious George's greatest fan.

10:30 Story Time

Our sweet 10 month-er, observing people, as usual.




We've been coming to and loving this library since Ruby was a crawling baby in the Baby Story Time class. It's such a great resource for all ages, and now that we're homeschooling and particularly doing a heavily books-based method of teaching - this place is like our second home! I'm so thankful for it.

When they were small, the library experience was everything. Now, the big stack of books they bring home is what delights them - and that delights me!


Ruby is reading chapter books in a matter of days. We're so happy for her!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Lake Day (Happy Birthday Lori!)


Yesterday was the babe on the right's birthday celebration. She and our other sister Julie rented a boat for the whole family to play on for the day and we picnic-ed and swam and tubed all day. It was dreamy! I'll let the pics speak for themselves - we had so much fun.

HAPPY 23rd BIRTHDAY AUNT LORI! WE LOVE YOU SOOOOO MUCH!!

Sweet Ember! Our 2 year old niece

justin, 16 and katie, 19.  kevin's little siblings. they love each other.

kev 31, ruby 6, nora 4, river 4

Amelia Bedelia, 10 months

Ruby, 6


Every time I'm around the Kiehn family for something like this I am in awe of who these people are. I am just SO ridiculously thankful to get to be one of them. Their hearts of gold, their faithfulness, their can-do spirit, their deep love and commitment, their no-nonsense-ness, their hunger for Yahweh's kingdom and His ways, their unity. I asked my bro-in-law today actually if he could describe Dad growing up with one word (from a kid's perspective) what would it be? His answer was "solid".

I love you, Kiehns!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Ruby's Baptism

July 17, 2016

One night on the drive home, Ruby said from the back of the car "I want to be baptized!"
Kevin and I looked at each other, ecstatic but surprised, since we had yet to really ever explain baptism to her. We quickly realized she was watching the Jesus Storybook Bible DVD series and learning at that moment about John the Baptist and learning what he had come to do, and that he even baptized Yahshua.

This started an exciting couple of weeks of conversation between us and our 6 year old daughter, of teaching her what exactly it means to be baptized and testing to see if she really knew what it is she was wanting.


Turns out - she knew exactly what baptism was and she knew she wanted to make that declaration of faith.

2 years ago, on August 11, 2014 she had asked Yahshua into her heart, on her own volition. Now it was time to do water baptism!



It was with such great joy and excitement that we sent the message out to a few friends and family and asked if they'd like to come be a witness to this momentous occasion - and it was obvious that all of heaven came to watch as this little girl accomplishes part of what she was sent to earth to do - be the Father's glory.


We started the evening worshipping the Reason we had gathered together. Ruby chose the two songs we sang, both written by her daddy.





Kevin baptized her. Not because he's an ordained minister, not because he's a worship pastor, but because he's her father. Her covering. Any father (or mother, if there's no father in the picture!) can and should get to be the ones to baptize their own children, whether you're an auto mechanic or the Pope. It's a father's joy and such an honor!





the look on her face says it all!



It was a holy evening.

There was so much joy in the air, I can't really even explain it. Everyone was just completely overjoyed, the childlike faith was so thick in the air that summer evening. We all, grown ups in full clothes with no plans to, immersed ourselves and swam in that cold spring water creek, laughing hilariously. The water was dripping with happiness and holiness now and we could all feel it.

I imagine Yahweh actually laughed with delight that evening. He and Ruby have a special relationship. There have been time after time that she releases faith from her little heart and He responds and she sees for herself that HE IS WHO HE SAYS HE IS. It's so beautiful to watch!

_______________

My good friend Rebecca snapped these photos with her phone when Ruby came out of the water and I just had to share -


All Ruby's little friends came running over to her, hugging her and saying "I'm so happy for you, Ruby!" Every single one of them. My heart *almost* exploded because this is the next generation that we are raising and are seeing that they CARE and want Yahweh's will already. They are being taught how to rejoice with and for someone, they are wanting to do His will at such young ages. Not for their parents - but because they want it! It's just so wonderful to witness.





We drove away from that creek cove that evening, our hearts full of thankfulness, full of worship, full of love for one another and our friends and family that gave their evening to come be a part of such a special day for us. It was all so good, and so saturated with His presence.

We are proud of you, Ruby James. Keep hearing and obeying. We're so honored to guide you and watch you walk with your Heavenly Father as you grow!


Monday, August 15, 2016

First Day of School 2016-2017


Today we kicked off our first year of official homeschool! We did Kindergarten last year, but being in actual 1st grade just feels so much more official.

I've done lots and lots of research to find what I think will work for us. Yahweh has had me cross paths with new homeschooling Mom friends that have been a deep well of information and encouragement.

those little sweeties! First grader Ruby and Pre-schooler Nora

Joining the ranks of millions of mothers before me who have taught their children at home, with a baby on their hip.
 For now, we're doing a mix of our Abeka curriculum (workbooks/flash cards/seat work, etc) and Charlotte Mason Method. If you don't know or haven't ever heard of Charlotte Mason, look her up! She's a teacher from the 1800's that wrote a whole philosophy on children and the way they learn and it's right up my alley.

She stresses "living books" (well written literature with engaging stories that capture the audience) being the best way to teach children as compared to textbooks with facts.
She believes that proper nutrition, well ventilated, clean homes and bedrooms, and being outside in nature (like A LOT) are all crucial to healthy and educated children.

I couldn't agree more Charlotte!


entertainment for baby Violet 

So, one day soon I'll write an official Home School post on what our days looks like but for now I just wanted to document what our first day looked like.

However - 

This particular first day got interrupted by some mega sickness. Fever, headache, and trying hard to throw up hit our little Ruby and we had to cut our day short. She's curled up asleep next to me as I type this, letting her body fight off this bug. Nora feels warm and says her tummy hurts too (it's been going around) so I couldn't be MORE THANKFUL to able to say "ok! we'll do more tomorrow, no big deal - let's all rest." 
Reason number one hundred and ninety three that I love home education.

Friday, August 12, 2016

tired + happy

    "Motherhood has made me so tired. And so happy."
-Tina Fey








(Kevin has taken to snapping these photos in the morning when he wakes up and sees that we had midnight visitors find their way into our bed, and they've kind of become my favorite photos I have from this season of life.)

Thursday, August 11, 2016

phone photo dump SUMMER 2016 (kev's phone)


someone takes baths in the tub with the big girls now...


Ruby got her first real bike. She rides it daily and is currently saving up to buy a nice helmet (apparently the Walmart styrofoam Disney princess one isn't legit? This is what happens when your neighbor is the guy who runs the local bike shop chain Phat Tire!)


We usually have NO WHINING written on our big whiteboard but I erased it to write something else. Nora was whining one day and I said "remember! No whining"
"It's not up on the board anymore" she said, hopefully, although knowing where this was going.
"want me to write it on your forehead so you never forget?" I said, kind of sarcastically.
"YES!" she giggled.
So this happened:)


When you drive by your old house and see this!

making fun of models. did you know some of them say "prune" while getting their photo taken to have pouty lips and sunken cheeks?? I couldn't keep a straight face so this is the best we could do:)

My best friend since middle school came in town for her 30th birthday and her mama sent us all out on a double date and paid for the meal. It was dreamy! We had so much fun with other grown ups and no little ones around. We laughed so much and had a great time.


We all laughed so hard upon seeing this photo - we had no idea how giant Christina's husband Joe actually is. He doesn't seem this gigantic in real life but that night he earned the nickname "The Gentle Giant". Hey Christina - can you believe we're 30?!



I could do a whole post/series called "Hang In There, Violet" and it be photos of Nora gently pushing Violet's head down. It's like her love language - she gets so overwhelmed with how cute Violet is that she just rubs and kisses her head or just messes with it.
Sometimes V will be patient with her and sometimes she's just like STOP!


Sparklers with some neighbor friends

4th of July relay races on our ecclesia's land!

When I look at this photo I see a 16 year old and a 14 year old taking selfies and it freaks me out/makes me really excited for the future.

It's been such a fun, busy summer. More photos to come!




NORA IS FOUR-A!


Our middle girl turned 4 this summer and we had the best time celebrating her! She LOVED her special day and soaked up every part of it. 

decorating the night before for them to come down to is always SO EXCITING! This year Ruby joined us and loved it and did a great job.


lipstick from the night before still on - check!


We all pitched in and got her a balance bike (those things are amazing! They have no pedals, so the child sits on the seat and glides/walks their feet along while finding their own natural balance. Ruby learned to ride a real bike after playing on a balance bike in like two weeks. They are the BEST way for kids to learn to ride a bike, and they're so fun!) She looooves hers and rides it nearly everyday.

We really, really love this sweetheart. Or as she says "fweet-howt". She is so hyper at times, so cranky at times, so SWEET at times "you're da BEST MOMMY EVER MOM!"
"MOM! You look tunning" (stunning...I came downstairs wearing a dress) says so many things that I think "ummm should I be concerned about that?!" and all around plain hilarious. She knows she cracks us up and will try to use that to her advantage.
She's extremely obedient, asks before she does anything.
One of my favorite things about Nora is when Ruby is getting in trouble for something, Nora notices and is like yes! finally I'm not the one getting in trouble. This is awesome, I need to remind my parents that I'm the good one in this scenario... and will shout (interrupt me while correcting Ruby) "YES MA'AM!" to make sure she looks good and knows I know she's obeying:):) Haha, just thinking about her doing that makes me smile.

Another thing I actually love about her is you NEVER know what you're going to get with her. A boy at church the other night was just trying to play with her and he poured a little bit of water on her head while she was playing with a doll and it dripped down onto her dress and LORD. ALMIGHTY. That poor boy didn't know what he had coming. She LOST IT. Ran screaming crying, threw her body down SO MAD that he got her wet (she hates to get wet for some reason) and got her DRESS wet, Lord forbid. She was completely livid.

Sometimes I can wrestle with her and she runs laughing and sometimes I'll chase her to wrestle and she screams NO!!!, tenses her whole body up, and sticks her hand out to stop me.
Sometimes I can make her laugh, and sometimes I'll try the same technique another day and it infuriates her.


She's a strong one, that gal.
And we love her.
Because of all the touchy things she does, her sweetness (miraculously) completely outweighs all the other stuff.
The fact that she always comes to me and tells me on her own if she said something mean, or asks permission for everything, etc. assures me that she has a good and honest heart. She truly desires to obey and that's huge. She's just trying, like most of us passionate middle kids, to see how she fits in to this place, what say she has in things, and so on.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my favorite 4 year old on planet earth - we're your biggest fans, kiddo.
xoxo, mom + dad


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Nature Study

"sit here, and write what you see"

“It is infinitely well worth the mother’s while to take some pains every day to secure, in the first place, that her children spend hours daily amongst rural and natural objects; and, in the second place, to infuse into them, or rather, to cherish in them, the love of investigation...

The child who learns his science from a text-book, though he go to Nature for illustrations, and he who gets his information from object lessons, has no chance of forming relations with things as they are, because his kindly obtrusive teacher makes him believe that to know about things is the same as knowing them personally...
Let them once get in touch with nature and a habit is formed which will be a source of delight and habit through life...

Do children keep tadpoles, and silkworms, and caterpillars in these days? Very few have given us the results of their own observations. We have many capital descriptions from books, and that is better than nothing, but the very essence of natural history is that it should, so far as possible, be drawn direct from Nature. -Vol 6 Charlotte Mason

..when children are old enough to understand that science itself is in a sense sacred, and demands some sacrifice, all the common information they have been gathering until then, and the habits of observation they have acquired, will form an excellent ground work for a scientific education. In the meantime let them consider the lilies of the field and fowls of the air. PNEU article, Dowton


I have big plans to grow our nature study even larger, but for now we are taking our Nature Journals out to any observation spot (sometimes our backyard) and writing/drawing what we see. We've been learning the 5 senses and it's a great connection to teach them to write down what they see, what they hear, what they smell, what they feel.

Not surprisingly, this has become one of the children's favorite parts of school and mine as well.
Today was hot and Violet fell asleep in the car so I spent our time walking out to oversee them, then coming back to the car parked nearby (running, with the AC on) and peeking in the window on the sleeping babe in her car seat.

Nature Studies turn children's brains on. It's like something clicks and they are unleashed. Ruby writes entire pages of what she sees, sometimes more. Nora's attention is actually kept as she draws pictures of what she's experiencing. This delights me as a mother and a teacher.

Soon, we'll incorporate less observation and more touch. More immersion in nature itself. Set the notebooks down and EXPLORE, then journal about it when we get home, or back in the car. But for now, with our schedule and ages and introducing the idea of it all, this works wonderfully for us and we're all enjoying it immensely.

It is such a lovely reminder that there is so much beauty and life going on around us, if we only pay attention.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Library Days

Nora, Curious George's greatest fan.

10:30 Story Time

Our sweet 10 month-er, observing people, as usual.




We've been coming to and loving this library since Ruby was a crawling baby in the Baby Story Time class. It's such a great resource for all ages, and now that we're homeschooling and particularly doing a heavily books-based method of teaching - this place is like our second home! I'm so thankful for it.

When they were small, the library experience was everything. Now, the big stack of books they bring home is what delights them - and that delights me!


Ruby is reading chapter books in a matter of days. We're so happy for her!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Lake Day (Happy Birthday Lori!)


Yesterday was the babe on the right's birthday celebration. She and our other sister Julie rented a boat for the whole family to play on for the day and we picnic-ed and swam and tubed all day. It was dreamy! I'll let the pics speak for themselves - we had so much fun.

HAPPY 23rd BIRTHDAY AUNT LORI! WE LOVE YOU SOOOOO MUCH!!

Sweet Ember! Our 2 year old niece

justin, 16 and katie, 19.  kevin's little siblings. they love each other.

kev 31, ruby 6, nora 4, river 4

Amelia Bedelia, 10 months

Ruby, 6


Every time I'm around the Kiehn family for something like this I am in awe of who these people are. I am just SO ridiculously thankful to get to be one of them. Their hearts of gold, their faithfulness, their can-do spirit, their deep love and commitment, their no-nonsense-ness, their hunger for Yahweh's kingdom and His ways, their unity. I asked my bro-in-law today actually if he could describe Dad growing up with one word (from a kid's perspective) what would it be? His answer was "solid".

I love you, Kiehns!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Ruby's Baptism

July 17, 2016

One night on the drive home, Ruby said from the back of the car "I want to be baptized!"
Kevin and I looked at each other, ecstatic but surprised, since we had yet to really ever explain baptism to her. We quickly realized she was watching the Jesus Storybook Bible DVD series and learning at that moment about John the Baptist and learning what he had come to do, and that he even baptized Yahshua.

This started an exciting couple of weeks of conversation between us and our 6 year old daughter, of teaching her what exactly it means to be baptized and testing to see if she really knew what it is she was wanting.


Turns out - she knew exactly what baptism was and she knew she wanted to make that declaration of faith.

2 years ago, on August 11, 2014 she had asked Yahshua into her heart, on her own volition. Now it was time to do water baptism!



It was with such great joy and excitement that we sent the message out to a few friends and family and asked if they'd like to come be a witness to this momentous occasion - and it was obvious that all of heaven came to watch as this little girl accomplishes part of what she was sent to earth to do - be the Father's glory.


We started the evening worshipping the Reason we had gathered together. Ruby chose the two songs we sang, both written by her daddy.





Kevin baptized her. Not because he's an ordained minister, not because he's a worship pastor, but because he's her father. Her covering. Any father (or mother, if there's no father in the picture!) can and should get to be the ones to baptize their own children, whether you're an auto mechanic or the Pope. It's a father's joy and such an honor!





the look on her face says it all!



It was a holy evening.

There was so much joy in the air, I can't really even explain it. Everyone was just completely overjoyed, the childlike faith was so thick in the air that summer evening. We all, grown ups in full clothes with no plans to, immersed ourselves and swam in that cold spring water creek, laughing hilariously. The water was dripping with happiness and holiness now and we could all feel it.

I imagine Yahweh actually laughed with delight that evening. He and Ruby have a special relationship. There have been time after time that she releases faith from her little heart and He responds and she sees for herself that HE IS WHO HE SAYS HE IS. It's so beautiful to watch!

_______________

My good friend Rebecca snapped these photos with her phone when Ruby came out of the water and I just had to share -


All Ruby's little friends came running over to her, hugging her and saying "I'm so happy for you, Ruby!" Every single one of them. My heart *almost* exploded because this is the next generation that we are raising and are seeing that they CARE and want Yahweh's will already. They are being taught how to rejoice with and for someone, they are wanting to do His will at such young ages. Not for their parents - but because they want it! It's just so wonderful to witness.





We drove away from that creek cove that evening, our hearts full of thankfulness, full of worship, full of love for one another and our friends and family that gave their evening to come be a part of such a special day for us. It was all so good, and so saturated with His presence.

We are proud of you, Ruby James. Keep hearing and obeying. We're so honored to guide you and watch you walk with your Heavenly Father as you grow!


Monday, August 15, 2016

First Day of School 2016-2017


Today we kicked off our first year of official homeschool! We did Kindergarten last year, but being in actual 1st grade just feels so much more official.

I've done lots and lots of research to find what I think will work for us. Yahweh has had me cross paths with new homeschooling Mom friends that have been a deep well of information and encouragement.

those little sweeties! First grader Ruby and Pre-schooler Nora

Joining the ranks of millions of mothers before me who have taught their children at home, with a baby on their hip.
 For now, we're doing a mix of our Abeka curriculum (workbooks/flash cards/seat work, etc) and Charlotte Mason Method. If you don't know or haven't ever heard of Charlotte Mason, look her up! She's a teacher from the 1800's that wrote a whole philosophy on children and the way they learn and it's right up my alley.

She stresses "living books" (well written literature with engaging stories that capture the audience) being the best way to teach children as compared to textbooks with facts.
She believes that proper nutrition, well ventilated, clean homes and bedrooms, and being outside in nature (like A LOT) are all crucial to healthy and educated children.

I couldn't agree more Charlotte!


entertainment for baby Violet 

So, one day soon I'll write an official Home School post on what our days looks like but for now I just wanted to document what our first day looked like.

However - 

This particular first day got interrupted by some mega sickness. Fever, headache, and trying hard to throw up hit our little Ruby and we had to cut our day short. She's curled up asleep next to me as I type this, letting her body fight off this bug. Nora feels warm and says her tummy hurts too (it's been going around) so I couldn't be MORE THANKFUL to able to say "ok! we'll do more tomorrow, no big deal - let's all rest." 
Reason number one hundred and ninety three that I love home education.

Friday, August 12, 2016

tired + happy

    "Motherhood has made me so tired. And so happy."
-Tina Fey








(Kevin has taken to snapping these photos in the morning when he wakes up and sees that we had midnight visitors find their way into our bed, and they've kind of become my favorite photos I have from this season of life.)

Thursday, August 11, 2016

phone photo dump SUMMER 2016 (kev's phone)


someone takes baths in the tub with the big girls now...


Ruby got her first real bike. She rides it daily and is currently saving up to buy a nice helmet (apparently the Walmart styrofoam Disney princess one isn't legit? This is what happens when your neighbor is the guy who runs the local bike shop chain Phat Tire!)


We usually have NO WHINING written on our big whiteboard but I erased it to write something else. Nora was whining one day and I said "remember! No whining"
"It's not up on the board anymore" she said, hopefully, although knowing where this was going.
"want me to write it on your forehead so you never forget?" I said, kind of sarcastically.
"YES!" she giggled.
So this happened:)


When you drive by your old house and see this!

making fun of models. did you know some of them say "prune" while getting their photo taken to have pouty lips and sunken cheeks?? I couldn't keep a straight face so this is the best we could do:)

My best friend since middle school came in town for her 30th birthday and her mama sent us all out on a double date and paid for the meal. It was dreamy! We had so much fun with other grown ups and no little ones around. We laughed so much and had a great time.


We all laughed so hard upon seeing this photo - we had no idea how giant Christina's husband Joe actually is. He doesn't seem this gigantic in real life but that night he earned the nickname "The Gentle Giant". Hey Christina - can you believe we're 30?!



I could do a whole post/series called "Hang In There, Violet" and it be photos of Nora gently pushing Violet's head down. It's like her love language - she gets so overwhelmed with how cute Violet is that she just rubs and kisses her head or just messes with it.
Sometimes V will be patient with her and sometimes she's just like STOP!


Sparklers with some neighbor friends

4th of July relay races on our ecclesia's land!

When I look at this photo I see a 16 year old and a 14 year old taking selfies and it freaks me out/makes me really excited for the future.

It's been such a fun, busy summer. More photos to come!




NORA IS FOUR-A!


Our middle girl turned 4 this summer and we had the best time celebrating her! She LOVED her special day and soaked up every part of it. 

decorating the night before for them to come down to is always SO EXCITING! This year Ruby joined us and loved it and did a great job.


lipstick from the night before still on - check!


We all pitched in and got her a balance bike (those things are amazing! They have no pedals, so the child sits on the seat and glides/walks their feet along while finding their own natural balance. Ruby learned to ride a real bike after playing on a balance bike in like two weeks. They are the BEST way for kids to learn to ride a bike, and they're so fun!) She looooves hers and rides it nearly everyday.

We really, really love this sweetheart. Or as she says "fweet-howt". She is so hyper at times, so cranky at times, so SWEET at times "you're da BEST MOMMY EVER MOM!"
"MOM! You look tunning" (stunning...I came downstairs wearing a dress) says so many things that I think "ummm should I be concerned about that?!" and all around plain hilarious. She knows she cracks us up and will try to use that to her advantage.
She's extremely obedient, asks before she does anything.
One of my favorite things about Nora is when Ruby is getting in trouble for something, Nora notices and is like yes! finally I'm not the one getting in trouble. This is awesome, I need to remind my parents that I'm the good one in this scenario... and will shout (interrupt me while correcting Ruby) "YES MA'AM!" to make sure she looks good and knows I know she's obeying:):) Haha, just thinking about her doing that makes me smile.

Another thing I actually love about her is you NEVER know what you're going to get with her. A boy at church the other night was just trying to play with her and he poured a little bit of water on her head while she was playing with a doll and it dripped down onto her dress and LORD. ALMIGHTY. That poor boy didn't know what he had coming. She LOST IT. Ran screaming crying, threw her body down SO MAD that he got her wet (she hates to get wet for some reason) and got her DRESS wet, Lord forbid. She was completely livid.

Sometimes I can wrestle with her and she runs laughing and sometimes I'll chase her to wrestle and she screams NO!!!, tenses her whole body up, and sticks her hand out to stop me.
Sometimes I can make her laugh, and sometimes I'll try the same technique another day and it infuriates her.


She's a strong one, that gal.
And we love her.
Because of all the touchy things she does, her sweetness (miraculously) completely outweighs all the other stuff.
The fact that she always comes to me and tells me on her own if she said something mean, or asks permission for everything, etc. assures me that she has a good and honest heart. She truly desires to obey and that's huge. She's just trying, like most of us passionate middle kids, to see how she fits in to this place, what say she has in things, and so on.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my favorite 4 year old on planet earth - we're your biggest fans, kiddo.
xoxo, mom + dad