Friday, October 6, 2017

What I love about you at 14

My Belle...

What I Love about you at 14...

  • You came into our world as the biggest breath of fresh air and taught us how to be parents of typical. We were so caught up in a crazy world that frightened us and we didn't understand. God allowed you to show us a paralleled universe where unique could bloom alongside the beauty of you.
  • We thought you were brilliant from the start. You just did everything like the books and joined our world without skipping a beat. It was your normal and seeing it through your eyes has and always will be life-giving.
  • Your smile makes me happy.
  • You're so easy to be around because you are like sitting with the perfect combination of myself and the person I loved first in life, your daddy. 
  • You are easily amused. 
  • You are the first one to accompany me to the store or just a running errands. 
  • You will find a project or craft and spend days emersed in it.
  • You're so content in our world. You don't have may high highs or low lows. You're generally happy or can find your happy quickly. 
  • You're not afraid to try new things.
  • Failing doesn't destroy you.
  • You are a bit of a chameleon in that you can adjust and integrate into your surroundings as needed.
  • You aren't "full of yourself" or overly worried about your appearance. You're simply naturally beautiful and you don't even realize it. 
  • You "just keep swimming" in the pool and life. You are coachable and rarely upset at instruction, intervention or redirection. 
  • You fly under the radar enough to mostly do as you please. 
  • Your quick wit and sarcasm are beyond your years, and often leaves me in stitches! It's even funnier when those around you don't get what you are saying. 
  • You have always been extremely competent to the point I don't even realize how ahead of your peers you are at times. It's natural and easy for you to do what needs to be done without missing a beat or expectation of fanfare. Like babysitting with Grandpa and changing an explosive diaper as if you have done it a thousand times but in reality, it was your first (of Abby's). 
  • I love watching you step into your areas of giftedness with such ease. You love working with little kids and they love you. It blesses my heart when I see you interacting with them. You've been a "mini-mom" to Millie since she came home and your relationship is the sweetest thing. I'm not sure I'm needed when I walk into a room to find Millie in a chair placed in the pantry for "time out". 
  • To come home to find you've given Abby her meds and put her to bed; as well as fed the girls "because it was time for dinner" or directed care for a new caregiver of Abby's. I'm pretty sure you spoil me :)
  • You love your people and are such a loyal friend. You don't step on someone because something better came up. You're consistent and someone to count on. 
  • You are calm during the chaos and are not tossed by the wind and rain of life. You are a steady beacon. You feel deeply but it can take a lot for the emotions to come out. 
  • You always find the best gals around to be your friends. I think it's a good bit of divine directing and blessing on your life, but wherever we are you always find the best kids to call friends. 
  • You aren't afraid to be yourself. You're content in who God made you to be.
  • You are the most grounded teen I know. 
  • I have moments where I mourn the passage of time, but with you, I always look forward to the future because each stage has brought more fun! I love the glimpses of the woman God is growing you into. I always knew I'd love you, but I couldn't have imagined how much I'd like you. You are so much fun! 

Thursday, October 6, 2016

What I Love About You at 13

First day of school 8th grade

What I LOVE about you at thirteen!

  1. You've redeemed my view of middle school kids! All the crazy is more hysterical to me than puzzling and irritating like I thought it would be. 
  2. I love watching you start to know God as your God and take ownership of your relationship with Him. 
  3. Watching you stretch into a teenager with so much less drama than your peers is a gift (aside from the palmetto bug freak outs :)
  4. Watching you "friend" in a new place has been more impressive than most adults I know.
  5. Your loyalty to your people is beautiful
  6. You're so brave to start swim team this year as the oldest girl in the new group and just do your thing. You're not moved by starting a little late by swim standards and display a confidence I'm so very proud of. 
  7. You're Independence with school is a level of maturity not seen in some older kids and it is a gift to us. It's so great to see you take responsibility for your grades without constant nudging!
  8. Your confidence with school!
    SPIRIT WEEK: nerd day!
  9. Your ability to continue to enter new situations with new people in a new place without fear is something to behold. 
  10.  Your ability to "mom" your baby sister and any other toddler is so precious. The love between you is evident and makes me smile every day. 
    Belle and her "little buddy"
  11. The care-giving instinct you have with your sisters is natural and God given.
  12. Watching you guide Abby when needed and constantly clean up after her without regard for how unfair it can be is so lovely.
    significantly taller than Abby now!
  13. Your growing patience with your creative sister has been so sweet to see.
    Fixing MaryAlice's hair
  14. Your quick wit and sarcasm is nothing short of amazing! Keeping it in check as not to be disrespectful is a challenge for one that spouts it so naturally. One day you will join the ranks of two parents who speak fluent sarcasm and we will be so proud!
  15. Watching you is like watching myself grow up in more ways than I can count. I learn from watching you. It's hard to see my own faults, but more evident in you which helps me work on my weaknesses as I'm correcting you. ie... "You  We need to work on ______."
  16. I love to see you standing up for yourself and your people more. 
  17. I love that I can now wear your old shoes!
  18. Your non-verbal language is legendary (not sure where you got that).
  19. You're so easily amused that any outing or "stay date" thrills you
  20. You love family. Visiting family in MN and GA is always "the best" to you. 
  21. You have more grace for the people you love than I do, and it challenges me. 
  22. The level of logic you possess is brilliant!
  23. Our shared love of crafting!
  24. The glimpse of the friend you will be to this mom who adores you makes me tear up. I have to pull the mom card often yet because it's easy to just hang out and enjoy our time together rather than parent you.
  25. I'm so very proud of you and the person you are growing into! You are such a big piece of my heart running around outside my body!
Always a lot of fun and a good bit of crazy!
When you were young, I said I couldn't have given God a better list of such a perfect fit to our family, and that belief grows with each passing day! 
"Hey Belle!... we love you!!!"

Saturday, June 21, 2014

What I Love About You at 10

What I Love About You at 10

  • Your willingness to be a gopher and assist with anything... anytime.  You've been able to direct care for Abby since you were three.  
  • Watching you think.  You're so much like your mama and I was always called a thinker growing up.  
  • Seeing how you react to situations and knowing what is going through your head because it's so much like me
  • Those rare moments when you get talking.  You're so introspective and such an internal processor that it often takes awhile for you to be ready to talk about stuff that's going on.
  • Your willingness to allow so many people into your life and accommodating new friends so easily
  • You are so easily amused just like your parents!  We have so much fun doing the simple things in life!  Building a fort or going for a bike ride energizes you!
  • You love to go anywhere.  You're always game for an adventure!
  • I love the way you care for your little sister.  You can not only care for her, but you also genuinely enjoy playing with her
  • You are soooo very logical.  You've spoiled us with how easily logic speaks to you.
  • You've started to enjoy reading and I love the fact that you will sit and read without being coerced 
  • Your acceptance of this crazy life in such stride
  • I love that you see kids with disabilities and it doesn't even phase you.  I remember you sitting next to a friend who has seizures while his alarms were going off with one.  I ran into the room to make sure you were okay and not traumatized by watching the seizure.  I was trying to be nonchalant  and ask if it was his first seizure today, and without skipping a beat you said completely calmly, "No, it's his second, I think."  You amaze me!
  • Your love of the kitchen and cooking with me or on your own.  You can already make so many things from scratch.  A new show on TV has spiked your interest.  It's called Master Chef junior.  It's kids from 9 to 13 competing in a cooking competition.  
  • You adore your Daddy and love to go anywhere with him.
  • You love an art project.  Anything crafty peeks your attention which is fun for me since I like random stuff too!
  • Your favorite position in softball is "my turn on the bench".  Although I wish we shared this, it's super funny and we had to be different in some way :)
  • Your sense of style and wanting to do the opposite of what I pick out, but then again turn around and love Abby's outfits (which I pick out entirely)
  • You love to see the doctor and dentist.  You often ask when your next appointment is :)
  • Going on a date with you!  Love to just hang out.  It's just so easy and fun!  
  • You are so easily amused... just like me!  We can turn anything into an event and you've learned to do it with MA too!  
  • Your adoration for your baby sister.  You love, love, love baby Millie!  I never thought you would enjoy her so much as you've not been a baby lover until now.  
  • Your growing patience and responsibility with Abby.  You're an extra pair of hands and you're gaining competence and enjoying her now more and more.
  • So much of what excites me in this life, excites you! 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

1st day of school: 5th grade

5th grade

favorite subject:  art
least favorite:  handwriting
favorite things to do outside of school:   bike ride, swimming
best friends:  Anjolie, Therese, Tirzah
favorite thing to do with daddy:  date- movie and eat out
favorite thing to do with mommy:  bike ride
what do you like to do with your sisters?  Abby: stuff    MaryAlice:  play
favorite foods:  panna kakku & crepes, cinnamon french toast
What would you like to be when you grow up?  own a diner
who do you think you should marry?  a boy
How many kids would you like to have?  at least five
Where would you like to live?  South Carolina
why?  "because I was born there"
will you have pets? what kind? how many? yes. a couple of dogs and a turtle
favorite sport?  softball
Favorite restaurant:  noodles- mac 'n cheese
Favorite vacation spot:  Georgia

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

When I grow Up...

For some odd reason Belle has been feeling the need to plan every last detail of her "grown up" life... Today! 
Earlier today we had a discussion that went something like this...
Belle: "I am NOT living in MN when I grow up"
Me:  (acting surprised) "Why not?"
B: "There's not enough snow here. I want to live somewhere where there is more snow.  We need snow and a prairie."
Me: "What for?"
B:  "Our farm... Well, Tirzah will be the farmer and I'll work in town and be a hair stylist or something. Can you go to college to be a farmer?"
Me: "sort of"
B: "Well, then we want to go to the same college together and we'll both become farmers. Can you home school college farming?"
Me: "Sort of but not really... kind of" (I'm not sure what to say here)
B:  "MaryAlice, do you want to live with me or Tirzah (I guess today was the deadline to decide)? Selah wants to live by me. We will need a big house because we're all going to have a lot of kids!  Maybe we'll have houses by each other. Tirzah can live on the farm and we'll live around her."
MA: (getting into the discussion) "I want to be a gardener and live in here with mom."
B:  "you can't live here and by us because we're not going to live in MN... maybe WI (I have no idea where that came from), GA or AL (because those three are soooo similar with WAY more snow)"

If that wasn't enough random laughs for the day, Belle has proceeded to make a book about what she wants to be when she gets older and she's planning to give it to Uncle and Miss Amanda at the rehearsal dinner (because that makes sense).  Maybe she wants them to live with her?
She just told me Grandma is going to publish it because she can make sure the book is good. 
She's drawing pictures of barns at this point. 

B: "Our husbands will have to stay home at Halloween"
Me: "What?" (I'm so lost in this randomness that I'm diminished to one or two word intelligible sentences at this point)
B:  (In her best 'are you stupid' voice with the equally demeaning facial expression) "To hand out candy to the kids who are trick or treating... and watch football, of course."
Me: "Sure" (still confused why we're deciding on who stays home on Halloween after she's married)

The girls have had heated discussions all day as Belle pressures MaryAlice into decisions she didn't know existed let alone have to make at four, such as who she is going to live with... or next to (they haven't decided if they will have one big house or each their own).  One discussion involved the formations of who would live where by the farm.  There were diagrams and hand gestures.  At one point I was trying to listen and be supportive, but it turned into something akin to playing a combinations of charades and pictionary. I was so confused by the urgency of completing these details and her frustration with me not reading her mind on the subject that I walked away mid sentence.  This didn't please her and she gave up with the line up of houses (for the moment).  Not sure when I've seen her more enraptured with a topic.  

MA just wants to garden.  She's stuck with that all day.  The topic reminded me today that the last occupation Belle wanted when she grew up was to be a Dentist.  I was content with that, but that dream faded when she had to have work done on her teeth and it included pain :(  I figured I needed to document these new occupations for future blackmail :)

They are finally to bed and I'm exhausted with all her plans; although, I am thinking of some choice questions on the topic to introduce tomorrow!  Maybe we can find out who they plan on marrying and what they will do with their parents!!!!  See, if I had more time to prepare for this insanity I could've played along much better and had more to document :D 

...Yes, Ashley, this is what we do for fun up here in the tundra :)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Abby found Belle

Abby has been doing the back up onto a lot of laps these days, but this day she found her little sister's lap for the first time... so cute!  Belle was a bit caught off guard, but as you can see, they had a moment.  Belle has traditionally been such a competent caregiver.  No... she doesn't actually take care of Abby, but she's been able to direct care for her since she was three.  She's spent her days dodging a pinch or a pull, but not really connecting with her on any level like a sister would; whereas, MA go to see a more interactive Abby.  Belle is just starting to see Abby as a person to interact with.  They even shared the backseat of the van on the way down to GA this summer.  The slept through the night without Abby attacking!  Amazing...

U10 2012

Can you believe the only team pic we got was when we were gone
Belle played fastpitch softball U10 for the first time this year at eight.  Mom coached!  We had the sweetest group of girls and the best parents around!  Kris Mallet officially assisted, but there were always extra parents around practice and games to help out... great parents, right? 

Our team was mostly 8 and 9 year olds, with a couple of 7s and a few 10s, while most teams we played had mostly 10/11 year olds!  Needless to say we got beat pretty good most games, but the girls improved a ton!  With a few games to be played this year we have won a game, but only won and the team we beat had a great coach who understood this whole learning the game thing.  Most of the coaches were pretty cool about teachng, but there were a couple who ran the score up and were just jerks.  We even played one coach who was stealing bases after they were ahead by double digits.  What do you teach kids about life?  So sad to see these kind of people leading children.  I'm not a perfect specimen at all times and I made some mistakes in the area of role modeling, I'm sure; but... I'll let it go now :)

We actually started hitting the last couple games of the year.  Being a stronger defensive player I typically "hit" that first, so it took me a few games (half the season) before concentrating on the offensive side.  They started hitting and having a bit more fun running the bases and such.  By the time playoffs came, we had a chance to win our first game and we I was excited until the temp went to the upper 90s and our game was postponed.  This change made it impossible for me and Belle to attend the game as we had already planned to be in GA for our family vacation and that couldn't be changed.

A couple of veteran ball playing dads took over and I was able to follow my girls via texting with a fellow coach and some parents.  the girls started the game with a 4-0 run, but ended up losing to a homerun by the opposing team.  Way to go girls!  They improved so much and I was so proud of them by the end of the year.  Everyone hit the ball by the last game!