Saturday, January 31, 2015

Summer: 4.5 years

Ok, seriously, can someone slow down time?!  My baby girl who used to be Larkyn's age will be FOUR AND A HALF this week.  How does this happen?!?!  Anyway, here is a bit about Summer at age 4.5.

Summer has truly developed a sweet caring empathetic heart.  She notices when someone might feel left out and goes to love them.  She remembers when someone said they hurt themselves or were sick and asks them about how they are feeling the next time she sees them.  She is very appreciative when I stop to help her with something, verbally noticing and thanking me for stopping what I was doing in order to do something for her.  He little conscience literally brings her to tears as soon as she realizes a wrong choice she has made and she is quick to apologize.  She is extremely perceptive, and will ask me, "is everything ok, mommy?" if I start to grow frustrated about something.  
One day when the laundry felt overwhelming and she saw me sigh as I changed yet another set of wet sheets, she looked at me with big eyes and said, "I can help you fold the laundry, Mommy!"
She is so helpful and is an amazing cleaner!  She can pick up an entire floor of toys in no time and puts them back exactly where they should go.  She knows where everything is, where everything goes, and can find anything (including my slippers I lost or a toy Colton lost). 

Here she is helping me get the Christmas cards ready for mailing.

Summer continues to be extremely outgoing and friendly!  After church on Sunday she makes the rounds, carrying on various conversations with people throughout the congregation, young and old alike!  She greets everyone she meets whether she knows them or not, and will talk their ear off!  She makes friends easily and doesn't have a shy bone in her body :).
Here she is at a recent trip to the zoo asking the zoo employees all about the turtles, sharks, etc!

She loves to play pretend,

play dressup,

play dollhouse,

read books,

write notes for people,

"Dear Colton, Don't you love eggs?  I love 'em too. To Colton, Love, Summer"
 draw pictures,

do anything arts or crafts,

perform for people,

and her favorite thing in all the world is still her "green froggy blankie".

She has the most amazing memory for names, places, and details about things she has done or someone has said literally years prior! She is also a very quick learner.  She is reading, writing, and spelling quite well and has an awesome number sense.

Here she is setting up a math problem...
making a guess, and then counting dots to find the correct answer.  She placed a heart at the top of the problem if her guess was right :)

Here is an example of her spelling (she was making a grocery list): eggs, butter, and lemons
We are currently working on telling time.  After working on her fives (see this video) she was able to for the first time read a time correctly as seen in this video.

She loves to read her Bible and pray.  Sometimes she will sit during her quiet time and listen to her Bible on CD for a full 90 minutes!   She has a huge heart for telling other people about Christ's forgiveness for sins and will tell anyone she meets whether she knows them or not!  She is a natural leader (which can translate into bossiness!)  In the past 6 months, however, I have seen a dramatic improvement in her asking other people what they would like to do instead of telling them what to do!  My favorite thing about Summer is how evident it is that she loves Jesus and wants to follow him.  As she gets closer to being 5, my prayers for her each night always include that God would protect her physically and spiritually, that she would continue to grow in her kind and obedient heart, that God would help her be a leader in love, that she would not complain or argue, that she would bring glory to God and others into his kingdom, that we would always share the close relationship that we currently do talking about everything, and that God would give her godly friends, teachers, and some-day spouse.  We love you to the moon and back, Summer Tenleigh!

Larkyn 7 months!

Our Blessing 

Where does the time go?!  I feel like I was just writing Larkyn's 6 month post!  The word the first comes to mind when I think of Larkyn is BLESSING.  As I pray for her before bed, I thank the Lord for the blessing he has given us in allowing us to share in her cuddles and smiles.  As my friend from church described her, "She make me feel like a million bucks" ~ and I couldn't agree more.  When eye contact is made with this precious baby, the smile she gives is the biggest, most heartfelt, genuine, "I am SO glad to see you" smile that makes me stop whatever I am doing and want to kiss her chubby little cheeks.  I am smitten :).  Her older siblings are smitten as well - Colton affectionately calls her "my baby" or "Warkyn" and  Summer calls her "Larky Loo-Loo" and both kids love having her around and making her laugh.  Here are a few pictures/videos of our little doll this month. 


Daddy and Larkyn

Summer feeding Larkyn her first bananas

Colton's turn to feed Larkyn

dimple :)

crazy hair!

Hi :)

Mommy and Larkyn

Sharing a smile...

My fav :)


This little girl loves her daddy!

First graham cracker

Reading about the princesses :)

Grandma K and Larky

Auntie Kristin and Larkyn

Peek a Boo - Find the baby!

Playing with Grandpa T and the big kids
Seeing her first hockey game (Go Uncle Eric!)


Peek -A -Boo: Larkyn Distracting Mommy!
 I was TRYING to do my BSF homework when a little head kept turning around and grinning at me!  This is a tiny clip of what happened for about 20 minutes!!!

Summer making Larkyn laugh #1

Summer making Larkyn laugh #2

Colton loving Larkyn

Larkyn at 7 months:

While Larkyn doesn't follow a strict schedule, this is the typical schedule she was on this month:
7am: wake and nurse
9am: morning nap
11am: morning nurse
12:30pm: cat nap
1pm: solid lunch
1:30pm: afternoon nap
4pm: nurse
6:30pm: solid dinner
7:30pm: much needed bath :)
8pm: bedtime

Larkyn eats carrots, peas, squash, bananas, avocado, applesauce, rice cereal and oatmeal.  Her favorite is oatmeal and her least favorite is avocado.

Larkyn really only cries when she is tired or hungry.  While she has grown much  more stable this month, she still is too rocky to sit on her own.  She rolls to move, and gets herself "stuck" under things!  However she doesn't move more than a few feet from her starting position.

No sign of teeth yet, however I have THOUGHT she was teething multiple times.  She chews on everything!

Larkyn thinks her siblings are hilarious and will smile at anyone as long as they aren't wearing a hat :)

We love you, Larkyn!

Colton: Done with Naps & Learning to Button

Colton is very perseverent and determined to button his shirt all by himself!
Colton is officially done with of two weeks ago!  Sweet boy would stay in his bed and play with his stuffed animals and blankies for 2-3 hours each night (we would tuck him in at 8pm and still hear him playing quietly around 10 or 11pm!)  So, we decided to cut out the 2-hour nap and now he falls asleep within a half hour of tucking him in each night :).  Colton is very excited that he gets to do quiet-time, just like his sister now.  So, in the afternoon, after we read his Bible story, instead of napping, Colton now plays quietly in his room for 90 minutes.  He is allowed to look at his books, play cars, do puzzles, play legos, or do anything in his room quietly.  He is only allowed to leave if he has to go potty.  With this new privilege comes the added chore of cleaning up his room all by himself after quiet time.  He has done amazing at this transition as well (it helps having an older sister who he has seen doing this routine since he can remember).  We started his quiet time with his door closed so he wouldn't be distracted by Summer playing in her room next door.  He requested to have his door open, and so under probation ;) I allowed him to do so as long as he didn't talk to Summer.  He has successfully obeyed the rules and is so excited to have this new privilege!  I am always thankful for the hour of quiet I get in the afternoon as well :).

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Roller Rink

We love going to our church's annual roller rink night!  Each time gets more fun!  The kids had a blast tonight and skated the entire time (except for eating a hotdog!).  Larkyn loved it too - she rolled around the rink on her own set of wheels (in the jogger stroller) and loved looking at all the lights and people.  Summer was especially excited that her friend Adry came and they were inseparable for much of the night.  I loved getting special chances to skate with each kid individually as well as watching them get better as the night went on.  Most of the pictures are a bit blurry, but they are still fun.  I'll include a few videos at the end.

All 5 of us with our wheels on - ready to go on the rink!


Summer and Adry

Summer and Adry

hotdog dinner!

The lil' brothers, Colton and Rylan
Some video...



S & C:

Summer and Adry:

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Winter Cabin Weekend

We all gathered at Grandma and Grandpa Kirkwood's cabin for some winter fun this weekend!
Paul on the ATV
Colton was thrilled to go on the ATV for a little ride
Eric and Paul on the ATVs

Cross country skiing on the lake

Grandpa, Paul and Me cross-country skiing

Love this pic of Grandma and Larkyn!


Auntie Kristin took this pic of Larkyn

Making a snowman

Daddy and Larkyn before church on Sunday

Summer and Grandpa

Kids reading books with Grandma and Grandpa
  Some highlights included:
  1. The kids LOVED walking across the frozen lake to the island and exploring (especially the old house with the large fireplace still standing)
  2. The kids LOVED building a snowman and throwing snowballs - it was great "packing" snow.
  3. Paul and I enjoyed ATVing on the lake (my first time driving one!) and Paul taught me how to do sliding donuts :)
  4. My favorite part of the weekend was going out on the lake with my dad and Paul cross-country skiing for the first time - it was a total blast!
  5. My other favorite part of the weekend was playing the game Password with the 6 couples - we were laughing so hard I couldn't stop!
  6. I loved watching the kids aunt/uncle/grandparents love on our kids and our kids having so much fun!
  7. I loved catching up with everyone and just being together. 
Thanks mom and dad for welcoming us all at the cabin and for all the delicious food.  We had so much fun!