Thursday, April 23, 2015

Summer - 4 3/4 yrs

I haven't written about Summer in a while, so I figured I would dedicate a post to all about her :).  There are so many aspects of Summer right now that I don't want to forget.  How would I currently describe Summer?

Summer is so helpful.  She loves to jump in and do random acts of kindness for people, like cleaning Colton's room for him or surprising me and making my bed for me :)

She is a super cleaner, and knows where everything goes, and can clean a room covered with toys in no time, putting everything back exactly where it goes. 

Summer continues to "feel things" very intensely.  She has the most exuberant and ecstatic highs and the most devastating lows, all in a matter of minutes :).  She is learning so well how to control her emotions and will often, when frustrated, be heard loudly "breathing" in and out several times to prepare herself to say what she wants to say in a correct tone of voice.  While she can escalate to a matter of utmost frustration in minutes, she also can do the same with her exuberance!  Her whole body will respond in excitement when something fun is happening or she is excited about something.  She is one of the most fun people in the world to be greeted by, and she easily turns a normal situation into an exciting one by her enthusiasm.  She has grown so incredibly verbally grateful lately, and heartfelt thank you's occur daily for even the littlest things like allowing her to have a treat.  Today she told me, "Thank you Mommy for using your money to pay for me to have dance lessons."

She is so perceptive to the sacrifices others are making, including often noticing when I haven't eaten a meal yet (and am just running around getting food for the three kids) and will say, "Mommy, you take a bite first and then, when you get a chance may I please have some more milk?"  Love her.  She also remembers to pray regularly for people who are struggling, and all on her own decided she would pray for the person who stole her Grandma K's fine jewelry.  I hadn't even thought to pray for that person!  Bless her.  She teaches ME.  She notices details all around her and remembers them like crazy.  If I am ever missing something, she is the one I ask to help me find it. 

She is very into accessories and putting together her outfits.  She can always be found in color coordinated jewelry/hair pieces/glasses/fairy wings/ etc and prefers to wear a dress over pants.  I have enjoyed watching her style grow as it is so different from my own!  When there was an 80% off sale at an online kids store we shop at (RUUM), we sat together and scrolled through the clothes and I let her pick out what she wanted to order.  While I would have picked jeans and sweatshirts, she picked out sequin skirts/dresses and she loves wearing them :).  Unfortunately, if her outfit of choice is not weather appropriate or there is some reason I need to ask her to change, we do have quite a bit of tears.  However, we have mostly gotten through that phase (for now!) and we discuss, discuss, discuss - I am so thankful for her love of talking and her ability to use her words so well to tell me what she is thinking and feeling.  I try to keep a pulse on her love for accessorizing and her super-awareness of her appearance, as I want her to make sure she remembers that what is on the outside is not what is important,   We talk often about what makes her beautiful (God made her and loves her and she is special).  However, it IS fun to watch her have such fun with accessorizing!

She is so outgoing and will talk to anyone, any age, anywhere.  She loves telling people about Jesus and she went all over our street all by herself (with me watching through the window) inviting our neighbors to our Easter service at church!  She is a natural leader, and has been doing a truly remarkable job of overcoming her tendencies to be bossy and will, all on her own, often let Colton pick aspects of their play.
She loves to compliment, write people notes and pictures, and give gifts.  She holds her possessions very loosely and will often be seen giving away her jewelry or coins/money to her friends - she LOVES to give!  She is very creative both in playing pretend and in artwork.  She loves to write and draw and has filled many journals with her artwork.  I will keep these for her so she can go back and see what she did at age 4!  She is also very organized, and will during her quiet time, reorganize her jewelry box, bookshelf, or other area of her room and excitedly show me when I come in :).  She is such a bundle of personality, flair, and joy!

apple/animal cracker rocking horse
Summer has such a strong faith in Jesus and such a young age and such a strong conscience.  Her whole body reacts when she does something wrong, as she bursts into tears.  She is so honest and will tell me every little thing she does that is wrong and want to make it right.  Because she is such a perfectionist, we have spent quite a bit of time talking about her faults.  A few months ago, this developed into a lack of confidence, as she saw herself through a lens of the things she did wrong.  She would often ask questions like, "Mommy, what are you proud of me from today?"  The outlook really affected her whole person and confidence.  I prayed so much about this on ways I could help encourage a healthy confidence in her.  A few months ago we started an "encouragement" jar.  It is nothing fancy, as I literally threw it together in a few minutes, but it worked to increase her confidence!
Each night, I write one or more notes to her about specific acts she did that day that made me so proud of her.  The idea behind the jar was that anytime she asked me, "Mommy, what are you proud of me from today?" , that we would go back and read the notes together.  What surprised me, is that we never have needed to!  Her confidence soared, literally, overnight, as she knew each night she would be hearing good things she had done that day.  I just peeked tonight and she has close to 70 notes in her jar!  Many of them refer to specific situations where she demonstrated one of the qualities I wrote about above.  I can now say, that despite a bit of a bump in the road, she is a very confident little girl and I cannot believe the transformation I have seen in her in this area.  Thank you, Lord!

 Here are a few videos I chose to put on this post:

1) Summer is reading like CRAZY!  I cannot believe how she has literally taught herself words and endings just by watching me read and sounding things out.  Here is a video of her reading a chunk from a very wordy book - it is only a small part of the full story she read to Colton today.

2) Summer loves stories!  She loves to read stories, hear stories, and tell stories.  Our meal time conversation is often telling and retelling Bible stories.  I love the dramatic flair she has when she tells her stories, as she acts out the different characters and sound effects.  The particular story I got on video tonight is Daniel and the Lion's Den.  Jonah and the big fish is also a fun one to hear her tell!  Listening in on her pretend play during quiet time with her dollhouse or Barbies sounds similar to this as well :).

3) Summer and are currently working on telling time this week in preschool.  Here are a few activities we did.

I am so proud of you, Summer Tenleigh!  You stretch and grow me as a person, and teach and encourage me at the same time!  God has bundled so many amazing things into you, and I love watching you grow.  I love you!


Kristin Bjorklund said...

She is just the most amazing little girl--!! Love her so and so proud of her. You've been an AMAZING mom to her!

Jill said...

There are just no words adequate to describe how much I love Summer!!!

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