Friday, August 4, 2017

Summer turns SEVEN!

As usual in our family, we had "birthday week" around here with many celebrations of our favorite 7 year old!  This post will be quite long, but here is the breakdown of what is to come:
  1. Summer's 7 year pictures and a bit about Summer at age 7
  2. Summer's breakfast in bed (Saturday morning July 29th)
  3. Summer's friend celebration (Saturday evening July 29th)
  4. Celebration with Grandma and Grandpa K (Wednesday August 2nd and Thursday August 10th)
  5. Mommy-Summer birthday date (Wednesday August 2nd)
  6. Celebration with Grandma and Grandpa T and Birthday activity, meal, and presents (Thursday August 3rd)

 Seven Year Pictures

At age 7, my favorite thing about Summer is her amazing faith that characterizes all that she is.  She daily reads the Bible on her own as well as with Mommy, memorizes scripture, and prays from her heart.  More importantly, she loves the Lord, seeks to know him, actively shares her faith easily with those she meets, desires the salvation of those around her, genuinely feels great sadness over her sin, and consistently seeks to please the Lord.

Summer is a leader.  She always has been.  Each year (and this year is no exception) I have seen growth in her being a "leader in love", as we call it, and using her leadership to help involve others rather than boss them around.  While thinking "her way" of play is best is a continued trait, and her ability to diplomatically convince others to join her in her ideas despite their initial disagreement is fascinating to watch, she is growing in the area of incorporating others' ideas into her play.

Summer knows how to bring fun and creativity to any situation.  She will make up a game, a pretend situation, a song, or bring some other creative idea to life, incorporating her siblings and friends in the fun.  Both her siblings LOVE to play with her and actively seek her out as a playmate constantly.  She truly brings creativity and fun wherever she goes, and I love to see her inclusiveness, drawing different ages and personalities into united fun.

Summer loves to do many things, and I cannot think of a single time I have heard her say she was bored!  Her go-to anytime is reading, and she LOVES to sit down with a good book and her blankie and read and read and read!  She currently loves any mystery including Boxcar Children, Bobbsey Twins, and Nancy Drew, the American Girl books, the Mandie books, and historical fiction.  She is very curious and will even read history books just for fun!  Summer also loves playing with her American girl doll and treats her just like her daughter, dressing her in the morning, bringing her everywhere, feeding her, playing with her, and loving on her.  She loves to play magnatiles with her siblings, do monkey bars at the park, swim, do arts and crafts, and honestly just make fun wherever she is and whatever she is doing.

Summer continues to love gymnastics, and again picked that as her "one" extracurricular activity during the school year (aside from piano and church night).

Summer is extremely empathetic and can feel what others are feeling without them even saying.  She is compassionate and caring, loving on her hurt siblings, remembering to ask how people are doing and pray for them, and proactively seeking ways to help others.

As our pickiest eater, Summer has almost outgrown the label!  She will eat anything put on her plate without complaining, despite the fact that when given the choice she will eat everything "separate".  Favorites still include the traditional kids foods, especially Mac n Cheese, however she is also a fantastic raw veggie consumer, and loves fruit.  She would describe her favorite food as "carbs" :).

As I cuddled with Summer on her birthday at 9:02pm (our tradition), I reminisced with her about the night she was born.  I can honestly say that each year with her is more fun than the previous, and I truly enjoy being with her in a friend sort of way.  We have both grown so much in how to relate to each other (despite our differing personalities) and have really grown in being able to converse about our preferences in an understanding way, where we both understand where the other is coming from, and then come to a conclusion that we both agree on (in areas such as room decor, fashion, schedules, and more.) I appreciate that I rarely have to discipline her anymore - a simple conversation will suffice nicely.  She is a beautiful person inside and out, and I really can't believe God chose to give me such an amazing, amazing girl to call my daughter.  She is a gift and blessing and I am truly so, so grateful!  I pray that she would continue to grow in Him, and never waver.  I pray that she would continue to share the good news about Jesus with all that she meets.  I pray that God would protect her physically, spiritually, and in purity.  I pray that she would have godly friends, teachers, and someday spouse.  I pray that we would always have a great mother-daughter relationship.  And I pray that she would always seek God first in her life.  I love you more than I can say, Summer Tenleigh!!

Breakfast in Bed

We give the kids the option of having breakfast in bed on their actual birthday, or on a Saturday bookending their birthday week (when Daddy can join as he leaves for work at 6:30 and they aren't up til later!).  To date, they have always chosen to have their breakfast when Daddy can join in the fun!  Summer immediately knew what she wanted for her breakfast in bed - poptarts, bacon, and berries, so I didn't have to guess with her ;).  Here is the video of us singing to her:


Friend Celebration

When given the choice, Summer chose to have a more extravagant celebration with one special friend instead of having a birthday party with lots of friends.  The choice of friend was easy ~ she picked Kate, BSF friend from the 4 year old class, neighborhood friend, kindergarten classmate, Jesus follower, and fellow American girl doll lover!  The rundown of the day went as follows:

  • Pick up Kate at 12:45pm

  • Head to Crayola Experience at the Mall of America (where they made their own crayons, learned how crayons were made, designed their own coloring pages, made their art come to life, designed fashion outfits and watched digital runway models sport their creations, make crayons in the shapes of rings they can wear and color with, paint, make their art into puzzles, play at a giant playplace with a giant lite bright, and do melted wax art).

  • Head home for mom's Crazy Noodle Night, garlic bread, and her chocolate cupcakes with chocolate chips, chocolate frosting, and chocolate sprinkles

  •  Say goodbye to the boys (who headed to watch the MN Loons play soccer)

  •  Girls night playing American girl dolls, making a tent, and watching the new Cinderella movie with the dolls in the tent :)

Complete with popcorn :)

 Celebration with Grandma and Grandpa K

Grandma and Grandpa K came over on Wednesday and gave Summer her presents and wished her a happy birthday!
She got model magic!

Lots of stuff for her American Girl doll, including a doll table, matching dresses for Kirsten and Summer, a Cinderella gown and shoes for Kirsten, and a special necklace.

Rainbow leotard for gymnastics!  They know Summer!
I stole Summer away for a special birthday date while Grandma and Grandpa K were over (they watched the littles), so they graciously agreed to wait and take her for a special birthday meal the next Thursday.  Here are some pictures.

Summer picked Famous Dave's for Lunch
And DQ for dessert :)

Thank you Grandma and Grandpa K!

Mommy-Summer Date

With Summer's love for her American girl doll, I decided to take her to a special craft time at the Mall of America American Girl Doll store.  Above the store is a Bistro where dolls and girls (and moms!) can eat together!  It was our first time experiencing it all and its hard to say who had more fun!  As a special treat, Mommy, Daddy, Grandma T and Grandpa T saved some of our birthday money to give to Summer before her date so she could pick out something at the store.  Here is a video of her opening the money:

Summer chose one of the new matching dresses from Grandma K to wear for her date to the American Girl Doll store!

The second floor Bistro was adorable!
At the Bistro, you pick up a doll chair that attaches to the table so your doll can sit with you!

They gave Summer and Kirsten matching birthday girl stickers!

The table was decorated so cute!

They even brought out a dolly mug and saucer with our beverages that Summer could take home!

Summer enjoyed a root beer float...

As did Kirsten!

One of my favorite parts of the Bistro was the little box of conversation starters they had on the table!  I love chatting with my girl!

Summer picked buttered noodles and a breadstick

Kirsten enjoyed her noodle as well ;)

We were both quite amused to see that the restrooms had a doll holder!

After checking out the doll craft, we spent a super long time looking at every adorable thing and display in the store!  With no one to tell us we had to hurry, we both enjoyed the slow-paced shopping, with the excitement of knowing Summer could pick something!

Summer quickly knew how some of her money would be spent...getting Kirsten's ears pierced at the doll salon!

Funny we both felt a similar excitement over this as when Summer got her ears pierced...wanting to take a zillion pictures...even though Kirsten is only a doll!  Silly but oh so fun!

Kirsten didn't cry a bit ;)

Look at those pretty earrings! ;)

All set, with her new pairs of earrings in a bag to go!

We took a break to ride some rides!

(We had a ton of free ride tickets from hosting our Neighborhood Night Out the night before)

Of course Kirsten joined us whenever she could!

We headed back to the store to choose Summer's final part of her birthday money.

And enjoyed reading together :)

Summer picked another visit to the doll salon to have Kirsten's hair done!  After 10+ years in the braids I put Kirsten in when I packed her away when I moved out, and the 10+ more years I played with and styled Kirsten's hair, the ends were raggedy and Kirsten's hair was less than ideal!

The doll stylist worked a miracle on Kirsten's hair and made it look amazing!

Summer picked a gorgeous hairstyle for Kirsten out of the hairstyle book

And even got a tiara!

With the last bit of money, we went shoe shopping...for Kirsten! oh, I just about died at the cuteness of the shoe shop!  Summer picked an adorable pair of teal moccasins.

Girls shopping date complete!

Actual Birthday and Celebration with Grandma and Grandpa T

When Summer woke up on her birthday, Grandma and Grandpa T, Uncle Javonte, and GeeGee Sandy were here!  And they brought donuts and berries for breakfast!

We headed to swimming lessons for all three kiddos.

 Then back home for presents from Grandma and Grandpa T and GeeGee Sandy.

GeeGee Sandy got Summer a new Bible and stickers

Grandma and Grandpa T gave Summer a Loom!

And a new rainbow backpack for 2nd grade!

And an Christian historical fiction mystery series!

Thank you Grandma and Grandpa T!
Summer picked Culvers for lunch

And, being the good little momma that she is, packed Kirsten a lunch too...
Cookie dough!

Summer's choice birthday activity was going to the MN Children's Museum (which Grandma and Grandpa K gifted a family membership to Larkyn for her birthday) and we had a blast!!!  We visited the "our town" room where the kids enjoyed pretending to be postal workers, restaurant owners, and other business people walking around the town.  They also enjoyed the special ball room that had tons of cool exhibits to try out using balls learning about gravity and different types of motion.  Finally, the big kids climbed around the giant 4 story play area while Larkyn enjoyed the Sprouts room with water play and smaller kid activities.  It was nice having Grandma and Grandpa T, GeeGee Sandy, and Javonte there, so the kids could each explore what they were interested in, instead of having to stick together!

We then came back to our house for dinner!

Summer's choice dinner was Mac N Cheese and Garlic Knots.  We filled out the meal with grilled polish sausages, fruit salad, and green salad :).

Kirsten also enjoyed her birthday meal.

The birthday girl LOVED when we all sang to her!  Click here for the video.  Her face is pretty adorable and it might be one of my favorite birthday videos of her yet!

Sweet joyful girl!

We sang to Kirsten as well :)

Thank you Tommerdahl/Haack crew for coming down to celebrate with us!
We then headed to the living room to open presents from Colton, Larkyn, Mom, and Dad.

Shout out to Grandma and Grandpa K, who took the younger two shopping for me while Summer and I were on our date, so Summer could be surprised!  They wrapped their presents without any help.  Colton chose a balloon for Summer and princess wall decals.  Click here for the video of Summer opening Colton's gift.

What a thoughtful and sweet gift Colton!

Larkyn picked out a rainbow pinwheel and a Cinderella zipper pull.  Sweet sisters!  Click here and here for the videos of Summer opening Larkyn's gift.
From Mom and Dad, Summer got a mystery series of books called Scripture Sleuth,  where each book contains many short mysteries.  After reading each 2-3 page mystery, you look up the given Bible reference to gain a clue as to "who did it" and try to solve the mystery on your own!  She dug into them right away and totally loves them!  Click here for a link to her opening this present.
She also received "color your own slippers" which she has worn almost every minute since!  Click here for the video.

The gift with the best response was the gymnastics leotard for Kirsten!  Check out the video here.

Finally, she got the final sparks book. The kids LOVE the CD's included, and since she won't be in Sparks this year as we will be joining in our church's Wednesday night club, I got her the book anyway. She has the opportunity to earn a quarter for each section of Bible verses memorized and recited to me :).  We also got her a mad lib book which she was pretty excited about.  Here is the video.

Goodnight sweet 7 year old!  We love you so much!  Happy Birthday!


Post a Comment