Sweet Anna Kate,
You are FOUR years old today! I have to admit, I cried a little bit last night as I rocked my three-year-old for one last time. And yes, you still love to be rocked before you go to bed, and I hope that doesn't change any time soon! You are such a precious gift from God and we are so grateful that he chose us to be your mommy and daddy. Here is a little bit about what life with you is like these days:
~ You are a fantastic big sister. You and Caroline are starting to play really well together (when you're not arguing over toys). Your favorite things to play together are doctor, school, dollies, and airplane trips to Costa Rica (you always make me be the ticket counter agent - aka "check-in person").
~ You are also a fantastic "double" big sister, which is what you say you are to Eleanor. You are always very concerned about her general well-being, and you love to hold her and rock her. You beam with pride any time anyone asks you about your new baby sister.
~ You love school time. You go to preschool for a few hours on Monday mornings while I teach Spanish there, and you have really enjoyed that. Your favorite activity there is your arts and crafts time. You love showing me the paintings that you do each week.
~ The rest of the week we have "homeschool". We aren't doing much in the way of formal schooling yet, but you are constantly asking to do more school. You love workbooks and coloring pages and puzzles and just about anything I come up with that can count as schoolwork.
~ You have really enjoyed our Spanish lessons at preschool each week. You have developed quite a little Spanish vocabulary including numbers, parts of your body, colors, and a variety of children's songs. You are also working really hard at trying to roll your r's!
~ You are quite the little reader. One of the main highlights of your week is library storytime on Thursday mornings. You have graduated to the "big kid" story time and you love participating and listening to the longer books. You also check out your limit of twenty books each week. You always check for your favorite book first (which is "Curious George Goes to the Hospital"), and then you choose 19 other books. Well, you do let Caroline choose a few of them!
~ Speaking of reading, you are so great about your quiet reading time every afternoon. You and Caroline both go down for a nap at 1pm, but you usually wake up around 2:15 or 2:30. The rule is that you have to stay upstairs and read quietly until 3pm and you have never complained. You really enjoy that quiet reading time!
~ At 3pm each afternoon, you come downstairs and we have "big girl time" before Caroline wakes up around 3:30 or 4. You always want to play a board game with Mommy during this time. Your favorites are Sorry, Candyland, and Chutes and Ladders.
~ You are doing very well playing your open string rhythms on the violin. We are getting close to being ready to put fingers down, but right now we're still just mastering holding the violin and bow properly and playing those rhythms. You have "Goody-Goody Stop-Stop," "Stop Pony," and "Peanut Butter," down pretty well!
~ You also love to sing. You love church songs, silly songs, made-up songs, any songs! You love your Sunday night children's choir and church too, and have learned so many Scriptures through music. You also have learned all the books of the New Testament set to music!
~ While you love to play with your sister and with your friends, you are also very good at playing independently. Your favorite things to do on your own are coloring and building block towers. You have been building some pretty impressive towers as of late; your grandpa says you might have a future as an architect or civil engineer!
~ You are quite the little human calendar/planner. You always know the day and the date, as well as what activities and events we have planned that day and on upcoming days. You sometimes have to keep me from forgetting things!
~ You still love to go on daddy-daughter dates. Sometimes you and Caroline go together to special things with Daddy (like the zoo or EdVenture), and sometimes you get to go by yourself. One of your favorite things to do with your daddy is to go to the monthly Senior Adult Breakfast at church. Daddy is always invited because he's on staff, and he loves to bring you with him. The older members of our church just love it when you come!
~ You took another international trip this year, this time to Costa Rica. There aren't a whole lot of four-year-olds who have two different stamps in their passport!
~ You love spending time with your friends. Your closest friends at church these days are Nora (and Ava too!), Aubrey, and Annie. Colten and Joe are your good friends from our Tuesday park group. Your good friend Alice moved away last year, but the two of you have become Pen Pals! You write to each other faithfully and love to receive letters from one another.
~ You have become very independent lately, which is a big help to your mommy. You can get dressed all by yourself, you can do the top buckle on your carseat (and almost the bottom one), you can get your own drink of water, wash your hands, etc.
~ Your big birthday present today from Mommy and Daddy and your sisters was a big girl bicycle (with training wheels). You really needed one as you were rapidly outgrowing your tricycle. You love to go out and ride and did very well for your first ride today!
~ You have such a sweet and tender heart. You always want to bring home extra coloring pages or treats for Caroline (and now Eleanor!) from your preschool class or your Sunday School class so that they won't feel left out. Your heart is also easily broken when something sad happens. You left your baby doll at church by accident on Wednesday night and you were just distraught that she might be left alone there all night. Your tears were pretty convincing because Daddy went right back to get her! You also love to pray for anyone and everyone who might need prayer. You always want to know who is sick, or which missionaries we should be praying for, to name a couple.
Anna Kate, you are so special to us. You are so much fun to be around, you give the greatest hugs and snuggles, you are constantly making us laugh, and you just light up our life. We always tease you about wanting you to stay little (which we do), but we also love watching you grow physically, but also in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus. It is our prayer that your love for Him would grow more and more each day! We love you!
Your BIRTH day!
Happy 1st Birthday!
Happy 2nd Birthday!
Happy 3rd Birthday!
Happy 4th Birthday!