Luke, Patty, Anna Kate, Caroline, and Eleanor

Luke, Patty, Anna Kate, Caroline, and Eleanor

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Happy 3rd Birthday, Caroline!

Happy birthday, Caroline Hope! The leaves have begun to change, the air has become crisp and cool, and October has arrived. Sweet 3-year-old Caroline, where do I begin? How do I attempt to put into words what a special little girl you are? I know I won't be able to do it justice, but I will try!

- Your personality has blossomed this year. You are a whirlwind of activity, drama, joy, and silliness. There is never a dull moment with Caroline around!
- This year was a big one for you, as you became a big sister. You have assumed your role as "Little Middle" without missing a beat. You absolutely adore baby Eleanor. In fact, you are always calling her your baby ("Where's my baby?" "Can I hold my baby?"). You are constantly asking to hold her and would often rather sit and hold her than participate in other activities. You love to watch the world with her, getting down to her level, and explaining life to her.
- You also have a wonderful relationship with your big sister. You and Anna Kate play pretend together for hours. You love to play Mommy and Baby, school time, doctor, airplane trips, and violin lessons. Any time Anna Kate is not around, you just feel absolutely lost. You have, of course, learned how to push her buttons and annoy her when you want to, but in general, she's your constant playmate and best friend, and I hope you always stay that way.
- You have the biggest brown eyes and the prettiest soft brown curls which apparently are here to stay for a while! You have the craziest bedhead when you wake up in the morning, but it's pretty easy to tame with a little spray of water. Normally you have your hair done with one ponytail and bow on the top of your head, but you also like to have two curly "bear ear" pigtails. The other day you asked for "Anna" hair (from Frozen), and I was able to finagle two pretty decent french braids!
- You have started to do a bit more in the way of preschool at home with Mommy. It has to be hands-on and active, and I have to make you think it's your idea, but you are learning and participating really well! You love to play letter/sound games, and make patterns with your math cubes. You've started Alpha-Phonics just a little bit, but we are taking it slow. You also really love our Five in a Row stories and activities!
- Caroline, I thought I would never say this, but you are now sleeping through the night! Most parents brag about their children doing that by 6 weeks, or 6 months, or at least by a year old, but not you! It took a good 2-3 years for you. But you are finally sleeping all night long almost every night (once you finally fall asleep, that is)!
- You are a definite night owl, or should I say, night monkey, or night gymnast? You take quite a while to fall asleep at night, usually keeping yourself awake by doing handstands and headstands in your bed. You're generally pretty quiet about it, and it doesn't bother Anna Kate, so I guess it's not the worst way for you to burn off superfluous energy!
- On the flip side, you are NOT a morning person. You come down the stairs in the morning and come straight to the couch for snuggles, but you do not want to speak or be spoken too for a solid 5 minutes. You just take a little while to wake up!
- You have quite a good little memory. I bought a couple of educational placemats a while back, including a map of the United States and one of the Presidents. I found songs to teach both the states and the presidents to Anna Kate, but you wanted to learn them too. Actually, I didn't even know that you knew them until you would start to pipe in if Anna Kate missed one. Then one day you just sang the songs all by yourself!
- Your Daddy and I have been so proud of you lately as we've seen you come to understand your food allergies and respond with such resiliency and grace. Up until recently, you really hadn't noticed that you sometimes have to eat different foods than other people. But you definitely know and understand now and trust that Mommy and Daddy know best. You are (almost) always very careful to check with us before you eat anything. Whenever you hear that we are going to an event at church, or a birthday party, for example, you always look up at me with your big brown eyes and say, "Mommy, will you bring a CuckCape (cupcake) for me?" And I always do! There was an occasion just recently where you did feel a little left out and you told me (with a very grown-up voice), "Mommy, everyone else was eating _______, and I couldn't have it, and that really made me sad." But not once have you ever gotten angry or pitched a fit about it. You really do demonstrate a great deal of maturity for such a little girl.
- You LOVE pretty clothes! In fact, a couple of friends asked you what you might like for your birthday and your only response was "a dress or a set." I wasn't quite sure at first what a "set" was, but you explained that it's when the top and the pants go together - a coordinating outfit, if you will :)
- Speaking of clothes, your favorite Bible story is the one about putting off the old self and clothing yourself with the things of God. One of our story Bibles shows a man throwing down an old tattered cloak and putting on a beautifully colored brand-new coat. You always ask to read "Old coat, new coat!"
- You love to pray. You always want to pray before meals, and you've even started to remind me to pray for things throughout the day. I mentioned that one of my violin students would not be able to have her lesson one afternoon because she was sick and immediately you said, "Well, we should pray for her!" The other morning, during our Bible time, I told you to pick a couple of prayer requests out of our jar and you said that you wanted to pray for all of them (there are about 25). So one by one, you pulled each one out (they are written on popsicle sticks), handed it to me, listened to me read it to you, and then you prayed for it. All twenty-five.
- Now, just to keep it real, you do love to pray and read your Bible, but you certainly know how to get into mischief. I won't air all of your sins for the whole world to see, but lets just say that if things go too quiet for too long, we know we better start looking. Someday years from now when you're reading this, make sure to ask me about a certain incident involving the cupcakes for your birthday party last week!
- You are pretty sure you are big enough to do everything Anna Kate does. She is playing soccer this fall, and Daddy finally gave in and went out and got you your own soccer ball too! You have some pretty good dribbling and shooting skills! Your pitching and batting was pretty decent too back in the spring when AK was doing t-ball. And I'm just going to have to start getting more serious about violin with you too because every time Anna Kate and I have a lesson, you're right there wanting a turn.
- Although you do love to participate, you are also a great cheerleader. You love to go watch Anna Kate's soccer games and cheer (extremely loudly) for her and her team. You get really excited when we go to see our youth play volleyball or football too!
-You are a little bit timid when it comes to thunderstorms or fireworks or other loud noises, but you are quite the daredevil otherwise. You love to run and climb and jump all over the place!

Caroline, you are our joyous song of hope, our Bear, our Caresy Hope, our Line Line, our Liney Bear, and we are so thankful that God placed you in our family three years ago. You are constantly making us laugh with your little sense of humor, and you are the best snuggler ever! We just love you with all of our hearts. Happy 3rd birthday!

And how about a trip down birthday memory lane?!?

Caroline's BIRTHday!


1st Birthday


2nd Birthday

3rd Birthday!

  (Yes, she came up with that sassy little pose all by herself!)

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