Sunday, May 25, 2014

Karis gets baptized!

On May 25, Just 3 days after she turned 7 years old, Karis got baptized!  We are so excited to watch her grow in her relationship with God!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Karis Lynn at 7 Years

Oh I cannot believe my first baby is 7 years old!  

Karis Lynn is a sweet, thoughtful, helpful, smart young lady.  We are so proud of the godly young woman she is becoming!

Karis is obsessed with kittens and desperately wants one of her very own.  She daily tells me all the things she would do with her own kitten and how she would take care of it.  

She also loves to read and if she has a book in her hands, I can be sure that she does not hear a word I say!  If we all of a sudden notice that we haven't seen Karis in a while, we can be certain that she is curled up somewhere reading a book.  She also likes to read while going to the bathroom (because it is quiet in there away from her sisters) so if we are in a hurry I have to make sure that she did not take a book with her or she will stay in the bathroom forever.  I am very excited, however, of her love for books!  She loves American girl books,  Little House on the Prairie books, and fairytale stories most of all.

Karis is very excited about any kind of artwork and if she is not reading, I can usually find her at the kitchen table creating something.  Her sisters love to watch her draw and color and paint because she makes up stories about her artwork and she tells them as she creates.  It is so funny to watch Abbi and Karlie crowded around the table just watching and listening to Karis do her artwork.

Karis also loves to "make sets" with their princess castle and dollhouse people and her sisters love to listen to her tell stories about them as well.  I just love her imagination!

Karis still has a tendency to be very shy in new situations.  She will often not smile or talk or even look at people at all in a new situation.  Once she feels comfortable, though, she surprises everyone around her because she is like a totally different person, all smiling and talking and full of energy.  We are working on having good manners and being polite even in new situations but I know that it is hard for her and we try to help her as much as possible.  She is much more comfortable if allowed to stay with Karlie and they can face the new situation together or if we have discussed exactly what is going to happen and she knows exactly what to expect and what is expected of her.

Karis loves being the oldest sister and loves to be in charge more than anything.  They often play "family" or "school" and she is always the Mom or teacher.  She is a "rule-follower" and can't stand it if the others are not.  Most of the time she is very obedient and most of our few battles occur over what is appropriate to wear somewhere, sharing with her sisters, or her attitude when asking for something or complaining about something.  

Karis is our most agreeable eater and can generally be persuaded to eat a reasonable amount of anything in order to get a treat :)   She loves to help me cook and is always so happy when I let her do things by herself.  She loves to make most of dinner and then set the table so she can tell Daddy that she did everything!

Karis loves her Daddy so much and her time with him is very important to her.  If we just have a relaxing evening and forget to "play games" with Daddy before bed, she gets very upset that she didn't get to do anything with Daddy.  And going on a Daddy-date is pretty much the best thing in the world to her!  She has also developed some wonderful friendships this past year at church and at school and I believe these are friendships that will last for years to come!

Karis is such a good big sister and watches out for Susanna very carefully.  She is quick to notify me if there is something on the ground Susanna should not have or if Susanna falls or gets into trouble.  I am very thankful for my big helper!

In so many ways, both in personality and in what she likes to do, Karis greatly reminds me of myself at her age.  It is utterly amazing to watch her grow up!  I love her so much!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Susanna Beth at 1 Year!

It is hard to believe that this sweet girl turned one year old already!  
Susanna is just the sweetest baby girl.  She loves to snuggle, loves to read books, and loves her Pup-pup!  Her first word (and the one she still repeats all day long) was Pup-pup and all her favorite books contain doggies.  Susanna was not yet walking when I took her birthday pictures, but she got the hang of it about 3 weeks later.   She also says "hi" very well and will often say it over and over.

This little girl goes out a lot more than her sisters did at her age.  She typically will sit quietly and shyly in my lap for the first 15 minutes or so and then wants to get down and get into everything!  She is not afraid of other kids and has actually gotten in trouble in the nursery for tackling them.  It is actually because her sisters (Karlie primarily) love it when Susanna climbs on them and they laugh hysterically and Susanna thinks it is so fun.  She has a best little friend, Elena, who we usually get together with at least once a week and often several times more.  None of my other girls had a best buddy so early on and it has been fun to see how excited Susanna gets when she sees Elena.

Susanna Beth loves, loves, loves her people.  If she sees someone she loves, like Daddy or one of her grandparents, she wants them to pick her up immediately!  She pretty much goes crazy til they pick her up.  It has been really fun to be in VA and get to see the grandparents more frequently, even on a weekly basis a lot of times.   I think Susanna is much more attached to her grandparents than the others were at this stage.  She recognized them a lot earlier as well.  The only downfall is that we rarely have to spend the night at their houses, so she utterly refuses to take a nap when we spend the day there! When we lived in NC, the girls got used to visiting about once a month so they slept well in their beds at the grandparents' houses.  Susanna takes a great nap at home, but not anywhere else.

Susanna has a sweet little bear softy that she adores and when she gets tired, she puts her hand by her ear to ask for it (like in the picture below).  That is where she holds her softy while she sucks her thumb when she is tired.  It is so precious.  Susanna is still nursing several times a day and a couple times a night as well.  None of the others were at all interested in nursing much after a year but I think since she never took a paci she will last a lot longer.  That is a really good thing, because she has some eczema on her legs and feet so I am avoiding cow's milk right now (it is known to make eczema worse.)  So she is nursing often and eating just about everything I eat other than dairy.  I am also limiting her grains to ones that I have ground, soaked, and cooked since grains also can cause eczema flare-ups.  Susanna is a great eater and pretty much loves everything I offer her.  I taught Susanna sign language for "more" because she started yelling a lot at the table when she would want more food.  She caught on quickly but only does it with one hand.  It is really funny to see and so much nicer than screaming for more!

Susanna has quite the little personality and I love to hear her chatter.  She gets really excited about books and reading together just about always clears up a fussy spell.

Susanna is figuring out humor and will often laugh when she hears us laughing.  It is a funny little fake laugh with a look on her face that asks if it was the right time to laugh.  It always cracks us up and makes us laugh even harder and then she will grin really big and laugh really loud.  Oh this little girl is so much fun!

We love Susanna Beth so very much!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

And a First Birthday Party, Too!

We celebrated sweet Susanna Beth's birthday a couple days early so the grandparents could all be there.  Susanna didn't know what all the excitement was about, but she was sure happy!

Then she got a little uncertain as her sisters' excitement escalated...

"What is going on, Mama?"

"I'll try this with one finger first"

Her sisters were so excited that she finally got to enjoy chocolate cake that they could hardly stand it!

If the mess on her face tells us anything, I'd say she liked it!

After getting cleaned up, Susanna had fun pushing her sisters around in Karis's new Plasmacar :)

A 7th birthday party!

Karis wanted to celebrate her 7th birthday at the park this year with a handful of favorite friends.  It was so fun to see all those little girls running around and having so much fun together!  It was the perfect spring day and just perfect for a park playdate!  Many thanks to all the friends and family who came and made it such a special day for Karis!