Monday, February 8, 2021

Norah recently.

We have a lot to update on since my last one! Norah lost her second tooth, bottom right, on 9/30/2020. Her first one was quick to come out, but this one was slower. It was loose for a couple weeks, but Norah didn't want to pull it or have us pull it either. It eventually was hanging on by such a tiny thread that I told her she needed to pull it or I would, and she went in the bathroom and pulled it! At her six year wellness check, she was 50 lbs. (78%) and 48” (92%), pretty consistent percentages her whole life. So thankful for a growing and healthy daughter! She celebrated her 6th birthday in October and basically had four parties! It was sad we couldn't have a big party all together because of COVID, but it was a special birthday and Norah had a great time celebrating and that's what counts! We celebrated in Des Moines with the Schut side, and at home with the De Jong side, as a family, and she had a few friends over for a Frozen 2 party. So fun to celebrate our Norah!

Norah started kindergarten in late August. She went to our local elementary school for three weeks and we made the decision to homeschool for the rest of the year. Many factors went into this decision, but mainly it was just that we felt God leading us to that. Going to school was a tough transition for everyone in the family. Everyone missed each other and Norah said the days were really long, but she was doing better and we think she would have adjusted fine had we kept her there. It was hard to send our first child to school during COVID. The school was doing their best and we don't fault them, but it was hard to not be allowed in the school at all. I would have loved to be the room mom, walk her to her class, and go have lunch sometimes. We prayed a lot about it and talked to other homeschool families in the area, and felt His leading that this was the best decision for our family for right now. We loved her school and teacher and had no issues with that, and we don't plan to homeschool forever so she will be back there someday. We are waiting until the end of the school year to make an official decision about next year. All in all, we don't regret homeschooling for this year. It's been good for our family and nice to have some extra time together. It's fun to see her learning firsthand. Overall it's been good. There are advantages and disadvantages to all methods of learning.

On the homeschool front, Norah read her first short book the other day- how amazing! Way to go, Norah! Her homeschool unit has a letter and Bible concept for each week, like this week is E for elephant and the Bible concept is “I will remember what God has done for me.” It's neat how it all ties together. They mix a lot of things into it and each day of the week is the same ideas, just changed up for the new letter and concept. We are liking it! There are two other girls that go to our church that are doing homeschool kindergarten also (the same curriculum) that we have over for playdates sometimes too, which is fun to try to keep friendships and peer interaction happening.

Norah is doing tumbling on Thursday nights, and she seems to like it! They did a Christmas show via zoom and Norah did a wonderful job. She knew all the moves and did them with confidence! Norah also participated in our church's Christmas program and did very well with that too. She sang and knew all the words/actions. She goes to kindergarten Sunday school also and seems to enjoy it.

We had a rough time for awhile late fall/early winter with attitude and tantrums, but Norah has been doing much better lately and we are thankful. A beautiful aspect that came out of hardship is Norah has been coming to us with genuine remorse and apologizing several different times after a hard moment. She is very sweet and has been a great helper lately. She loves to get the laundry from the dryer and bring it up, take the groceries inside from the car, etc. and asks me sometimes what she can do to help me. Love her kind heart! She loves to play with Lucy and Ellory (of course it's not always peaceful, but most of the time they get along well). She loves to play with her Barbie house she got for her birthday, and has been testing out her new bike when she can that she got for Christmas. Norah loves to color, play school and family, play-doh, paint, play outside, magna-tiles, write on her clipboard, watch a lego ninja show on her ipad, and has recently been loving listening to music (playing different songs on a few of Kley's itunes playlists on his desktop computer). She has some typical oldest child qualities, just like her mom!

Norah switched to a size 13 shoe at the beginning of the school year, and in December switched to M/8 clothes. I was originally going to wait until Spring to change to the next size, but she was growing and needed it! Fun to get some new outfits. Norah sometimes takes awhile to fall asleep, but oh well! She has been doing much better at sleeping through the night. Occasionally she will wake up to use the bathroom, but most nights sleeps all night. She does a great job of playing quietly in her room during rest time.

Two other fun highlights were that Norah was Gabriella from High School Musical (and Daddy was Troy!) for Halloween, and she got to meet new cousin Averie over Christmas. Norah, you are a treasure and we love spending time with you. You are beautiful, sweet, loving, funny, beautiful, and full of joy. We are so blessed having you as a daughter!


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