Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Family Christmas date.

One of my favorite nights of the year is our family Christmas date! I love looking at the lights together. I really hope it's a tradition our girls think of fondly when they are older. It's so special to me! Sometimes it still strange to me that I'm actually a parent- like in my mind I think I should still just be babysitting in high school. It's such an honor and blessing to parent these girls and to establish traditions together. 

We visited the ice cream capital of the world and had some delicious treats! 

This picture looks super dark once uploaded, but I sure love my girls!

This is our favorite spot to go look at lights. It's one property with tons of walking paths through it. There are so many and it's very intricate. What a labor of love for them to set this all up, and it's free! It's a Christmas highlight for our family for sure! So fun to take pictures at the same spots each year.

Merry Christmas! Hope you are having a joyous holiday season. Thankful to celebrate Jesus coming!

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Sledding and Kindermusik visitor day.

Lucy and Ellory had visitor day at their Kindermusik class! They have been going since they were one, and they will "graduate" at the end of this school year. Norah went too! It's such a great program- all three of our girls have really enjoyed it and have learned so much about music and interacting in a group setting. In the younger classes, parents stay in the class, but in the last two years just the kids go, so it was fun to see what they have been learning! Visitor day is like a showcase of all the favorites they have been learning (like playing songs on the glockenspiel, playing different songs that have different rhythms that they clap on rhythm sticks, playing different instruments for piano and forte in a song, etc.). My MIL, Kley's grandma, and my grandma were all able to come with also, so it was special!

They both did a great job! So fun to watch! This was a song that had a rhythm to practice in it. This rhythm was ta, ta, ta, shh, like quarter note, quarter note, quarter note, rest, and they are trying not to wake the bear and they each got to take turns pretending to be the bear sleeping and then waking up and scaring everyone at the end. Such a neat way to learn while including movement and making it so fun!

Showing us what they've learned on the glockenspiels.

Singing songs.

We also got a lot of snow one day and the girls were excited to go sledding! It will be warmer again next week so it's already melting, but I'm sure we will get plenty more this winter. Norah and Lucy loved it. Ellory wasn't so sure. She went down one time with Kley and that was it. She was happy to be there and play in the snow and watch, she's just not a thrill seeker. She is perfectly content sitting and eating snow, ha!

We went to the "big" hill- it's hard to tell in the picture, but it's pretty steep and fast! We will probably come back to this one a time or two more, but will visit a smaller hill too so Ellory will like it more and so it's not so hard to walk up the steep hill after. It was a fun afternoon! Kley is such a fun dad at activities like this- he flies down the hill all wild and goofy and the girls eat it up. 

Activities that only fall into one season (like sledding) make me so happy because it's such a fun tradition that we can only do during a brief period of the year! Happy winter!

Monday, December 20, 2021

Disney on Ice!

We surprised the girls with tickets to Disney on Ice and it was amazing. They were so excited and had so much fun. It's a huge gift to be able to do special events like this sometimes and to spend quality time treasuring our girls. A super special Saturday, for sure! 

We drove through the lights at Falls Park on the way home too, so beautiful!

Friday, December 17, 2021

Lucy and Ellory recently.

Lucy and Ellory are 4.5! Watching them grow is such a joy. We are trying to treasure the in between, where they seem so old and grown up sometimes, but still small at other times. They are in 4-year-old preschool this year and it's going so well. Their teachers are wonderful, and they are in the same building as last year with a lot of the same classmates, so it was an easy transition. They have a letter of the week and do lots of fun activities with that, and are learning many letters and sounds. They are also in preschool Sunday school and Kindermusik. This is their last year of Kindermusik, and they recently started the glockenspiel unit where they get to take it home and practice. They are learning the basics of the C scale and quarter notes, eighth notes, and rests. It's a great precursor to learning other instruments later! We go to the preschool story time at the library too, which is a fun weekly highlight.

Both are still wearing 5T clothes, and Lucy is wearing a size 10 shoe and Ellory a size 11. Lucy basically falls asleep as her head hits the pillow and is usually the first one up. She will occasionally take a little catnap here and there, especially if we are in the car, but most days doesn't nap. Ellory is usually the last up in the morning and it's extremely rare that she would nap. Ellory still sleeps in a pull up, but is doing SO good in the BM department. So proud! We are so grateful she is where she is with that- she goes very normally and you'd never know, looking now, the road to get here! Ellory also wears her glasses amazingly well. Both mostly sleep through the night- yay! Ellory will very occasionally wake up, but it's rare. Lucy occasionally wakes up, but has gotten much better. They both still suck their thumbs, more so at night and when tired.

Lucy can have a wild streak and taunt her sisters, but she's also pretty sensitive. She loves to cuddle when calm, but is a mover and a shaker when on the go. She loves to make crafts and asks almost daily for many crafting supplies. She loves puzzles! She sleeps with the same two animals every night. She is a great helper and enjoys doing things for herself independently. She loves to color, play dolls/family/restaurant, play-doh, Barbies, play outside, and play music. Lucy just had an ear infection but handled it like a champ!

Ellory loves to play, but also likes to have a few minutes alone sometimes too. She likes to read books and loves her pink blanket on her bed. She loves to pretend to be animals, most often a puppy, kitty, or nice wolf. She likes to play house/dolls with Lucy and Norah and is usually the baby. She loves to ride the easy rider outside, color, Paw Patrol, set up restaurant, and figurines. She has been asking a lot of questions about God lately!

Another recent highlight was getting a new cousin- sweet baby Gerrit Guthmiller was born on 10/25/21. Also, Lucy was Rapunzel and Ellory was Belle for Halloween, so cute! Both of their smiles light up the room! So thankful for both of you and that you are in our family! We pray often that Jesus will live in your hearts someday. We love you!

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Norah recently.

Norah is in first grade! We are so thankful she is in a good school environment and is doing well. Going to school was an adjustment for awhile, as we expected, but she was and is brave and we are proud of her for doing hard things and trying her best! Even when she was scared to go and missed us, she did it and it got better and better. She has a very calm and friendly teacher this year and we think she's great for Norah. She is learning a lot and it's so fun to see her learn to read more and more. We recently had conferences, and overall she is doing well and we are so proud! Her teacher said she is a joy to have in class. Going to school all day has definitely been Norah's biggest life happening! She has been doing so well on her spelling tests, and proud of her for taking responsibility of doing her small reading homework after school.

Norah turned seven last month. She had a Lego Ninjago party and was excited about it. It was fun to celebrate with family, and Norah had the girls from her Sunday school class and school class over for a party, with her first pinata! She was also a Ninja for Halloween. Norah had her seven year wellness check and was 54 lbs. (67%) and 50.5” (88%). She is wearing size 1 shoes now, and still in M/8 clothes. She has lost four teeth, but hasn't lost another in awhile. So far this fall she's had croup and an ear infection, but thankful to be mostly healthy! She still wakes in the night occasionally, but mostly sleeps through- yay!

Norah started piano lessons in June. She has weekly lessons and has to practice a few times a week. She's doing well! It's fun to hear her memorize the C scale notes and learn more and more songs. She's playing in her Christmas book now and I love it! Practicing isn't always at the top of her list, and it was rough for a bit as she was also adjusting to school, but most days now go pretty well. I'm excited for her to have the benefits of knowing how to play the piano as she gets older. She is also in first grade Sunday school. Her and Kley are going to do a duet at the Christmas program!

A favorite treat for Norah is going to the indoor pool. She has been loving having a desk in her room and likes to copy books. She has filled many pages with book copies and words that she knows how to write! She likes to color/craft, play dolls and Barbies, play house/family, listen to music, and find nature treasures outside. Another joy recently was getting a new cousin- sweet baby Gerrit Guthmiller was born on 10/25/21. Norah, watching you grow is a joy and we love supporting you and encouraging you! So thankful you are in our family! We pray you continue to grow in your love for Jesus more and more. We love you! 

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Recent reads.

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart- This book is about a distinguished family who owns houses on a private island and spends their summers there. There are four teenagers who hang out together, two of them in a relationship. There's a lot of behind the scenes issues. It goes back and forth between the current summer and flashbacks, and trying to figure out the struggles of the main character. The ending was quick, culminating, and shocking. This book was okay to me- not the best, not the worst. It was interesting enough to finish though.

Raising Worry Free Girls: Helping Your Daughter Feel Braver, Smarter, and Stronger in an Anxious World by Sissy Goff- This book was amazing, so very good. I realize that the target audience of this book is much smaller than the regular book, but if you have a younger daughter who even remotely struggles with or shows signs of anxiety, I would highly recommend this book. Sissy is a Christian counselor, and in her book she talks about worry, how it attacks your brain, and how to fight against it. I love that she is both a Christian and a counselor and could intertwine both of those aspects together. I learned a lot from this book. There is also a workbook for young girls (I think ages 6-12?) that goes along with this, and there is also a book for teens also. This is a great resource and I would definitely recommend this book if it would be helpful to your situation. 

Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris- I don't know what to say about this book. I thought the beginning was intriguing, the middle a bit slow moving, then really picked up at the end. The ending was nuts and I wouldn't say I loved the ending or was satisfied with it, but it definitely left me thinking for awhile, which I guess was the intent? It's about Finn, who was dating Layla, and then she disappeared. Finn is now with Ellen, Layla's sister, and then things start happening to make it seem like Layla was back, or was she? This book was interesting, but hard for me to love because I didn't feel super connected to any character/was confused on who to "root" for.