Monday, November 28, 2022

Norah recently.

It's been too long since an update! Norah has grown up so much in the last year it seems. It's an honor to be able to watch her grow up into who God has and is creating her to be. Being her parents is such a blessing.

Norah finished up first grade very well. What a transitional year for her as she adjusted to going to school each day. It was a big year and we are proud of how brave she was and persevered doing hard and new things.

Summer was a fun time! It was special to have full days together again. Norah did softball and did really well. She grew in skill and in motivation/determination. Kley coached and did a great job too! Norah also did a two day tumbling camp (with Lucy and Ellory) and a four day golf camp. Norah golfed with Kley numerous times and he said she was completing a few holes entirely on her own! Norah also did swimming lessons and completed level four. She is a very good swimmer and can swim in the deep independently (while being watched closely still), and does the slide and diving board solo. Norah really enjoys swimming!

Spring/summer had some bumpy moments too because Norah had tubes/adenoids surgery in June. She was pretty nervous about it in the weeks leading up to it, understandably, but she did it and was so brave surgery day. Glad it's over for her! The doctor said both of her ears were completely full of fluid and she was probably hearing like you were speaking to her with your hand over your mouth, poor girl! I think this has also helped her reading too, of course being able to hear more clearly. She has really taken off and we are amazed at how much she has improved in a year. She is enjoying reading and it's so encouraging to see her free read just because she wants to!

In March, we went to Disney with the De Jongs- what an amazing trip! We were supposed to go in 2020 shortly after everything shut down, but I'm thankful it worked out to go this year instead because the girls were at such good ages for it. We had a wonderful trip and are thankful for the special times we got to have. Watching the girls' eyes light up was incredible! In June, we got to go to Brainerd, MN with the Schuts and had a fun few days by a lake. Grateful for family time!

Norah lost two more teeth, so now she's up to 8 lost. She lost her top right lateral incisor on 5/15/22 and her top left lateral incisor on 5/24/22. She had her 8 year old wellness check- she's a healthy and growing girl! She is 52.75” (85%) and 64 lbs (75%). Norah is wearing L/10 clothes and size 2 shoes. She switched clothes sizes in the spring and has been going up a shoe size before school each summer. She is doing really well at sleeping through the night, and she's going to bed a lot better this year too, having less anxiety about going to school. She is still taking piano lessons this year. While practicing is not her favorite thing, she does pretty well most days and it's been a good lesson for her to practice responsibility and persevering through things you don't always want to do but need to. Hearing her start to practice Christmas songs again this year is my favorite. She is also enjoying second grade Sunday school. Norah is very responsible in doing her homework each day- she has a spelling sheet and reading comprehension sheet that comes home on Monday, and she does it right away to get it done. She has a leveled reading book to read each night too. She is excellent at studying her spelling words and does quite well on her tests.

A very fun addition is new cousin Margo! She was born on 10/18/22 (shares a birthday with Daddy!) at 6:38am, 19.5” and 6 lbs 15 oz. So excited for a new cousin! Norah is a loving cousin and enjoys being around and helping with younger kids. She's very gentle and sweet with them. We've helped in the nursery at church a few times lately too, and Norah does a great job. Last year at the beginning of first grade, Norah loved to write lists of all the words she could spell, and now she's writing her own chapter books! Each chapter is about a page long and it's fun to hear her latest stories. She loves to play with her American Girl dolls/barbies/playmobil princess castle, write/color, ride bike, play outside, listen to music, play house or school, and chew gum.

Norah recently turned 8! We had quite the month of October celebrating. The first weekend, we got to celebrate with the Schuts, and celebrated with De Jongs the second weekend. The third weekend, we did our family celebration with Culvers, ice skating, and a movie, and her actual birthday weekend she had a friend party at the pool with a few families. She chose a butterfly theme and it was cute. Halloween was right after that and Norah was Mirabel (from Encanto). The girls also did the NWC dance camp for a day where they got to cheer with the cheerleaders for the first quarter of the football game. Norah also got her ears pierced as a birthday present! She had been talking about it for a couple months and she was nervous but so happy to have them when it was done! What a fun month!

It makes me tear up how much Norah has grown in this last year. From reading, surgery, going to school so well, and handling big emotions, she has learned so much and we are so proud of her. What a beautiful girl, inside and out, and we thank God everyday for the gift of Norah.

Monday, November 21, 2022

(A very early) Christmas, new cousins, and cousin birthdays.

What a fun weekend in Des Moines! My whole family was able to get together, which is always a treat. We celebrated Christmas! Super early, I know, but my SIL recently had a baby, and my sister is due in December, so we did our family Christmas in between the babies. A pretty great reason to have to rearrange Christmas plans- love new nieces/nephews!

Christmas supper!

Whole family shots, my favorite! You can see Rose (far left), holding our newest niece/cousin! Margo Masaki Schut was born 10/18, so she shares a birthday with Kley! She was born at 6:38am, 19.5" and 6 lbs 15 oz. She's beautiful! Unfortunately, Lucy was coming off a bout of sickness, and all the girls were coughing, so we didn't get to hold her this trip, but we definitely admired her from across the room! We love you Margo!

Sweet cousins and matching Christmas pajamas! :)

We also got to have the cutest puppy party for my niece Averie, turning two! So cute, we love you Averie!

Many joys this weekend and much to be thankful for!

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Brittany's wedding!

One of my college roommates, my dear friend Brittany, got married last weekend! It was so special to be there. It was in Denver, so it was a quick trip filled with mostly travel (Kley and the girls stayed home), but the few hours we got to celebrate Brittany and be together with college friends I don't get to see often was very special. Congratulations Rob and Brittany- so happy for you and grateful that God brought you together! 

Kristin, Brittany, and Jackie are my closest friends from college and it's a joy and treat to still stay in touch with them today! Thankful for sweet friends!

Monday, November 14, 2022

Cheer camp 2022.

The girls (all three of them this year since it starts in K) got to go to cheer camp at our local college! I think they all had a great time and they enjoyed being with a few friends from school. They learned some cheers in the morning, had a pizza party for lunch, and cheered with the cheerleaders during the first quarter of the football game in the afternoon. Lucy said, "Wait, there's going to be REAL football players there playing while we cheer?" So cute.

Ellory was definitely one of the loudest girls cheering. We could hear her voice out of the crowd sitting in the stands, ha! Lucy waved at us almost constantly, so many waves. :)

Norah knew the moves! Can't believe how much she is growing up.

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Halloween 2022.

Happy Halloween! The girls had the day off of school, what fun! We went to the LaunchPAD museum in the morning for something fun. What a neat place- the girls loved the cafe/market and played there for a long time. We got Chick-Fil-A for lunch on the way home, and made it back for trick or treating in the afternoon! Our town does a business trick or treat down Central, which is so nice! It's during the afternoon so it's not dark, and many business participate, so you can just walk up and down one street and make many stops. Perfect for younger kids!

So fun to have a day together off of school, fun morning playing together!

Happy Halloween from Mirabel (from Encanto), monarch butterfly (Ellory was not just a butterfly, she had to tell everyone she was a monarch), and a Dutch cheerleader (or sometimes a Vikings cheerleader too, depending on the day)! 

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Norah's 8th birthday- friend/family butterfly party at the pool.

It was so fun to celebrate Norah's birthday, our girl is 8! This was her first birthday party not at our house. She really wanted to have it at the pool! She had been asking for a long time, and we compromised in inviting a few whole families instead of her whole class (because I didn't feel comfortable being responsible to watch that many kids in the water by ourselves). I think it worked out really well and everyone had fun! We invited a few families of Norah's close friends from school/church. She chose a butterfly theme and it was cute! We are very thankful for the many family and friends who love our girls well!

Lucy didn't want to be in the picture, but here's most of the friends!

Happy birthday Norah! Amma got her an 8 sparkler candle.

Glad Papa and Amma could join!

Being a mom is a wonderful gift. :)

Great Grandma Shirley could join too!

Happy 8th birthday, our sweet Norah. We love you so much and Jesus loves you the most!