Sunday, August 30, 2015

Violet turns 4!

Ok I have to confess--I'm writing these birthday posts about 4 months late this year.  Life gets busy!!!   Rather than try to remember exactly how Violet was 4 months ago, I will write about how she is today.

Dear Violet,

As I always do, I just finished reading your birthday post from last year.  I'm all emotional just realizing how much you've grown up!!!  I can tell that last year I still saw you as a very little girl...but I now see you as a very big girl!  Many things are still the same.  You are sweet, but strong. Very determined and independent, while still hanging on your mommy at times.  Mostly, I have seen a huge growth in maturity this past year.  Our power struggles have diminished considerably (especially in the past couple of months).  I think we are understanding each other much more and gaining a lot of patience along the way!

Violet you are still a wonderful sister to both Sawyer and Isla.  So caring and nurturing with little Isla, and so rowdy and creative with Sawyer.  They both need you and love you so much.  You and Sawyer still share a room, but things have changed a bit this year.  Sawyer started school, so you and Isla have had more time together--which has been really fun to watch.  Sawyer's bus stop is just around the corner, so I would often let you choose whether you wanted to stay home and watch cartoons or walk to the bus stop with us.  It didn't take you long to realize that it was not fun going out in the cold dark mornings.  So we had about a 6 month hiatus from bus stop trips.  When the weather changed, you decided to come along again.  But you were almost always excited to go pick up Sawyer when he got home.

You love your daddy. He loves to make you laugh and have Avatar battles in the living room with you.  He has also helped you become a pretty decent Wii player. And daddy took you on a couple of campouts with the scouts this year.  You loved every minute of running around in the outdoors and doing all the fun camping things.  You're a pretty well-rounded little girl!

We started up an at-home preschool this year, which you've loved, where we take turns having it at each kids' house and learning a different letter.  You have proven to be a wonderful student, Violet.  Primary, preschool, dance--whatever it is you put on your listening ears and pay close attention.  It's so refreshing for mommy and I'm very grateful for your calm demeanor in public settings.  I never have to worry about your behavior.  You started Primary this year and you love it.  You love to sing the songs, but you get a little shy when it comes to talking in front of the primary.  Although you blew us away during your dance recital this year.  You were literally the only girl in your class who knew the routine and you didn't seem to suffer from an ounce of stage fright!!  You rocked it!  (speaking of rocking it--you told us at FHE one night that you didn't want to go on a mission because you wanted to be a rockstar--hahaha)

You have also spent a lot of time with friends from church.  You love a good play date, and can make-believe like none other. I can usually count on you asking for a friend to come over or to go to someone's house.  We try to make it happen as often as we can!

You have become a pickier eater over the last year.  I'm convinced that kids are picky around 3-5 yrs old.  Sawyer was very similar.  Thankfully you still do pretty well, although you won't be found anywhere near tomatoes and bell peppers.  Oh and you don't like vanilla ice cream either--only strawberry.  There is one thing that hasn't changed a bit--you still ask for snacks about every 30 minutes.  So we are trying to understand what constitutes a healthy snack these days :).  (if i had a nickel for every time we argued that fruit snacks were not a healthy 'snack')  Favorite Foods: probably chips and salsa, chicken nuggets, or pizza--i guess we'll throw cucumbers in there too ;)

You are still mommy's little helper.  If you see me get the windex out, you jump to help wash the windows. Watering the flowers is another favorite chore.  Cleaning up the room and/or playroom is another story, but if you like the task at hand then you are very helpful!  And you even help me exercise sometimes.  I love to see you join in when I'm working out.  It makes the work out so much more enjoyable for me :).

Violet, you have the best laugh ever!  That combined with your cute raspy voice and your sweet personality, you're just a joy to have around.  We all love you so much, Boogin!  I hope I never forget the wonderful feeling of your cheek snuggling up to mine.  You always initiate it, and it warms my heart every time.  You are polite, loving, determined, and full of life.  Thank you for bringing all of you to our family!  We wouldn't be the same without you.


Weight  36 lbs (60%)
Height  39 in (39%)
BMI 16.5 (81%)

This was hilarious to me.  Discovered as I went to turn your light off...

These next few are from Violet's preschool group...

Because we were in England for Violet's birthday, I decided to throw her a 'tea party' a week later. She had been asking me for a Brave cake all year (even though she doesn't like the movie because she thinks it's scary).  So I obliged.  Actually one of the easiest cakes i've made so far!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Holland: Cheese, Clogs, Roller Coasters

We stayed in a place called EuroCamp during our stay in Holland.  It was AMAZING.  We had no idea it would be so awesome.  We got an incredibly good deal on the 2 nights there.  The trailer we stayed in was brand new and had plenty of room for our family.  There was an amusement park and an indoor water park associated with the place, and entrance was included in everything!  Seriously one of the best weekend trips we have had, because the kids had fun things to do and nothing was expensive.  Sawyer rode his first upside down roller coaster and LOVED it!!  We got the BEST video footage of his face as we went down the vertical drop.  So after our day in Keukenhof on Friday, we woke up Saturday and made our way to the Cheese and Wooden Shoe factory.  It was really interesting to see how the shoes and cheese were made.  And the best part--cheese samples!!  Yum!  After a full morning of that, we went back to the camp and spent the rest of the day at the amusement and water parks.  Seriously a blast.  On Sunday we found a Dutch branch to attend, which is always a fun experience.  I just love that we can find the church wherever we go.  We were going to go see the windmills on our way home, but the weather was really crummy on Sunday and everyone was ready to go, so we didn't do that.  Maybe next time. We talked the whole way home about how we needed to do another EuroCamp vacation.