Monday, July 27, 2015

Mercedes' 5th Birthday Letter





My Dear Sweet Mercedes,

Today you are five. FIVE! I really cannot believe how fast you're growing. I remember every detail of when I first held you in my arms at the hospital like it was yesterday. I fell in love with you the instant you were born, sweet girl. You are my oldest baby. You are who made me a mommy. You are so very special to me, my love. You are precious. You are absolutely amazing. And I am so, so thankful that I get to be your mommy.


You are such a sweet kid and you truly have a heart of gold. You make my job as a mom so easy. You are cooperative, eager to please, and quick to help with whatever I need you to do. You are sensitive and loving. You really and truly care about people and their feelings. You get your feelings hurt easily and as an introvert you need a lot of alone time. But you love to spend time with your family too, especially playing games and watching movies. You have such a long attention span for learning and for playing. Your favorite thing to do when daddy is home is to play board games as a family, and you have been working so hard learning to read that you now have a big pile of books you can read all by yourself! I am so privileged to get to home school you and be the one to help you learn! I love our time together doing school every day. You are so smart and it's so much fun! I'm incredibly proud of how hard you work doing school and your determination when you are learning something new. I love watching your face light up when you're struggling with something and suddenly you get it. Teaching you is amazing and it's such a joy for me!


You and your sister are best friends. This summer the two of you have had so much fun swimming, riding bikes and playing together. You are starting to enjoy the same movies, toys and games so you always have plenty to do with each other! I know it has not always been easy being Emerald's sister. You have to share me all the time and Emerald has always needed a LOT of attention from me. You have been so patient with me and with her during her baby and toddler years. You have never stopped loving her through all of her tantrum phases when our days were noisy and stressful. You are such an amazing kid for being so kind to her when she's angry and throwing a fit, and not getting mad at me when I have to stop playing with you to help her. I appreciate you so much for that.  I love the way the two of you always look out for each other.  You also like to bother and pick on each other and you drive each other crazy sometimes too. I am doing my best to make sure you treat each other with kindness and respect and you're never mean or hurtful towards each other. I know this is just the beginning of both the love and the drama in your relationship with your sister, and my prayer is that the two of you continue to be best friends as you grow! 

You are my biggest helper. It makes me so happy when you help me cook or clean or take care of your sister with a good attitude. You also help me by having a good attitude when it's time to do something you don't really want to do, like take a bath, turn off your TV show or go shopping when you'd rather stay home. You are so good at saying "okay mom" instead of whining and your good attitude makes me so happy. I appreciate that you take such good care of your dog, too. You feed him and walk him and make sure he always has fresh water. You love to snuggle him and play with him and give him lots of attention so he stays happy. You love taking care of people and animals and you want to be a doctor, a vet or a teacher when you grow up.

You love gymnastics, dancing, cheerleading and swimming. You are a great listener in your classes. You are very strong and determined and such a hard worker! I know you will succeed at whatever you set your mind to. You are excited to join your first dance team this fall!

I love how sensitive you are about spiritual things. You love praying and going to Sunday School and Awana and memorizing Bible verses. We have the best conversations about God. You really use your brain and think things through and you ask me so many great questions. Sometimes I don't have the answers to all of your questions but that's okay. Please keep asking me, and we'll learn together!

I am so thankful for the amazing kid you are turning out to be. I love walking beside you through life and getting to watch you and help you grow. I am so blessed to be your mom. I know God loves me because He gave me YOU! I learn so much from you and from being your mom. You make my job so much fun! And just like you reminded me the other day when I told you I wanted you to stop growing and just stay little, "No matter how big you get, you will always be my baby". And I will always love you and be here for you when you need me, even when you're all grown up with babies of your own!

 I hope this birthday is your best yet. You share everything with your sister 100% of the time, and on your birthday you deserve a special day when all the people who love you get together to celebrate YOU! You are so special and you will always be loved more than you can imagine. Happy Birthday, baby girl. I love you!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Kindergarten Level Readers


Mercedes has been having so much fun reading this summer! She is getting faster and more confident the more she practices. We have been reading at least 3 or 4 of these kindergarten level readers a day. Yesterday she was on a role and we ended up reading 14 throughout the day! I love her enthusiasm for reading. We have a collection of Bob Books, Hooked on Phonics books and books we put together last year from her My Father's World Curriculum. She has read nearly all of them at this point and has her favorites. I try to get her to pick out one or two that she feels really comfortable reading and one or two that are still challenging to read every day. We are reading these along with doing 1-2 pages out of her phonics book every day. 



Monday, July 13, 2015

Tactile Numbers (0-10)


After Emerald finished her tactile letters, we started working on numbers 0-10. She finished these in about 3 days. For some reason she REALLY enjoys putting together these tactile projects. She will do 2-4 of them in one sitting.








Our living room wall is amazing now!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Preschool Workbooks

Emerald has been devouring school books this summer. It wasn't my intention to start doing official preschool with her until fall, but a few months ago she started asking to since her big sister does school every day (Mercedes is working on math and reading throughout the summer). Emerald requested books too, so I started buying little preschool level practice books at the Dollar Tree for her to work on. My mom (who worked at a school last year) gave me a kindergarten level one for Mercedes to do but Emerald begged for it so I gave it to her instead and she loved it! She asks to do them every day. I love how much she loves to learn!