Friday, April 4, 2014

Happy 7th Birthday, G-Bear!

Dearest G-Bear,

Happy seventh birthday to you, sweet girl!  I remember how, just a few days after you turned six years old, you announced to me that you couldn't wait until your seventh birthday.  Well, the past year has been a whirlwind.  Now, here we are, on this snowy April day, and you are seven!  

The view from our window for G-Bear's 7th Birthday.

We started the day with the traditional birthday breakfast: cereal, whipped cream and sprinkles.  You chose your bright pink dress to wear for your out-of-uniform day, and you brought mini roll-ups as a treat to share with your friends.  I loved trying the tongue tattoos on the roll-ups with you when we picked you up from school -- we giggled and giggled!  

These are a few of my favorite memories from the past year:

April....We weathered snow and sickness all month long, but that couldn't keep you down.  You are so excited for your baby sister to arrive.  You help decorate a birthday cake for my birthday and left a sweet message for the baby on the deck with chalk: "welcome home, new baby. Love, G-Bear and E-Bear."  

May....When you wake up in the morning, J-Bear arrives home to greet you before you go to school!  Oh, you were so excited to meet her.  You sat and just looked at her for so long.  You were thrilled to share the news at school, and soon you are sharing that your favorite thing to do is to hold your baby sister.  This month you are busy: you are helping Papa in his garden, helping me shop the consignment sales, helping us shop for plants at the plant sales, and helping Dad by cutting the grass with your scissors before he buys a mower.  You are a lovely butterfly for your Garden Party at school.  Your Mother's Day program made me feel so special.  We both beamed with pride as you sang "You are my sunshine" and sat next to each other for the sing along.  I am so glad that you love story time as much as I do.  

June....Time to say good-bye to Kindergarten and say good-bye to the half-day school day!  We start swimming lessons outside right away, and you are cheerful everyday despite your blue lips.  We have a wonderful time listening to our new Truck Tunes DVD and visiting construction sites around the neighborhood.  We weather the summer storms together, like the night you and Daddy got stuck in the garage together because of the pounding rain and wind.  Oh, how high the compost tree pile was the next day!  You look so lovely in your new summer dresses.  We're enjoying all the meals from family and friends as we get used to the summer routine with Baby J-Bear.  You are starting to read to me during story time, simple word stories, and my heart wants to leap I am so excited for you.  

July.... Fourth of July is at the Cabin with Cousins B, E and P, who love to take you canoeing, fishing and swimming.  Uncle S takes you for a tractor ride!  You are decked out for the fourth parade and watch fireworks with Daddy from GGs porch.  The University Quad across the street is like your backyard.  We're enjoying lunchtime picnics and evening trips to visit the fountain.  You love to chase Buddy Bear around and around as he giggles with glee!  In Boston with your cousins, you enjoyed visiting Plymouth Plantation, watching Mary Poppins, running and playing Badminton in the yard.  

August...We finish the fifth story in the Little House on the Prairie series!  By now, we are all hooked, but we'll have to read other books now until we get the next ones.  I love to hear you and E-Bear playing Pa, Laura and Almonzo together.  You enjoy our late summer walks through the neighborhood and to the river.  Our lazy August days are filled with fun, imagination, gardening, reading, and patio dinners.  Then, we're off to Hilton Head, where you loved riding in the back of the bike cart, digging in the sand, swimming and sleeping in the loft with your cousins.  You turn me down on my offer to homeschool this year.  You are too excited to return for first grade!

September... You take the State Fair by storm again this year.  Your favorites are the kiddie rides, the Pronto Pups, the Little Hands Farm and the Alphabet Forest.  Then, it's time for first grade!  You can hardly wait.  You jump right in with Mrs. Tracy and a new group of friends.  I can't wait for you to get home in the afternoon, so that we can read Stuart Little and do arts and crafts in the backyard sunshine together.  You always have a big hug ready for your siblings when you get home.  

October...There is a chill in the air, and most of your winter clothes no longer fit!  We are reading Charlotte's Web and harvest the last of our garden together before the frost.  You are an awesome speller so far and admit that you love to get 100% on your weekly spelling tests.  You don't know it yet, but you'll get all your words right this year.  It is hard to talk to Daddy in spelling code now, however, because you try to sound out the words!  It is a treat to have you home for a long MEA weekend, though, so we can enjoy outings like the Children's museum and the library as a family.  For Halloween this year, you make your own costume, a white cat, and break all candy records with your brothers racing with you through MoMo's neighborhood.    

November...It is a super All Saints again this year, as we color our Armor of God paper dolls and talk about heroes of the Church.  As we collect the last of the fallen leaves, you and E-Bear have a wonderful time running and jumping in to the piles.  You are a huge help at the compost site, dumping bags of leaves with me.  We had our first family outing to a Minnesota Chick-fil-a.  We had missed it so much!  We enjoy a new family tradition of remembering departed family members with special meals on Fridays in November.  You remind me that "Thanksgiving" is a compound word, and we have a very special Thanksgiving at the cabin, filled with crafts, cooking together, a Thanksgiving kids' play and fireworks in town.  

December...Advent arrives, and you and your brothers love sitting in the playroom to listen to the Cat Chat CD.  You are such a wonderful helper, whether helping your brother put on his boots at Chick-fil-a, reading a book to your siblings, stuffing envelopes with Christmas Cards, sprinkling Christmas cookies, cheering for E-Bear at his Lego birthday or helping your siblings turn on the music player in the playroom.  For Christmas, you asked for an American Girl doll, one without glasses.  You were so excited to open Samantha on Christmas morning!  It brought tears to MoMo's eyes to see you enjoy her the way that I had when I was little.  Christmas was also filled with lots of arts and crafts, dressing up and snuggling inside with the cousins to beat the cold weather.

January... We started the New Year with extra snow days off from school.  We love having you home from school, G-Bear!  E-Bear loves to have you home to play during rest time.  I love your cheerful leadership.  Buddy Bear loves to have your sweet, gentle encouragement.  You went to the dentist for the first time and LOVED it.  You wanted to go again!  No cavities, no loose teeth, but that will come soon.  On Tuesday nights, you and E-Bear get to try Basketball school with our neighborhood league.    You are a great listener and a very enthusiastic player.  Daddy loves giving you pointers.  You have great shooting form! We are reading Mrs. Pigglewiggle together, admiring all her good ideas.

February...What a treat it was to watch you enjoy Disney again.  This time around, you loved the rides and were shy when you met characters like Peter Pan and Wendy.  I got to read to your first grade classmates for Love to Read Month.  You were so welcoming to me and so excited to show me all your artwork in the classroom and hallway.  You have had so much fun digging in the snow during recess that your purple mittens have holes!  Way to make the most of the long winter, G-Bear.  You never complain about the cold.  

March...Hello there, Sport of the Month!  We are so proud of you!  You sure showed your sporty side this month.  You learned to ski the bunny hill for the first time in Lutsen.  On our snowshoeing trip, you were a real trooper running through the woods in your snowshoes and then waited patiently for us when you tired out.  You read our daily Lenten Bible verses for us each morning, which is a testament to your great reading.  Look out, because you have your first loose tooth!  You haven't lost it yet, but there is no mistaking a wiggle like that. :)

Darling, you grow more beautiful everyday, inside and out.  Your loving heart toward your friends and siblings makes your Daddy and me so proud of you.  You are thoughtful and compassionate, joyful and enthusiastic.  E-Bear is your best bud.  Buddy Bear adores you and you are so gentle with him.  You are such a dependable helper with Baby J-Bear.  You ask good questions.  Daddy smiles at the way you carefully explain yourself when you are frustrated.  We miss you so much when you are at school, but we know you are working so hard and leaning so much while you are away.  Thank you for brightening our lives with your smile and kind spirit.  We're praying that God will continue to bless your heart and mind with a love for Him and a love for others.

Happy birthday, G-Bear.

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