I can't believe the sweet baby girl that I held in my arms 4 years ago is now no longer a baby...nor a toddler...but a precious little girl. She continues to bless us each day with her love for life, eagerness to learn, sensitivity towards others, twirling-princess-loving personality...witty sense of humor, love for Jesus and constant sensitivity to spiritual things...passion for living in each moment and always making those around her feel special. It's so neat to see so much of myself in her little 4 year old body...but also equally so much of her daddy. She has a love for learning...she begs to do "school" every day...which of course I love!! She is so smart...and loves to be challenged! Many, many days I am truly surprised by how quickly she absorbs things and how bright she truly is. Not sure who she got that from??? Hahaha....I do love working with her...teaching her the basics of her letters, numbers, colors, shapes...Bible stories, verses and so on...but you know most of all, I feel so privileged that the Lord has entrusted her to me to invest my life in her each day. Yes, it's so exciting to know that she loves knowledge and learning...but most of all it is is so rewarding when I see her initiate forgiveness to her brother...or reach out to a little girl on the playground who is playing alone and ask her to join her...or show sympathy towards her cousin who is sick and not feeling well. It's the molding and shaping of her little heart that brings me so much fulfillment.
A few of the things I love most about this special little 4 year old girl...and I wish I could keep them vividly in my mind forever:
-the way she wakes up in the morning and immediately changes into a princess outfit
-the way she freely dances around the house and sings at the top of her lungs totally uninhibited
-the tight hugs she gives me at just the right times to make me feel so loved and cherished
-the twinkly in her eye when she sees daddy's car pull in the driveway after a long days work
-the compassion she shows her brother and the patience she has when helping him learn new things
-the excitement she expresses when she gets to see her She-She, Papa or Mimi after several weeks of being separated
-the smiles on her giddy face when we paint our nails together or put on make-up
-the simple twirls and twists across the house in her ballet outfits
-the carefree jumping on the trampoline
-the eagerness to hear stories of when mommy and daddy were little
-the interested little eyes and hands that help me prepare meals
-the adventurous body who explores playgrounds and would swing all day
-the courage in her eyes when she tried her bycicle for the first time in months since a bad fall
-the proud face showing me her beautiful art piece
-the determination to learn new things and master even the most challenging concepts
-the love for music and singing with her daddy on bed at night as he plays the guitar
-the sweet voice asking a friend to play at the playground...and always introducing herself :)
-the tender heart that defends her brother when others might pick on him
-then sensitive spirit who helps her little cousins try new things
-the sweet voice singing out in church to worship songs...even making up the words if she's unsure
As a mom these days, there is so much pressure to have your child in the best, most "advanced" preschool....or involved in all the sports and activities possible...wearing the most trendy outfits...mastering reading by the age of 4 and so on. And yes, it is fun when you see your child succeed and develop... But, you know I am constantly reminded of...and this sweet girl helps teach me every day...life is not about all that stuff. Life is about loving Jesus with your whole heart and loving others. After only being a mom for 4 years, I can truly tell you that the most rewarding times are when I see fruit in her life from the little bits Jeremy and I pour into her each day. There will be plenty of the "world" thrown at her and plenty of pressures come her way...I just feel so called to be very intentional and deliberate in the time I have with her. I pray each day for grace...Grace to cover up my constant parenting mistakes, grace to forgive when I speak too harshly or respond too quickly...Grace to lavish on my kids when they are imperfect and mess up. I pray also for wisdom...oh, how I need wisdom! Wisdom as I teach, wisdom as I discipline, wisdom as I guide, direct and show love.
Well, I suppose I will end this blog entry as I did the many entries before of my sweet Bella. I will share her typical daily routine...and her growth stats! I know it may not be the most interesting part to those reading...but it sure helps a mamma when I'm looking back and planning for my next children. =)
A typical day in the life of Bella:
8:00 Gym with mommy & brother
9:30 School Time with mommy while brother has quiet room time
11:00ish Play time with brother or errands or a playdate!
1:30 Naps for brother & Rest time for Bella
4:00 Play time/Prepare Dinner
5:30 Dinner with Daddy & Family Time
8:00 Baths, Reading Time and Bed
*Tuesdays are a little different because we have Bible study from 9:30-11:30 and Ballet from 12:30-1:15!
Bella's Growth Stats:
Height 42 inches 85%
Weight 42 lbs 85%
She loves people and loves spending time with her friends! She typically will have 1-2 playdates a week and has recently started going over to her friends houses for longer periods of time which has been fun for her!
Academically, she is soaring! I can hardly keep up with her enough to keep her challenged! She mastered all of her letters this year as well as sounds. She recognizes her numbers 1-10 and most of 1-20. She knows all her shapes and colors. She can write most all of the alphabet as well as numbers 0-9. She just recently started showing in interest in blending her sounds together...which means reading! We started using the Bob books and are on book #5! She loves the challenge and really is catching on quickly. In the past few months, she has really improved in her fine motor skills and coloring skills. She tries so hard to color in the lines. =) We have just a couple more weeks and then we will have finished the 4 year old curriculum (abcjesuslovesme.com and handwriting without tears).
We plan on spending the summer reviewing and then once things settle down after the new baby we will pick up where we have left off in the fall! She's a joy to teach and a delight to see her soaking everything in and blossoming!