There is just something about stuffed animals, laundry baskets, blankets, and books that draw my kids attention. I guess the book is better when your body is crammed in a laundry basket filled with stuffed animals and blankets!
Six, as I think that Karis is six, this small three letter word holds a huge chunk of time. Already, I have seen her grow so much, from an infant to a toddler, to a now truly BIG girl. She no longer needs me to help her do things, in fact, one of her favorite things to do is unload the dishwasher! (I do still have to tie her shoes, we are working on that!)
Karis is so much like me, she likes a schedule. She wants me to "tell her about the day" at night before bed so that she will know what to expect the next day. She doesn't like to deviate from our plan, but is ready in to time to make a quick trip to the store. I love watching her interact with Noah. She is patient with him, encourages him in whatever he is doing, and shares "most" of her things with him with a happy heart. In fact, she bought a gift for him for her birthday, what a thoughtful girl!
Karis also enjoys dancing and being silly. Her giggles are contagious even though they are only around us, she is still very shy around other people. She keeps me laughing most of the day, and she is a fantastic helper around the house. I am thankful for that! It is a joy to cook dinner with her especially when she wants to help, she mostly likes to help with the baking, who can blame her!
I have seen you grow in your knowledge of our Savior this year, you are starting to put names to your sins and Mommy's. I am thankful that you enjoy listening to the Bible and memorizing God's Word. I pray that God will continue to open your heart to Him and draw you into His flock.
Karis you are a treasure and blessing to us. I cannot imagine life without your quirky smile, sweet giggles, big hugs, and your presence. I love you more than words can express. I am grateful for these last six years, and I can't wait to see what God has in store for the next six.
Here are a few pictures that sum up this last year:
We woke up Sunday morning after Christmas to a very DEEP winter wonderland. This was the second time it snowed this winter, the first time, the kids and I were in Texas. Around 10:00am, we decided to venture out into this abyss of snow, and an abyss it was, especially for little legs like Noah's and Calvin's! (Note to self: having a pair of snow boots might be a good idea when it has snowed every year that you have lived here in NC.) By the way, I did get us some last week, hopefully the snow will visit us again soon. This was the first time Noah really enjoyed himself. As you will see from the pictures, the snow was up to his thighs. Calvin won the prize for funniest looking dog EVER! I had not idea that the snow would stick to his legs like it did!
We got 8 and a half inches of snow.
Karis and I made snow angels, while Calvin and Noah tried to stay on their feet. Pour Calvin looked like he was trudging through a trench, but he loved it. He was prancing around the whole time.
In case you were wondering about the title of the post, "Deep in the Heart of Texas," is a very familiar song sung by Texans. I like the play on words since the snow was so deep, and like I have said, I still have a lot of Texas left in me!
Our family opened all our presents on Christmas Eve. That is the tradition in our house, leaving our stockings for Christmas morning. We all got some great gifts as you can tell by Karis' expression in the collage!
We spent the rest of Christmas Eve playing and learning about our new toys. I was so thankful for my new Bible, the spine of my other one was coming off. Before we opened gifts, Justin told the kids the Christmas story using out "Little People" nativity set and Lori's hand puppets that she made Karis a few years ago. (I love to watch my kids engage with Justin when he speaks God's Word to them, they seem to really listen and focus when he teaches them. What a blessing and joy for me!).
Wise men bowing down to the Savior!
On Christmas day, we ate some yummy cinnamon rolls for breakfast, played with our new toys, and hung out together. After lunch, the kids helped me make Jesus' birthday cake, as in another one of our traditions. I decided to just let them take over all the decorating without any help or guidance, that was a little tricky for me since I like decorating cakes. The finished product turned out pretty good I might add!
eating the decorations and decorating the cake
Happy Birthday Jesus!
One of Justin's Christmas presents was a fire pit. We gave it to him early so we have been enjoying it most of December. We have made smores, sat and talked, and the kids' favorite thing is throwing pine cones in the fire to see the flame go up!
As our new tradition, the kids and I went to Texas for a week before Justin came. We stayed with my parents first and enjoyed lots of time with Papa John, Amma, Aunt Tanya, Madison, and Brooklynn. Unfortunately my brother was busy working most of the time, so we only got to see him twice. He did however win the best present award for Noah's birthday: "monster truck Mater," as Noah calls it. It is always a joy just hanging out at my folks house, since they have a tractor and four wheeler. We watched Madison play softball, had Brooklynn spend the night, and simply spent time just being "together." Of course, we did some outlet shopping and made a Target run, but the time was relaxing and so much fun.
The first few days the weather was a little chilly, so we made a fire and roasted smores with the cousins. Karis and Noah both rode tractor with Papa John.
Noah learning to drive the tractor!
Fun times hanging with the cousins
My parents threw Noah and Karis a birthday party that Saturday. My best friend growing up, Mandy, came and brought her two boys. It was a wonderful time of catching up and seeing our kids play together. Thanks for coming Mandy, I so loved seeing you girl! My two great aunts and Aunt Debbie also came to the party.
Karis, Henry(Mandy's oldest), and Noah
The kids opening their birthday gifts.
The kids being picked up by the "backhoe," as Noah called Papa John's tractor.
We picked Justin up from the airport on Wednesday the next week and headed to Orange to visit his family. We had four full days of fun and spending time with his family.
We did Christmas first on Thursday night along with his Mamou.
A night of fun and loving on the family, including Roxy (Pop Pop and Grammy's dog).
Friday, we had family pictures taken by one of Courtney's friends. He did a fantastic job capturing the kids personalities.
Karis driving Pop Pop "old truck."
Smile for the camera!
Noah loving his Pop Pop
After pictures, we went to a pizza place for Noah's birthday party, because this was his actual birthday! (He had three parties this year!) Of course, Aunt Courtney made his party a Cars/ Monster truck theme!
Saturday, Mamou, Courtney, Justin, the kids and I went to Shangri La, a botanical garden and nature center in Orange. They had fun Christmas activities for the kids to do and the flowers are always beautiful to look at.
At Shangri La, Noah wasn't too sure about the owl staring at him!
Sunday was Grammy's birthday, at we all went to church together. Lisa, Grammy's daughter, made a surprise visit to her that morning. It was sweet and nice to see Lisa and for her surprising Grammy like that.
Another family photo: Lisa in toe this time!
Thanks to both families, our trip was fun, memorable, and we came home with two extra full suitcases! Christmas always comes early, and it seems like the kids opened gifts all of December. I am sure this is also because Noah's birthday is in December too! We love all of you and are thankful you are our family.