Friday, February 18, 2011

Chloe's 6 year Portraits

With our first "baby" in school this year, we had the option for the first time to get school pictures taken. I opted not to buy any of the school pictures because although they were surprisingly inexpensive, I was worried about the quality of the pictures and how Chloe would look in them. With me not there to supervise, I worried that they would take pictures after recess and her hair would be all tangled and wild (or wet and frizzy) and I would pay for pictures I did not like. I later saw what they looked like and they turned out very cute, but school pictures are quite plain.

Anyways, I enjoy getting yearly pictures of my big kids in fun settings and being able to have multiple poses and backgrounds. We have been meaning to get her 6 year pictures taken since she turned six at the beginning of December, but with it being rainy season, it has been extremely difficult to find a non rainy, sunny weekend since then.

Last weekend we finally had our chance. Here is our beautiful six year old girl. And can I say how refreshing it is to have her pictures taken, compared to our younger three? She does not try to crawl or walk off, she smiles and sits still on demand, she doesn't cry or get easily distracted and we can get her photos taken in just minutes with little to no bribes.

One of my favorites. I love her smile, but I love how this shot captured a more serious but pleasant expression and I love her gorgeous, thick, auburn hair. I still marvel at her hair- we worked 3 years to get long hair with her and it was well worth the wait.

A classic Chloe smile- natural happiness.

She is currently going through the losing teeth stage and this little girl has such a hard time losing teeth. Her permanent teeth are very anxious to come in but her baby teeth have a hard time letting go. She has only lost one tooth on her own and her permanent teeth are always more than half way grown in, if not totally in before her baby teeth fall out or are pulled out by the dentist, usually the latter. She currently has 5 permanent teeth in but has only lost 3 baby teeth. That is not normal. And the 2 baby teeth that are being over crowded by permanent teeth are not even loose. Because of that, she has some very snaggley, crooked and awkward looking baby teeth popping out of her smile. But she is our gorgeous 6 year old beauty.

Some quick notes on Chloe's character traits.

*She continues to amaze me with what a big helper she is. I truly could not ask for a better helper and am amazed daily at how much she can do at such a young age. She helps everyone of her siblings every day with multiple things- getting dressed, going potty, cleaning up, getting food/snacks for them, and the list goes on and on. I suffer from migraines frequently and the best way for me to get over them is to sleep. With small children, getting sleep during the day is next to impossible, but Chloe helps whenever she can. I wake up with migraines frequently and if asked, Chloe will get the babies out of bed, feed them breakfast and entertain and supervise them while I try to sleep off a migraine. What will I ever do when she goes to school full time next year??

*She loves school and excels there. She is quickly becoming an excellent reader and her writing skills are wonderful. She loves to read and be read to and I am so pleased with that.

*She claims her favorite color is pink and she enjoys being girly and feminine at times, but she loves a good pair of jeans and a t-shirt and tennis shoes, with her hair thrown back in a messy pony tail. Her favorite escape is a comfy pair of sweats (just like her mama) and a good TV show.

*She wears her glasses faithfully and is still a trooper about wearing her eye patch, but is human and tries to sneak in a morning where she "forgot" to put it on or "lost" it. When I offer rewards to the first person to find the patch, she miraculously knows right where to find it.

*Is our loud, boisterous and extremely active leader of the house. She is bossy and likes things to go her way, but can humble us all by her quick obedience and selfless service in times of chaos.

*Her favorite food, as indicated in a recent school work project is green beans and corn. She has always been obsessed with both, especially green beans. She used to eat green beans out of our garden, straight off the vine. She is the best vegetable eater I've ever seen and will try any vegetable offered to her. She recently tried brussel sprouts and declared them delicious. I don't even think I've ever tried them and although I'll eat just about any vegetable, they certainly didn't look amazing to me.

On the same school project, it also asked her to write her "Oh Yuck" food- a food she does not like. We honestly thought for quite some time about that one. She is an extremely agreeable eater and rarely, if ever, refuses to eat anything. I then remembered that she does not like potatoes in any form (except frech fries, of course) and she turned that idea down because she has recently decided she can stand them in small quantities. We finally settled on lima beans being her "oh yuck" food because when we eat frozen mixed vegetables, she will pick out the lima beans and not eat them.

*Her favorite music artist is Taylor Swift and loves listening to her albums as much as her mom and dad. She has almost every song memorized on newest album "Speak Now" and is very familiar with her previous 2 albums. It's fun to have a kid old enough who enjoys some (clean) adult music and doesn't beg for kid tunes in the car.

*She loves to drink milk and we sometimes have to put her on a milk ban during dinner, after she has blown through 4 cups in one sitting. We are all a milk loving family and can drink up to 6 gallons of milk each week (that's almost $50 of milk each month).

*She is an outdoor, water loving girl. She loves to be outside doing just about anything, and loves swimming and playing in any kind of water. She doesn't flinch at all to jump into the ice cold Pacific Ocean every day for a week each year on our annual trip to the Oregon Coast.

*She loves life and is passionate about everything she does.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Chloe was very excited about Valentine's Day this year and was very in to it. To enhance her eagerness, I made a "special" Valentine's breakfast.

Pink cream of wheat and heart shaped toast. The milk was even pink too. The kids were so excited about it all. They were "tickled pink" if you will.

The babies love hot cereal for breakfast- oatmeal or cream of wheat.

Leah was thrilled!

And can I just say that I love that these two can now feed themselves with a spoon, and quite well, too. Lexi is pretty messy (thank goodness for bibs) but Leah is a very clean eater.

Lexi had two helpings of cream of wheat, naturally.

Here is my best attempt at a group shot of everyone in Valentine's pink and red. Leah was having none of it.

The babies love to "GO" as Leah calls going outside. We left around 9:00 a.m. to go to our MOPS class and as soon as we put jackets on the babies, they know we are leaving and they get so excited.

Good thing we have little rain jackets around here, especially yesterday. It rained like crazy.

The most anticipated part of Valentine's Day was our Valentine's box. At Family Home Evening last week, we talked about love and ways that we can be more kind and loving in our home to each other. As a motivation to be more loving as a family, I told the kids that for the next week, until Valentine's Day, every time they did something kind for someone in the family without being asked, they could put a penny in the box. On Valentine's Day, we would count the pennies and for every penny in the box, they could have a piece of candy.

This was a great motivator for the bigs kids and random acts of kindness were in abundance this past week. There was such a sweet spirit in our home as the kids tried multiple times a day to think of ways to do something nice for someone. At Family Home Evening last night, we counted 51 pennies and Chloe and Mitchell each received 51 M&M's.

I put together a small treat bag for each of them along with a book. My kids love books and I really don't think you can have too many good books.

And what's Valentine's with out a little love?

I love that my two big kids really do genuinely love each other.

I didn't really get the babies anything specifically (oh, I guess they each got a new sippy cup) but they got enough treats in their own way. My visiting teachers came yesterday afternoon and brought me a little baggie of Hershey Kisses. I left the baggie on the computer desk and when both babies came down with chocolate covered faces, I knew something was up.

Chloe and I ran upstairs to find the damage. It could have been much, much worse, but there is nothing that bothers me more than stains on the carpet.

I can only imagine how happy both of them were to share a bag of treats, with no help. I found streaks of chocolate and tin foil wrappers all over upstairs. I wonder how much foil they ate, too...

A little carpet cleaner and some scrubbing took care of the mess easily, and seeing how happy they were with their small treat was worth the mess.

What a fun day.