Each year I create a book for each of our children to give to them on their birthday. I have done this from the very beginning, on Luke's First Birthday. The book documents our year together and highlight's that child's special memories and personality traits. Here are excerpts from Abbey's 6th Year Book, which I just created for her 6th birthday:
Abbey, you are my sweetheart! You write precious notes and cards for me every day. In fact, on your birthday you created a sweet little card for me! Even though it was YOUR birthday. Your card said, "I'm growing up!" and you drew a sweet little picture to go along with those words. I have a feeling you will be much better at documenting your life and thoughts than I am! And your spelling is amazing! I don't know how you know how to spell every word at such a young age. You amaze me. You write the most fun stories and journal your life in the cutest ways in your journal each day. I cherish it and I know you do too!
You bring a smile to my face every day just by being you! When we were recently watching the Oklahoma vs Georgia NCAA football playoff game, you came running out of your room with a gymnastics leotard and tutu on and said you were the cheerleader. You were a great distraction for the stressful game with your awesome performances! You come up with the most fun little pretend play scenarios and your bedroom is a rotating room of different settings: one day it is a bakery, one day a hair salon, and the next, a dance studio. You invite us into your precious world of imagination and I absolutely love it!
"Words of Affirmation" is most definitely your love language! From Gary Chapman's "Five Love Languages" book, "unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, 'I love you,' are important – hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten. Kind, encouraging, and positive words are truly life-giving." When I give a compliment to Luke such as, "Luke you are such a sweet kid," you will quickly reply, "Am I a sweet kid too?" Ha! I tell you, "I love you," and your face lights up and you give me that endearing look of love right back.
You are competitive. We knew you would be though. Even though Luke is a couple of years older than you, you aim to make sure you can do everything he can. You read at a 6th grade level (which is the highest level I can test you at and you have read at that level since you were 4 years old), and according to the math game that you play regularly, "Prodigy," you are at a 2nd grade level based upon the questions you have answered correctly. (Luke is currently at 3rd/4th grade level in that game, so you are trying to catch up). You are at a level 72 on that game (you began at level 0 and the highest level you can get is 100). All of this is because of your drive and competitive spirit, which your daddy and I can totally understand and relate to. Because you were "Kindergarten" age this year, you got to move up to "Sparks" in the AWANA program we attend. You were so excited to get your handbook. As soon as you did, you began reading it every day and memorizing your Bible verses. By, the next week you attended Sparks, you literally had the entire book memorized. But of course there wasn't enough time to recite all 38 verses and all of the books of the New Testament in one week. So, the leaders let you recite them over the course of a couple weeks. We were amazed! And, I think they were too, as they said they had never had someone complete their book so quickly. So, they graciously gave you some extra credit work to work on, which you also already completed. God has gifted you with an amazing memory, a desire to read and learn his Word, and a drive to succeed. I am glad that God has allowed me to homeschool you so that I can constantly challenge you.
You love theater! This year, you were cast as a lead in two different productions--Cinderella (where you played Cinderella) and Keep Christ in Christmas (a Live Nativity through a nearby church, where you played Mary). We were so proud of you and thoroughly enjoyed watching you do something you love and are very talented at. You also took your first theater class this year, called "Broadway Kids" through the Zach Scott Theater in Austin. There, you honed your singing, acting and dancing skills. You are definitely our artsy little gal.
You tried out soccer this past fall and really enjoyed it. It was so much fun to see our artsy little girly girl be so competitive at a sport. We weren't sure what to expect, but loved watching you get in all the action on the field and try to steal the ball away from your competition. You are looking forward to playing baseball this spring.
You tell me your favorite thing to do of all things is to hike. You are a girl after my heart! You also enjoy singing, dancing and acting, creating art, drawing, writing letters and making cards, reading, your Bible and memorizing verses, photography, playing with American Girl Dolls, playing with friends, exploring our city, crafting, baking and eating yummy food. You love riding your bike and you learned to ride without training wheels this past spring.
I have to admit I got pretty sad when you lost your first tooth in November--followed by your second lost tooth in December. To me, this was a big sign that you weren't my little baby anymore. Although, you will always be "my baby."
You are our precious little sweetheart and we love you so much, Abbey. We can't wait to see what's in store for year 7!