Kid-Speak to Newlyweds

We witnessed the union of our dear friends Lisa and Mark yesterday!

It was beautiful and wonderful and so blessed!  Congratulations!!

In leui of a guest book when you walked in, the entry table displayed an empty vase, a basket of rocks, and a handful of sharpie pens.   Guests were to sign a rock and add a note to the newleywed couple.  My kids loved it!  They ran to the beach to select their own rocks (the ceremony and reception were at the Cannery Day Lodge at Semiahmoo Resort on the waterfront) and left their sentiments.

For love and happiness always:
Go camping at least once a year.  Happy Camping!  Love, Collin
I love you, and I'm coming to your house soon!  Love, Kate
Say I love you everyday.  Love, Owen


Kate's Fourth Year

Kate at Four:  Highlights

- Aside from snow pants and pjs, Kate wore a dress or skirt nearly every day of her fourth year (exceptions I can remember:  one day in early spring 2011 and she wanted to ride her bike in the frosty cold, when camping in the rain and simultaneously battling a fever, and at one of the boys' March soccer games). If she's wearing a skirt, 9 times out of 10, her top is a football jersey.
- Kate can talk and talk and talk. She'll talk about the cat we just drove by, the breakfast she ate last week, the songbird outside her window, the purple hippopotamus that rode the roller coaster in her dream with Peter Pan. ; )
- Kate turns every statement into a question.  "Today is a stay-at-home-day ... right, Mom?"  "I like purple ... right, Mom?"  "I can pour my milk because I'm a big girl, but Eli can't because he's still little ... right, Mom?"  "The rain comes down to feed the flowers.  Then they bloom.  Then it runs to the ocean because you said that.  Then it goes up again.  I don't know why.  ... right, Mom?"
- Kate loves to sing! She makes up songs, combines songs, and sings at the top of her lungs.
- She is rarely walking. She prefers to hop, skip, jump, run.
- Kate doesn't like to have her hair brushed, but if she loves pretty clips and hair ties so the brush is meeting greater success these days!
- Kate went through a Dora phase, and now she can proudly count to 10 in Spanish and knows nearly 20 other random Spanish words. For months, we thought she had an imaginary friend or coined phrase because it was "teko" this, "teko" that. Turns out Teko is the squirrel on Dora. Thankfully, we're over the Dora phase (and it was short!), and she's in love with Disney's Jake and the Never Land Pirates.  She also still enjoys Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  Her favorite movie is Marmaduke.  "Marmaduke, what did you eat?!" is her favorite movie quote and she busts it out randomly and frequently!  : )
- Kate's favorite song is Sweet Caroline, as rerecorded by Dave Matthews.
- Kate can count to 18 and knows almost all of her letters by sight, but not all of their sounds.
- Kate shares a room with Owen because she and he have the hardest time settling down and going to sleep.  Kate regularly will talk and play in her bed for up to an hour each night. She sneaks into our room every other night.
- Kate loves bandaids! Santa brought some in her stocking, and it was the highlight of her holiday morning!
- Kate still loves temporary tattoos and still calls them "hat-toos!"  Regularly, they cover one arm like a sleeve.
- Kate learned to ride her bike without training wheels two days before her fourth birthday.
- Kate can flip on a bar, cross the monkey bars, do a front handstand flip, climb to the top of a pole, and run a full mile.
- Kate rocks to the beat of her own drum.
- Kate has lots of friends, but her best friends are her brothers.
- Kate's not concerned with "keeping up with her brothers." She loves to play with them at their games and does so every good chance, but she confidently breaks away to play dolls, paint, color, and make believe. 
- Kate's happy at all times ~ whether she's doing her own thing or romping with her brothers. She absolutely loves when they join in her play! She and Owen tend to draw together; Collin often plays make believe and reads to her; Eli will do just about anything with her!  Each brother will do just about anything for her.
- Kate is the greatest "force" in our home.  She's not just loud and talkative, but she's also an energetic beauty that can change the dynamic of any room simply by walking into it.  She brings happiness and joy with each step.  (Thankfully, she's always happy ... but catch her in a bad moment and you're in for a treat!  It's catastrophic!  The whole household might as well be on lockdown because she creates a wildfire!  Lucky for all of us, those moments are few and far between.  Fun factoid:  Collin is the best at calming her and bringing her back around.)

April 2011
When Kate turned three, she was Purplicious!  Everything was purple and polka dotted!  Over the year, she has grown to love all colors (rainbows are perfect!), but purple is still her favorite.  
Kate has always been a daredevil.  She spent her third year learning to ride her bike and discovering other physical possibilities, like front flips and hand stands, climbing,  monkey bars and jumping!

Nightgowns were huge for Kate the last year.  She had two favorites:  this polka dot gown and her Hello Kitty nightgown.

 April 14:  I've Learned (the hard way?) that I Should Never Leave 3-yr-old Kate Alone With: Scissors (haircut!); Shampoo (bubbles!); Toothpaste (yum!); A Full Bookshelf (takes them all off to make a firepit!); Handsoap Pump (fills it with water); Owen (t-r-o-u-b-l-e!); ...... ; )

May 2011

May 19:  Kate is causing Eli to laugh! "He berry much likes it!"

May 26: Kevin and I are tag-teaming coverage today b/c Kate is home "sick." At 8 a.m., I told Kate's teachers she'd be back tomorrow b/c she was bubbly and bouncing off the walls at home. At 9:20, Kevin sent me this text: "Kate has not stopped talking for over an hour." I LOL! Now, at 2:27, I can report that she has not stopped talking for 5 hours. Except when I fed her peanut better for lunch. : )

Kate climbed to the top!  

June 2011

Orcas Island

Lopez Island

Kate found this cantelope washed up on the beach!

June 21st at All Comers Track Kate took 1st in the 50 meter hurdles for her age!

July 2011

Shaw Island

Our rule has always been that you have to get dressed (can't wear jammies all day), but note in the pic above:  Kate is wearing her FAVORITE  nightgown "Hello Kitty" over her clothes!

July 13:  Our refrigerator looks like it's a complete dairy aisle: fat free milk, fat free lactose free milk, whole milk, 1/2+1/2, cottage cheese, cream cheese, grated jack+cheddar, grated lactose free cheddar, string cheese, sliced cheddar, butter, margarine. Having a family with different dietary needs can fill a fridge! :)  [*We believed that Kate was lactose intolerant and/or allergic to dairy and milk proteins (but as you saw July 4, she still enjoyed an ice cream on occasion).  We found out six months later that she has asthma and is sensitive to but not allergic to dairy ~ so ice cream on occasion is just what the doctor ordered!]

Shaw Island

August 4:  Love my little girl!! She is the silliest and sweetest grinning, singing chatterbox! Go spread joy, Sweet Kate, and have a great day!

August 2011

Shaw Island

August 28:  Kate: "Eli, want to play by my directions or your directions?" 
Eli: "uh." 
Kate: "ok. We'll play by your directions. ... Look, Mommy, we're playing together!"

August 31:  Even after a shower, I just brushed over 100 ants out of Kate's hair after she romped through the bushes in our cul-de-sac island. Yuck!!!

September 2011

September 14:  When I picked Kate up from school the other day, I noticed a Bandaid on her shin.
Me: Wow! You must have a good story to tell about how you got hurt! Why'd you get that Bandaid on your leg, Kate?
Kate: I bonked my head.

September 5:  Um ... My 3-year-old can recite word for word "Pinkalicious!".

October 2011

Purple Ballarina Princess Fairy October 31/Halloween

November 2011

November 11:  We created a Girl-Getaway for Kate in the closet under the stairs. Kate loves it so much, she spent half the eve in there and asked to sleep in there tonight! Guess we don't need a bigger house! (or do we?!). :-)

November 29:  "Be careful, Boys!  This box is full of glassables!"  : )  *We were unpacking the Christmas tree ornaments.  From that moment on, I have replaced the word "breakables" with "glassables" in my vocabulary in honor of sweet Kate!

December 2011
 Going to her first theatrical performance:  Kids Production of The Nutcracker at Mt Baker Theater

Going ice skating

Christmas Caroling and Food Drive

December 31:  Ok. Who's responsible for teaching Kate to say: "Hey, Mom! Look at me! Holla!" Holla?!! She's three!!! : )

January 2012
Taking the steep hills before even the boys mustered up the courage!

January 25:  As I was folding laundry tonight, Kate and E were playing in their room. Suddenly I heard: "Oh, Mom! Yucky! Yucky!". Kate had taken it upon herself to change a poopy diaper! :-)

Alki Boardwalk - Seattle, WA

February 2012

February 26:  She's been standing in the front window for over 20 minutes. "Go faster, Snow! I really want to sled, Snow!!". (never mind that it's freezing outside and she's having a lazy morning in her underwear)

March 2012

March 10:  Kate: "Mom, Peter Pan could fly to our house! He could!!" (Indeed, Kate, he COULD! An idea is brewing .... :-) *I love that Jake and the Neverland Pirates have replaced Dora!)

Meeting Jacob "Jake" Christopher Hobson

March 29:  Kate to Eli: "There's nothing to see here. It's just something."

March 30:  The 7th Hour on the Road: Eli's barking at Pluto and laughing with Mickey, and the Big Boys are lost in drawing projects. Out of nowhere Kate exuberantly announces: "I think we're almost there!" Kevin: "Getting closer. 100 miles to go" Kate: "GOOD!! (big smile) I've been wanting to say that!!!"

March 30:  Kate: "Are we almost, almost, almost there?"  YES!!  30 minutes left.

Roadtrippin' to Grant's Pass and Brookings, Oregon

March 31:   Kate:  (singing) "Rain, rain, go away.  Come again another day."  (pause)  "Huh.  That didn't work."  The entire car full of kids and two moms on our way to Wildlife Images (wildlife refuge) started busting up with laughter!

April 2012
Kate is a stacker.  Everything comes out every day and becomes a fort, a house, a city.  She'll build it with books, blankets, furniture, dolls ~ you name it!  And once it's built, it must be "decorated" with dolls and books and "treasures."

ScienceWorks - Ashland, OR

 OceanWorld - Crescent City, CA

 Spa Day Birthday Fun

Last day on the training wheels

Riding Ava's bike and discovering that she's ready to take the training wheels off!

It took three days.  By the end of three days, she was going over curves, up and down hills, stopping and starting on her own ... and riding like she'd been riding for years.  *I will note that it's been almost a month.  She hasn't hit a person or moving object, but she has run into three parked cars that have jumped out in front her!  : )

Kate was so excited to swim in the ocean!  She had her suit on within minutes of unloading (as you see she was wearing it while bike riding even) and couldn't wait to get in the water!  She was the only one who braved the icy waters that chilly eve at Harris Beach, Southern Oregon.

An example of one of Kate's "cities" ... she collected all the chairs and made a little world.  : )
Gold Beach, Oregon

Voodoo Donut Birthday Cake

Happy 4th Birthday, Kate!!
Portland, Oregon
You are our vibrant joy ~ sharing beauty, excitment and sillyness with all you meet!

*Hope you enjoyed the few quotes I'd thankfully posted on Facebook over the year!