Anja, 4 Years

When did THAT happen? My chubby-cheeked little toddler turned into a “big girl” overnight, it seems. Anja, at 4 years (and two months), you:

  • Have the same wacky sense of humor you’ve had since you were a toddler.  Silly dances, funny-shaped mouths, and odd noises combine to = you.
  • Love love love to read.  I think you’d read for two hours every day if my voice held out.  That makes me glad!  Learning is much easier when you enjoy reading.
  • Have gone through the first five books in the Little House on the Prairie series…you were more interested when the girls were younger, and we still read it regularly but I have to do it in small bits to keep you interested.
  • Are kind of sneaky.  When you want to do something naughty, you often attempt to hide it or even lie about it at first.  Your conscience usually gets the best of you, but we keep praying the Holy Spirit will soon keep you in line.
  • Can’t go to bed without some drama.  Bathroom trips, drinks of water, “nightmares” before you’ve fallen asleep are common excuses for getting out of bed.
  • Have a great imagination.  The elaborate stories you weave and act out with your “guys” continue to amaze us (and often make us laugh).  This is another thing that keeps you up late…we hear your little voice over the monitor, singing made-up songs and telling intricate tales to your guys.
  • Have gotten much better about listening to your parents.  There’s always room to grow, but we have seen amazing progress, and we are thankful!
  • Seem to have good understanding of Jesus and what He did for us.  You can tell us quite clearly why certain things happened in the Bible, who Jesus is and why He died, and you admit when you’re struggling with your sin.  We’re here to help, Hon!
  • Love your brother.  All siblings fight some, of course, but you often overwhelm him with your squishing hugs.  🙂
  • Have gotten “shy” at preschool again.  You really opened up second semester of last year, so we’re hoping that you will make some friends again this year.
  • Are very object-oriented.  And maybe this contributes to your shyness, but you crave having a little something in your hand (a rock? a bouncy ball? a tiny puppy?).  It’s a comfort to you.
  • Are becoming a very good helper.  You pull up a stool and get yourself drinks of water from the kitchen sink, wipe off your own hands and face and carry your plate to the counter after eating, unload the silverware from the dishwasher, vacuum under the kitchen table, and make your bed (sometimes).  And you’re very good at helping Markus find the toy/book/sock for which he’s searching.
  • Eat with your hands.  All. The. Time.  We don’t know why, but you just hate utensils.
  • Have exploded in your artistic ability.  You went, just this summer, from drawing only scribbles straight to drawing families with bodies, heads, arms, legs, hands, feet, and facial features (including ears).  What the what?  And all of a sudden you care about coloring in the lines.  I hope you don’t lose your creative spark, but I suppose coloring in the lines is nice sometimes.  🙂
  • Have tons of enthusiasm.  If there’s an adventure to be had, you are right there at the front of the line wanting to try.  Just today you told me that you wish you were an owl so you could have wings and fly to the tops of trees and sit there in the breeze.
  • Continue to be very strong-willed.  And we continue to pray that God will use that tenacity for great things.

We love you, little girl!

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Conversation Starters

I laugh when I hear decor items called “conversation starters.”  In some cases it might be true, but here’s a little snippet from an article in the July 2011 Better Homes and Gardens (one of my favorite magazines, btw) that had me snickering:

Stack bundles of logs, cut ends out, in the firebox during the off season.  For about $15, it will give your room a beautiful natural element and a guaranteed conversation starter.  ~Jenny Komenda

How exactly does that conversation start?  “Say, your firebox is stuffed to the brim with logs…”

Notes to Self

Another “draft,” this one from March 2009 (before Markus was even a thought!).  It’s incomplete, but better than nothing, right?  Don’t answer that.  😉


1) Do not watch tear-jerker movies at the gym.  People look at you funny when you’re blubbering as you do hip abductions.

2) Don’t use valet parking anymore, even if it seems convenient (accidents!).

3) Getting a diaper pail with a lid does not necessarily keep out curious toddlers.  Gross.

4) When you plan to serve a meal comprised mainly of barley to a toddler, please calculate the amount of time involved in picking up said barley, sticky piece by sticky piece, from the floor when said toddler decides she doesn’t feel like barley.

5) Decadent chocolate dessert at a French cafe split with a toddler = no nap = frazzled mom.

6) Your baby can now identify the smell of chocolate on your breath; beware.

I love how my boy sleeps…

On his tummy (like Mom!), with his arms tucked underneath his belly (weird and uncomfortable-looking), head to one side, and his lips open and smushy.  Sigh…


*Awww, I was going to post this with a photo last October, and look, I never got around to it.  And my boy doesn’t sleep like that anymore.  He sleeps sprawled out, but still on his tummy.*