Abigail was examing a plastic cup tonight from Chili’s that featured the “Pepper Pals”. She noticed that each member of the band had a name printed beside them and, with a bit of help from me, read them: Sunny, Chip, Pepper, and Hal. Then she says:
“Oh, maybe Pepper likes peppers. And maybe Sunny likes sunny, sunshine. And Chips likes chips. And maybe Hal likes hell.”
This past Monday morning Jay and I had an experience that is poignant in the lives of most parents: our oldest started Kindergarden! The entire family accompanied Abigail down to school to attend opening chapel with all the other students, and their moms, dads, brothers, and sisters. After walking Abigail to her new class, we said goodbye. Abigail was very happy to settle down into her seat and begin work with her seven other classmates.
And being a proud Mom, I have to tell you just what a super job she did in the morning getting ready for her big day. In honor of starting Kindergarden, we presented Abigail with a very sweet and girlie Hello Kitty clock that has both an alarm and a radio. We taught her how to use it and so, when her alarm rang at 6:15 she turned it off, switched to her classical station, made her bed and got dressed, all by herself. This from the little girl who is most definitely NOT a morning person.
Given school is a bit of a drive from where we live, we are going to be keeping a rather early morning schedule, but everything went well on our first day. We actually arrived at school 20 minutes before start time so it did not feel at all frantic.
When we picked her up after school, Abigail reported happily, “I love it there!” She seems to have had a fantastic day and is looking forward to her big year of Kindergarden. Here is a picture of Abigail on her first day of school, with her new teacher, aptly named Mrs. Newsome! And here are some more photos of our day.
We are all very excited about the start of Abigail’s scholastic journey and pray she will have a wonderful experience this first year.
For devotions tonight, we sang “O, For a Thousand Tongues” and read a short devotional written by Joni Ericsson Tada. Afterwords, Abigail began asking about heaven, and whether Joni would be able to run again. This lead to a discussion on our passage to heaven after death versus the later resurrection of our bodies… at least, that’s where I thought I was going when Abigail piped up:
Abigail: “After we get our new bodies in heaven, will Jesus still be able to run more faster than us?”
Jay: “Quite frankly, Abigail, I’m not exactly sure how fast Jesus can run.”
Abigail: “Faster than lightning!”
If you are wanting an explanation, you’re in luck, because we did too. After recovering a bit, Tricia asked: “What makes you think he can run faster than lightning?”
Abigail: “Daddy told me. He said he made the lightning.”
And there you have it.
Our eldest has learned a very useful skill the past month: how to make her own sandwich. Her favorite way to enjoy lunch these days involves her pulling the stepstool up to the kitchen counter where she concocts one of her peanut butter and jelly creations. The interesting thing though about Abigail’s sandwiches is that she doesn’t stop with mere peanut butter and jelly. Feeling the need for a little something more between her two slices of bread, she experiments each time with a new ingredient. So far, she’s added various types of crackers, potato chips, chinese noodles and marshmallows (at different times, not together in the same sandwich!!). She wanted to try chocolate chips one day, but I thought that was taking it a bit too far.
I am truly enjoying seeing her creativity at work, and those of you like me, with several young children at home will I’m sure concur with my amazement and delight over her being able to prepare her own lunch every once in a while!!
We spent much of today swimming with a large group of friends at one of the friend’s pool. What fun it was!! Though I applied sunscreen liberally to our children twice during our visit, Abigail still got a bit pink around the shoulders. So, this evening after I bathed the kids, I slathered her with after-sun lotion. As I was applying the lotion she said to me,
“You’re a cool Mommy.”
I had to ask, “Why do you say that?”
“Because you take care of me! That’s why I like you!”
Now, how can I argue with such high praise??
Jay and I had a conversation with Abigail yesterday morning that made us giggle. By way of explanation, although most of you who know me call me “Tricia”, my given name is “Patricia”, and it’s what I went by almost exclusively until around age 12.
Abigail: Mommy, what was your name when you were a little girl?
Tricia: The same as it is now.
A: But what was your name?
T: Most people called me “Patricia”.
A: Daddy, what was your name when you were a little boy?
Jay: You know what my name is, Abigail.
A: Oh. So when you were a very little boy, your name was “PaJay”.
This past Saturday we had the privilege of helping Abigail to celebrate her 5th birthday with a first: a “Friends” party!! Twelve little princesses joined her for food, festivities and frolicking about in royal style. It was a grand time and I could not have done it without the help of some very capable family members who gave generously of their time to assist!
We encouraged Abigail to participate both in the planning and execution of her party: she chose the theme, food, cake flavor and design and insisted upon having a pinata: a pink unicorn, of course! She even labored alongside me on the most time-consuming part of the party prep: painting the many little wooden boxes a most princessy shade of pink! At the party the girls decorated their “treasure boxes” with many “jewels”. This was a very popular activity.
My mother came into town two days before the big event to help in any way she could. She watched children, blew up balloons, helped me set up and clean up everything, did most of the cake herself and generally was just a wonderful help and encouragement to me through the process. Aunt Sandra, being the tall one in the family, hung balloons and streamers with great care and even decorated our drawbridge, which I have not one picture of, I am sorry to say! The drawbridge came courtesy of Mark Peck and was quite a hit with the little princesses! Thank you Mark!!
On the day of the party, King Jay did a beautiful job as master of ceremonies, and thankfully took it upon himself to direct the pinata breaking part. Those little girls were quite ferocious with the unicorn! While Jay had fun swinging the pinata around, my Mom and sister frantically pnut buttered and jellied over 25 heart shaped little sandwiches, filled umpteen princess glasses with lemonade over and over (princesses get very thirsty it seems) and generally helped out in any way they could. Thanks, ladies…you did a super job!
Thanks to the Pecks who babysat Jonathan for us and to the Hornes who kept Nicolas over at their place and out of trouble! Thanks also to Jennifer who drove all the way from Minco to deliver Princess Evangeline to the party. We were so glad to have her here to help celebrate.
Most wonderful of all was the look of delight on Abigail’s face as she enjoyed her very special day. She behaved beautifully throughout the festivities and several times hugged me joyfully as she exclaimed, “I am SO EXCITED for my Princess party!” We enjoyed this event immensely ourselves, though I think it will be a couple years before I undertake anything so grand again! If you still have time left after reading my longwinded entry, please enjoy some of our pictures from the party.
I should preface this entry by saying I have had so many friends tell me stories similar to what I am about to share with you, so I know this experience is not unique to me. Kids say things so innocently, but they not always understand the effect their words might have on someone.
Today after picking Abigail up from school we all headed down to the large Half Price Bookstore off Northwest Highway. I had a couple books on hold and we spent a bit of time browsing through the children’s section too. After acquiring one tiny Thomas board book for Nicolas, one medium-sized Thomas book for Jonathan and one larger Thomas book for Abigail (aren’t we a literarily diverse family??!!) plus a copy of Madeline, whom I’ve wanted to introduce Abigail to for some time, we headed to checkout where we had to wait for a bit as there was a long line. As I paid for our purchases, several people passed by us. In order to exit the checkout area, one had to navigate a rather narrow passage, much of which we were blocking! A rather large gentleman said “Excuse me” to us as he attempted to pass by. Abigail looked up toward the voice and without missing a beat pointed to him and said very clearly, “Mommy that man is a little fat!”.
Oh dear!! I clapped my hand over her mouth but was not quite quick enough. My first thought was that having the ability to vanish into thin air at that moment would have been helpful. To tell the truth, Abigail was tempered in her description of the man. In actuality he was quite fat, but I am very thankful she did not say so. I was so concerned about how the poor man felt upon hearing my daughter’s comment. On the car ride home we had a chat about how sometimes even when we are stating something that is true, it might hurt someone’s feelings. I have to be careful though with Abigail who so much wants to please and who is quite sensitive to correction. So I carefully told her that she did not do anything wrong per se, but that sometimes instead of saying something about the way someone looks, it is good idea to keep that thought to talk about at a later time with Mommy and Daddy or another close member or friend of the family. Of course that doesn’t sound quite right to me either because in general when she makes a comment toward someone it is very appropriate, such as when she told her Grammy that she really liked her pretty dress, or when she noted how cute little Nicolas was in his Sunday outfit, or when she commented upon how well Jonathan was obeying Mommy one particular day.
So, gentle readers: what have you to say?? Have any of you found a way to verbalize what it is I’m trying to get across to my four-year old in a way which doesn’t discourage her from saying the right things but also helps her understand which things might be best left unsaid??
One evening last week while preparing supper I noticed Abigail had pulled our kitchen step stool up in front of the fireplace and was piling an motley assortment of toys and personal items up on the mantel. There wasn’t a ton of room for her to work with given the collection of spool candleholders and various other candles, a couple pumpkins, and our resident oil painting. Despite this handicap, she managed to add quite a large amount of extras to the already reasonably full mantel.
When Abigail noticed I was watching her she proudly informed me, “Mommy, I’m helping you…I’m decorating for Christmas!!” She was so pleased that she was able to contribute to the family in a way that she had often seen her Mommy work. (My decorating efforts are feeble at best, but then I didn’t have as early a start as Abigail!)
We took a picture of her finished work which we are terming “Preschool Eclectic”. You may or may not be able to see the details, but some of the components of this particular decorating scheme include Bob the Tomato, a “Duckie” washcloth, plastic squeeky doggie toy, and purple Beanie Bear. Please also note that she cleverly added her last year’s school name tag so that everyone would know who was behind this cutting edge decor!! Try it on for size at your own house if you like!
Driving back from church a little earlier this evening, Abigail and I had the following conversation. Now, admittedly, this is not a word for word transcription. However, I believe every phrase is an accurate representation of what was said… I just can’t remember every single phrase spoken.
Jay: Abigail, who does God save?
Abigail: All who have faith in Jesus.
J: That’s right! And do you know what it means to have faith in Jesus?
J: It means to trust Jesus to forgive your sins, and to pay the penalty for your sins. That sort of thing.
A: But Dad… Dad, I think I have a bubble in my tummy, so we probably shouldn’t talk anymore.
A: I have a bubble in my tummy and it doesn’t feel good. I think I have gasoline. Gasoline… that’s no fun. Dad do you have gasoline in your tummy sometimes?
J: Uh, well, something like that…
A: Once, when I was three, I had gasoline, but then I made a putt putt and felt better.