Monday, December 31, 2007

goldilocks and the goober

Today ends the year of 2007 and so I thought I would take some time and reflect on how my girls have grown and changed in the last year.

(the words in pink are links to previous posts that give more detail about what I'm talking about...please click on them to read more)

I'll start with my first born; my darling Joelle. Just look at this face. I see a maturity in those beautiful eyes that is way beyond her short 4 years. I love this girl more than is even possible to measure and I have been so proud of her over the past 12 months as I have watched her blossom into who she is today.

Joelle entered the year 2007 as a 3-year-old still in her "terrible-two's" (which maybe should be re-labeled as "the worser three's" "the thundering threes", as Pam suggests) and she is leaving the year as a 4-year-old who is finally starting to come out of it. We are noticing -- even as recently as the last couple of weeks -- that Joelle is showing a more reasonable side. A side of her that is more willing to listen, respond more positively and be more in control of her emotions. A side of her that gives us hope that there is an end to the seemingly endless "terrible-two's."

Joelle has a wonderfully bubbly personality that many people do not have the privilege of seeing since she is also quite shy. But when she is in her comfort never know what you're going to get with this crazy girl! Making funny faces, dancing like only a white girl can (or can't!), telling silly knock-knock jokes, playing pranks on her daddy...and the list goes on. She is definitely discovering new ways to kick back and have a good time!

Joelle has shown growth this year by being a bit more independant. She voluntarily wanted to enroll in our church's VBS program this summer and in pre-school this fall where she knew nobody else in her class. She also no longer cries when I drop her off in Sunday School.

Joelle has grown in responsibility too. I have always thought her to be more responsibile than most kids her age, and I continue to think that way. She turns off her bedroom light when she leaves the room, always coughs/sneezes into her arm (and reminds others to do the same when she catches them coughing into their hands), properly washes her hands and is very honest and trustworthy.

I have also witnessed many kind and compassionate moments from my little lady. From offering to donate some of her own toys into the shoebox kits we put together for underprivileged kids at Christmas time to befriending her extremely shy new neighbour girl to forgiving Malia again and again (and again!) when she pulled out handful after handful of her beautiful blonde curly locks. Learning how to share is also something Joelle is s-l-o-w-l-y starting to improve in. In fact, just this morning when Malia snatched up Joelle's prized stuffed Kitty (who is actually a puppy)...Joelle's first reaction was "Hey!! Mom -- Malia took my..." and then she suddently stopped tattling on her little sister, smiled at her instead and said "Oh -- I forgot. I need to share more."

Joelle is also growing in her thirst for knowledge. She is constantly asking questions. And not just the annoying "why?" after everything we say. She actually wants detailed explanations of things. Some things we can still brush aside and make her forget about what she's asking about (if it's something too mature or personal to answer), but otherwise we try and answer her the best we can. Some questions are hard, such as: "How can God do things sometimes with just his words?" Hmmm...good question, Joelle!

I am extremely privileged to be the mother to this kind, funny, smart, responsible, loving young girl. I am excited at the ways she has grown this past year and I look forward to watching her continue to blossom into the woman God intends her to be.

Moving right along to my little miss Malia...have I ever mentioned how much I love this feisty child? While I see maturity in Joelle's eyes, I see twice the amount of mischief in Malia's eyes. This one's gonna be trouble!!

Malia entered the year 2007 as a one-year-old who had only started walking a week ago and she is leaving this year as a quick-moving 2-year-old...she really is fast; sometimes it's hard to catch her!!

Malia is blessed with a special charm. She can drive you completely crazy one minute, and have you melting into a puddle the next. Sometimes it's hard to make sure she doesn't get whatever she wants, since one look into those adorable brown eyes makes you want to give her the world!

Malia has grown and changed in different ways than Joelle this year. She is at a much different stage than her big sister, and most of her changes are things she has learned to do: like climbing stairs on her feet rather than crawling up and down, learning her ABC's, counting to 10 (and higher sometimes) and singing songs. She has learned to speak in full sentences, can sing our mealtime prayers, no longer uses a booster seat and is starting to learn to brush her own teeth and wash her hands (still with some help to make sure it is done properly). And, of course, she has successfully given up her precious "soo-soo."

I think one of my favorite things about Malia that she has learned this year is her singing. We will often have kid's music playing in the van and her and Joelle belt away to the tunes. Malia's voice is so sweet and she puts her whole heart and soul into it.

Malia, despite her wild energy and precociousness, proves to be an extremely gentle child. This has been made obvious anytime she comes in contact with a baby. She pushes all other things aside and devotes her whole attention on the tiny bundle of joy, smothering the baby with hugs and kisses and requests to "hold it, hold it." Her kind spirit also gets bestowed on animals.

Malia is also learning manners. "Please," "thank-you" and "you're welcome" are all words that easily flow from her lips at the appropriate times. "Sorry" is a tougher one...but I think we all struggle more with that one!

God has blessed me beyond measure when he entrusted Malia to my care. It has been fun to watch Malia grow from a baby to a toddler this year, and now we get to watch her grow from a toddler to a young girl and I look forward to what that all entails (and maybe -- just maybe -- she will grow out of her "terrible two's" a little sooner than Joelle...hey, I said m-a-y-b-e!)


Pam said...

What a good mommy! Oh sweet that you looked back on this year with your girls and your love for them! I really loved and enjoyed reading this. It was so heartwarming. And, hey, it made me feel better too! Ashlyn can be quite difficult at time and I think- hey, she is going to be 4, shouldn't some of this be stopping?? But, the 'thundering threes' (I have a friend who called it that and I found it very fitting) were harder for us then the two stage. Glad we are not the only family dealing with that. It also made me feel good to know I am not the only mommy who has a kid cry at drop off time at church. I never understand it with Ashlyn...she loves her class, she likes the other kids, she has fun...but she cries when I drop her off. I figure since she goes to day care and is fine, that she would be fine at church too. But, nope..she cries. Now I can look froward to the 4's being a time of change for her! (Don't get me wrong...she has good qualities too- this made it sound like she is all bad!)

Your girls are precious and beautiful! I am honored to have been able to read this and to be able to share in some of them with you!


Margo said...

Andrea, what a beautiful tribute to your truly precious girls. How blessed they are to have a mommy (and daddy, of course) who loves them and treasures them so completely. Please give each of them a hug from Auntie Margo.

Andrea said...

Oh no...the terrible 2's can last THAT long? haha...yikes! Guess i better get ready just in case cuz my son is getting nearer and nearer to that 2 yr. mark! Your girls are just precious though...SOOO pretty! Btw...this is my first visit to your blog, but I really like it already, and I have this feeling that i'll be back next year! ;)

Hazel said...

both ur girl are so pretty..

Anonymous said...

Two beautiful blessings. :o)

(My head hurts after reading about the hair pulling. I think I need a soo-soo...) ;o)

Sharon said...

Our children are truly gifts from God.
Even if sometimes the gift seems to be disguised as something like a terrible two...or three... or dear God help me--eighteen year old. ;)

Sharon said...

Glad you like my new header. It only cost 15 dollars! Pretty cool!
It was done by Goofy Girls.
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Leeann said...

You are so incredibly blessed! I hope you have a fabulous new year!

Amanda said...

You have two very precious girls. Joelle looks so much like you. Wishing you all the best in 2008.

Amanda said...

You have two very precious girls. Joelle looks so much like you. Wishing you all the best in 2008.

Kellan said...

Andrea - your girls are simply beautiful and you are obviously very lucky -as are they! I hope the New Year is a great year for you and your beautiful family. See you soon. Kellan

Regina said...

You have beautioful little ladies there! You are truly blessed! I pray you have an awesome year!


MamaGeek said...

You really are a great Mom. Your girls are so beautiful Andrea and they are lucky to call you Mom. What a beautiful tribute!

Rebecca said...

You have two beautiful girls. I can tell you love them both with all your heart and are a proud momma. Here's to 2008 bringing more milestones, growth & happy memories. :D

Melanie said...

You have such sweet, precious, beautiful girls. What a great post. You should most definitely do a post like this every year. The girls will treasure them someday.

Carl & Kathy Heppner said...

Thanks for sharing all about the girls' milestones. It was pretty special to hear about it. Happy New Year!