Springing UP!

The weather may be grey, mucky, cold, and sloppy, but we've packed in quite a bit of fun over the past several months. Here's a little update on our tiny corner of the world. Enjoy!

Pickle - 
The many faces of Pickle!
Hello personality! She's testing boundaries, branching out from her sister, and imagining countless worlds of her own. She loves renaming us to fit her imagined world. She is Luke Skywalker Jedi Knight, which makes David "Anakin", Sweet Potato "Princess Leia", Dearpa "Obi-wan" and Dearma and myself are both "Padme". She also periodically likes to be "Baby Annie" and therefore I become the Grandmother while Sweet Potato plays Mother. Other personalities include "Anna" from Frozen, "Laura" from Little House on the Prairie, and Sleeping Beauty.

This child has mastered the eye roll, the huff, and the crossed-arms attitude more commonly found in teenagers. There is a tenacity and hard working attitude in her soul that is gorgeous and still needs refining. When we aren't trying to discipline her antics are hysterical, however, in the moment it can be challenging. She also has one of the prettiest smiles and adorable nose scrunch. She is one jolly Oli!

My favorite word that Pickle says is "shishes" instead of fishes. She also is enamored with fishing and can be found with a stick over her shoulder as she marches across the backyard looking for a pond to "shish".

Looking for fishes!
There has been talk of desiring to toilet train, but really I think she's just interested in wearing pink underwear not actually using the potty. Unlike Sweet Potato, I'm not pushing it. I know she'll get there in her own time. Second time around is much less stressful in this area!

Pickle did have a cold this winter that came with a fever. When said fever spiked too quickly, she had a febrile seizure in mid-March. After a ride in the ambulance, a chest X-ray and a look at ears, nose and throat, she was deemed healthy. Mama and Daddy were happy with the prognosis but a little weary and shaken. In the midst of all this, we decided to take away the disgusting and totally overused pacifier known as "ba". Life post-"ba" has been fairly good. She transitioned to a lovely teddy bear given to her in the hospital, but the one area that has suffered are her naps. The plug came out and now the talking doesn't end! She sings and talks at the top of her lungs during quiet time. It's been an adjustment and might explain why Mama can be found with earphones on mid-afternoon. :-)

Sweet Potato- 
Top bunk girl at Refreshing Mountain Camp
From the beginning we have known this girl is different. We are just starting to learn how different and how we can better parent her. Essentially, all conventional wisdom is out the window. Her spirit is fiery, compassionate, and deep. There is always an idea to be explored, a project to create, a question to ask. It's a thrill to be her parents and we're so grateful for strong prayer support as we navigate these truly less charted waters. One resource we are finding to be quite helpful is Mary Sheedy Kurcinka's Raising Your Spirited Child: A Guide for Parents Whose Child is More Intense, Sensitive, Perceptive, Persistent, and Energetic. We're learning about Sweet Potato and ourselves, but mostly feeling relieved that the things we have seen and the thoughts we've held in our hearts aren't crazy or irrational- they are simply her. God must have some big plans for this tender hearted child!

Kindergarten is just about over and Sweet Potato is eagerly awaiting warm summer days filled with doing what she wants to do! She's learned so much this year and we're hopeful that by the end of summer she'll be reading truly independently. The Solar System continues to be her favorite science topic and she's starting to ask questions and develop curiosity in history. Math remains one of her strongest subjects but definitely her least favorite. We try to make it fun, but math facts are math facts.

Don't you wear a tiara to sweep?
We will be doing some summer school, but it'll be lighter and look different from our school year routine. Mama is both looking forward and having momentary brain explosions at the thought of planning to teach a 1st grader, a preschooler, and potentially college students again in the fall. It's really stretching the old one room schoolhouse theory!

As of this writing, one of Sweet Potato's newest joys is playing with old Playmobil sets of my brother's and mine. Imaginative story telling remains a favorite pastime. Lately it's been pretend dances with Lego friends and dressing up as "Elsa" from Frozen or Cinderella. She's also convinced her sister to put on a few "shows" with her. They generally start with an admission ticket, followed by some dancing of ballet, arguing of who goes on stage next, and ending in giggles of joy and embarrassment.

Most recently, Sweet Potato has decided that when she grows up she wants to work at Kid's Club [Wednesday evening program at a local church], Wendy's and Chick-Fil-A. She wants to make a lot of money and then go to a bank where she can give it away to the poor. If there is a need, Sweet Potato wants to help. Her sensitive and caring nature is truly one of her greatest strengths!

Parenting these two beauties is a roller coaster ride! We're up and down and topsy-turvy all in an hour, but what a joy! Soaking up time with them and hearing, especially from Sweet Potato, their thoughts is a delight we cannot fathom missing.

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