Thursday, November 24, 2016

happy 8th birthday, kate and glory!

Dear Kate and Glory,

Happy 8th birthday! This year it falls on Thanksgiving--we are so thankful for the two of you.

We celebrated with your friends last Friday by renting a van and bringing everyone ice skating in Coeur d'Alene. Twenty 2nd graders and 5 siblings sounds like quite the undertaking, but after everyone got help lacing their ice skates, it was pretty smooth sailing. You guys had fun singing to the latest hits on 92.9 and chanting "Lemonade, Crunchy Ice" in the car. I think the van ride was the funnest part of the whole adventure. We ended with everyone getting ice cream cones at the Scoop so everyone was sugared up before going home to their parents.

Grammy and Grumpy were there to greet us when we got home and watched you open gifts. You loved all your dog-related gifts: books from Grammy and Grumpy, a stuffed Husky and stuffed German Shepherd from Layla and Jillian, and a coupon for a puppy from Mom and Dad (provided you complete all the tasks stipulated).

Kate, you started playing piano this year and learned to read music this week. You were so excited! You are making up your own songs; it is so fun to listen to you play. You ran cross-country this year and qualified for the All-City meet. Mom and Dad were grateful that that was the one day it didn't downpour during a meet! You joined the craft club after school and have been playing basketball weekly. Despite all these activities, you are still a night owl and sometimes need to be reminded that reading under the covers is not allowed at bedtime. We went to get a hair trim last month and you opted for your adorable pixie cut; everyone loves it not only because it is cute but because they can more easily tell you and Glory apart.

Glory, you began playing flute this year and played a duet with Noah for your first recital this week. I was so proud of you! This week we are working on slurring eighth notes and you are rising to the challenge! You played soccer with SYSA and will play again in the spring. You are fierce on the field and got some experience playing goalie. You have moved into Ellie's room on the top bunk and have been a good bedtime partner to Ellie and very tolerant of her endless bedtime antics. Your blanket and (occasionally) your finger have still been your bedtime vices and I think you could sleep through anything as long as you had those two.

You both started swimming for the Spokane Waves and love it. You have competed in a couple meets and take turns beating each other. Your crawl stroke and back stroke are looking pretty good and you are working on your breast stroke. You balance fun and competition well. This summer you crafted a triathlon course and competed with the Bruyas. The Eddys took 1st, 2nd and 3rd but you gave the prizes to Chloe and Matthew so they would have fun, too. You both have loving hearts and are constantly thinking of others and how to be good friends.

We love you so much. Every day you are growing in to young women and we see less and less of the babies you used to be. Thank you for still taking time to snuggle and hug us; we are trying to savor every moment.

Mom and Dad

Friday, April 22, 2016

happy birthday, noah!

Dear Noah,

Happy birthday, Noah! You are now a decade old. Your days are busy with school and activities and it seems like every day you come home and ask permission to try to squeeze in even more. (At this rate, you will never have time to play the Xbox, which is fine by me. However, Mom and Dad would love for you to have a little more free time to feed your book addiction.)

You have been playing the violin for the last 18 months and your ability has grown at an exponential rate. Garnik awarded you an heirloom 3/4 size violin that he reserves for the student who has shown the most potential and best work ethic. Music seems to come fairly naturally to you; you and Grumpy have been working on several viola/violin duets--and you are keeping him on his toes. You are already asking about playing the trumpet or clarinet in the school band and you can pick out many melodies on the piano by ear. We love listening to you play; we still have a fair amount of discussion about practicing.

Schoolwork is easy for you and sometimes you need more to keep you engaged. This year your teachers recommended you be re-tested for the Highly Capable program and you are now on the wait list for Odyssey. You were elected as ASB secretary; I'm not sure what all your duties entail, but this morning you told me you were there to "donate ideas". Your contributions are valuable; you wrote a persuasive letter to the superintendent asking for a dedicated room for testing. She made a comment to Dad about it at the Wilson auction. You have good friends; you love science. Fourth grade agrees with you.

Your sport of choice is soccer. You are obsessed! This year you played with the Shadow.  You are developing better ball skills and have a talent to "read" the field. You just completed tryouts for next year and will play with the Select team. Your coach, Ben, loves your willingness to learn and your teamwork.

Now that you have been confirmed AND are in the 4th grade, you have started altar serving at church. We love that you are so enthusiastic; you volunteer whenever there is an open space. I think it gives you a physical form to pray and participate in the Mass and you are a great example of what your sisters can look forward to when they are ready.

Family time is important to you. You and your sisters play well together most of the time and more often than not you can compromise on your differences of opinion. The last few weeks, you've had some sibling sleepovers with Ellie--when she lets you. You and Sam are especially close as the oldest brothers of the family and love everything Legos and Star Wars. You love babies of every kind, but have a special softness for B & C. You've made it your personal goal to make them laugh as much as possible--and you're pretty good at it.

Noah Bear, you make us proud to watch you grow.

Mom and Dad

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

happy birthday, ellie

Dear Ellie,

Happy 4th birthday! We celebrated your birthday with Tita, Sharon, Marilyn and Dan all showering you with special treats. Apparently Tita gave you a chocolate bunny and it took you most of the day to realize that it was something you could eat. Your most beloved gift is your Frozen bicycle complete with handlebar streamers and a strap-on carriage for you to carry your toys and snacks in. You and Dad biked down by the river and up by Kendall yards. He's still working on your endurance; you would bike for about 2 minutes and then take a 5-minute water break.

You are as passionate and spunky as ever. Old age has yet to mellow you. You love to laugh and joke. Your favorites are knock-knock jokes based off of the Sponge Bob movie with some variation of "Give me back my formula" as the punchline. They are hilarious even though most people would not be able to follow your sense of humor. Your kisses and hugs are fierce. Your meltdowns have been likened to "a dumpster fire of anger". We are seeing fewer of them, little by little. You still change your outfits 5 times a day and add any and every accessory you can find. Your latest favorites are these too-big peep-toe red shoes with heels inherited from ND.

You cannot wait to be "big" and do everything Kate, Glory and Noah do. You have started writing your name, are using more Spanish words and are trying to spell things. Recently, at the park, you taunted Kate and Noah about sitting in a tree and "K-I-S-T-M-P-G-Y". You are so excited to go to Sunday School and come back singing songs at the top of your lungs. Kate and Glory read to you often and you 3 play all sorts of imaginary games like  "family" and "zoo". You often persuade Noah into giving you piggy back rides when your legs get "tired from too much walking".

Bedtime is still a challenge for you, night owl. You are doing better at sleeping in your own bed, but still need lots of encouragement. I still enjoy the middle of the night snuggles although I think Dad would prefer not to have your feet in his face every night.

You are growing so big and strong. You love to dance like a ballerina; I'm sure much of the inspiration comes from your beloved cousin, Natalie. You try to do pushups or climb on Noah's back while he does them.

Your birthday time always makes me nostalgic. I'm glad you get nostalgic, too. This month, I have re-told your birth story at least ten times. You and Dad made a baby book for you. You picked the color (green) and most of the photos.

Love you lots,
Mom & Dad

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

happy birthday, kate and glory!

Dear Kate and Glory,

Happy 7th birthday! This year is the year for a "family" birthday celebration instead of a "friend" party and you two have been celebrated for the last 2 weeks with dinners, gifts and special outings/sleepovers.

You are trying out your independence from one another-on your own accord. You asked us to place you in separate first-grade classes and have thrived.  You are thick as thieves at home and at recess. I think you go through a  little bit of sister-withdrawal at bedtime and often sleep together (unless  your pillow talk carries on too late into the night). Kate, you played  recreational basketball by yourself this year. Glory, you wanted to try figure skating or swimming; I think figure skating will win out this year. For the first time ever--unless you count self-inflicted bangs--you have different haircuts. You have always been your own people, but we see it more on the outside now.

You both played soccer this year with Dad and Miss Nicole as coaches. Your team consisted of 4 other Wilson girls that you knew and played well with. I love that in your team picture--hardly any of you have teeth! It's that era.

You both are turning into quite the bookworms, devouring chapter books--especially the "Never Girls" series--at an impressive rate. Glory, you are super strong at math and can school your mom at Common Core. Kate, your reading is fluid and fast. You both are hard workers and love school for many reasons--academic and social.

Bea and Cecelia's arrival this year have made you celebrate your twin-ness even more. Kate, you identify with Bea as the 2nd baby and you were both breech--and both colicky. Glory, Cecelia is more like you--a little more content and a better eater and sleeper, but watch out when she gets mad! You have so much love for them and all the littles. You are very gracious to Ellie who still attempts to rule the roost.

You still have more energy than most children on the face of the earth and are constantly requesting or finding activities to do. Lately, you love building forts in the TV room; we all sit on the floor because the couch cushions are indisposed. You love to help me cook and bake; you got cookbooks this year for your birthday and I plan to put you guys to work, planning menus and feeding us. It's always delicious.

You are growing up so fast but still have remnants of your babyhood that persist. Kate, you ask to be snuggled most nights. Glory, you still carry your big yellow blanket  (sometimes even in your backpack
to school!) and you are working on not sucking your finger since your permanent teeth are coming in.

It is such a joy to witness you two growing up!
Love, Mom and Dad

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

happy birthday, noah!

Dear Noah,

It has been five months since your 9th birthday. The original letter was drafted on paper and I'm sure is residing somewhere in the Spokane County Courthouse, lost sometime during jury duty. Needless to say, our lives are full. You are your mother's son and try to squeeze more in every chance you get.

You are a joy, Noah: loving, dependable, smart. You have started respectfully questioning our "because I said so" reasons and are asking good questions. Even though you are only nine, adolescence is upon us; Dad and I don't know if we're ready, so take it easy on us. Some of your friends have cell phones and  you frequently ask when it is your turn. The answer is still "not yet".

As a big brother, you routinely heckle your sisters, correcting their 6-year old knowledge any chance you get. You also teach them things in gentler ways and we still catch you snuggling with them occasionally. Things get wild and crazy when you, Kate and Glory build forts and the fort-building turns into pillow fights and wrestling. Screaming and laughing ring through the whole house. Ellie jumps in whenever she can.

You are developing a special relationship with Sam. It's hard to believe there was so much cousin rivalvry when you were younger. You both love Star Wars, Legos and guns and can spend hours upon hours holed up playing. You two have started writing letters to each other this year, complete with elaborate drawings of guns, maps and Star Wars-related things. You both have sisters with strong personalities and I'm so glad you have each other for brotherly support.

This year was a vacation-filled year. You got to boogie board and swim with sea turtles in Maui in April. We visited LegoLand with the Co-op Kids and Aunt Lauren and Tate in June. We went to Portland for the Cleto family reunion where you hit it off with Rico at the luau.

You keep your schedule full, partly because I'm your mom, but mostly because you want to try every new opportunity that comes your way. This fall you are playing Shadow soccer and running cross country (you made it to the all-city meet last year, which was a proud moment for all of us.) Your smart brain and hard work make you a good student; your teacher told me how great you are when I saw her this morning. You love books and finished the Harry Potter series this summer.

You are starting your second year of violin with Garnik. You have Dad's ear for music and most of it comes quite easily to you. We still struggle with practicing reliably, but I love to listen to you play. You are preparing for First Reconciliation this year and are looking forward to altar server training in the spring. When there are any free moments, they are filled with play dates with friends.

I know I say the same thing every year, but we can't believe how fast you are growing. It is a joy to watch and we are proud to be your parents.

Mom and Dad

Monday, March 16, 2015

happy birthday, ellie!

Dear Ellie,
Happy 3rd birthday! You continue to be a girl of extremes--often laughing/kissing/hugging one minute and having a screaming tantrum the next. Sometimes it seems like you have too much passion to fit into your 3-year-old body.
You have strong opinions about most things; the most obvious is your wardrobe. Every day you are dressed to the nines: an Easter dress, patterned tights, petticoat, dress shoes (sometimes with heels!) and some kind of jewelry--the more, the better! After you are dressed, you ask, "Do I look pretty? Or fabulous?" (Because there are only two options.) Our mountain of laundry keeps growing as you usually go through 2 or 3 of these wardrobe changes per day.
You love to be read to and have started "reading" to me from memory. For such a busy girl, there's a power books hold over you. You will sit quietly, listening to book after book. You ask what unfamiliar words mean and I hear you using them in your ever-growing vocabulary. Some of this is driven by your desire to be a big-kid kindergartener like Kate and Glory.
Your siblings have been caught up in the NCAA finals for basketball, cheering their hearts out for Gonzaga. You cheer exuberantly, too, in your "Kevin Eddy" loud voice for your own "teams": Ariel, Dora, and most recently, Care Bears. You also act as a cheerleader and sing the "Teamwork" song from "Wonder Pets" and the "Clean Up" song when we do our chores.
Your siblings continue to dote on you, although they have started to help mold you into a responsible citizen--reminding you to use good manners and act with kindess. Your "baby of the family" status is starting to wear off and you are beginning to conform to the same expectations set out for your siblings.
You are especially close to Kate these days and you randomly tell her, "I'm in love with you, Kate". It is so sweet.
You are a night owl. Bedtime is slightly easier, but still much later than your mother would prefer. With our recently hectic schedule, you and I have become bed buddies again...and then I transfer you back to your bed when you are dead asleep. Dr. Ferber is undoubtedly shaking his head, but you are my 4th child and my last baby and I still cherish the nighttime snuggles.

Mom and Dad

Monday, November 24, 2014

happy 6th birthday, kate and glory!

Dear Kate and Glory,

Happy birthday! I look at this picture and see you two so grown up--where did our little girls go? This year you started kindergarten and have absolutely flourished. Every day you come home excitedly telling stories of all the adventures you had that day--as well as everyone's adventures. You both are very social and you make it your business to know what everyone else is up to. We know who sits with whom, who got in trouble, who's going on a trip, and I'm pretty sure your entire class and their parents knows what's going on in our household as well. It's a good thing we don't have too many skeletons in our closet.

Your father and I survived your first "friend" birthday party yesterday--along with 18 of your classmates, a few of their siblings and parents. It was a great success with a Cinderella theme, princess cupcakes, making crowns and rotating stations with games of "Pin the Slipper on the Princess", "Fairy Godmother Says", relay races and balloon games. The pinata was the biggest "hit" of all; it helped convince some of your boy classmates to come to a princess party. Thank goodness for all the adults in your life--Grammy, Mo, Marilyn and Dan came to help reign in the chaos and Mom and Dad were extremely grateful.

Glory, you broke your left arm this year--4 days before we left for Disneyland. We've always known you were tough, but your courage was impressive. You had to go to surgery and, instead of being nervous, you were more excited about being able to stay up all night watching TV in your hospital room. You kept up with your siblings and cousins riding all the rides at Disneyland and were able to play a little bit in the pool--thanks to Glad Press -N- Seal.

You have a big, big heart for such a little girl. One of the many examples of this is how you have befriended, Tyler, one of your classmates. Tyler has special needs and, at first the different way he talked and walked, were a little scary to you, but we talked about his heart is the same despite his differences on the outside. After this, you made a special point of being welcoming to him and you two have become special friends. You say a special prayer for him every night.

You are becoming braver; your personality is more cautious than Kate. You finally pulled a loose tooth after much coaxing by both Dad and Kate...and the Tooth Fairy gave you an extra penny for your bravery. You tried again with your 2nd tooth, but now you are back to the going rate for the Eddy family--$1. You still snuggle with your blankie; it now goes to school with you and stays in your backpack every day. We are working on only sucking your finger at bedtime now that more permanent teeth are on the horizon. You have a hard time remembering sometimes, but always say "Thanks, Mom" when I remind you.

Kate, this year you have been a do-er--which, at times, has ended well, and at others--not so much. You were the first to lose a tooth--because you yanked it out the second it became loose enough. You are tackling reading enthusiastically, reading anything in sight and your printing is coming along nicely. Unfortunately, your can-do attitude sometimes makes you bite off more than you can chew. Several days ago, you tried cutting the hairband out of your hair and are lucky you don't look like Skrillex. (You will be wearing the same hairdo with its careful combover for the next few weeks.)

You are strong kid. Our grown-up friends comment on the pushups you can do. You can scale any piece of furniture or shelving in our house. I'm sure you'd excel at gymnastics, but we opted for ballet so you and Glory could have a non-weight-bearing activity with her broken arm. Ballet is a bit too serious for your afternoon sillies, but you generally enjoy it.

You are sleeping more than ever before, which is still not much. Much to your parents' dismay, it is becoming clear that you are a "night owl". We have adopted a "fake it 'til you make it" protocol for bedtime where you have to lie quietly in bed until you fall asleep. You comply, but still are awake until 10pm most nights; now you sleep in, and dragging you out of bed for school in the mornings can be hard on all of us.

You both are growing into such good helpers. You love to work in the kitchen with me--measuring, mixing, cracking eggs and sometimes cutting. You help making your own beds and when we have family pick-up, you race to put away things. You both are big, big help with Ellie. You are patient and loving and try hard to set good examples of good behavior; you often give into her demands because you love her. Noah is becoming a good playmate as well and it warms my heart to see the 4 of you making up intricate imagination games.

We are so excited for what this next year holds!

Mom and Dad