Sunday, April 22, 2018

happy birthday, noah!

Dear Noah

Happy 12th birthday! It is your last year prior to officially becoming a teenager. We are bracing ourselves. Just kidding--we are grateful that it is you who is breaking us in as parents to a teenager. We have the feeling you will take it easier on us than your sisters. Please don't feel that you need to prove us wrong. 

It seems impossible that your life is even fuller and busier than it was last year, but it is. Next year you have requested a  less scheduled year and we are happy to oblige. You have been swimming with CAST and this year made the finals in the 100 breast at Jr. Champs--thanks to your hard work, practicing three days a week throughout the year. School is busy as usual. You have made great strides in organization, keeping better track of more of the details involved in the many tasks of be

ing an Odyssey student. You have a perfectionist streak to you and are hard on yourself when some of those things fall through the cracks. Failures are learning opportunities and we try to remind you that all of this is just practice for what comes later in your academic career. Your year-long research fair project was entitled "Music and its Effects on the Brain" and looked at music and its effects on mood and how it is used as therapy for Alzheimer's and depression. Other than all the homework, you are enjoying Odyssey. You have a good group of friends; Katie and Leo seem to be some of the closest in the bunch. Leo, Katie, Grace, Owen and Jack K. all came to your birthday party at LaserQuest. Your school campout at Riverview Bible Camp is fast approaching and everyone seems to be looking forward to it. You also discovered skiing this year and want to spend all next winter at Schweitzer.

Violin remains your passion in life; music, in general, pervades all aspects of your being. You listen to music while you do homework, hum and sing in the car, and are constantly trying out new melodies on both the violin and piano. This year you have been a member of the Spokane Youth Symphony's sinfonietta. It has been a fulfilling experience for you to play with this group of talented, young musicians, but the time commitment has stretched you thin. All of your grandparents have been impressed with the quality of music you all make together. You continue to take lessons from Garnik, both your individual lesson and chamber with Elizabeth. You are outgrowing your 3/4 sized violin and are getting ready to move to a full size; you are excited for the search of that new instrument. You continue to play in our family choir when we intermittently play in church. This winter we played at All Saints in Lewiston. You played a violin solo that brought tears to people's eyes. You will also play for Auntie Choly's birthday Mass and Grandma A's and Bob's wedding rite this summer.

This past year you reached a rite of passage and got your own cell phone. It has been a lifesaver in coordinating pickups and drop-offs with all your activities and it has allowed you to stay home by yourself and finish up some homework or have a few minutes of quiet to yourself. It would be helpful if you remembered to take it with you more often though (hint, hint). I love texting with you; it makes me feel connected to you even though we are apart. You also have your own email and you let me put your account on my phone as a security precaution to give some peace of mind to your first-time technology parents. With your birthday money, you bought your own laptop, which you mostly use for homework and games. You are growing up too fast!

More and more I catch glimpses of the man you will grow into--the way you push yourself to strive for your best, your goofy sense of humor, your heartwarming connection to your little cousins. Dad and I are blessed to be on this journey with you.

Love you lots,
Mom and Dad

Friday, March 16, 2018

happy 6th birthday, ellie!


Dear Ellie,
Happy 6th birthday! You are so ecstatic to be 6 years old and have been sure that every day for the last week MUST be the 16th. You, Kate, Glory and I were away last weekend on a delightful trip to Portland and Seattle and Dad is positive that you grew in the 4 days since he'd seen you last. You must be going through a growth spurt. Your appetite, which usually knows no bounds, is even more impressive these days--it's like you have a hollow leg. You still love any kind of fruit, most vegetables and abhor meat. You have a special kind of love for mashed potatoes; you ate the leftover mashed potatoes on the car ride home from Tri-Cities during Thanksgiving. For you school birthday treat, you requested watermelon cupcakes and were hoping for them to taste exactly like watermelon, but settled on pink cake mixed with mini chocolate chips and decorated with green frosting. If they can't taste like your favorite fruit, at least they can bear a reasonable resemblance. You were such a big help in making them (and tasting the batter and chocolate chips).
You started kindergarten this year and love being in Mrs. Coyote's class. You define a good day as "no side chatter" and "no think time" although it doesn't seem like these are issues for you--well, maybe the side chatter is. I think almost everyone in class is your friend. Your classmates' parents comment on your joyful smile and how you always are kind and love giving hugs to everyone. A whole new world has been opened to you; you are learning how to read and write. Right now you are reading at a level 10 and have especially enjoyed stories like "Goldilocks" and "The Three Little Pigs". You write such loving birthday cards for your friends, carefully spelling out "Happy Birthday" and "you are my BFF". These cards are decorated to the hilt with your drawings and colorings. You love crafts of all kinds and recently we have been working on an adult-coloring-book picture of an elephant.
After years of pining away to be a ballerina, you started ballet classes this year. You love it so much you will even tolerate wearing an itchy costume because it is so pretty. You have a big recital coming up in May where you will dance to "Do Re Mi". You also love it that you get to wear makeup and have decided to grow out your bangs per Ms Sandra's request so that your hair can be as ballerina-like as possible. Marilyn takes you almost every Thursday to class and keeps track of all your ballet things. During the first class of the month, we get to watch you perform and are always entertained by your dancing and silly antics. Your big personality still shines through every facet of your life.

I do hope that maybe as a 6-year old you will overcome your bedtime difficulties. You don't like sleeping alone but aren't the best bed buddy or roommate so finding a partner for you can be difficult. We moved the big king-sized bed you love so much into Kate and Glory's room so that you all can fit in it for sister sleep overs but it is still a struggle to go to bed on time. More than half the time you end up in our bed, cozied up with Dad. You are still a night owl who loves to sleep in the morning. After our big weekend trip, you had to catch up on your sleep. Dad finally woke you up at 9AM so you wouldn't miss the whole day of school. Even though bedtime makes me crazy, watching you sleep is still the sweetest thing ever. I can still see remnants of your sweet baby face in your now big girl face. I love your snuggles and sweetness. We are so blessed to have you in our family.

Mom and Dad

Friday, November 24, 2017

happy birthday, kate and glory!

 Dear Kate and Glory,

Happy 9th birthday--your last of the single digit birthdays! (Why does it always go so fast for your poor mom and dad?!?)

This year you are in 3rd grade in separate classes and are absolutely thriving. Kate, you have Mrs. Nybo and Glory you are in Mrs. Barker and Mrs. Farley's class. You love to read and your teachers laughingly shake their heads as they tell me about you sneak-reading during class. You are both especially addicted to the Harry Potter series. Kate, you have made it through the entire series and are making it through all the movies; I'm hesitant to say "enjoying" because some of the suspenseful parts are too much for you and you have to leave the room. Glory, you triumphantly made it through the 3rd book and are now officially as hooked as Kate and Noah. You love playing "Harry Potter" with Noah and Ellie, running around with wands and casting spells on each other.

You "earned" your birthday puppy this year by diligently taking care of Brookie. Kona was born on June 17 and came home to us in early August. She is fairly laid back for a lab puppy, but gets very excited about playing with you guys, especially in the snow! She is now 40 pounds and fairly strong and during the last snow, she dragged Kate on her belly across the snowy yard while trying to say "hi" to walkers on the frontage road. Kate, she seems to think you are her co-puppy and you get the brunt of her wrestling  and play bites and scratches. Glory, she sees you more of a dog-mom authority and you can get her to settle and obey. You take turns feeding her, walking her and picking up poop--all the glamorous things of having a puppy. You have done a lot of reading about dogs and can tell me about how their body language shows what they are feeling; you like watching "Cesar 911" on how to deal with dogs with behavior problems.

Since having a puppy is so much work, Dad and I have managed to persuade you to limit your extracurricular activities to swimming and music. This year you big kids are swimming with CAST in Coeur d'Alene. You have made friends with Maggie and Tillie, daughters of one of the coaches, and have a blast at swim meets. You are swimming faster than ever! Kate, you are especially speedy, and made it to the final swim-off at the Moses Lake meet. Dad is back coaching and loves this extra quality time with you. Grammy helps keep track of you at all your swim meets and loves this new "Swim Grammy" role--it even helps her get her 10,000 steps in a day while she has to find you for your events! Once a week, you have dinner with Aunt Ris and Uncle Mark. Aunt Ris lets you pick the menu for dinner and you drink all the Kool-Aid your bellies can hold.

You both continue to grow in music. Glory, you outgrew your curved-headjoint flute and now have a full-sized flute. You love working with Clara and she arranges songs for you to play. You love playing hymns like "We are Many Parts" and "We Walk by Faith"; you are currently working on Hedwig's theme. You are diligent at practicing; you love to use your flute cleaner as a Harry Potter wand. Kate, up until 2 weeks ago, you hated practicing piano but loved performing. You are never ever nervous at recitals and look like a pro. Recently, Rita gave you a great pep talk and after you realized that you had made it through the toughest part of learning piano (scales, both clefs, both hands), you now want to play piano forever! You are especially excited that you are working on "Ode to Joy".

This year you celebrated your First Holy Communion and received the sacrament of Confirmation. Because of an odd schedule, we prepared and celebrated with Our Lady of Fatima parish instead of St. Augustine's. Ninang (Kate) and Marilyn (Glory) were your confirmation sponsors. Kate, your confirmation saint was St. Katharine Drexel and, Glory, yours was St. Jeanne Jugan. Ninang got you notebooks with prayers written in them and, Glory, you sometimes use yours to take notes on the readings or the hymns at church.

 Being a twin means always being lumped together as a pair, which is a good and a bad thing. You two are alike in so many ways, but as you continue to mature, the unique aspects of your personality become more apparent every day. Glory B, you are a helper. You always ask if I need help doing tasks around the house and you will even start washing the dishes without being asked. You have a soft spot in your heart for little kids--you work hard to entertain C & B, Neil and you won over "I only love my mom" Toby when he came to visit this summer. You are a rule follower and love to be the rule enforcer. I see my 9-year-old self in you--a little bit bossy, a little bit of a know-it-all.  You balance it better with kindness than I ever did. You have a perseverance in you that is impressive. Even when tasks are challenging, you don't give up once you have set your mind to it.

Kater Tot, when you are engrossed in a task, you have laser-like focus. You don't like to be interrupted or do multiple things at once. When you have a job, you want the finished project to be perfect. You usually balance this fairly well in our chaotic family dynamic and we are working on ways to remind you that your best effort is all that is needed, not perfection. You are a reading addict--devouring books as fast as you can get your hands on them. You remember the plots in photographic detail. You have a special soft spot for Ellie and tend to show her extra love when she most needs it.

 You both amaze us with your kind, thoughtful actions every day. You always have time for a hug or a snuggle. We are so blessed to be your parents.

Mom and Dad

P.S. Notice your dark hair? We dyed it for Halloween since you were Hagrid and Harry.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

happy birthday, noah!

Dear Noah,

Happy 11th birthday! You informed Dad that you are officially a "tween". We are all entering uncharted territory--although I suppose we are always in uncharted territory with you, firstborn.

You played soccer this fall with Shadow and loved it. Coach Ben said you demonstrated great leadership skills on the field and praised you on your ability to see the whole field and strategize. It was somewhat of a surprise when you decided that you would rather audition for the Spokane Youth Symphony than continue playing soccer in the spring.

This year, your love of violin has blossomed. I'm sure part of that has to do with playing strings at Odyssey, but also the consistent positive feedback you get from Ms. Sele who lets you serenade your homeroom whenever your bring your violin to school. You continue to sight read and pick up things easily, but your playing has become more nuanced and beautiful. You earned big praise from Garnik recently for having a perfect lesson. ("Noah, what is your favorite food?" "Spaghetti. Why?" "You tell your parents to make that for you as a reward because you have played perfectly this lesson.") Reidinger's concerto has you obsessed and you would practice it day and night if it weren't for all your pesky homework. One of my proudest moments was when you played violin at Lolo's anniversary Mass; you had such quiet confidence and played so well. You have also picked up the cello this year, and part of me is glad that you never practice at home because it is such an ordeal to lug that thing back and forth! 

Dad talked you into swimming with the Waves this year. Your only complaint is that we don't take you to practice often enough! You have conquered your fear of the 200 free and now swim an event that still intimidates most swimmers at your stage. Swim meets have become fun (albeit crazy) gatherings for multiple members of the Eddy clan.

You are enjoying the Odyssey program except for the homework thing. Content is not overly challenging for you but keeping all the paperwork organized has been a struggle. We are working on it and trying to be patient and supportive with each other. The accelerated curriculum has kept you interested and you have made some good friends along the way, including Leo who is in walking distance from home and is always good for a play date or homework party. Your schedule is busy, which is usually enjoyable but sometimes stressful. You are learning at this tender age how to try to balance everything on your very full plate.

Family is so important to you and you have a special soft spot for your cousins. C & B, Lillian & Neil have you wrapped around their respective little fingers. You will do anything to make them smile and are always willing to help out. You had a special spring break trip backpacking with Ninang and Sam. It may have been the highlight of the year, ranking higher than our Oahu trip in February.

You are growing up faster than I ever thought was possible. We are so proud of the young man you have become.

Mom & Dad

Thursday, March 16, 2017

happy birthday, ellie!

Dear Ellie (or "L.E." as you recently informed me),

Happy 5th birthday! I can't believe you are going to kindergarten in the fall. You have been "ready" since you were 2, but now I see you writing letters and drawing pictures of our family with so many details like long fingers and curly hair and you really seem like a kindergartener. You adore being read to and you could sit in my lap forever looking for hidden figures in "Highlights" or reading about Disney princesses. You have been going to preschool 3 mornings each week; your favorite is "Show and Tell". This summer will be the end of an era; you are the last of the Eddy children to be at Pacific Park.

You contain more personality than anyone I know. Strangers see it in you within seconds of meeting you. When we go to visit Auntie Choly, the Emilie Court residents are especially drawn to your vivacity. You love all things girly: dresses, makeup...the more accessories the better. You try on things and ask for our assessment, "Do you like it or love it? Is it pretty or fabulous?" (Because clearly there are only 2 options). You are free with your hugs and kisses. When you are happy, you are pure joy. When you are angry, your feelings have been described as a "dumpster fire". You never stay angry or sad for long, but you definitely keep us on our toes.

You are a girl of your own mind and want to be in control of your own destiny. Recently you chopped your bangs off and told me, "Mom, you always tell me to solve my own problems." Well, you did just that and your punkrocker girl bangs do have a certain appeal now that they've grown a little. Your ears and brain pick up on the things I least suspect. When you were 3 and we went to Hawaii, I was a very effective sherpa, carting you, beach bags, chairs, etc, and Dad teased me about my load. I retorted, "I can do it. I'm Amy Eddy." That is your favorite phrase whenever I tell you I can't do something (like carry both you and the groceries inside)--"Yes, you can. You're Amy Eddy!"

This year you started going to speech therapy to help with your annunciation. You've always had a lot to say but were getting frustrated that not everyone could understand your big ideas. Miss Shelby at Milestones and Mrs. Staben at Wilson have been some of your favorite playmates and your speech is much clearer. I remember when you figured out "J" all on your own and said "Uncle Joe"; Uncle Joe noticed right away and was so proud of you!

We just got back from our trip to Honolulu. You loved the zoo and visiting the Polynesian Cultural Center. You spent hours building in the sand on the beach. When you grow up, you want to be a hula dancer, beach lifeguard and zookeeper. Mom and Dad wholeheartedly support you--as long as we get to move to Hawaii with you when you pursue your dreams.

Now you are 5 year old, and officially, a "big girl". You always be my baby--even if I'm not allowed to carry you any more (sorry, it's Dad's rules, even if I am Amy Eddy). We love all your snuggles and also hope that one day they only occur during the day time and not in the middle of the night in our bed. (Sleeping in your own bed is happening soon, right? Right?!?)

Mom and Dad

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