We celebrated with a Big Hero Six birthday party (a shared party with Second Son). By far, the highlight of the party for the children was dressing each other as Baymax using toilet paper. Hilarity ensued (but a huge toilet paper mess, especially once someone figured out it could be thrown high enough to hit the fan and shred, falling like a fine mist of fuzz on everyone and everything). It didn't take nearly as much toilet paper as I anticipated, so we've been using super-cheap toilet paper for months.
That's a Baymax cupcake. There isn't a closer picture because they looked best from a distance, but the kids liked them. I found way too many good ideas on Pinterest.
Second Daughter's baptismal anniversary is about five weeks after her birthday. It was a much calmer affair than her birthday party. She requested chicken enchiladas. (Chicken enchiladas were a bit of a theme here on the Range for a while. Second Daughter and Second Son requested them for both birthdays and both baptismal anniversaries.)
Dinner was easy, but the cake was another matter. Second Daughter doesn't do dessert half-way and requested the Smitten Kitchen chocolate peanut butter cake (lovingly made by her father). We invited some dear friends to celebrate the anniversary with us mainly so they could help us eat this cake. It's too
Her favorite foods: chicken enchiladas with red sauce, vanilla yogurt, bread with butter. She's recently refused to eat many former staples like rice and cold pasta. Vegetables are only choked down under duress.
Her most common responses:
"Just a minute..."
More ominously, "Don't worry, Mom."
Her favorite books: Henry and Mudge books, Stuck, animal encyclopedias, bird guidebooks, really just about anything about birds or animals.
Second Daughter's reading has really taken off, just a few months after she turned seven. We're reading books featuring Henry and Mudge together, but she's reading The Boxcar Children aloud to Second Son. They dressed as Violet and Benny for a recent literary costume party. She reads everything now and often shares her new-found knowledge with us. ("Did you know Cheerios are made with whole grain oats?")
She received a face paint kit for her birthday (a great gift idea I learned from a friend). She and First Daughter have experimented with it often.
Her favorite games: Munchkin*, Catan (we have an older version), Dixit, Agricola, Trouble.
Second Daughter is my nature girl. She can wade at the edge of a stream (or the middle of it) for hours at a time. Though she often doesn't seem quiet and observant to me, she always finds something intriguing, something peeking out from under a rock, or tiny fish visible only in brief reflections of light.
|At the water's edge at Great Sand Dunes National Park|
She has a habit of falling in love with a stick or a rock, insisting we bring it home, naming it, carting it around for weeks, and mourning dreadfully when it finally falls apart or is lost.
The three older kids took an art class in June. It was organized by a Charlotte Mason homeschooling mom and focused on nature drawing. Second Daughter was a bit under the age limit, but the instructor agreed to let her join the class because I knew she'd be the one to appreciate it most. This is one of the paintings she brought home. (All the artwork impressed us!)
|a shell found during nature study at a river in Kansas|
For a few months, Second Daughter attended a taekwondo class with Kansas Dad, First Son, and First Daughter. She successfully earned her yellow belt before opting to take a break. Now she stays home and entertains Second Son for me. She'll still show off her kicks every now and then.
She and Second Son play games for hours on end - imaginative games, board games, reading games, school games. They get along much more often than not, which is a blessing.
|First day of school - 1st grade|
The monkey is George (previously known as Boots). He's been around longer than she has and is a near-constant companion. (I think First Son received him as a gift from my mother when she visited us in New York City and bought it for him at Macy's.)
Second Daughter started first grade this year. Her favorite lessons: math games, picture books, fables, letters (for which she draws a picture to send or give away), Cut-Crease-Create books.
She loves games and always has. This year, we're playing lots of games during her math lessons (from Addition & Subtraction: Math Games for Elementary Students (Math You Can Play) and from our cabinet). I can see her number skills improving; sometimes she even wins! She'll probably start Life of Fred later this year, too.
Her least favorite lessons: narration, copywork, and cursive. Anyone sense a theme? She often refuses to narrate at first, but usually relents before too long.
May God bless you in the coming year, Second Daughter!
* Please note that Munchkin, while a favorite game in our house, is not right for every family. Many of the cards are inappropriate (and have therefore been modified by the grown-ups here).
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