Friday, March 06, 2015

Five Years Old!

Not-so-little Penny turned 5 this week. What a clever, sweet girl she is growing up to be. She can hardly contain all the love and creativity just bursting from every seam. She is constantly reminding us that "there is nothing you could ever do to stop me loving you!" The same goes for you, Pen.

 Some info about Penny at age 5:

-Her reading skills are taking off. She is very self-motivated when it comes to learning to read, and is very excited about being able to recognize words all around her. She loves learning anything, and burns through all the workbooks I throw at her.

-This girl can and will talk your ear off. About everything. She has no self control when it comes to chatting it up with people. She loves to be listened to, and will talk to anyone willing to hear her out. I often have to bail people out when they get sucked into one of Penny's long-winded conversations.

-I'm so relieved that Pen is finally showing an interest in art. She loves to watch me draw, and often will ask how to draw certain things as she aims for accuracy. I am really trying to stress to her that she mustn't be too worried about making her drawings look perfect and that it takes lots of practice, but she is a little perfectionist when it comes to her art. Wonder where that came from.

-In contrast to her younger self, Penny has very strong opinions about her hair. It is one of my biggest frustrations. As early as I can remember, she would happily let me do whatever I wanted to those blonde locks (I french braided it on her first birthday) but recently she only likes her hair "long" and not pulled back in any way. I plead with her to let me at least put a clip in so I can see her sweet face. But alas. Sometimes we can find a compromise with a low pony tail, and on the rare occasion she'll let me french braid it. I guess I should be happy for the time that I did have complete control over her hair. Sigh.

-Similar to the hair, she is also very particular about her fashions. Fortunately I approve of her choices most of the time, but she does pick out some doozies. I had to invest in a lot more dresses, as that is her article of choice.

-Penny and Link are best buddies. I thought the age difference was going to be very apparent and cumbersome, but they don't seem to mind at all. Link mimics everything his big sisters does, and she loves teaching him new things. Plus it is a lot easier to reason with a 5 year old when her 1 year old brother isn't sharing well.
-When it comes to helping mom, Pen is the BEST! She regularly helps clean the kitchen, and it is genuinely helpful. She empties the dishwasher, and mops after I sweep. Without even being asked, she will regularly wipe down walls, cabinets, surfaces, and doors just for fun. This makes everyone happy :)

-Just a few of Penny's favorite things to do: go to Chick-Fil-A and Pump-It-Up, play games on the computer or draw on photoshop, tell you about her crazy, super detailed dreams, watch movies with mom and dad, play pretend, make dinner or bread with the grown-ups, model for photo shoots (seriously, she asks to do them), anything outdoors, pick out books at the library.

Favorite foods: "I love all the food in the world!" But really, she likes grits and eggs, every kind of cheese, olives, avacados, and pizza sans pepperoni.

Favorite book: "Ones with flaps in them." We're reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone right now. Hopefully she takes to that one :)

Favorite Movie: "All of them." In reality, Pen has a very refined taste in movies. She actually knows the difference between Disney and Pixar films, and its been fun to hear her opinions and perceptions of films as she now starts to understand what is being portrayed. She also can name almost any song from the soundtrack of any Disney movie. We would play a game in the car where we'd just put spotify on shuffle on our Disney playlist, and her accuracy with guessing them correctly was very impressive.

Favorite toy: She loves her stuffed animals, and likes to pretend they are real. She builds houses for them out of boxes and begs to bring them everywhere we go. We've had several casualties from losing them while we're out, so we keep them safe at home most of the time.

Favorite trip: "The Bahamas and Florida." Me too, Pen. She loves to travel and see new things, which is heavily influenced by her father, I'm sure. I'm sure she'll travel the world someday!

Our little Penny is such a bright, happy influence in our lives. We are so pleased with her every day, and are grateful for the joy she brings to our family every day.

And here's my annual short film of the past year of Penny's life. This year I am excited to feature the beautiful song "Lucky Penny" written by her Aunt Cortnie. It makes me cry every time I hear it.

And here's here 5 year photo shoot:

Monday, January 12, 2015


And then it was December.
 Penny and Jeff went on a little daddy-daughter date downtown to the Holiday Market. Jeff knows just how to make that little Pen feel so special.

 They even went to the American Art Museum and Portrait Gallery.
 Link looked cute at church.
 We took some Christmas pictures of each of us.

 We tried to hit up every Christmas-type activity in the area since we weren't really going anywhere for the holidays. We went to the festival of lights at Watkins Park, which was really awesome. It was only $5 for the 30 minute drive through, plus we got a stack of free Chick-Fil-A coupons!
  I found a really good deal on the local jumping gym. We've been going there quite a lot lately to pass the time.

 Link was invited to his friend Jackson's birthday party.
 Penny had her final dance class which we were invited to attend. It was adorable and cute, and was free. I'm never paying $150 for a ridiculous dance recital again!

 One day I accidentally didn't close the door to the bathroom after drying and dressing Link, and he followed me back in and dove right in before I could stop him. He is addicted to the tub.
 We were very excited when Santa came a little early to drop off our new piano! It has been used every day since its arrival by all members of the family. Penny is already halfway through her new piano book, and is doing awesome with her lessons.

Best of all, we won't have to hire a crew to move it when we leave and it will never go out of tune.

 Kira did a great job planning the ward Christmas party. We sang Star Bright at the variety show, and Penny said hello to Santa. Link wouldn't even be in the same room with him without going crazy nuts.

 I made lots of treats that seemed to never go away. Hopefully the pounds will.
 Jeff also made lots of yummy things, like these chicken and waffles. This was a yeast-based waffle, and I don't think I can ever go back. It was so melty and crispy at the same time.
 Random children pictures.

 Jeff and I found a moment to steal away for an evening. We went to a yummy tapas restaurant in Georgetown and enjoyed the holiday decor around.

Kira introduced me to this awesome place down the street called Community Forklift. It is a huge warehouse filled with mid century furniture and salvage materials and whatever else you could possibly imagine. It is so cool, I could spend hours there. It is a DIYers dream come true.
 Jeff has been having some fun times too. Here he is striking an epic pose with the wrapping paper.
 And having a N64 competition at work.
 I had a Love Actually ladies night with some friends.
 We found a good deal for the Zoo Lights on LivingSocial.

We went to the Temple Lights and attended about half of the concert until the kids couldn't make it anymore.

The Botanical Gardens downtown also had cool model train displays and lights, and for the first time since we moved here we actually saw the National Christmas tree by the White House.