Monday, February 10, 2014


My sweet Anslee turned 5 years old on January 22nd. 5! That is so far past baby. You know how I know this? has sent me weekly updates on this sweet girl since she was born. On her fifth birthday, instead of referring to her "Your Pre-Schooler this week" they sent me an email with the subject line saying "Your BIG KID this week." I would be lying if that little change didn't slap me in the face when I read it!

Who is she? Character Development:

Anslee really does astound me everyday by showing me aspects of her personality that I think will carry on through her lifetime. I really believe I am seeing parts of her that will remain with her be the foundation to the person she is to become one day. Anslee is natural rule follower. I am pretty sure it has never crossed her mind to get up out of bed on her own, though she has the physical ability to do so. She was told when she moved into a big girl bed to stay put until given permission to get up, and that is what she does. Anslee will be wide awake every morning when I get her out of bed - but will not so much as put her feet on the floor until she is told she allowed. For nap time, she rarely sleeps now - but stays in my bed for 2 hours and rests until she is told she can get up and come out. I really believe that she will do this willingly because I feel like this is her time to be alone, and she has a strong need for alone time. I am learning that re-fuels herself by taking this time to simply be by herself.  She craves order and structure and thrives when she is within her boundaries. She gets confused when I take a back road home, and tells me I must be going the wrong way. Learning is fun for her. Understanding how things work is like a game for her. I have had to explain to her how pipes work, how a refrigerator stays cold, how our bones grow, etc. She is really curious to know how the world around her works. Anslee is a comforter. She is sensitive to others feelings and emotions! She quiets her sisters with a big hug and "its ok!" when they are upset. When Kensington gets really excited (which is often!) Ans really celebrates with her and shares in the excitement. She even one time asked if she could get a spank so Kens didn't have too! Many times, she has seen me cry, and has comforted me - and nothing is more humbling than having your child tell you things are going to be ok. Really. Anslee is a little bit of a perfectionist. She practices a skill over and over until she is satisfied. Ask her to show you a cartwheel. If the first one is not to her liking - she will make you watch again. Then again, if needed. Along with this - she is easily frustrated when something does not come easily and quickly to her. Patience is something we may struggle with as she grows. She is still a bit shy and timid, but really loves to be in social/school/church group settings. Since she has always been exposed to these outlets - she is comfortable there, though she may not be the most outspoken in the group.

Spiritual development: My sweet girl fully understands right from wrong. She understands why she needs to be sorry when she chooses wrong. We talk about Jesus and we talk to Jesus quite a bit with Anslee, and I am starting to see him draw her close. She understands that Jesus died on the cross so we can be with him one day forever. She has worked very hard on scripture memory this past semester, and knows most of the 3rd chapter of Proverbs (which is 35 verses). Now, with her pre-school, she is learning Matthew 7. I hope that by memorizing these - her heart be forever penetrated by his word. She will come to claim Jesus as her savior one day. Even now, I know she is not mine - but I am giddy thinking about the day where she realizes who she truly belongs too. I can't wait to let her know that he loves her more than I do - and more than I will ever be able.

What she knows. Her smarts:
Anslee is a bright kiddo! Like I mentioned before, she is curious and LOVES learning. At 5, she knows all her letters and their respective phonics, can tell the difference between capitol and lower case letters, reads several sight words, and works really hard to sound out what she doesn't immediately recognize. Some kids are much further along at this age, but I am super proud of where she is at. I think I am just most relieved that learning keeps her attention - and that the desire to know more and more is there and strong. She can do simple addition and simple subtraction - and really understands the concepts of adding to something and taking away. Patterns are her favorite thing right now. She turns everything into a "AABB pattern mama! Look at your shirt mama! Its an AABB!" Puzzles and problem solving are very much her thing. (This is not my cup of tea, so it has been interesting for me to know about her!) I let her help me in the kitchen a lot, measuring things out. She really gets into that - and so I feel like she is very math/science driven. Ha! I won't be able to really help her much from here on out. Daddy to the rescue there, since that is the way his mind is geared as well! I think there are 5 year old kiddos who are probably further along in their "academic" abilities than her, and probably a lot who are not nearly up to the speed she is - so we feel like she will perfectly prepared to go from the pre-school years to the school years. We are mostly just thankful that the desire to understand things is there and she takes a genuine interest in learning new things.

Anslee is a tiny little girl version of her daddy. They relate on so many levels, and I think its so neat to see how naturally she comes by being so much like him. She thinks and reasons like he does, she is quiet and cooperative like he is, she is reserved but comfortable with people she doesn't know that well - while silly and talkative and inquisitive with the people she knows best. She serves others by helping even when is not asked too, and when she is asked to help - she jumps up happily to pitch in. Just like her daddy. Just skating by to get something done would not satisfy her. It has to be done all the way, and the right way to be to her standards. I love her determination.

All in all, we could not be more proud of how the last 5 years have grown on her. So many days I wonder what I did to deserve the gift of being her mother. Then I remember that my being her (and her sisters) mother is God's story of grace in my life. God looked on me with grace and gave me her. God looks on me with grace as I make mistake after mistake while raising her. She is gracious to me - still loving me when I fail her - and immediately offering forgiveness to me in those moments. I did nothing to deserve her -its all because God loves me and granted me the long time desire of my heart in giving her to me.

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