Dakota just turned BIG 6!!!

Wow!  I look at my little baby girl and she is not such a baby anymore… There are so many things I can be thankful for when it comes to our family and Dakota is a biggie!  I see such a willingness to love on her brothers and help mommy all the time with Chase and will randomly take Chase on a walk through the store so that I can concentrate on shopping or whatever (within my vision, of course).  This year has been a  year of so many firsts……  She lost her first tooth and has been so excited.  She has been waiting for this to  happen and ran into us when her Dad and I were taking a Sunday nap and had an amazing excitement in her eyes as she showed us her tooth!!  That night we broke the news that there wasn’t really a tooth fairy, that is was just Mommy and Daddy, she seemed okay for it and was just excited and called us Mr. and Mrs. Tooth Fairy the rest of the night.  We sprinkled fairy dust all over her pillow and filled her tooth box with a couple dollars that she decorated with stickers and put in a note: Dear Tooth Fairy, Can you please take my tooth.  Love, Dakota….

She began kindergarten and went to school for the first time and did an incredible job most days working 5-6 hours/day on homeschool days–not by my choice.  She began her journey this year at Northridge Community School – sort of like a Homeschool Christian co-op, but she is actually taught at the school 2.5 days/week and then I would homeschool her the other 2.5 days.  It was a grueling year for me and truly for her too.  We went from light structured days to grueling  hard full school days.  Spent way too many hours for a poor little kindergartner to have to go through.  But her willingness to push through many days without a complaint, dealing with a mother that was not always the best teacher and not always excited as we would embark on are 4th hour as my other two little ones are going nuts.  It was a difficult year and she shined through and is an amazing reader and has great initiative to become better at everything she struggled through, phonics, coloring, penmanship, math.  It did not matter if the standard was hard, she was determined to do amazing.  She made great friends, as I did as well and loved her teachers so much!  Mrs. Mersch and Mrs. Hixson were her kinder teachers and she absolutely loved them!  She would come home often with such excitement about her day at school and what new thing she learned or got to do.  She took many field trips and had lots of class parties with me as room mom- a tough job for a new homeschooler-  part of the intense year. She loved it when zero the hero would come bearing gifts for the class- a little yellow happy faced man who always left gifts on every 10 days of school all the way to 100!  She loved going to lunch with her teachers when she finished all her sight word lists.  She won 1st place in the Speech Meet for her kindergarten class as she recited “Three Guests by Jessica Nelson North”.  She was one of the few that represented her class in the spelling bee, only to get out on the first try- very sad moment.  I think the word was “drip” and she spelled it with “t” instead of “d”.  She had opportunities to dress up in a chicken costume for Harvest Day and an indian girl on Thanksgiving Feast Day.  She was mentored by one of the graduates, Hannah Mersch which she loved.  She got to run her first Jogathon with a few laps with both Mommy and Daddy but mostly holding hands with Amelia the whole time as they ran.  Christmas, Teacher’s Bdays, Valentines Day, Easter Parties, End of Year Parties GALORE!!  I know she will miss NCS for first grade, but we recently broke the  news to her that she would  not be returning next year so we can give homeschooling full time a shot.  I thinks she is most dissapointed that she won’t be with her friends and that she doesn’t get to buy a roller bag for first grade next year- something she has greatly looked up to the 1st graders for all year and not have to take naps as well.  Most have told me it will be much easier than what I endured this year and so I am open to trying it and seeing.  I am not  excited that she will miss out on fun times and moments with her friends and teachers and opportunities that will be missed by not going to school.  I am just praying that I be faithful to be the best teacher for her that I can be and be sure she has playdates and is involved in sports and outside activities with other children.  So Dakota has graduated Kindergarten with flying colors and a true hard worker and determination awards along the way.

In the land of many firsts, she learned how to ride her bike the same day her little brother Chase began to walk.  She comes running inside and says Mommy, I rode my bike all by myself!  I asked her where her training wheels were and she had gotten a wrench out of Daddy’s toolbox and took them off herself and had been practicing out front until she could do it!  She just got a new shiny bike for her 6th bday from Grandma and Grandpa.  Days before her bday she would remind Mommy and Daddy that she really hopes she can get the Barbie one because that is her absolute favorite, but if we have to get her a different one, she guesses that will be okay giving us few options of which bike should we get her?  She first learned how to read and write all by herself this year and is a great reader!  She even came out one morning so excited that she had put her very first ponytail in her hair- and it sure did look cute!!  She first learned  how to swim this year as well at her swim lessons this summer with Mrs. Casey.  She learned how to tumble and dance at the YMCA.  She learned to count to 100 even.  Its all the things we already know how to do, but so precious seeing her do it for the first time and get this sweet excitement in her eyes that she did it!  This truly has been an exciting year for Dakota.

I am truly excited that I see a desire in her to learn and know more about Jesus. She will ask her Dad and I questions all the time and ask us to read the bible to her- pretty amazing!  I pray that she will come to know the Lord at a very early age!  She is so faithful to pray for others all the time whether it be Grandpa or a friend at school or even me.  The other day Hudson and Dakota were at the table eating and after she prayed, he said, “you did not pway for me to obey my swim teachaws”.  As you can see she even prays for Hudson to “close his eyes while she is praying” and often prays for Hudson to do the right thing.

She makes me want to be a better Mom because of the amazing daughter she is to me.  She loves me so unconditionally and serves selflessly all the time doing things to help me even when I don’t ask her to.  She has such joy in her and the cute giggles we get when we tickle her or play with her is so fun.  She is a sweet special gift to her mom and I love her so much. I can’t imagine the joy that will be missing when she is off on her own one day, I ache for that day already.  She makes heartfelt cards for new friends, some that she barely even knows.  Like when we went to the Chea conference last weekend and she saw two girls from a bday party she had gone to last month and met for the first time.  She made them a cards on the way to the conference the second day. I asked her why she was making them cards and she said because she was so sad that she would not see them again after the conference was over.   It took her 45 minutes to make them cards on the drive and wrote them each a a sweet note.  She did the same for Sophia and Samantha Eisman because she felt sad that she would not see them as much since we were moving.  In the card she wrote “I love your family” with lollipops taped onto the outside of each card that she took from her own little candy stash.  With her bday money she bought herself a remote control car and one for her brother so they could play together.   I love her heart and her desire to love her family and friends so preciously and tell them how much she loves them as  if tomorrow  may never come.

Lately I love how when I tuck her in she gives me eskimo kisses with her nose crinkled like a little piggy.  I love it!  I love how she has to give me hugs and kiss me goodnight at every single naptime.  I love how forgiving she is even after I yell at her in anger.  I love that she will remind me to reconcile with her when it is needed.  For her bday she got a guitar so she could learn to play like Daddy and she asked on the way home from Toysrus…. “Daddy can I use one of your toothpicks when I play my new guitar?”

In the lists of favorites: Favorite movie of the year: Repunzel- 1st movie I have ever seen her cry at….Favorite song:  Repunzel soundtrack, favorite food: “juicy chicken” otherwise known as tempura chicken, favorite dessert is always candy, favorite toys: Loves to ride her bike, play legos, play repunzel, play barbie and she would make woodsy salads outside a lot, slipnslide, lincoln logs, read books, color, play plethora of games with her Daddy for sure.. Her most favorite is computer time playing PBSkids.org or the bunny, mystery game, or even mario cart.

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