Kaylia Turns 10

Kaylia had her birthday last week. On the day of her party, this is where we were at:

The next day, I asked her, “So, was your party as good as you hoped it would be?” She sighed dreamily, and said, “It was even BETTER!!!!”

I feel like that is a very accurate example of what life is like with Kaylia – always full of elaborate ideas, but completely overjoyed with the smallest, simplest things. It doesn’t take much to make her very happy. Hers is a life of extremes.

She lives in the most colourful, imaginative world in her mind, where anything is possible and everything is beautiful, and my biggest challenge as her mom is helping to navigate through the emotions when her world collides with reality.

Kaylia leaves behind her a trail of paper, glue, tape, and fabric scraps. When she’s not producing elaborate craft projects or Lego creations, she is curled up with a book in a nest of pillows and blankets, or she’s playing with friends, moving all of her sewing projects and painted rock collections outside to build elaborate setups on our front step. I was not surprised to find pieces of felt in my flower pots. I don’t know what their purpose was, but I’m guessing some kind of toy had a bed or nest or den in my plants.

Kaylia has the softest, kindest heart. She can coax Everett to come around to any idea, no matter how stubborn his mood. She is a faithful and devoted fan of her big sister, and is always a willing listener and cheerleader.

Her thoughts run deep, and she is constantly surprising us with what surfaces after she’s had enough time to process things.

Her plans for the future include getting married, having kids, homeschooling them, and teaching art lessons in her home.

Whether that comes to pass or not, I am quite sure her life will include all the colourful dreams and creativity that she can possibly fit into it.

Ten years with our sweet girl! It’s always an adventure.

Wild and Free

So it took me almost a month to convince Kaylia to let me take some pictures of her for her seventh birthday!

KayliaThis is one strong, determined, unique, feisty girl! Everything has to be her idea, or there is absolutely no way it’s happening. My sneaky parenting skills have greatly increased in the last seven years!

She is creative, sweet, imaginative, carefree, goofy, lovable, and independent. She makes us laugh all the time, but she doesn’t try to be funny just to get attention – she has this quiet way of slipping in these smart, funny little comments.

KayliaShe loves to play outside and help me in the garden. She doesn’t need a lot of people to make her happy – she is fiercely devoted to her three friends, and loves to spend time with Anika and Everett. We are learning the power of alone time for her!

KayliaIt’s so much fun to watch her being a big sister. She’s been the littlest for most of her life, but now she is becoming amazing at finding silly ways to keep Everett happy.

She likes things neat and tidy. She has very specific ideas about how she wants things, much like her big sister, but she doesn’t get emotional about it – she is very matter-of-fact about the way things are going to be.

Being heard and treated with respect are very important to her. Words can deeply wound her, but that’s about it – she is a tough cookie! She’s not a complainer, and she’s a hard little worker.


I tried to keep up the birthday tradition of writing down her favorite things right now, but after the first question, she informed me she was not in the mood, so I filled in her favorites myself.

Food: “I have MILLIONS of favorite foods! You’d have to do a very long list!”

Clothes: Up until now, she has always wanted to wear dresses. But about a month ago, she came to me and said very seriously, “I think I need to get used to wearing pants or shorts.”

Books: Anika has managed to pass on her great love for “Cat Warrior” books to Kaylia. Sometimes she reads them to Kaylia, sometimes Ben or I do, or sometimes Kaylia “pretends” to read them herself.:) The girls play cat warriors, wrestle like cat warriors, draw pictures of cat warriors, etc.

Toys: She is very into Lego Elves, when she’s not playing cat warriors!

KayliaI came across a quote the other day which made me think of her:

WildGod knew I needed her to loosen me up, and teach me a few things about being wild and free!


Whatever Amuses You

Last night, I was having a little chat with Kaylia before bed about some behaviour issues which had come up during the day. Very gently, but seriously, I said to her, “Kaylia, can you understand that when you tell me I’m a mean Mommy, and you refuse to obey me, it makes the day go a lot harder for everyone?”

She said, equally seriously, “Yes, but sometimes it amuses me.”
Ben and I have since decided it’s a great reason to do just about anything. I took a nap instead of cleaning my kitchen, because it amused me. I ate far too many corn chips with guacamole last night, because it amused me. I didn’t fold any of my clean laundry yesterday, because it amused me to leave it all in the laundry basket.

This weekend, it amuses us to begin the humongous project of installing new flooring in our basement. I’ll have to post before and after pictures, because it is my purging dream come true. All that beautiful, open space because we got rid of the junk that had built up for far too long. Because it amused us.

What is amusing you right now?

Quoting Kaylia

Well, this has been an interesting week. Anika has been at camp, which is an adventure for her, but we’ve got our own adventures going on here at home, trying to survive without her. This is especially difficult for Kaylia. What’s a girl to do when she’s used to having the best playmate/story-teller/event coordinator/leader/bunk bed buddy around, 24 hours a day, and suddenly, she has to figure out how to spend every day mostly by herself?

Everett & KayliaSo she’s been a bit bored, because Everett spends too much time napping, but she’s definitely taking advantage of being the only child who can talk in our house at the moment. Most sentences begin with, “Mama, guess what?” But really, there’s no guessing what is actually going to come out of her mouth next. I’m usually pretty surprised….

“Did you know that I didn’t breathe for my whole life, until one day I was, like, ‘WHAT IS GOING ON??!!’ Then I took my first breath. That was when I was three.”

“When Anika told me those characters were brothers, I was like, ‘AHHHH!!!!!’ But just quietly, inside my head.”

“I need someone to make sure that nothing falls out of my Lego house while I’m carrying it. Could you be that person?”

“One of the voices I hear in my head is God. Actually, He’s at the top of my head, because He lives up in Heaven. He sits on my head. I can feel how heavy His butt is!” (Ben says he will never feel the same about the presence of God again….)


Photos of My Six Year Old

I often fall into thinking that things need to be Planned and Fancy. I didn’t know when I’d have time to take pictures of Kaylia for her 6th birthday – what would she wear? Where would we go?

And then we went to the cabin last weekend, and an hour before leaving for home, there was a small window of time, so I told Kaylia to quickly change into whatever clean clothes she had left, and we ran across the road into the bush.


IMG_0774 IMG_0787 IMG_0771 kWe should run into the woods for spontaneous photo shoots more often!:)

Life With Kaylia

We celebrated a birthday this weekend, so it’s time for a birthday post!


Kaylia turned six, and this morning when I climbed up into her bunk bed, we had the following conversation:

Me: How do you like being six so far?

Kaylia: I like it, but I’m more stressed than when I was five.

Me: Really, why is that?

Kaylia: ‘Cause, like, I get more angry now.

Hopefully, she’ll be able to work out these new anger issues, but in the meantime, here’s a bit of what she’s loving right now:

Food: chocolate chip pancakes, Popcorn Twists, watermelon, carrots, fried potatoes, Honey Cloud Pancake

Clothes: fancy clothes

Books:  Stolen Magic and anything else by Gail Carson Levine, Little House on the Prairie books, the Pixie Hollow series, and anything to do with Disney princesses

Toys: The new princess set that she got for her birthday, Lego

Favorite Things to Do: Rainbow Loom, playing with her friends Cadence and Lexy, helping in the garden, being read to, playing downstairs with Anika, swinging outside, coloring

birthdayWe don’t usually ask our kids what kind of job they want to have when they grow up, but try to encourage whatever they come up with on their own. This year, Kaylia has talked a lot about becoming an art teacher. She loves anything to do with coloring, painting, cutting, and gluing. she gets her most creative, energetic ideas when I am most exhausted, or when I’m in the middle of making supper. This is usually how these things go around here:

Kaylia: Momma, can I have some cloth so I can sew a doll?

Me: I’m sorry, but I’m in the middle of making supper. I can’t help you sew a doll right now.

Kaylia: Can you get me some felt?

Me: I can’t do that right now.

Kaylia: Oh look, I found some felt! Can I have some scissors and a needle?

Me: Kaylia, I can’t help you with that right now. I’m making supper.

Kaylia: Momma, can I have a cotton ball?

Me: We don’t have any cotton balls.

Kaylia: I’ll just use a Kleenx instead. Where’s the glue?

Me: It’s in the cupboard, but I can’t get that for you right now.

Kaylia: I found it! Can you help me sew a dress for my doll?

Me: Not right now. Aren’t you hungry? I’m making supper.

Kaylia: This isn’t really working. Can you help me?

Me: No, I can’t. What did I say I’m doing right now?

Kaylia: Making supper. Maybe I’ll do a different craft instead. Remember that gluing craft my art teacher taught me? I’ll do that….

And in the end, she produced a very creative picture “painted” with so much glue on blue felt that it took 3 days to dry.

tentsKaylia set up camp for the princesses and fairies.


Kaylia always knows exactly what she wants. I’ve learned not to ever straight out ask her to do something – things always go better if she’s given a choice.

She is feisty, independent, determined, and creative. She will always find a way to get things done.

She is quick to apologize, to share, and to comfort.

She never wears the same outfit twice (unless she REALLY loves it, and then she wears it every day for a week), and the more stripes, polka dots, and plaids she can combine in one outfit, the happier she is.

She would gladly play with Anika every day for the rest of her life, and one or two more friends make her perfectly happy. She doesn’t want a crowd of people around her.

She loves to sing, dance, and make up actions for everything. For her birthday, a ukalaili was her heart’s desire.

snugglingShe adds color, laughter, silliness, and deep thoughts to our life. She keeps us on our toes, but that’s what she likes best anyway – in her world, life should be a dance or a musical.

She has taught me everything I don’t know about parenting. She has taught me to slow down, pay attention, and listen like I mean it.

I’m so thankful for this sweet girl!


Weekend Favorites: Along the Way

We went to my parents’ cabin again this weekend, but we travelled a bit differently this time…

My massage therapist has suggested that to ease the tension in my body caused by sitting in a vehicle for two straight hours, we should stop every half hour so that I can get out, walk around, and stretch a little.

This does make the ride a bit a longer, but it seems to help ease some of the discomfort.

And the fun part is that I started noticing all kinds of things to take pictures of along the way! So here’s a little bit of photography from our weekend of driving and relaxing…train




making suppersupperKayliaOn the way home, Ben decided that we should go down to the river for one of our stops, so we jumped out and took a few minutes to enjoy the beautiful evening.:)

bridgeKayliaFunny how we need to be forced to slow down and pay attention sometimes, hey?!

A Week With Kaylia

It’s been a quiet week with this little lady.


With Anika at camp, it’s been a good week for lots of one on one time. Somehow, Kaylia’s eyes have seemed sparklier, her smile more mischievous, and her jokes even funnier. I just have more time to soak it all in.

Last night as I was leaving her room at bedtime, she said to me, “Did you know that I’m interested in many things?”

Yes, sweet girl, this has occurred to me…

But despite all this wonderful one on one time, we are all quite eager for Anika to come home, and make life normal again! Big, gaping hole around here that needs to be filled!

Kaylia asks, “Did you know that tomorrow is one day away?”

Thank goodness!

Blossoms and a Birthday

This week, it was time for our annual visit to my parents’ house to see the apple blossoms, and take some pictures for Kaylia’s birthday. Last year went so perfectly, I think I arrived with fairly high expectations – always a risky thing!;)

Kaylia wasn’t really in the mood for a photo shoot, so we did the best we could, and it was still a beautiful day!

KayliablossomsKaylialilacKayliaKayliablossomsThe blossoms are on their way out – so glad we could enjoy them for an afternoon! Have a beautiful weekend!

Kaylia Turns Five

We’ve partied hard this weekend, and now Kaylia has been celebrated into her next year of life.:)


As is the custom around here, it’s time to record her birthday favorites:

Breakfast: Pancakes and Waffles

Lunch: carrots, rice cake sandwiches

Supper: “Breakfast Supper” (which is what we call it when we have pancakes or other breakfast food for supper – the biggest treat ever at our house.)

Snack: Fruit

Clothes: Hello Kitty dress

Favorite Books: anything to do with Disney princesses

Favorite Toys: Lego Friends, Polly Pockets, anything Disney princess

Favorite Things to do: whatever Anika is doing, playing in the sandbox, wrapping herself up in a blanket on the floor and quietly playing there for so long that we forget where she is:), listening to stories on cds.

She is one funny girl. She doesn’t often want to be the center of attention, but she’ll quietly come up with the most hilarious things to say. When she’s in trouble, she’ll first try to joke her way out of it, then she’ll get very affectionate and try to snuggle her way out of it, and if neither of those strategies work,  she will finally expresses her extreme unhappiness over the situation!

She’s quick to apologize (when it’s her idea!), extremely generous with her sister, wants a tidy room, and delights in helping out however she can.

She wants to do things herself, her way, and I’ve become much better at making everything multiple choice, rather than commanding her to do anything.

Ben says she’s like he was as a little boy, which makes me curious what she will be capable of as she grows up! That feisty, fun energy could accomplish great things!