Thursday, December 20, 2012

Jake - 6.5 years old

Dear Jake, 

December 20th you turned 6.5 years old. We were so busy that we almost missed your half-birthday! Nevertheless, you are an amazing boy and grew so much in the previous 6 months. 
You've been getting High Five magazine from your Grandma Vee since you were little, and recently switched over to Highlights. However, whichever magazine you look at, you have become interested in the recipes published in those magazines, and wanting to cook them. So one day at Black Butte, Gramma helped you make deviled eggs. You had a great time making them and they were delicious! Another time we also made raspberry-lemonade popsicles. 
Over the summer your Aunt Amy and Tyler got married. You were their ringbearer and did a great job. This is a picture of you playing on one of the art sculptures in the sculpture garden outside the museum where the ceremony took place; this was after the dress rehearsal. One of the cutest moments was the day after the wedding at the brunch -- we arrived and you ran up to Tyler and said "hey, now I can call you Uncle Tyler!" The look on Uncle Tyler's face was priceless!
Here you're having a quiet moment at Paulina Springs at Black Butte.
You built some great towers (before your little brother knocked them down).
Shortly after you turned six, we went to BBR for the 4th of July weekend. We finally convinced you to let us take the training wheels off your bike -- we just knew you were ready! At first it was hard -- you tried to pedal and balance with me holding onto the back of your bike seat and running with you. After many tries of this, it just wasn't happening. So we decided to have you just ride your bike around without using the pedals -- use it as a "balance bike" if you will. Well that did the trick; you got the hang of balancing on your bike in just a half day, and pretty soon were using the pedals as well. At the end of the day, it really clicked, and you were riding your bike. The next day the world of bike paths was at your feet, and you went for your first real Black Butte bike ride with Papa. We were all so proud of you! Then mama showed you how to do a short loop on your bike going from Steeple Bush towards Aspen Lake, back towards Glaze Meadow and down Ponderosa back to Steeple Bush. First mama lead the way, showing you where I was going and how to always go to the left each time. The next time we did the loop, you lead the way with mama riding behind you, so you could show you knew where you were going. The third time, you did the loop by yourself!
Legos are a huge thing for you -- you love to build them! I love that not only do you love building the sets that you receive, but you also like to create your own things using pieces from all the different sets that you have. We have the Legos organized by color and/or category (minifigs), and I'm always astounded at how you know exactly which piece belongs to which set or which minifig face belongs to whom.
And when you're not building, you love to run and jump and skip and climb and play. You played soccer this past fall and continue to take gymnastics classes.
Over the summer you started seeing Dr. L, who is now our family's chiropractor/massage therapist. The best part of going is getting to see Stella the dog. She is SO happy whenever you and Ryan show up, wagging her tail so hard that her entire back end shakes, and she is more than happy to sit on you or in your lap while you're receiving treatment. Such a good therapy dog. 
You lost your 3rd tooth. That makes for 3 on the bottom gone.
You discovered how cool ninjas are. You were a ninja for Halloween and worked on your meditation skills with the sword one day.
You've always liked art... a little. It's never been a huge thing for you but I have noticed a big increase in your interest in drawing and creating pictures since you turned 6. You make the coolest pictures! One was of a dude surfing, another of ninjas, more with rocket ships, dragons, and a family picture with the sun and a tree. We keep having to get you new sets of markers, though, because your little brother loves them, too, but doesn't understand to put the caps back on! 
However, I've saved the best for last -- your love of reading plus your reading abilities have increased a thousand-fold. You discovered the A-Z Mysteries series and read all 26. Next came the Magic Tree House series. Going to the library reminds me of when I went to the library as a kid -- checking out 12 books at a time and immediately starting one as soon as we get into the car for the drive home. Often you finish a book in 2-3 hours!
You're such a neat, sweet, thoughtful, kid with a strong sense of empathy and justice. We love you so much.
Love, Mama

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