My dearest Karis,

Happy birthday, my sweet girl.  You’re six years old now!  Within a week, you graduated kindergarten, had your last day of class, and turned six.  It’s quite a lot of excitement if I do say so myself.

This year marked the first year where you spent most of your days and week at school.  It was not only a big milestone for you, but for me as well.  Having watched your brothers go to school for so many years, I think you were more than ready to go to kindergarten.  The first month or so was an adjustment:  learning for most of the day, listening, and not having a real break.  You’d come home cranky, and half the time you’d take a nap.  You had a hard time regulating your tiredness and having to be mentally on so long, that you’d break down emotionally.  With the loving care of your teachers, they figured out what was best for you, and you grew and thrived at school.

You’ve really come a long way with regards to academics this year!  At the beginning of this year, you didn’t know all of your shapes, letters, or sounds.  At the end of this year, you know all your letters and sounds, over 50 site words, all shapes, and all colors.  We’ve been really impressed with all that you’ve learned this year!

At school, you’ve made a lot of friends.  You’re two best friends are Evelyn and Annika.  You’ve talked about them almost every day, telling me that you want to have a play date with each friend.  You’ve also enjoyed having your 6th grade buddies come to class.  You’ve asked me over and over to have your buddy Jake come over to our house for a playdate.  You’ve enjoyed friendship outside of these three, often saying goodbye to your friends after school.  You make friends quickly and are often trying to find playmates at the park.  I’m amazed how quickly you find friends and how long you end up playing with them.  You’re not shy often going up to other children saying, “Hi, I’m Karis do you want to play with me?”  And just like that, I see you running off with new friends laughing and giggling together.

You’ve been physically active this year, enjoying tumbling and skiing.  One of the biggest accomplishments you’ve made is learning how to pizza on skis!  I think it was a combination of timing for you and the temperament of Coach Drew that made it all possible.  I was so ecstatic the first time I saw you pizza on the learning hill!  By the end of the season, you were able to turn with your pizza.  I love seeing that you have a great attitude out on the slopes and enjoy making friends.  I’m looking forward to next season!

With your brothers, you function like the youngest in the family.  You are very curious to know what Sean and Jonas are doing.  Instead of doing what they’re doing, you’re often taking some of their things in order to get attention.  It’s not all fights; on some occasions, I see you playing with Jonas nicely.   There are times where all three of you are playing together; most of the time it’s wrestling.  🙂

You are one affectionate little girl.  In the morning on the weekend, you come into our room when you wake up and make your way into our bed.  You like to snuggle and give kisses to us.  You like to hold hands when we’re walking, and you love being picked up.  I treasure these moments where we can snuggle you.

I’ve had a wonderful year with you and look forward to many more!