We have a 5 year old in the house!!!!! I can hardly believe it! That’s the age when everyone starts asking when they’re going to school and kind of the growing up age. Five year olds are basically way too big.
Abby Joy weighs 36 lb and is 3′ 5 1/2″ tall now.
She currently is growing her bangs out, but for the life of me I can’t make up my mind which way I like her hair best! I think I like both, which is the problem. I’ve had more people vote yes to her bangs than not, but the pictures I have of her bangs were typically good bang days and you don’t always have those! This is one of my favorite recent pictures of her. It can be difficult to get authentic smiles from my big girl, but this was one time I got it! ❤
Abigail enjoys so many things, but she has a very noticeable fascination with bugs and nature related things. She is our little entomologist. As I was going through pictures of her, I was amazed at how many were along those lines. I guess the only thing to do is dedicate the next large portion of her update to that part of her. This was a grass headband my sister, Liz, made for Abby. Abs loved it! This look suits her personality amazingly well!
I love Abigail’s desire to learn and her ability to remember so many facts (thanks, Daddy) about things around her. She loves to know everything about everything! When I was little, there were certain things I was really interested in and a lot of things I really didn’t want to bother knowing about. I’ve never found a topic Abby isn’t interested in knowing ALL ABOUT.
We all had SUCH a fun time raising Monarch caterpillars over the summer! The ditch along Emmy & Papa’s house is typically loaded, so we gathered a few caterpillars there. We learned a lot from it too! Our first batch we got consisted of one full grown caterpillar and one teensy, tiny guy. We took all sorts of pictures of our big one, expecting it to make its chrysalis any day.
As time went by, we became concerned about our big caterpillar (Big John, as Evie named him – he was “hers”). He ate maybe one hole a day on the milkweed and ultimately didn’t seem too interested in eating. He would hang around on the top of the cage and acted like he wanted out. Meanwhile, the little caterpillar, Abby’s “Susan,” munched and munched and grew and grew. One day they were about the same size and we made a startling observation. They didn’t look the same. Big John had decidedly different markings than the noticeably monarch coloring of Susan. We freaked out, thought Big John was a tomato worm, put him outside, and were ready to squish him. Thankfully Daddy saved the day for Big John. He looked him up and it turns out we had a Black Swallowtail caterpillar! With newfound anticipation, and regret/worry for starving Big John so long, we recaptured him in a new cage and Daddy ran to the store for some parsley. Turns out Swallowtail caterpillars like celery, fennel, parsley, and dill. Big John did eat a little and then the next day made a chrysalis.
Abs continued faithfully running outside each morning to pick a fresh milkweed leaf for Susan. We have a couple stalks of milkweed that come up in our little “garden” plot each summer. Abby was always in a semi-panic until I let her out the door to feed her pet.
Eventually, Susan made a chrysalis, and in due time she emerged. Abby was in her happy place getting to hold Susan while she dried off her wings.
Evie enjoyed watching, but didn’t like actually holding Susan. It freaked her out when Susan crawled around with her spindly legs. haha
After Susan, we raised another little monarch, Patty. We got to set her free in our tree where Abby climbed up and was able to watch her drying her wings for quite a while. The rest of the summer, whenever we would see a monarch in our yard, the girls would freak out, “LOOK!!! Patty’s here!! Patty came back! Look!” haha
Once we had decided to be done raising monarchs for the year, Abby was totally thrilled to find an American Dagger Moth caterpillar. We set him up in a jar and he made his cocoon that evening. We couldn’t find a lot of information on raising them (apparently they’re not as popular as the 2 ish week phase of monarchs), but it seemed that they could take around a year to change and emerge. I figured we could save the jar for now, but we’re not holding our breath on the ending.
Finding robin egg shells is always exciting!
Once we found a nest that had fallen out of the tree. The eggs were laying around in the grass. The girls were sad the baby robins wouldn’t hatch, but were thrilled at the chance to hold the real deal. Shortly after this picture, Evie squeezed hers a little too hard and that was the end of that “fun.”
After a big rain, Abby got Evie on board to “Save all the worms!!” Saving the world one worm at a time over here guys. No big deal. Carry on….
Abby was a huge fan of cicada season. I went through a phase when I was little where I enjoyed finding the (empty!!) shells and even hanging them on my clothes, or some unsuspecting passerby, but I never enjoyed picking up the live bugs. *gag!* Abby loved finding them and would pick them right up. I was fine with it, as long as she didn’t get too close to me. ha
On really good days, Abby would find one working on emerging from its previous shell. Talk about lucky! This is why we don’t even have a t.v., guys!! Who wants to stare at a moving picture box when you can watch a cicada molting?! For real….
I think Abby’s favorite bug day all summer was the day I spotted a praying mantis on our deck. It was during Quiet Time and I called her out of her room to see. She was completely enthralled and I told her we could try to catch it and keep it as a pet for a while. She helped me snag it in a jar and then transfer it to our prepared bug house. The rest of Quiet Time was spent like this:
Abby promptly named her pet, Sunflower. What name could possibly match an “adorable,” “sunny,” (creepy) praying mantis better than that?!
Sunflower provided us with all sorts of impromptu science lessons. I think we overfed her a bit too. By trial and error, we found out she enjoyed stinkbugs, house flies, hover flies, grasshoppers, and cicadas. Abby caught a grasshopper on our walk once (towards the beginning of our mile of course) and was determined to get it back to Sunflower. The thing peed on her, puked up some nasty stuff on her, escaped when she got jittery (like 4 or so times due to the excreting fluids all over her hands *barf*), but was finally delivered to Sunflower. There were times I almost though I could describe Sunflower as “cute.” This was not one of them. She always started eating bugs by gnawing their heads off. Normally, we had given her smaller bugs and this happened at least relatively quickly. But the grasshopper took her fooooooooorever. And yes, the grasshopper wriggled and writhed almost the whole time. And then to top things off, when she finally finished off the head, the grasshopper literally exploded and these nasty orange guts curled up and out of it and smeared all down the side of the cage (I had to clean it off eventually. I was gagging and almost died actually). Sorry to get so gory with detail…. guess I didn’t want to suffer alone. ha The cicada eating was fairly nasty too. It buzzed for like an hour while Sunflower gnawed on it. Then, she was overfed, so she took a long break before finishing the job. Abby’s concerned face to fit the mood:
In spite of all this, she was Abby’s beloved pet. We kept her for quite a while, before deciding we needed to release her. We didn’t want to let her go when it was too cold out. It was a tad bittersweet letting her go. It helped Abby cheer up that she got to hold Sunflower for a while first (with thin gloves as they can sometimes bite, if they think your finger is a bug). These were some “almost cute” moments for Sunflower, in my opinion. I almost wanted to take her back inside, but I brought the grasshopper episode to mind and I was able to remain strong ’till the end.
Can you spot Sunflower?
Aside from her enjoyment of bugs, Bigs really enjoys gathering, sorting, picking apart, and creating things with nature. She finds all sorts of “treasures” every time we go outside. She’s always making fun little decorations for me to beautify our house with. 🙂
This was a hanging decoration she made with my little sister, Liz. She was pretty proud of it!
Poor Abs was always trying to plant seeds from her food and get something to grow all summer. Our yard is fairly shady and there really isn’t a good place to get it done, other than the middle of the grass where it would just get mowed off. Here the girls were planting and watering their apple seeds. After a few days of desperately trying to water all over the general area, Abby gave up, telling me she just couldn’t remember where she planted it. Bummer.
Walks are Abby’s favorite! Especially when we go on “the park loop” because that’s where I let them let go of the stroller and find all the treasures they can stand.
This girl. This big, firstborn of mine. She is such a blessing to us in so many ways! She generally has such a desire to help me around the house, which I should appreciate more if anything! Some of the tasks she often helps me with include: taking diapers out to the trash, taking out recycling, changing the bathroom garbage, helping Evie wipe up after a number 1, putting some laundry away, sweeping up under the kid table following meals, washing dishes, watching 1 or 2 of the kids while I accomplish something, bringing out pajamas and diapers for little ones at bedtime, bringing out hair ties and a brush for morning hair fixes (and brushing out her hair), tidying up toys and books, buckling kids in (she’s sill working on her thumb power to be able to unbuckle Evie, which would be a huge help!), carrying in and putting away groceries, and probably a lot of other things I’m forgetting.
She wants to help a lot more, and I hope she will be able to do more cooking this year. That’s my goal for her. Her constant cry is, “Can I help you with anything, Mama??”
She does sometimes struggle with consistency. She’d rather help with something new and exciting than do the same old, “tiresome” tasks. Washing dishes is a favorite of hers.
Especially when Daddy helps!
Big eyein’! haha
Abby and Evie both dream of the day we get our very own puppy.
And goats! They are excited for goats too of course. 🙂
Bike riding continue to be one of Abigail’s favorite activities. She dreams of moving to a house where she can ride her bike all over, without waiting for walks.
I’ve said it once, I’ll say it a million times…. why do we even have toys?! I think we would have a cleaner, happier house if we just gave them all away. Honestly!
This girl has her entire future planned out. She’s saving up all her money to buy a double-seater kayak and become a fisher woman with Evie. Abby is planning to do most of the fishing, while Evie paddles. They’re going to buy their kayak at Wal-mart or “Dominaes” (aka Dunhams). Abby is always on the look out at stores and on walks, finding and saving pennies like her life depends on it.
Thankfully, they’ve had some birthday money gifted to them, so they have more than a few cents. haha Abby also made quite the haul at our garage sale this past summer. I helped her make some brownies to sell, which was a major success. Even Daddy bought a brownie from her! Maybe I should have just hired her to have a bake sale for me. Anyway, she made off like a bandit with all sorts of tips and sales. With all of the girls’ saving, they might get their dream boat before too long! They were originally planning to also purchase a car with a top that could go down (convertible), but plans have since gone a more frugal route and they’re just going to use our big van.
Abby’s told me that eventually I won’t have to buy so many groceries, because her and Evie will be hauling home the fish. So, we can just have fish every day. We can have fish everything, fish and eggs, fish pancakes, etc. Wow, honey! That sounds…. delicious? She’s our little planner. ❤
She also has assured me multiple times that she is going to live with me forever. By her own mouth, although her and Evie would like to have children, they are not going to because they would have to leave home and get married in order to do that.
This girl is our constantly half deaf child. Almost every single time she gets a cold, an ear infection develops. The antibiotics never work, but good ol’ garlic on cotton in the ears overnight always does. I just have to do it a few nights in a row and it licks it. Even her doctor has me just do that since she knows the medicine never works on Abs and it just gives her other issues on top of it. Anyways, after her ear infections, she is basically deaf for a while as her ears get massively clogged with ear wax. Initially, it will be terrible. I’ll say something and she’ll go, “What??” I’ll repeat it, “What??” I’ll yell it. She’ll get part of it. It’s terrible, but it always resolves. My least favorite is when she calls out, “What?!” and I didn’t even say anything to her. “Nothing, Abs!” “What? You want me to find Elly?” “NO, ABS! NOTHING!” One time, on the tail end of the clogging fun, the tornado siren was going off. Abby asked, “What’s that noise?” I replied, “A tornado siren. They test them sometimes on Tuesdays.” Abby wondered back, “A tomato siren?”
We were walking by a random house and Abby’s commentary on the people who lived there was, “We don’t know their names, but they do! God knows though. Only God knows.”
One time she was recounting a notable moment in her life to me, “The other day I was runnin’ cuz I fought someone was chasing me in the grass, but it was just my feet clompin’.” hahahahha This made me laugh so hard. She is such a goof. Abby is eternally my fearful, over the top careful, just don’t do anything dangerous!!!! child. But this was just downright hilarious. She was running away from…. herself! haha I love her.
I said this once and lived to regret it. Now, every time I declare something (for example, “this sock is dirty”) Abby responds with, “Are you sure about that?”
It’s no joke I barely let my kids touch desserts and sweets. We were in Wally World a while ago and Abby snagged these off the shelf with the comforting comment, “Mama!! When I grow up, I’m gonna buy the candy bagels!!” Those are called donuts, babe.
Abs has never been a daredevil like Evie. She likes to be cautious and know what to expect. Example: This is about as far as Abby made it up before she declared herself to be done and heading back down. Evie would have scaled the top if Daddy didn’t force her to stop. ha!
The other day, I was showing Abby an old blog post of her and we came across a picture where she was making a goofy face. She said kind of quietly, “I should have tried to look cute instead of looking like a goof!” Regrets of a 5 year old….. (it doesn’t seem to have had any lasting affect on her)
Abigail loved all the swimming and water fun all summer! She couldn’t get enough.
We did the spray parks a little more faithfully in the beginning of summer. Towards the end, Elly was just so mobile (and untrustworthy) that it became a little too difficult to oversee everyone.
The pool at Emmy’s house was pretty fun too though!
The girls’ squirters were probably the best summer purchase we made.
They were even multi-purpose!
Spray bottles and buckets were always a big part of pool time too.
And never underestimate how fun a neighbor friend can be. Don’t worry, we did let her in through the gate. haha
Sweetcorn was another summer special. We didn’t make it this year to help with my family’s freezing days, but we at least had it with our supper a few times.
Abby continued to enjoy tree climbing. She’s getting fairly decent at it now, but she’s still a bit lacking in the strength department.
Parks are good for climbing too! We made it to our parks quite frequently, as usual. Gotta do something to get out of the ol’ house!
Now if you asked me to describe my eldest daughter in 3 words, I might just use “natural athletic talent.” (or not) She did enjoy learning a few basics for a little ball with her Daddy though. 🙂
Of course, if it’s an activity with Daddy it’s always fun!
One of Abby’s favorite things to do with Daddy lately is reading practice.
Also, she continues to love playing board games with him. Her favorite lately has been Kingdomino. although “Evie usually wins with all the water pieces. She takes those ‘cuz she likes blue.”
We made it to the John Deere Pavilion earlier this year. The big equipment is always exciting to climb on.
You can’t leave without taking the classic “in the tire” picture.
Abby’s used to all the big tractors from Papa’s farm.
The kids always love their combine ride. Uncle Tim gave them a soybean ride this time around.
Looking at these next photos, has me hoping Chick-fil-A does another free food day soon! This was back from their dress like a cow and eat free day they do annually in July. Abby didn’t want the fun to end at bedtime.
This picture was from one of our walks post Halloween. We don’t take the kids trick or treating for many reasons, but Abby was beyond thrilled about the candy littering our walks for days afterwards. Unbelievable. haha
Couch cleaning days are the best!
First harp lesson by Mrs. Bolkema. 🙂
Abby loves outdoor adventures! She would hike and explore through creeks all day long if she could. Those are some of my favorite things too. Enjoying it together is the best! ❤
We don’t always get to do cool hikes, but we do have fun with our daily walks – even if they are in town. haha When we’re lucky, we get to see our pony friend on the park loop trail.
Being outside! Yes, yes, and more yes!!
Just building houses with Duplos.
Abby does a lot of drawing during her Quiet Time. She drew some people for me to post on her blog. haha I don’t know why, but I really love her quirky little people. She told me she sometimes doesn’t draw hands because she doesn’t really know how to do those. She drew, in order, a person with a hat (I think this is my favorite!), a little girl with ratty hair (I think it’s her ha! This could also be my fav…), and a lady in a dress.
I haven’t worked with Abs on writing letters, or her name, in way too long. Tonight, she really wanted to practice it though. She did pretty good for no effort in so long I thought! I made a line for her and asked her to try and write on it.
When Mama tells you to pose with the pumpkins and you do some really weird leg work while you’re trying to remember what it means to cross your legs. Oh Abs. haha She is all that is beauty and grace. Just kidding. She is hands down our little clutz. But she sure is cute as she splats left and right. ❤
Little sister, Elly, rotates through phases where she refuses all helpful efforts from Abby and then will gladly accept help from her. Right now, she is in a will generally accept help stage. Abs loves nothing more than being a mom figure to the little ones, so these two have a pretty good relationship going on at the moment. ❤
Elly wanted to hold Big Sister’s hand every walk for a short span of time. That ended of course, but it was the cutest while it was happening!
It always makes me smile when I see my girls holding hands though. It’s kind of adorable.
Abby let’s Elly have some special “big sister time” with her after the middle two are in their quiet time spots and before Elly lays down (about 10-20 min depending on the day). Elly loves it and definitely thinks she is hot stuff getting to play little Legos or read stories with Abby!
Abby and Evie have great fun together too! They are always coming up with funny, new games. One of my favorite hobbies is listening in to whatever they’re playing. No shame.
They’re hilarious in their “Laura bonnets” more than anything. They’re sort of goofy looking, but the girls have such fun with them and think they’re the cutest.
I thought it was cute that after going to the Laura Days in Pepin, WI (on our vacation), Abby was busy threshing her flax out in the yard. haha We had seen a demonstration of that while we were there.
Everything is more fun when we’re together!
These three. ❤ ❤ ❤
Our baby girl is sure growing up on us lately! I hope she really does live with us forever, because I’m not sure what I’d do without her! (neither does Daddy!) ❤