It's become very hard to get a picture of this girl and it's a near miracle that she's looking at me AND smiling! I love that little face but it's not very often that I get it captured forever.
She is sugar and spice and everything nice, that's what our Ava is made of!
I took these pictures of Ava a few Sundays ago because I couldn't get enough of her in that outfit! The highlight of Ava's week is for sure all of the little classes she attends at Church. Between Sunday morning, Tuesday morning Bible Study and Wednesday night, Ava gets three days a week to be with all of her little friends and she gets so excited when I tell her which class we get to go to that day. She gives us a detailed report everytime we get home about who did what and what she learned. Her most frequent report is that "Da boys were so loud, I say, shhh! Be quiet boys!" Because of course, "Da babies were sleeping!" She cracks us up. She also likes to give a report on who disobeyed the teacher or told her "NO, Ava!" We've got some work to do on tattling I think :)
What is very precious to us, however, is that she is truly retaining some of the Bible stories and truths that her sweet teachers are faithful to teach. She came home a couple weeks ago telling us that "God is our Shepherd" and "He takes care of the lambies." What a sweet, little lamb herself!! I've heard from lots of people about how much she loves song time and that's no surprise to us. She sings non-stop at home and during dinner last week, she all of the sudden started crouching in her seat and singing, "Read your Bible, pray every day and you'll grow, grow, grow! And you'll grow, grow, grow and you'll grow, grow, growwwwww...." It was so funny, totally out of the blue and it brought me right back to my 5 year old self. I hadn't heard that song for years and years but her broken melody brought it right back to my mind. Man she makes us laugh! We've been asking her if she wants to pray at dinner for over a year now. She said no for about 6 months (ha ha, humbling!) and then one day, decided she was ready to pray too. Now she prays all the time and while she melts our heart with what she thinks to say, she also makes us shake with giggles too. She usually starts strong, thanking Jesus "for our food, for this day, for our family and Jesse and Stacie" (always put them in there, without fail) but lately, she's decided to tack on all of poor Carter's "sins" against her for the day. She tells Jesus that Carter took her toys or hit her or whatever else she can dream up before we stop her :) We usually step in and help her thank Jesus for forgiving us and ask him to help us be kind to one another and to forgive one another too. It's always funny to hear her rat on Carter while he sits in his high chair, grinning and saying "Amen!"
If only he knew that she was throwing him under the bus! As funny as she can be, we've also marveled at some of the tender things that have come out of her mouth.
It's an amazing thing to hear the praise that God ordains from the mouths of babes...
One of the most noticable changes in Ava is her embrace of all things "princess!" I was waiting for this day to come and I can say with certainty that it is here. She is totally into all of the Disney princesses right now, although she hasn't seen most of their movies. She just likes to name them and tell us what each of them are wearing :) What a little GIRL she is!!!
Her favorite princess is Belle, from Beauty and the Beast. She loves the movie and the music and a few months ago, I took her to see the play at our local high school. She talks about Belle non-stop and now she dresses like her too. I bought her a dress up outfit when I started to catch her asking for a pretty dress or skirt to wear, "like Belle." We've had it for about a month now and I think she's worn it at least 5 out of 7 days each week. It's a regular part of our day now :)
She's also into lots of imaginative role-play now, which is great and totally funny to listen to. I hear her all day, deep in conversation with her babies or toys, and it always makes me laugh.
We sure love this little princess Ava!
It's not uncommon to find her without her Cinderella Bear or her Belle doll these days, she loves the sparkle of a glittery dress and a tiara! Who doesn't??
Ava has also turned a corner in the "helper" department. She is all about watching me do just about everything and asking if she can help me too. I've tried to let her at least watch me in the kitchen, sometimes letting her truly "help" where she can. On this day I was making a pie and she was totally into the whole process. She stood with me, asking a million questions and spreading flour til the cows came home, but when we were done I had one happy little girl on my hands! It's hard not to say no sometimes when I know I can do everything faster and without a mess to clean up, but her little smile and sparkling eyes are always worth the extra time and work. It is such a blessing to have a little helper, I'm amazed at how much she can do and how often I ask for her to get something for me or do something! My patience is being tested often but I can see what joy she gets from my affirmation of her. It's kind of bittersweet to think about all the ways she'll continue to change and gain independence. Somedays I think the next stage sounds like Heaven and other days, I just want to dial it all back and re-live it because it's moving too quickly.
I could go on and on about Ava, but the bottom line is that we love her, no matter what stage she is in! She's doing so great with her potty training, we've conquered about 95% of it and she is not looking back! We are very proud of her and again, amazed at what she's able to do. Lately she is all about wrapping her little arms around me tight and telling me that she loves me "so much!" It's the best reward, no matter what kind of day we've had or how she's worn me down. I am grateful the Lord gave her to me to mother, she is such a delight to us, such a gift.
We love you Ava Page!!