Happy Birthday, Sunshine! You have grown so much this year. And this afternoon are getting your ears pierced. You have picked out the prettiest pink and gold heart shaped earrings. You are taller, more coordinated (though your sense of style isn't), and have become incredibly helpful. You love to wash and dry dishes. You constantly beg to vacuum, even though you can't hold the heavy thing up high enough that the bottom actually makes contact with the floor. You are eager to fill up my water cup when I run out, and fetch and do for your siblings. You continue to have the most caring personality and a spirit of giving.
You are a study in contrasts. You LOVE ranch dressing and corn, but HATE squash. You like to be called Sunshine, but despise the nickname Ruthie. You are reading short vowel books, but drag your feet with basic math. You love to set aside money to go to the bank but loath to get any out and spend it. You adore the people at Church, especially Sister Hazel, and routinely give close to half of the money you make on Sunday, but you insist that preaching is boring, and can't stand to sit up and pay attention during that part of the service. You have strong feelings about everything either you love or hate things, there seems to be no in between.
And yet, despite having this passion for life, you remain our most laid back and easy going child. Every day with you seems to be a joy, you wake up happy, late but happy. You find everything to be an adventure, looking forward to how things unfold. You are perfectly content with not knowing what happens next, much like your Daddy. You remain very much your father's daughter. You very much have his spirit, and in some ways are more content that me. You still look so much like Aunt Manna, Memaw, and Granna that I almost wonder whether I contributed any genes. It is amazing to see how much you are like him.
This year has brought so many first. You started Kindergarten last fall, and took to it like a fish to water. I think some of it is competitive, in that you always want to do what Britt does. But next week, you will finish up the last of your Kindergarten books - both math and reading. While we started back to school the beginning of July after a month off for the summer, you and Britt will be in 1st grade together this year. You took swim lessons for the first time this summer. While you aren't swimming yet, you have gained alot of confidence over the last 8 weeks. You started out terrified to get your head wet and unwilling to let go of your instructor for any reason, but now you will swim the length of the pool with your noodle and your floatation belt, and while you won't duck your head all the way, you will lean WAY back and get all your hair wet.
The biggest two changes, have been that we told you and your siblings in May that we were going to have another baby this year. You were ecstatic. And in your typical giving fashion, when asked if you wanted a brother or a sister this time, you said, that you wanted a brother for Britt. Though we have resoundingly denied your and Britt's request for 10 more brothers, and 4 more sisters, it is a joy to share the excitement of another baby with you. Your only concern, has been that you don't want to trade our blue car for another bigger car, that you really like our blue car. The other big change this year has thrown you for a bit of a loop, Daddy unfortunately is out of work again. Your first worry was what if we didn't give money, and the people that own our house threw all your stuff out the windows. We quickly assured you that we would make sure you always had a safe place to live, that's our job. Then you told us that you loved your purple room, and you loved this house, and the library and your friends, and you didn't want to move. I told you that we weren't moving right away, but we would go where ever Daddy found work, and it would be a new adventure. It seemed to reassure you. The experience has served to remind us that while you are typically our easy going child, that you are growing up, and you do feel many things very deeply, not just joy.
This year, we hope to do more school, more trips, more adventures. We hope you continue to grow your giving spirit. We hope you continue to cultivate a thankful, grateful heart. We pray that God will bless you to grow in grace and knowledge in all these things. We have many hopes and dreams for you. And can't wait to see what life holds in store for you. Always know that you are loved immensely by Daddy and me.