Happy 8th birthday Andie

Dear Andie,

   Wow!  You are 8!  It's crazy that you are 8 years old this year.  You seem so much older lately.  I am not sure if it is your grown up teeth, your desire to dress older now, your ever increasing height, your new interest in boys, or if you just seem more mature lately....but when I think about where you were last year compared to this year, you've grown so much.   You are so full of life!

   This year you are in year 2 with Ms. Kathryn.   You like school, but you don't love it.  You love the social aspect of it.  You love morning tea and recess.  You love to see your friends.  You don't so much love the work part of it.  Even though you are a good reader, you really don't like to read.  You love to be read to however.   You have a curious mind, so you are always asking questions in class and offering your own opinions as well.  (This year Mommy spent 10 weeks teaching Stop, Think, Do in your classroom, so I've been able to learn more about you as a student).  You do your best to behave because you know that rules are important, but sometimes you get distracted by friends sitting around you.   It's hard to pay attention all of the time!

    School doesn't necessarily measure all that you excel in Andie.  You are SO creative!  You make up the BEST songs!  I truly believe you could be a lyricist one day.  Songs just roll right out of your mouth that sound awesome!  You sing a lot....sometimes to soothe yourself and other times just because you are bored.  While you love singing, you will not join the primary chorus as they meet at recess...and, well, that is just too big of a sacrifice.   You are constantly creating things in your mind.  You are developing new games, structures, and ideas.    Andie, you are such a big idea person!  You come up with the most elaborate ideas....sketch out details - and don't always follow through with it.  The idea is what excites you....not the details.   For example, you recently came up with a way for the whole school to raise money for the victims of Cyclone Winston (you have a huge heart...which I'll get to later).  You had very elaborate ideas about each class doing their own fundraisers and and how it could be advertised and how parents could help.  Your plan was SO grand I had trouble keeping track of it.  You decided you would share it with Ms. Whitaker immediately.   A few days passed and I think you moved on to the next grand idea.   You are always dreaming.  My little dreamer.  I love that about you.
     You are a really good problem solver.   You are a good resource for your friends, especially if they have a disagreement.  You come up with the best solutions.  You have a knack for figuring out how to make everyone happy in the situation.  Yesterday, you and Tahli were arguing over an outfit you both wanted to wear in your fashion show, and you proposed she go out in the outfit first and then change quickly like real models too, so that you could go out towards the end of the show in the same outfit.   You even help me sometimes.  Just recently when we were visiting the USA, we had a party at Bonnie's house, but PapPap also wanted us to go see a bluegrass band.  I was telling you how torn I was, and you immediately came up with the perfect solution of going to Bonnie's for a little while and then bringing everyone from the party to the bluegrass band.   Again....you know how to lead and figure out ways to include everyone....making all feel content.

      Just like most girls your age, you like older girls.  At your birthday sleepover this weekend, you have invited Lainie (your bff) and two older girls, Milla and Natalia.  You would invite your whole class if you could, but Mommy made you keep it small this year.   Sometimes when you play with older girls, you may lose sight of including everyone (especially your little sister), but it just takes a quick reminder to get you back on track.   Unlike a lot of girls your age, you play really well with boys.  You love to rough house and play pretend fighting/war games.  You can be just as content right in the mix with boys as with girls.

      You have never had a problem making friends.  You are never shy to walk up to a kid and introduce yourself.  Sometimes, people may find it a little off-putting, but I love watching you work your magic.   You simply love people.   You make friends everywhere we go.   You have an easy, infectious laugh that warms my heart and makes all those around you feel good.   You love to laugh. You also love the limelight.  You thrive in the center of attention.   When we were in Duck, NC a few weeks ago we went to see a band play on the courtyard.  You were right upfront dancing away.  (You love to dance...as long as you can dance freestyle without someone telling you what moves to make). The band loved you and brought you up on stage.  You were beaming.  They gave you their guitar pick and you could not have been more proud.  

    While you have many friends, you have several that you hold nearest and dearest to your heart.  The friends you've had since you were one will always hold a place in your heart even though you may not seem them as much anymore now that we are in Fiji.  When we went back this month, Lucy, Dalton, and of course Reid were the three friends that were critical for you to see.   You reminded me several times that they are your oldest friends so it's so important to connect with them. You were thrilled to see your other friends as well, but those three have a special place in your heart.   Here, you have the most beautiful friendship with Lainie.  I've honestly never seen two seven/eight year old girls as close as you two have become.  You practically have your own language together.   You are SO alike in so many ways.  You are both creative, sensitive, funny, know no personal space boundaries, don't worry about what other's think, loving girls.  When Lainie moves away in December, it will crush me to see you go through that loss.  She is such a HUGE part of your world right now.   It's those kinds of losses that makes your Mommy worry if she is doing the right thing by moving you, but then again....I'm so grateful that you developed that special bond with her.   Just like your life long Atlanta friends, you will now have a friend in Australia for life!

      You always have had a kind, empathetic heart.   You cannot stand to see people cry.  You want to fix everyone's problems.  You will always stand up to a bully and stick up for the underdog.   When we were walking on the beach recently we saw some little fish washed up, flopping on the sand.  Instead of being squirmish, you immediately ran up to them and started picking up each one to throw it back into the water.   We stood there for easily 10 minutes until you saved every last fish.   There was no way you would even dream of walking by and leaving one behind.  You love animals.  You love nature.  You are happiest outside, even though you may say you are happiest in front of TV.

      You are an incredible swimmer, even though you don't love swimming.  It's too lonely for you.   You got first place in the Fiji national swim meet in both freestyle and back stroke.   You LOVED winning!   You don't love practice.   You love dancing but you don't want to be told how to dance.  You love art and you love legos.  You love to pretend and play games from your imagination.  You love to have fun.  You don't like homework.  You don't like to keep things neat and tidy.  When you walk in the door you throw your backpack and shoes wherever they land and you don't think about them again until I get on you to pick things up.  It's only recently that you've become more concerned with your appearance,...but that is only before we leave the house.  After that, you really don't think about it again.  You are too busy living in the moment.  You are too busy having fun.  I LOVE that about you.   You live life fully!  When you are happy, you are in pure joy.  When you are sad, you really feel that sadness.   When you are lovey, you can cuddle all day.   You love to cuddle with me.  I cannot even think about when you outgrow that, because I love to snuggle you too.

         You are my sweet, fun, creative, brave, conquer the world dreamer!  I love you SOOOOO much Andie Price Passin!   I hope that your eighth year is all that you hope it will be.



Happy Birthday Andie!!

Almost age 8 (taken 4 days ago)

7 years old

6 years old

5 years old

4 years old

Two years old

One year old