Dear Francie,

Dear Francie,

On your last night of being FIVE - I wanted to write you a note. Your Dad and I can't believe you will be a SIX year old tomorrow. We are so proud of what a smart, kind, sweet, thoughtful big girl you have become.

Your favorite saying is "Where there is a will there is a way!" (mine too :)

Your favorite food is: pasta and fruit, and anything Dad cooks on the BBQ. maybe popsicles sometimes too.

You area an expert swimmer and can go two lengths of the pool under water. You can stay in the water all day and when I retold you the story of being in my belly breech/upside down when you were due you said "that was because I like being in water so much!"

You are very sweet with all three of your sisters. You carry Tiny on your hip like a pro. You take extra good care of your little buddy JJ, making sure she has her shoes on and helping her learn how to do things. You always include Maisie, even when playing with new friends and you two are so cute together - I hope you will always be best friends!

You teach them all you know - and like to remind me that being the OLDEST girl is your favorite position (just like Mom and Jannie!) but lots of work!

You are very proud of all you have learned and you work hard to keep learning new things. You learned how to read this summer and nothing stops you - you pretty much taught yourself (with some help from the hundreds of books Dad never tires from reading to you at night) and now you read signs, menus, books to your sisters and chapter books for yourself. It's so cool to see your eyes opened up to this whole new world! You are a math whiz, counting by 5s and 10s and doing double digit addition in your head and on paper. You quizzed ME the other day and said "Mom, what is 60 plus 60?" and when I answered "120" you said "Ahhh! Impressive!" thanks France :)

You love to do art, color, draw, create and make new things. You are very creative and also a thinker. I can't wait to see the great things you will do :) You already do so many!

You love rainbows as much as I do! You also LOVE older girls and being around them - especially your older cousins Kate and Ellie (and all of your cousins!)

and cousin Ella too!

You love the outdoors and all the things your Dad can teach you about camping, archery, fishing, hunting, raising animals and being an adventurer.

and you love to dance, practice gymnastics (you do a great headstand!) and you are wokring on a cartwheel.. but what I especially love is that somehow Maisie has perfected a cartwheel and you are the first to say "Now that Maisie is a cartwheel EXPERT!" You are proud of your strengths but always proud of others too.

You are hoping for a real gear bike for your birthday from mom and dad, and ice skates from Jannie and Grampa. Jannie is a shoe-in but we'll see what Mom and Dad come up with :)

You chose a lunch date at a fancy restaurant with Mom and Dad for your birthday tomorrow. ANywhere fancy and "Italiano!" you suggested! We can't wait :)

Happy SIXTH BIRTHDAY my big girl! We love you! xoxo, Mom (and Dad :)