Natalie celebrated her 11th birthday last week. It feels like both just yesterday and so long ago that she made us parents for the first time. She is eager to become more independent and learn new things, while at the same time is in no rush to leave “kid-stuff” behind. She is one smart, creative, loving girl and we are so amazed at the young woman she is becoming.
She had a party with friends and cousins a few weeks ago. It was a Fairytale Mystery Dinner, with a menu in code and three courses of giggling kids. So, so fun! I’m planning (hoping) to share all the details with you sometime this month.
In the meantime, here are 11 things Natalie is loving at age 11:
1. Reading – Natalie is rarely without a book in hand, and keeping her stocked with reading material feels like a full-time job! Fantasy and mythology are her favorite genres currently, although she reads a wide range of books. Right now, she’s three books into Angie Sage’s Septimus Heap series. She’s also very eagerly awaiting her preordered copy of House of Hades, which should be on our doorstep today. Yay!
2. Writing – Natalie is always coming up with story ideas and writing, writing, writing. She also loves to write poetry, and comes up with some amazingly creative ideas. She usually writes in notebooks, but lately she’s been trying some word processing on the computer, too.
3. Drawing – Her favorite things to draw are tiny foods, characters for her stories, and maps of imaginary places. (A how-to-draw people book, like this, is on her wish list.)
4. Making movies – Along with her sister and cousin, she loves making movies in iMovie on the iPad. She often chooses to be the director and filmer, but lately she’s been getting in front of the camera, too. Oh my goodness, they make some seriously funny movies and music videos!
5. Cooking – Natalie has always enjoyed cooking side-by-side with me in the kitchen, but now she wants to up her skills and cook independently. Being the sweetie that she is, she wants to help me out when baby brother comes home! Her latest dinner success is lentil sloppy joes in the slow cooker – she uses this recipe, omits the bell pepper, and adds 3 Tablespoons of maple syrup. So yummy!
6. Having her ears pierced – Our family rule is that you have to be 10 years old to get your ears pierced. Natalie wasn’t quite ready at 10, but a few weeks ago she decided to go for it. She loves jewelry and can’t wait until she can start wearing different earrings every day. :)
7. Sweets – This girl has a serious sweet tooth and loves to bake. I would say pie and doughnuts are at the top of her sweet list. She even had a doughnut cake for her birthday! I’m looking forward to many homemade pies in my future.
8. Sewing – Natalie enjoys hand sewing and working on the sewing machine. I love seeing her confidence grow each time she uses the sewing machine. She recently made herself a small tote bag and clothes for her stuffed animals. She often gets ideas from the first Sewing School book, which are hand-sewing projects. We need to add Sewing School 2 to our collection, so she can find more sewing machine projects to try, too.
9. Greek mythology – Natalie absolutely devours anything Greek mythology right now. She is constantly teaching me new things!
10. Smoothies – A favorite snack for Natalie is a homemade smoothie. Her favorites are a tropical one (orange juice, mango, pineapple, and yogurt) and a chocolate, peanut butter, banana one. Of course, she won’t turn down a Jamba Juice either.
11. Being a big sister – Natalie takes her role as big sister very seriously, and I love how close she and Delaney are. She is bursting at the seams waiting for her new brother to come home – just a few more days!
Happy Birthday to my amazing Natalie! I think 11 is going to be a fantastic year for you!