Sometime last summer, we were encouraging Ellie to be brave about trying something new and we talked to her about 'exercising her brave muscles' to help them get stronger. Little by little and in true Ellie fashion, those brave muscles have grown. And she can tell you just exactly how much. She has a system all in place and whenever she uses those brave muscles, they grow -- 10 points for things that are a little hard, 50 for things that are so hard. Going under water at swim lessons (50 points!), shaking hands with our home teachers (10 points), collecting Easter eggs all by herself at the Easter egg hunt (50 points!), buying a treat at Lee's all by herself (30 points - 10 for handing the cashier the treat, 10 for giving him the money, and 10 for taking the change and receipt), learning to climb our taller front tree, asking for help from the teacher at kindergarten orientation, riding her bike with no training wheels… those brave muscles just grow and grow! Last I checked, Ellie's brave muscles were at 1,320 - what a little sweetheart!