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Recently, Claire celebrated her fifth birthday. Her birth marked the beginning of my adventure as a stay-at-home mother, gave Evelyn a playmate and me a child in my image (yes, I was once a blond like her!). She was (and is!) a ray of sunshine, with big, blue eyes, dimples to die for and a smile that is constant and stretches from ear to ear.
Claire: our favorite Halloween decoration.

I’ve been trying in particular to savor this year with Claire. Next year she’ll be off to school with Evelyn and though I know she’ll blossom and have all kinds of fun without me, I will miss her terribly.

A sampling of Claire’s style.

We’ve had a busy year with all the girls. Claire was at the forefront of a new hairstyle after she got gum stuck in her hair, she learned how to lose graciously when her costume wasn’t chosen at a Halloween party, gave us some beautiful smiling photos, and mastered hay hopping.

Claire’s got eyes bluer than the sky. Seriously.
And, of course, she gave us plenty of laughs.
Her movie star attire.
More than the average child, I do believe.
Googly eyes.

She repeatedly show us how clever she is, like when she uses her engineering skills to draw, cut out and construct three dimensional animal creations.

Waiting her her homemade cat mask for Evelyn to get off the bus.
To the extreme. 
Cuddling our neighbor’s cat who came for a visit.
Though at first, she wasn’t quite sure what to make of Henry’s arrival, saying she’d rather help out by loading the dishwasher or feed all the animals than hold him, he and she have become fast friends. I see mischief in their futures. I guarantee it, in fact.
It’s impossible to imagine life without Claire and it’s exciting to see where life is taking her. I’m so happy to be able to stand by and watch what amazing things she’ll accomplish.
A mid-summer pumpkin.

Her day was made special when after church, we decorated her (what else?) pink kitty cake, ate her chosen birthday meal of salmon, Brussels spouts and biscuits, and opened a mound of presents picked just for her.

Her happy kitty cake.
Only five, yet it seems like we’ve known her forever.
 Happy birthday sweet, smiley, happy, kind, wonderful, beautiful Claire!

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True stories of raising children, remodeling, braving the elements and plotting out life, all while living on a humble acreage in central Indiana.

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