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We have an eight-year-old!
It seems like only yesterday, Evelyn was born, we blinked, and now somehow she’s recently turned eight. Children make the passage of time something incredible–one minute they’re helpless, tiny newborns, the next, they’re the ones taking care of the newest babies:
Evelyn has a knack for newborn whispering.
Even if once in a while, she still would rather be the baby.
Zoey’s hospital hat is pretty darn stretchy.
As promised, we let Evelyn have her every-other-year birthday party with friends (I can only handle them that often as a natural introvert…on off years, we do just family, which is my preferred way of celebrating). Ten little kids came over for pizza, our bounce house (which we actually bought to use for her sixth birthday, the first party she had with friend and never ended up selling), decorating their own cupcakes (’cause I ran out of time and what kid doesn’t think that’s fun??), and games before sending them home all hopped up on sugar…
Thank goodness we built a big table.

…leaving me with only a slight mess, which Henry was more than happy to help clean up.

By clean up, I, of course, mean eat.

On Evelyn’s actual birthday, she was quite excited to go to school, because when you’re still young, school and birthdays still mesh well. We ate lunch with her and sent her with a hefty load of cupcakes to share with her class, with very clear instructions that she was not to bring any of them home. Being the kindhearted person Evelyn is, she managed to find enough people to share with.
Evelyn is the unfailing carnivore.
Over the years, Evelyn’s tastes haven’t changed much. For her birthday dinner, she requested steak and crab, among other summer staples, and for their birthdays, we oblige the kids. We sang, she blew out her wolf cupcake candles and she opened presents, still young enough to show her surprise and gratitude with each package.
The girls all got a new princess dress for a royal tea party my sister threw.

 Jack even put together her new big girl bike and took it for a test ride.

In our church, eight is also a special age because it’s when children can choose to be baptized. I love the doctrine because as special as my faith is to me, Evelyn choosing to be baptized is her own personal decision to make a covenant with God, regardless of anyone else, including parents. She took the decision very seriously and begun reading her scriptures daily, highlighting words that were meaningful to her.
She set a goal to read the whole Book of Mormon before her baptism and accomplished it!
The day of her baptism was a special one (in part for my mom because it happened to be on her birthday–can I count that as one of her presents?). We traveled back to Nebraska over Memorial Day weekend and it was a pretty low-key service with only family in attendance. Evelyn had asked her grandmas to give talks, aunts and uncles to sing songs and say prayers, Jack to perform her baptism…it was a very special day for us.
We’re so proud of our beautiful daughter and the person she’s becoming. We catch glimpses of the mature, sophisticated, compassionate woman she will be but while we still get to enjoy her youthful innocence, goofiness, unique perspective on life, her creativeness, selflessness, and carefreeness. I hope those attributes will continue with her, regardless her age as she continues to grow. We love our firstborn and all that she is!

Happy birthday, darling Evelyn!

Always willing to help with a baby!
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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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