To Six-Year Old Evie

Evie! It’s your sixth birthday! I am so glad you are a part of our family, and that we can celebrate another year of life with you. It has been a year of unforgettable memories that I will cherish for a long time. You have come so far in just one year, and you have so many wonderful traits that make you special.

First of all, I have been very impressed with your perseverance in many areas of your life. You have a strong drive to accomplish whatever is in your mind. Your will to keep trying in the midst of failure is better than my own. Keep solving problems, girl!

Your creativity in building things, fixing toys, and imagining scenes is so unique. How many rolls of tape did we go through this year? Ha ha! I love to see your imagination blossom as you go on adventures with Simba, Stripes and the gang. I love to see the crazy forts you dream up in any given room in the house. I love to read your little notes to friends and family that show them how much you care.

Do you want to know something that makes my heart fill with joy? It’s watching and listening to you be a gentle and compassionate big sister to Olan. The times when I walk by your room and you are reading a book about trains to him, or when you’re in the dining room building a tower for him to knock down over and over again, or even when I see you are trying to protect him from a dangerous or naughty situation… these times are a glimpse of what I hope is the start of an undying friendship between the both of you as you grow up.

I am still so proud that you are a lover of books. It is not uncommon for you to be completely lost in a book for hours. I wish I had your zeal… I love reading and all, but man! You could read all day long! That’s pretty cool. Think of all the things you will learn from books after a lifetime of reading! What a gift from the Lord it is to be literate.

My hope for year six is that God would continue to develop your capacity for self-control, and that we would start having more and more conversations that dig deeper into your heart and mine. I know that He is going to do some amazing things in and through you! I have already seen glimmers of Jesus getting a hold of your heart. Praying that you will love others well and that you will choose to love God most of all. What can God do with one girl whose heart is sold out to Jesus? I can’t wait to find out!

Daddy and I love you an incredible amount and for always, and we are thrilled to have been entrusted to be your parents. I hope you feel that love each day, and especially today, on your birthday! Have a happy day, sweetie pie!



Evie is Six!

Evie is officially six years old! It’s been a quick year five we’ve had. A lot of growth in her this year, and still plenty more for the next 100 birthdays too. We can marvel at what the Lord has done in her through her experiences! Some things I want to remember about our six year old Evie Lynn…

I know I sound like a broken record, but Evie and her books. This is what I think about when I think of her. Her current obsession is Dogman. What a weird set of books. Ha ha! But it has captivated her; the first books that she actually will just read over and over again. She has graduated into chapter books this year, and devours them in no time. We’ve started reading aloud chapter books this year, and she’s enjoyed Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, James and the Giant Peach, Matilda (go Roald Dahl!), The Mouse and the Motorcycle, Stuart Little, Paddington, and The Magician’s Nephew. Reading aloud has easily become my favorite thing to do with her.

Evie has been working on doing chores around the house this year as well. She cleans the sink in her bathroom well, she can wipe the table off, set the table, fold and put her laundry away (does she always? NO), get the mail, and dust. She earns coins on her Vivofit Jr. watch and then is able to redeem the coins for prizes – some favorites are choosing a treat and getting a helium balloon. Helium balloons continue to trump almost any other play thing in this world.

Evie and water. Oh my. She has come a long way since the beginning, but man, that girl just doesn’t really love water, including baths. Water in face = a crime punishable by death by screaming. Water in ears is equally sinful. Regardless, swim lessons were better than ever, and she now at least has the desire to swim and feels confident in the skills she has, however miniscule. I am proud to see progress!

This girl and her music – currently she is into the Smallfoot soundtrack. She’s getting into listening to one song on repeat forever. I remember those days, when I’d diligently and faithfully pore over Casey Kasem’s Top 40 Hits radio show, waiting for my favorite song to come on, so I could swiftly record it onto my tape deck. Once I got that song dubbed, I’d wear that puppy out until I knew every word. This is a glimpse of modern day Evie. Music is life! 🙂

Fort building. This is a huge part of Evie’s creativity, and Silas and she build some amazing little nooks. Although my house is a tornado when fort building begins, it’s kinda cool to watch her problem solve to get things to stay up and the planning of the fort is pretty well thought through.

This brings me to another subject: Silas. He is her best friend, and they truly love each other. I am so glad to have seen a transformation of their friendship over the last few years. In younger years, these two bickered so badly, it was kind of not very fun to be together to be honest. But now, they are inseparable, and they have so much fun together, off in their own little world, pretending, creating, playing, and talking. Evie can be a bit bossy (as she yells, “SI-LASS!” whenever she wants him to do something), but for the most part, they are the best of buds.

I was curious about her Enneagram type the other day… she is a 4 (The Romantic Individualist) and 7 (The Entertaining Optimist). Wow. Yes. Just yes. So much different than me (Type 3)!

Cooking, baking, gardening, technology, tickling, reading, helping, adventuring, encouraging, origaming, being with people, creating, imagining, daydreaming. She’s our unique little lady, that’s for sure!

To close, Evie’s preferences, according to her, this year!

  • Color: Purple, Red, Blue, and Green
  • Animal: Chicks
  • Food: Applesauce and blueberries
  • Drink: Chocolate milk
  • Song: Sweet Dreams (Are Made of These), Percy’s Pressure, Let it Lie, The Greatest Show
  • TV Show: PJ Masks
  • Movie: Alvin and the Chipmunks and Peter Pan
  • Game: Uno Moo
  • Bible Story: David and Goliath (two years in the running)
  • Season: Winter (I like eating the snow and making snow angels) and Fall (I like jumping in the leaves) – (same as last year)
  • Toy: Stripes and Simba and Momma-Doo
  • Outfit: Stretchy Shorts
  • Book: The Lima Bean Monster and Dogman
  • Friend: Silas, Ava Elliott, and Ryan and Marley
  • Thing to do outside: pick berries and make “salad” with Ryan and Marley
  • Future Career: an artist or a cleaner (heaven help us on this one) or an engineer (“an engineer that builds”)

Adventures in Summerland

The sweat of summer feels like it has just begun, but in fact, summer is dwindling down to the end quicker than I can wipe it from my brow. Tomorrow marks the first day I am back at school. Excited to meet my next set of students, but sad to leave the best part of the year, when I can spend so much of my time with my babies. We didn’t go anywhere super special, but we still had the best time. Love that I can have the best of both worlds.

Here’s the snapshot (or a LOT of snapshots) of our summer break!

Evie and swimming lessons! It went SO much better than last year. We still have such a long ways to go (for those who swam with us this summer, you know what I’m sayin’), but I am glad to see progress!

We will surely miss our Kylie Bowling! Olan got to get in on the action this summer! Thank you Kylie for your generous time in such a whirlwind of a summer for you.

Olan’s first bit of ornery shining through. My insta caption: “Is this how they make Season-All?” 😉

Water games and lemonade popsicles with friends!

Three carseats in the CR-V! It’s a miracle! Heading to Lindsborg pool!

One of my favorite things about my summer break was interviewing my grandma. So many neat stories and things I never knew about her. Such a special time! Love you Grandma! Other grandparents – you’re next! 🙂

Blacksmith with some new friends this summer – Kalyn and Eva joined up with our Grow Group for the summer while on break from college. SO cool to be part of your journey, ladies!

Grandma and Grandpa’s new sand box. These kids love sand. It was a shame that it got washed away by the flood a few weeks from when this picture was taken. 😦 See photo below.

The Henrys had so much water. Wowza. Glad everyone was safe, and things are looking back to normal now! What a summer to remember.

Olie and Daddy in the combine. Olan’s happy place.

Harvest family night!

Harvesting other things besides wheat… The Peters were so gracious to let us pick their mulberries (and we got to pick cherries this year too!). This is becoming a beloved tradition every summer! Purple feet and mouths!

CrossPoint staff BBQ night was coupled with Logan’s birthday! We had fun watching the kids vs. Logan and Trail water fight in the backyard!

These two. Lydia and Olan are great friends!

Pitting cherries at the Baldwins!

Evie ran the cherry pitter non-stop! She was a trooper!

Our annual Manhattan riverwalk splash park! We actually got to go twice – once to visit Cole while the Jansens were here, and once with these lovely folks. Lucky!

At the beginning of summer, Evie was really into the “Puff the Magic Dragon” song. THANKS Aunt Tara! Ha. Anyway, Evie wanted to throw a Puff Party one day, so I went with it and did some dragonese food. Dragon’s tails, spit-fire, spikes, and dragon droppings. Ha ha! Evie decorated with signs and balloons! This girl and her party planning. Can’t wait to see how God uses that gift.

Got to hold Wrenley, FINALLY! And Lydia joined in with a baby doll too!

Our family and Grow Group got to run in the Festival race this year. I was incredibly proud of Evie. We thought we were signing up for a 1 mile run, so Evie could run it with us. Apparently, there’s only a 2 mile race. SOO. We went for it! She and I finished the 2 mile in something like 25 minutes. I gave her headphones to run with (Puff the Magic Dragon on repeat). I was shocked that she did zero complaining. We did a lot of “run to the _____” and take a walk break, but I was so happy to see her finish without acting like she was dying. I especially loved the end of the race. Everyone was cheering for her, and she just took off for the finish line! Love this girl!

Part of our Grow Group!

La familia! Thanks Janine, for pushing Olan, who would NOT come down from the train and get a picture!

Lauren’s birthday eve was spent staying up waaaay too late doing this amazing throwback puzzle. We finished it in one sitting!

Sky! Our kids absolutely loved this place this summer. That whole tot time is like the bomb diggety.

Quiet time with Silas and Evie one afternoon. Moon sand and Captain Underpants audiobook. They did this for about an hour!

This was a milestone for Evie’s summer I think. She got her very own LIBRARY CARD! And the first book to check out: Captain Underpants. Quality literature, folks. Lolol. She is obsessed with these. Glad we are getting through these NOW, instead of fourth grade. Ha ha. And all the parents said, “Amen!”

Evie got to ride on a motorcycle around the driveway!

Collecting berries with Anna. Favorite Grow Group friend!

Family Jeep ride!

Lots of outdoor days. Water beads in the water table were a hit!

READING with my girl. BEST THING.

Grandma Henry visit!

Evie got to paint her own nails for the first time at our house! She did a decent job!

Olan had a big week at the end of the summer. He had an inguinal hernia repair surgery. Scary for this momma. But he did great. I was flabbergasted to watch him almost not skip a beat. He spent the first eight hours laying around, but that evening, he was outside running around playing baseball. Ridiculous. Luckily and surprisingly, Dr. Rupe said no restrictions, so I could rest at ease a little bit knowing it was normal. The surgery itself was about an hour long thing. He was so brave, and when it was time to wheel him back to the chopping block, he sat up in his bed and with wide, curious eyes he took in all the sights, never looking back. He woke up a bit crabby, but nothing like I pictured. I can attribute this to the prayers of the people around us. I had so many texts and messages from people checking in and praying for us. However “minor” surgery it was, it still puts life into perspective pretty darn quick. Praise God for a great result.

This happened too. DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE! And now on to librarian school.


Thundercake making!

And the result!

Something that we all think is super disgusting that Evie loves: combining cottage cheese and applesauce. Blerg!

Super pumped to have gotten back into playing keys at CrossPoint. Even though it won’t be often, still honored to be able to serve and worship in this way!

All the feels.

Evie was over the moon when a butterfly landed on her finger at the park!

Our Lindsborg buddies! Picnicking at the park after the pool!

Family. So nice to be all together in one place!

My baby’s squishy face. And his usual summer getup: diaper only.

Evie’s first backyard campout! She LOVED it. Thank you, Logan, for making this a thing. It was so special to our little lady.

Another memorable event: my nephew, Silas, was bitten by a copperhead snake. Another shout out to the Lord: he made a full recovery!

Science experiment!

These two are just adorable! Olan and Lydia!

My father-in-law turned 60 years young! Ask him about his red suspenders sometime. Happy birthday Chuck! Love ya!

Evie’s newfound love: baby toads. All this water has made these fellas prevalent at the Henry’s house! Flyster, Bugster, Toadster… all sorts of creative names.

Evie found the teenage version of Simba and Stripes at the Trollslandia toy story in Lindsborg!

My babies love to build. Forts, tracks, gadgets. They are their father’s children.

The chicken coop park in Assaria!

Jade’s puppies were ADORABLE! Evie and her animals. Where did this come from?!

Our Parents as Teachers friend, Joy, shaking up some pudding with the kiddies this summer! She is awesome! I so appreciate all the great things I have gained from our friendship, Joy!

My cousin from KC made a few visits to Salina this summer! Love this girl. We even got a “date” night out – Logan volunteered himself to hang with our four kids while we went out on the town. This is another one of my favorite memories of the summer! Good chats. Friends for life!

Another visit to SKY!

Painting at Grandma Baldwin’s!

Painting with our Grow Group at the Rescue Mission!

More of that.

Sweet sleepy baby girl.

We celebrated 11 years of matrimony this summer! Funny to think we were in the exact same location on our wedding day and on June 28, 2019. Had fun kicking it at Unite Salina as part of our date!

This represents a few things we didn’t get pictures of. First off, our neighborhood BBQ we hosted this year! Our lovely neighbors, Cheri and Kerry made some amazing cupcakes (lemon and s’mores). It was such a great evening! Secondly, Janine made surprise cupcakes for Chuck’s 60th birthday party. Yuuum. Third, these were all left with us. Dangerous. So we celebrated Trail’s birthday with a game night and a menagerie of cupcakes! Yay for fun events and delicious dishes!

Random Tropical Sno!

One of the summer projects we embarked on this summer. Ugh. Ripping out the four huge, gnarly bushes in our front yard. This was a crapton of work. Thank you Logan for tackling it. I helped. So did Olan. Evie did not. LOL. Happy to report its completedness!

Olan and his heavy machinery.

Lots of nights like this. What a mild summer the beginning was!

The sandbox momma-to-be! Ha ha!

Sonic. Who knew we’d only be ten minutes worth of walking away from friends and ice cream treats?

Going to haul some dirt home for our dirt work! Everyone’s excited!

Planting seeds. Look at that baby garden!

Snuggles with Aunt Holly!

Our Manhattan excursion. Got to run around Old Stadium at KSU for a bit! Nostalgia.

Early birthday shoes from Grandma Henry!

Went to the fair’s carnival for the first time. A hit for all! Olan got to ride on this airplane and a motorcycle ride. He was in heaven!

Grandma and Grandpa took the kids to the rodeo!

Evie’s so gung-ho about animals right now. She loved the petting zoo probably more than she loved the ferris wheel!

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