Celebrating Olan!

We got to celebrate Olan’s birthday party the weekend after his real birthday this year, and what a joy it was! Fall Conference has always fallen on Olan (and my) birthday weekend, so we always wind up shuffling things around a bit during this time. The year Olan was born was the first year since 2005 that we’ve missed Fall Conference! That’s a lot of years, folks. Who decides to have a baby on one of the busiest weekend of the year? For real… The Henrys. Actually I guess it was God! Ha!

Anyway! I always have such a fun time putting together my kids’ birthday parties. Evie has spoiled me the last few years, as I thought for sure she’d suggest something super tacky for her party one of these times (ha ha), but all she’s ever requested are helium balloons. Therefore, I’ve gotten the privilege to run with my own themes for seven birthdays so far (5+2=7)!

Now, I love me some breakfast, so anytime I can schedule a party where it makes sense to have it in the morning, I’m in. Olan had a sunshine themed breakfast party this year, complete with bacon, egg, and cheese croissants, a yogurt bar, coffee cake and orange juice [virgin] mimosa punch!

A home full of family, balloons, food, and gifts (lots of car themed presents… it’s an obsession!)… how much more can a little dude ask for? Thanks for loving our Olan so well, everyone! He is one lucky little lad!

O: Year 2

Olan continues to be the sweetest little soul on the face of the earth. I cannot help but smile and feel giddy inside when I think of my little baby boy! Two years have swiftly come and gone, and I am just so thankful to the Lord for our little dude. Here are some things that mark Olan’s personality as a now two-year-old!

  • The demands for independence are steadily becoming the norm for this babe. “NO!” comes out on auto after most questions, and “Olie try!” is in close second. He’s learned to climb into his high chair, which is quite the feat when you weigh 35 pounds with two-year-old motor skills. “Climb!” is often heard while getting into the truck (he hikes that leg up like a skilled gymnast, but he’s not gettin’ in that truck on his own quite yet, lol), and he’s been letting us know recently that he needs a diaper change. Score.
  • Speaking of diapers. Seriously folks, this guy pees like no one I’ve ever seen before. The bladder has GOT to be as big as an adult male. I just bought a size 7 diaper for nighttime. SIZE 7. I didn’t even know they existed. We’ve had to double stuff our cloth diapers to keep that kid dry. I don’t even want to talk about wintertime when we have to start putting pants on the kid. Imma have to break out the baby leggings. HA!
  • The obsession with vehicles continues to be a thing. Cars, airplanes, helicopters, and tractors. His all-time favorite book right now is “Truck Stop,” which depicts a day in the life of a truck stop diner and all the random vehicle traffic that comes in and eats in the diner. “GREEEN GUSSS! COOL [school] BUS! DEEGER [digger]!” Every night he begs to read this funny little book. My favorite thing about this book is that it’s Olan’s first “real” book he’s liked. We’re steadily moving out of board book land! YAY!
  • Food is of utmost importance to Olie. Guacamole and chips are among his favorite. The kid will eat “maytoes” [tomatoes] from the garden until there are no more.
  • Olan has kicked the pacifier! Never at night anymore, and only on a rare occasion during nap does he use “beeeenky” to calm himself. I’m proudly relieved. I thought this would be much more of a struggle than it was. Thank you JESUS.
  • Olan’s love language is “teeckles” [tickles]. That boy loves quality time and physical touch. I find myself frequently being pulled down to the ground, followed by a “Mommy play!”
  • He loves being cozy in blankets and pillows, and he loves bedtime cuddles. He becomes the freaking sweetest boy at bedtime. He’ll go and say night-night to Evie and then sometimes he’ll try to sing our “Moon, moon, moon” song. He loves to be rocked while we sing, and when I lay him in his crib, he flips over on his belly and giggles when I cover him with his blanket. He’ll blow a kiss and say “love you, sweet dreams, good night.” Can you imagine how melty my heart is? It’s just the most adorable thing ever. This is real life, people. These are moments when I think I’ve arrived as a parent. LOL. I soon snap back into reality when he clobbers me in the face because I wouldn’t let him eat an entire carton of blueberries minutes before dinner is served.
  • Olan is a gearhead. He’s a sports nut. He’s a dancing fool. What is this kid going to be like??
  • He loves wearing shoes, or as he calls them, “hoos.” He struggles with the “S” sound still.
  • His words have exploded. He says everything now.
  • This dude is a dancing machine. He’s got all the right moves. He especially loves “September” by Earth Wind and Fire.
  • He just started going up and down stairs like a normal human. Still freaks me out, but he does well!
  • Lotion is something Olan enjoys. We’ve been lathering him in calamine lately… those chiggers are terrible this year, and they eat Olan’s soft baby legs to pieces.
  • He’s wearing size 3T and sleeps from 8:00pm-6:30am with a 2.5+ hour nap.
  • Olan has begun praying on his own at the dinner table. I love his little “A-MEN!” Although no one will probably ever see him pray, because he gets shy around other people and freezes up. He’s my little introvert. He hangs back when new people are around, but he’ll quickly warm up to guests. He’s just not so sure at first. So different than Evie in this way!
  • Olie’s little run is still so wobbly. He gallops like a champ, and sticks his hands out to his sides while he high-knee runs around, hoping someone will chase him. I could gobble that kid up. Om.

We are so proud of the new and wonderful things our little guy is doing! Happiest of birthdays to you, Olan! Our love for you is boundless, buddy!

To Our Five Year Old Evie

Hey sweet baby girl!

You are officially five years old today! What a time of celebration it is for us to watch you grow up. This year has seen much growth in your spirit. Daddy and I are so proud of you and the gifts that God has given you.

Compassion is something for me to desire in my own heart, but God must have given you two doses of it to make up for my lacking. When someone is feeling down, you are right there trying your best to lift them up. You see homeless people as a ministry of your own. You role play (constantly) with us about helping poor people by giving them food (usually your snack) and sharing Jesus with them. Your first question has been, “Are you okay?” if you accidentally bump into someone. Your tender heart nearly explodes when you watch shows with conflict in it. I love this bit of character about you.

Protector has been your family role ever since Olan joined us. You are a little mama to him, and hug and kiss him as much as he will tolerate. If he is in danger, you are right there. I can honestly trust you to be watching out for his well being. You are trustworthy enough to be sure he doesn’t drink the bath water, eat that marble, touch the TV, or throw his food. You even protect your parents. If dad tickles me too much, you come to my rescue. If dad needs a drink, you are the first to run and get his water for him. Thank you for fiercely protecting our family, girl.

I never would imagine that memorizing Scripture would come so naturally to a human. As a four year old, I’ve just gotta boast in the Lord over you girl. He has done a good work in you, allowing you to hide so much of His Word in your heart. You have helped me do the same through your gifting! Scripture Memory System has given you the tools you need to rattle off a good chunk of Matthew 6 via song. What a wonderful way to spend your time. I don’t know how many instances I have gotten to reference those verses to help you overcome your worrisome heart. That is so cool!

I am happy to be able to teach you the art of hospitality as well. Girl, you know how to serve others well! Whether that be greeting people at our door, going around taking people’s drink orders at Grow Group, or helping me with cooking meals and setting tables, your heart is all in. Taking good care of people is a gifting that will only be helpful later in your life. How exciting to see how God will use you in this way!

Encouragement is your forte. The list of things you regularly say to me day in and day out are evidence of that. These examples make me smile amidst the hard days:

  • “Wow mom, the food is so good. Thanks for making this for us!”
  • “You’re really good at _____!” (one time you even said I was good at spanking… ha!)
  • “Mom, let me help you fold that laundry.”
  • “Have a good night! Good night! Sweet dreams! I love you!”
  • Writing notes (Dear Dad, thanks for being a good tickler, etc.)
  • Sending and receiving the mail
  • Asking to pick up trash around town

I see your literacy as a huge gift. It has unlocked so many doors for you. You can sit and read your kid’s Bible with ease. You read signs. You read my notes, recipes, texts, journal, books, homework… there’s not much we can hold back from such an avid reader. What a wonderful thing to be good at! I can’t wait to start reading adventure books and fantasies and mysteries and historical fictions and graphic novels and and and and. I love this so very much!

With all these gifts comes great responsibility. I am praying for you in year five that God would grow you into these shoes. You have so much potential to do big things when you make the choice to listen to His voice. We know you are being used by God to shape us, and our hope is that He will use your gifts to bring others near to Him as you grow older.

We have much to be thankful for with you in our lives, Evie. Happy birthday, sweetie!





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