O: Year 3

Olan’s third year of life starts today! This kid has not fully crossed over into evil toddlerhood yet, and man, this stage is just so much fun. I’m glad to have been able to hang on to it for a little longer than Evie allowed… so thankful. I just know we’re going to go through the dreaded potty training and the sleepless big boy bed transition all at the same time, while I’m pulling my hair out taking two classes at a time and teaching full-time. Jesus have mercy. Ha! But for real.

Enough of that doomsday riffraff.

  • Olan is starting out year three as more of a daredevil. His gait and demeanor is that of an athlete. The way he runs and throws and perseveres… I guess we’ll see where that takes him!
  • He is all about baseball, cars (I love watching him babble while he lays on the floor and zooms cars around), tractors, trains (he literally knows where all the train tracks are in town and asks to go over them), heavy construction machines (good thing Grandpa Henry has given him some up close experience!), Paw Patrol, dinosaurs – everything a little boy would hope to love.
  • This summer, we got to go to Sky trampoline park a few times, and he loved it. Jumpy jumpy jumpy for infinite.
  • He loves to play “chase” around the house, and I’ve not been able to wear him out yet. He could run forever. He sweats like his Grandpa Baldwin! 😉
  • He is definitely an introvert. He is still shy around new folks, and loves being held and snuggled by momma. I still can rock that 37 pound baby at bedtime, believe it or not, AND he loves it. He wants to “hide” under his blanket to be tucked in, which I’m like, “Why?” He’s so hot under his super thin swaddle blanket, but it’s what makes him feel secure. Okie doke… weirdo. 🙂
  • Olie’s speech has just skyrocketed. He says everything, and pretty darn clearly now. He can kind of say his alphabet, but has little drive to finish. He counts to 16.
  • He enjoys reading books, but almost never opens one on his own. If I start reading something, he is all about it though. We gon’ need to fix that. Ha ha! Super into Green Eggs and Ham at the moment.
  • He loves to play, of course, but over the summer months, he has adopted a new catch phrase, “Play with me, momma!” in his squeaky little dude voice, and it’s pretty difficult to turn down. Goodness, he is freaking adorable.
  • His imagination has bloomed in wonderful ways this year too. Daddy is the best play-er around, and they dream up all sorts of fun things to play, including wrestling. Both our kids love to wrestle and tickle with dad.
  • He is my little encourager. “You’re a good cook.” “You look pretty!” “Thanks!” “How was your night?” “Can I help you?” are phrases I hear pretty regularly from Olan. Love that big heart of his.
  • He can get Hulky angry, so don’t let his politeness fool you forever.
  • He’s learning how to make friends. Some of his pals I hear about often are Lydia, Marley, Silas, Evie, Ariya, Payton, Nolan, Adeline, Ames, and Thomas.
  • Olio is quite the jokester. He likes to pick on Evie (she haaaates this), and can seriously make us laugh for real! He’s made up a few words that he knows gets us going… He’ll randomly answer questions with the word “bap”, and whenever we ask where he lives, he gets a smirk on his face and says, “I live at Kansas Wesleyan!” Goofball.
  • Olan can be pretty particular. He will not wear a collared shirt willingly. He picks out his own shirts each day, and he has certain pants he likes. I don’t know where this Nike snob business comes from (okay maybe I do), but he adores his Nike shoes, and there was a time when he’d throw a fit if he had to wear anything else. They learn young that Nike is superior. Ha! It is interesting that I don’t feel like I have endorsed this in a big way in our household, but somehow he’s got a preference.
  • He’s always been a great eater, but lately he’s become much more picky. Boo for picky eaters.
  • Wearing 4T clothes, size 10 shoes, and sleeps from 8pm-7am and 2-4pm. It has been a dreeaaammyy summer.

Olan is the loveliest little guy you’ll meet! Welcome to year three, little buddy!


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”)

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