School: The Start of Something Good

Y’all, I am really looking forward to all the newness that the beginning of a school year brings! I started my 11th year last week and I’m teaching grade 6 at Southeast, and Evie spent her first day in a full-out preschool class today (not discounting the amazing gains that she made through Garden of Giggles and my sister’s teachings… I am so grateful for Jamie and Tara for getting Evie to where she is today!)

Our “first” photos! It’s the start of something good, friends!

I have the coolest students!


My sweet girl.

Evie has Ms. Kate for her teacher! She was so into making her a special card and giving her a little treat this morning.

Olie got in on the action!

Best buddies in the same class!

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!





Evie at Year Five

Evie Lynn. What a ball of wilderness this girl is! Anyone who knows her can testify that she is passionate about life. As she turns five, I am reflecting on who she is right now, what her interests are, and what makes her tick. And honestly, I don’t think I even know what makes this one tick quite yet, but her flame for life sure is bright!

  • Evie has exploded in her literacy. She can sight read just about anything, and her word attack is better than mine, I think. She loves to read. As I type, I hear her turning pages in her room during quiet time. She is a phenomenon! This summer, Logan had the brilliant idea to introduce “The Book of the Day,” so we have been checking out a million books at the library this summer, keeping them hidden, and pulling out one new book each day (keeping all the previous ones out, of course), and she is gaga for it. I think we’ll keep that one going… except I’m already thinking that Olan needs to start this tradition… so two million books… eek. Ha!
  • Along with reading, she has graduated from tracing letters to forming them herself (although her form is pretty cavemanlike still, sorry future Kindergarten teacher, but she is unstoppable). She loves to make notes and cards for people.
  • Evie has forgone the nap this last year. She does have quiet time for about 1.5 hours in the afternoon, but I am loving the freedom that no nap is bringing to our schedule! Now for Olan. Just kidding. I am still soaking in the glory of 2.5+ hour nap times for him. I’m sure I’ll miss it when it’s gone. Both kids sleep (or at least are in their rooms and quiet) from 8pm-7am. Beautiful.
  • I am so impressed with Evie’s awareness of numbers and time. She is so proud of her “mental math” she can do by counting on her fingers. She counts to 100 easily, and skip counts by 10s and 5s all the way to 100 too. Where does this genius even come from? I cannot take any credit for this, for real people. I’m just a lame mom whom God is somehow choosing to bless.
  • Evie loves to bake. Mostly for the beater licking duty, but hey, whatever works! She cracks eggs, pours, stirs, and is finally not afraid of the KitchenAid. Hallelujah.
  • I love growing a garden with the lively Evie in tow. She loves picking and watering, and to watch her excitement when we find a giant cucumber we missed is priceless… “Oh my LIVER!”
  • Television. Nuff said. She’s into PJ Masks, and… well yeah, just PJ Masks. Ha ha. She’s occasionally into Umizoomi (chicks in the city), Wild Kratts, Cat in the Hat, and Clifford.
  • She has this game she likes to play right now. It goes something like this: “Mom, do you wanna pretend that you’re poor and have no money, and you say you need help, and then a little girl passes by and gives you some money and you say, ‘Oh thank you!’?” It is played daily, and she wants to repeat the scene over and over again. The scene will change from money to raisins or balloons or whatever, but it is a favorite.
  • Spiritual brag: She has taken a liking to rolling down her window in the car when we are listening to “Jesus music” so that “everyone can hear it and worship God.”
  • Evie’s been able to get really comfortable on her bike this summer! She’s got training wheels, but we’ve been able to get out on bike rides as a family and she does pretty dang good. She likes to gradually swerve into the middle of the road, but we are steadily getting better at roping that in. So fun!
  • Eating is still a favorite pastime.
  • Evie is still struggling with bathroom accidents. This is driving her mother and father crazy. Although, she has made some great gains the last few weeks, and whenever she has to go, she says, “Time me for something!” (meaning she’s going to go the bathroom as fast as she can and she wants to surprise you with her speed). Hallelujah for breakthroughs! Seriously, Jesus, thank you so much for this gift.
  • Music. Anything music. She wants to listen to songs over and over and over and over. I can tell her musical interest is growing from little kiddie to more adult music lately. She asks to listen to our music a lot! Yessssss. The other day she heard “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of These)” on the radio. Aaannd now we listen to that song on repeat for eternity.
  • Evie has quite a temper. When she is learning a new task and fails, she gets extremely bent out of shape. But I’m learning that her fit doesn’t mean she’s giving up. She rarely wants advice, but she wants to keep trying! She just really needs to work on that poker face in the process. Whew.
  • I played Go Fish with Evie the other day and won. And she said, “Good job, mom!” This is a Christmas miracle, folks. I was so proud of her for not fureaking out because she lost. It was actually enjoyable to play a game with her.
  • This has been a challenging summer with obedience. Every day, every hour, every minute, the highs are high and the lows bottom out. [Liz Hansen] But Evie has really great days. In fact, this week she has been amazingly sweet. I am looking forward to more of these days!


  • Color: Purple
  • Animal: Owl, Duck, and Chick
  • Food: Applesauce and Brownies and Desserts
  • Drink: Lemonade
  • Song: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (same as last year)
  • TV Show: Cat in the Hat
  • Game: Pictureka
  • Bible Story: David and Goliath (same as last year)
  • Season: Winter (I like playing in the snow and making snow angels) and Fall (I like jumping in the leaves)
  • Toy: Momma-doo
  • Outfit: Purple Rocky Mountain National Park shirt
  • Book: The Bible and The Lima Bean Monster
  • Friend: Ava Elliott and Silas
  • Thing to do outside: play in the sprinkler and get in the water
  • Future Career: a mommy and a follower of Jesus. I asked her what her job would be and she said, “I’m going to go share the good news with people!” Proud mama right there!

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