Birthday Parties!

Birthday Whirlwind.

Evie turned 6 on August 16, and we celebrated the next day with a campout party in our backyard! Complete with a weenie roast and trail mix bar, we had such a good time partying with a full house of folks.

Olan turned 3 on September 20, but since Fall Conference is always that same weekend, we got to celebrate a weekend later! We partied it up with a donut themed shindig at our home, with just close family. It was lovely. A perfect, overcast, chilly fall day.

Both events were so much fun. I love parties. I love my babies. Life is good. Enjoy the media from the days!

Love all the decorations borrowed from a friend! Beautiful!

Trail mix bar

Our lovely neighbor, Cheri made these for us! Little campfire cupcakes!

Cousins Josie, Reagan, and Zack with Evie

Friends Payton and Tabor came along to party!

Great Grandma and Evie – one of my favs!

The marble galaxy that Uncle Cole got for Evie was and STILL is a hit! Evie is a builder!

My sweet excited six year old!

Evie got a coding robot from her Baldwin grandparents. She thinks it is so fun! She also got the Kiwi Crate subscription from her Henry grandparents. My, she LOVES seeing those arrive on our front porch! This month’s was a disc shooter build. Legit.

We got rained out of the REAL camp out, but we moved the tent inside and slept in the basement! We all got great sleep, surprisingly! Silas, Evie and I were sleeping on the wild side!

Cheeeeeeese.

The easiest cake ever.

I made a donut pinata this summer in hopes to save a few bucks. It was fun! It would have been more fun if it didn’t take like 8 hours. Ha!

Get it!

Silas and Evie smacked the crap (candy) out of it after like 10 minutes of beating on it. I make my pinatas the highest of quality, what can I say?

 

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 lovedĀ 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! šŸ˜‰
  • 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. šŸ™‚
  • 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 intoĀ Green Eggs and HamĀ 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 willĀ notĀ 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 isĀ 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 Our Sweet Olan

Hi Sweet Bro!

It’s your turn to celebrate turning three! And what a year we’ve had to cherish you. You may find this letter has the word “sweet” many times throughout it. If I could choose one word or theme from your stage in life right now, it would be sweet. You have the sweetest spirit about you, and I truly count it a delight to be chosen as your mom. As much as you have grown physically this year, I still find myself calling you our baby bro. You might be big, but you are still snuggly, smoochy, and sweeter than syrup.

I’ll be the first to say that you are polite beyond what we’ve taught. Words like please, thank you, excuse me, you’re welcome, and I’m sorry all come very naturally to you. I am hoping this baby trait will be morphed into chivalrous character as you grow into a man. God has big plans for you, I can already see that through the unique personality he’s gifted you with. Gentle, kind, loving. You are different than many, if not most. I’m praying that God has set you apart for a task that uses your gifts in a rich and full way, both now and in the future.

You might be sweet, but you are also all boy. There’s no doubt that your manliness is innate. Throwing balls, swinging bats, being strong, running wild, iron crossing, playing cars, loving big machines, being a hero… You didn’t need much guidance to be in love with all these things. I am impressed that you’ve got sweet and tough down pretty well.

With all of that to say, with age comes fear. I’ve already witnessed some of that in you: fear of being left alone, fear of being hurt, fear of sounds. Something I want you to remember is that in the midst of your fear, God is ever-near. You can be brave because he is fighting on your behalf. I am praying that in fearful moments, that you would feel the presence of the Lord with you. This year marks a time in your life that you haven’t yet experienced. This year, you’ve begun to function without the surveillance andĀ  protection of your big sister for the first time in your life as she goes on to conquer the world in kindergarten each day. But I am asking God to hold you up. It has already been a year of intense change for us all (you can bet that it may be scary at times), but with change comes growth. I look forward to watching God make you strong in your weakness.

Oh, Olan. I just love you so much. I could smooch and squeeze your cheeks all day. And ya know, I might just do that, because I know soon you’ll be four, then five, then twelve, and you won’t let me squeeze your cheeks anymore. You won’t have those jiggly puffs forever. You won’t have that soft squeaky voice for many more years. You won’t call out, “Momma!” each morning to get you out of your crib for too terribly much longer. You won’t invite me to play cars with you every waking second of every single day. You won’t need me quite like you need me right now. Watching you grow up is so fun, and so bittersweet.

I am just soaking and savoring you as you are: my sweet three-year-old baby boy. I can’t get enough!

Happy third birthday, bubbaloo.

Love,

Momma

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