Clara Rose {Eight!}

It just doesn't seem that long ago that my little Clara Rose was toddling around the front yard with the sunshine making her little pig-tails shimmer in it's warm light....

And now she's EIGHT.  She plays basketball.  She reads.  She takes showers instead of bubble baths.  We share socks...what is this time warp I'm stuck in?!

Someday, my kids will start wondering "who am I?" and "what am I supposed to be doing with my life?". I love to document their passions as children, because I want them to remember these things that make up the fabric of their lives.  

So, Clara, at eight years old you love....

Playing basketball:

Basketball was such a fun part of my childhood too - I played from 3rd to 11th grade.  This is the photo from my first year of bb - can you pick me out??

(I'm #5)

Well, you don't really LOVE homework, but you've sure become a hard worker!  I'm  proud to see you studying so hard...reading...doing math...making friends.  You're wonderful!  Do you remember this project, Sweetie?  You were "Star of the Week" in Mrs. Gottesman's class, and you had to make a diorama of a scene from one of your favorite books.  You made quite the "Pink Room" from Pinkalicious!

Another part of you that I'm so very proud of is your tender nurturing side.  You are quite the little mommy!  You love to help, encourage, and frankly...boss people around (I suppose just like your mommy)!  You have a tender heart that is often masked by your bold and enthusiastic side, but I see you, little girl!  I see your love and gentleness.  You take such good care of the people (and animals) in your life, and I love that about you.

As is our family tradition around here, we celebrated your birthday over the course of about a week.  There was the local Grandmas and Grandpas, the Wisconsin Grandparents, our little family, and your friends.  It was quite the event!

You were blessed with some wonderful gifts, like a new speaker set for the iPod you saved up for this year and a gorgeous hand-crafted pen from Grandpa:

Thomas just wasn't interested in a nice picture for your birthday.  That's okay - this is a better representation of our lives right now anyway!

 Instead of the traditional party we've always had, you opted for the big-girl party this year.  We had 4 of your favorite friends over, and I drove you girls to see "Megamind" at the theater.  Then we came back to the house for some more fun.  It was nice outside, so you girls spent a couple of hours running around the back yard:

And instead of cake, we did rice-krispy sculptures instead!  I scooped a big lump of warm and gooey treat on your plate, and you all made your own creations.

Well, most of you did, anyway.  *Some* of you just piled it straight into his mouth.

Sammy's flower:

When you learned that we'd be decorating with frosting and sprinkles later, you wisely made a "cave" that would obviously be filled with chocolate frosting ;-)  That's my girl!

And then the gifts...such generous friends!

And for dinner, it was Daddy's famous pizza.  He put on quite the show for you, and you each got to top your own pizza :-)

And then...the fun of decorating and eating your yummy sculptures!

My Dear, Sweet, Crazy Girl,

I'm crazy about you, Sweetie.  I love your spunk.  I love your courage.  I love your strong hugs and tender kisses.  I hope you know as clearly as Daddy and I do that the world is at your feet.  You have a big heart, big dreams, and an even bigger God...the sky is the limit!  

Whatever you decide to pursue in life, I'm behind you 100%.  Daddy and I are your biggest fans, and we're so very proud of you.  

Many hugs, kisses, and all my love,


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