Birthday Girl


The party was on Saturday, and I foolishly forgot to keep back a gift to let her open on her actual birthday.  Does this girl look like she minded?  Our sweet little lovey was thrilled to wear a birthday crown fashioned by her biggest sister out of a paper towel roll and have a perfectly ordinary breakfast on her special day.

After a morning of playing with her new play-doh and a lunch of French toast, we headed out for the main event: a trip to Target to spend some birthday gift cards that all three of our birthday kiddos received at their party.

While Niko and Romilly waffled around for the better part of an hour pondering nearly every toy in the store, June approached the outing with a single-mindedness I have rarely observed in adults, let alone in a four-year-old.  She wanted a new school book and a dress, and that is exactly what she got.

After our first stop in the book department, she sat contently in the back of the cart poring over her new Pre-K workbook, eyes sparkling with delight.  As we walked through every aisle of the toy department at least twice looking for her brother’s and sister’s gifts, she never wavered.  This is a girl who knows what she wants, and what she wants is almost always remarkably sensible.


Happy 4th birthday to our feisty, precocious, hilarious, but always very level-headed Juniper Lucy.  It is a joy to be your mommy!




You wouldn’t know it from her smile that this sweet girl has been twice dethroned from being the newbie of the family in the last seven months!

I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least mention that the Social Security Administration released it’s name data for 2011 on Monday.  When I have my act together I like to do a whole post about the year’s name haps.  This year, not so much.

I will highlight for you the most significant finding for me this year: two of our children’s names are in the top 1000!  We’ve never even had one there before!  Well, Niko and Nikolai were both already there, and I can hardly be blamed for that.

You might have been guessing that Pippa made her first ever US chart debut thanks to Ms. Middleton, but you’d be wrong.

In fact, Juniper is the sneaky popular name out of our girls, finally breaking into the charts at 970 this year.  I saw it coming a couple years ago when we (gasp!) met another Juniper at a Chick-Fil-A play area.  It’s been all over the name blogs and message boards lately, and, well, it is a pretty spectacular name if I do say so myself.  I can hardly blame those 262 moms for wanting to give it to their baby girls, can I?

Baby No More

I don’t know quite how it happened, but my baby is two today. Two!

Seems like just a few weeks ago, I was staring down at this new little bundle.

Then just a couple days ago she looked like this:

Now I have a full-fledged walking, talking, pigtail-sporting toddler running around my house, and I just don’t know quite when it happened.

Juniper Lucy, the control freak  of our family and our little engineer, we love you more than words can say.  Happy birthday, baby girl!

Wordful Wednesday: Special Half Birthday Edition

Juniper Lucy is 18 months old today!  Normally that would mean I’d take a picture of her with her special teddy bear, but since her Daddy and big sisters and Gran and Grandad have cleared off to Lancaster County for the day and taken the camera with them, I’ll just be sharing a few recent favorites.

Also, for posterity, I thought I’d record some of her words thus far.  We’ve quite quite an explosion in the last few weeks, and I confess I haven’t even started listing them like I did for the other girls.  Poor neglected fourth child.

So, at the ripe old age of one and a half, Junebug can say:







Gulla (Gulliver, the dog)

Hi and Hello



Ah-mum (Amen)



Bopple (bottle, Ellie’s that is)


Poppy (potty) and Pee-pees (girl wants to potty train like there’s no tomorrow, but there is, and I’m not doing it yet. Nope, I’m not.)

Uppy (up)


Pease (please)

Tee-koo (Thank you)

and her new favorite (*not* ours!): No.   Spoken mournfully when we try to dress her, change her diaper, brush her teeth, etc.  We’re awfully mean to her.

We call her our little engineer because she loves trying to “fix” things  and figure things out.  A few months ago she discovered a screw missing from one of our vents and crawled all through the house to get one from a bucket of odd screws in another room to replace it.  Crazy, scary genius!

She adores her sisters and especially her baby Ellie.  She is irresistibly adorable and cheeky. We’ll keep her, I think.


Juniper, July 12, 2009

Juniper, July 12, 2009


1 : devoted to a cause, ideal, or purpose : zealous <a dedicated scholar>
2 : given over to a particular purpose <a dedicated Web server>
— ded·i·cat·ed·ly adverb

This morning was Juniper’s (as well as our dear little friend Ellie’s) dedication.   I always think a baby dedication must sound like an odd sort of thing to the outside observer.  Baptism is a much more culturally known ceremony (one our particular church reserves for later in life, when a person personally becomes a believer).  A christening is likely to involve water, and perhaps evokes the concept of officially bestowing a name.  The Jewish Bris for baby boys serves a set purpose… but what is this dedication thing?

Unlike other Christian ceremonies like baptism and communion, there is not really a Biblical precedent for dedicating a child.  Hannah presented her son Samuel to the Lord in 1 Samuel 1 in fulfillment of a promise she had made to the Lord should He hear her pleas to end her years of barrenness.  As soon as Samuel was weaned, she took him to the temple to live and serve the Lord, to be raised by others in the house of God for His own purposes.

That is, of course, not what we did with our daughter today.  Lord willing, Juniper and her sisters will continue to live in our home under our care until they reach maturity, but we have nevertheless, in a very real sense, dedicated them to the Lord.   We have recognized that each of our children is a gift from God, and that we are only stewards of them for a short while for His purposes.  Ultimately, we must give them back to Him for whatever His will may be for them.

But every God-fearing parent knows all this, and having a ceremony to acknowledge it has no magical powers to make that process any easier.

In fact, what took place today was probably a lot more to do with Junie’s parents than with the star of the show herself.   A dedication is a chance for us to reflect on the enormity of having a little life given into our nurture and care, to thank God for her, and to beseech our church family to pray for us as we carry out the task of training up a child in the fear and admonition of the Lord.  As we dedicate her, we are also dedicating ourselves whole-heartedly to the fulfillment of our “high and holy calling”  (as Pastor Wayne used to say) of parenting.

Sure, it’s a big day for her: a chance to wear the same beautiful dress her sisters have worn before her on their dedication days (thanks, Erin!).  But the bigger day, the one we long for and pray for daily, still lies ahead: the day that she recognizes for herself that she is a sinner in deperate need of a savior and accepts Christ’s sacrifice on the cross as payment for her own sin.  We cannot make that decision for her, but we entrust her into the hands of a faithful, loving, sovereign God.