Ah, Elizabeth, our "rose among the thorns" (that's what my Mom called her when we found out we were having another boy). Boy, there are days when I'm glad the Lord has decided to bless us with another son and not another daughter! Some days, she's the thorn, not the rose!! =) She's definitely strong-willed and most days, her favorite word is "no" although she seems to have no idea what that word means when we say it to her! Then, there are other days when she's just as sweet as she can be and I think we may have to try for another girl one of these days. But that's for another blog....Anyway, people often say she's either very lucky ("All those boys to protect her") or that they pity her ("All alone in that house full of boys"). Let me tell you -- she's neither! SHE will more than likely be the one to do the protecting -- she's tough! -- and she's certainly not hurting in this house full of boys -- she can hold her own! Spanking her is very interesting -- the same strength of swat that will reduce ALL the boys into absolute puddles will -- and I'm not joking here -- often leave her in giggles! It often takes several swats to get the point across. I'm telling you -- she's an interesting little character! But, isn't she cute?!? Everyone has always loved her curls and I felt really, really bad when I thought I cut them off several weeks ago. Her hair was growing so uneven in the back that she had a "tail" of curls right in the middle and when you pulled it out full length, it went all the way down her back! She was really uneven and so I decided to help her out. Little did I realize just how much I was cutting off (her hair was wet). But, it's starting to grow out and while I kinda doubt it'll ever be as curly as it was before (which makes me really sad), there are some curls coming back in. Elizabeth isn't turning out to be the tom boy I feared she'd be when she was born to 2 brothers and when John followed her just 11 short months later. Thankfully, at least to me, she's very much into dresses, shoes (especially mine!), playing "house" (which Caleb & John are happy to engage in right along with her!), and playing with her baby dolls. And she loves anything pink or purple. Still, she also loves any puddle of water (or mud) and was extremely disappointed when she didn't get to play soccer with her older brothers this fall. She'll be old enough to play next year and we intend to put her in. And, boy, does she love to help with anything you're doing, especially in the kitchen. We try to oblige her as much as we can but there are just some things she can't do and just some days when getting to prepare dinner is your only "alone" time for the day and you'd prefer no one to be under foot. Those are the moments when she seems to have no idea what we mean when we tell her "no" or to go play in another room. She just gets her step stool and forces herself right there beside you. I pray for the grace to let her help me and it burdens my heart to be responsible for the raising of a daughter. Today's society is just getting unbelievable at telling our young girls it's own definition of what beautiful is or what successful is. I want to raise her to see herself the way her Creator sees her, to yearn to be a Proverbs 31 or Titus 2 wife and mother, and, if she chooses to have a career outside of the home, to not put that career before her husband and children. I went to college for almost 4 years but didn't finish because Jonathan & I got married and 4 months later, we got pregnant with Nathan. I was an education major -- wanted to teach English (in particular, literature) to high school or college students. Do I regret not finishing school? Nope. I do regret, however, not finding a way to stay at home full time from the moment Nathan was born. There's no higher calling for a woman than to be someone's wife and someone's mother. But that's another rabbit chase....I'm looking forward to the Mom/Daughter things Elizabeth and I can do together in years to come. And, Lord willing, one day, I'll have daughters-in-law to add to that! Pretty exciting to think about (especially when I seem to be stuck in the diaper phase of parenting!) Pictures -- Elizabeth pre-haircut; she likes spaghetti, can you tell??; and one post-haircut.