Every year the kids follow a "treat trail" of their favorite candies to find their birthday presents. Nate was extra creative with Natalie's this year, and part of her trail went along the wall...
...and up into the attic. I don't think she actually climbed all the way up. Dad had to retrieve the gifts.
Natalie hadn't had a birthday party in a few years, and only one ever, so we decided to let her invite a few friends to Chuck E. Cheese (her choice). It just so happened that August 29 fell on a Saturday this year, so it was fun to have her party on her actual birthday. Nate stayed at home with everyone else, and I took a car load of 8 year old girls to Chuck E. Cheese. I loved listening to their conversation in the car.
It always makes me smile when Natalie does or says or chooses things just like I did when I was her age. I always LOVED skeeball the best, and she spent a lot of time there.
I loved watching Natalie's expression as she got ready for the ticket blaster.
She tried to catch and gather as many tickets as she could as they swirled and blew around her.
In the afternoon, we went to the nearby middle school for Natalie to try out her new rollerblades.
Jansen's favorite sport right now is baseball. He loves playing catch and hitting balls with Nate.
Leah just loved having open SPACE to run and wander to her heart's content.
All while sucking on crushed ice...
Natalie requested a mint ice cream cake, and we looked at pictures online to make sure I understood what she was envisioning. Thankfully it was just a matter of slapping down round cakes and then ice cream and piling on the Cool Whip and mints.
No better way to spend a Sunday evening than sitting and reading with dad in the playset.
Natalie's baptism was the following weekend. An 8 year old boy that lives just around the corner from us was also being baptized that day. None of us had any family in town, but we were sure surprised and humbled by all the ward family members that came. I know how hard it is to wrangle and get kids in church clothes (and on a Saturday morning nonetheless). It was very kind of them and so supportive.
Some things to remember about Natalie at 8:
-She works very hard at school and is excelling there.
-I still haven't signed her up for any lessons, but she got a sewing machine from her Grandma Kim for her birthday and she loves to create things with it and plan projects.
-She really likes reading and has read all of Roald Dahl's books (he's her favorite) except one I believe.
-She's a huge help with Leah and other young children.
-Her dream of dreams is to have a dog. Hopefully someday that dream will come true.
-She is very emotional which is a wonderful blessing in so many ways, but also keeps me on my toes as I figure out how to motivate, discipline, etc in different situations.
-She loves to be comfortable and often takes her shorts/pants off as soon as she is home from school haha. She also pretty much only likes her hair down. Pony tails and other styles hurt too much apparently.
-She is really into stuffed animals.
-She has a great (and quirky) sense of humor that I love.
-Her favorite sport is soccer.