For an awful long time I've called Evie by the name "Vevie." It's something I picked up from one of her siblings, who couldn't quite say Evie correctly and added a `v' to the front of it. Thirteen years ago, on Feb. 6, she was born by c-section in a hospital in Redmond, Ore., in the midst of a snowstorm. How fitting it is that on her 13th birthday and 3,000 miles away another snowstorm descended upon us. (Pray for us; that means we have 4 teenagers in the house.) Evie's name means "life" and she's always been so lively. But some things I just can't figure. For her birthday she had 5 friends spend the night -- on top of our house guest from Oregon, Gail Winterscheid -- which means we had 20 people under the roof. (But it was just one night so maybe that sounds worse than it was.) What I can't figure out is the entertainment lineup for the night for Evie's birthday party. It involved things like "soaking feet" and "painting nails" and "talking." Um, whoopee. In my experience as a reformed teenage boy who claims to be an "adult male," that doesn't constitute a party. I mean, c'mon. No wrestling, no snow football, no video games, no passing gas contests, or midnight runs to the fridge ... and they call this a party?
I'm not sure if it's the most memorable birthday Evie has had, because it would be hard to top the birthday in 2004 when she celebrated it in three states. We were moving to Gloucester and started the morning in Barstow, Calif., then had her birthday lunch at a Wendy's somewhere in Arizona, then had her birthday dinner at a Super Wal-Mart deli in Gallup, N.M., before arriving at our hotel in Albuquerque. At the time she said it was her best birthday ever, even though she spent most of it in our van watching the California, Arizona and New Mexico sagebrush whiz by. For this year's birthday party menu the main dish was a baked potato bar, hence the middle photo. Evie is one of a kind. She's sweet, outgoing, lively and above all loves the Lord. We wouldn't have her any other way.