My grandniece, Zoey Iverson is a very special girl. From her birth, as her mother, Cassie Franklin’s second child, Zoey was the “oldest” child, because her brother, Lucas Iverson had Down Syndrome and would need a lot of help. Zoey was just the girl for the job. She is a very loving and caring little girl…and mature for her age. It’s just in her nature. She is a true mother’s helper.

Zoey has changed so much since she was six and seven. Eight has been a landmark year for her, as she has really grown up a lot. Some kids make that transition as they turn ten, or even eleven or twelve in some kids, but every so often, you find one, usually a girl, but not always, who matures at eight. It’s usually because they are the big sister, and often because their siblings need some extra help, such as special needs kids. For Zoey, it’s not just her brother. Zoey has a new little sister named Alicen, and Zoey is absolutely thrilled about that. She loves to help her parents with the baby, and Alicen really loves her big sister. They are best friends, and Alicen wants to be with Zoey all the time.

Zoey’s family loves to forage in the woods near their home for things like mushrooms, apples, herbs, and flowers. Zoey’s mom, Cassie Franklin makes and sells candle and soaps, as well as resin dishes, jars, and some jewelry. The things they collect during their forage trips are used in cooking and in Cassie’s products. It’s fun for the whole family, and they give everyone lots of outdoor time. While Zoey is really enjoying the summer, she also really loves school, and she is at the top of her class. She loves being “class leader,” which allows her to go around the room and help the other students when they don’t understand the work. Who knows, maybe she will grow up to be a schoolteacher. From what I have seen of this little girl, she would make an excellent teacher. While Zoey is easy going in many ways, she can also be stubborn. Having a “stubborn” child, who is also such a sweet and helpful child is really a blessing, and not a hardship at all.

I have had the great pleasure of watching this little girl grow up from the day she was born, and while some might call me biased, because I am, after all, her great aunt. She is a wonderful young lady, and I know she will grow into a wonderful adult someday. Today is Zoey’s 8th birthday. Happy birthday Zoey!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

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