Will. I choke back tears daily when I hear Will speak. His voice is changing from one of a little boy to one of a man. It's bittersweet. He's a good kid. He's thirteen so there is lots of eye-rolling, lots of boundary testing, but there are also sweet moments mixed in there as well. Several times over the weekend I noticed him playing with his littlest sister--one of those times he was sitting up on her top bunk with his man-legs hanging over the railing--and I almost cried at the sweetness of it. I've half expected him to sort of "check out" of family life now that we've crossed that teen threshold, but I've come to realize that just because that is the teen stereotype doesn't mean that we have to accept it. I'm not too worried at this point. He still seems to want to hang out with his family.
The biggest issue we're going through right now with him is trying to help him find his "one thing"--that one extracurricular thing that he loves or is really good at. I'm lobbying for football (surprised?) but he's not buying it. Music? Athletics? Art? We're trying to make sure he knows his options and give him chances to discover something he wants to pursue. No luck so far, but I'm confident he'll find something.
-------------------------------------Sarah. She certainly hasn't limited herself to one thing OR had any problem finding things she enjoys! Horses, sewing, cooking/baking, crafts, drama, piano, volleyball, student council, reading--you name it, Sarah probably loves it. She's been babysitting some lately and I've only been called to help with one "diaper situation". She babysat last week for a friend and I thought it was so cute that she went armed with activity sheets/stickers from her American Girl babysitting book. Sarah definitely has her dad's artistic side. She's always crafting and making stuff to give to her friends. The girl is smart too--she had a perfect report card! Watching Sarah sometimes makes my heart hurt. She wants so badly to act/talk/think/dress like a teenager (and she does) but she also still has so much little girl in her--she still plays dolls and school with her sister and she still does child-like things. She's finding her way into this teen thing...slowly but surely.
I was really proud of her a few weeks ago. She tried out for a role in our church's Christmas drama. We practiced her lines with her and honestly? I thought she was a shoo-in for the part. She was called back for a second audition (yeah, our church takes this drama thing seriously) but ended up not getting the part. Sure, she cried. I did too. It's hard to see your kids have to swallow that bitter pill of hurt and disappointment. She didn't stay down for long though. She held her head up high the following Sunday and put it all behind her. Her ability to let it go and move forward was a lesson to me. I didn't let it go that quickly or easily.
Abbey. This girl fits the classic birth order profile--she's our family clown. She's always cracking jokes and making us laugh. I get sad sometimes that she's our last baby. She's the only one that really still fits in my lap (or that even wants to sit there). With an older brother and sister, it seems that she's growing up at warp speed.
She's had some big adjustments this year--a new school, a new teacher--but she's taken it all in stride and done remarkably well. At her conference last week, her teacher told me that reading and creative writing are her strengths. She's quite descriptive when she writes--often straying off-topic. Hmmmm...wonder where she get that from? Smirk. Here's a sample of her writing--this one is about Jack the Beagle. Her personality definitely shines through!
John. John is doing well and working hard. His most recent book is doing well, and he has another project that was recently picked up by a publisher. Yay! He's been teaching a class on the Lord's Prayer at our church on Wednesday nights and it's fun to see him back in that groove. He enjoys it a lot.
He's an editor by day, but evenings are devoted to family. Will and Sarah have quite a bit of writing homework each week. I try to help them finish homework in the afternoons so that evenings can be family time and John can just relax, but when it comes to writing, they insist on having "the editor" help them. Makes sense I guess.
Me. Meredith. I'm doing well, I think. I was deliberate in keeping my fall schedule free of distractions...I'm only committed to things I love or feel called to. I've trimmed my commitments down over the years, but the key this year is that "only things I love or feel committed to" phrase. It's made all the difference.
Last week, I was on the receiving end of a HUGE blessing. I have a hard time receiving sometimes...
If I can ever stop crying about it, I'll share a little more.
Today would have been my dad's 65th birthday. I anticipate there being some emotional upheaval today. There have already been hints of it. I'm okay with that. I try to let myself feel whatever I feel.
I think that's all for now. I have more to say (as always) but I've run out of time in which to say it. Hope you all have a blessed day!