Saturday, September 26, 2009

My Kids

Since it has been a while, I thought I would give a brief update on each of the kids . . .

James started high school this year!!! Oh, my! Seems like just yesterday Brent and I were lying in bed on his 8th birthday. I remember saying to Brent with teary eyes, "We are half way until when he drives. Next year we will be half way to adulthood." We are now a year and a half from driving and 3 1/2 years from 18 and then graduation. It flies, people! It really does. I am so proud of him. As do many teenagers, he drives me crazy some of the time, but he is overall an incredible kid! My favorite thing about him right now is his discipline (in some aspects). He is up every morning (more or less) at 5:30 to do his Bible study, work out and get ready for school. His friend Jacob gets here at about 6:45 and they walk to school together at about 7:15. He continues to have a heart for the lost, and I am both excited and worn out over the number of kids we have in our house on weekends. I want them here, so that makes me happy, but it sure can be messy and loud!!! The best thing is that the kids seem to like to be here, even though we will not leave them unsupervised and even though we probably don't have a coolest house on the block! James is playing soccer for a recreational league right now. He will start conditioning for the Freshman soccer team at his high school in October. He is in several clubs in school, and he is working hard academically. He still has dreams of going back to Oklahoma for college - gives me a lump in my throat to think about him being so far away.

Jason is in 6th grade, which is still elementary here, and for that I am thankful! He is loved by everyone, still a charmer. His teachers love him, and his peers love him. He recently ran for student government at his school. He ran against his two best friends, Jennifer and Ryan. I was so proud of him and the way he handled the whole situation, which could have been hard on relationships. Jennifer won, but the three are still great friends! He had to give a speech in front of the 4th, 5th and 6th graders, and he did a great job. It was a great experience! He is working so hard in school, which does not come as easily to him as it does to his older brother, but he is diligent! He decided not to play soccer this fall. He prefers to have his evenings and Saturdays free. It's much harder to get him to commit to something. He is, however, taking a trampboarding class. This is at the gymnastics center. He wears a foam board on his feet and then jumps and does tricks on the trampoline. In addition to being it's own new sport, it is supposed to help people prepare for wake boarding and snow boarding. He loves it and can do all sorts of flips on the trampoline! He also thinks very highly of his coach. He has really grown in his relationship with the Lord also. He frequently invites people to church and comes home talking about who does and does not know the Lord at school. It has been fun watching him grow and develop in this area.

David started 1st grade, despite our concerns that we might have needed to hold him back. He had such a hard time sitting still in kindergarten, and his fine motor skills were terrible. We had several meetings last year to try to make a determination about 1st grade, and the decision was to move him on with lots of work over the summer on those fine motor skills. Well, our good intentions in the summer fell short, and we did not work with him like we should have, so I was worried. However, there were some interesting things that happened in the summer. First of all, we changed bedrooms around, and David ended up with his own room. He started being so responsible and keeping it so clean. It was incredible! One day Brent asked him why he was keeping his room so nicely, and he said, "God told me to." If only we all listed to God so closely!!! The other thing was that just before school started his gymnastics coach came and talked to me and told him he could not believe the change he had seen in David's attention. He had made a 180 degree turn. His coach also said that his strength and ability were incredible and he wanted to recommend him for a pre-competitive gymnastics team. I was less excited about that than about the fact that he was listening and obeying better. After much deliberation, we have allowed him to do the Rockets (the team he was recommended for) and he is loving it. We will see where this leads. I can't imagine that we will be doing competitive gymnastics for long, but he LOVES it, so who knows. Anyway, even with that knowledge, I was still incredibly nervous about first grade, but he got the teacher we requested, and off he went the first day as excited as could be. At the end of the week, I spoke to his teacher. She said he had been just perfect and was keeping up just fine academically. We are now 5 weeks in and there are no problems. His speech teacher, who has been with him since he was 4, observed him in the classroom and then talked to me. He could not believe the change. It's so exciting, and it is making school so much more pleasant!!! He sits still and listens and has not yet been in trouble!

Finally, my sweet Sarah . . . she started pre-school. It has taken some adjusting. She has a friend at school, and as long as Zoe is there, all is well. She also loves her teacher, so that is good. She is playing soccer for the first time. It is super cute, although all she really wants to do is hold her friend, Holly's, hand and run around. She's not real competitive! She is also in gymnastics and she likes it. However, her favorite thing in the world is babies, and she does not think it is very fair that her three closest friends all have baby sisters. That's not going to change, so we are trying to teacher her how to deal with disappointment:) Her independence continues to develop, and she is very bossy to her brothers at times. She is messy and does not keep her room or any other room clean. I am waiting for God to have the conversation with her that He had with David. She loves to color and cut and glue and other little crafty type things that the boys never cared about, so that is fun!!! She has a bright smile and says the sweetest, funniest things. She keeps us laughing!!!

I feel so blessed to have the family that I have. I wouldn't change any of it. Brent is amazing and such a great husband and father. We are not perfect; we make mistakes all the time, but God is faithful and carries us through it, and protects our kids and grows their character. It's fun to watch, but it passes too quickly!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Blog Update

I have been meaning to blog for a while again, but where do you start when it has been so long? I have tons of cute stories of my kids and great stories of what God has been doing in and through me, but I have just NOT had time to sit down and write it all. Spring and Summer were hard. I really struggled in the spring with stress and sadness that I had never experienced before - I think I was depressed, but thankfully I am doing better now. Summer was good but very, very busy. We traveled more than we have ever!!! It was a HUGE blessing to get to do all that we did, and there are so many to thank for making it possible. My most recent trip was to Palm Springs with my grandmother, aunt, and girls cousins - very fun!!! While there, my cousin, Cindy, told me I really needed to start blogging again, so for the past three weeks I have been thinking about doing that. Now Fall is here, although you would not know that by our 102 degree weather the past week, but it is here. School has started, and our schedules have sort of settled down - sort of! I don't think I can go back and remember all the blog-worthy things in my life, but I can try to start from today!

Tonight I had the opportunity to have a meeting with a group of young moms who have very little support in their lives. About 21 were invited. I hoped for maybe 8 to show up, but only four were there (and one doesn't really count because she came with a friend and is not a mom, but she was really nice anyway). Initially I was a little frustrated because it takes time and energy and money to prepare for something like this, and it is frustrating when people do not come, but it was such a blessing to have the time with these four women. We just talked about parenting issues for about an hour and a half. This was not a church event, but I was able to share my convictions about certain things and talk about how God has used me and grown me through my kids. I was able to facilitate the girls visiting with each other and realizing that there are other people out there in similar situations. My ultimate goal for this, besides an opportunity to mentor and share my life, is to help them connect and be a resource for each other. By the time the night was over, two of them were talking about babysitting for each other, and one of them asked if we had to wait a whole month to get together again. She said she needs this more frequently. Once again, it's cool how God works things out. In many minds, even my own on some level, the small number equates to lower success, but I was thinking as I drove home about how adding to that group could have taken away from the openness and willingness to share and the relationships that were built as a result. I still hope that next time we have a larger group, but I am thankful for how God worked out this evening! It was fabulous! I'm thankful to the ladies who came and thankful that they shared with me and allowed me to share with them.

On a little side note - I felt really, really old!!!