Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Waking from Summer Hibernation

We finally had a decent weather day and were able to play outside after many months of being cooped up.  It was so beautiful, even though everything is all dried up, to breath some fresh air again!

We have switched school curriculums to a more Charlotte Mason approach and she advocates what she calls "nature walks".  So with nature journals in hand, we ventured outside and walked down to the creek behind our house.  Texas is in the middle of a drought as you can tell by the inch of water left in the creek.  The kids could literally walk across to the other side without hardly getting their shoes wet!

And this is what they were trying to go see!  These pretty flowers were growing wild on the side of the creek and they wanted to draw them and record details about them in their nature journals.  I think they are called Black- eyed Susans but I'm not totally sure about that.

I did not want to walk across to the other side for fear I'd slip on the moss plus I had Levi asleep in the stroller. So Micah and I sat on the edge of the bank and watched the Water Hoppers jump on top of the water and the minnows swimming around and the beautiful dragon flies fluttering by.
I was reminded of how wonderful God's creation is!

 I love my stroller that I found at a garage sale a few years ago.  Levi can sleep on his tummy in it because it reclines almost completely flat.  Doesn't he look like a little frog in it?

When the temps drop down into the 60's and low 70's at night, then it's time for a backyard bon-fire!

I'm really enjoying watching the personalities of our children blossoming in such different ways.  It's common to hear that all kids are different but when they are young it's sometimes hard to see.  They all liked to eat, play in the water, and unroll the toilet paper!  But now as they grow into teenagers, they are coming into their own, if you will.

Julia loves to draw and she is really good at it because she has an eye for detail.  I have a wall devoted to the kid's art work and I think it is mostly hers. She remembers everything ever said to her and almost all events in our family she has recorded in her brain!  It truly is amazing.  She can spell super accurately because she sees a word written and so therefore she can remember what the word should look like.  

She is also the only one who faithfully gives me a goodnight kiss without fail!

Micah is still little so I'm curious how his personality will continue to develop.  Right now, he loves repetition so we sing the same songs every night before bed. He even says the same thing every night.  "Is Dominic and Antony (no "th" in his name) coming to bed?"

He copies everything we say and DO even.  We all got a great laugh when he and Dominic were playing hide and seek one morning.  Everywhere Dominic hid Micah took note.  When it was Micah's turn to hide, he would hide in the same exact place.  He truly thought no one would know where he was!  One time Dominic dove under the covers of the bed to hide.  Then when it was Micah's turn, he couldn't get into the bed fast enough so he just grabbed the blanket and threw it over his head.  Dominic yelled "Ready or not!"  And there stood Micah in the middle of the room with a blanket over his head and still as could be!  It was really funny!

Olivia is very responsible.  She loves to clean and throw things away and be organized.  At least every 6 weeks, you'll find her going through every nook and cranny of her room, throwing things away, organizing and cleaning her room.  She feels so much better with less stuff to deal with.  Recently she filled up 6 bags of clothes and put them out in the shed so she would have less to choose from!

Olivia has a growing interest in First Aid and fire fighting.  She has been reading books about real life emergency situations and has decided she wants to be an organ donor.

She rides her bike every morning at 6:30 a.m. with her brother Anthony for exercise.

She loves music and has recently written a song and sang it with a friend in church.  She plays the violin in the church orchestra and is now really getting into the piano.  She loves classical music.

Anthony is 13 and I don't think he has a rebellious bone in his body.  I pray that never changes.  This isn't to say he isn't selfish at times but he truly wants to please his parents in EVERYTHING almost to a fault.  He is learning "grace" right now and is TRYING TO NOT TRY so hard.

He enjoys anything that has to do with science.  He absolutely loved our nature walk the other day and would be in heaven if we did those every day!  He loves our science activities and experiments.  This love must be why he is the one to jump up and help me make soap.  When it's the season to garden, he jumps up and wants to "plan and plant" with me.  He has had his own garden going now for two years.  Last year he got a killer crop of habanero peppers and this year he is getting some cucumbers.  We experimented with potatoes this year and I can't say it went all that great but he is eager to try again next year.

Anthony is not real flexible when it comes to style.  He like a good old fashioned suit and tie!  Blue jeans have to be blue, not black or faded, with no pockets down the legs, no zippers in odd places and definitely no holes or unfinished edges!

Right now he is aiming to be a missionary pilot with Mission Aviation Fellowship.

Dominic is very sociable.  He loves people.  Being alone is a struggle for him.  He is happiest when we have company or when a friend invites him over.
His big interest right now is baseball.  We hesitantly let him join little league with his best friend and he is loving every minute of it.  I say "hesitantly" because he is already so competitive.  Plus they play their games on Sundays.  Although we don't have to miss church or anything, we didn't know if we wanted to commit to going to games on Sunday afternoons.  We made the leap, though, and so far it's been a lot of fun to watch him play.  He is picking it up quickly.  There are tons of rules in baseball and I'm realizing how quickly you have to make judgement calls that could cost the team that winning point.  I don't think the boys feel the pressure of this but us parents sure do! Dominic has always had a natural ability to play sports well.

He is very opinionated about his clothes.  He likes sport type pants and shorts.  You know the sweat pants that swish when you walk and have a strip down the side leg?  He also likes cargo pants, skateboard shoes and t-shirts. 
He listens to contemporary christian music all day long unless I change the station.  He can't stand classical.

It will be interesting to see how Levi turns out.  Right now he is pretty much like the rest of our babies.  He cries when it's bed time and he loves attention and smiles when you talk to him. He loves to eat and sleep.

As you can see, our children are very different from each other but they are best friends.  It is so fulfilling to lay in bed at night and listen to them laughing together when they have a slumber party with each other on the weekends.  They choose to spend time together which is an awesome dynamic to our home environment.  When Rich and I go out on a date, the kids will stay home and play cards together. Anthony will make dinner for everyone since he loves to cook.  God has blessed us with an assortment of individuals in our family but we all mesh together well!