…has been super busy!! We have made the rounds of the Christmas parties, did the Christmas decorating and shopping, did a little socializing, plus the normal housework, homeschool, and church activities.
The biggest news of late is that, at my second new-baby doctor visit, we found out that the original due date was inaccurate. This would not normally be a huge deal, except that the new due date is the day before Brooke’s wedding, at which I was supposed to be a bridesmaid and all three of my girls are flower girls and almost every other member of my family is involved in some way or another. I was, and still am, extremely bummed about not getting to go to Brooke’s wedding, and we’re not exactly sure how it will all work out for my girls to still be in the wedding and hopefully be a part of welcoming their new baby (the wedding is four hours from home) but, as Clay graciously reminded me–10 years from now, Brooke will be married and we will have a child and this will all be just a memory. So the new due date is July 16, which, all wedding crises aside, is actually a better date because it spreads our birthdays out a little better. And now, instead of hitting 13 weeks this week like I thought, I am only hitting 11 weeks this week. But the baby is healthy, all looks good, and all will be well.
Homeschool, at the halfway point of the year, is going great. Abigail continues to breeze through, barely having any difficulties learning the new material. She’s doing on average anywhere from 12 to 20 addition and subtraction problems a minute on her timed worksheets; acing every test in every subject; labeling sentences with article adjectives, adjectives, subject nouns, verbs, and adverbs; pointing out just about every one of the fifty states on the map; and reading anything you put in front of her. She also is doing really well at “baby-sitting” Elisabeth while Catherine does school, and it’s fun to listen to her bow to Elisabeth’s whims instead of doing the bossing for a change. Catherine is also doing really well, sounding out many three-letter words and reading a good-sized list of sight words. She has to work harder at it than Abigail did, but that is the beauty of different children being different. It is so fun to watch her pride when she reads her primers all by herself. Our next challenge is coming sooner than I had hoped, as Samuel is on the verge of giving up his morning nap, meaning I’ll have two little ones awake to entertain during morning school. But these are the things a homeschooling mom must learn to cope with, and we’ll get it figured out by the grace of God.
Speaking of Samuel, he’s finally walking!!! Even at Thanksgiving he was only taking a step or two, and doing that begrudgingly. But he finally took off, and we get the joy of watching yet another one toddle around the house. He’s learning new tricks every day– pointing to eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and belly, patting his head when we say duck, duck, goose, raising his hand, bowing his head for prayer, and bonking our noses. He still has the sweetest disposition, but he’s also got his own personality shining through. Elisabeth is simply beyond description. She is the true boss of our house, and when she obeys us, we get the feeling that she’s a queen just granting us a favor. She is older than two in a two-year-old body. Her biggest desire is to be three so that she can do gymnastics like her sisters. Our hunch is when she is finally able to start lessons that she will excel because she is truly a little monkey. Catherine continues to boss the church kids around, organizing pretend scenarios and directing the activities of all who will listen to her. She is so sweet in lots of ways–when she hears good news or finds out that we’re doing something fun, or just sees a cool toy on a commercial, she drops everything to run and find Abigail to share the excitement with her. She is excited about everything she does, and never walks when she can bounce. Abigail is really starting to show glimpses of being a big kid, helping around the house, taking care of her brother and sisters, cleaning her room, carrying on deeper conversations than ever before, and–most exciting to her parents–finally showing some self-control over her emotions!! She devours books, especially American Girls and Magic Treehouse, reading sometimes two books a day. She loves to draw and write stories, and write in her diary.
Ministry continues to go well. Working so closely with people will always bring a few bumps and drama, but we closed out our first year here still loving the town and the people, and excited about hopefully many more. We love the people of this church and are so thankful for all the ways they have loved on us this past year. Next week we head to Gatlinburg with the youth group for Winter Extreme, and New Year’s Night will find Clay and the students gallivanting around Paducah with five other youth groups for a huge “lock-in.” We’ve got several new students coming on Wednesday nights, and a couple have even come on Sunday mornings. The girls love church, going to their classes, loving their teachers, and seeing their friends. Abigail and Catherine have each found a close friend just their age to buddy up with at church, and it’s fun to watch that because it’s really the first time either of them have had a close friend outside of family.
So I think that’s about it. Hopefully after the holidays life will slow down a bit. Right now we’re enjoying time in Somerset visiting with family for Christmas, enjoying a break from the routine if not a break from activity. As we close out 2009, we’re incredibly thankful for what this year has held, and waiting with quiet hearts to see what God has in store for us in 2010 (hopefully to include selling our house!!). May you and yours have a blessed Christmas season, celebrating the God-Man who gives us life.