Thank you for joining me here! What better way to start the 31Days of Randomness than with a little intro/update of our family. In the past few months I’ve had a number of new readers and I wanted to take a chance to let you know who it is that I talk about around here. It’s also a great way to update those of you that have been reading our adventures for a while. I value your support and encouragement.
Here’s the line-up:
Evan in my oldest son, soon to be 13. *pick me up off the floor, this has gone too fast* This year he is a seventh grader. He’ll be exploring deeper into Marine Biology, his interest area, on top of out usual school schedule this year. It has been a good way to let him show responsibility and diligence. School is definitely NOT his favorite thing, but he loves to learn (on his own terms). We’re working on finding the middle ground. This fall Evan has been playing soccer on a U15 team. He has fast feet! I am a little red-faced to admit how into the game I get. Much like me, he’s a perfectionist at his core. He is really starting to mature and learn how to cope when things aren’t going exactly as he envisioned (I’m still working on this in myself!). He’s an origami master. You’re not likely to find a piece of paper around him that he isn’t folding into something. He’s so much like me that sometimes it’s scarey (and a rough ride).
Mr. Smooth. Andrew is our second born and is pretty much a go-with-the-flow type of guy. That’s not to say his feathers are never ruffled. They are. His default is peace. This year is Andrews final year of elementary school. We’re building his challenges weekly to prepare him for middle school. He’s my builder. LEGO, wood, anything he can find. He creates designs and builds them. Andrew is preparing to bridge into the Boy Scouts this spring. He’s on track to earn the Arrow of Light and one of his pack’s Heavy Shoulder awards. He is currently pursuing gymnastics. That was no surprise to us, he’s naturally very agile. That combined with his fearlessness makes for some awesome (but nail-biting) moments watching him in the gym.
She’s on the verge of double-digits. And I’m not ready. School mostly comes easy to her and this year she’s a fourth grader. Francesca has recently started knitting. I now share (most of) my yarn stash! And I’m okay with that. This year she began studying ballet at the same studio as Mikaela. She would also like to return to ice skating lessons in the winter. She is an incredible big sister. She is always looking to lend a hand with the younger children. Sometimes I have to remind her that I’ve got it. If you can’t find Francesca, she’s likely to be found immersed in a book. Francesca loves having the opportunity to sing with the worship team at church. It blesses me to see her offer her gifts in that way.
Mikaela was born with rhythm in her veins. Seriously, I think that music and movement pulse through her. Last year was her first year studying dance at Taneytown Dance Center. Previously, she had only taken sessions through our local parks and rec council. From the first moment she was at home. This year she continues to study ballet and is also on the Mini Xpressions company, she’s hoping to audition for a company spot next year. She loves to be on stage. This year, Mikaela is in second grade. It’s hard to keep her sitting in one place very long, but in spite of all her wiggles, the work comes easy to her. She moves through her lessons very quickly.
Nate is now a kindergartener. He has already asked, more than once, when he’ll be done with school… forever. Oy vey! The highlight of his week is his time at gymnastics. Like Andrew, he’s quite naturally agile! There are many times a day that he needs to be reminded that our sofa is NOT a trampoline. He’s also a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle fan. I’d love some suggestions for bringing balance to that obsession. Handsome and loveable… until you cross him, and then you’ll be sorry. He’s a gentle and doting big brother.
We were given 28 precious days with Miranda. Our sixth child. Our tie-maker. This year we celebrated her third birthday, without her. The grief journey has had its ups and downs. She is missed. Always. Our joy-filled days are always grounded by the knowledge that this little princess has already returned to her King. I’ve never longed for Heaven the way I have since losing Miranda.
This little girl is our rainbow/redemption after great storm. While Miranda gave me a longing for eternity, Annalise brought back hope to today. She’s a spitfire. She has the entire family wrapped around her little finger. And I’m pretty sure none of us would have it any other way.
Vince and I
This year marked our 13th anniversary. God has grown us together in ways neither of us could have planned or expected. An artist and an engineer, we (attempt to) bring balance to each other. He golfs and follows college football, I knit and spin. He carefully draws up plans, I like to wing it. This past summer God opened the door for the two of us to go down to Peru with a small team and serve on the mission field in support of our national missionary to Chupa. It was also the first time we’ve traveled outside of the country together. Lord willing, it won’t be the last. He works from home and I homeschool the children. After many years of adjusting, we’re ready to settle into out groove.