About a year ago, give or take a few days, I did one big catch up post. A whopper of a post that covered the end of one school year and the beginning of another because, well… life. And this year is even crazier than last year. With the addition of our constantly curious Magnolia, spare time is hard to come by lately. But this life, as chaotic as it is, is so worth documenting.
And so, once again, to officially mark the end of one school year and the beginning of another, we have one whopper of a blog post. Because these kids of mine just keep getting bigger and bigger.
Last year when I did this, baby Clementine was just getting steady on her feet. And two years earlier, when Tallula was still the baby, I did another. And another I wrote the year before that. The very first time I did this was over five years ago – when we were waiting oh-so-impatiently to bring our Poppy girl home.
I intended to do this about two months ago, when it would have been only slightly late, but Magnolia’s surgery happened, my computer crashed – lost my hard drive, photo-editing software and many pictures – and picture taking went from relatively infrequent to not-gonna-happen. So these pictures, which I took the day before Magnolia’s surgery a few months ago, will just have to suffice.
So here we go.
Asher is 17, a junior and not yet an official driver. Yep, you read right – he’s happily using his learner’s permit when he feels like driving and that’s about as far as it goes. His younger brother (unnamed, of course) was pulling the car into the garage a few months ago and stopped about two feet too late… right in the middle of the basement wall. And I think seeing the damage that can so easily be done by a moving vehicle was a vivid reminder of how easily accidents happen. Which makes the damage done to the wall well worth it.
He is a smidge taller than last year but has probably stopped growing at just over 6′ 1″. Thankfully his foot has stopped growing as well – at a size 14.
Dalton is 14 and a freshman this year. He *might* be the person in the above car-parking-mishap scenario. He might also deny this if asked.
Dalton is 5′ 9″ and 174, which means he has grown 1.5″ and gained 24 pounds in the last year.
He is academically gifted but not a fan of schoolwork – which makes homeschooling him
challenging interesting to say the least. He loves sports and has recently broadened his umbrella of sports to include poker. Go figure.
His favorite subject in school is PE and his least favorite is Honors Biology because “it’s dumb.” Told you he was academically gifted. Thankfully both he and Asher took the PSAT last year and scored in the moderately okay-to-good range, otherwise I might be worried about them being completely unprepared for college. Currently reading Screwtape Letters.
Sophie is 12 and in the 7th grade this year.
Sophie is 57.5″ and 81.5 pounds which means she has grown 3″ and gained 14.5 pounds in the last year.
Isabelle is 12 and in the 6th grade this year.
This girl is growing up and getting all responsible and stuff. Although it sometimes takes all day to finish her schoolwork (because she has to study longer than most of her siblings) she is diligent and organized and, for the most part, has a really good attitude. Huge strides for this girl.
Her favorite subject is history because “it’s a bunch of fun because I get to learn a lot of things I didn’t know. Plus, I’m good at it.” And she is. Her least favorite subject is First Language Lessons because “it takes a really long time to do.”
Isabelle is 57.5″ and 96.5 pounds which means she has grown 3.5″ and gained 11.5 pounds in the last year.
Jude is 10 and in the 5th grade.
He is as busy as ever and when he doesn’t have schoolwork to do he’s likely to get into stuff he ought not. Properly motivated, though, he’s a superstar. His favorite subject is math because “it’s kind of easy to understand.” His least favorite subject is history because “it actually takes a really long time and it’s really hard to find the answers.”
Jude is 51.5″ and 60.5 pounds which means he has grown 1.5″ and gained 7.5 pounds since last year.
Shepherd is 9 and in the 4th grade.
He is naturally smart and very eloquent but occasionally distracted from his schoolwork by his big brothers. Which is one of the reasons for our newly assigned seating. His favorite subject is Wordly Wise because “I think it helps me learn new words.” His least favorite subject is history because “it takes a while to finish.”
Shepherd is 50.5″ and 52.5 pounds which means he has grown 2″ and gained 6.5 pounds since last year.
Vivienne is 8 and in the 3rd grade.
Vivienne is 48″ and 65.5 pounds which means she has grown 2.5″ and gained 9 pounds in the last year.
Poppy is 7 and in the 2nd grade.
She is as bright as she is motivated and is doing much of the same work as her bigger sister. She can write in cursive better than I can and is often the one I put in charge when I want things done correctly.
Her favorite subject is Explode the Code because “it’s easy.” Her least favorite subject is handwriting because “it takes foreeeevvvvver! Yeah, it really does!”
Poppy is 45.75″ and 40.5 pounds which means she has grown 2.25″ and gained 5.5 pounds.
Tallula is 6 and in the 1st grade.
Tallula is 44.5″ and 43 pounds which means she has grown 2.5″ and gained 4.5 pounds since this time last year.
Her favorite things to do are play mama to her many babies, cook in her pretend kitchen and sign any and all of the over 200 signs she knows. When any of us wants to know what a sign is we just ask Clementine – she might not execute it perfectly, but the girl almost always knows the gist. Rhino? Helicopter? Peach? She can sign it.
Clementine is 36.5″ and 29 pounds which means she has grown 3.5″ and gained 5 pounds.
She’s learning colors, numbers and letters and gets super excited when she correctly communicates her thoughts to the intended recipient. She started speech therapy at our local school in the spring which may (or may not) evolve out into preschool twice-a-week for 2.5 hours.
Magnolia is 2 and makes Clementine look like she is standing still.
This girl is full tilt from sun up to sun down. And beyond. She is a night owl and I have found our new “normal” includes me propping my eyes open until 10:30 or later most nights in order to avoid lots of loud questions in my ear once we go to bed. Mama? MaMaaaaa?
Not a huge fan of toys, and crazy smart, I’m pretty convinced she thinks she’s a miniature adult. And no matter how many times I try to tell her she’s the baby, she’s not buying it.
She says Tallula is the baby.
Her language is growing by leaps and bounds, although I can’t always understand what she is saying. Often I find myself in a conversation with her in which I am pretty sure I’m being reprimanded, although I cannot say for sure.
Magnolia is 34.25″ and 26 pounds and since this is her first appearance in one of these posts, we’ll have to wait until next year to see just how much she grows.
Home five months now (five months!) she is really settling in well – it’s amazing to look back and see how far she has come since those first few days in China. I expect we’ll see her melting even more as her understanding of what a family really means deepens.
Her favorite things to do are boss her siblings whenever possible, be carried by mama and talk. She loves to go everywhere and often asks if she can put on her shoes and have her hair fixed, in hopes we’ll be hitting the grocery store or library later that day.
Her heart was repaired on August 16th and she has healed beautifully. So very thankful – and kinda astounded – that she is not only home but that her heart is mended.
And that’s it. Our life. My babies. This school year.
Yep, it’s crazy. But really, so very worth remembering.