Here's teenage Isaiah. He is full-force, 100 percent adolescent! Complete with IPOD and obsessive about checking everything NBA. He LOVES to play basketball and is really involved with school right now. He's in a homeschool co-op that is learning all about the Medieval Times through different "lenses:" Leadership, History/Geography, Imaginative Arts, and Math/Science. He's also in a Youth 4 Freedom group where he sharpens his leadership and speech skills. He'll compete next month in Mock Trials where he is part of producing a court case in a real court room with a real judge and everything. They compete against other local high schools. Last year his group got 5th place in the state. It was very challenging, but fun too! He is also in a speech/debate club where he is learning the skills of impromptu debate. It would scare me to death, but he is getting good. A little too good for my taste! His interests still include US History, Government, and saving our country from Obama! He loves to play basketball constantly and is a huge JAZZ fan (much to mine and Nate's dismay!) He is also the president of his deacon's quorum and is getting tons of merit badges and rank advancements in scouts. He's a very busy guy!
Grace is always our little actress, except that she's not so little anymore :( She has been in multiple plays this year. Fiddler on the Roof (a family favorite), A Christmas Carol, and most recently Les Miserables. She enjoys every minute of being on stage! She often sings in our sacrament meetings too. I'm pretty sure she is the only girl her age (or even close) who has no fear of getting up and belting out a solo in front of 300 people! She is enrolled in an online middle school this year and enjoys making friends from all over the world. She is in humanities and leadership. She wasn't so excited about humanities at first, because it covered all of the boring political stuff...but she's come around and is now very knowledgeable about the political process. She even went and took an exit poll at our local polling office. Grace loves everything english and hate everything math (even though she's good at it!) She is playing the piano very good now a days and even makes up amazing piano pieces! She's always a great friend to EVERYONE and is a great older sister to those two little girls!
Ah...here's our Miles. He's just a great kid. He has such a tender heart and is enthusiastic about learning everything. He is most excited about scouts and soccer. He played in a competitive soccer league this year and continues to blow us away with his improvements. His team even played an indoor soccer session this winter and it was fun and challenging for him. Miles has become quite the reader. He's a very slow and methodical reader which has kept him from liking it well in the past, but he's gotten over that and has learned so much through reading! He loved learning about American History last year and has developed a true love for our founders, George Washington and John Adams, to name a few particulars. His favorite subject is math (just like his mama!) and also loves hands-on science stuff. He's been involved with a book club and has been learning the art of sword fighting there. They have a great time! He's a great helper and an amazing brother. He's the little service elf at our house and ALWAYS thinks of others first. An example of this is last year our family got 3 Jazz basketball tickets. I knew that Nate needed one and that left just 2 more to divide up between the three boys. With tears in his eyes his said that Moses and Isaiah could go. I told him that we could just flip a coin or something. He said, "No, I'm trying to be benevolent mom!" At least my values lessons have been working on somebody! What a sweetheart!.
HERE'S MOSES...Mo makes life exciting for everybody. He loves making everyone laugh and has the very best smile! He enjoys playing any electronic gadget. It's too bad because we limit those around here! He spends time playing soccer with his friends on a local team and playing around in any sport with his brothers. He can play a mean game of chess and loves to play games. He could spend ALL day playing games! He's super quick witted and all of his teachers at church speak highly of him. Apparently he is the most reverent kid almost every week. That is shocking to his parents! He LOVES to build things...legos, lincoln logs, magforms, you name it, he builds it. Right now his favorite interest is Lord of the Rings. We recently read the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring as a family and he is obsessed! Everything around here has something to do with Bilbo or Frodo, or Golum. He always convinces everyone to play Lord of the Rings and he chooses characters for everyone...but he always has to be Bilbo or Frodo! He doesn't enjoy school as much as mom would like, but he's extremely bright and when he puts his mind to something it gets done amazingly. Did I mention that he is one of our most thorough cleaners?
Here is our sweet Ella-Bella. She is always making us smile. She is SOOOOOO dramatic. Sometimes I don't know if she's pretending or not. She'll be crying in the car and I'll turn to see what is wrong and she informs me that she's just acting! Oh no, another actress. Grace, Ella, and Liberty all have their rendition of Fiddler on the Roof''s Matchmaker down! It is so cute to watch! She likes to sing and dance and play with friends. Did I mention that she likes to play with friends? Sometimes I think she wants to live across the street! Ella is learning to read and write and is practicing being very patient. She has informed me that she isn't going to LIE ever again, and I believe her because she has held true to her word. She vacillates between torturing Liberty and telling me that she is "choosing the right" today and then gives Liberty whatever she wants! She is the queen of "potty talk," much to her mother's dismay! She loves to be read too and snuggled with. I don't think I'll ever tire of doing either of those things with her...
Here is our Libs! We intended to nick name Liberty, Libby, but right after she was born Ella started calling her Libs and it stuck! This little girl lights up our lives. She has decided that she doesn't want to speak. Now, that doesn't mean that we can't hear her, because she makes PLENTY of noise, just not words. Out of her mom's desperation she has learned sign language, along with everyone else in the house. A typical meal is everyone testing each other on their sign language skills. I know that one day Liberty is just going to start talking and never stop, but we'll enjoy her little signs right now. She even lip syncs everything perfectly. She'll lip sync songs and even lip syncs words when she plays. It is the funniest thing seeing a little girl playing with her toys and just moving her lips like she is having a discussion. We are always wondering what is going on in that little head of hers. She is found putting anything on her body that she can. In the last two weeks we've gotten Elmer's glue, rubber cement, lip stick, and hand soap out of her hair and off of her face. She also loves to draw on herself with markers. No matter how hard I try to keep her away from things, she always manages to find them. Everyone spoils and loves her at our house and she's a fun one to have around!
Nate and I are somehow holding it all together. Nate is super involved in the Bishopric and his work as an art teacher. He has dreams of opening his own business or being involved in entrepreneurship in some way. He tries to build his business in his limited free time. He's the best read aloud dad that there is, and the kids get excited when he's home. They are probably so sick of being with their mom 24-7! I am attempting to put my full trust in my Heavenly Father with our kids education. I fall short a lot, and I just keep remembering that He asked us to do this, so it'll all work out in the end! I have my favorite calling ever right now...teaching Gospel Doctrine. I never thought that would be my favorite, but I've enjoyed being in my scriptures so much! The teaching part is a little scary, but I'm getting less nervous each week. One of my greatest desires is that I miraculously could survive on no sleep! I have a stack of books to get reading a mile high, and no time to get through. I am enjoying learning WITH my kids though and we try to keep things interesting. I'm enrolled in and institute class right now and that is my sanity! I'm trying to improve our families health habits which gets shut down with every turn from my family...we'll keep trying though!
We miss spending more time with our family and friends, but hope that you all know you are missed and loved. We have a CRAZY life right now, but it'll all fly by faster than we know it. My mission is to try to enjoy the journey (just so you know, I'm not so good at that!) I've been trying lately to relax more and it's been great! I LOVE my family!