We're halfway finished with our Sonlight curriculum for the year, which means it's a perfect time for a little update on all the short people in our house.
An obsession with historical fiction keeps us trekking to the library frequently to keep Charis in books. She has progressed far beyond the American Girl series and now reads all kinds of diaries/journals (fictionalized, but based on real people and events). Her favorite authors are Kathryn Lasky, Andrew Clements, and Beverly Cleary. When she's not curled up with a book, Charis is either playing the piano, working on a self-imposed writing assignment, or holed up in the craft room, making a mess on my stamp room floor as she creates gifts for loved ones. (Latest project: two dolls in a box crib for Kenna's birthday present. You can see one of her projects in the picture of Kenna below--she made "mice" and "cages" for her and her siblings to have as pets. Such detail in the boxes!) She is a HUGE help to me in the kitchen as well as entertaining the little ones, and I am so thankful that she is such a natural homemaker-in-training! I truly enjoy working in the kitchen with her, and it's a delight to both Ted and me to watch her with her younger siblings.
Having found a new literature series to read (The Lightning Thief), Tobin also frequently escapes to spend some quality time with library books. He will begin piano lessons on March 1, so we will have two piano students in the house! Our piano teacher is thrilled to have another student, and I was thrilled that Tobin finally agreed to start lessons, LOL. It's quite convenient, as she drives here and does the lessons in our dining room with the kids while I work on lunch or do what needs to be done with the other children. Tobin also continues to fulfill his role as Ted's "Mini-Me," cracking jokes and puns at the drop of a hat. He's getting more dependable with household tasks, and I find myself calling for him to do things for more and relying less on Charis in some respects, so that is definitely a good thing!
Although Arden is not as big of a reading fanatic as his older siblings, he does enjoy comic books! He has read tons of classic Peanuts books as well as others that we let him check out from the library. But given a choice, he would much rather be playing something: Legos, chess, Wii, computer games, anything that involves running with a pointed object, and so on. He and Tobin often disappear for hours on end to build and play with their Legos. Arden is excelling in math, doing double-digit multiplication and nearly catching up to the book that Tobin is currently in. I've decided to stop trying to slow him down! Only this past week did he finally seem to "struggle" with a new concept, which he quickly mastered after a little one-on-one time with me. He adores his little siblings and is such a gentle-hearted boy.
Eagerly anticipating her upcoming princess "par-tea," Kenna is still the happy, joyful girl she's always been. I love how she comes downstairs in the morning with her hair sticking out in every direction wearing a huge smile. That girl is just so HAPPY! Her exuberance for life always lifts my spirits--one can't help but smile when she's around...assuming she's in a good mood, that is! Watch out if she is crossed! Kenna is quite tall (big, even!) for her age. She turns 4 on Sunday, but her 4T clothes are nearly too small already! I'm glad spring is close by so we don't have to worry about her ankles hanging out of her pants, LOL. Kenna loves singing, being chased and tickled, and bossing Lucan around. She loves thinking she is a big kid, listening in on our Sonlight reading and helping set the table every morning for breakfast. She really is becoming quite a good little helper, sometimes even being more dependable than Arden, who is easily distracted!
Our baby isn't really a baby anymore, sigh! He also is fast outgrowing all his clothes. We are reaching the end of the hand-me-downs we received before we left Las Vegas, so I may actually need to go buy him some clothes! Hurry up, garage sale season! Pretty much all his pants are too short, so we have to creatively dress him when the weather is cold, LOL. Lucan is shaping up to be like his big brother Arden in so many ways. I remember Arden was doing 100-piece puzzles by himself when he was 2 1/2. Lucan will be 2 at the end of March, and while he isn't close to 100-piece puzzles yet, he is quite capable of doing 24-piece puzzles and even a 48-piece one that Kenna got for Christmas (thanks, Ski!). A recent obsession is the Hungarian New Testament that he found off our bookshelves. I don't know if it's the size or the bright blue color, but he LOVES that thing! He carries it around and randomly opens it and "reads" out loud to anyone who will listen. It's very cute to hear him babble...maybe he'll be a preacher to Hungary someday, ha! Another likeness to Arden is his sweet, gentle spirit. When I picked him up from the toddler room on Sunday, his teacher described him in just those words--"He has a sweet, gentle spirit!" Reminded me of a time when a godly woman from our church in Maryland spoke similar words over a one-year-old Arden, saying she didn't know exactly what it was, but she felt in her spirit there was something special about that little boy.
I am pleased to announce that I have indeed been feeling Baby J move over the last week or so, quite frequently, even. I could tell my belly was growing (that happened starting the moment of conception, LOL), but not feeling any movement was beginning to worry me. I'll be 13 weeks tomorrow and have my OB appointment in the morning. I am trying hard not to FREAK OUT that I am 1/3 of the way through this pregnancy. Oh, that Ted's deployment will go so quickly...
As much fun as it is to watch our children grow and become the people God created them to be, it's also fun to dream and imagine what they'll be like in 10, 20, and even 50+ years. What a blessing each one of them is!