“When will this stop?!” I exclaimed, as I peered at the sweet little ankles of our youngest daughter, no longer covered up by her pant legs. As the weather has cooled, all of the jeans have come out of hibernation, and reveal what we all know is going to be true, but is still surprising year after year. About three inches too short. High-water pants, without the water. The funniest part of this observation was when she came over to me, threw her hands up in the air and returned my comment with: “It will NEVER end!” I just stared at her, both amused and surprised at her accuracy and hilarity. My old soul of a daughter, who knows a bit more about life than I do sometimes.
Indeed, fall is upon us. I spied frost this morning, and I think not being able to perform my usual putting our garden to sleep for the winter, has made me feel like it can’t possibly be here already. Thirty-seven weeks pregnant, gardening is an activity that has been scratched from my fall to-do list. Baby Chip is strong and low and starting to make me long for the end. I want to see these strong legs that make sweeping movements even yet, across my belly, and make me wonder if he has six legs, they are so active and everywhere. I can hardly wait to see if his hair is straight or curly, and what color eyes he will inherit. Will he have that joker smile Nadine was born with, or dimples and a cleft in his chin? So much about which to wonder and wait.
The children have been incredible as they have a lot more on their plates than normal. Keeping this nesting mama happy with a clean house, washed dishes, and delving into their schoolwork each day.
Nadine has been back in the saddle and doing such an incredible job riding! She is learning to jump and is almost to a canter. The other day at her lesson, this horse kept me in very close company!
She is really into puzzles, and spends hours doing them in her room. We’re also working on a big one on our dining room table right now. So yesterday we were sorting through pieces, and I was messing around with a pile of similarities. She sat down, grabbed a piece out of the box of a thousand pieces, and put it in a spot, first try. Five seconds later, same thing. By the fifth time of doing this, I looked up and possibly glared. How on earth? She just laughed and shrugged. Talent, I tell you.
We’re all taking bets as to whether or not we will have another teenager or a new baby first, since both events are due to happen the same week. Elijah hopes Chip comes first so we’re all home together, and I agree. Recently, he had the urge to dye his hair blue. With permission (while I wasn’t home, because that’s just easier on my nerves), he gave it a go. It was pretty hilarious, because his hair didn’t turn blue as much as his scalp and forehead did. Eventually it all washed out. During our family vacation, he was so much fun to photograph, jumping off the pier into the lake. He is also such a patient teacher and helps me a lot with the younger kiddos during school.
Jack continues to grow like a weed. He is involved in a pretty intense wrestling league twice a week. A few weeks ago he got work out with and meet his favorite wrestler of all time: Olympic champion, Jordan Burroughs. He inspires me to not quit, and I told him he will need to coach me back into shape after baby is born! I love watching him and Elijah interact. Elijah recently converted Jack to the love of hot sauce. Now we will probably go through two bottles a week instead of just one. This past night at wrestling practice, I stayed to watch him until Matthew could meet me there after work. It was especially packed out, with more than thirty kids practicing. I was just leaving and almost to the door when Jack came running up to me and gave me a kiss goodbye. I think I left part of myself melted on the floor right there. I don’t take it for granted that my ten-year-old son wouldn’t be the least bit ashamed to show his mama some love in a room full of tough boys and adults. That’s the type of guy he is. And yes, he still eats lots of apples.
Sometimes I forget that Elsie is just eight. She’s incredibly capable and strong. Her love for life and new adventures is hauntingly familiar. She loves fashion, and I’m always amazed at the outfits she comes up with, because she certainly never asks my opinion about them. She dreams of gymnastics, and we hope to be able to say yes to this soon, now that her arm is fully healed. When she’s not doing her schoolwork, she is playing school with Betty. She told Nadine the other day that she wants to be in eighth grade. I realize I don’t take enough pictures of her.
Betty loves school. She is reading and doing math. The other day she was writing words with “X” in them. She wrote “Tax”, then drew a picture of money and a sad face. When I asked her what it was, she said, “The person has a sad face because they have to pay tax.” Where does she come up with these things? She is such a good sleeper, and fell asleep on the stairs the other night. A dress, hole in the knees of her leggings, and sweetly crossed ankles describes her pretty well. She brings us so much joy!
Tomorrow is a big day for us! Matthew and I leave bright and early for a quick trip to Texas! I’m pretending like our suitcase is being packed, when in reality my bed is unmade, the suitcase is just there, and I’m seriously pondering a second cup of hot tea. We are so excited to get away and be with some dear sweet friends. It is a business trip, yet also a retreat. We need this time to connect and dream and plan before our lives completely change the next month. God is so gracious to gift this to us, and yes, I’m praying we do not have a Texan baby.
Stay tuned for more!