Thursday, May 29, 2014

Awards day, part II

These guys, so much alike.  So precious!

He captivates me!

Quiet Joshua with his very rambunctious, sweet best friend.  I LOVE it!

These two boys melt my heart.  So very glad they are best friends and brothers!

The principal of the logic and rhetoric school is brilliant and personable, but also very witty.

Jackson's class sang a song in Latin at award's day.  They might not fully appreciate the beauty of it, but I certainly did!

Some of Jack's wonderful teachers

Jackson was recognized in math for his excellent work.
 Each year at this rigorous, classical, WONDERFUL school become more of a challenge!  Jackson has to work very hard this year!  God has gifted him with a bright mind and he has used all of it to excel.  He has learned a lot about being organized and responsible.  These areas are coming along, which is great because he is not naturally orderly or organized!  He managed to have a yearly average of all As again!  This is a really incredible accomplishment and I am beaming with pride!  Way to go, Jackson!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Awards day

My class on awards day

Lydie with her teacher

Serious face

Joshua with his teacher

Very proud Dad

Lydie received the Esther award from our principal

Dressed up and handsome at 5th grade promotion
And finally, it was the last day of school.  Wow, it has been a good year.  My two precious youngest were on the same hall with me and I got to see and hug them through out each day.  I have enjoyed so much teaching in close proximity to them!

It is a tradition at our school to award each child with a "character award" at the end of the year.  I thought that each teacher's love and understanding of my children really showed with their words for them today.  Joshua's teacher gave him the character award of contentment.  She said, "This young man is always thinking. His gentle spirit and ability to process the truth in God's word is modeled with great contentment of spirit.  Joshua, this verse describes you, "But godliness with contentment is great gain."

Andy and I were so overwhelmed with these precious words for our son.  They really are so appropriate and just perfect in describing many of his strengths.  His contentment, even as a baby, has always been a great blessing to our family.  And now to hear his teachers describe him as content AND godly, it's a tremendous blessing.

Lydia Joy's teacher again gave her the award of self-control.  She receives the same acknowledgement last year.  Her ability to listen and obey is really a gift, as well.  She really desires to do the right thing and her love for the Lord has grown so much in these last years!  We pray that all of our children continue to seek Him and are motivated by nothing but their love and worship for their Savior!

We were all completely caught off guard when Lydia Joy received the Esther award for her class, as well.  Each teacher chooses a girl in her class who exhibits the godly character traits of Esther from the Bible.  It is a sweet gift to see that Lydie isn't just following the rules, but she is loving and serving well.  This is purely a gift from God and I pray it will grow and grow every day of her life!  Thank you, Jesus!  The kids both made the all A honor roll this year as well.  This was a huge testimony of their hard work and God's grace in gifting them!  So thankful!

Joshua was also part of a very special fifth grade promotion ceremony.  He was able to take his seat among the logic school students and feel like a part of that group for the first time.  It is hard for me to accept that my baby boy is going to be in middle school in the fall.  This has happened way too fast!  But I just love how he has matured, all that he has learned, and his practical and simple faith.  Plus, it helps that his big brother will be there to comfort him!  Wow, it's just unbelievable.  But I am so proud and thankful!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Surprise at the piano recital

This is how crazy our year has been...Our sweet Joshua has taken piano lessons again this year.  The truth of the matter is that I haven't listened to him practice ONE SINGLE TIME this year.  His keyboard is downstairs with headphones.  I set the timer while I am doing something else in the evenings and he puts in the time on his piano practice.  We tell him, "Good job!  You are done!  Now go do your homework!", and that is the end of it.

So we sit down for his recital, now it is May, and we look at each other and realize that we have never heard the music he is about to play!  We know he is prepared because of his practice time.  But we have no idea what he is playing!  Is this weird?

So he gets up to the piano and cranks out two great pieces!  And he has made so much progress this year in piano, ALL ON HIS OWN.  We were shocked at the difference in skill level from last year!  This amazing boy!  He is so intensely independent, but warm and kind, too.  He accomplishes so much success in school and piano without a smidgen of our help!  He so different from his Mom who needs a team around her!  Once again, I just love watching this kid blow our socks off!  Way to go, Joshua!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

To Jack: Your first year as a teenager

My dearest Jack,
You are 13 and finishing 7th grade.  For the first time in your life, you are testing the boundaries.  It has been a good year of growth and learning for you and I.  But I admit, I have been a little baffled at times with you.  It is a big thing to see your oldest child learn to maneuver life in a new way as a teenager.  And it is really scary as a parent, not because YOU are bad or scary, but because I have been a teenager, too.  I want you to know things that I didn't know and I am afraid that you will not listen to me and that you will have to learn these things yourself.  I have trouble letting you learn things the hard way because I ABSOLUTELY adore you and I never want to see you hurting or in trouble.

This year you got in trouble at school for the first time.  You decided to leave a school play with a friend and wander around the school.  You knew this was disobedient, but you had no idea what a big deal it would be to your teachers and principal!  The long and short of it was, you cared more about what your friend thought of you at that moment than honoring God.  We spent a lot of time praying and talking together with Daddy to come to that conclusion.  I remember, OH SO WELL, how important it feels to want to be accepted and liked.  I still want to feel accepted!  I am praying that as you spend more and more time with God in His word and prayer that you will love Him so much that you will live for an audience of One.  This is freedom!

The very best thing about the big ordeal at school was how shocked your teachers and principal were that you were involved.  This showed Daddy and I how trustworthy and honorable you have been in class.  There were at least five teachers who saw you leave the play, thought about approaching you, but didn't because of your character.  On the one hand, we were a little dismayed that now they may think differently of you.  But I talked to each one of them, and they assured me that this was just a lapse in judgment and that they still respected you very much.  We are praying every day that your behavior will continue to earn their trust and respect.

You had this negative incident, and it was a big deal for sure!  But overall, you have had a great year.  I have watched you sit or stand at the kitchen table and become a very diligent student.  You set goals for making good grades and you work really hard to achieve your goals!  You are beginning to see how your actions now will effect you in the future.  That shows a great deal of maturity.  You are working out your salvation and learning how to apply what you know to your life.  Your best quality is that you are humble and quick to apologize.  God says he loves a "humble and contrite heart".  Every one of us are sinners, only a portion of us know how to admit it and seek repentance.  This trait will give you so much joy and growth in your walk with Christ!  Another great thing about you is your humor.  You keep us smiling and laughing and we love you ability to keep things light around our house.

Oh Jack, you have no idea how highly we think of you.  We are so very proud of you, son! You have no idea how much we pray for you.  We so deeply desire to see you love Jesus and do your best for him.  It is a really hard thing to make foolish mistakes and have to live with regrets.  Trying to give you the freedom to stand on your own to feet and taking the risk of seeing you fall is the hardest thing I have ever done.  Please don't get made or frustrated when I hang on too tightly.  I am praying for discernment and wisdom all the time, but sometimes I still make the mistake of hovering.  I am determined to improve in this area.  But even so, please trust me and do your best to be obedient and respectful.  God promises such great things to young men who do so and I want those things for you now and in the future.  You have such an amazing, exciting adventure ahead as you follow God!

You have brought joy to me every day of your life.  You are an amazing miracle, my friend.  I love having conversations with you and getting a glimpse into God's beautiful design for you.  Your mind is so complex and intelligent.  And you have such a huge heart with so much ability to serve and love! I am excited for every year ahead.  Bring on 8th grade!
You spend a lot of time at the kitchen table with an open Latin or Math book!  This investment will definitely pay off!

You are one of the funniest guys I know.  (Goofing off at Hobby Lobby!)

"How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to YOUR WORD. I seek you with all my heart, do not let me stray from your commands."  Psalm 119:9-10