Showing posts with label #1. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #1. Show all posts

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

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Special Valentine: Don't want to forget!

My 13 year old melted my heart on Friday at school.  When the bell rings to dismiss him for the day, he always come down to my classroom.  This day I was in a friend's room with a couple of teachers.  We were talking, along with a girl from his class.  He walked in with a smile on his face.  He said hi to the girl from his class.  Then he said, "Mom, happy Valentine's day!  I bought this for you!"  It was a Diet Coke from the vending machine.
Here he is, that morning, with a little gift from us.  Sweet, sweet boy.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Community: Jack's friends

Best buds, these guys are iron-sharpens-iron buddies
Three other kind boys who are lots of fun!
Most of the 7th grade boys.  Very sweet boys from godly families!
Are there words?
These pictures represent prayers answered.  Community was the first and most important reason we left homeschooling.  And God has blessed exceedingly and abundantly!  I love Jack's friends.  There are some amazing, godly families in our school.  And Jack's class is particularly dear.  So thankful and happy for Jack to have these boys in his life!

Little steps: Jack's Cotillion

There are so many things that I admire about my oldest boy.  He and I are so different and it is wonderful.  He has so many qualities I never will- calm, collected, witty, loves the unknown.  This year was his second Cotillion.  There were no nerves.  It was old-hat now.  All fun, no worries.

Just before we left him for the night
We made shopping for his outfit a family affair at the mall.  He was slightly more opinionated than last year, but still mostly just had a "whatever you think, Mom" kind of attitude.  It was fun.  We thought maybe a bow tie this year would suit him well.  But ultimately, stripes it was.  He decided his uniform khakis would do just fine.  We borrowed a sports coat.  So off we were to buy shoes.  I really love what we got.  A little different than the norm, rugged but classy, good-looking.

The girls waiting to fill in their dance cards and be asked to dance
Beautiful tables
Sprucing up the gym
Our school does an excellent job of training the children in ballroom dance and etiquette before the dance.  They spend a couple of months in p.e. class learning the basic dances.  And they spend time during school learning table etiquette.  When they get to the dance, the students have a dance card at his or her seat.  Half of the dances have assigned partners.  There are 5 or 6 blanks where the boys have to get the cards filled before dinner begins.  Jackson was off with his friends, taking pictures and talking about the food they would eat.  I noticed everyone had almost gotten their cards filled and he hadn't even looked at his.  No worries, I'm sure he thought.  Or most likely, he hadn't even noticed.  But I told him, just in case, he might want to get to work.  He disappeared for 3 minutes and came back with a full card.  Perfectly Jackson.  By this time, the faculty and chaperons asked the parents to leave and come back four hours later after dinner and dancing.  I have a seventh grade, thirteen year old.  It's really surreal, and so is leaving him at a dance.  But off we went, and he didn't even notice or care.

i ::LOVE:: this boy

In the car...excited!
The redeeming factor?  He is a kind, well-mannered, innocent boy.  I really love his friends, who know and love the Lord, as well.  So off we went feeling a little emotional, but mostly extremely happy and confident that he would have a wonderful time. The younger kids were invited to go to a movie with their Poppy. So Andy and I found ourselves on a date.  Alone.  These are good days.

Later that night, the parents were invited to come to the dance at 15 minutes 'til 10 to see the last few dances.  I watched Jack dance, chat, smile.  He was enjoying the girls in his class in the sweetest, most innocent of ways.  I love that he danced the last dance with a girl who might not have otherwise been asked.  He enjoyed the night and remembered that I told him to have fun with his friends, but be mindful of the girls who need a partner and friend.
Last dance with a friend
Some teachers joining a line dance...Ha!
Parisian theme

He said last year was a little more exciting because "everything was new and he didn't know what to expect".  That statement proves again how different we are!  New and unknown does not equal excitement for this Mom.  I love that it does for Jack! His friends ran up, along with a parent that we respect and know well, and asked if he could go to IHOP.  Another Mom friend who was going offered to bring him home.  So we came home, put the younger two children to bed, and fell sound asleep.  It took the sound of the doorbell to wake us up when he got home at midnight.  This sweet boy and his friends and school are every bit a dream come true for me.  While not perfect, and I wouldn't expect so, truly IDEAL. I cannot believe we are at this stage in life.  But I am deeply grateful for all that the Lord has provided for Jackson and what he is doing in His life!  These little steps will amount to big ones, one day.
At the end of a dance, clapping, and then walking his dance partner back to her seat
Another dance with a friend

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Thursday, October 03, 2013


In seventh grade, students can qualify for the induction into the Beta Club.  To qualify, they need an A/B average, along with teacher recommendation.  Jackson was inducted, along with many of his classmates and other students who are new to the school in 8th grade.  It should be a great opportunity for learning more about community service.  They will have many opportunities to serve this year, which is exciting.  Congrats, Jack!

Also, both boys were chosen by Duke to qualify for the Duke's TIP (Talent Identification Program).  The selection process depends on standardized testing scores.  We will probably not pursue the program, but were very honored.  Congrats Jack and Josh!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Cross country 5K race

Jack has grown to love running.  These pictures were taken from the Got Creek? race.  The racers had to run through the creek at the beginning of the race.  I would *hate* to run wet.  But Jack thought it was so fun!  His favorite race of the year was the Zombie Chase run.  He seems to love the obstacle course races a lot more.  This will be his sport until he graduates, Lord willing.  He has learned a lot, gotten healthier, and made friends.  Although the practices have been a big time commitment, we are very thankful he is involved!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Back-to-School dance for Jack

 ::Seventh grade::
Jack and a few of his good buddies at the dance.  And then afterwards, a bunch of friends out for pizza.  What a wonderful group of friends he has been blessed to get to know!  Sweet friends from sweet families.  It's a WONDERFUL community for us and our children!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Cross country workout 1, Jack 0

Wow, this sport is gonna be a doozy!  So proud of his hard work!  Watch out he comes!

Thursday, August 01, 2013


Our precious Jackson turned 13 yesterday.  Oh the bittersweet excitement.  I cannot believe we have a teenager in the house!  He is such a delight.  The hormones are definitely raging.  But he continues to be tender-hearted and kind.  We enjoy his gifts so much.  He is a godly, servant leader with a fun-loving personality.  He's pretty great.  I hope this year will bring him loads of wisdom and knowledge, and deepened friendships.  He will have so many new and amazing experiences this year as a seventh grader!  Happy birthday, sweet Jack!!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A new definition of noisy

Well now that we have a basement, we gave in.  After three birthdays with drums as the main request for a gift, we finally bought some for this boy.  Wow, he was so excited!  I am so thankful for a larger house with a basement for the kids.  Rock on, buddy!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Jack as John in Peter Pan

As I mentioned in the fall, Jack took a brave risk as a new-to-the-school-sixth-grader and tried out for the logic (middle) school's drama club.  Instead of the part of a pirate in Peter Pan, which he tried out for and would have been glad to get, he was given the role of John.  The children have practiced several hours or more each week since school began.  And last weekend all of their hard work paid off!

It is hard to describe how it feels when you see your child using his gifts and talents to bless others.  He really did a marvelous job.  So many scenes, so many lines and stage directions, and did I mention he is new to this school (and previously homeschooled!)?  I looked at Andy during the curtain call, and we shared a slightly tearful, knowing, glance.  This kid is talented.  And brave.  And most impressive of all, he is so comfortable in his own skin.  Not that he doesn't recognize his flaws.  But his confidence is in Christ.  And he is comfortable and vulnerable, and it translates on stage.  We are so amazed with this boy of ours.  He brings so many laughs and so much joy to our family.  Here are a few pictures.  (Jack is the one with the top hat.)
Jackson had18 friends and family, along with the four of us, who came to support him.  We were so thankful!  Here he is pictured with a few of us.
Mother, Wendy, John, and Michael discussing Never Land
Peter, Wendy, Michael, and John eavesdropping on the mermaids, pirates, and Indian
The children in the nursery

Peter and Wendy
The cast doing "the chicken dance" at curtain call :)