Thursday, May 5, 2016

Jolly Roger and the Pirate Queen

Sons G and L have been in drama class this year at our co-op, and last weekend was play weekend! They performed a pirate comedy that was truly funny, and they did it well.  I know I'm biased, but I really do think it is one of the better high school productions I have seen.  Very proud of the entire cast, and particularly our boys!

Our son G has super tight curly hair that he had been growing out since Christmas just so that it would be long enough to be straightened and put in a pony tail for his character in the play.  Now that is dedication, folks!

The story revolved around a proper young woman who is loved by a respectable gentleman, but before he can propose to her he learns that she longs for adventure and has been fantasizing about a pirate in a wanted poster.  So he becomes a pirate in order to woo her.  Son G played the gentleman's butler, so at first he had to look like a proper 17th century butler, and later he had to look like a pirate.

Son L played one of the "pirates" on this gentleman's hired crew.  He added such a quirky sense of humor to his character - it was so funny!  Here are the boys with grandma after opening night.

Daughter G got to come home and see her brothers in the play, as well as a bunch of old co-op friends!  Yay! (She is in the middle, with the hat on.)

After a couple female cast members spent nearly 3 hours straightening G's hair for the first performance, he didn't want it to get curly and make them have to repeat their work, so daughter G put his hair in a couple of pony tails Saturday morning and he wore his hair like this until the performance later that evening.  Soooo funny!

Okay, on to the actual play......  son G as the butler!

He had to hire a pirate crew for his master, and they were all so quirky and/or stupid.  Loved their characters!

Son L was, of course, the best of the bunch. :)

 Here they are after becoming pirates, to the left and right of the lead character in the middle.

The pirate butler (son G) also hired a real pirate to "train" the upstanding gentleman in how to act and talk like a pirate.  Unbeknownst to them, the "real" pirate (Captain Long John Silver) was actually a girl posing as a man in order to live a life of excitement and adventure.  She nailed her part!

This was one of the funniest moments.  At several different points in the story, the gentleman's pirate crew had to hide.  Son L's character always posed like a tree, hiding behind a tree.  When he did this the entire audience laughed!!

In the end, the woman and the gentleman, after being married by another pirate captain (Blackbeard) realize that the pirating life was not all they thought it would be, and they return to their more sedate but happy life on land.  (the below picture was the woman with her pirate crew).

 Taking their bows at the end.  Son L stayed in character even during the bowing!

 The girl in the below picture was the female lead.  She did an amazing job!  (she is also one of my students in the English class I teach at co-op - I am blessed to have had her as a student for three years!)

With some friends who came to see the play.

It was a fun, fun weekend!  I am grateful for all the opportunities my children have at our co-op!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

End of an era.....and the beginning of another!

 After 9 glorious years, we outgrew our playset.

So the boys took it down.  It was a little bittersweet, but I am having lots of practice lately experiencing bittersweet moments, and I am striving to look at them through the lens of thankfulness.

Then we made room for......our new trampoline!

We finished putting it all together at dusk, and all four boys immediately began bouncing.  We finally brought them in about 9:30, out of respect for our neighbors. ;)

But first thing this morning, two of the boys were back out on it!

I predict it will get much use.  So thankful for every age and stage.

Happy Birthday to my 19 and 17 year olds!

Daughter G had a birthday last week.  First birthday to be away from home.  It felt really weird.  But, she had a good day, celebrated by so many college friends, who were able to surprise her not once, but TWICE with little bits of celebration.  The second surprise I got to help with...I had sent her room-mate a cake, plates, hats, balloons, etc, and the girls on her floor walked in with the cake lit, singing happy birthday to her, while our family was skyping with her!  Very fun.

Yesterday it was son G's turn.  Cannot BELIEVE that he is 17!  What an amazing 17 (19!) years these have been.

We spent the day at our homeschool co-op, where he got to see lots of his friends on his birthday. That doesn't always happen for our kids, so it was nice!

Double kick pedal for our drum set - hey, it's what he wanted!

We love you so much, G!  You have been a joy since the day you were born, and we are delighted that God chose you for our family.  May you have a fabulous senior year of high school, growing in wisdom and stature, and favor with God and man.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Parenting is not for Wimps

Tough couple of weeks.

Y'all, I am a 50 something year old female.  And I am educating four young men all day long.  MEN. Three of them are teenagers.  The older two are on the cusp of being fully grown men.  They are going through the normal rhythms of growing up, wanting independence, and needing to show some adult sized responsibility.  But they are going through that as men.   When our oldest daughter went through that phase she went through it as a young woman.  I was once a young woman.  Women I get, because I am one.  Going through it with young men is entirely different.

I have really felt the tension these past couple of weeks between what is required of them as my children, and what they want from me (which is basically hands off).  It's tricky knowing how to balance the respect they need as young men who want to figure things out on their own, with still requiring that they get their math done.

And the scope of helping to problem solve with children at very different stages is just really big.  In the last couple of weeks I helped our college daughter weigh the pros and cons of a summer job that would take her away from home much of the time, cried over a teen boy's harsher than anticipated words to me, and comforted our youngest son when he was distraught over the fact that he did not have his own wallet and still kept his allowance in a plastic cup from Caesarland (we went to Target to remedy that situation - problem solved.  Boom!  I wish all problems were so easy to solve!)

I have been pondering a lot, crying some, and praying much about how to parent these young men God has given us.  There are so many things I want them to "own" before they leave our home, but even more than that, I want to keep communication with them open and make sure that as much as it lies with me, our relationships remains strong.  I think the tears have come from a place of hurt, but also a place of fear.  What do I fear?  Poor judgment on their part.  Choices that have bad consequences.  Laziness.  But most of all, the possibility of a broken relationship.

I have very little reason to think any of these things are going to happen.  They simply loom as I feel my older boys beginning to pull away from me.  I recognize that "pulling away" is normal, expected, and even wanted.  Raising strong, independent, thinking adults is what I signed up for when I became a parent.  But going through it with my young men just feels so different.  It's uncomfortable and bittersweet and unknown.  Hence the fear.

However, fear is not of God.  God has been reminding me of what is true.  His Word is true.  And His Word tells me that:

He has not given me a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment. (2 Tim. 1:7)

The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid.  What can man do to me? (Hebrews 13:6)

Do not grow weary in doing good. (2 Thess. 3:13)


Trust in the Lord and do good.  (Psalm 37:3)

So, by God's grace, I am trusting Him and doing good.  Doing the next thing.  Caring for my family in a myriad of little daily ways.  He loves my children even more than I do!  What a comfort.  My mother gave me a great word of wisdom last week, and that was to relax and let it be organic.  To depend on God each day to provide opportunities for investment into relationship with my boys, and to just take every opportunity as it comes.  God will provide those because He also wants us to maintain strong, healthy relationships.  What I want and what He wants are the same thing.

Thank you, God, for reminding me of your great love.  Thank you for loving my children even more than I do.  Thank you that they have each professed faith in you and that your spirit lives in them.  Help them to know and depend on you more, and help me to show them what that looks like.  Keep our relationships strong, Lord.  Help each of my children know how much they are loved.  Amen.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Easter 2016

Little Man's 30 second head start on the egg hunt!