I had this great idea. Instead of waiting until we were launched into the wonderful madness of December, I would write you all a letter… in November, full of all the things we’re thankful for. Yah! Great idea! Woo-hoo!
Except, um, apparently my great ideas don’t magically translate into reality without an input of effort. I guess that’s the corollary to this year’s motto:
When you do stuff, stuff gets done.
But I digress.) So here we are, in mid-December, and the Christmas whirlwind has swept us up. After a grueling three hours of shopping this morning (some Christmas, some ordinary) Gunnar announced that he was going to DIE if we had to go to one more store. Which we did. Then he announced that he would not speak to me until we got there. That lasted less than ten seconds (when he started moaning dramatically and giggling.) I’m happy to report that he did, indeed, survive the grocery store, by the grace of God and the free doughnut samples. And since the shopping maul doesn’t exactly fill me with zesty jolliness either, I’ll be trolling Amazon for the rest of our gifts.
We DO have a lot to be thankful for. Good family, good health, good grades, a good church, and good friends, to name a few. Mid-morning cocoa breaks also rank pretty high (oh, the benefits of homeschooling!) The boys are extra thankful to Grandpa and Grandma for the trip to Disneyland in May, and the annual Aunt Tami Camp (this year with cousins) including the fair, and the Capilano Suspension Bridge. But wait, let me break it down a little,
boy by boy.
Gunnar (12) is thankful that he is finally old enough to join CAP (Civil Air Patrol) with his brothers, for every moment he gets to spend with his cousin Naomi, for his friends at church and in the neighborhood, for his once-a-week babysitting job, and for almost anything chocolate.
Tate (15) is thankful for hunting with Grandpa, better hearing with his cochlear implant, game nights at the chapel, three baby bunnies this summer (born the same day as the royal prince), and his favorite holiday of the year – July 4th. (Hello… EXPLOSIVES!)
Wyatt (17) is thankful for super glue (no, he’s not sniffing it), his first “real” job working Thursday Night Motocross at the Hannegan Speedway, learning a Wonderful! New! Technique! for shining his boots, the rare days he can “sleep in” (until eight o’clock!), and for not breaking his neck attempting a back flip from the diving board the day before his solo. (Solo? More about that…)
The boys all continue to do well with homeschooling. Can’t believe we’re into our seventh year. If there was any question about their academic proficiency we can lay it to rest seeing how successfully Wyatt has transitioned to attending the high school as a part-time student (just inducted into the National Honor Society). He’s a math whiz. Tate loves and excels at history. And Gunnar is still learning like a sponge absorbs water. We try to do a lot of hands-on learning as well as book-work.
They’re also getting wonderful opportunities through their involvement with CAP. Gunnar only joined this summer, so he’s just getting started, but he’s already earned his first promotion (Airman) and was thrilled to bring home his dress blues uniform last week. Tate (Senior Master Sergeant) out-ranks Wyatt (Master Sergeant) at the moment, although Wyatt was chosen as First Sergeant, and has more authority.
And if that confused you, welcome to my world.
I cheer them on, help them study, drive them to and from their activities, and stand in awe of the young men they’re becoming. Tate served for most of a week at the Arlington Fly-In this summer, and Wyatt won a scholarship to Desert Eagle Flight Encampment, where he was able to solo in a Cessna. Yes, he really flew. By himself.
They get to do a lot of fun things, like volunteer as “victims” for local CERT classes, complete with moulage make-up (head injuries, compound fractures, bruises, impalings, etc.) And then, to make it more fun (because what could be more fun than looking like you’re about to die?!) they went straight to youth-group, without changing. (Don’t you wish you were hosting the group?) With CAP, they also got to go to a Marksmanship Encampment. Yes, 25+ young people camped out at a gun club, shooting real rifles with live ammunition, and real bows with pointy arrows. Also, Wyatt and Tate have been trained and called out by Whatcom County Search and Rescue.
Kerry turned fifty this summer – half a century! He continues to manage his own firm (KGArchitect), but with the continuing economic woes is exploring some new employment options. And I’m holding down the fort at home, and hoping to continue doing so for a few more years, until all the boys are launched. Which seems to be approaching all too rapidly!