Yearly Update. Ages 3,6,8,10,12

It's nearly September of 2014 and time for my yearly update and photos.  This year I called all the children into my room on a Sunday morning.  I made them all stand still and look at me.  I asked them if they could pleeeeease, for their uncomfortable pregnant mother, agree to a no drama, no complaining, no crazy behavior photo shoot on our way to church.  They are not allowed to complain about what I ask them to wear, and must follow directions very carefully.  They all agreed.  And they all behaved.  Sometimes you get a win.

Juliet.  Age 3 1/2.  If you say Juliet is three, she quickly corrects you and tells you that she is three and a half.  She holds up her first, middle, and pinky finger, holding down her ring finger with her thumb and will tell you,  "This is my gang sign."  Jackson taught her that.  (It looks like three and a half fingers.)  Juliet is independent, introverted, and wonderful.  She plays a lot by herself.  I have learned that just because you are born into a large family, it doesn't mean you will draw your energy from all their crazy.  Juliet draws hers from quietly pretending, playing, and coloring.  She is very bright and says amazingly cute things like last night she crawled into bed and I began to get her stuffed toys and blankets and pillows in order so I could properly tuck her in.  She laid flat on her back, looked up at me with a smile and said, "Decorate me, Mom."  She needs no decoration.  She is Juliet.

Penelope.  Age 6.  Penelope continues to be what I've called her since she was a toddler---my wild card.  You never know what she is going to do or say.  She runs around in her underwear a lot.  She jumps up on tables and strikes a pose just for the thrill of it.  She has a belly laugh that is hilarious.  One thing I love about Penelope is that she calls me "momma".  None of the other kids call me that, and she is committed to it.  She uses it a lot when she is hungry, which is often.  She swims like a mermaid, goes way down deep underwater without goggles, hair flowing behind her.  She is Penelope.

Cash.  Age 8.  Living up to his name sake, Cash reminds me a lot of Jimmy.  He likes to push peoples buttons.  He is lots of fun.  He is in the middle and just can't help it.  He doesn't miss a thing.  He listens to everything and absorbs it all.  He is willing to try anything-- a new food, a flip off the diving board-- he's all in.  Cash comes to hug me every night when he is finished reading and ready to turn out his light.  He must hug my belly, and enjoys poking at it and trying to figure out what body part of the baby he might be feeling.  Cash is very musical.  Has picked up the piano very quickly.  Today he spent some of his piano time picking out the "Rocky" theme.  He is Cash.

Libby.  Age 10.  When I edited these photos and Jimmy saw them he just kept saying, "Look how big she is!"  Our little baby girl is growing up.  This year I told someone, "She's a better mom than me."  Meaning, she reads with better voices, plays with more energy, and has a deeper well of creative juice.  But as Cash is Jimmy's name sake, Libby is mine.  Last night we enjoyed planning preschool activities for Juliet.  We both hate American cheese.  And of course there is the art.  Libby has better access to her right brain than anyone I know.  She asks me a lot of questions about her soon coming baby sister.  She will share a room with her and Libby is so excited to have a baby for a roommate.  Not many kids would be.  But she is.  She is Libby.

Jackson.  Age 12.  Tonight Jackson pulled Juliet into his top bunk and used his reading light to make shadow puppets with her on the ceiling.  He doesn't exactly have it easy, as the big brother of five kids.  But he is very good at it.  He has become quite the leader, especially when it comes to cleaning up the house.  He assigns each kid and area/room, and though he does end up raising his voice in frustration at them when they slack off, I can't judge him...he learned from his mother.  He continues to yo-yo, read, and is now enjoying being old enough for youth activities at church this fall.  He is Jimmy's sidekick on cleaning jobs and lawn care of various properties.  He just told me "I can't wait for those tiny diapers."  He's been around for a few babies.  He knows what's cute.  He's pretty cute too.  He is Jackson.

I love you guys!!!

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