Yes, #4 is inspired by several YouTubers, but especially Miranda Sings. If you haven't seen a Miranda video before, I can predict that your reaction will be along the lines of wondering why you just wasted 2 minutes and 24 seconds of your life, and then you'll watch another, and another, picking up more chuckles as you go. #4 has seen this magic work in her own life, and now spreads the love by doing Miranda imitations quite frequently. Like her older sister and younger brother (and Miranda), #4 has also started a YouTube channel.
|Working on a video. I guess this is her thinking cap?|
#4 sometimes uses her hour of education to practice violin. She started learning this instrument in an after-school strings group two years ago. She is the only child I know who will go practice because she simply enjoys it. I never have to ask her to practice, but I often hear the music coming from her bedroom, or even the front porch. I, of course, think she has a natural gift for the violin, and I'm trying to convince her to take private lessons so she can advance as quickly as she likes.
Each school year and summer, the kids also get to choose an extracurricular activity to try out. Throughout fifth grade, while she was in her strings group, #4 was adamant that her summertime activity would be gymnastics instead of violin. When it came down to picking a class at the dance studio, she went with contemporary dance instead. As part of her tween contrary phase, she finds something to complain about her dance class each week, but I think she actually enjoys going. She drops comments about her friends at dance (they don't want her to cut her hair), and she sometimes will show a few steps from a combination they've learned (provided I haven't already asked to see it). I still hope she'll accept private violin lessons, but I am proud of her for expanding her interests and making some friends in the process.
#4 is also my crafter. When I enter our home office/craft room and find a mess of used paintbrushes, or cut-up scrapbook paper, or a cooling glue gun left beside a bedazzled Popsicle-stick structure, I know #4 has been at work. She spends her own money buying nail art applicators and patterned duct tape. It's fun to see her creations decorating her bedroom and school locker.
|#4 chose paint-your-own ceramics for her birthday date this year.|
|Omelets at the hospital. Provo people, you should look into this.|
#3 also likes to dance, but this past year she focused on flexibility, with the goal of being able to do the splits. Her weekly class paid off. This summer she is also taking a hip hop class on the Thursdays that she's not traveling--I think she's been to class thrice, maybe. In her eleven weeks away from school, she will spend seven of them away from home. From riding horses and four-wheelers in Canada to camping with the Young Women to working on a farm in Idaho to painting orphanages in Mexico, she will have a lot to tell her friends about her summer vacation.
|She acts like that doesn't hurt!|
|Kayaking at camp|
|Age 4. (All my kiddos wore homemade firecracker hats that year.)|
|Age 10 as the elementary winner of the essay contest. (She's the arm sticking up.)|
|Age 13, back of the truck, as the jr. winner of the video contest. (Arm and body this time!)|
|Testing robots they designed, built, and programmed.|
|A self-portrait of sorts|
|A cell phone cover design|
#3 took a required art class at school this year, and did some really good work. She hasn't shaken her procrastination or slow pacing, but her art teacher was happy to stay after school while Andrya finished up assignments. At the end of the year, her teacher invited #3 to join a somewhat exclusive, after-school art club for 2015-16, which #3 is eagerly anticipating. Seventh grade also let #3 branch into auditioning with the school choir, paying her own fees to join an after-school dance club, and twice-per-week guitar lessons from a classmate. Another teacher has asked her to help start a ballroom dance group at the school next year. #3 also found literary success in the class where she struggled for A's last year. Her procrastination finally caught up to her, but it didn't bother her because she knew she was a good writer. She would often get this type of comment from her English teacher: "B- for turning in late. This is excellent writing. You are one of my top three student writers ever." That comment came in response to an assignment to write three versions of the same story. #3 went beyond the requisite one page and basically wrote the beginning of a good novel. The reason that #3 procrastinates is that she is very detail oriented, tending toward perfectionism. It may lead to missed deadlines and poor grades, but she eventually turns out excellent work in whatever she puts her mind to. Now I have to admit that procrastination and talent are serving her well.
#3 is our only child who has tried out less-conservative fashion trends, such as wearing an ear cuff connected by a chain to an earring stud, or dying her hair unnatural colors. She plans her summer hair color for months as the school year winds down. Last summer it was pink. This summer she got a bleached blonde melt with a blue dye melt added at the ends of her long hair. It reminds me of a mermaid, but it does look pretty cool. #3 is a sweet, creative, smart, easy-going and hard-working girl--and she might be the funniest in the family.
It is fun to see both these girls develop so many interests and grow into their personalities. They bring much joy and laughter to our home. Writing this has made me realize how quickly they are growing up. I am glad to have chosen motherhood so I can watch their transformation as the amazing young women that they are.
|Sister workout: abs and flabs|