This dang blog is haunting me. There are plenty of good reasons for neglecting it. A move across the country and a husband in grad school. Two busy girls to keep up with. There are some maybe not-so-good reasons too. Like, I wish I was a better writer, and I hate doing things I’m not good at. I have three drafts that I’ve never finished because I couldn’t communicate my thoughts and ideas to my liking.

A little bit of catch-up: We’ve been here in Seattle for 4 months now. We’ve just returned from holiday travel in Texas, and it was weird to fly North to come home. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this truly feels like home, even after visiting my previous homes.

B did great in his first quarter (that’s right… 8 more to go!) of school. He’s already been recognized as a “natural” by his professors and peers. I think he’s enjoying it, too.

Monkey grew up all of a sudden. She’s taking gymnastics classes, which she loves. She’s so strong and graceful. I finally stopped resisting her desire to learn to read, and we’ve begun a phonics program. She’s catching on quickly. We’re also doing some informal handwriting and other preschool-ey skills. It’s been fun. I recently researched some pre-k science type books, since she’s my child-of-a-million-questions. I think we’ll start with a pile of library books about the human body. She loves to sing, and we’re always amazed by her memory.

Chicken is one goofy little person. When she starts talking, it’s going to be hilarious what comes out. Her facial expressions already say so much. She loves animals, books, and snuggles. A couple of stories to illustrate:

A couple of months ago, she woke up early from her nap. I wasn’t ready to entertain her, so I left her with a pile of board books, hoping they would keep her happy for a few more minutes. At least 30 minutes later, I heard her fussing. Expecting her to be standing up, books thrown all over the floor, waiting for me to get her, I opened her door. Thanks to the early sunset here, it was dark in the room. She was lying on her back, holding a book above her, fussing that she couldn’t see it anymore. When I turned on the light, she pointed to the page and said, “badabadabada”. If I had left her lamp on, she probably would have been happy to stay in there longer!

While we were in Dallas for Christmas, we went to visit my grandmother’s new apartment. She has a cat named Princess. When Chicken saw Princess, she pointed, squealed, and ran in place, for probably a full minute, she was so excited to see her. When she got to pet Princess, it was heaven on earth. The funny thing is, she’s not just interested in cute, snuggly animals. She’s equally excited by fish, snakes, manatees, whatever.

Here are a couple of Christmas morning pics:

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As for me, I am enjoying this season of life. I love the natural beauty up here: the mountains, the trees, the birds, the water, the seasons. I never realized that I had missed out on Fall, growing up in Texas. Moving away has also been a unifying force for our family. Maybe part of it has to do with the girls getting older, but I’ve never enjoyed being together as family like I have the past few months. My sense is that these three years while B is in school are an important preparation for what’s next. Although we would like to find a church and make a few friends up here, I don’t want to get super busy. I want to form some habits and set a good rhythm for my personal life and for our family life. I want to take the time for some self-education. The reading and research I’ve done for my children’s education has made me long for a better education for myself. I’m starting with history and Latin (!). I’m also going to re-teach myself cursive (I have terrible handwriting, and can’t really even write in cursive). My plan is to get to logic/rhetoric and a study of some of the most important books of Western Civilization. I also want to explore and form better habits in various spiritual disciplines. I want to make a habit of nature journaling (which I began in Austin, but haven’t even touched since we moved up here… what a shame!) and maybe add in some art and music history. I may not get to all of it in the next 2.5 years, but I hope to get a good start. Maybe I’ll become a better writer and take better care of this poor neglected blog….

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