Eva turned 15 in September, got her permit, and started driving!! Eva's a great driver! I have been enjoying the "fun" parts of teaching a teenage driver. Most of those things involve learning to drive the stick shift. Like when I took that car to the DMV so she had to drive it home if she wanted to drive her very first time. And when I brought that car to pick her up at the school after the cross country bus came. Poor girl--the whole team watched (and giggled) as she killed the engine about five times and her mother just laughed out loud. We all cheered when she got it out of first gear!! I thought I would be a basket case with a new driver but it turns out that I'm not and actually I have really enjoyed every minute. The great fun stuff is over now because she's already fairly proficient so I'll have to wait a couple of more years before I get another new driver to entertain me.
Eva had a great cross country season! She had some wonderful times, ran varsity at region, and became one of the fastest girls at her high school. Sadly, she wasn't able to finish the season as well as she wanted because of some severe shin splints. Vince and I have some ideas about that and we've been planning her off season training schedule. He and I are excited. Eva not so much. She's reluctant but willing because she hates her shin splints. We're going to have to give her time to heal well before she runs much but she can do some things with me in the evenings and I'm excited because I need a lifting partner!
Ethan turned 13 last week! He pretty much loves junior high. He ran for student council which involved performing a skit in front of the student body. My kids are amazing! I was so quiet/shy there was nothing that would have convinced me to get up in front of a single class in junior high and say or do much of anything. Eva and Ethan have not been afraid of anything in middle school. As an adult I still hate going to that building (any jr. high and I totally know how irrational that is)--I do not have any fond memories of middle school! He didn't get on the student council (47 kids ran for 4 positions--crazy!) but he is loving sports, art, clubs, math, and keyboarding. He even enjoyed the sewing class. He's pretty easy to please!
We have a four-day weekend this weekend and Eva and Ethan asked if I would take them and a few friends to the temple so they could do baptisms. It means 3 trips to Salt Lake in 2 days for me but who am I to argue with my kids wanting to spend their free time in the temple! They're already setting aside time to prepare names.
Ivy loves that there is 1-2 hours each Wednesday afternoon when only she and I are home. We read together or cook dinner and once we made a huge batch of cookie dough to bake and freeze. Ivy loves doing just about anything in the kitchen. Yes, I kind of think that's weird but I like to encourage it because she's very often very willing (excited even) to prepare meals, etc. She got a haircut the other week so now it's shoulder length instead of nearly to her waist. It looks adorable on her and she loves it!
Nathan loves scouts. He's a wolf now but if you ask him he will insist he's a "werewolf". I've not been able to convince him otherwise; he just tells me that I'm not a scout so I wouldn't know. I decided that was OK and I'll just tell everyone he's a werewolf--it works for both of us! :) Tonight while I was cleaning up the dinner dishes I cut myself and couldn't find a band-aid. Vince offered to get one out of the car first aid kit but before he could step out of the kitchen Nathan came in with his little first aid kit opened and was already getting an antiseptic wipe out to clean my small cut. Then he opened a band-aid, put it on my finger, and gave me a hug. It was so cute and he was so thoughtful and proud that he could take care of something and that he had a band-aid when no one else did. Very sweet!
Vince is fairly busy as our Bishop but as a family we seem to have adapted really well. Eva and Vince are often gone but the other three kids and I work together well. The hardest thing for all of us is the 3rd grade homework. It takes Nathan 1-2 hours a day to get all of his homework done. I don't have that much time to sit with him but we've found that we can work on it in the morning if Ivy helps get Nathan's lunch packed and that if Ethan, Ivy, and I work together in the afternoon/evenings we can all manage to help him and get our own things done. Last week there was one morning when Nathan didn't have as much homework to do and Ivy was running behind--he was so proud that he could make her lunch for her. He spends so much time getting help from others that he feels so happy to do something for someone else!! I think sometimes it's easy to forget the fact that we're ALL happier when we help others!