Monday, September 14, 2009
Time For a Big Ole Update!!
Let's get right to it...
Grady (age 5 1/2) - Grady is basically reading now. It's so fun. We are only on Lesson 75 of his "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons" book, but he's reading. He is so very sensitive to our leading...always wanting to do the right thing. LOVE that boy. I'm going to LOVE seeing the big things God does with him. About a month ago, we moved Grady to his own room. He LOVES having his own space...loves it. He helps me so much these days and is just generally so grown up. He does everything on his own now...showering, brushing his teeth, dressing, putting his clothes away. He takes care of his sisters so well and is always on the lookout for them...their 'moral compass' sometimes, if you will. ;) He's so sweet and gentle and thoughtful. He reminds me a lot of his Daddy...SUCH a great thing!
Hadley (age 4 1/2) - Hadley is my girl. She's not obnoxiously girly, but she's girly. She loves to get dressed (skirts only please) and do her hair (although she rarely wants anything but a hairband these days...likes to keep her hair down; Eissa only ever lets me do pigtails). She still has more self-confidence in her pinky toe than some people have in their whole bodies. Been that way since birth. But, she is also very sweet and loving and gracious too. She loves to take care of her little sisters...they play sometimes like she's the mama and she does everything for them. The little sisters love that game...they just lay there while "Mama" does all the work. :) She started ballet class back at the end of May. A couple of classes ago (she goes twice a week), her teachers asked if she could move to a more advanced class, so we will start that. She really is very good at that...so graceful and picks things up very quickly. She always seems to be doing a ballet pose wherever she is...sitting at home on the couch (toes pointed), at the table eating, wherever...and she was like that even before ballet class. Ha ha ha. She is such a performer anyway...does not at all mind having the spotlight on her (prefers it actually...ha). :) So, ballet is good. As feisty as this little shrimp of a girl can be, she is also very loving and sweet...although it's been much more of a learned behavior than with her brother. ;) Funny. Love her spunk!
Eissa (age almost 3...next month) - We are still in the thick of the 'breaking-that-strong-will' stage that most 18 month-3 year olds pass through (well, some don't pass through it, but passing happens in this house). It's getting better though. Quick obedience is shining through...quick obedience with a happy heart. Eissa has the best facial expressions in the world...it is so fun to watch her talking to us. I love having conversations with her. She also goes to dance class and will be transferring to the more advanced class with her big sister. She is so very snuggly and loves to cuddle. She is our 3rd, but our 1st with such great baby fat. Grady was always stocky, Hadley was just a skinny little thing, but Eissa is so super squishy...love it! She has done GREAT using the big girl potty. She only had a few accidents that first week (about 3 weeks ago)...averaging about 1 a day. After that first week, she's only had a couple of accidents...and those two were when she was outside and just couldn't tear herself away from play long enough to potty (so predictable). She's even had a few dry naps and nights. Nice. Grady and Hadley are still super tight, but Eissa is now officially a part of the group. No more 'tag-along' status. She loves to help out with Cass and try to 'show her the ropes.' She's so very sweet and so much fun. She is more like Grady and those sensitive ways. Oh how we love our little squishy Eissa Rose!
Cass (age 18 months on the 25th) - She's always been the perfect baby. Now she's the perfect toddler. She is definitely opinionated, which is so very funny. But, she still just goes with the flow and so far is very obedient too. She is saying so many things these days...'shoes on,' 'door,' all of our names, 'eat,' 'more,' and so much more. She even, when looking for something (usually either her shoes or her blanket), she will say 'where are you?' (sounds like 'whe ah ooh'), just like we do when we are trying to find something. ;) She loves her older brother and sisters, but when Eissa gets a little too helpful sometimes, she will not stand for it. She's even been known to bite a time or two (yep, she has definite opinions now). She has almost all her teeth. She has definitely filled out more (I will get a weight for you soon), but she's still a tiny little thing. Her big deep blue eyes (my Granny calls them big blue marbles) just seem to look right through you sometimes. And she thinks she is just as big as everyone else in this household. She insists on sitting with the big kids when eating sometimes and just throws her head back in laughter when everyone else is (even when she has no idea what is so funny). She is a blanket girl. All of our kids have a special blanket, but they aren't attached to them (for instance, if they are in the wash for a few days, no huge deal). Cass, though, just has a special type of blanket that she prefers so far...and thankfully we have many of that type. She drags one around with her at all times (think Linus) and still sucks her left thumb too (left only please). She is a very, very cuddly girl. She still seems to be more like Hadley in temperament, but only time will tell. She is quite the little mover and shaker...if there is music on, she's shakin' what God gave her, that's for sure. And she loves to be 'tickled'...she'll come over to us, rub on her belly saying 'ticka ticka ticka,' and then grab our hand for us to do it. Fun. P.S. She also really loves it when there is a chocolate square in her afternoon snack bowl. ;)
As for their parents, we are doing well. Joel continues to thoroughly enjoy his role as maintenance coordinator there at the Asas de Socorro flight school. He makes sure that the students are getting all the practical training that they need in the area of maintenance and feels like he's really found his niche...for now anyway. He also takes up the slack here at our house...he helps me so much here at 'my job' (so nice in a husband)! I continue to do the wifely things such as keeping house, doing laundry, cooking, and watching after the kiddos. Grady and Hadley are wrapping up their first year of homeschool in the next few weeks (we use the Brazilian school schedule...starting in February and ending in November, with the months of July, December, and January off). We have thoroughly enjoyed it...I love, love, love teaching my kids. I love the time I get to spend with them every single day. So very content in that. I'm still going to Portuguese classes once a week. My teacher no longer does anything super structured with me...mainly we just talk and I ask her any questions that I might have. Sometimes I read to her aloud and we talk about my comprehension. She is also really interested in learning English, so sometimes she even asks me questions now too. ;) Fun. We are very good friends and I love spending time with her every week. It's a real God set-up I think, so that's exciting.
We just recently bought tickets to return to the states in November for our furlough (a missionary word for the time that we go home and visit friends, family, and supporters and also try to squeeze in a little vacation time and usually also some extra training of some sort), so it's official. We will be in the United States Nov. 24th - July 20th. We have so much traveling to do, but we hope to also get in some down time with family and friends as well. Saline, Louisiana (my hometown) will be our home base, but we will also be passing through Arizona, Texas, Pennsylvania, and the Boston area. Joel will also have a training in March in North Carolina. It looks like we might have to drive to all of those places (airline tickets can add up), so if you are 'on the way,' maybe we'll be able to stop off and see you too. We don't have any dates set in stone concerning our traveling while within the states, but we'll keep you posted. We are super excited to be returning and seeing some of you!! Can't wait.
I think that about does it for your big ole update on the Ebersole crew. Keep in touch...we love to hear from you!! Don't forget about us way down here! ;)
Love you guys!
And, lots of pictures for you...finally. All of these were taken this month...lots of them taken only today. Enjoy!!
All ready for dance class one day.
Hadley had applied some subtle eye make-up that day. ;)
A couple of the kids' friends (also neighbors of ours) came over to play one day. The little girl (a few years older than our girls) basically played like the girls were her dolls...they changed clothes about 50 times. ;) It was cute.
The girls (+friend) in the treehouse. Cass was performing a little one-man show. ;)
Cass had them cracking up.
Grady playing with his friend, Samuel (Rebecca's brother).
I love the look over that Eissa throws the kids...checking to see what they are doing. ;) Sweet.
They were taking their babies on a walk outside. Don't worry about Grady...they had just finished playing dinosaurs...he's well balanced. But he'll be an excellent Daddy, that's for sure...lots of practice already. ;)
Snack time. And Cass saying "cheese!" Happens every time.
A little fun with some water balloons.
And again with the glance over.
Cass, convinced she's half-grown.
In the mornings sometimes, the kids watch a little Portuguese TV (morning cartoons). I looked over and saw this...Grady's arm.
Grady helped Cass out of the treehouse. When I said something about how I didn't know he was going to bring her all the way in the house, he said, "Well, she was just holding me so tight, hugging me...she didn't want me to put her down."
Cass is very well taken care of.
Oh dear...she's taken over the comedy relief role of the family. Don't worry though...after (and only after) we got a picture, we taught her not to do this. ;)
I heard Hadley say to Eissa, "Wanna touch your eyeball?" And she then commenced to showing her how. I wasn't able to grab the camera fast enough, but Eissa was giving it a valiant effort...not sure if she succeeded or not. Never a dull moment.
Afternoon snack on the driveway.
I love this shot. She was pointing, showing Eissa something and 'talking' about it. Funny.
And then again, pointing to something and 'talking' (jabbering) in a full sentence to her sister. Too cute.