Mitchell is 13

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It’s hard to believe that I have two teenagers now. It seems like yesterday I was chasing my adorable, chubby little toddler around the house. When he was two years old, Lauren began Kindergarten. We sang a little vowel song each day, sometimes more than once. It wasn’t long before my little guy was trying to make the sounds and sing the song, too. Long gone are his baby days. He is now about as tall as his dad! He just completed his second summer as a library volunteer and recently got his first pair of glasses. I praise the Lord for allowing me to be Mitchell’s mom. He is a joy.

Here are a few things I love about my older son:

M usical – Mitchell is musical! He is always singing, whistling or playing the piano. He has been blessed with the ability to play many things by “ear”, so he’s had to work harder at following written music. At age 12, he became our “standby” pianist at church, playing congregational hymns when our main pianist is out of town. I cannot tell you what a blessing this is! I often take him for granted (as I do most church musicians, I’m sorry to say), but whenever we have no pianist, boy! Do I notice! I’m thankful that God has blessed Mitch with this talent, and I’m even more grateful that he wants to use it for the Lord.

I ntelligent – Mitch has been  blessed with a good mind. He loves reading and has even started two different books of his own.

T ough – Mitchell was sick a lot as a child, which meant many visits to the ER and the doctor’s office. He has been injured several times, which meant stitches and band-aids. He is a tough guy though, never crying or whining. He’s also tough in other ways. He’s been hurt by people, but gets up and keeps going.

C heerful – This boy of mine is always smiling! I can recall how even as a baby, he would awake each morning with a glorious smile for me. This was a special comfort to me in the days following my dad’s sudden death. I didn’t feel like smiling at all…until I saw Mitch. To this day, it is very rare to see Mitchell unhappy.

H elpful – If you have a job that needs doing, Mitch is your guy. He may not know exactly how to do it, but he’ll give it his best shot! He is willing to mow, rake, mop, vacuum, move furniture, paint and just about anything else you need.

E ngaging – He can talk, and will talk, to anyone! He has never met a stranger. Mitch is thrilled to share the Lord with others. He invites people to church often and, I’ve discovered, they have a hard time telling him no.

L ion-hearted – Mitch has a big, giving heart. He cares about the needs of others and isn’t afraid to do something to help them. The only area he needs to work at is seeing the needs of his siblings! 😉

L ikable – It’s hard not to like someone who smiles a lot, is always willing to help, and who is excited about his life. That’s Mitch. And I sure do like him.

Happy birthday, Mitchell! I love you.

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A Dozen Photos for a Dozen Years

It seems like yesterday I was holding my beautiful baby boy  for the first time. He was stout – weighing over eight pounds despite being three weeks early!  At age eleven, random strangers assumed he was a teenager. Today, he is twelve! He is now as tall as I am and weighs as much. He is, and always has been, very active. He loves playing the piano. In fact, he plays all. the. time. He joyfully plays for church when our regular pianist is away, which is a blessing.

He also loves being around people. He would talk the hind leg off a mule if I let him try. I love that about him, though. He is friendly, helpful and enthusiastic about everything. Since he was a baby, he has started each day with a smile. He is always happy to face a new day. The only thing that sometimes brings him down is math, but I can understand that. 🙂

I remember when I found out that I was having a boy, I was a little scared. Lauren was almost three, and I wasn’t sure if a boy and girl could play together well. When I told my parents that I was having a boy, my dad said, “Good. Terry needs to have a son.” Dad was right. That son has made us so happy. He and Lauren have been close friends since the day he came home from the hospital.  As is often the case, my worry was for nothing.

I am thankful to see the Lord working in Mitchell’s life. He is far from perfect, but he has a tender heart for the things of the Lord. There have been times that he has confessed sin to me and his dad – sin that we wouldn’t have known about otherwise – and he has come to us with a broken heart. I pray he will forever stay close to the Lord and do His will. That is my whole reason for living, to help my children learn to walk in truth.

I hope you don’t mind if I share a dozen photos of my guy? Thanks for indulging me.

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Happy 12th birthday to my strong, smart and sweet Mitchell! I love you.

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Mitchell’s Spring Recital

Last Sunday evening was Mitchell’s spring recital at Cameron University, a four-year university in our town. He is enjoying taking lessons at the Academy of Music where they have many students taking lessons in piano, voice, trumpet, clarinet, flute, oboe and guitar. The recital lasted two hours and included forty-seven different songs! Mitch didn’t play till the end, so the little ones had to be very still and patient while we listened to the other performers. The highlight for the little girls was when a boy, about age five or six, sang the theme song to “Winnie the Pooh”! They loved that one. 🙂

Mitchell played two songs, “Moonlight Sonata” and “Let It Go” from the movie, Frozen. My phone was acting up, so I didn’t get a video of him playing “Moonlight Sonata”. I did, however, record him playing it  at home. The first video is of “Let it Go”, which I thought was “Moonlight Sonata” at first, so I mis-labeled it, sorry!  It cut off near the end, so I re-recorded it after the recital was over so we would have the whole thing. If you want to hear it “live”, watch the first one. If you want to hear the whole song, watch the second one. I believe I’ll be purchasing a camcorder before the next recital. The trouble with my phone was frustrating to say the least. Oh, and the last video is of him playing “Moonlight Sonata” at home.

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He forgot to put his jacket on for his first song, “Moonlight Sonata”. I enjoyed using my new zoom lens for this shot.

 

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Lauren took this photo of him playing “Let it Go”. He remembered the jacket for this one!

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After it was over, I got a photo of him with this lovely piano.

 

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Mitchell and his teacher, Miss Kathryn Hickman, who is also an instructor at Cameron University.

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Mitchell with his certificate of achievement. He was unable to compete i contests this semester, but we hope he can in the fall.

“Let it Go” – live.

“Let it Go”, entire piece after recital.


“Moonlight Sonata”, at home.

Our next recital should feature Lauren and Leslie. Lauren is starting trumpet lessons and Leslie is starting piano this summer.  Thanks for being here.

With love,

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The Boys’ New Bunk Bed

The boys were so excited to hear that we were finally going shopping for a bunk bed earlier this week. They have been waiting a long time. We went to every furniture store in our town, but were unimpressed with the prices and the low quality. Terry said, “I can build them a bunk bed. I’ll just use the measurements of Leslie and Laci’s bed.”

And that’s just what he did! He bought the boards, cut them to size, painted them blue (Mitch picked the color), and assembled it in about two days!

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He had a good helper in Mitch, who really loved using the power drill! 🙂

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And he held things.

A lot.

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Here they are, climbing up on their new bed!

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We took Matthew to pick out his own comforter today. He wasn’t too excited about the change at first, so the Buzz Lightyear bedding helped. This bed is much sturdier than the ones in the store, and looks just as nice! Terry saved us around $400, too! (I’m so blessed with a handy husband!)

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Matt looks like a big boy now. *sigh*

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But he’s not too big for my lap yet. 🙂

With love,

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Mitchell’s Recital

Mitchell had his first recital in Oklahoma last night!

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Lauren has taken a break from lessons, and sadly, she was still too sick to even get to be at his recital. I am thankful I could record it, not only for myself and our family far away, but for Lauren.  The video below is missing the beginning! I thought my phone was all ready to record, but it wasn’t, thus causing the delay.

After we listened to the 25 other kids play their pieces, and after the cookies, I had Mitch play it through again, so I could get the whole thing.

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He also played the harmony of “Deck the Halls” with an ensemble. He had never practiced with them before, and he’d had to memorize the music in class. He never even got to bring the music home! He worked very hard on the tempo and his teacher was very impressed with the job he did. I didn’t post the video because it was hard to hear his part. The audience sang along and it drowned out a lot of his music.

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He had a great time and even told his teacher he’d like to play a recital every month! 😀 She told him that would be fine if he would organize it! 😉

We miss our piano teacher in Arkansas so much. She was more than a teacher, she was a friend to our family. I am thankful that Mitchell (and hopefully all of the kids) can continue their music training here in Oklahoma.  He sure does love it!
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More of Mitchell’s Science

I apologize for sharing so many of these redundant science experiment posts. My blog’s first purpose is to keep in touch with friends and family far away, so I try to share news from our lives. I realize the average person probably thinks that it’s just…well, boring. Pretty soon I will be caught up, and Lord willing, I will have more to share with the general public. In the meantime, thanks for reading.
Here are a few more of Mitchell’s science projects:
He made an amorphous solid. If he hit it with his fist, it was hard, but if he touched it gently, it would melt and run down his hands. It is, indeed, very odd.
We took a video of it, and it’s available HERE.
Another day, he made lava “lamps”.
Kinda pretty!
Another time, he blew up a balloon using the gas created from a soda pop and pop rocks! It was his idea to draw the face on the balloon.
 Oh, and now he has a hat!

I didn’t get to have this “hands-on” type experience in school, so I’m really glad my kids are getting to see science in action! And I’m enjoying it, too. 🙂

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The {Edible} Periodic Table

Mitchell is using Chemistry and Physics from the Young Explorer series by Apologia. We didn’t get started till the end of September, because the book wasn’t released until then. Therefore, we aren’t as far along with it as the other kids are with their sciences. He is enjoying the experiments very much, but the book work…well, he’s a typical boy! He’d rather “do” than “write”. His most recent major project was this edible Periodic Table of the Elements.This was a major project because it required his making 107 sugar cookies and frosting them. At the end of this, my kitchen was a lovely mess of creativity…which he had to clean up.

Mixing up enough dough to make 110 cookies was no easy job. I helped him with some of the measuring and stirring, and with making some of the frosting. But mostly, this was his handiwork.

It took him quite a while to do all the baking.
 Then, he had to mix seven different colors of frosting.
 Here are some “resting”, or hardening for the next step.
 Leslie was so sweet to help Mitch with the baking and frosting.
 Sweet children and sweet cookies. 🙂

Ta-da! The finished product! He had to pipe the symbol on each one, which took a very long time. Then, they had to be arranged correctly. He spent two long afternoons working on it.

He was very pleased. It looked so nice, that we just hated eating it!

But we did anyway.
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