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The Christmas Letter, Page 2 December 15, 2010

Posted by markgeil in Family.

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Actually, our weekly routines say a lot about what we’ve all been up to this year. Weekday mornings almost always involve some kid having to go to school early for something. The girls are at three different schools with three different start times, so that complicates things. Rebekah, age 9, 4th grade, is in her school chorus and this year made the school drum team. They both practice before school. Hannah, age 13, 8th grade, is also part of chorus and jazz band and student council and FCA, which also all meet before school. Sarah, age 16, 11th grade, leads her school’s FCA, so she has the regular weekly morning meeting plus a separate planning meeting. She also meets with the Magnet Advisory Board and frequents her teachers’ offices early for study sessions.

 The morning routine was helped mightily in March when Sarah turned 16 and got her Driver’s License! She was horribly nervous about the road test, and I was horribly nervous too, standing there in a cloud of second-hand smoke at the DMV, watching her parallel park. How a kid is supposed to avoid hitting cones she cannot even see is beyond me, but, oh, the anguish as one cone leaned, and leaned some more, and finally tipped over. Fortunately, Sarah did splendidly on the rest of the test and is now an officially licensed driver! She’s a very cautious, deliberate, and slow driver, and we like it that way! One day soon we’re going to let her venture beyond the driveway. (Just kidding.)

Weekday evening often find us heading in multiple directions. Hannah and Rebekah have Girl Scouts every couple of weeks. Hannah’s been at it so long she’s now considering going for the GS equivalent to Eagle Scout. Amy and our neighbor Kim lead Bek’s troop. Now, I’m not a girl scout or anything, but it sure seems like they’re the coolest leaders ever. The girls are constantly doing wild stuff, like smearing theater paint on each other’s faces or learning to ice skate or jumping in the pool with their clothes on. The girls also have piano lessons once a week with Mr. Jimmy. Hannah is working on a long piece by Chopin, and she’s mastering the surprisingly difficult art of playing and singing at the same time. Her solos in church are a wonderful ministry. I love to hear their practicing fill our house with music, and Hannah enjoys hearing Bek learn some of the songs she played years ago.

Rebekah manages fairly well as the third child. In fact, she’s really easygoing. We were hanging ornaments on the tree, and her two older sisters pointed out their “Baby’s First Christmas” ornaments and photos. Realizing there was none for her (bad parents!), Rebekah just shrugged it off, saying, “I guess those things weren’t in style when I was a baby.”

During the season the younger girls also have soccer practice. I coached both their teams and Hannah’s once again wound up in the championship game. She’s a rock-solid defender. We love our little neighborhood league. It’s not the most competitive, but that’s sometimes a good thing. I also get to play with the grown-ups and come away with different random musculoskeletal injuries each week. Turns out I’m getting old.

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