Monday, February 9, 2015

Jack Turns Eight

Another year has flown by in the life of my first born, who turns 8 years old today! I couldn't be prouder of the big boy that he has become. He is a great leader for his brothers and is so much help to Mommy and Daddy too.

A little about Jack at this age:

He is so smart but even more than that, he loves to learn. He has a passion for history, science, and even likes math (although sitting down to do it is not his favorite thing). History is his favorite and I am impressed at how well he retains historical and geographical information and keeps the timeline straight in his mind. He has a particular interest in Roman history, which we spent some time on earlier this year at home. He is fascinated by the great military heroes and by the rise and fall of the empire. I think it's great and I enjoy refreshing my memory and learning new things with him as well. In our co-op, he is taking a timeline history class and he has a wonderful teacher. Most recently they learned about Columbus' voyage, Martin Luther and the reformation, King Henry the 8th, and the Mona Lisa. I help out in this class and love to see how engaged Jack is as Ms. Liza tells stories from history. He eats it all up and continues to ask questions throughout the week. I only wish I had learned so much history at his age!

Jack also loves sports. He plays football, basketball, and soccer formally but also enjoys running, riding bikes, swimming, and of course watching sports live or on TV. He is a big OU  and Thunder fan but when it comes to NFL, he is pretty fickle and bounces around a bit as far as who he cheers for. At home, he and Graham spend hours outside playing football and basketball, pretending to be real teams sometimes, and other times they make up silly names for their teams such as the Wa Was and the Diaper Babies. I love that Jack teaches Graham the rules of sports and also is usually sweet enough to let him win a few here and there. 

When it's too cold to be outside playing sports, Jack can be found reading or playing legos. I have never seen a kid who reads as much as him (except for myself at that age). He can go through a chapter book in a couple of hours. We frequent the library because it is tough to keep up! Some favorite books lately: Detectives in Togas, The Sugar Creek Gang series, and Dinosaur Cove series. He builds lego sets fairly quickly as well but likes to rebuild and create his own designs for them too. His favorites are Star Wars, Chima, and Ninjago.

Jack has always been the kind of kid that has never met a stranger. He makes friends easily and is kind to everyone. I wondered if that might go away as he got older and, while he can be a bit shy these days when entering in a big group of kids who already know each other, he is still outgoing and friendly and warms up quickly. He has made some great new friends this year through our co-op, a new basketball team, and our new neighborhood. His best buddy currently is probably Ephraim. Ephraim is maybe the only other kid I know who loves history so they are a good match. They like to build things together and tend to go through lots of duct tape. :)

Jack is loving homeschool and really thriving in this environment. He is doing math at a third grade level and could probably be even further ahead but I want him to enjoy it. I love having more time with him and seeing him grow and learn each day. It is so great to keep him at his own pace while also having more time to enjoy the sunshine and enjoy being a little boy. We love to explore new parks, trails, playgrounds etc. and have picnics on nice days. 

Speaking of picnics, I should also mention that at this age, Jack seems to eat about double what I do and remain so skinny that I have to buy his jeans in "slim." The kid can eat adult sized meals at restaurants and still beg for more food off of my plate and somehow never be full. I guess moving around all day makes a growing boy hungry. I may need to get a job just to afford our ever increasing grocery bill. :)

Jack continues to be strong willed with a strong desire for justice and fairness in the world. He is also very logical and stubborn. I think these qualities, while challenging for me as a parent at times, are going to serve him well, especially as a man in God's Kingdom. He is going to be the kind of man who has the courage to stand up for what is right. I see him being a great leader, unwilling to back down in the face of opposition. I pray all of my boys turn into strong men with hearts for God, but Jack in particular has that sensitive heart and discernment that will be his strength. My prayer is that Randy and I have the wisdom to lead him and encourage him in his gifts in such a way that they can be used by God to further his Kingdom.

We continue to be so proud of our sweet boy and are thankful for every day with him!

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