I feel like I'm waiting for something "unusual" to write, and everything is just the usual brand of crazy.
(Most of the pictures in this post were from our Thanksgiving Disney Trip)
Bella is kicking middle school's butt, which is awesome. I hated middle school with a passion, she seems to be enjoying it and thriving. It helps that unlike me, she doesn't look like an 8 year old in middle school, that was not fun. I think the GT placement really helps because all of the students in her academic classes are serious about their schoolwork the way that she is. It's nice for her to have that environment. She is still taking piano lessons and doing well with them. After 3 years of lessons she could really use a new piano, so that will have to happen sometime this year.
Julianne is coming out of her shell more this year. But now that she's out, I've found that she shares her mother's natural love of sarcasm, so it's a win/lose type of situation. She is a funny little girl. Analytical is the word her teachers use for her. Has no love for anything that can not be solved with math or science. 4th grade is a heavy year for creative writing...which she does not enjoy. I've noticed she tries to solve the problem by writing the most hilariously formulaic pieces. She has figured out what the teacher likes to see, and so she whips up a very consistently catchy opening line, and the rest of her writing assignment reads like an instruction manual. I find it hilarious that she tries to make creative writing into a precise and consistent process. Needless to say, she and Daniel are a pretty close pair of friends. They get each other. She is still playing her violin and I'm hoping that she will stick it out for 1.5 more years until middle school so that she can play during school (fingers crossed). Violin suits her well, I'm surprised she picked it out of the blue as a little 6 year old and stuck with her desire to continue for 3 years now.
Leia is going through a bit of a middle child phase. She is often cut/forced out of the super close relationship that her sisters share because they are so close in age, and 3.5-5 years older than her. She finds Xander frustrating, so they fight a lot. Hopefully Xander will give up his babyhood soon so that they can enjoy each others company a bit more. Leia is also doing great in school, and makes friends easily. Her teachers love her. She has already managed to score another "Gator of the Month" award, her 2nd or 3rd already since starting Kindergarten last year. She is definitely a people person. She has announced that she wants to play the flute (much like Juli randomly fixated on the violin at the same age). So....we'll see if that interest holds long enough for me to find a flute teacher for her that accepts students at her age level. It may take awhile to find one. I'm kind of hoping much like her brief desire to play soccer, she will suddenly change her mind and chose one of the 2 instruments that are already played in this house.
Xander is currently doing his very best to stay a baby FOREVER. Seriously y'all, it has been an extremely long 4.75 years. He has a very strong personality and feels it is his right and responsibility to control everyone and everything around him at all times. He is under the mistaken impression that he is in charge of the entire world. Sometimes I think I'm raising a future Dictator. His pediatrician says he is just a natural born leader and will grow out of the extreme stubbornness. (Please let him grow out of it). Xander attends preschool 4 days/week. He goes 2 days/week to the preschool that Julianne attended (which he tolerates quite well). He also attends 2 days/week in a preschool class that I have taken over teaching this year. Going back to teaching part time after 11 years at home is enough of an adjustment. Having a student who calls you "Mama" and thinks that he is the boss of you makes it an extra big challenge. I question my decision to teach a class with him in it every day. But, we are halfway done, so we're going to stick it out. The way he does so well for his other preschool teacher gives me high hopes that he will be fine in Kindergarten. With me it just seems to be a familiarity breeds contempt type of situation. That or I am just a terrible parent. Sometimes I think that like the Terminator, he was sent here from the future to kill me. That last part was a joke. Xander, if you are reading this in the future...you were hilarious and we loved you....you were just the most stubborn and bossy 4 year old we had ever met. I'm sure you've turned into a fantastic adult, unless you are a Dictator....in which case....you've probably already had me terminated for pouring your milk into the wrong cup or something.