Tea Party Fun with the Grandchildren

I decided to use photos from our spring tea party photo shoot as an opportunity to say a bit about all the grandchildren. At Christmas I only used a few descriptive words for each grandchild in our update, so I thought maybe this would be a good time to say a bit more about how I adore watching them mature and grow up.  As is said, children grow up so fast!  It is so fun to see their personalities emerge soon after birth, then to watch that play out into their maturing lives.

Abbi - age 9
. She is full of creativity and artistic abilities.  She is also full of motion!  Her mind moves quickly creating an idea, then her body quickly brings it to pass.  One of her favorite things to do at our house is 'decorate,' by pulling out some things from our storage area and setting up a story book scene.  Old lace doilies become 'a lace path' to act out a wedding or parlor scene.  An old quilt, turned upside down to reveal its striped brown feed sack backing, becomes a rug - then add some sisters wrapped in blankets and quilts, sitting in chairs and soon there is an orphanage scene straight out of little orphan annie.  The same is true with fashion...she has been styling her own hair since she was two!  And old dress-ups in a drawer quickly becomes as fashionable outfit!  Once she came downstairs with something made from an old orange embroidered gauze top of mine, and belted with a wide white belt and some white leggings and it honestly looked like a cute outfit to wear publicly. Same with music and with art, she loves to draw and I have a collection of very impressive pieces she has made here, and with music, from the time she was only 2 she would imitate Sarah on the piano, moving with the music, playing lovely melodies that you might think was an adult playing if you weren't in the room. Her playing was never bangy, just pretty sounds.  The quick creative mind and body means sometimes she isn't as patient with the process, but anxious to just do it or create things!  She has an amazing aural memory, which can lead to taking short cuts with music, but she does practice and read music well and I am always happy when she comes back to a lesson or practice having improved and obviously worked on what the teacher has told her. She is also quite an organizer and leader as the first born of the 6 siblings. There is more but these are some of the areas as a 9 year old that stand out to me. 

Rachel - age 7. Rachel is incredibly verbal and seemingly must talk about what she is thinking or seeing.  I think with her, talking is part of the process of thinking!  But she also internalizes her thoughts and can be quite dreamy and lost in thought too. Often those dreamy thoughts are about space or science or how something works, and Sarah loves to connect with her on these things.  She loves to read and learn.  She has high standards for herself and really wants to achieve competency in what she works on, and easily can in most things she puts her mind to!  Musically and really in all areas, she learns extremely quickly!  I think a musical strength would be how when the adrenaline kicks in when she performs, she actually seems to focus better than when she is just practicing.  She enjoys performing musically, likes being on a stage.  Also, she seems to have a strong sense of justice and of how things should be which can be quite stressful for her internally sometimes when things don't play out the way she thinks right or best!  She is not a low key personality!  There is much about her that reminds me of Josh's personality - strong, intense and very smart.

Bethy - age 6. Bethy has a grace and beauty to her person and personality that you can see in this picture.  When she plays the violin it is often with a bit of dramatic flair, and grace and beauty is even seen in her bow after performing; she almost seems straight out of the colonial era. :)  She is thoughtful and sweet and creative.  Her emotions are often at the surface and come out easily.  She, of all of the girls, seems to need the most external affirmation to give her confidence to try things, but when she tries she is totally capable and even excels at what she puts her hand to!  I wonder if all that emotion might make her an amazing writer or musician or even an actress someday?  Interestingly she told me she likes Math the best of all her school subjects but I am not sure if that is the format or the curriculum or the actual subject.  I am looking forward to seeing her blossom and develop even more as the years unfold but for now she really is a sweet treasure I adore for all her creativity and her heart being so close to the surface.  I think maybe my heart is kind of like that too. :)

Hannah - age 5. Hannah exudes a self drivenness that I believe will take her far. She is in some ways a natural leader who will own things and put her mind to accomplishing them. She has a sense of order to things. Her beautiful confident grin when she is happy with her accomplishments kind of melts me. :) Of all of the children, she seems the most content to function kind of independently, accomplishing things or creating things on her own, although of course she does enjoy playing with the others too and being a part of their creative play.

Evie - age 3. Oh sweet Evie!  If there was a recipe for 'cute' she is the sum total of those ingredients.  Similarly to Hannah, she also seems to have a drivenness to try things that her big sisters can do, but also at the same time I think is satisfied with her place in family and her own unique identity at age 3.  She doesn't compare herself to the older sisters and not want to try something because she can't do it like them yet, but rather is inspired to try and give the best attempt she can, happy that she is learning and progressing at her own pace.  Unlike Rachel who must talk to think, Evie listens and thinks and processes things inside, then when ready will turn that into trying something or saying something or asking for something.  And with that attempt you know she was really listening to what you told her and taking it to heart, although she might not immediately have a response.  Again, being more introverted myself I can rather identify with this too!!

Peter - age 2. Oh my he is a performer!  And he always wants to have his turn at what the others are doing!  And if something he does you find cute or funny he will do it again to get more positive responses. :) He is growing already into such a little man, has a gravelly voice probably due to respiratory issues but somehow it just fits his personality, too.  He has a skip in his step and loves his Mama, but also loves everything Daddy does and loves being with him to look at books or drive the tractor, and loves being outside!  He does not yet stay here with his sisters once a week so I probably don't know him as well as the others...yet. :) 

Ezra - age 2.  Ezra is possibly the most verbal of them all, although would be a close tie with Rachel.  He really enjoys talking and explaining things and his vocabulary is humongous, always coming up with new words and ideas used in context and you find yourself thinking how does he know that already??  He is listening all the time and wanting to understand (and explain his understanding of) everything!  Space - black holes, galaxies, planets, stars are favorites right now, partly fed by Sarah spending time with him talking about that type of thing when he is here.  When he was younger he was always moving but it amazing now that he is older how much he focuses and sits for long periods playing with things like wooden tracks or games or books.  He plays a mean game of 'concentration!'  And something striking to me about him is the kindness in his manner of speech; the way he asks questions and talks about things has a pleasantness to it that is rather endearing. :)

Aimee - age 7 months.   Crawling, pulling up, standing briefly, saying words, she seems to be another pretty advanced grandchild!  And cute.  And huggy. When I snuggle her and sing to her, she sings along which is just so sweet!  This little one is beautiful and thriving and such a delight!