You guys.

The babies turned 8 today!

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She is pure strength.

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He is pure tenderness.

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I went to school and took them out to lunch today. Just the three of us.

Our conversation covered everything from Sierra Leone, to Michael Jackson, to forgiveness, to retirement.

They are the coolest.

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It took all of about 3.5 weeks of school for me to feel like a complete failure. It could be a long year. It’s just a tiny bit overwhelming. And luckily, through much practice, I still function pretty well under the cloud of failure…

Let’s just take a moment to recall these actual conversations from yesterday.

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Son #5: “I need you to pack more in my lunch.”



Me: “I need you to stop eating.”



(Wait. I don’t really mean that…)

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Me: “So what you do is isolate the y by subtracting the 2x and then divide both sides by the 6.”



Son #1: “Huh?”


Me
: “Yah. I have no idea.”

(Math tutor needed. Obviously.)

While it’s true that his birth altered the course of our lives, broadened our capacity, deepened our compassion, changed every fiber of my being. It’s true that he has taught us the real meaning of love, grace, family, kindness, and the redemption of broken things.

It’s also true that he is just a really, really cool kid. And he is 9 today.

Happiest of days, Q-man
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I somehow became that over the past few weeks….

I will try and catch up.

Mostly it’s this.

Which is me sitting at sporting events with the little ones.

Despite the look on my face sometimes.

It’s my very favorite.

I love watching them play so very, very much

6:30 Saturday AM wake up call for the football man…

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Kora doesn’t always love it as much as I do. Most of the time, she is a trooper though…

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And take note, I don’t wear size 12 nike tennis shoes. But my son does. It’s an picture illusion…

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When it’s raining…sometimes we sit in the car….and take selflies…

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Super precious season we are in right now. Crazy. But really good.

Bring on the second teenager, Gabe Landers.

We love you bigger than the whole wide world.

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We get our second official teenager in a couple days.

So these two are off on their “You are Turning 13 and That is Almost a Man and We Should Talk About That” Getaway.



Again, I asked that Andy simply return him with a clear understanding of 3 things:



1. The profound value of women.

2. The utter importance of deodorant and oral hygiene.

3. How insanely proud of him we are.

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The evenings here at the ball field.

Where we will be every single night from here until mid-October.

I love it here.

The warm sun still lingers in the air.

The breeze calls just barely for a sweatshirt.

And the boys smile here.

They run around.

And they win some.

And they fail some.

And they learn so much.

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——

And this one.

Well, this one is just too much.

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——

“No one gets discipled, they just get loved well; information will change what we know, our friends will shape who we are.” (Goff)


—–

So week one of school and we are above water I think. Barely

But it is so much work to keep these kiddos up to par at school. So much.

Today I will be spending several hours watching Algebra instructional videos.

So that when my 8th grader comes home today, I can perhaps actually help him.

Then maybe we won’t be huddled in my bed with math homework again at 11 pm.

(insert cursing. and possibly crying. from me.)

Here’s to hoping…


We had such a great summer.

For one of the first times, I was dreading the start of school.

I usually thrive on routine and some quiet.

But school has become increasingly stressful for me as their mother.

So I was just enjoying having them all to myself.

However, everyone was up super early this morning because they were excited.

They all showered on their own.

They were in good moods and eagerly anticipating another year.

They feel comfortable here. In their school.

That felt nice.

Really nice.

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Andy does the morning drop off generally. Which means I’m in my pi’s and totally unprepared to go out in public.

(For some reason, however, I thought it acceptable to get myself in the pictures and then post them on the worldwide web. It’s real I guess. It’s what happens here).

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So, my friends, what we have here is one 8th grader, one 7th grader, one 5th grader, one 3rd grader, and two 2nd graders….

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Quick note.

It’s a weird feeling when your child is a better person than you in so many ways. I’ve been feeling that a lot lately about this one.

And I’m so proud of him.

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And into the bus they went….

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Gosh. They are all amazing.

Here we go.