Tuesday, January 01, 2019

2018 Update

I can't help it...New Year's Eve always reminds me that I still have a blog! (Should I choose to update it....)

So what's happened at the Henhouse since the birth of Granddaughter #1 in April?

--The birth of Granddaughter #2 in June! So privileged to be with Blondechick the whole time, and so grateful for the health of mom and daughter.

Baptism Day!
--Bantam23 and family bought a house nearby; Blondechick25 and family moved into their old rental house right around the corner from us. I keep pinching myself; I never imagined we'd have all our kids so close by after they left home!

--Father Rooster went to Israel in June for the international Anglican conference GAFCON plus a Holy Land tour. It was life-changing for him!

--Chicklet and B13 went to overnight camp, while I took on a summer editing project to help pay for it. Chicklet took driver's ed, and B13 played soccer and went Airsofting with B28. We all went to visit the grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins at the farm in Ohio in August.

--B19 stepped into his older brother's shoes at Starbucks this summer, but just hung up his apron again because next week, after 3 semesters as a music major at Carthage College (here in Kenosha), he's transferring to Wheaton College (in the western suburbs of Chicago) where he plans to major in Biblical studies. He still fills called to be a pastor and also is interested in the military, so he may do ROTC at Wheaton as well.

--Light of Christ continues to grow, not so much in numbers (although for every person who moves on, God sends us someone new, so we remain right around 75 strong), but deeper in relationship with God and each other, especially through this Life Model Works study, Forming--a great tool for modeling how to develop a real and conversational relationship with God. Father Rooster continues as full-time pastor, paid part-time, but God provides one way or another...constantly growing our faith!

--Last spring I was assistant director for CYT Kenosha's James and the Giant Peach; B13 was Centipede and Chicklet16 was Aunt Spiker.

--This fall I was assistant director for Music Man; Chicklet was the Mayor's daughter, Zaneeta Shinn, and B13 played various male townsperson roles, including Salesman #1 who starts out the show in the train number:  "CASH for the merchandise, CASH for the button hooks..."

Never posted photos from last January's Little Mermaid, when Chicklet was Ariel, so:

Chicklet's sister dyed her hair this beautiful red with a semi-permanent dye; it has looked amazingly good as it has gradually washed out, but I wonder how many of Chicklet's high school friends will always remember her as a strawberry blonde!

--Currently I am lead director for Seussical the Musical; Chicklet is a Bird Girl; B13 is a Wickersham Brother. Performances are the first weekend in February. Wish you all could come!

--I had already agreed to direct Seussical when I was asked to take a long-term sub job as the 9th grade English teacher at my favorite public high school in Kenosha (a charter school with an Expeditionary Learning philosophy). I'm covering for a maternity leave that started just before Thanksgiving; I'll be there at least through March and maybe for the rest of the year. It has been a real challenge to keep up with lesson planning, grading, meetings, rehearsals, laundry, church, and family! But the opportunity was an exact answer to prayer, and a perfect chance to see what full-time teaching, plus directing, is like. And it's been not too bad, especially with all the prep work I was able to do for Seuss before I began the job.

Now this spring will be more challenging,  if I end up teaching through June, because I'm committed to direct a play at another high school; auditions are in March, with performances in mid-May. Those rehearsals will not just be Friday nights and Saturday mornings, like CYT; they will be nearly every day after school. I can't back out of directing the play; I committed over a year in advance, plus I chose it--The Importance of Being Earnest, by Oscar Wilde. Also it was such an honor to be invited to direct at the public high school and I'm super-excited about it! I'm only committed to the long-term sub job through March, but if their regular teacher cannot return, I just can't see myself leaving those kids with yet another long-term sub, their third teacher of the year, for the last 10 weeks. To reassure me somewhat, God sent a student teacher who will be working with the theater teacher at the high school, and she wants to assistant direct Earnest with me. So I'm counting on her help, and God's, as He reminds me that He will walk with me through these doors He has opened.

--So many more small but wonderful things happened in 2018. I could talk about each of my children; I am so proud of them all! It's exciting to watch the younger half become young adults. B19 and Chicklet16 especially seem wise beyond their years, with an ability to hear God and choose Him first. They are far less distracted by the opposite sex than their older siblings were at their ages, and they are wisely investing in themselves, in their educations and in defining who they are and what they believe. I am so thankful!

And it is so fulfilling to watch B23 and Blondechick25, as such wonderful parents, and to rest easy in their brilliant choices of spouses, who are also great parents, great partners and great people. Although they both married young and neither went to college, they both continue to grow spiritually and intellectually. B23 listens to podcasts on his commute, and discusses them with Father Rooster and B19. Blondechick is thriving as a new mom; we see her drawing strength from God and deepening her own inner resources through the trials of sleeplessness, financial stress, and returning part-time to cosmetology school. She just shared a year-end testimony of the power of gratitude to change one's attitude, and we have witnessed the new freedom from anxiety that she's experienced since she began a daily discipline of thankfulness.

--Wish I could add more photos too, but it takes so much time and I also want to compile my list of books read in 2018...I still have a dozen or so papers to grade, and 120x3 grades to enter...plus my to-do list is filled with odds and ends to squeeze in before returning to school next Monday like: make freezer meals, help B28 find a cheap TV, take down tree, move B13 to the basement and set up office for Fr. Rooster in 4th bedroom, see Mary Poppins, plan lessons for M-T, wash filthy floors!

So I'll just leave you with a few more of the grandbabies...

 And a Happy 2019 from all of us!


Moyra said...

Happy 2019! Many congratulations on the grand-daughters plus it's so good to see how the family is growing and developing.

I so love the "Importance of Being Earnest" and hope you have a great time directing it.

I've just dealt with my own filthy floors, hymn lists, rotas and lesson plans...

magadociousrex said...

Hi Jeannie,

I don't know if you remember me, but we used to live next door to you in Warrenville. My parents just called me- Riley passed away and my mom has the info on the memorial services if you guys want to drive down for it.

(I found you through facebook and figured you'd probably get a comment here faster, because we all know facebook likes to not so helpfully "sort" messages whether or not you're friends with people. - so she may try to contact you on there too.)

Anyways, your family and grand kiddos are just gorgeous and I'm sorry I had to reach out for such a sad reason.

-Margaret N.