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Thursday, March 08, 2012


Jack, first. He turned 14 this past Saturday, in the middle of Scott and I working to save other moms and babies in the very spot of his birth in 1998. By God's mercy we were able to tag team enough to pull off a pizza and games party with a handful of other 9th grade boys. Jack at 14 is: tall (reaching Caleb imminently and soon Scott), strong, smart, driven, competitive, capable, funny, loud, sincere, contemplative, voracious. He can run miles and play soccer and rugby hard; but he also loves to lounge on the couch, watch sports on TV, read long books, and cajole his sisters into serving him. He thinks deeply about things like God and infinity and why chemical reactions happen as they do. But he also has an incredible Aylestock teasing streak that reminds me of my Uncles, especially Lloyd. As the youngest he observes and he knows just how to get a reaction. He's like a tumbling, biting, overgrown puppy around his classmates, wrestling and laughing. He LOVES good food and one of his favorite relaxations is to watch an episode of Chopped (which we somehow get on our Kenyan cable). His specialty is pesto which he makes himself from our basil in the garden, for gourmet pizzas (when we have pine nuts and parmesan that is .. .). He is faithful and loyal, ready for adventure and fun, and intuitive enough to be anxious at times about the world and the future. His adolescent lengthening lean body is catching up with his already deep voice as he turns from a boy into a man, which is happening too quickly for me. He can argue. Well. And writes beyond his years. And he's the biggest Man U fan ever; his wardrobe is mostly Man U wear and he hates to miss a game. This boy started as an embryo in a hostile war-chaos-sickness environment, so I never cease to marvel at who he has become, a miraculous redemption in a hard time. If we can get him off the couch . . . he could do about anything.

Julia's team won the semifinals in their league yesterday, in a glorious afternoon of sun and wind and cheering parents and a relaxed match (it's nice to be up 4 nil). She's built good friendships and team work and been mentored by some amazing senior girls, for which I am thankful. I can't be positive enough about sports for girls. Fellowship, exercise, health, confidence, a group to belong to, values deeper than surface appearance, serving others, disciplined time management, being outside . . very thankful for this opportunity for her. And for Acacia, whose JV team had an undefeated season in league play and went to semifinals in the varsity tournament last weekend and finals in the other tournament they entered. Acacia had an equally positive experience with lots of playing time, improved skills, respect for coach and team, etc.

(here is Julia with Rachel, her "twin" for "psych" =dress up crazy to get in the mood to win)

And lastly, this is a good week to pray for Caleb's future. By mid-March the US Air Force Academy board will have made their admission decisions. By early April he'll have heard from the other universities to which he applied. His future is a big black unwritten slate and the chalk is about to become visible. I love who he is and who he's becoming and we believe he has what it takes to be an Air Force pilot . . . or anything else God has in store for him.

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