Happy Monday, friends!
Okay, today’s post has THREE THINGS about each one of the Shulls right now!
Just little bits of randomness to kick off your week! xo
1: Our resident sixth grader is officially obsessed with learning about WWII and the Holocaust. She is reading book after book on the subject, watching shows on TV and asking a million questions. I always loved studying history, and I’m so glad that she’s very much into it right now too. Anytime my kids get excited to read about a topic, it makes my heart happy.
2: We are officially in volleyball season, and I’m officially feeling like the parent of a teen. For years, Kensington tried many things to see if they were “her” thing. She did gymnastics for three years, dance for 8 years, soccer for one miserable season where she stood there on the sidelines, looked at Andrew and me and sobbed during each and every game, she played basketball for one season (where she would happily give the other team the ball as long as that meant they wouldn’t steal it from her), but a few years ago she found volleyball and that is “her thing”. I love it when my kids have a passion, work hard, fail and then get back up and work some more. This season, watching her play volleyball has been so much fun because they’re actually really playing. Ha! No more little kid volleyball. These girls dominate when they take the court, and it is so much fun to watch!
3: For Christmas, Kensington asked for a keyboard. Right now, she is not taking lessons (she says she doesn’t want the structure of a lesson), so she’s trying to “self-teach” herself how to play the piano. Is it how I would prefer she learn? No. Does she go up there and practice every day and is she excited about the songs she’s taught herself? YES! My dad taught himself to play the piano when he was younger and does an excellent job still today, so who knows? Maybe that’s just how she’s going to learn? Either way, I love to hear her practice every afternoon, and I appreciate her genuine enthusiasm.
Bonus tidbit: When Kensington grows up, she says she wants to be a pediatric nurse.
1: Well, I really can’t keep Smith still long enough to find out what he’s up to these days 😉 . This boy is always on the move! From the minute he gets out of school to the minute he goes to bed, he’s busy. He’s playing football with boys out at the park, he’s at boxing lessons, he’s practicing his violin, he’s playing fetch with his dog, climbing a tree, and he’s obsessed with fishing. This kid is never lacking things to do, and they’re all so ACTIVE!
2: Smith started waking up early about a year ago, and it’s revolutionized both of our mornings. Back when I would wake him up at the “normal time” with the other kids, he was grumpy, cranky and just not the best version of himself all morning long. All of a sudden one day, it hit me…he’s just like Andrew and me. If we sleep in/miss our alarm/don’t get up on time, we’re not our best selves either. We like to ease into our day with coffee, our Bible time and working out…and well, so does Smith! As counterintuitive as it may seem, Smith enjoys his morning time when he wakes up early and is not rushed, and it’s TOTALLY changed his attitude and made our mornings so much better! He sets his own alarm for 5:30 and then takes his time doing whatever he wants to do before we leave the house at 7:45 (shower, quiet time, breakfast, reading, violin, fetch with the dog, anything outside…whatever).
3: Smith is very much ready for middle school. Kensington had all the feels last year (nervous, excited, a little sad, kind of anxious…it was all very bittersweet), but Smith is ready to peace out of elementary school and head to middle school. He’s ready for school athletics, more challenging classes, a variety of classes/teachers/students, more independence…watch out middle school, Smith Shull is comin’.
Bonus tidbit: When Smith grows up, he says he wants to be a Supreme Court Justice.
1: Here’s the deal with Miss Ashby…she’ll surprise you. Sometimes, Ashby will say things like “Is tomorrow Saturday?” on a Tuesday. She gives off this appearance that she lives in a land of lollipops, unicorns and rainbows…but that’s just one little side of her. Her inner-self is competitive to the core, and she’ll whoop your butt if you play her in a game. Smith and Nixon started playing poker a few months ago, and they taught Ashby. She picked the game up really quickly and now, no one can beat her. Nixon told me the other day, “Miss Shay, I was trying so hard, but she is really good at it.”. Andrew came downstairs the other night after teaching Ashby a new game…he literally said “Shay, she was doing the same thing every time it was her turn, but yet, I could not beat her. It was maddening.” Ha! She looks sweet and innocent, but on her 21st birthday, I’m taking her to Vegas 😉 .
2: At school, Ashby has to work really hard at reading and writing (because her brain processes everything backwards since she’s a right-handed person being forced to use her left hand), but she is excelling in math. Numbers and especially scores are her jam. It literally does not matter what game is on TV, if Andrew is watching (insert random sport here), Ashby will stop, ask a few questions and then focus on the score, the time, the penalties/outs/touchdowns/yards/points/you name it. This past fall, she sat down at the scoreboard at Smith’s baseball game and did such a great job keeping score (of runs, balls, strikes, etc on the big electronic outfield scoreboard) that after that game, we made her do it every week. Ha! One week, a grandparent was laughing so hard because Ashby had her cast on which meant she was eating nachos, drinking a slushie and keeping score at the same time with one hand. It’s kind of freaky how well she does this job.
3: If you don’t read anything today, I hope you read this, last week, Ashby showed me her prayer journal that she had started. She had written out all of her prayers and friends, I cried when she walked away. She didn’t have one prayer on that list for herself. Every prayer she had was for someone else. The list is so long of things that Ashby could have been praying about for herself, but she’s such a selfless, thoughtful, loving person, that she was praying for everyone else. It was a very convicting moment for me. I am often so selfish in my prayer time and only focus on myself…I need to be more like Ashby.
Bonus tidbit: When Ashby grows up, she says she wants to be a veterinarian (but I think the MLB will be hiring her instead for some sort of scoring/statistics position 😉 ).
1: Well, Miss Madeley is our social butterfly. If you go up to her school right now, I think you’ll meet at least 24 kids who say they’re her “best friend”. Andrew and I asked the other three what they were doing wrong because clearly, Madeley has more friends than them. Ha! She is just so social, so happy go lucky, so fun to be around…and kindergarten has been just an awesome experience for her!
2: Speaking of kinder, I’ve been so proud of what a great little reader Mades has become! She’s reading some books and attempting to read anything and everything she sees. You just never know how that kinder transition will go, but for us, it’s been fantastic this year! She has truly blossomed into a young student (who does twerk often…sigh…).
3: Madeley always has a bubbly and bright personality, but friends, she misses her naps. Most days, I find her sound asleep on the couch between school and dinner. She is such an energetic an happy kiddo, but she crashes hard too.
Bonus tidbit: When Madeley grows up, she says she wants to be a police officer.
Love these four so much!
As for Andrew and me, well, we’re still getting our house back together post-flood. You know, 2020 wasn’t a banner year, but I’m so thankful that we got to do it together. This year, we celebrate 17 years of marriage (which seems like a lot of years!), and we both turn 40. What? What? There is no one else in this world I’d rather grow old with than Andrew Shull. Our favorite little thing to do is once a week or so, we tell the kids to leave us be, and we make a charcuterie board and drink. It’s always such a fun time of snacking and chatting with my number one guy.
Happy Monday, friends. xx