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We Have Another Teenager!

Our 5th born child, Josh, has entered that exciting period of life where he will make a final push toward adulthood. 

Um, this is the first picture that I ever posted of Josh on this blog:

And here he is now:
That's just weird because I'm pretty sure he's always been this size and I dreamed the rest. 

Before we moved to camp, Mrs. E mentioned that she wasn't sure what she would do for the kids' birthdays since she couldn't just pop by with a treat. I left her to brainstorm that, but it turns out that so far we've made it back to town often enough. :) 
Her thoughtfulness and faithful remembrance is a great gift to me!

Josh did some brainstorming of his own and planned a birthday party for himself on the Thursday evening before his actual birthday. With the help of his youth leader at our "old church," he got together as many friends as could make it. They played board games, dodgeball, and we served food. 

Josh is a bit bummed that he has to wait until he is 31 for his "golden birthday." So he decided that this could be his silver birthday since the numbers could be transcribed. I think he's making this up...but I'm sure he's not the first or only one, so we'll go with that.

He had a lemon cake with cream cheese frosting. I used silver sprinkles on top. Unfortunately, I put them on the cake the night before. The silver color melted off and they looked like little rusty shavings. I wish I could put a LOL emoji here. It was funny. Maybe that's why I don't have a closeup of the cake. Ha!

Mitch had to work on that Thursday, so he didn't come to town with us. On Josh's actual birthday I served him leftover cake for breakfast and "meatballs in special sauce" for dinner. (You probably don't want this's not *that* kind of special.) We didn't have a second cake, though. I think I wanted to make brownies, but then Selah came down with RSV and scared us with her breathing. We snapped this picture late at night after all that drama:

At 13 years old, Josh:
~is taller than me, even though it doesn't look like it in that picture.
~wears man-sized clothes, including size 12.5 shoes
~shows great maturity. People usually think he's older than he is.
~is a great helper. He has really stepped up in the past couple of years. It wasn't that long ago that Micah was complaining that he, Eden, and Caleb did all the work, while Zeke, Josh, and Malachi made the messes. Now who's doing the work? Yep. My middle boys are not little boys anymore! (And for the record, nobody does "all" the work, and I think I still hold the record for completing daily chores). I've been so impressed with the great attitude Josh displays when anyone needs an extra hand at camp. He was only 12 years old most of the summer, and yet he volunteered many hours to help out. He saw it as a privilege. (I would agree with that feeling!)
~is a great help to his dad too. Yes, Josh is a capable and willing helper at home, but he also is able to put those muscles he's growing to work when his dad needs help too. There is no doubt that he surpasses me in strength.
~loves to listen to music. He especially seems to have a taste for what we would have called "techno" music back in my day. I think he was born a couple decades too late.
~is the new baby whisperer on the block. Caleb adores Selah, but the fact is he doesn't get to spend much time with her (besides, he claims he retired from his baby whispering days until he has his own kids). So Josh seems to have inherited the ability to calm and put to sleep his little sister. I think it couldn't be sweeter. When I announced my pregnancy, Josh is the one who said, "I was just thinking the other day that I'd never get to hold another baby again!" (He was meaning sibling, not thinking ahead to his own kids or nieces/nephews.)
~is a good babysitter
~works quite independently on his school
~is a loyal friend
~and yet he still seems to know exactly how to do the teenager "things" without being taught...he stays up too late, sleeps in too long, takes showers that are too long, whines when he doesn't get to hang out with his friends, worries about when he'll be able to connect to wifi again, doesn't get his homework done, fights with his siblings, and "forgets" to do things that I've asked him to do. I'm not saying that to embarrass him, but to let you know he's a normal human being whose frontal lobe is still developing. :)

We thank God for you, Josh!
(Now, don't connect to my hotspot again until your schoolwork is done!)


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