Monday, January 30, 2012


After I babbled on about Sawyer a couple months back, before the holidays... and was then distracted by our season of crazy... it's high time I moved on to the other child around here and bragged a bit about Savannah.

I've been trying to mentally compose this post for awhile and I have to admit it's been a bit of a struggle for me because we've been dealing with a lot of not-Savannah-like behaviors lately. Which I hope are not becoming Savannah-like. So it's good for me to really take some time and attention and focus on all of who our SJ is right now and not just what's been getting our attention lately...

Oh Savannah, where do I start?
She's reached that goofy older-elementary age... I get peeks of the awkward pre-teen years to come here and there, but mostly she's just goofy. She's tall and thin and a little lanky, but still petite at the same time.  Sometimes I look at her and wonder "who are you?". Where did my baby girl go??
We had been hauling something in our  vehicle and the seats had been all rearranged and we made a quick trip somewhere and let her just ride in the regular old seat/seatbelt... (the fact that I have a kid who's [almost] old enough to not need a child safety seat of any kind???  absurd!) and I couldn't stop glancing in the backseat at her.  She looked entirely too grown up with her legs crossed, feet on the floor, her nose in a book, just riding along in the backseat.

Savannah still (will always??) loves school. She was stressed out about third grade all last summer; they start standardized state testing with third graders (way out in April) and they make it such a big deal that poor Savannah was stressing about it last April, as a second grader. She's such a performance based perfectionist, the idea of this huge week of Really Important Tests terrified her. She's seemed to have calmed down a lot as this school year has gotten underway, much thanks to her teacher who has helped them get used to the idea of the testing and is getting them very prepared with not only the learning, but the practicing of the test procedures waaaay ahead of time.
So she loves third grade.
She loves her teacher and she has lots of new friends at school this year. It's a smaller class and she is thriving in it. At our teacher conferences her teacher beamed about how ahead of the game she can be... she's the one who's on task, getting her work done right away.  And she also marveled at how off task she can be... that she often has to shush her or separate her and a giggling girlfriend, but that Savannah still somehow always gets her work done right away.
I went along to a museum with her class last month and it was a trip for me to just stand back and watch SJ with her friends.  To watch her in the world that we don't normally get to watch... to see her giggling with friends and listen to their inside jokes and watch her walk down the hallways of the museum sandwiched between two other girls, hands joined, swinging arms merrily.  It really hit home how fast she's going to be her own person with her own life someday soon.  And it really hit home how we're going to have to be so intentional about being a part of that world of hers. ;)

Our girl is cheering again this winter.  She really loves this "sport" and we're all kind of bummed that we didn't pick the greatest spot to be in it... her squad is kind of lame.  To say the least.  She's asking about looking into other cheer programs around.  I think we'll definitely be looking into it.  It so fun to watch her be so confident in something... she -not knowing anyone else from this church team- is one of the loudest, most spirited, most confident cheerleader out there.
She's also really looking forward to trying out Softball in the spring.  She's been talking about it since Sawyer played baseball last year so we have her all signed up and ready to go.  I hope she likes it as much as she thinks she will.

Savannah's been volunteering to be involved in the kitchen duties around here a lot lately... inquiring ahead of time what is on the menu for dinner or offering up her own suggestions if I don't have one.  And wanting to help and learn to get the meals prepared. 
That might be directly related to the fact that Savannah is a planner.  She likes her calendar and her lists and she really likes to know what's going on.  She wants things written down and spelled out and she'll repeatedly ask about things as if to make sure she knows the ins and outs of what's happening when.  She's a little uneasy when we don't have "a plan" or when we're trying to play it by ear.

 Which leads to Savannah definitely acting the big sister part.  She's a little on the bossy side; not usually in a mean way, but the orderly, this-is-what-everyone-should-be-doing-and-how-they-should-be-doing-it mindset is hard for her to stifle sometimes. 
She's a caretaker.  She's the one who's most attached to the puppy... she's on top of "does Clementine need to be let out?  Has she eaten?  Does she need this or that?" and she remembers everything we tell her about caring for and training a dog.  Unfortunately she's also kind of a pushover when it comes to the puppy too. ;)
Clementine's favorite napping spot is on her pillow in front of the fire and nine times out of ten you'll find Savannah sitting right there with her (on the hearth's cold tile!)  If Clementine was allowed upstairs or ever a sleep with her people kind of dog, SJ's room would be hers.
As it is, they like to enjoy the sunshine spots on the carpet together. :)

She has her dad's impatience and short temper, but is quick to worry if someone is sick or hurt.
She's a rule follower and a people pleaser.
She can be a worry wart and internalizes things so we need to be careful and be sure to talk certain things through with her.
She loves to watch the weather and know the forecast each day and especially keep track of storms.
She loves to laugh and especially loves making her brother laugh.
I love the little half moons her eyes still turn into when she laughs... that obnoxious, bubbly eight-year-old giggle that seems to never stop sometimes, but I love it all the same.
The single biggest descriptor that comes to my mind with Savannah is Creative.
She is a self-proclaimed (and accurately so) Artist.

She is forever making things... everything from stories and make-believe worlds to illustrations and frameable artwork.  She loves doodling and her favorite time passing game is a drawing guessing game... like a made up pictionary of sorts.  (I must add that she's better at Pictionary than the adults in the house too!)  Magnadoodles, notebooks, chalkboards, construction paper and sketchpads... you name it, she'll fill it with pictures.

Savannah's a written word girl as well.  Not just in loving to read, but she still loves to write.  She journals and keeps up regularly with our "nighttime notebook"... where she leaves us notes when she goes to bed for us to answer questions and "sign in" when we check on her later as we go to bed ourselves.  And we constantly find notes from her, left on our pillow or our bathroom counter... just little I love you's or Thank you's or whatever's on her mind.  Love, love, love that.

Savannah is definitely still -and will always be- our Joy, just as we named her almost nine (!!?!?!!) years ago... even when she throws the "Terrible 8's" (as opposed to the Terrible Twos when she was actually a delightful toddler!) at us.

It's crazy to think about how she's grown up over the years... how much has changed and how much of who she is is still exactly the same.  And the crazier thing is, I think we still have a whole lot to learn about this kid and I can't wait to see who she becomes as she moves into the "pre-tween" years!


Mom said...

Loved reading all that you shared,and seeing the pictures.(I hardly recoginise her sometimes )...but oh,how it makes me miss that "girly".XOXOXOX

SJ's Dad said...

I love her eyes.

Grandma Debbie said...

Thank you for that great post about Savannah! We got to experience and observe the grown-up SJ during our visit last fall. She is a GREAT artist, so smart and just so much fun! You guys have raised her well......we just love her so much....and are so grateful to be her grandparents :-)

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