I'd like to introduce you to our oldest son, Zed. Here he is regaling Seth, Lillian and Jacob with exciting stories about Cedar Badge:
It doesn't look like they're giving him the rapt attention he deserves. I guess he's actually talking to Phin, the front of whose cap you can see. Or maybe that's me. Anyway...
Zed is 13 and a half and at least 4 inches taller than I am. (He's very proud of that, even though I'm pretty short; still, it is fun to be taller than your mom.) Yesterday afternoon he got back from Cedar Badge, a Boy Scout youth leadership training camp, where he got very dirty and lost his voice yelling funny BSA songs. He had a great time. Zed plays the piano very well and has been teaching himself to play the guitar. He loves to read and play video games, when his mean mom will let him. He's a great older brother to his younger brothers and sisters, especially Mira. Yesterday when we picked up Zed at camp and Mira got a glimpse of him for the first time in six days, she said, "There's Zed! Oh, I missed him." And when we laughed, she said, "I did! I missed him." We all missed him.
Zed and his dad are flying to Berlin, Germany right now. Jon will be working at LinuxTag like he did last year. But this year, instead of taking me, he's taking Zed. Zed's not as pretty as I am, but I think he'll be good company.
Jon and I have been telling the kids for a while that we're all going to Europe some day. But after driving to Billings, Montana a couple of months ago with the whole family, and having to listen to 3.5-year-old Mira constantly demanding to go home in her special voice reserved for everyone within several miles, we decided some day will be farther in the future than we were originally planning. And much as I'd love to go back with Jon this year, we thought the kids might think that wasn't fair ("Life's not fair!" I'm fond of reminding them, because it isn't, but sometimes I try to be fair anyway). Also, it's a lot easier to send a kid to Europe with Jon than it is to find people to watch all of our kids while we go. We hope this will be the beginning of a family tradition where the kids get to go on a fun trip with Dad without any siblings. We've warned them that future trips may be some other exciting city, like New York. Or, you know, Rexburg, Idaho or Elko, Nevada, if the money gets tight. (Actually, we haven't mentioned those last two cities.)
While Jon and Zed are gone, they will be posting pictures and accounts of their adventures. I hope it's often, because I need to to live vicariously through them. Enjoy!