She's starting high school next year.
When did THAT become one of those right-around-the-corner-things!
Of course, she's always seemed a little more grown-up than she really is, particularly when I could leave her babysitting the two youngest Wrightlings to run to the market and come home and she'd have a meal for the family prepared and the worst of the kitchen mess already cleaned up... and that was 2.5 years ago!
She's also our socialite - extrovert- just can get enough of friends and people girl. So it sometimes amuses me that she and Anna (at the total other opposite extreme) are such good buddies.
Nadia LOVES to read, and devours books like the rest of this family. That certainly is one of the advantages to this missionary lifestyle. Reading rather than television tends to become a preferred way to pass the time.
Other hobbies she's had this term include cross-stitching, making sugar cookies, dancing, playing volleyball, swimming, playing the piano and horseback riding.
This is her first year riding horses, and she recently earned her Gallops 1 certificate. She's had a few scary experiences with the horses, coming home a couple of times in tears either because the horse refused to obey or one night after the horse stumbled and fell with her on his back. Thankfully they were both okay... and she gathered up her nerve to hop back up on his back and keep on riding.
What is it with girls and horses - all three of my big girls are mesmerized by those creatures, but then again, once upon a time, so was I.
She's part of a great 8th grade class at school. They get along really well together, seem to enjoy each other's company and have a lot of fun. I don't think there's an ornery one in the bunch of them - though there are some jokers and great senses of humor! Can't you tell?
Nadia seems to really like school. She is a hard worker, diligent with her homework, loves to learn and research things that interest her, is not afraid to share her opinion or speak her mind. She's worked hard on developing her writing skills this year and has had a blast in her Earth Science class - which I find totally amusing because that was not one of those classes that ever interested me. Give me biology any day!
Nadia is an organizer and a planner - maybe that is part of why she does so well in the kitchen. She is every bit as competent as me - unless Facebook happens to be open on the computer and the computer happens to be sitting on the bar playing music out of Itunes. Then she tries to multitask - kitchen work, Facebook and singing and dancing and something gets the short shaft... usually the kitchen floor. !
Based off of what she tells me from the books she reads, fantasy seems to be a favorite genre of literature. That fact was confirmed when she was the most persistent of our children (even more so than Brendan) that we pre-order and then download The Hobbit. After three nights trying to get the 2.7+ GB transferred from our "cloud" to my computer, she immediately organized a party for all the teens in the neighborhood, on a school night, nonetheless, and they watched The Hobbit. If I had to make a guess as to her second favorite genre, it is probably adventure with a dash of romance thrown in. She is a girl, after all, eh?
She might just end up being the tallest of the Wright girls. She's passed Rebekah and isn't too far off catching her mama. She comes to check at least a couple of times each week.
She has a super soft spot in her heart for our dog Butterscotch. Flies here are merciless when it comes to chewing on puppy ears and for some reason, they like Butterscotch. Nadia's the one who remembers to let her in and who bathes the dogs ears and then coats them with petroleum jelly to help protect them. And Butterscotch will listen to her - the crazy dog actually listens when Nadia calls her to fasten her back to her chain.
Many people who remember Nadia from when she was a tinier tyke will remember that she was the one who always had the short hair. That was because she would scram like I was killing her any time I tried to brush it and I decided it wasn't a battle I felt like fighting every morning. Instead, I'd fight it every 6 weeks or so when it was time to cut her hair. Now? That girl has the thickest head of long blonde hair imaginable. Sometimes I still threaten to cut it if she doesn't at least brush it before pulling it back in her habitual ponytail!
A few weeks back, Nadia the organizer/planner decided she wanted to make a kite and fly it on a windy Saturday. She tried... It was a flop. But I love the fact that she will take what she has available to create or to build or to come up with some experiment or something else interesting. In the process, she kept several siblings entertained and occupied for a couple of hours... or maybe she helped them avoid Saturday morning housecleaning time?
One of the other things that is super cool about Nadia is that she knows herself. At least 6 months ago, she decided that for her birthday she wanted a candy corn birthday cake. So we figured out how to make candy corns (it is actually pretty easy and even fun), invited some friends over and that is what they did. Not many people can put on their resume or college application making candy corns from scratch.
Occasionally she talks about what she wants to be when she grows up. Right now, she seems to be thinking about becoming a teacher. But she just might be one of those kids for whom the sky is the limit. She's smart, learning comes pretty easily to her, she's willing to experiment and try new things, she loves people and is not afraid to be up front (most of the time), she's articulate and on top of all that, she is very will to work hard and carry her share of the load.
With her littler sisters, Nadia is often the snuggler of choice; and many times when one of the little girls has a scary dream or needs comfort in the night, they'll seek out Nadia, knowing she'll either comfort them or help them find their way down the hallway to Mama and Daddy.
Nadia's not a frilly or fluffy sort of girl. She likes jeans and t-shirts. Sometimes she'll dress her jeans up with a really nice shirt. When she wears a dress, it is almost a very tailored, business looking outfit. If there is something that has lace or any ruffles, it is always a tiny touch and, in my opinion, very tasteful. Of course, her clothing tastes tend to be quite similar to my own!
She's one of those super loyal types, too. She's still wearing the same pair of pj pants she was wearing when we left the States last time. Of course, they just barely come down past her knees - but she "...ain't about to give 'em up!"
When people who've not seen our family for three years see photos of Nadia, they tell me that she's the one who has changes the most. There's no doubt about it. She's becoming a beautiful young woman, inside and out - and people who know her are sure to say something good about her on a regular basis.
Except for cockroaches. They aren't particularly fond of her. She's horribly antagonistic towards cockroaches. You'll have to leave me a comment and ask me how I know, but I just got a demonstration, even as I'm typing this blog post!
Returning to the States next year is going to be a bittersweet thing for her. She's excited to see family, to celebrate Andi and Joe's wedding, to visit Scotland on the way, give her grandparents hugs and catch up with friends back at Calvary Baptist. But she won't get to see the gal who has been one of her best friends since they truly were just little tykes (our families first met up in Québec, in language school) before we leave. She's really close to the two gals in this photo: one of the girls is from Great Britain; the other is from the States - her family is also heading back for home assignment. Nadia loves living in Niger. She still has friends from her time at Ecole Alliance, friends she may never see again.
The bravery of these TCKs amazes me. They face more change in their lives on a yearly basis than some face in an entire lifetime. Yet this gal God has loaned us trusts Him for an exciting and beautiful future, whatever that future may be. She's come a along ways from the little gal her daddy and I used to tease about being "Nadia noisey, Nadia naughty or Nadia nice!"
I know our lovely girl will appreciate prayer as she moves through our upcoming transition. Junior high is a challenging time to make big changes. So when you think of her, please pray:
- she adjusts well into a different curriculum and high school and that we are able to get her a schedule where she's not repeating classes she has already had. That is another one of those MK hazards!
- she is starting to explore some different ideas regarding what she wants to do in the future - praying that she gets lots of opportunities.
- she will have to leave with some unsaid goodbyes - and that is always hard.
- she will continue to be a good friend, that she will work on continuing relationships as she can from a distance via Facebook, email, etc.
- she learns to navigate guy-girl friendships in a very different world than all of the "brothers" she's grown up with the past few years at Sahel.
- she continues to delight in life and grow in humility, confidence and her optimistic, hopeful outlook for the future.