Well – we now are a two-teenager family!  Matea turned 13 on the weekend.  I think it’s the kind of milestone-y birthday that causes me to realize that her upbringing is in fact quite different than mine was.
Here’s all the kids who were there for singing & cupcakes in front of the school house (since the work on our roof continues -and would make it hard to hear if you were done signing or not!)
 When I was 13 I felt like I was a definite outsider – that kid who had recently moved to a new school as I was living in my 3rd province in Western Canada – and Matea has lived on 3 continents.
She has not had the opportunities to be involved in gymnastics or things that we know she loves except for a few years – but she’s made friends from all over the world.
She’s now the oldest kid (of 19) in our little community here – so although she doesn’t have true peers, and lacks friends exactly her age, she has learned to be more flexible, inclusive, and developed a very big-sisterly way of helping and looking after others.
 If we were still living in Canada where she was born – I think she’d be the kind of student to fly through every assignment as quickly as possible, and race on to the next thing, in many cases leaving nothing more than what resembles the trace of a tornado…..no wait, that part is the same.
So here’s to our unbelievably spunky, feisty, embrace-life, and do everything at full-speed (and full volume) girl.