Well, we’re just a tad behind with this one… 9 months to be exact… (That was at the time of doing the actual interview. Tack on another five months to get it published…)
You could have had a baby in that time!
Yes, that’s how delayed this interview has been. I could have grown and birthed a baby since you actually turned 10. (But she’s not 11 yet, so sitting in the Black Bear campground parking lot on a date, we are determined to capture her 10 ¾ year old self.)
So, tell me about 5th grade.
Well, it’s harder than 4th grade.
What kinds of interesting things are you learning?
Mostly in science. Eyeballs, nose, nostrils.
What about history?
Ooh! That’s one of my favorites! Well, partly because I get to draw while you’re reading to us. Also, though, I do enjoy hearing about all the … I guess you could say, strange … achievements. Like how Alexandria got its name. We’ve been talking about the Greeks. They were very double-minded. Very, very double minded. They would say, “Hey! You’re our hero!” And then when the hero did some teensy weensy thing they didn’t like, they would say, “We banish you!” And then two years later, when they’re in trouble they say, “Hey! Come rescue us!” Double minded Greeks…
Hebrew is actually my favorite. Ani ohevet pizza. (Translated: I like pizza.) Ani ohevet mischpacha v’morah. (Translated: I love my family and teacher.) Ani yalda. (Translated: I am a girl.) Ani lo kelev. (I am not a dog.)
What do you like to do when you’re not doing school?
Oh, all kinds of things! Write, draw, play with siblings, eat.
(She neglected to mention reading. This girl reads all the time. She consumes books ridiculously quickly. Below are some moments Erich caught of Madeline reading at Mimi and Grandpa’s house.)
Let’s develop some of those things a bit. Tell me more about your writing.
One thing every one of my stories has in common (except when I was littler) is all of them are very, very complicated. This is a relative of this character, who is the mother of the daughter, who is the sister of this girl, who is actually adopted into the family…You get the picture.
And what types of stories do you write?
I write novels. And series of books. Most of them are dramedies. They are dramas with some comedy.
I wrote Luctom the Croc, which is basically a comedy. Luctom is this crocodile and he is the largest one in the zoo. This was actually based on a trip to the St. Augustine Alligator Farm that we took. We stayed in this fancy hotel and ate wonderful breakfast. Man, that was fun. Well, so… He’s this crocodile who is grumpy. He doesn’t want to be bothered or messed with. He was annoyed by everything and everyone. They put a girl crocodile in, and they mated.
Does he get happy after he has a wife?
Yep! The story doesn’t really have a point or teach anything. It’s just supposed to be fun.
Tell me a bit about your drawings.
Well, I kinda go through phases with drawing. There was one point where I drew Esther. Esther. Esther. You get the picture. One of the biggest sections in my drawing binder is the Esther section.
Now I am going through a Mary and Joseph and Yeshua phase. Drawing all about that era. Different scenes, like the wise men going to see Yeshua when he was a baby. I put the scenes in order, from when Mary was pregnant and she went to see Elizabeth, and John jumped in her tummy. Then Joseph and Mary were traveling to Bethlehem. And then Yeshua was born and the wise men came to see him. There are more.
Tell me what you like to play with your siblings.
Well, we play cars with/without eyes. We have a big rug with a road outside on the carport. And we take our cars and drive them along the road and play with them. Some of the cars have eyes, like the ones from the movie Cars. There are also Hotwheels and toy Corvettes, which don’t have eyes. (Hence the name.)
And we also like to play pitch ball. It’s a game we made up earlier today where someone sits in our little purple baby seat and there’s a blue ball… And there has to be at least three players. So, that’s at least Kieryn, Anson, and I… Earlier this morning, there was Simeon too, which made it even more fun. So, for example, Kieryn had the blue ball and Anson was sitting in the purple seat. I stood by as a witness. Kieryn gently tossed the ball when Anson wasn’t ready. Or tried to at least.
So the point was to try to throw it when the other person wasn’t ready?
Yes. Anson tried to block the ball from hitting him, using his hands. If Anson blocked the ball, Kieryn struck one. If Kieryn hit Anson, then Anson struck one. Three strikes and you’re out. The person standing by takes the place of the one who struck out. That’s really fun!
Tell me about your relationship with your siblings.
Anson and I are about the same age (2 years difference), so that makes us closer than the other siblings, in that sense. So, he and I can relate in a lot of things.
Like you do some school together.
Yes, like Hebrew.
And Kieryn and I are so close that Kieryn let me share the top bunk with her, and we sleep there together almost all the time.
Simeon and I are just about the youngest and the oldest. Except for Eden… So, we do some things together. Sometimes Kieryn and Anson will be doing something with dad and Simeon and I will go jump on the trampoline by ourselves.
Once he helped you make up a really yummy cookie recipe, right?
Yes! That’s one of my favorites! He likes to help me cook. He’s one of the first siblings who comes up and says, “Can I help, Madeline?” It’s rare that something would get in the way of him helping me. It’s fun.
Also my relationship with Eden is great, even though she’s little and I’m bigger. After mommy, she chooses me (most of the time). She and I do fun stuff too! Like, we go and jump lightly on the trampoline together. She loves that. And I’ll walk up to Hank, and she’ll smile and squeal and reach out her hand. I’ll show her how to pet gently. We say, “geeeentle” in a soft voice. (Sighs) Good times.
Well, you said you also like to eat. So, tell me about the foods you like to eat or cook.
I love this subject! I like to cook. Some of my favorite recipes are posted on my blog.
As far as eating goes, I enjoy eating quesadillas with beans inside and sour cream, guacamole, and salsa on top. Yum! I also like macaroni and cheese with broccoli. And grilled chicken on salad. Mmmm… I could name a million more things if they would come to mind…
What about desserts?
Yes! White bean cupcakes with whipped cream and strawberries! Or black bean cupcakes with Memere’s frosting. And I looooove Navajo Fry Bread. And macademia nut clusters. And banana split cake.
What kind of spiritual things are you learning lately?
Daddy’s been teaching us about watching our words and putting on the armor of God – the breastplate of righteousness, the shield of faith, the belt of truth, the sword of the word, the shoes of readiness… Is that it? Oh! The helmet of … I just looked at it this morning… The helmet of …
Want a hint?
Yes! What letter does it start with?
S… Want another hint?
No! … It’s not Satan.
True! We don’t put the helmet of Satan on!
It’s not slimy either. Or sandwich.
Correct! Ready for another hint? I can tell you the Hebrew version of the word.
And with that, it’s time for us to head over to get some ice cream before we go back to the house. This girl is a joy to watch grow up. She is a delight to us. A magnificent gift.