In my note yesterday about artistic genes, I neglected to mention Ned, who not only has the music gene, but he's also a terrific artist. He has his traditional "guy" who adorns anything he signs and right now he is working on a project for Bri's upcoming birthday (which I won't describe, because it's a surprise).
For her birthdays 1 thru 10, he made terrific videos, like this one for her second birthday. Each year they got more and more elaborate, and they each end with a clip from Sesame Street. But the baker in Sesame Street who falls down the stairs only goes as far as 10, so Ned let Bri know last year that this would be his last video for her and that he would think of something else for this year
After her birthday, I'll include a sample of what he is making, but I tell ya, he amazes me every year not only with his creativity but his dedication to make it the best it can possibly be. He came by this morning and showed me a sample and I can hardly wait to see the finished product. Brianna will love it.
Last year he got together with a bunch of kids of the Lawsuit parents and took them to Tahoe to make a movie. Ned doesn't just "make a movie." He's the Stephen Spielberg of home movies. The kids got together and created the script and then they filmed for three days, in several locations. Ned did the post-production which included special effects, and a soundtrack, and then a grand opening to which all the kids and their parents were invited.
He has also made movies with Brianna and Lacie that get the same treatment. He can't just throw something together. It has to be special and each of them is special. He even has a green screen that has seen a lot of use (as you can see in the video I linked).
I truly don't know where all these talented kids came from!
Yesterday I got a packet for a new Compassion child I will be corresponding with, from the Philippines. She just turned 6 last week. She is in kindergarten and the information says she is performing "below average."
I don't know her family situation, but no parents are listed, but a guardian is. She likes art and drawing and also likes listening to stories. I will have to find some stories to send her.
She is my second correspondent child from the Philippines. The first, Fred, is one of the first kids I began writing to and I have been writing to him for 10 years. In the beginning his mother wrote wonderful letters because he was too little to write himself, but once he was old enough to write (not in English--her letters were in English), he wrote the letters himself and they were traslated by some Compassion worker. He started out as a correspondence child, but when his financial sponsor decided to drop him, I took him up because he had been one of my favorites.
He's 16 now and his letters are the same as they were when he was 6, though he now writes in English. In every letter he asks me how old I am, asks me to pray for someone ("Please pray for my lola because she sick and getting older") and thanks me for being his sponsor. He always sends a drawing, always a house with a tree and clouds in the sky. Ten years of that house, though it is looking more mature than it did when he was younger.
I wrote to Compassion today inquiring about his family and hope they will give me an update because his parents are no longer listed on his bio and his last name is now the last name of the caregiver listed. I don't know if his parents died or what.
Compassion also sends you something like a report card, which I received for James, in Kenya, as he enters a new class, letting me know what he is currently doing in the spiritual, cognitive, physical and socio-emotional areas.
They also periodically send a letter from the pastor of whatever church is the Compassion center for a specific child. It talks about the church itself, its plans for the future, describing where it is situated, etc., etc. It's a nice touch that keeps you more aware of what the lives of the children are like.
Gravin is another new child that turned up in my inbox recently ... another correspondence child.
He's from Kenya and is 8. He likes drama, bicycling and running...sounds like he'd be a perfect fit in Davis!
He is in second grade and, like Francia, has no parents listed, but the name of a caregiver. His letter is written (and translated) by a Compassion worker, where he says he is in 2nd grade and loves learning English and he promises to "work extra hard."
Maybe, like Fred, he will one day be able to write to me in English, though I hope he doesn't ask me how old I am every time he writes!