Its 2012 and the Mighty Wainscotts are finally settling in at their new homestead in Denton, Texas. Denton is a city of around 100,000 about equidistant from Dallas, Forth Worth, and the Oklahoma border. It is small enough to enjoy Christmas trees on the town square, and still big enough to have a Target. Some things have definitely changed. The children are now prone to eat their scrambled eggs wrapped in tortillas, we do catch ourselves saying “y’all”, and we now have pet lizards instead of pet hamsters (actually one “official” pet lizard and the lizard who resides year round in our mail box.). There are things we are all enjoying. Our commutes are under ten minutes and we often wear short sleeves in January. We have a house much grander than we are accustomed to with a swimming pool, big closets, and space for all the children. Nearly all the windows go to the floor, which thrills our Dachshunds, and Sarah loves her big bathtub. It is also nice to be close to Bill’s family after 18 years in Virginia. Acclimation is still tough. Finding a grocery store, or a doctor, or a hairdresser seem both trivial and important. Identifying a “church home” for a family of seven with pretty diverse needs, and one that is open to establishing a deaf ministry, has been a primary focus. As the children (and the parents) get involved in small groups, we are hoping to build relationships that will fill some of the void left by our big move. Mostly we miss familiarly and being able to relax and feel comfortable. We still don’t have our crumbs together (and are still to busy to get on Facebook), but we are getting closer.
In addition to the big move we are grappling with the health issues of our parents, perhaps expected during this season of our lives but still devastating. In particular Sarah’s mom who has battled brain cancer this year…there are no words.
Sarah’s new faculty position at Texas Woman’s University has been a great match for her skills and interests. She is thriving, able to pursue teaching and research and writing. She has already found her niche in developing training for early interventionist serving deaf children. Frankly there is great need and little professional “competition” in this area, so it is easy for her to blossom while making positive changes for children and families.
Bill is working as an interpreter at the Denton High School, which Noah attends. Services for deaf students are very different than we are accustomed to and there is a great need for professionals with strong skills, like Bill. Bill will be beginning a master’s degree program in deaf education this summer in hopes of transitioning to a teacher position. It has been a personal loss for Bill to give up the ministry opportunities that he was able to serve in throughout our time in Northern Virginia. He has begun working with Younglife and continues to explore other options in the region and beyond.
And the kids…
Noah (16, ninth grade) is still “transitioning” to Denton High School. He played on the freshman football team, has been involved with Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and is member of Air Force ROTC where he recently took an extended ride in a C1-30. Like a typical teen he oscillates between being sullen, charming, snuggly and ridiculous. He is a good kid whose biggest vice is sneaking candy with tell-tale wrappers in his closet, and experimenting with music, vintage-look T shirts, and superfluous accessories.
John (14, eighth grade) is making some new friends, and is pleased to be in a school with other deaf kids. He is on the cross-country team and has been busy cleaning the pool in the summer, raking the leaves in the fall, and recently putting up the Christmas decorations. John attends the Wylde Life Youth Group with Grace, and carries Grace’s clarinet to the bus top everyday. A high this year was camping with the family at the Grand Canyon, which he recently wrote about for school.
Grace (13, seventh grade) is thriving, meeting new friends. She enjoys playing her clarinet in the band, runs cross country, and is growing more beautiful everyday. She is a constant helper, particularly with her little sister. She is having fun decorating her new bedroom, baking in the kitchen, and listening to her iPod. She recently went on a road trip with her mom and aunts to Paris (Paris, Texas that is!).
Caleb (9, fourth grade) loves being in Texas. He was a power player on the Denton Wildcat football team, and has recently joined the running club at school. He has a new pet lizard named Spike, and is usually full speed either on wheels or with a ball in hand. He walks his sister, Maggie, to school everyday. He is polite, kind, and quick with a joke.
Maggie (7, first grade) loves glitter and poof, which makes her a great match for Texas. Maggie takes great pride in her new reading skills and loves to draw and cut and paste. She recently got her ears pierced and has a big girl hair cut. She emulates her sister Gracie in every way, and loves being closer to her cousin Macie. Maggie is working on her knock-knock jokes.
New year’s resolutions for the family include learning to ride a horse and learning Spanish, exercising and budgeting, getting a puppy, adopting a baby, returning to Nicaragua, having a party and getting a trampoline…oh and starting a blog. We’ll let you know how it all works out. Thanks for thinking of us as we try to feel at home here. It’s like they say: “Texas, It’s like a whole other country.”