I recently needed to take some pictures of Jake for his confirmation invitations. It's been awhile since I've asked this kid to purposefully pose in front of a camera. I ambushed him as soon as he walked in the door from school. I barely gave him time to remove his coat before I was pushing him out the back door and promising this would take less than five minutes.
Jake is a lovely young man...but a natural model he is not. If you ask him to smile for a picture you generally get a widening of the mouth, but it is definitely a forced effort. And every picture shows it. My goal was to get something that looked slightly more relaxed. At first he sat down in typical "Jake picture" fashion...which includes a plastered smile and ramrod straight back. By simply asking him to lean forward, suddenly he was so much more relaxed and I was able to get a couple shots that weren't all statuesque!
At 14, Jake has definitely shot up in height some and people say he's really starting to sound like Mike - especially on the phone. His love of cars has not waned and he's still our walking encyclopedia for any pricing or style information we need. He definitely has our next Lamborghini picked out! (HA!)
He still really loves to play percussion in the band and this year was in the Jazz and Chamber Winds ensembles. According to Maddie he listens to "weird" music....That comment intrigued me so I had him play some of the what he was listening to thinking I may need to pull the parent card if it was some crazy death tune stuff.
No worries. He listens to what is basically orchestral music...but more the style you would hear in movies. It's actually pretty interesting to listen to. Lately - since he knows he has to practice anyway, he's taken to picking out his pieces which consist of arrangements of movie/t.v. themes that some prodigy from YouTube writes and plays. They are fairly difficult pieces. I'd really like him to try other style pieces, but this isn't a battle I think is necessary at this point; he's playing and he's playing challenging pieces that he likes.
He's getting to be pretty proficient in the kitchen and one week made 4 of our 6 at-home dinners. Not just Mac and Cheese...full fledged recipes. We met with his "Teen Chef" teacher and she informed us that after this class the kids should be pretty confident to walk in to a kitchen and read a simple recipe. At that same moment, Jake was at home making our evening meal which consisted of grilled hamburgers. He has also learned how to carve a swan out of an apple...these are life skills, people!!
He's an okay kid. We'll keep him.