Saturday, August 7, 2010

A Smile or a Trial?

I can't believe summer is really coming to an end. Days of otter pops and swim goggles are about to be replaced with brown bag lunches and homework. On one hand I can't wait for them to go back to school, yet a part of me has enjoyed the chaos of having the kids home.

Jonny has grown up alot this summer and has branched out from just being buddy buddy with Andrew. Now that Paul is around both Jonny and Andrew are realizing that he is fun to be around too--despite the language barrier! This has been such a privilege to watch--- I am thankful that they are all getting along-- for the most part.

Tonight we had Anastasia read a translated note from us that read that we are certain she can swim, she shouldn't be afraid because we will not let her drown, and that she would be so proud of herself if she would just swim in the deep end. Did I mention that we also told her that she needs to try swimming tomorrow or we will need to do a little prompting? I know I know-- probably not what you would do-- but all of the encouragement we added in the letter made her seem like she accepted us telling her enough is enough-- Now go out and swim!

Today marks the day that Alex has been home with us one whole year! Can you believe it? And he is doing great! He is so cute and charming that it is hard for someone to not fall for him. At a recent visit at Children's Hospital someone stopped us to say that I had the most beautiful child she has ever seen. Wow-- what a compliment.
He is talking up a storm though it is evident that he needs speech therapy. Good thing he will be getting it twice a week! His first day of kindergarten is this Thursday and he will be riding a bus that will pick him up right in front of our house. He is so excited about this! He will have the same teacher that Jonny had last year and the school psychologist asked if I was okay with them doing Sensitivity Training the following Tuesday. Of course!
Alex has had a battery of tests this past week one of which I won't understand the results for until we see the Neurologist again. But-- we did find out a lot about his bladder-- he is going to start on Oxybutynin which will help with his muscle spasms. This is yet another step on the journey to continence. We have a few more tests coming up including an appointment with a Gastroenterologist-- so I am excited to see what is in store for him!
We have decided that Alex learning how to swim at this time is probably not going to happen-- he just drinks too much pool water anytime he is in the pool even if it is just playing on the steps. I am not sure why he does this-- but it upsets his stomach something terrible and so I have not allowed him to put his head under the water anymore. I am no mathematician but I think that no head in the water equals no learning to swim. Oh well. We have next summer!

This picture of Andrew and Dennis is really sweet. Just look at the way Dennis is loving on him.
The other day I took Anastasia to the dentist. She had five cavities filled. She was incredibly brave but the numbness was really uncomfortable for her. I laid across her legs so that I could hold both her hands and comfort her as the dentist drilled. I kissed the backs of her hands as I instructed her to squeeze my hands when she was uncomfortable. Near the end, she finally began squeezing my hands-- and I was so encouraged that she finally trusted me to take some of her pain. She was amazingly good during the whole appointment and took the news well that she had to come back in a few days to have two more cavities filled. When the dentist was done, Anastasia leaned over and gave her the biggest hug and said, "Thank you." It was yet another glimpse into the beautiful heart of my daughter.
Today John and I took turns running behind Paul as he learned to ride a bike. He is so close--- that I am sure he will be able to ride his upcoming birthday present with skill! In just thirteen days we will be celebrating his 10th birthday!
Anastasia and Paul continue to make great strides in our family. They are learning colors, brushing up on their arithmetic, and preparing for school to start in a few days. They recently learned that we don't point with our middle finger here in America. They have mastered writing their names, the basic rules of our home, and sitting patiently through church, doctor appointments, and family time.
The other night we went to Home Town Buffet for dinner. At the end of the meal, Anna showed Anastasia and Paul how to get an ice-cream cone and fill it with shelled sunflower kernels. The cone makes a great container for the kernels and the three of them enjoyed snacking on them while we visited with our friends. When it was time to go, Paul disappeared for a second. Wondering where he went, Caleb saw him walk over to the salad bar, dump the seeds back, and set the cone on top.
Now if you were me-- would you consider that a smile or a trial?


  1. Definitely a smile!! :)))))

    P.S- Love your family, and i've always thought Alex was absolutely gorgeous. He reminds me of my brother at his age. Which may sound odd but I still think my brother is pretty handsome so oh well. ;) Love your family!

  2. oh a HUGE smile indeed! and a priceless story to tell him one day! I loved reading about what everyone is doing and the accomplishments they've made. You are one good Mama!

  3. Oh, definitely a sweet smile!


  4. wow!!! one year since Alex came home??? it seems like yesterday when I was praying for your safe journey and all... and yet, I don't really remember time when he wasn't home - you know what I mean? - he fits in perfectly :)
    you're so blessed to have such a wonderful family :)

    btw thanks for visiting my blog and posting a comment :) - it was so nice to see that sometimes someone even reads what I write :D

  5. Your kids are growing SO fast! Dennis looks so grown up in that shot with Jonny.

    I'd have to say that putting back the sunflower seeds was a smile. I suspect he figured that if he wasn't going to eat them, someone else could. Probably made perfect sense, coming from his background. :)

    As for the note to Anastasia, it isn't what I'd do maybe, but you guys have proven time and time again that you know how to be great parents, so I have no doubt it was the perfect thing for her.

  6. Love the shot of Dennis with Johnny. They are so sweet together. The swimming brings back memories. We had to do some prompting with Justin. It freaked him out at first but he was so proud of himself when he discovered he really could swim. It also was a trust issue that we wouldn't let him drown. Now he dives off of our rock and swims all over the place.

  7. A little of both I would say!

    I don't post much at all, but I ready your blog almost daily and am still amazed at the grace God has given you to raise these children. I have only one adopted son and I am not sure I could have even one more! I love him, but things can be hard. Thanks for writing, for loving the Lord and for being honest.

  8. Smile! bless his heart for not wanting to waste what he was not going to use...he was recycling! LOL!


  9. I would say 'a priceless smile'. I think that is just lovely, I really do. Obviously is his mind if he didn't eat them all he had to put them back for the next person! They are all adorable and you are such great parents.


I find your comments so inspiring! Thanks for visiting our family blog, and sharing your thoughts.