Friday, May 28, 2010

Micah's Birthday!

Tuesday was Micah's 8th birthday! We went to McDonald's for lunch where he, Amelia, and Sunny had a great time in the playplace. Afterwards Alexander and I went out to buy a new pool for the little ones, since it was unbearably hot (and even hotter the next day)!

Micah loves the pool, although the water was very cold. Micah is a very happy boy, but it is actually rare that he will look at a camera and smile, which makes the picture here very special.

I know this post is a few days late, but it is actually good timing. It was on this day five years ago that Nikita and I took a bus to the New Territories in Hong Kong and met Micah! He was so tiny then, just three days after his third birthday and weighing only 24 pounds. He was a bundle of energy though!! I remember being at the flat in Hong Kong and dead tired from jet lag while Micah was doing his bear crawl exploring everything...I was wondering what we were getting ourselves into with this little guy!

He is still a bundle of energy, and in the five years he has been our son we have been blessed by him daily.

We are so thankful to Mother's Choice and his foster mom in Hong Kong for loving him so much, and thankful to the Good Lord for blessing us with this incredible boy!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Not Quite What I Meant...

The triplets love to play outside. We did get our yard fenced in a few years ago to help them be aware of the boundaries. However, they do still need to be supervised when playing outside, mostly because of their risk taking when playing on the swingset or climbing trees and the henhouse.

Lately the little ones have been enjoying Spring, and simply going outside whenever the mood strikes. Yesterday in a stroke of genius I wrote a note on the glass double door, right next to the doorknob. "You have to ask before you go outside." I went over it with them, and Amelia with her love of rules went over it several times with Sunny and Micah. (Even though the poster is long gone, she will still at bedtime recite her waking up rules about not waking up Sunny.)

Unfortunately, I apparently neglected to mention just whom should be asked for permission to go out. One of the teens just informed me that just last evening, Amelia read the new rule to herself. Then she said, "Amelia, can I go outside?" Followed by "Yes, you can.", and "Ok!" Then she went outside.

Is she perhaps a little bit smarter than I??

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Adaptive Dance Recital!

This morning Amelia, Sunny, and Micah had their final Adaptive Dance session of the year. It was a recital, with all 5 classes participating. All of the students were amazing, and were clearly enjoying themselves.
In the above photo, my triplet's class is warming up with their teacher.
Here they were switching feet based on low tones and high tones from the drummer-- red foot for high and blue foot for low.

Their teachers were amazing, and the kids love them.
Even Sunny fully participated!! That's her on the right last in line.
Dante however was not always interested, and crawled away. Nikita went to sit with him and he snatched up her cell phone when it fell out of her pocket.
We should not have been surprised that it went a bit long. I can see where it might have been tough for our teens whom we dragged out the door by 7:30Am to go watch their siblings perform in Boston.... to spend 15 minutes watching the triplets and then another hour and 45 minutes watching the other classes show what they have learned.
We actually thought it was more of a do-your-song-performance thing than each class spending A LOT of time showing all kinds of stuff. So we completely missed the kid's Challenger baseball game back in Spencer. In an attempt to show gratitude to the teens for their willingness to go to the recital, and knowing we would never make it to the game anyhow, we took everyone out to lunch at Red Robin. This was definitely a treat because we only go out to a restaurant as a family twice a year since there are so many of us!
It actually ended up being such a long morning that we skipped the evening team practice for Special Olympics. We were all ready for some relaxing when we got home. After being home for a bit we were able to get some stuff done around the yard-- like replanting the broccoli Zachary's chickens had dug up looking for bugs when they escaped this morning!! grrr.
All in all, a wonderful and beautiful day.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Playing Speech

It is not uncommon for typical children to play "school". My kids however, are anything but typical. The other day they were re-enacting one of their group speech therapy sessions.

Amelia is first, reading a book and having Sunny pace out her sentences as instructed by Amelia.

Surprisingly, Sunny also took turns doing the reading and pacing out a sentence for Amelia to say. This was unusual in that Sunny is still exerting her stubborness while at speech, only cooperating with her clinician every now and then.

(Micah did not want a turn, but followed along.)

Sunny has come a long way in recent weeks, and we do not know what sparked it but are very thankful for the positive changes we are seeing. She no longer takes her meals at the counter but has returned to the family table. Oddly enough, she still will not eat at all unless we put the utensil in her hand...she actually clenches her fist and resists being given the fork or spoon, but once it is in starts eating right away. But she is at the table with us!! There are still times at lunch when she will stop eating if Amelia walks in the room but it is getting much better.

Amelia, Micah, and Sunny have been playing together a lot lately, and Sunny is trying out new words much more easily. I can still see a lot of control issues in the way Sunny plays, but she is improving. Her favorite game is a version of Hide and Seek where she hides objects for Amelia to find, but she never plays if Amelia wants to be the one hiding the items. Unfortunately, if Amelia cannot find what is hidden Sunny will not show her where it is, and since they do not stick to toys it can be very frustrating. Nikita had to call her own cell phone and follow the sound to find it! I still do not know where the TV remote is, or the case to a library DVD.

All in all, it is progress, and I am glad!
God is good!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Play Ball!!

One of the blessings of homeschooling is that we can be busy after school hours and weekends without going completely nutty. Our school day includes what most students take home as homework, and even then we are often done before public school kids are. This means no getting them off the bus, rushing through homework and then off to the game, practice, or whatever happens to be going on that day. I honestly don't know how public school parents do it all without losing their sanity.

I try to remember this on days like today, when the "triplets" started their baseball league. We left the house at 7:40am to head into Boston for their second-to-last dance class, put their uniforms on over their leotards and went straight to the baseball game, then came home for just over two hours before Jamie headed out again with them to their weekly Special Olympics gymnastics team practice. Thankfully there is only a two week overlap when all three events are in the same day! (Last week's game was cancelled due to rain, and next week is their dance recital so that will be done until September.)

Amelia is the busiest of them all, since she is in a typical gymnastics class, plus Adaptive Dance, Challenger League, and Special Olympics. She has the energy for it though, and more. Of course, I think she is wicked smart-- May 23rd dance recital, June 12th gym show routine (for her typical class), and June 19th Special Olympics with a floor routine, balance beam, bars, and vault. She knows them all and doesn't mix them up! The poor girl will be so bored once Summer comes and we have nothing going on....although I look forward to it.

This is the first year our area has a Challenger Little League Team, and we were so excited to sign up the kids. And they had a blast today!!

Amelia and Sunny are playing catch. If you do it really closely together, there is zero chance of dropping the ball!

Amelia going up for her first at-bat.

Micah being coached through his first swing.

And Sunny with her first swing of the game!
(The ball is flying through the air just in front of Amelia- a great hit.)

Everyone runs for the ball in this game!

And the post-game congratulations...even though they don't keep score.

(Thank you Jamie for letting me stay home to relax while you went off to gymnastics!!)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

How to Scare Your Teenagers

Apparently the latest in the world of pregnant women is the "home birth" movement. I admit it is nice that there are a variety of options for giving birth, since women have a variey of personalities and preferences. However, there is no way I am going to try that.

Just for fun though, I said to Nikita yesterday, "Maybe I should just do a home birth". Her reaction was instantaneous and crystal clear on her opinion, "HOLY CRAP, NO WAY!!!" Two minutes later she cautioned me to stop laughing so hard before I went into early labor. (51 days to go!!!) I did reassure her that home birth would not intentionally happen.

On a funny note-- this morning Amelia, Sunny, and Micah had their flash cards and picture cards spread all over the living room floor. Since I tend to save way too much stuff, there were a lot of cards, carpeting the whole room. When Zachary attempted to get to the couch he accidentally moved some cards by stepping on them. Nine year old Amelia told fifteen year old Zachary to "go sit" (on the bottom stair for a time out). Being a good naughty boy he complied, and after a few seconds she told him, "Ok, you can get up now".

It is so nice to know we have three authority figures in this house-- Dad, Mom, and Amelia, self-appointed Household Manager. I am not sure Amelia would agree that I listed us in the proper order from most authority to least, though.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Is, Was, Would Have Been??

Mom's birthday. She would have been 61 today if she were still with us. I honestly cannot say that I miss her. She is with the Lord, with Dad, and with Tracy. And selfishly, I don't have to know that I didn't get the right gift, didn't fail to make the visit this weekend for Mother's Day and her birthday, didn't call soon enough so she thought I had forgotten. If I think about it, I miss what she should have been and sometimes was as a mother when I was a child, but that is an idealized view and not one I will weep over. (I do still miss Dad so much though, and that can be where the guilt comes in.)

Anyhow, I was not going to include any kids in the blog today, but you HAVE to know what Micah did this morning. I could hear someone rummaging around in the bathroom and went up to find that he had awakened and begun to ready himself for the day. He had applied some mascara, and was getting ready to put on some of Jamie's shaving cream and shave. I guess he can't decide if he wants to be like Mom, Dad, or Johnny Depp....

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Odd Egg

One of Zachary's hens laid this egg the other day. The top part is all hard shell, although it is formed unusually. We have certainly never seen one like it before.