30 septiembre 2015

Promise me you'll never grow up.

-a thorough sigh-

Yesterday, when we reached the end of the penultimate chapter of Peter Pan, I had already started misting up.  And when the children asked me what was wrong, I just said that I was sad and that tomorrow I would be really sad.

Accordingly, when we sat down to our mountain of morning reading today, I had my little orange and white Ukrainian handkerchief at the ready.

I sobbed through the entire last chapter.

I have always cried at the end of good books or TV series, but... whoa!  I wasn't just sad that a good read was over, but at the loss of a friend who had never grown up and at the fact that I think I have never been "gay and innocent and heartless."  So, so sad.

"Woman, woman, let go of me!"

23 septiembre 2015

ManSoul Academy, etc.

So... a week and a half into school, and... I like it for the most part.  Some days, like yesterday, are horrible; but today, by the grace of God, has been better.  I think that I am going to ditch the expectation that the twins will read sooner than later and just be satisfied with their writing.  I will continue with phonics, but not expect them to replicate.  It's OK.  They will read.  I can't compare them to their older brother.  We are all different.  God made us how He made us.  God, help me!
Sophie (and the unphotographed Ty) does solo activities while I work individually with Girumy.  She still has a rought time with the difference between pentagons and hexagons.  Ugh!
"This is going to be the hardest one ever in my life."  Ooo!  Did I laugh aloud!
"spelling"
the twins' individual work... which is grueling for all parties  (The boys, by this time, are rough-housing in their bedroom)
On the literary front, we have been reading Peter Pan.  The kids LOVE it, probably because it is a tiny, hardcover book.  Anyways, the other day I read something about Tink being up in a tree, spying on The Wendy and Ty said, "So, she's being creepy?"  "Yes.  So creepy."  :)

a recent, sample harvest: Thank God!

14 septiembre 2015

Miss Sophie

Well, what a difference a few months make!  We had our first day of school today and... well... I had prepared myself for a struggle.  Although Miss Sophie takes... her... sweet... time... to do everything, she did everything today very well.  We have even started working on writing out her WHOLE name!  She did a nice job with the first half of her first name today.  Ha!  

She is ready for her first ballet class!  Wahoo!  And, so it begins...
So dressed up for Liz's party...  She ALWAYS wants to wear a dress!
I do believe that her Madrina Boo has influenced her taste in color!
She loved the time with her sweet, nail-painting cousin.

Colombia-fest!

We were finally able to congregate as a whole: all of the Colombians and our entire family, including my eldest daughter, Kun.  What fun!  The dears all brought me cakes and coffee and then settled down to play two versions of Spot It (Thanks for the introduction, Wetzels!), while I wrecked a pot of rice, but very successfully made empanadas, frijoles borrachos and a salad and an ugly, but tasty, roulade au chocolate.  Then came the salsa lessons for the kids...


 ... followed by a rousing game of "I have never, ever..."  We then sang a bunch of Colombian songs, thanks to our dear guitarists Camilo and CristiAn and the enthusiastic voices of Diego and Liz.  So much fun!  Thank you, God, for these friends!  God bless them!

Little Jacky

So, the other day, I was on the phone in my room and I saw something move on my pillow.  It was an inch-worm.  I just left it.  I generally leave bugs and their relatives alone in our house.

Two days later, I heard G calling to me from my room, "Ma!  There's a lizard on your closet curtain!"  I looked at Rob, who went to ascertain the truth.

It was the inch-worm, yet again.

G then decided to take him as a pet (a.k.a. distracting himself from rest-time).  He found him a leaf to eat and gave him a bottle-cap-ful of water.  He named him Jack.
Jack, in his acorn-top home
Well, after taking very good care of him on the ride to Delavan for Liz's surprise graduation party...

... well, we had to do something with him!  The children wanted to run around on the green expanses of Delavanian lawn!  And, as I had to speak Spanish and canNOT multi-task, I had to put good ol' Jacky somewhere.  So, in his acorn nut shell, I placed him in the cupholder of the VW.

---a few hours later---

As we got situated in the car for the return trip... "Where is Jack?  MamA, where is he?"  Ugh.  The inch-worm had left, looking for greener pastures.  I felt terrible... over an inch-worm.

Once we parked the car in our garage, I set an enticing feast out for Jacky on the front seat of the car, thinking that we might find him that way.

Nothing.

But then, as Rob and G were driving to pick up Camilo and CristiAn for church, there was little Jacky, climbing around on the dash of the car.

Thank God!

He is now safely installed in his habitat-in-a-jar.  I have a cloth over the top, afixed with a pipe-cleaner.  Jack is safe.

How long does an inch-worm live, I ask myself.

11 septiembre 2015

God's garden glory

Eating squash blossoms
For you, Chinita
Floriferous Sweet Autumn Clematis!
Baby yard-long beans

I only planted the palm... the rest came up on its own.


10 septiembre 2015

Around here

So, the other day, I decided that it was time to teach Girumy to shower.  He seriously plays when he is outside and the weekly bath just doesn't hack it for him anymore.  Now, I was scared, because the only time I've ever tried to shower the kids was in Ethiopia.  Screaming and wailing ensued.  I am sure that the cold water and erratic bursts of water pressure had something to do with it; nevertheless, I was scared.  So, we began with a little talk, emphasizing how to protect his very sensitive eyes.  (Oh!  By the way, do I have a story about that!)

It was a huge success!  And every night since then, he has taken a shower.  The other night, he told me, "You put the kids to sleep and then I'll hop in."  Ha!  Mini-Rob!

Speaking of idioms, the other day, in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, we read, "Are you pulling my leg?"  Which, of course, has been used incessantly since.  Yesterday, however, I heard Sophie's version, "Are you pulling my knees?"

OK, so about G's eyes:  Ever since February, he has had recurrent iritis.  It has been terrible.  We have had so many appointments (some under anesthesia) and tried so many treatments.  In the end, no underlying cause was found and I was told that I would have to give him methotrexate injections for probably the rest of his life.

Now, as soon as I was told that methotrexate is a chemotherapy drug, I freaked.  (Yet another trigger!)  The nurse told me that tons of kids are on it and that really there aren't any side effects, even though there is a huge list of them in the information I was given.  Well...

...as we couldn't keep him on steroids forever and because I wanted my son to be well, I agreed... very, very reluctantly.

In the meantime, I had a conversation with a friend about modern vs. traditional medicine.  I expressed how I was frustrated because treatments seem to be one or the other and how I longed to find a balance.  She then told me of Dr. Fox of Shalem Healing.  And I jumped at her suggestion.

So... what did he find?  G's ears were seriously blocked with wax.  Once that was removed, a serious ear infection was uncovered.  That was treated.  I happily stopped the injections.  And guess what?!  He hasn't had an eye problem since!

I am so glad that I felt uneasy about the suggested treatments and that G is healthy!  Thank you, Dr. Fox!  Baru Hashem!

Kun-y Kun Kun


Last night, we were treated to home-made Chinese noodles, thanks to our dear Kun-y Kun Kun.  It was a hit!  (Ha!  I'll have to teach her that expression tonight.  Last night, we taught her how to use "helping" if you want more food.)

God bless her!

07 septiembre 2015

Trigger unhappy

Having experienced, in some manner, cancer, death and difficult adoptions, I now deal with triggers.

For example, about 6 months ago, I had a serious stomach illness which left me sick, in bed, for a couple of days... just like the aftermath of chemotherapy.  And I seriously freaked out.

This weekend, at Market, I saw a brother from my past, triggering all sorts of difficult thoughts.  And I freaked out.

And then at church... well, I know that we have been praying for a certain _ _, because she has cancer.  But then I realized, upon seeing her hatted head, who it was: the mother of children who were recently adopted... and I freaked out again.

Ooo!  This life is difficult!  We sang a song in church yesterday about not being shaken.  I actually couldn't sing those words because it isn't true... well, it isn't my experience.  (Truth and experience... I think I should study Philosophy.) The next line, however, I could squeak out: something about our faithful God who doesn't change.  Thank God that THAT is THE TRUTH!

04 septiembre 2015

Driving ManSoul

"So it is.  One man walks through the world with his eyes open, another with his eyes shut; and upon this difference depends all of the superiority of knowledge which one man acquires over another.". -Kingsley

La vida de los S_

-a thorough sigh-

We have had Saudi Arabia, Belgium, Colombia, China, France and Ukraine through our house recently, which I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!

And so does Ty!
One consequence, though, is that I have had to retire Old Orange.  The children are just too big to be relegated to the little orange table anymore.  It was causing lots of problems, to be short.  So, we brought up our dear W's much larger table to accommodate The World.  Nice!

Oh yeah, spontaneous school.  They spent the better part of an hour writing numbers, words and letters, respectively.
The children have been playing really well together, mostly with the MagnaTiles, Legos and random dress-up items that have found their way into our house.
Super Brothers!  Oh, and a shout out to Ethiopian Airlines!
And Summer has made it to our plates, thank the Lord!  Corn, corn and more organic corn!  Beets, peaches and basil!
The perfect girls' lipstick: beets, made creamy with goat cheese!
A lot of my time, lately, has been spent planning school.  ManSoul Academy begins classes mid-September.  Wahoo!  My goal is to have a really clear, thorough schedule planned, which of course can be amended as we progress.  I am so excited about First Grade!