It’s spring break! Hip hip hurray!!!! We’ve had such a great week. We homeschoolers aren’t used to this “getting out of our jammies before 10am” thing. School is brutal to our lazy morning routine! But, slowly and surely we are learning. This week of free play and jammie time has been just what the doctor ordered. Woot!
So, how are the kidlets? You’ve been asking and it blesses my heart that so many people love our kids. I mean, I know they’re pretty fab, but nothing lights me up more than when other people care about my kids. (Doing the dishes for me comes in as a close second, for future reference) I would say the kids are doing pretty great.
Addy is loving school. I’m not surprised. She’s basically my Mini-Me and I LOVED school, all the way through college I loved it. I loved the friends, the food, the friends…and more time with friends. Addy is a social butterfly, so she really enjoys her time at school. She’s made a couple of little friends and wakes up each day ready to go. She’s still doing gymnastics twice a week and also really enjoys that. Probably her favorite time of the day though, is when all the kids go to bed and she can read with her flashlight. Addy is a total book-lover. She always has been. She doesn’t get as much free-reading time now that she spends her mornings in school, so we let her basically read for as long as she wants at night. She finished the Anne of Green Gables series a couple of weeks back and just informed me that she’s now moved on to Shakespeare. Ha! She reads a version of Shakespeare that has been put more in a story form for kids. Here’s the version, if you’re interested: http://www.amazon.com/Beautiful-Stories-Shakespeare-Edith-Nesbit/dp/1604595752
Ez Pez. Oh, my Ez Pez. Sweet little boy. School’s a bit harder for Ezra, but he still says he enjoys it. He would prefer to stay home and Lego it up all day, but alas, he’s learning that he does have some responsibilities in this world. 🙂 He always comes home from school excited about his time and eager to tell me all about it. I choose to take that as a good sign. He hasn’t made much progress in the friend department yet, but I think that’s maybe a boy thing. I wouldn’t know, being a girl and all. 😉 He loves his sister and honestly, if he has Addy he is as content as can be. The two of them have their moments, but in general, they are closer than they’ve ever been. They are each others’ best friend- though they would never admit it! Hehe. Ezra is probably the most confident at language out of all the kids and we hear from others that his accent’s not half bad! Sweeeet. He has such a tender heart and I’ve noticed lately that when we share with the kids about Romaniv he really takes it to heart. He thinks about it and it affects him. I’m so proud of him.
Havalah and Seth are doing awesome. They are still so young, they seem to have barely noticed that we don’t live in the US anymore! Kidding…sort of. Seth is getting so big! He’s grown out of his 4T clothes and he won’t be 4 until June. He is so tall!!! He’s talking a ton and his personality is coming out more and more. We celebrated his Adoption Day last week. I was again reminded of how amazingly blessed we are to be his parents. He could not be a better fit in this family. I really can not imagine what our lives would be like if we had said no to the DHS phone call that day in 2010. Havalah remains a teeny tiny firecracker. Oh my word. That girl has got so much personality! She goes about town, leaving swooning Babushkas in her wake. Half of Zhytomyr is in love with Havalah. Ha! She is thriving and is content to spend most of her waking hours playing make-believe with her Playmobils. Hava brings unbelievable joy to our home.
School has been quite the adventure! I guess that’s the best way to describe it. It’s actually been less of an adjustment than I would have imagined. The kids like to go and are happy when we see them at the end of school time each day. Their teacher doesn’t speak English and communicates with us by note. She’ll write notes in this little book and then I go home and spend the next 45 minutes trying to decipher her handwriting so I can translate the note. Ha! She thinks the kids are doing great and in one note she said to “Please thank the tutor who helps the children with their homework.” Ummmm, what tutor? I wish! This Mommy and Daddy are the tutors around this joint! Homework is a family affair each night as Jed and I bust out our phones to translate the homework assignment. Painful with a capital P.
On March 8th we celebrated International Women’s Day at the school and the kids each had to memorize a poem to recite for all the moms. They were given the poems on Monday to be memorized by Friday!!! Panic ensued as we frantically translated and rehearsed and stumbled and cried. But, by Friday our whole family knew both of the poems and Addy and Ezra rocked it. They did SO AWESOME. I think when I was sitting there listening to them recite their poems I was the most proud of them I have ever been. They are just so stinkin’ brave. Really.
They say they don’t understand what their teacher says, but they are doing well in school, so I think they must understand more than they realize. They still can’t say much at all in Ukrainian. My friend Alexis, who encourages me by email about language (thank you!!!), says that everyone who is learning a new language has a “silent phase”. In that phase, you may not be able to produce spoken language, but you are still learning. I think our whole family is in one big “Silent Phase”. Alexis said she spoke to a man who moved his family to Japan and put his kids in Japanese school. He said it took about 6 months and then they really took off. I’ve heard many language promises that point to that 6-month mark. Oh please Lord, let it be so! 🙂 Addy and Ez write beautifully in Ukrainian and can read, they just don’t know what they’re reading and writing. But, all in good time. Step by step.
It’s not all lollipops and roses. The kids have their hard days, for sure. They miss their friends and cousins. They miss Grandparents and church and English. On a rare occasion one of them will mention that they wish we could go back to Salem, but it’s not something they dwell on. Even Jed and I have our lonely times when we think how much easier it would seem to just go back, but that’s not every moment. Same with the kids. They are being stretched and challenged for sure. I wish I had someone to talk to who has “been there done that”. I have no idea how to parent through all this transition, and in a second culture. Still, the kids are happy and thriving in so many ways. They are so brave and we trust that God knew what He was doing when He made each of them how He did. They were made for this, just like Jed and me. I’m so proud of them I could burst.
In fact, I’m so proud I just have to show them off a bit. Here’s some video lovin’ for your enjoyment. Thanks so much all of you who love my babies and pray for them. It means the world to us!!
And just for fun, here are Hava’s outtakes. Enjoy the silliness!