Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Say What?

It has been way too long since I did a "Say What" blog post.  For every funny thing I write down, I am sure 20+ have been said that I didn't write down.  Oh well, at least we have a few of them.

The last time I did a "say what" was 6 months ago so these quotes are from the last several months.

M loves the song "Angels we have head on high" and he does not think it is only for the Christmas season.  If you remember he sang it loudly while watching fireworks this summer.  He does like to change the line "and the mountains in reply" to "the mountains are the perfect size."

He told someone "T ate ducklings." (dumplings)

Not sure if I have this one somewhere or not: In the song Christ has Risen there is a line, "Oh hell, where is your sting" and he changed it to "Oh hell, where is your string"  ... some might wish for a string out of hell I suppose.

M likes to pretend to go through the drive through to order a Culver's Concrete Mixer.  They are the only drive through item our family gets (Brandon) and we actually call our fruit and veggie smoothies concrete mixers to add to the appeal of them.  Anyway, one day M was driving through the pretend drive through and ordered what Brandon likes to order, only said, "May I have a concrete mixer with chocolate custard and fingerbutts?"  (Butter Fingers and Peanut Butter Cups)

M loves the song "All to us" (Chris Tomlin) and there is a line in the song "let the glory of your name be the passion of the Church..."  He said, "He's the pastor of the church"  I think he thought the song was about daddy :)

Handing out compliments one night at dinner M said to me, "You are just a sweetie pie"  and then to Brandon, "You are a pumpkin" and then "T is a roast"  oh dear...

"Mom, glad you didn't be hitted"  (I have no idea what this means, but it was on a post-it so it must have been funny at the time.

Me: You need to pray that God will help you to obey
M: (after a time of not talking) I did.  I prayed in Spanish.

M after being at a car dealership: "Guess what?! There was a red car like yours"  (The car was a viper and I drive a 1999 Chevy Cavalier which is apparently pretty cool)

"There was a deer.  It was incredible when the deer came."  (Brandon, do you know what this is about?)

"The juice took the onion down my throat"  (he was eating an apple)

M: I drive a frog truck
Me: Why?
M: People want frogs in their house
Me: Why?
M: To stay healthy
Me: Do they eat them?
M: Yes
Me: How?
M: You take a frog and say, "It will be OK" then put it in your mouth and eat it.

Brandon and M were talking about a Plymouth Prowler (matchbox car)
Brandon: This car isn't a race car.  It drives on the streets.
M: Race cars drive on the sidewalks?

"One of the things I know is that right now my body is not organized for sleep."

While we were getting the outside of the church painted M spent much time talking with the painters who were very patient with him.  We were on a first name basis with most of the crew.
M: Ask Andy and whats his name that drives it?  Fight?
Me: Russel.  The other man's name is Russel
M: Yeah, Wrestle
Me: Russel, not Wrestle... then to Brandon... He is calling him "Fight" like "Wrestle"
Then we all laugh.

One night at dinner M is eating watermelon chucks with a fork.
M: This is a shotter.  It can shot people.  It can shot people right now.  Boom! Boom! Boom!
Me: I guess we have just witnessed the first time our child turns something into a gun.

While eating chips and cheese (Daiya dairy free cheese):
M: Is it gooder than a semi?
later in the meal...
M: Is T messier than a semi?
He likes to use semi trucks as his one form of simile and it rarely works.  He has also asked:
Is it hotter than a semi?  Am I taller than a semi? Is it longer (in time) than a semi?  and several more.

I was washing dishes and M was going back outside to play.  I told him to have fun outside and he said, "Have fun dishing."

M is in the middle of a huge sports fan phase right now.  He wants to wear athletic clothes every day.  Not just T-shirts and warm up pants.  The T-shirts MUST have a ball of some sort on them.  School themed shirts that might even say the word football don't count.  This is proving stressful as we don't have that many to choose from, but the first day he wore a sporty outfit he said, "I'm a sporter" and then "I'm a team."  We then talked about being sporty and an athlete and part of a team.

I was driving a bit too fast one day and out of the blue M shouts, "It is EEElegal to speed."

Brandon and M were playing a tickling game at breakfast and M said, "Wait until God says in your heart, 'Tickle him, Man'!"

"T can't have any of thesees (rhymes with Jesus and is apparently the plural of these which I thought was already plural) 

and last but not least an bathroom one, but how could I not include it?

M called us into the bathroom to wipe him yesterday and then he called, "Just wait, I have to go one more inch."  Brandon and I just died laughing.

Monday, September 23, 2013

First Day of School!

"When I grow up I want to be a Fireman."

As I write this M has actually completed two weeks of "school" so the bonus of the blogger issues and my procrastination is that I will get to update you on two weeks worth of stuff.  If you are curious about M's "school" click HERE to read about our Classical Conversations decision. 

M was so excited when he woke up the morning of the big day.  He could not wait for H to get here to watch T.  He was excited about his striped shirt and his backpack and his snacks and really everything related to CC.  I thought this was a good sign.  While he was waiting for H to come he said, "I hope she comes soon I really want to learn."  This was quite a switch from the orientation.

Charissa and L came over to help with the separation for T.  She did great.  T is pretty secure in her attachment and is doing so well with my time away.  She does much better with it than me, that is for sure.

Once arriving at CC, M stayed close to me, but still very much showed that he wanted to be there.  He was not too interested in sitting in the chair that he was assigned, but his awesome teacher (well they call them tutors, but I call them teachers... shhh, don't tell) let me sit right next to him the whole time.  He was not very interested in participating, but I did notice him to hand gestures to songs a couple of times.  This gave me hope.  He was very interested in eating snack and lunch almost from the beginning.  The class is fast paced, but any moment of down time was enough to get him thinking.

The Science experiments were done outside.  This was very hard for M as he wanted to just run home.  He attempted a couple of times actually.  He had a lot of harder moments.  Fine Arts was the worst.  M does not like to draw, at all, so he was just interested in leaving by that point.  He escaped at least 4 times and had to sneak snacks and water throughout.  He did also spend quite a bit of time on my lap, but we made it through and I was thankful for that.

The amazing bright spot in the day was presentation time.  M LOVES presentation time.  Even though he acts so very shy, he can't wait for his turn in front.  Presentations are basically a version of show-and-tell.  The first week they just had to say their name and a few things about themselves.

Here is what M said:

"Hi, my name is M___________ and I live next door and my friend is Charissa and I love my grandma and grandpa."

He then wanted to sit down, but the teacher encouraged him to ask if anyone had any questions and they did and he answered them all.  He was quite influenced by the questions and answers of others in his class.  He said that his favorite toy to play with was airplanes (it is actually football) and his favorite food was pasta (it is actually casserole).

So all in all the first week went far better than orientation and I felt OK with the end of things.  That night just before bed I got the most lovely and encouraging email from M's teacher.  It was the kind of email that I should print and keep forever.  I am so thankful of this incredible woman.

It turns out, even with all the lap time and the escapes and then snack sneaking he was doing well.  I was being an overachieving mom and he is right on track for his age.  Whew... and yahoo!  The message gave me peace and help me see the above realities of his behavior and adjustment from the lens of a more seasoned mom who knew that it would get easier and he was doing great.  

Yesterday went even better than the first week (Opps, should have posted this a week ago... tomorrow it will be CC again).  He managed to hang with the group (more or less) all the way until Fine Arts.  He started to get very whiny and hungry etc.  Grammar review was pretty brutal and he did need to leave the room for quite a while.  Apparently he was too tired to jump up and down like the other kids so he laid down on the ground and of course got his fingers stepped on.  When you are tired and hungry, getting your fingers stepped on is a majorly awful thing.  Still overall, it was a much better week.  T did great too and got to go to story time with H.  I am so envious that H gets to have that special time with her, but at the same time I am thrilled for both of them to have this special thing to do together on Tuesday mornings.  

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Labor Day Weekend!

On Wednesday night before Labor Day weekend I was up late working on the computer (blogging actually) when I got an email from my sister in law Adrienne.  She asked if we were still interested in having them join Brandon's parents for a trip to our home for the weekend.  I ran up the stairs and asked Brandon who agreed we should say YES and wrote right back to say we would be delighted to have them come up for the weekend. 
Thursday and Friday quickly became much busier as I prepared our home and fridge for six house guests instead of two.  The crew arrived around midnight on Friday night.  We quickly got situated for the night and went to bed. 

A joke throughout the weekend was attempting to get all four kids in a photo at once.  You will a few photos from the weekend with all four in the frame.  Not great photos, but great time together.  Also, you will notice me commenting on many of the photos along with or instead of my children.  I just have too much to say I guess.

Saturday morning much of the crew went biking.  Our dear neighbors and friends were able to lend two bikes and an additional Burley cart to our family for the day so that Grandpa Tom, Adrienne, Brandon along with all four kiddos were able to go biking. 
Check out T and M's expressions in this photo... Just like their mom/dad!  Note all 4 in the frame!

M: I'm glad you came to visit.  A: Me too!  (I love this photo)

T: Hey girlfriend, I think you are in my seat.  A:  Yeah, I will move eventually I am just having fun with M.  M: T, sometimes Brother needs to spend time with other people.

Ready to Ride!

It was a huge undertaking to get everyone ready for the adventure.  Snacks, drinks, sunscreen, bathroom breaks, diapers, wipes, helmets, cameras, tissues and even toys to play with all needed to be gathered.  They were then "un-gathered" over and over again by the two adorable one year old girls.  It was around 10:30 when they finally took off on the big biking journey. 

M: I hope a car honks soon.  T:  Hey, when M bends down and I go on my tiptoes I am taller than him.  (Best shot of all four of them from the whole weekend)

While I was not there to give first person testimony, I heard that everyone had a great time and truly enjoyed the biking and the company. 

After the bike trip and an Arby's lunch it was nap time for at least 80% of the family.  After nap Grandma Judy got out the bubble stuff and the kids had a blast playing with the bubbles in the back yard.  Cameras and even video totally fail to capture the joy, awe and delight of this time. There was also much sliding and swinging and biking and laughing and photo taking... and even a quick dental exam. :)   (Photo overload... but what to leave out... also they are out of order)

M: I've got it!

Check out the line of photographers...

T: Hey, how come my shoe fell off when I stepped in the bubble stuff?

Awesome action shot!

T, M, and A: HIGHER!!!!

All four in the frame!

 It is so much fun to sit and just enjoy watching our kids laugh with their grandparents.  What a blessing that we all cherish!

T: I know my feet can't actually touch the pedals, but I am pretty sure I can do it on my own if you want to let go.

T: I like my own personal drive threw dental exam.

T: Look, both my shoes are still on.  Clearly I had not fully "experienced" the bubbles yet.

M: Watch out bubble I am going to get you!

T: I think if I splash this stuff hard enough I can make some bubbles appear too.

T: I am waving my wand, but where are the bubbles?

Crazy shot!  This is supposed to be a sweet photo of T, but in the last second both A and M came into the shot to get a bubble.  You can see a tiny bit of T's wand in back of A. 

T and A:  Those boys wear us out!

T: Hmm, looks like the hose is dripping some tasty water. 
T: Yes, the water is right there.  It is calling to me. 

T: Yummy.  So refreshing.
T: What?  You mean you didn't drink from a hose when you were my age?

After getting cleaned up from all the stickiness we headed to our favorite restaurant to eat.  After a tasty meal we went to a local ice cream shop for some after dinner treats. 
M: Now we are both chocolate!

We had quite a few calories to walk off so we went down to the Lake and enjoyed talking with fishermen and checking out bait, saying hi to some ducks, looking and boats and people, and the sunset back over land from the docks.  What a lovely night.  Sadly, the uphill walk home with four tired children was not incredible but they actually did pretty well. 
Watching ducks.

M: I hope they jump out of the bucket.  T: I am a little trapped up here.  I would LOVE to play with that water and those cute little fish!

Sunday morning we went to church and came home for some tasty grilled food.

(Early morning I think) M: Read "the robbers" please.  (This is what M calls the story of the the Good Samaritan.) 
Not stellar at all, but check out M's "hungry orphan" pose.  He didn't try to pose this way it just happened. 

Four cuties ready for church.  This is as close and clean as we could get the kiddos.
 After naps we headed to the beach at the Lake. Actually, first we did a lot of packing and gathering and playing while gathering things needed for the beach.

T: I hope he does the "L" flap so I can give a big lion roar. 

Such a sweet girl!

Indoor rafting while big people packed.
 We arrived just as the clouds were taking over.  We managed to get in an hour of play before the rain started. We arrived back home full of sand and shivering, but after hosing off outside and baths inside we were all happy and cozy. 
A perfect holiday weekend with family.

Four sand loving cousins.

Why didn't I get this suit in every size they had.  So cute!

Our "best" family photo!

T: I love the water!  LOVE IT! (First time IN the water at the Lake!)

T: This is great!!!

M: I am going to fill this hole.  T: I am not sure about that M.

T: Maybe I should get this sand out of the hole so I can try to climb in it.

M: I am a busy construction man.

M: A little father Grandpa Tom.  FYI I am the shorter one and Grandpa Tom is the taller one.  We are wearing matching clothes so I wanted to make sure you knew who was who.

M: I love swimming with you Grandpa Tom.
M: Yay, A is going to join us!
Monday morning the whole crew packed back up and headed home.  I am forgetting many of the smaller details, but I remember the fun that we had and the memories that we made. 

An added note: 
The two little girls are so much alike.  They are just 2 months apart and it is incredible to see all their shared interests.  They are both great sleepers... well, they are great sleepers when they are in their element. They both love to sleep alone. To allow all of us to get the best sleep T slept in her room all by herself and A slept in the main floor powder room the final night.  She and her whole family slept much better that night.  A travel crib fits perfectly in our powder room and we all managed to use the other bathrooms just fine.  I guess it makes the perfect bedroom for a one year old.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Finally working...

Blogger has been refusing to let me on for a week now.  It appears to be working today.  I have many posts waiting to be written so keep checking back in the next few days.  If I am not posting is is because of technical difficulties.  I kept getting the message that someone logged me out of blogger from another computer... stay tuned.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Starting School

Well friends, you have read about M's 4th Birthday.  You have seen the photos of this day.  You know that he is "really" four now.  You might be curious about what M is going to do for school this fall. We are highly anticipating next Tuesday... the beginning of a new era for us. 

This fall M will be starting Classical Conversations.  You can read more about it HERE if you would like to learn from the experts.  Since we are just beginning, I am sure the website will do a much better job of describing things than I could at this point.

For those of you wanting to read this post before checking out the site I will explain it a bit.  Classical Conversations (CC) is a PreK-12th grade classical home school model that allows you to work in partnership with other families and follow the same scope and sequence as families all over the country and world.  M and I will attend (CC) each Tuesday.  He is in a room with kiddos his age.  There are about 45ish kids in our local chapter.  He will get a start on Grammar, Latin, Science, Math, History, Geography and Fine Arts for the week with his peers, and then take those concepts home to work on through the week with me.  There is beauty in the process.  We will get to know many other families and children, learn with them, play with them, and eat with them.  We will also get special mommy and M time (T will not be joining us).  We will get to work together to learn many things outside of class as well.  We are very excited about this opportunity for M and feel blessed that it meets next door to us in our church.

Many Options:
There are lots of options for schooling.  One great option with a late summer Birthday 4 year old internationally adopted boy is no school at all.  Trust me, after our orientation experience (more on this later) I considered just pulling him out and waiting a year.  Another option would be a local public 4K program.  These programs are free and there are many local sites offering services.  Another option would be a Christian private preschool.  This option would also be next door to our house and we know the teacher. 

I believe that every couple needs to seek the Lord and make the schooling choice that is best for their family.  I have friends that do every type of schooling.  I respect that educated adults who deeply love their children and deeply love the Lord can look at the school choices and come to several decisions.

So, why did we choose Classical Conversations?
There are several reasons that CC fits our family.  Much of what M will be learning has the opportunity to be music based and it is no surprise that M loves music.  He has already learned many history lessons and the US Presidents through the CC songs on CD.  After living his first 17 months without us we feel like no matter where on the schooling spectrum we would fall, sending him to preschool right now would not be quite right. 

In all honestly, we are considering continuing on in CC for many years to come.  I appreciate the mission, model, and method of CC and can see it being a great way for M to learn.  Because the location is incredibly ideal for us, and because CC is spreading like wildfire around the US, we decided that we needed to start M now and even if we don't make it every week, we can hold his spot in the local program.  Because there are so many levels of CC even a place as big as a church building fills up quickly. It would be sad for us to have to drive many miles to another CC when there is one meeting quite literally in our back yard.

Orientation Ordeal:
A couple of weeks ago we had our CC orientation.  M did not enjoy it too much at all.  In fact, the main thing he said that day was, "I want to get out of here." He clung to me and was not interested in doing anything his teacher asked him to do.  It wasn't real class, but sort of a preview of the things to come.  I truly believe that once we get started and it is just M and I we will do much better.  Hopefully he will not be dumping out snacks when it isn't snack time and needing to be on my back in the Ergo long term.  M, sorry if this embarrasses you later, but I need to mention it for journaling sake.  Be of good cheer.  I was the same way at your age.  Your grandparents can tell you many stories about this. 

So, are you curious about what T will be doing during CC?  
Oh my heart.  At orientation it became obvious to me that M needed me full time and that T was much too busy to "hang out" in the room and color for 3 hours.  Yes, some kids do stay and do that.  M might have been able to at her age, but she is SO BUSY so this isn't a great option for her.  After much prayer and time we have decided to hire a young woman who we respect and care for to watch T while we are at CC.  Even though T knows H, we have not left her alone at all yet.  It does sort of seem funny that we are hiring someone to watch T, but we truly believe it is the best option for everyone.  We hope T will get to go on walks with H, to library story time, read books, and play as loudly as she wants.  She comes alive in huge ways when she has unlimited adult access, so I think she is going to cherish her little breaks from big brother each week. 

As I said at the beginning of the post, the first class starts next week!  Stay tuned for pictures and words from our first day of school :)