That time you got so busy and distracted that you forgot to keep the blog updated. And then you realize it was started to help aid your own failing memory all along. Backtracking now...
Derby Drivers, Start Your Engines (January)
One of the highlights of Cub Scouts tends to be the Pinewood Derby Race. And with this being a first for our scout, we were sure not to miss it. Joey designed his own car and painted it himself. I'll admit, as a crafty person, it took all I had to sit back and let him be the creator. He didn't design it the way I would have, but that's the beauty of it. He took ownership and made it his very own! We are proud of Joey! While the car wasn't the speediest one on the track, he learned much from the experience. In fact, a wise friend (also in 2nd grade) reminded Joey that it was all about the experience of building something with his dad. Truth!
Birthday Bonanza (February)
Our smallest monkey is now 5! Samuel celebrated his birthday with lots of friends on a chilly February morning. We were even pleased that Su Su and Big Joe could make it for the festivities! This guy would've seriously been thrilled to have a $1 cowboy hat and a few weapons. He's easy to please! Also, he wanted a ninja cake. I've never used so much black food coloring in all my life.
Family Fun Day
So, we don't splurge for family fun days too often. Right now, our kids are easily amused with "treasure hunting" (geocaching) or trips for ice cream. We're learning to appreciate those simple pleasures, but sometimes you just need to get out and enjoy the sunshine...and play putt putt before riding go carts! Normally, I cringe at the thought of running errands and navigating in highway traffic, BUT go carts? Yes, please! With a little one sitting nearby cackling as the wind whips our hair around. Russ said Stella didn't even hang on. This girl lives for fast and furious! We were the only 3 bumper boats in the water, and with the sprayers turned off. Ahhh, darn (Mom smiling on the inside)! With a pretty empty place, the kids rode each ride they desired and multiple times. And did I mention that we had pizza? And Sprite? Yep, we went all out. Be jealous. The kids were exhausted and happy too!
There were days...
So many (did I mention lots of many) days I wondered if we'd ever get to this point. Do you know how "reading books" started? It started with little feet kicking the closet door with such force that I thought a terrible thunder storm was lurking over our home. Stella laid on the floor "reading" the books so intently that she never even opened the books. She stared at the back cover...stared hard. I get that she didn't "read" books in China. It's not likely that she had anyone to read books to her. She loves when we read books together and has since she first arrived. Still she had no concept of looking at pictures, using her mind to imagine the story. We talked about it a lot. It took lots of repetition and role-play. And finally...here we are. We have arrived! Now she "reads" peacefully by herself, even initiating it herself. On many occasions, I've found her looking through the library bag or pulling books from her bookshelves. Then, she looks at the pictures...really looks. She even talks out loud sometimes, telling her own version of the story with her mind.
It's the little things sometimes that remind me how the Lord has changed Stella and encouraged her growth over her 19 months home. Today, we celebrate "reading"!