Tuesday, July 26

It's been a week since the adoption already. Life is so normal, it's almost scary. Jonathan got upset with me at breakfast this morning. Want to know how I know? I know because he stood there in his time out, arms crossed, and calmly said to me, "I'm upset with you now, Mom."

(dramatic pause)

That was it. I was shocked. I was speechless. No tirade, no tantrum, no terrorism. Just plain and simple, respectfully telling it like it was. Writing that in the middle of the night, I'd like to go wake that boy up and smother him with kisses. But I didn't at the time. I made an example of him. I let all the kids know how well he had expressed himself. Then I let him out of his time out and had him finish his breakfast.

He's been handling things well this past week, with only a few exceptions. Maybe he's honeymooning all over again. Or maybe he's breathed a sigh of relief and settled in real good. It's hard to know, but I'll take it either way.

The adoption is changing some of the little things in our lives. It's easier to talk about the birth family and how we came together through a God-orchestrated series of events. Some interesting new questions have come up, as we suddenly realize that Michael doesn't understand that not everyone is adopted. Or that it's too late to change his name to Hector. And Gracie sounds pretty silly when she gets all excited and says, "I'm not getting adopted again!" At one point a few days ago, Jon and I became giddy about the adoption at the same time. I don't think he and I had ever shared that feeling together before. We liked it.

Toby and Lynae are starting to treat their siblings more like they treat each other now. It must be nice to see them as forever part of the family instead of annoying children who've been sent to your house by the government to basically ruin your life. Granted, they can still be annoying. But it's just different now.

Next huge milestone: Gracie will turn four next spring. We are so looking forward to that!! Three is no one's favorite age around here! Three year olds are small, quick, and smart. They know all the best ways to wreak havoc and shorten lifespans. And they try every way at least once. LOL Now that I think of it, a month later, I'll have a teenager. Maybe I shouldn't count any chicks just yet.

New Homeschooling Habit-of-the-Week: I'm having Toby and Lynae copy their own assignments from my plan book onto an assignment sheet. That way they become more familiar with what's expected of them, and can "own" it a little more. We'll see how that works.

I think one of my ten hermit crabs is chirping. I also think it's now officially past my bedtime. You know what that means... not much. Oh well.

Wednesday, July 20

Ahh... normalcy! (It's all relative)

We did it! We adopted Jonathan, Michael, and Gracie! That wasn't so bad... ROFLMBBO!

Today is a school day. Currently on my stovetop:

Lugol's iodine
frying pan
Mom's breakfast

Sunday, July 17

Always and forever

Mood-setting media:Always and Forever I keep singing that phrase today. LOL

School has been good this week. Toby is really into exercising his brain right now, which is a great phase he can stay in for as long as he wants. Loren is teaching history. They had a great first lesson. The little ones are having a blast with the science stuff I've put together. We're going through The Usborne First Encyclopedia of Our World and doing coloring pages, worksheets, mini books, and projects to go with the various topics. I have no idea how long we will do it, but it's fun for them and easy for me. Gotta love that!

I did NOT pick up India's sister at the animal shelter this week. No, instead I bought five more hermit crabs. I think seven is plenty... for now. I set them up with a lovely crabitat which sits on the desk next to my monitor. Now I have another excuse for staying up late and playing computer games when my work is done - these critters are nocturnal and love to come out when I turn down the lights.

I'm so proud of myself for limiting the emotional chaos to small impulse buys at the pet store! Last night I cleaned the boys' closet, but that was a project I could actually finish. When I wiped a cobweb off the living room wall tonight and saw how horribly dirty the walls are, I really had to fight the urge to deep clean the living room tonight. But I will go to bed on time (before 1AM) and actually get some sleep. Tomorrow will come and go like any other day. And at the end of it, I hope to breathe a sigh of relief.

Wednesday, July 6

Morning by Morning, New Mercies I See

Today Toby and Lynae are mowing the entire yard, which is about a 5 hour job for them with breaks. I'm hoping that with school starting next week, we will have a little more structure and be able to keep up through the rest of the summer. Toby and I have felt the wrath of chiggers, so we're motivated.

I'd love to be out there helping them, but my asthma has been terrible for the past week or so. I've done a lot of sitting quietly, choosing my work carefully, and delegating generously.

In spite of my asthma, we planned to pack up my nebulizer and enjoy an evening with friends and fireworks on the lake for the 4th. We forgot the nebulizer, though, so I sat. It was a challenge, but I think it's safe to say "a good time was had by all." Yes, even though it rained and the fireworks were postponed.

Jonathan played exceptionally well with friends that night. I was so proud of him! The next day, we were planning to go to the fair. In the past, a good night like that would've led to a meltdown of at least a few days, and two nights of activities would just do him in completely. So I talked to him early in the day to help him stay on track. We came up with a code phrase to use if he was beginning to make a bad choice... sometimes it works for him, sometimes not.

The day seemed calm and manageable until just before we left. I began noticing messes (which is sort of a last-minute compulsion if it's "that time"), the two little ones grew tired and cranky, and we found out India had been missing since morning. After a quick cry, I sent Loren to the fair with Toby, Lynae, and Jonathan. While the little ones napped, I began asking the neighbors if they'd seen India. Thankfully, one of them had found her and held onto her for me. The little ones were still sleeping when we returned, and we all had a quiet and restful evening.

Loren and the kids had a good night, too. They got the unlimited rides stamp, which was a first for them. Loren pretty much let the kids do everything they wanted for the whole night, and they had a blast. The best part is that the code phrase worked, and Jonathan is still doing well! I just love it when he's so "normal"... for him and for me.

I haven't told him the date of the adoption hearing. I'm not ready for him to crash. In fact, I'm considering waiting until just a couple days before. That way we might have a successful start to our school year, as well. It saddens me to think how many times I've created chaos by giving him such information as though he could handle it like a "normal" child.

Then again, I praise God when I think of how far we've come since he came here as a 3-year-old, and I know the Great Physician is continuing to bind our wounds and heal our hearts and minds. He has begun a very good work in our family, and He will be faithful to complete it.

Sunday, July 3

High time for an update!

Crunch time is over, and I've caught up on sleep. Pachek.org is updated - yay! Somewhere in there, I even ordered some school books and planned out our first two weeks of school. We will start next week, taking advantage of the opportunity to stay inside with the air conditioning. July and August seem to be the best time of year for us to get a lot of school work done. September is when we emerge and enjoy the weather. This is great... unless we have a garden. Inevitably, it ends up dying in late summer from neglect.

The dogs are getting along well now, though Manoah has discovered that he can drag India around by her collar. I think careful supervision and maturity will eventually put an end to that.

The kids are watching a video and my brain is totally scattered right now. Maybe I'll be able to write more later.

(Oh yes, we found the gerbil yesterday. He never made it out of the cage. Lynae was so sad... for her little sister who must've felt terrible when she realized she couldn't make it better!)

Here are a couple of pictures to hold you over: