I'm sorry for not blogging more frequently this month, the past couple of weeks have been hectic and I am sure the same will be true for the remainder of ski season, regardless of my best intentions.
We attended teacher conferences last week where it was very obvious just how far Kenny has come in a mere 5 months of school. We met with his fantastic ESL teacher, his regular classroom teacher whom we love and who was Matthew's 2nd grade teacher, as well as his speech therapist whom we also know well as she worked with Matthew too. All three were enthusiastic supporters of Kenny's, and expressed their amazement at his progress. Educationally and behaviorally he has come so far. He was like a deer caught in the headlights the first couple of weeks. Now he is confident, understands most everything going on in the classroom, and is an eager learner. He has gone from a boy who had the equivalent of preschool and knew only 13 letters of the Cyrillic alphabet, to a child who now knows the entire alphabet and almost all the sounds of each letter, and is now reading at approximately the level of mid first grade. We are so very proud of him, for his courage and determination. Although he is still not being graded on his work yet, he is not far from advancing enough to the point where he can begin to receive grades.
Matthew's teacher was complimentary of him as well, and he had an excellent report card with all A's but a B+ and a B. We yacked casually about him, and his teacher said Matthew is the kind of child who can do anything in the future that he sets his mind too...that he won't really be limited in terms of what he wants to do. Matthew's. It would be understandable for Matt to get his nose pushed out of joint with all the attention Kenny has received this year...and no doubt due to his unique personality will always get in the future. We are constantly aware of that potential and work hard to make sure all 3 kids receive the praise and appreciation they deserve. With our efforts and Matthew's maturity, we have thus far avoided any of those potential pitfalls.
This week has had a Medical Theme, unfortunately. Matthew was at one of our friend's house playing one evening when we heard him crying upstairs. We went up to find him sitting on the stairs, grasping his ankle as he grimaced in pain. I asked him how he hurt it and he vaguely said something about stepping on a toy. Well, I wasn't quite buying it but it was beside the point at the moment so we left to go home, and he sobbed all the way saying it hurt really bad. We got him calmed down and he finally went to sleep. The next morning his ankle was swollen and bruised, and it was only then that he admitted to jumping off the top bunk bed into a bean bag chair, which he thought would be a soft landing but he twisted it pretty bad. It was at that point that we figured we should have it xrayed in case it was broken, so off we go to the ER. Luckily, it was just badly sprained and he was given an "air cast" and crutches to use for awhile. He was off of them last night and today, but tonight was complaining it was hurting quite a bit and he wanted to use the crutches tomorrow. Matthew is my least "whiney" kiddo, so when he says something hurts we tend to really perk up and pay attention. We were upset at him for lying to us, and we explained why it was important to tell the truth especially about injuries. He said he knew he should have told us, but he knew what he did was wrong and he hadn't wanted to admit it. I really shouldn't complain as this was our first real "dumb boy stunt" and with 3 boys I feel we have been pretty fortunate thus far!
I have also had some medical issues this week, hopefully nothing serious but am having some tests done next week which should hopefully tell us more.
In the meantime, we also had our Cub Scout Pack's Pinewood derby Friday night, during which chaos reigned but hopefully the boys had a good time. It is fun to see some of the Dad's become so involved. We have a really nice group of parents with many of them offering to help out as they can. The hardest part of it all for me is coming up with ideas for activities. I am the least creative person you will ever meet, and it is very challenging for me to meet the needs of 1st through 5th graders and make it fun and interesting on a regular basis. Definitely not my forte, so I find myself "winging it" often.
Joshie also had his first real overnight sleepover with his little buddy from church coming over to spend the night just with him. He was so excited and you could see hwo grown up he felt finally having the chance to do just like his big brothers and have his own friend come and spend the night. It was his buddy's first sleepover too, and it was so cute how he kept coming to me after Josh was asleep to talk and I gently sent him back to bed. This is a little guy we love dearly, and he and Josh are a perfect fit for one another. We feel lucky they have found each other.
In spite of it all, we had the greatest news as well...friends of ours who have two children adopted from Matthew's orphanage are coming to visit us for a week this summer! I can not begin to express how delighted we are about this, our entire family is so excited we can hardly stand it. We haven't seen them in almost 5 years and since then we have each added 2 children to our family...us by adoption and they by birth. This family helped us so much before we traveled to get Matthew, and since then we have developed a wonderful long distance friendship. You know how you meet someone and you instantly know you will be good friends? If we all lived in closer proximity we all know we would be fast friends. We have worked hard at maintaining this connection, and it is so funny because you would think it would be all about the kids, but it really isn't. That may have been the initial draw, but it has long sense ceased to be about only the kids. We all care very much about each other and it just happens that we have kids from the same place. So we have some fun planning to do for their visit, and knowing my friend and I, our "anal retentive" sides will shine and we will be emailing back and forth fast and furiously until their arrival, planning every little detail. Dominick and I were laughing so hard this week as we realized it is only February and already our summer is almost totally booked up! That is actually a little sad, but we also have a lot of fun to look forward to during these dreary winter months.
So now is time for catching our breath, maybe this next week will be a bit calmer, a bit slower. I know I sure could use a little down time!