Tuesday, September 18, 2012

It's Been A While



I guess it has been a while since I have posted any pictures.  I will try to catch up with a few things.



The Olympics have come and gone, but we enjoy every day of it thoroughly here.  Hannah did a few little Olympic studies, and here is an award ceremony for one.




We do schoolwork throughout the year, as the mind never sleeps, and learning is a lifestyle.  But there aren't borders between fun and learning, and often they don't know which is happening.  Canaan is a great brother who always has time for his little brothers and sisters, whether it's teaching them sports outside, or playing Monopoly.




We did some work outside this summer too, taking out a few bushes and a tree, and installing some drainage under the house.





My handsome, strong boy.  Canaan is back to school now.  He was accepted into the Physical Therapy Assistant program at GTCC.  This year, out of 113 applicants, just 24 were accepted.  Last year, Canaan applied but didn't make the cut, but this year he did.  He is the youngest student in the program, and some students have already dropped out.  It's not easy, but the employment rate upon completion is 100%.  He is a hard worker and a good student, so I am not worried.  The program at this point is four more semesters.





Hannah likes to do several different types of activities with the kids.  Most of them are just impromptu, which are the best kind.  Here I found Hannah on the trampoline with the kids, eating Italian ice, and discussing lots of questions.  That afternoon she was explaining "pros" and "cons" and posing lots of scenarios, asking what the pros and cons would be.  They really got into it and had some great answers, some quite hilarious!










Don't remember what he was doing here, but I thought he looked cute.



Who likes to play Draw Something?  It's fun!  
















Well, not because Maggie's "Wanted" poster for Canaan did any good, but she made a poster for Hannah as well.  So far, no takers.  :-/   I don't get it.  These are some awesome people, who love God with all their hearts.  They love children, and are responsible, hard working, compassionate, creative, talented, confident, not to mention good cooks.  They will make some lucky people the most wonderful spouses someday.  I know there are two special somebodies out there who are looking for something like this.  I keep praying they all find each other before I am dead. :-)  










Tea party time.
















One of many awesome, healthy meals that Hannah makes for me.  




<3  <3  Sisters!  <3  <3


Hannah tested for her second degree black belt in August.  It is so hard to get good pictures of this, but here are a couple.  She has worked five years to get this far.  She is now training for her third degree.  It takes about three years to test for that.  Then she can train for her fourth degree.  Once you are fourth degree, you are a Master.  




For her board breaking, she chose to break a board by doing an aerial (which is a cartwheel without putting your hands down.)  She's pretty awesome.  




Hannah gets a hair cut about every six months, whether she needs it or not.  Here is her before...



And after. Such pretty hair.  




Here are some "joy of homeschooling" pictures.  You will notice in a lot of the pictures, Pizza is in the midst of the schoolwork.  She loves to plant herself down wherever we are, and acts like she doesn't realize she is right on top of somebody's work.  How many kids can say they do their schoolwork with a cat on their desk?



Homeschooling means that if it is a beautiful day outside, you can go out and enjoy it.



Another shot of why I don't get much done sometimes.


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Another gorgeous day, cool and sunny.  







When Maggie started to learn cursive, Eden became quite interested.  She was told she could not learn cursive until her printing improved.  Wow.  Talk about motivation.  She worked very hard, and her printing became beautiful.  Then she was so excited to start learning cursive, and now her handwriting is really pretty when she tries.  Look at that concentration.








More joy of homeschooling.  Big sister helping little brother with his math.  Gotta smile, don't you?





Homeschooling means making cookies as part of your math lesson in fractions.  :-)




And Kiki gets her lessons as well.  Hannah is an extremely patient, long-suffering, persevering teacher.  She just doesn't give up.  Here she is working with teaching Kiki colors. Or, I guess I should say, "color".  We have been working with her for months and months.  Hannah has narrowed it down to just trying to teach her  the color yellow.  She has not yet quite gotten it.  She can pick up a yellow block, and put it with the other yellow blocks, so we know she can discern the difference in colors, but she has not yet been able to learn to label colors as colors.  It is discouraging, but Hannah works with her over and over again, and never gives up.  




Science lessons all together.  They love science.  They especially love to do subjects where all four learn together.



Some caterpillars from our back yard.  This is always fun to do. 



The first one comes out of its cocoon.  Such a miracle.  This stuff just never gets old.








I always think it's kind of funny; if this insect did not have the beautiful wings on it, would I be wanting it crawling on my arm?  Ummm....  hmmm...


And here Maggie and Eden are helping Kiki to swing.  Maggie, Eden, Silas and Isaac have been such awesomely patient siblings to Kiki.  I couldn't ask for more.  With all of her challenges, and being so much younger, I know a lot of kids who just wouldn't be nearly as patient and gentle with her as they are.  I am really proud of them.  They always help her and are kind to her, no matter how she treats them.  We are working on lots of behaviors, but I am thankful that Kiki has been blessed with brothers and sisters who have shown her such unconditional love and kindness.  






I will post this much for now, as it has been so long since I have posted any pictures.  Maggie and Isaac have started flag football again.  This fall weather is perfect for it.  Art and Canaan are coaching a team.  
Silas goes for another surgery on Monday the 24th.  We appreciate your prayers for him, as each time he goes, he gets more apprehensive because he knows what he is facing.  We are praying especially for this surgery that he will not have to stay overnight.  The lengthening surgeries are usually outpatient, but because the top of one of his rods has become detached, the surgeon will need to go in three separate places and he told us to be prepared to stay the night.  Silas HATES staying overnight.  He always does so much better at home, and I am able to take so much better care of him at home.  We are all really praying that he will be able to show them after his surgery that he is doing well enough to go home.  And of course, we are praying that he actually will be doing that well also!  
Art is continuing to work at RFMD, but still on contract.  It has been a long four and a half years, and we never really know for sure what is coming next, but did we ever?  I think we only think we know, but things like this show us that we never really did know in the first place.  We are praying hard about meeting expenses, especially with Silas's surgery, and Eden's orthodontic work.  Then there is Lazarus's travel to us.
We are still awaiting Lazarus's I600 approval, and after that, we just have to wait on his visa.  I have no idea how long either of these processes are taking these days, and even if I did know, it would not necessarily indicate anything.  A process that can take three weeks for one person, can take six months for another.  Such is the way of adoption.  It is not for the faint of heart.  Oh wait... I AM faint of heart, and yet I am still doing it.  Hmmm....   When I am weak, He makes me strong.  That's all I can explain it with.