Saturday, November 28, 2009
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Of course, when you add a couple young internationally-born speakers into the mix, there's going to be even more amusing communication foibles. Let me share a couple from our most recent transplant.
The other day, I was at the computer, working on something, when Andrew came in. I was pretty sure I had just recently given all three boys permission to go outside and play, but, here comes Andrew, obviously flustered. With eyebrows furrowed and hands jerkily motioning in an attempt to complement his limited language, he spoke. I clearly identified three words-- Jadon. Kitchen. Splash.
As I dashed from my desk, visions of our vivacious two-year-old sitting waist-deep in the sink, spattering water in every directions ran through my mind. Was I so preoccupied? Shortly, upon my arrival in the kitchen, I found no such thing. It turns out, as the three boys were undoubtedly jostlin about in their efforts to don shoes, coats, hats, and mittens in our small entryway just off the kitchen, the velcro clasp which holds up the mesh organizer (AKA mitten-and-hat storage container) must have let go. Jadon's mitten search had indeed "splashed" (or, rather, crashed) the whole deal. I was just relieved to be re-squeezing velcro rather than mopping up the entire kitchen!
Another entertaining word-switch occurred last weekend, during the family's six-hour drive to visit good friends in northern Ontario. It was our first real, extended family excursion with six, but the van ride went quite smoothly. The kids slept peacefully, munched snacks contentedly, sang enthusiastically, and, finally, toward the end of the drive, engaged zestfully in a collective guessing game. The way we play is fairly simple. First, someone sets the category (I'm thinking of a number between one and ten...or...I'm thinking of a farm animal...). Then, we take turns, allowing each member of the family to take a stab at guessing the secret, chosen item. At one point in the game, I was "the thinker" and my category was "something that lives in the ocean." There had been lots of great guesses, and I decided to help out with a few clues:
- I doesn't have fins.....
(a few more guesses)....
- It does have more than two legs.
I must admit, it took me just a moment to realize Andrew's correctness when he shouted from the back: "Autobus!"
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
I feel like I need a bit of a catch-up post....so here goes!
-We had our first post-placement visit last week. We had to reschedule our planned visit the last week of October due to sickness in the house, but the report is coming due rather soon, so we needed to get it done. It was a little challenging, because it is supposed to be a report for 3 months after placement, but Andrew has only been home for 7 weeks. We are definitely still in the re-ordering stage!
-The big boys got their first report cards this week. We also had parent-teacher interviews. All seems to be going well from a school perspective. Ethan's teacher says he is a slow, but deliberate worker...rather quiet in class...seems to "get" concepts well...and can be a bit mischievous, but only when he thinks she isn't looking. Andrew's teacher says she loves having him in her class...is amazed by how quickly he picks up on things...shows considerable resourcefulness...and is starting to see him using a bit more verbal communication.
-Abby got buckets of perler beads for her birthday, and they are certainly the "project of the week." She is generously sharing with her big brothers. I am quite certain that the three of them combined have spent double-digit hours putting together whimsical creations in the last few days.
-Jadon still loves to talk.
-All the time.
-MOSTLY REALLY LOUD!
-One of the cute things I've noticed Jadon doing lately is praising and encouraging others. Here's a few examples from the last couple days:
"Mom, good job helping with the laundry."
"Abby, good job saying 'Sorry.'"
"Nice, Andrew! I like your cat" (upon viewing a project from school).
He's so sincere and enthusiastic with it. It's really cute.
-Jadon is also showing remarkable progress in the last couple weeks on some concepts. He can now consistently name most common colors and some letters correctly.
-At this point, it seems that Andrew has "lost" much of his original language. We asked him to count to ten in Amharic the other day, and he couldn't remember several numbers. This is fascinating to us. We try to imagine how his mind is processing things now. He continues to learn new ways of expressing things at home, and we are very proud of him.
-Andrew is also starting to be more affectionate (his new thing is to come up with a ludicrous number of kisses for me to give him when I tuck him into bed at night...so we count 1 (kiss) 2 (kiss) 3 (kiss)...I think we did 27 or something last night.) He is a great helper with the dishwasher, laundry, vacuuming, etc. and he LOVES to play hockey in the basement.
-Each day seems to bring its own unique challenges. Some days seem especially hard and leave me exhausted or at a loss to know how to respond. Other days, things seem to go so smoothly and little victories leave me feeling satisfied and full of joy. In any case, we move forward in our sense of togetherness.
-Finally, the kids (okay, me, too) thoroughly enjoyed a little dance session before bedtime tonight. Enjoy the video!
Monday, November 16, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
We took the kids to the Dollarama, got each one their own shopping basket, and told them they could pick 8 things for the Samaritan's Purse Operation Christmas child boxes we had from our church. Really, this was a great learning activity.
- They had to count their items. (This, of course, was not a one-time affair. I'm pretty sure each child had to count the items in their basket after every three steps or something like that.)
- They were challenged to think spatially. (As in--"What do you think, Jadon? That's a really great plastic chair...but will it fit in your box???" or "Okay, Ethan, I think you've probably got room for one more thing that's smaller than your fist...What can you find?")
- They eventually had to prioritize and make tough decisions. (You might not know that agonizing over such decisions most definitely requires the touching, rubbing, squeezing, shaking, etc. of each considered item, but this really is essential to the process.)
- They were thinking of someone other than themselves. (In our efforts to encourage unselfish hearts, we've been working on the memory verse: "Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others." It was really fun to watch the kids' excitement as they gathered their gifts and imagined what another child would like.)
The end result will be taken in to church tomorrow!
We are also celebrating the completion of a project at our house. After weeks of slow but steady progress, the downstairs bathroom renovation is complete. Now we not only have a beautiful, roomy, mold-free bathroom, but also our master bedroom isn't serving as a storage area for various tools, bathroom fixtures, and toiletries. That makes Mom happy! And the kids were particularly excited: "Now we have TWO toilets!"
Thursday, November 12, 2009
...How could he be the same boy who sat on my lap as we discussed the Biblical story of Stephen, as we talked about how sometimes people will do things that hurt you even though you haven't really done anything wrong...how someone might push or hit or say mean things...
...How could that same boy turn and look at me with clear eyes and firmly state, "But not love, love doesn't hurt"?
Perhaps I understand a bit of the heavenly Father's heart tonight?
"Hallelujah! Thank God! And why? Because he's good, because his love lasts" (Psalm 106 -- read the whole thing to really get the picture!)
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
This evening, we explored just a few wonders in our little corner of the world. It was beautiful, and we had fun. The coming-together of these siblings is a wonder to me. We pray all the time for us to love each other well, but sometimes we fall so short. However, those times when we actually get it right, it is absolutely wonder-full.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Andrew was at school, so I didn't get to see his immediate reaction...but, when he got home this afternoon, he said, "Snow nice" (his favorite word to describe things he really likes, pronounced "nye-eese") and went on to explain how he got some in his mouth and his mouth was cold. Then he asked how many more cold days he needed to wear his coat. How do you explain "wicked long winter" to an Ethiopian child?
Jadon, on the other hand, was very eager to see the phenomenon for himself after finishing his lunch. He took a good look at a few flakes, laughed at his sister and mother doing our first-snow-tongue-out dance, and enjoyed a few minutes of pre-nap romping in the cold wetness.
version was also a big hit! So, now we've broken them in with something easy. The full-fledged blizzard ought to be really fun!