"I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do. What I can do, I should do. And what I should do, by the grace of God, I will do." -Edward Everett Hale

Friday, August 22, 2014

Finally Four

For several weeks Lila has been "almost four". And at last, today's the day! She is very proud to be older than the boys.

As an added birthday gift, there was no school today. Lila had the whole day to do as she wished.

Tomorrow the celebration continues, but for today, this girl is FOUR!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Back to Preschool

It's finally Lila and Easton's turn to strap on the backpack and head back to preschool...

Since Piper started school last week, I've had to remind Lila every day that she wouldn't be going that day. This morning was a different story. We celebrated with a first day of school wake-up. However, I still had to stress that Piper goes much earlier and we would have a morning full of fun at home. 

This girl was ready to get busy...

This boy, maybe not so much. He always says he'd rather stay home. But I know he'll be fine. We visited their class for open house yesterday and I could barely get them out of there. Plus he now has his big sister in class to take care of him. And as an added perk for me, they are both "watching out" for each other. I'm sure I'll get the full report every day.

And after the bus pulls away, I'm left with Levi. One may think going from four children to one is much easier. And it is in certain situations. But it also means I'm his only source of entertainment.

I probably won't get a thing done...

And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Promises, Promises

Throughout the adoption process we handed over everything from biographies to blood samples. Paperwork to promises. Many, many promises.

Promises to love and care for, never to abuse or abandon. Those were the easy ones really.

Then there was the promise to teach the children about their Chinese culture.

About that...I'm not sure that plugging in the rice cooker once a week qualifies.

Thankfully we live in a town with the resources to support us in this endeavor.

Today was Lila's first day of preschool at Lexington Chinese School. It won't replace her typical preschool, rather it's a Saturday morning activity. Like soccer, only in Chinese. And without the ball.

Hopefully she'll learn about Chinese culture and language. At this point she remembers and speaks none of her native language. How could she? She hasn't heard it for the last year and a half. In fact, she could never really speak it at all. Sadly, when no one talks directly to a child, they don't learn to talk. And this is the environment of most orphanages.

But now, she's got all kinds of people talking to her. Probably more than she cares for at times. There's no lack of stimulation and her little brain is just soaking it all in.

Here's to another new adventure for Lila...

Friday, August 15, 2014

School is Cool!

The first week (or half-week) of school is in the books! And quite a success at that. When Piper gets home I get the full report. From the animal carcasses in the science room, to the vegetables she proudly passed over in the lunch line, I savor every little detail.

After the first day, she was disappointed that she didn't have homework. She also wondered why she couldn't go on the weekends. I'm sure this level of excitement will dissipate with time, but for now it's a great start.

And at long last, Piper has realized her dream of riding the bus. It was her decision, but certainly makes life easier for me. And they take great care of her with her own reserved front row seat...

(Don't worry, very little Mt. Dew was consumed by the boy in the above picture. He insists on drinking the very last drops, which in my estimate is probably about 75% backwash.)

So Piper ended this third day of school with a great report. She even made a trip to the "Kindergarten Store" to spend her reward bucks for good behavior. It may not have been exactly what she expected, but nonetheless a new found treasure was claimed.

And the verdict is in...

Kindergarten rocks!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

To Kindergarten She Goes...

The excitement level was at an all time high at our house last night. I was sure Piper would not sleep a wink. But sure enough, I checked on her before I went to bed and she was out. Turns out I'm the one who barely slept.

It was an early wake up call for everyone. We planned on dropping Piper off and we knew that parking at the school would be a problem. School starts at 7:45 but we were also invited to a special breakfast at 7:15. That's how we found ourselves outside taking pictures in the dark...

As with Lila and Easton, Piper is bound by the school's dress code. But she's free to put her own special finishing touches on it...

Lila and Easton get their turn next week. Today is all about supporting their sister...

We dropped Piper off and she went right to it. I think she'd had enough pictures and was more than ready to bid us farewell...

So we left her hard at work and went to the "Boo-Hoo Breakfast" for families of kindergarteners...

Piper told me this morning that they may not give us food if we didn't cry. I can assure you that this bunch didn't cry. Donuts? Yes, please. Piper who?

And as for me, I truly could not be happier for Piper. Even if I had reservations, her excitement is contagious. There has never been a child more ready to go to school. She handled the past couple of years with such grace as practically everyone she knew went off to one school or another. She made the most of her free days whether they were spent on some excursion or simply playing at home. Piper is a professional at imaginative play and that's quite an accomplishment in this electronic age we live in. We will miss her fiercely. However, I am thankful to have spent almost six years with her at home. From the mundane to the magical, we've spent our days together. And I wouldn't trade it for the world. So with no regrets, I can send her off to kindergarten. But you better believe I'll be counting the minutes until she gets home.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Ready to Go

Tonight we visited Piper's classroom for Open House. Her teachers were no strangers to us, however, since they paid a visit to our house on Monday night. A surprise visit, I might add, at 6:20 PM, before dinner, with Michael out, at the peak of chaos.

But we quickly gained our composure, a bag of popcorn changed hands, and we were just like old pals.

After all that, tonight was no big deal. Piper quickly found her desk and settled in. Interestingly, she is seated beside a boy who was in her music class when they were toddlers.

After a while we were ready to go. That is, all of us but Piper.

It's gonna be a long six days for this girl...

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

One More Week

The countdown to the first day of school is ON...

Until then...