Friday, September 9, 2016

Ready Or Not!

      I thought summer was busy and rather chaotic....and really I was more than ready to get back into a regular routine.  It's only a few days into the school year and I'm beginning to realize what should have been's just a different kind of busy and chaos now!  However, after several challenging months where I was just barely keeping up with the day to day demands of life and taking care of my family, I am beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel.  And I want to be sure to stop and take in all the gifts around me.  There is so much to be thankful for and reflect on....

      This lovely lady had a fun-filled summer which a lot of activities and excitement.  But one far outweighed all the rest.....being reunited with her best friend.  I hope to write a long over-due post on that soon!  They thoroughly enjoyed their sleepovers and adventures and it was certainly a blessing to witness!  Last school year ended with all of us going through some intense therapy into the early summer, and though we've had some setbacks, I'm so thankful to say that we ended the summer on an entirely different note.  Saying goodbye to Karina, along with starting a new school and experiencing actual try-outs to be a on a sports team was a combination that I feared, and at one time could have equaled disaster.  But this girl has been doing really well....excited, optimistic and working hard!  We were able to tour her new school together and I could sense her enthusiasm about this new start.  The nerves were there, but they didn't get the best of her....instead, she just bashfully took my hand as we walked in.  "I just want to," she explained.  I think it's safe to say, she was the only junior high student walking into orientation holding her mom's hand.  Maybe the only one in the world.  But what could have been extremely overwhelming for her, was instead a new challenge with new opportunities.  We laughed as we found ourselves lost and struggling to open her anxiety.  Her first day at soccer tryouts....dropping her off at a new school with new kids...not quite sure what to expect or how she'd do, and as we walked up she kept saying how nervous she was.  I came back early so I could get a glimpse....I was nervous for her, honestly.  I don't think I'd have half the courage she does about things, and in many ways it's still hard to let her go on her own....whereas most kids may be ready at this stage of life, I feel we still have so much time to make up for.  But again I was blown away by what I witnessed.....and the evidence of how far this kid has come.  She was walking with friends, talking and laughing.....I know, it sounds so expected.....but no, it's huge.  On the field she gave it her all....but she was aware....passing to others....playing her position.  When it was time to wrap up, the coach asked if someone could grab the flags.  Immediately, she ran to get them.  As we were leaving, she made it a point to say thank you and goodbye to her coach.  I could not have been more proud.  And then she shared that she finished second in the mile run.  So very proud of this girl.  Every kid is so different, and needs to be celebrated based on their own hard work and progress.  The light is so bright these days, and I think this sweet girl is finally getting a glimpse!  All as we celebrate her 2nd Gotcha day! God is so faithful.  "For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6

    This sweet guy was all ready for his pictures after watching Keira and Levi have theirs taken....not only was he ready, he told me where he was going to stand and multiple locations!  He is such a character...and he has been sharing with everyone that he will be homeschooled until he is eighteen!  He is so funny.....he is truly such a social kid, and yet he is a home-body in many ways and loves getting to stay home and learn here.  I'll take it!  I was surprised by how excited he was to start school this year.  Maybe it's the opportunity to get some one on one time, or that I've been able to really cater to his interests...but either way, he's been enthusiastic and working hard!  It's always amazing to see the changes in his ability when we begin a new school year.  Despite the fact that we didn't do any actual school, aside from reading, during the summer, there's always some very obvious growth.  


   I was amazed at how little guidance he needed in constructing this water wheel.....where not so long ago he would have wanted me to do all the work, he was happy to take charge and figure it out.  

   I love to see him excited about what he's learning.....and to watch as he experiences new things.  It's so fun to see things through his eyes as well.  Often times he experiments even further in ways I would not have thought of.  Such a fun opportunity we have!  Not everything he's involved in has started up yet so we're just easing into the school year which is kind of nice.  He did, however, have his first soccer practice.....

        I love that he has picked up a love for soccer from his big sister.  It's so sweet to watch them get excited about something together.  But I also love that this little guy is his own person.  He has a mind of his own  I pray that he never loses that quality!

Oh this boy!  He truly is such a cutie....and one of the most loving little boys.  He has a way of charming everyone that really works in his favor once he starts showing his mischievous side.  He was excited to get on the bus for his first day....I'm always amazed at how unfazed he is to just go off on this adventure on his own.  And once again, this year, his backpack got the best of is is literally trying to catch his balance because it was too heavy for him!  

Watching for the bus to come.....

It's so hard to not be able to know about his really know, from his perspective.  But when I asked him how he liked school, he did say "more!"  So at least I know he was excited about it and eager to return :) 

We found out this summer that Levi has XYY syndrome.  I had been pushing for some answers, other than this generic "developmentally delayed" label he'd long since been given.  I knew there was more.  Not that it really changes anything, especially in this case because we are already doing what is suggested for this diagnosis.  But it just gives some clarity, and some answers.  Knowing nothing about his medical history has been challenging, but this....this is just who he's not because of the choices someone else made as I had feared he may have's not something that was's just Levi.  It explains many of his struggles, and hopefully will give us the ability to gain additional services for him.  But there is SO much hope for this boy....he has such a bright future ahead of him.  His vocabulary is ever increasing, and most importantly, his desire to live life to the fullest and not let anything hold him back, keeps him moving forward!

As for this little one....she is such a love.....and a crazy lady!  She is into EVERYTHING and is determined to do everything that the others do.  No little baby for me, she's one of the big kids already.  You will typically find her doing something she's not supposed to do...namely the following....

Note her toothbrush lying on the floor.....she is completely obsessed with it.

We finally convinced her that chairs are for sitting, and she humored us for a few moments to read a story.  She sure makes life fun and interesting around here!  She is learning so much so fast....a little sponge watching everyone around her.  She's walking and practically running, has a few words and signs, loves to play with her babies, and is such a happy little girl.  She is so loved!!

Here we go, ready for another year!