Family Picture

Family Picture

Saturday, September 28, 2013

American Girls

Took Amy to Northpoint Mall for the very first time.  Had to go to the American Girl store.  When we went to China to get Amy, we actually took an American Girl catalogue as Anna thought Amy might enjoy looking at the dolls.  She was right and Amy did indeed like it, in fact she carried it around with us a lot.  It also came in handy on the long flights.  Amy loved to look at it and turn the pages, all by herself....then roll it up and put it in her backpack.  On the morning before we went to the mall, I had a talk with Amy that we were going to go see the dolls just for fun, but not bring any of them home with us that day.  We would also play in the kid's zone, see "Build a Bear" shop and Disney store.
She did great.  Of course had to touch everything in the stores but I knew that was a given.  We stayed at the  A.G. store for over an hour.  Both girls enjoyed it very much and Amy kept saying "I lika the dollies!"
Her favorite doll had on glasses and ear rings. Maybe a birthday present in the future.
Yes, she still has her Italian accent.  We love it.  Don't know where the extra a's on the end of words come from.....but are so thankful her English is coming along amazingly well. 
Did you know that American Girl dolls are made in China?  Yes, they are.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Playing Soccer

Anna and Amy are playing Upward soccer.  We enjoy watching them practice every Tuesday evening and play their games Saturday mornings.  Anna is graceful and beautiful to watch as she plays.  She prefers defense, but can also score and kick/control the ball with both feet.  Amy cracks us up as she is all over the place!  Considering she never even heard of soccer or knew what a soccer ball was...before we signed her up... she is doing great.  Occasionally though, in the middle of the game, she will cross her arms and stomp off the field to come tell me and any one else that may be listening ......."they are not taking turns"! I am actually a bit pleased by this because we are working on taking turns at home.  Hard to explain to her that soccer is not really a taking turns sort of game. As long as Amy gets a few kicks in, she is alright.  If she goes too long without a shot at the ball....well it is just not fair any more. We were not sure if she would be ready for all of this.  We did not want her to feel left out by not getting to play but watching big sister play. Sometimes she is in the game.....sometimes she sits with me on the sidelines.  That's ok.
 Kindergarteners are funny to watch.  They are like fish on fish food, all surrounding the ball at the same time.  Amy is fast,  can kick the ball with both feet, and she has great potential....... once she actually understands the game! For now, we know she loves her pink soccer ball, her special water bottle, and her fancy, bright pink laced shoes that have funny spikey things on the bottom of them.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

"Treasures By the Sea" crafts

We order Palooza craft packs every month.  The girls get so excited to see the shipping box on our front porch.  Amy is really on guard when I tell her it could be any day.  She checks out the front door  windows like a little watch dog. She is usually the one who sees it first.  
I love them because they have every thing we need to do the crafts.  We learn Bible verses and about good character qualities as we learn simple science lessons. Amy asked for close ups of the crafts so I obliged. She and Anna want to sail their boats when we go up to the lake and the mountains.
 One of Amy's favorite Bible stories right now is....Jesus calming the storm.  
We talk about it. Jesus and his friends out in the boat when a big storm blew up. Jesus asleep in the back, but awoke when he heard his friends calling to him for help.
Jesus told them not to be afraid because He is with them.
 Jesus told the wind and water to "Sshhhh.  Be still". 
The wind stopped blowing.  The water stopped splashing.  They both got still as still could be. 
Jesus' friends looked around....they had been so afraid.  Now everything was quiet and safe. 
 "Who IS Jesus?  they said.  "Even the wind and the water do what He says."
Jesus is our friend too.

Anna's lighthouse, treasure box, boat and message in a bottle

Amy's lighthouse, treasure box, boat and message in a bottle
September's "Journey Across America" packs arrived with our craft trays

Monday, September 16, 2013

Finding our School Groove

It has been quite a deal.  Amy started public kindergarten August 5th and had the nicest teacher, principal and counselor, plus ESL teacher.   They were so loving and kind to Amy in every way. The school itself was really small and had a very nurturing atmosphere. They allowed me to pick Amy up early until she was ready to stay longer. However, Amy had a lot of fear of being left at school and we all reassured her over the course of several meetings before school even started.  Beginning this process at the first of summer and then later in the summer as well. We went in on several occasions and the principal, teacher and counselor met with Amy and kept reassuring her that, "Amy would never, never stay over night or sleep at school.  She would always go to school.....then come home."  Momma would ALWAYS come back for her.  The teachers all reassured her often that no one is allowed to sleep at school....ever. Amy also had to be reassured that the teachers would not hit or hurt her or any of the other children.  Tells us something of her past.   Everyone worked together for Amy to be able to adjust to a classroom setting.  We made it one whole month.  Let me tell you, this girl of mine is braver than brave.  She stuck it out, she gave it her best shot, but honestly, they were going way too fast for her (bringing home books with sight words)tough for a little girl who is learning English and her ABC's. I did not want Amy to struggle all year trying to keep up with the others.  We made a change and put her in the sweetest preschool class at Mount Zion Baptist Church,  where Anna attended many years ago.  A perfect fit for our brave girl who is now very happy to go to school.  It is a four year old class but there are several 5 year olds who were not kindergarten ready. She is so small for her age she fits right in. There are only 11 in her class and two teachers.   She now comes home with all the fun crafts kindergarteners used to bring home......before they started all this common core hubbub for little children....who should be gluing macaroni noodles in the shapes of alphabet letters vs. work sheets  blah blah.....don't get me started.
If you can't stand the heat, get outta the kitchen.   So that is what we did, well kitchen/classroom you know what I mean.   Amy now goes from 9:00 to 12:00 and comes home wearing paper crowns with bumble bee antenna, paint all over her shirt, and carrying all her accomplishments/artwork that we can hang up, and be proud over.  Now that is what she needs. I do not want this girl of mine.....who has missed more than any child ever miss ANY of this fun learning stuff and skip to big school, as she called it.   She is learning so a pace/ level she can enjoy and have much success. They have a great writing program so she will learn how to write her letters  and numbers correctly, phonics,  learn the days of the week and months of the year.  She might read on her own this year, she might not.  We will get where we need to be and we will take our time about it.
I am glad we journeyed down this road because I never wanted to sell Amy short as she is very bright, but now I know without a doubt, where she needs to be and we can feel good about it.
Amy tells me often that she "likes her little school".  This shorter day allows us time to have lunch together when she gets home,  do our own crafts in the afternoon, read books and explore our world inside and out, and do a little extra school work/practice.   We are two weeks into our new school and it is now smooth sailing.  What a relief.  Hoping to get caught up on blog posts.  There is so much to tell.
I have been asked if Amy wears glasses.  She does not need them as her eyes checked out fine.  She WANTS to wear glasses so she can be like big sister Anna. She has been obsessed about having a real pair of glasses, and has been known to take anyone's glasses off their face if allowed that close.  Over the summer we bought her some real glasses with no prescription, just clear glass.  Got ok from the doctor and she said it would not hurt her eyes.  Amy wears them  a lot.  She will tell you she can't see without them (because that is what Anna says about her glasses).  She will often put them on first thing in the morning.....just like Anna.  We think if they make her happy.....then she can wear them.

Making Felt Flowers

Beautiful flowers

Beautiful girls