Sunday, November 24, 2013

Busy Week Recap (Lots of Pics & Videos!)

 As I sit here in a very quiet house I am reflecting upon this past week.  It was filled with a flurry of school activities and fun making memories with my boys.  In a little bit our family is heading back to church for an evening of worship and a lovely Thanksgiving feast.  Our family certainly has so much for which we can be thankful in our lives.

Monday:  Jeremiah graduated from a school program called FOCUS (Filter Out Crime United with Students).  He and his classmates learned about the dangers of drugs and alcohol, how to stand up to bullies, and how to make our community a better place.  Each student wrote an essay at the end of the program and shared something significant that stood out to them.

Then later that afternoon I returned to school for a presentation from American Dive Pro Center.  Jeremiah and his class were preparing to have a most special field trip.  We learned all about Manatee, how to interact with them, and just how amazing these gentle giants are.

Tuesday:  I chaperoned one of the most amazing field trips ever!!!  Jeremiah's class headed to Crystal River and we got to swim with Manatee!!!  We snorkeled to where they were staying warm and had three separate opportunities to interact with some Manatee.  The very first time we swam over near them a baby came right to us, went directly up against my mask, then nudged me, and wanted his belly gently rubbed.  It was both daunting and amazing all at the same time.  Manatee are REALLY big but not aggressive in any way.  The one thing that they do to be "territorial" is blow bubbles, nothing more.  While it was absolutely fun swimming with Mantee, it was very chilly and even despite having wet suits poor Jeremiah was SO cold.  He was very happy when we were back to dry land and warm clothes.

Wednesday:  It was a half day of school for the boys but we did not do anything exciting.  They came home and played outside for the afternoon.  Fall days here in Florida are just amazing and it is the best weather for playing outside.  There is not much humidity, the temperatures are usually in the mid to upper 70's (unless there is a cold front like we are having today- it is windy and chilly; hardly in the 60's!).  They are building a fort in the woods behind our house and I think Elijah is even attempting a teepee.

Thursday:  Dima had a Harvest/Fall festival at school so I had the opportunity to head over to his school for the afternoon.  There were various games and activities but all Dima wanted to do was play in the hay.  He had a blast and entertained anyone who would watch him.  There was also the opportunity to get to know Dima's new teacher better and see his new classroom.  When I arrived they were watching a video on how to tell time and Dima was really into it!  But if you ask him if he knows how to tell time he says, "No!'.

Friday:  It was Sammy's turn to have a function at school and we had a Grateful Gathering Party.  Each student in his class wrote a little essay to share what they were grateful for.  Sammy's was very sweet and he did such a great job.  After the students shared their essays we had a little snack.

Once we finished up at the Grateful Gathering I was able to check Sammy out of school early!  We went to the Key Training Center to visit some of our friends.  It was a pleasant surprise for them.  Sammy also picked out some movies from the Key Training Center thrift store and I purchased a pair of pajamas for Channah.  Overall a fantastic afternoon.

Friday evening Jeremiah, Elijah, and Sammy went to the rodeo with Grammy and Pa so Eric and I took Dima to our favorite eatery, B&W, for a prime rib special.  Dima LOVES to go to B&W and also enjoys the time with just Eric and I.  It always makes me a little sad, however, to think of the first seven years that we missed of that boy's life.  Eric and I truly savor those evenings.  

After supper we met up with some of our Key Training Center/Love Department friends and visited with them for a little bit.  It is always a BLAST spending time with our dear friends.  Our friendships with our Love Department friends are so special- there are no putting on airs or feeling as though we are being judged (and vice versa).  What I love about my friends is that they love us for who we are and we love them for who they are.  We talk about movies, television, the Bible, games, etc...   I just love them!

But our Friday excitement did not end there!!  Awhile back Eric and I had sent funds to Channah's orphanage so they could purchase some fruit or cake and some candy for her and her friends.  Well, we received four pictures of girl!  I think that they were taken within the past week and we were so happy to see them and see that our funds were received.  Here are the latest pictures of our sweet YunYun (Channah's real name is YunYun!):

Here she is with her famous smile.  I was so happy to see her smiling and enjoying a banana.

Our sweet girl!
While I know that I cannot read into every nuance in a picture, my heart squeezed a little when I saw this picture.  This is not the typical expression I see on her face in her pictures.
But THIS is the picture that really made my heart squeeze.  Again, I fully realize that I cannot read into this picture (or any of them for that matter!) but still.  As a mother-to-be of this sweet girl I cannot help but wonder what was going through her mind at this very moment.

Saturday:  Since the boys, Eric, and I had a big Friday we all slept in Saturday morning.  But not for too long!  Elijah and Sammy had received cowboy hats at the rodeo the night before and they were eager to go outside and play cowboy (for Sammy and Dima it was before they even got dressed!).

This is where I found Elijah, Sammy & Dima right after breakfast.

My handsome cowboy whittling a stick.  And YES, Elijah knows how to properly use a pocket knife.

Eijah and his trusty "steed" er I mean dog, Caleb.

Looking for the perfect sticks.
Two of the cutest cowboys ever!!!

It has been a wonderful week and weekend.  This coming week the boys have off from school and we are looking forward to celebrating Thanksgiving with some of our friends from the Love Department.  It all kicks off with a great evening at church this evening.  We are indeed blessed!

Stay tuned, however, for a progress update for our adoption!  Eric and I should be sending off our application to USICS first thing tomorrow morning!

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