As you may have already guessed, I was hiding at home near the fire in the fireplace when the sledding took place. Mike took the kids out to our local "sledding hill". They came home exhausted and pink! The girls were boasting of their numerous escapes from death as they crashed and tumbled during their brave escapades. I love to hear about it and imagine it all while staying toasty and warm! Apparently Amy had quite a bit of snow in Zheng Zhou too and was probably the most adept with the sleds. She has told us of how all the students (48 per class) would get together to throw snowballs at the 4 teachers. Hmmmm, now do you understand my hesitance at venturing out?
We were blessed to be able to spend our first Christmas with Amy. There were times when we wondered if we would get her home in time for the holidays. We are so grateful to have her with us after all of the waiting we have done. She is truly delightful. She took the gift opening with a grain of salt and was, of course, more excited about the Barbie stuff than the camera or other gifts. She is far more impressed with having a family than she is with all the things we can buy her (not that that is all that much). She not only loves us but also the extended family. She often says "we have a big family, yes?". I suppose compared to the one child households in China this does sound pretty big. But still, I like to think that there is room for at least one more?
Our days since Christmas have been filled with homeschooling. Amy is reading amazingly well, though the comprehension part will take more time. She has almost finished a year of math in the two months that she has been home. She does not realize that I am giving her a week of math each day. As the math gets harder we will slow down but for now it is working out. We got a break the other day when Mike was in the neighborhood and stopped by. The neighborhood kids all came running out to climb on the fire truck. Amy is still crazy about "Baba" and was happier to see him than the fire truck.... I was too!
My other children are carrying on as normal. Megan went to camp with the youth group and came home with her first black eye. From what I understand, everyone was quite jealous. Now, what is that about?!!! While playing broom ball she was "high sticked" by accident. She is quite proud of her war wound and the attention that she is getting from it. Anyone who knows Megan will understand! What a ham.
I love this picture. Cass and Amy both just got glasses and are thrilled to be able to see. I think they both look lovely and studious. Nikki and Megan are very lovely too, they just don't appear to be as studious (they are not going to like that comment!). I suspect that they want glasses too. Little do they know that though they are a blessing glasses are a bit of a pain. (Did I just say that?) Amy said, after she got her glasses, "Everything looks so clean!!!". She was very surprised and excited. We are so fortunate here to have the ease of glasses. Just one more thing for me to be grateful for.
Cass just had her 17th birthday. I could literally weep. Where have the years gone? Soon they will be gone and with families of their own. I appreciate the sweetness and thoughtfulness that my children show every day. How did they all turn out so wonderfully? How did they all turn out so unspoiled and kind? Don't buy into the myth that teenagers are out of control and horrible - I have found the opposite to be true. I am enjoying my girls more now than ever. I wish I could take the credit for the way they have turned out but I know better. I am thanking God for his grace.
Cassie had her birthday party at Adventures Gymnatics. It is a place full of blow up slides, trampolines, rope swings and other fun kiddy stuff. Typically this place is rented to 7 year olds, but Cassie has her own ideas of how to live life! Her and all of her friends seemed to have a great time. The only downfall was that her friend Amber wasn't able to make it. We will somehow have to figure out how to make this up to her.
Ta ta for now.