Saturday, August 31, 2013

Best Dinner Conversation EVER.

Tonight at dinner.........


Levi: "You guys are so old! Dad had a white hair today! You guys are SUPER OLDDDDDD!"

Me: "Do you realize that you and Dad are only ten years apart?"

Levi, "I don't get it."

Me: "It means, that when we are old, YOU'LL be old too! When Dad is 80, you'll be 70!!!"

Levi, "NO! NOOOOOO! I'll be young when you are old!"

Me to Abe: "I can't believe I JUST realized this! We are all going to be in a nursing home together! All four of us! We will be using WALKERS together!!!!

Abe: "You know what I just realized? All of our friends who are waiting to have kids.....when they finally start having them, we will be having babies too......GRANDbabies!!!!"

Me: "Let's ask Doc if he can be a guardian again.....for our grandchildren!!!!!"



Hysterical laughter ensues.

The Entire Summer in One Random Post

 *This was written 8/15/13*



It's been a busy summer! A lot of fun, a lot of struggles, a lot of growth. Since I haven't been able to write, I'm just going to summarize the main events. :)


JUNE:

My baby sis came to live with us for three weeks. We did nothing but eat junk food, go to the zoo, Niagara Falls, do photoshoots with different themes, go to Callanach recording sessions (and a show!), watch movies and go swimming. The kids were SO depressed when she left.


Recording for Callanach's new album, "A Needle Pointing North" progressed. We started tracking in May but June was when a lot of the main tracks were laid down. We JUST had our last day of tracking last week and the album is sounding A-MAZING. Can't wait to mix it and put it up on iTunes! (www.callanach.com)

Levi started soccer. He loved it and he was really good at it. His team had a great coach AND a couple kids who could sign a little bit and that made it even better. I am so proud of him; he worked hard and played great, and his team loved him. And I'm not gonna lie, it's fun to be the soccer mom of a good player. ;) "Who's THAT boy??!?!?!" "Oh, that's MY son." ;) ;) ;)



JULY:


Levi had a week long basketball camp. We got him an interpreter (his first time with someone who isn't me!) since it was 3 hours a day for a week. He did great and actually won an award! Five boys out of about 80 were chosen for being the best listeners and working the hardest that week, and Levi was one of them. He was SO excited. And I was SO proud of him.

The kids started swimming lessons through the town. They have AMAZING instructors (we are in our last week!!!). Both kids passed Level 1, and then they both failed Level 2. You have to be able to float for 15 seconds, tread water for 15 seconds, do the front crawl, and the back stroke to pass Level 2. So we are taking it again. :) They are doing great and have REALLY improved; Z can float for a minute and do the backstroke like a little water bug. Her front crawl needs work; she can do it perfectly with a kick-board but can't move fast enough on her own. She just started treading water. Levi can do the front crawl, although he fakes breathing. You're supposed to breathe every time your "breathing" arm comes out of the water; he breathes every three or four times haha. They nicknamed him, "Iron Lungs." He can do the backstroke but is always like 2" beneath the water. Because he is so dense and muscular, he literally CANNOT.FLOAT. So his backstroke makes him look like a submarine gliding just beneath the surface. And when he tries to float, he sinks straight down. Just like Jack in the Titanic. Down, down, down. His first nickname was actually, "Rocks in His Pants", and then it changed to "Iron Lungs". Every lifeguard there gathers to watch him try and float because it is so hysterical. They now allow him to do the "fishy", where he uses his hands like fins. This keeps his face above water, and they are calling that a success. :)

Z started gymnastics again. We were going to two gyms, two days a week but the town gymnastics program is rotten, so we dropped it after three weeks. The teachers weren't nice and they refused to allow her to get chalk for her bar work. Screw that. Her regular gym (she loves it) has been great and she's having a blast as always. I just signed her up for twice a week starting in September again. I made her a duct tape balance beam on her floor in her room but had to get rid of it because I didn't want the carpet getting sticky. She's constantly cartwheeling and doing handstands around the house, or flips onto the couch or beds. It's ridiculous. Abe recently said, "I think she spends more time on her hands then on her feet." Ne'er was a truer statement spoken. The child is obsessed. I LOVE IT.

The kids and I took a trip to Erie, PA and met up with two of my adoption soul sisters and their beautiful kids. (We all traveled together for court last year and the kids were all at the Transition Home together.) It was AMAZING. We stayed at a ghetto hotel (which made for endless laughs and a promise to stay in a high class hotel for our next meet up) and lived off fruit, crackers, bottled water and gatorade for four days. We went to the beach (AMAZING fun) and built epic-fail sand castles (more like mud mountains), jumped waves, played frisbee and raced down the beach, and Levi and one of my friend's husband went fishing. (Levi caught five fish, one that was HUGE!) I corn-rowed multiple heads, and found out that Z is allergic to something in Nyquil. THAT was a terrifying experience. We were all fighting colds and she was having trouble sleeping so I gave her some children's Nyquil (giving her the lower end of the recommended dosage) and when we woke up in the morning, her lips looked like we have botoxed them and she had scratched them to pieces in the middle of the night. Anyway, long story short, different meds, LOTS of lipgloss and Blistex and prayers and her lips healed by the time we left.




AUGUST:

I interpreted a giant music festival and the kids LOVED it. It was SO loud, and they got a front row seat in the deaf section. Levi fist-pumped and signed along to EVERY song, EVERY day, ALL day. It was incredible. I chalked dyed my hair red for one of the metal bands I interpreted for, and it was a blast. The chalk looked great--and got EVERYWHERE. Abe was kind; his words were, "It just looks like you have a lot of blush on, babe." Really, it looked like I was a pink martian. :) Me and my teamer (who I convinced to chalk dye her hair red too) were taking baths in the restroom sink trying to scrub the pink residue off ourselves haha.


We got a new car. A truck, really. (Insert ear-to-ear grin.) Abe's car had been a money-pit since May but we'd kept trying to fix it because none of the other cars in our price range were any good. And a car payment (for a decent vehicle) wasn't an option either. Long story short, we did a lot of car shopping and decided to go for it and get a decent one. We found a beautiful Honda Pilot with 60k and made an offer. The dealership declined and we walked out. We went back the next day (because the car was amazing) and counter-offered. They accepted and the head guy came out and told me I was good at negotiating. :) Then something amazing happened. Someone gave us a down-payment for the car. Like, an incredible one. And Abe got a raise because his company looked at him and other positions in his level and decided that he wasn't getting paid enough for what he does. His raise is exactly $4 more than the monthly car payment. In-freaking-credible. I'm telling you, try and out-give God. You can't.


Levi had an eval recently through the school system and he is exactly where I had told them he was according to my homeschooling. He has completed first grade, is currently about a second grade overall level with solid 4th grade math and some 5th. There were six evaluators and they all told me that of course he is super behind and whatever, BUT that the information that he does know is incredible. They said he is doing great for the 8 months (really 5, because we have done nothing all summer) that I have been homeschooling him. They said his understanding of English is better than some of their students who are a higher grade than him. He understands about plurals (he can't always correctly write it himself, but he comprehends) and also that the name of a person/place/thing can be replaced with he/she/it/her/they, etc. They said he catches on quickly, and a lot of other positives. It made me so proud of him (it was scary for him to go and take all these tests, and they were hard) and it made me feel good about how hard the kids and I have worked at homeschooling. Homeschooling isn't easy and sometimes I wonder how we are making out. So seeing six people individually test him and tell me he's right on track with everything I told the state makes me SUPER happy. :) They also did a speech test on him (he laughed at them when they told him they had to test his speech ;) #thatsmyboy) and another audiology exam. He's 95/100db deaf. For people who don't know, 100db is the deafest you can be. So 100/100db means both ears are COMPLETELY deaf. He's 95db in one ear, 100db in the other. So basically he only responds to vibrations.



So that has basically been our summer in a nutshell. The kids are doing great, and have made HUGE strides, especially Levi. I am SO proud of them, and their hardwork, and all the growth that has happened. I wish I could share it all. They have come light years in every aspect of their lives. :) They are so amazing!!!!!!!


One last thing I wanted to share. Yesterday we got home at 6pm or so, and I was SO tired. The kids were trying to set up a tent with a broken pole and I was doing laundry, dishes, and some basic cleaning. I finished and I wanted SOOOOO much to go lie down and watch a movie on my phone or something while they played outside. At the same time, I wanted to go out and play with the kids.....I mean, how often do we PLAY??? I was torn for like five minutes and finally dragged on my shoes and went out. Levi was playing with JD (our giant lab) and Z was in her tent, singing. I unzipped the tent and climbed in. She got this HUGE grin and said, "Mommy! Are you going to sleep???" I said, "No, Z, I came to play with you. " Her face just LIT up (making me feel SO happy that I hadn't gone and watched a movie). She said, "Mommy, you can sing with me," and then she started making up this praise song to Jesus. We sang for seriously like 20 minutes, back and forth, to Jesus. I wanted to cry. It was SO amazing. This tiny little girl, praising her Heavenly Father and saying things like, "Jesus, you saved me. Thank you for loving me. You always take care of me, You will never leave me." I can't believe I almost missed one of the memories that I will cherish forever. I wanted to bawl. Afterwards she snuggled in next to me and said, "Mommy, I love you." I almost lost it.




P.S. A year ago today, Abe and I got on a plane to Ethiopia to meet the kids for the first time.