Monday, January 7, 2008

The First Day of School in Minnesota!
Well, truly this pic is the SECOND day of school for Laura, but the first for Juancho! His fever was short lived, and by Thursday morning he was back to regular temperature and feeling GREAT...and super excited to go to school! He has decided to go by John at school and other settings (like church, with friends, etc.). We are still calling him Juancho at home, but will likely transition to John in time. When we re-adopt him in the States, we will change his first name to John. A couple fun things about John's first day of school...
He came home super excited and when I asked him to tell me about it, he said "Mommy, I think I'm the most popular boy in my class! Also, I'm friends with everyone in the WHOLE school!" He IS quite the social butterfly - language barriers are not an issue! In addition, I know his entire class was prepared and excited for his arrival! We were met at the door by 10 year old Abdul who welcomed John very well, and 9 year old Kaitlin who promised to use the few words of Spanish she knew to help us out. We were greeted by rounds of "Hola" from the 4th graders as we special for John! :)

Angie + PJ = Best Buds
Mommy has been doing some work-from-home for TreeHouse the past couple weeks to help with a major project there. Usually Daddy is avaible to help look after Angie while Mommy is busy on the computer or telephone. However, one day Daddy had a work appointment at the same time that Mommy had a phone interview. The other 2 kids were at school, so I got Angie set up on the couch upstairs watching Sesame Street and went down to do my phone interview. I didn't hear a peep from her, and when I came back upstairs, this is what I found! Angie happily 'reading' "Are You My Mother?" and PJ having comfortably found a spot on the couch (a forbidden piece of furniture for him!) sleeping in his usually position - on his back! Too cute!

Angie the Helper
Angie LOVES being Mommy & Daddy's helper at home during the day. Whenever one of us is cooking, Angie will point to where the kids apron is hanging and say "Angie, si?" asking if she can put on the apron, which really means she wants to help. She gets the easy job, like pouring the kool-aid packets into the pitcher, but she is SO proud of her accomplishments!
We are talking with Angie (and the other kids) more and more in English these days. Angie seems to understand virtually everything we say to her in English, those she still prefers to use mostly Spanish when talking. Though when she counts she is counting in English, and she can point out most of the parts of her face when asked in English. Last night as I pulled the chicken nuggets out of the oven for supper, Angie came running in the room shouting "Chicken!". They are getting there!

A couple other fun things: This past weekend was filled with fun times! A friend came over on Friday night and we did some night sledding at a couple great hills. For those of you in our area, you have to check out the sledding hill at Staring Lake Park in Eden Prairie - it is LONG and seemingly straight down! Also, on the far end of the Grace Church parking lot, there is a great fun hill too...we spent time at both on Friday night and had a blast, even though the wind was a bit chilly (our poor chapped lips!). We came back to bake some chocolate chip cookies, which was fun for most of us (except for Juancho...his overtiredness - and as a result, crabby-ness which led to reacting to several situations poorly - got him put to bed...not that it was early - it was after 10 PM!)

Saturday was great. Meal times sometimes still continue to be challenging...but they ARE getting better! Saturday lunch was a bit of a challenge...and when it was apparent (after an hour and 15 minutes at the table) that the kids were not going to complete their meal and they were having problems listening and following direction, Mommy sprung into action. Angie went down for her afternoon nap, and Juancho and Laura got some extra jobs to do! Laura's job was to do a thorough wipe down of all the appliances in the kitchen and Juancho got dusting. Much to my surprise, they seemed to actually ENJOY cleaning! In fact, when Laura was done with her kitchen appliances she practically begged to wipe down the sink and toilet in our guest bathroom! I didn't have a problem with that! They also each spent a half hour in self-guided reading. Juancho was given a Harry Potter book in Spanish to use from his ESL teacher. He started reading it...he does well in reading and is great at sounding out words when needed. He only read one page front and back in 20 minutes, but that was great. Laura isn't quite reading on her own yet (even in Spanish) but she worked at sounding out a few words in some Dr. Seuss classics like One Fish Two Fish.

Saturday night we went to the Lee's house for dinner and fun. The Lee's (Boyd, Tracie, Jake & Rachel) are friends of ours from our Young Married's Bible Study group that we joined right after we got married. Their two kids are about the same age as Juancho & Laura. We had a great time with them, and the kids enjoyed meeting a couple more kids...Rachel & Laura are actually both in second grade (different classes) at Red Oak Elementary and Jake is in 3rd grade. The kids loved playing with Rachel & Jake's 2 bunny rabbits (so cute!) and Jake's new Nintendo Wii. (the parents liked playing it too!

Sunday was a ton of fun! We went to church and Angie did great in the 2-3 classroom, just crying briefly when Mommy left the room. Juancho & Laura don't feel quite ready to jump into the Sunday School classrooms, so they came to church with us. They can wear headphones in church and hear the service translated into Spanish in real-time. That's great! They did well in the service. Afterwards there was a potluck lunch for the Latino ministry. They welcomed us back to Minnesota and our kids got to meet a bunch of families and kids that are from Central and South America. We are the only 'Colombian' family right now. It was very fun and such a special time. After lunch, we met the Lee's at the park for some more sledding and playing was 40+ degrees on Sunday...perfect day to spend outside!

After coming home, we were able to prepare for the day. Laura finished her homework and really seems to be catching on to some math concepts and also writing better.

Today is a new day - off to school for Juancho (John) and Laura, and some cleaning and errands and other work for Mommy, Angie & Daddy!

1 comment:

Jes said...

It was such a treat to see you guys a few weeks ago and to get a chance to interact a little bit (between eating cake and opening presents) with your darling children! Hope you guys are doing well!