Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Quick Update

So, it occurs to me that we've been here for four months now, and I really haven't said much about what's going on.  I also haven't had a phone, so I haven't told anyone much about what's going on.  I've been great at communication, haven't I?

The kids have been loving school.  I imagine its quite a bit easier, since they only have to learn one language at a time.  That being said, the high school Spanish teacher, Marlene Lodge, has graciously been giving Keilana gratis Spanish lessons after school once a week.  Keilana picks a book to read, writes down any words she doesn't know or anything she doesn't understand and then they talk about the book together.  Mostly, it gives her someone to practice her Spanish with so that she doesn't "lose" too much of it.  I really appreciate Marlene taking the time, and I think its been fun for her--Montana high school students aren't usually real gifted at conversing in Spanish, so its good practice for both of them.

Dylan is in the same Kindergarten class as his cousin Paisley, which is fun, and he seems to have been completely unphased by the move:  his teacher told me a few weeks ago that she was starting him on 2nd grade readers and first grade math because she thought he needed more of a challenge.  And socially things seem to be going well.  Last month, we asked him who he played with at school and he replied, quite cheerily, "I don't know".  And he probably doesn't.  He probably just joins in with whichever wild pack of boys is in closest proximity to him and is quite content.  That's how he rolls. He loves the greater degree of independence he's got to enjoy since coming here--walking home from school with no adult escort thrills him to pieces, and he loves roaming the yard, field and up and down the creek without a parent.  Its been fun to see him so enjoy all the things I loved best about being a child here.

He also is enjoying having so much "boy time".  We signed him up for Little Guy wrestling and, despite not winning a single match, he loves it.  He loves going to practice every day and tussling with all the other boys and being part of the team.  He has very little aggressiveness (we'll see if that changes as he gets older), so the first couple weeks he treated it more like intense play acting than actual wrestling, but he's starting to get the hang of it now and has been having a blast.

Kylie has loved it, too.  She loves being just downstairs from Yaya, and is constantly trying to come up with excuses to go upstairs so she can hang out with her.  Probably her favorite thing has been getting to spend so much time with "Uncle Gwen"--for some reason my sister became "uncle" and no one can convince Kylie otherwise.  Gwen is usually here all day at least once a week doing ambulance coverage, and she's been really fantastic about just taking one or all of our kids now and then, and Kylie loves her and her house.  She's Kylie's sub for auntie Manda, I guess you could say.  She always wants to go to Unlce Gwen's house, or go with her any time she stops by.  Kylie has also become quite the singer lately.  She often will take the kid-size rocking chair and put it smack dab in the middle of the livingroom and then put Doug's mike stand in front of it and sing all kinds of amazing things, regularly declaring that she's a rock star.  Her verbosity knows no bounds, it seems.  This morning, when one of her cousins was being a bit bossy to her, she came to me and said, "Nana won't let me watch the movie with her! She's ruining my life!"  Ah, to be 3 going on 13!

And Keilana.  Oh, Keilana.  The adjustment has been a mixed bag for her.  She's doing very well in school, and has really enjoyed all the art projects, music time, PE and computer lab fun that was missing in California.  She's in the same class with one of her little girl cousins, and since there are only 2 second grades, she sees the other one her age quite a bit during the day, too.  She's made quite a few new friends besides cousins (I still need to have them over to play--we've been pretty much constantly sick at our house all winter, so I haven't been good about that sort of thing), but that being said, she is either at one of her cousins' houses or has a cousin or two over here nearly every weekend.  My little social butterfly loves that.  On the other hand, she's also had the hardest time with the transition--she's mentioned several times missing Mimi and Papa, or Payton, or the street fair or McDermont (and Sister Ashcraft and Sister Hunter and Sister Vega, and the list goes on and on).  We've dealt with a lot of tantrums and hissy fits and arguing and general fussing the last few months.  We're trying to breathe deep and get through it and get it under control.  *sigh*  But she loves being able to get outside and roam around and run--this kids has always loved the outdoors and cold air.

Did I mention that Keilana and Dylan love sledding tremendously?

So soon its on to baseball season and geo cacheing weather, and hopefully no more runny noses, sick tummies and achy bodies.  We've really had quite enough of that.

And Doug and I are doing alright.  I think we're at long last starting to find some footing of some sort, and this last week, we've had a few glimmers of hope on the job front--here's praying that they turn into something more substantial.  Wish us luck.

So that wasn't so quick.


Becky said...

I've been waiting for a post like this...thanks for the peek. we are starting geocaching as well...i hear it's addictive - let me know any pointers with kids if you guys are old pros...i know we didn't see eachother much with the craziness of the last few years...but we miss you. though we are so happy you are finding footing and spending so much time with the family you so dearly missed. best wishes and lots of love from cali - becky and the family

Mel McDonald said...

Good luck with the glimmers of hope on the job front! We are praying for you. Sounds like an extremely fun place to live for the kids.... And I'm a little jealous. For me, and I suppose for my kids too:)