I would say we are at a good spot where things are now normal. We are dealing with "normal" behaviors, they know our house guidelines, they know what their family contributions are (chores- but we learned that by calling them family contributions they responded so much better because they wanted to be a part of a family), we know what to expect when schedules are not kept, what they really did not know before they came here, and what their favorite foods are. We know what their needs are and how to meet them. There was always a need behind the behavior that was not being met- whether they didn't feel safe, were hungry and afraid their wasn't food, or scared. It has gotten so much better around here we when understand one another! We definitely still have our challenges and always will- just like all of you.
Things are starting to slow down now from the holiday rush. They both enjoy school for the most part and are learning how to be a friend. That is something I never really thought about having to teach a child. But when they are constantly thinking they have to fight for themselves for everything- it did become a challenge for them to realize not everyone is out to hurt them. Curly loves math the most and is a social butterfly. The only time she gets in trouble in school is for talking when she's not supposed to be. I remember Mrs. McCarty (8th grade) teacher telling me I would talk to the wall if there was no one else in the room. Z-Man's least favorite subject is math, but he LOVES science and history. Jake is a history buff and it's so neat to watch him teach Z about different things that he enjoys.
Here's a few pictures that I can show that doesn't reveal their identity just yet.
Jake was honored to be on a farm tour this fall and teaching a group about no-till farming and using cover crops. He also gave a presentation to a group of men on area watershed district members. I was so proud of him. I get queasy at the mention of talking in front of a group of people.
The kids had fun growing Big Max pumpkins this fall. Then they got to break them open and get a lesson from Dad on harvesting seeds. Curly wasn't too sure about digging in the gooey mess, but got brave and loved it! She really needs encouraged to try anything "new", so we were super proud of her!
Family picture time. The bond these 2 have, warms my heart.
He came grocery shopping with me and spread some Christmas cheer!
We went shopping so the kids could spend some of their money they got for Christmas and both of them decided all on their own that they were going to donate some of it. I teared up a little. It's things like this that are the joys of parenting.
We started a tradition the first Christmas they were with us to camp out in the living room under the Christmas lights on Christmas Eve. This was their 2nd year here. And I LOVE that they LOVE to read!
Dad was the one behind the bow and arrows for Christmas gifts. They really enjoyed shooting into a hay hale for practice.
We finally got some snow overnight! It wasn't good snowball snow, but we tried!
Wishing each of you faithful readers a very happy new year. Blessings in 2018!
Jake & Krystal, Z-Man & Curly