Family of Five!

Family of Five!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

So many changes!

Didn't realize that it has been so long since an update so I will make this extra long! Time has gone by so fast and life has been very busy. Since our last post, Eryna has started school and made her way to full days, we celebrated her first Thanksgiving, Eryna had her cast removed, went to Disney and Sea World for a day, I went back to work, Eryna performed in her first school Christmas show, we decorated our house for Christmas, and now everyone is home for 2 weeks to enjoy a break before life gets going again!
Now to expand on each event...
Eryna has been attending Redondo Elementary, the school I have taught at for the past 4 years, in a second grade inclusion class. She has two teachers and there is a paraprofessional in the classroom as well, though he is a one-on-one for a student with spina bifida. All three adults are amazing and have taken Eryna in as one of their own. They have been patient and understanding to her needs. We couldn't have asked for better teachers. The students in her classroom have been great as well. When I first went back to work, I ate lunch with their class everyday until I was told that I can't (no parents are allowed in the lunch room, I tend to forget I am a parent when it comes to work!) I really enjoyed that time each day bonding with her and the other kids in the class. They would always tell me all about her day and ask many questions about her life. I miss those peaceful 20minutes at work. Last Thursday we had a school wide Christmas show. She did so good. You would have never known that she just learned and is still learning English. I have videos of it, I will try to post them as well. She is very behind the other kids in learning but that is expected. We are mainly concerned about her learning English and making friends.

We celebrated Thanksgiving at Shawn and Amy's house. Eryna loved all the food options and that she could eat as much as she wanted! Its amazing that she never stops eating though she has lost weight since being here. I think its because she is more active and she eats a lot of fruit. The orphanage fed them a lot of bread and you can tell because Eryna barely ever wants to eat bread anymore!! She prefers vegetables, meats, and her favorite of all is fruit! Of course she would eat candy all day if we let her but she has come along way with accepting that candy is only for special occasions.

Right after Thanksgiving, we headed up to Orlando for our first family vacation which was our Christmas gifts to each other. We went to Sea World first and had a wonderful time. Eryna loved all the sea animals and even went on her first roller coaster. Poor thing, we took her on the biggest and baddest one out there, The Manta! Shawn took her and he said that she cried and screamed the whole time and when it ended, she told him "Beautiful Daddy"! We asked if she wanted to go on it again and she said no! The shows were amazing and all the decorations up for Christmas were beautiful. She had a smile on her face the whole time and the boys were just as excited. Ethan had a little tantrum because he didn't understand why Eryna could go on the roller coaster and he couldn't. I felt bad for him because he wanted to go so bad but Disney World made up for it the next day because he was finally tall enough for Space Mountain.

That night, the Davidson's, our good friends from Homestead, came up so they could join us at Disney World. I am so glad they did because we had a wonderful time and we needed their help. Poor Eryna was so tired and overwhelmed by all the excitement at Disney. She had a very tough day and didn't get to enjoy the second half of the day but it still was a great experience. The morning was nice and all the kids got to ride a good handful of rides. As the day went on and the park got a little more packed and Eryna got more and more overwhelmed. She did take a nap and after that, the day went a little better. I think Disney was too much too soon. Let's just say I needed a vacation after that day! The next day we took it easy and just hung out by the pool at the hotel. That was my favorite day! I was happy though to take our princess to visit her castle for the first time and to take our completed family picture!

That next Monday, I went back to work. I never thought going back to work and having 3 kids would be so exhausting! I feel like I am shorting my kids in so many ways. I have less patience, my house is a mess, dinners aren't as well prepared and healthy, and the list goes on and on. I pray so hard that I can find a happy medium in all this and I know I will figure out a system soon. I am so thankful for Shawn. He amazes me everyday. God couldn't have customized a better husband for me than Shawn. We work so well together and pick up each others slack exactly when needed. He knows when I have had "one of those days" and completely takes over. I am so blessed knowing that I get to spend the rest of my life with this man. Right now he has the kids outside playing and is pressure cleaning the back porch so I can have a quiet house to write this and so we have a clean porch for our Christmas dinner!!
Eryna has loved all the Christmas festivities. She sat on Santa's lap, had a little talk with him, and refers to him as the guy who gives candy! She is the first one to remind us each night to turn on the lights outside. We had a wonderful time decorating our tree and we are making cookies later today!
A lot of you ask how the boys are doing. Ethan and Logan are doing great. Logan is still a little stinker but is getting better. He plays best with Eryna when its just the two of them. She loves to use him as her baby! Ethan is our constant reminder that we are doing something right as parents. He is so smart and the sweetest thing ever. He is my emotional child. We just signed him up for t-ball again. He is excited about that. We wanted to sign Eryna up for softball but we are going to wait a little longer. We may do cheer leading or swimming this spring. She definitely has a swimmers body and loves the water but just needs a lot of practice. She is still having her tantrums when she doesn't get what she wants and there are times that they get really bad but I can say that they have gotten better. I know that God will heal her and in the mean time, He is using this experience to teach us many things about life and His promises to us. He knit her together in her mother's womb wonderfully and fearfully made and He will guide us through it all.
I am enjoying the break so far and trying to catch up on a lot of stuff, this was my first thing on the list. I hope I remembered everything and you enjoyed getting caught up. Wish I could promise that I will keep up with it more but I will just say that I will try to!

First visit with Santa
Santa trying to ask Eryna what she wants for Christmas!

First bubble bath! She wanted one every night after

Sea World!

Eryna was trying to figure out what this was!

Eryna's face on "The Manta" ride

Shamu roller coaster

Hugging her Shamu as she watched the show

Getting ready to go visit her castle

Our 3 precious kids!

Ethan just made it!

Our strong princes!

Hanging out in the pool

Love this picture of her!

Lazy river time!

Decorating the tree

She loved all the ornaments

Doing sign language at her school show

Playing the bells at her show

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