It just wanted to update everyone on how my children are doing since our big move. Jay is 6 now and started kindergarten this year, although he called it preschool for about 3 months when he first started. I started both of the kids on a reading program this summer and I am happy to report that they are doing swimmingly. They moan and groan a bit whenever we sit down to read, but the light in the eyes when they get the words right shows that they really enjoy learning.
Jay's big accomplishment this year was learning how to count to 100. That may seem like a small feat for some 6 year olds, but to Jay, it was huge. He was still mixing up numbers counting to ten when he went into kindergarten. They tested him at the first of the year and he scored a 13% in Math. We started working on it everyday and something just clicked, it was almost audible. Within a six week period, he was not only caught up in school (they tested him again and he scored a 94% on the same test). He decided he wanted to learn to count to 100, not just to 25...so he did! It was so fun to watch the growth and confidence that came as he was so proud of himself...I must admit, I was a bit pleased myself :) He also learned how to swim this year, complete with the extreme pleasure of being able to go down the big, big slide all by himself. He has started to be such a big helper around the house too. He vacuums almost everyday and takes out the trash (although I do hear, "why do I always have to do this", quite frequently), he is a really good example to his siblings and can often be heard saying, "is that following Satan, Mom?, cause I want to follow God". He's such a great kid!
Ellie has been reading as well this year. She is almost at the exact level academically as Jay, so she is going to be all ready for Kindergarten next year...perhaps even a little bored. She is very, very tall for her age. She is wearing size 7 in clothes and she doesn't turn 5 til January. In fact, Jay is in afternoon kindergarten and it never fails that when we go out together in the mornings, someone will inevitable ask the kids why they aren't in school. Ellie usually takes the lead and answers very directly, that she isn't in school and that Jay is in Kindergarten, either that or they both give the questioner a blank stare...as if to say, "what are you talking about?". Today, in church, she was acting like a 4 year old and climbing in between rows and all over the chairs, I leaned over to one of my friends and said, "I really hate it that she looks like a 6 year old, when she is acting like a 4 year old," as her long legs were getting stuck as she tried to slide back into her place. She's a little spit-fire and always will be. She's been that way since birth....why change now? One of the memories that I have of Ellie this year is her countless prayers she said during our time of transition. We moved out of our home at the end of April and didn't get a home of our own until September. Every one of those days that we were "homeless", she said in her prayers, "Thank you for our home". Sometimes, I would get a little exasperated and say, Ellie do we have a home? She would quickly reply with, "yes", and she was always right. We always did have a home to live in, even when it wasn't our own.
Joseph is really the apple of the whole family's eye. He pretty much only loves one thing for sure, and that is to eat. I have never seen a baby that can put away so much food. He is a bottomless pit and I don't know where it all goes. Joey is cute and chunky, but the way he eats, he should be at least 50 lbs heavier :) I took all the food out of the pantry this week and put it in higher cupboards so that the little chunk won't be able to get into anything. He is hilarious. I have found more cereal all over my kitchen floor with him than with any of them. We all love him so much though and his big brother and sister adore him. He, of course, wants to be just like them and seems to be doing everything faster than they did at his age. Older siblings will grow you up fast, I guess. This year, he finally decided that walking was an okay thing to do at about 16 months. I must say, I was kind of getting tired of carrying him everywhere by that point. He promptly began to run soon after, and he looks exactly like Charlie Brown when he does. He is all upper torso, with short little legs, with the blond hair and round little face, all he needs is a yellow shirt with a brown zig zag stripe and shorts to complete the picture. He's so cute! I was trying to get him to say I love you recently, and he was doing quite well, but now whenever I say, "I", he completes the sentence with, "U" and a hug. So sweet! I told you he was the apple of our eye:)
All in all, the kids are fairing very well! They have probably adjusted better than their parents to all the changes. They have enjoyed being with their Grandma and Grandpa Brunner and cousins very much. Children are very adaptable creatures and I have been so very pleasantly surprised at how well they have adapted to their new life. I honestly can't imagine my life without these precious, precious little ones. I am such a lucky mom!
1 week ago