Karissa in the green uniform and not feeling well that day before her surgery. Little Mary is entertained with a bug in the grass...ha ha.
Karissa gets a hug from her team mate and friend;-).
Karissa ready to play some ball!!!
We all love it so very much. The twins learned to read with good old Mom as their teacher and Casey has amazed me with how swiftly he has advanced. I can't possibly describe the inner satisfaction I have found in home schooling the children. It is so wonderful not to expose them to others who may not share my views and beliefs. I should have done this long ago. It is a huge blessing to have so much time with them. Mary and John-John just love playing together while the other kids do their classwork each day. What a toy mess they can make together...ha ha.
I think the most wonderful part about home school for the kids is that they choose which subject to work on and there are so many ways to teach them outside of the conventional lessons. We have made some wonderful field trips to places. Plus, there are so many educational programs for them to watch for social studies, discovery, and history. These also provide us with note taking skills, report subjects, listening and discussion skills. Pretty cool;-).
So now we are enjoying the idea that summer is near and all learning will occur outside the classroom. But, school will be year round. They have made their own learning plan for this summer, except Annie, whom I am preparing for kindergarten this Fall. We are planning several museum trips to Lubbock and a Wonderland Park Visit in Amarillo, plus several other places the children would like to visit. Annie will still have some book work, but, she just loves doing it anyway. Certainly, she will play outside for the most part!!!
Time is going by so fast in the larger scheme of things. My beautiful children are growing quickly and are getting so healthy. Christian is a very healthy child and has not been ill in a very long time. John-John is extremely happy and really getting the hang of potty training. He is taller than Mary Beth now and weights a ton!!! He has began talking in short sentences and can express himself quite well now. John-John has done remarkably well since coming home from Serbia a little over a year ago. Dr. Jasmina knew just the family he needed;-). She is a wise and compassionate lady.
Annie is playing soccer like her older siblings and just loves it. She is doing excellent with her CP. It is so mild that I really am not worrying about her. Her neuromuscular massage therapist and her chiropractor keep her normalized. And well, Mary is still "Mary"....our little TNT in a tiny package. She has such an amazing personality!!! She is so ornery..she can't help but to make me laugh at her naughty stunts;-). Such a "big" girl in such a petite little body. We call her liquid Nitro. She is amazingly strong and can scale anything. Mary is also very healthy and has not a smidgen of weakness in any aspect of her being. She is what all us "girls" would like to be...tiny, strong, and healthy....ha ha.
We have done bone age studies on her though and also have placed her in the care of a pediatric endocrinologist at Texas Tech Health Sciences Center. He believes she may be younger than we thought. Guess we will see with further testing in June. It is not too uncommon in IA kids. Her growth rate has been normal over the last year according to the doctor who has been monitoring her in Lubbock and her hormone testing is normal. So we will see what her specialist says about her age. It takes about a year or so to decide upon an age change.
The final good news with my precious Ukrainian Princess, Karissa, is that she may be able to proceed with her reconstructive surgery on her ear this Fall at Baylor in Dallas. It will be quite an amazing experience for her as she will hear in that ear for the first time. What a miracle and we feel so blessed to have this opportunity for her. It is a pleasure to be a part of such an important event for her. We give God the glory for His generosity in our life with our very special little children.
It is always a part of our prayer circle before we begin school each morning that the tumor does not return as it has on three surgeries in the past. This time she had polyps on her new eardrum and I understand from Dr. Neal that this is common. The doctor was very upbeat for her. God is good and we have much to look forward to in the future.
Please, continue your prayers for little Katie Aunna. We do not know anything at this time and can not say how long before we do. We waited four months for a court date for Annie, though we hope it will be sooner. Court is only held on certain days in Murmansk. So we are now on God's timing. In fact, it is in God's hands and on His timing. Many blessings to all and your continued prayers are gratefully received by our family!!!