Saturday, June 30, 2012

Tapestry of Grace: Year 2, Week 1

We had a great first week of school!  We started this year by reviewing the basics of the Roman Empire, and then looking at how it all fell apart.  We studied about the barbarians who invaded from multiple directions, and learned a bit about their culture.  Did you know, we get the term vandal, and it's connotation, from an early barbarian tribe called the Vandals who pillaged parts of the Roman Empire?! : )

Here are some photo highlights of our week back to school!
We are really enjoying the Veritas Bible program.  Repetitive, and easy for them to understand.  They're really concreting the stories and facts...

Our first paper mache success!  Thank you, Elemental Science.  

All About Spelling.  Fun.  Colors.  Tiles.  Hands on.  So far, so good.

Make our balloons into globes! They had a lot of fun with this project... we'll finish it next week.

And, Kiryn got a sari.  And then she wore it for the rest of the week. We had an Indian princess at school every day. 

We had a great week, and read some beautiful books from Tapestry.  But Hannah left this weekend, and we will miss her dearly!  I'm not sure how I will function without her!
She became a part of our family, and we love her so much!

Monday, June 25, 2012

And.... we're off!!!

We started second/first grade today!  We had such a fun day!  Here are just some highlights from the day! : )

This girl is SO excited to be in first grade!

Bring it on! I'm ready with notebooks! :) We didn't do as much note booking last year as I wanted to, but I've planned for it more this year and have a better system in place to encourage it. I'm so looking forward to the writing and drawing they will produce this year!

First day with Veritas Bible was great!  : ) Notice Hannah in the background with Levi and Meryn.  NO IDEA what I will do without her next week. : )

We're starting by studying how the Roman empire fell, and all the different barbarian tribes that invaded western Europe.

A much-anticipated, prayed for meeting...

On December 27th, Paul and I drove our family, and our good friend Mohammad Hafiz, his wife, and their very sick little boy to Delhi.  We got them settled and ready to see lots of doctors the next day, and headed to the airport to go to Ethiopia to meet Meryn for the first time.

Meryn and their son, Yusuf, are only three months apart in age... to the day.  So many people have been praying for Yusuf's health.  His surgery was done in March and he is now home and has about tripled in size!  God is so good and is truly able to heal!  Meryn came him in May, and so many people have been praying for her as well, to make it home and join her forever family.

Yusuf's mother, Khaiyum, has been calling me "Yusuf's second mommy" for awhile now.  She also has told me several times that whenever they tell Yusuf, "Hurry up and get better, Meryn is coming!" He just smiles and claps his hands.  Both our families have been praying for these two babies and anxiously awaiting getting them together.

Well, last week, it happened.

What a joy it was to our families!  Yusuf wasn't quite as keen on moving too far away from his mom as Meryn was, but we did manage to get a few pictures of them together, as long as Khaiyum was near! : ) Love these two, and hope they will always be friends, for all that our families went through to get them healthy and home at the same time....

How precious are these two!?

Yusuf and big sister Sunna

Mohammad's girls have a hobby of making rugs.  We have one they made from old strips of saris and it's awesome!  Check out what this one is made from!

Every it of this rug is made from strips of unused clothing tags! How awesome is that?!  I have no idea where they got them, but I think it's awesome. : )

My Love-Hate Relationship with the Zoo

We have a small zoo in Jaipur.  It's not huge, you can walk the whole thing in less than an hour.  And that's even taking time to enjoy ALL the exhibits. : )  But, the animals they have there are pretty neat, and we have gotten to know some of them, because, well, there are just a few.  We love the Himalayan sloth bear.  We LOVE the noisy lion they have.  And the white tiger is always a favorite.  The crocodiles with the pointy snouts, and the giant pelicans. Oddly enough, there are no monkeys, elephants or camels in the zoo.  Guess we see plenty of those every day anyway. ; )

I love taking the kids to the zoo because we really enjoy those animals, there is a lot of pretty shady paths and trees, and a few little grassy areas we can stop and have a snack.  It's a really quaint little place.  But I hate going to the zoo because even on a Thursday morning at 9 a.m., it's crammed with other people who seem to think WE'RE one of the exhibits.

Last week we were trying to exhaust all the fun stuff in Jaipur before we started school, so we made a trip to the zoo.  It was unusually crowded, and my blood pressure started rising the minute we walked in the door and a guy with a super zoom camera started clicking pictures of us.  I told him, no, and as we walked by, told him to delete them.  He said, "I'm for newspaper."  I said, "Even more, take them off." : )  We battled the camera phones all day, people asking for pictures, and had our first encounter with people trying to tell me I could NOT possibly be Meryn's mother.  These other three were obviously my kids, they are white, but she's black, so who's her mother? Argh.....

So, just so my kids will know one day: This is how much I love you.  I brave the stares and cameras and uncomfortable conversations at the zoo, because I know you're oblivious to it, and I know you love it. : )

 Our friend the white tiger.  Levi enjoyed roaring at him. : )

First time I decided to take pictures of the people staring at us. 

Luke found a stick and pretended to be a deer.

Then everyone else had to do it...

Our friend the tiger.  The lion was not out, but we heard him roaring all morning!

Levi was straggling with all the people pinching his cheeks....

Second time I decided to take a picture of the people staring at us.

Third.  : )  Such is life as a foreigner sometimes....

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Today marked one month of togetherness with Meryn.  She has brought so much joy and light into our life.  She truly is a gift.

I've been so blessed by people's attitudes towards us.  We've been out.... a lot.... this month.  The Indian people in our lives have understood this for a long time and have a strong love for her.  But strangers, I was a little bit worried about how they would react.  So far, I've not had any negative comments at all... in fact, one restaurant keeper asked me about her, and asked to hold her, snuggled her, blessed her, told me how lucky she is.  I responded with how lucky we are, and he laughed and said "true!"  A stranger at the pool asked to hold her and played sweetly with her and treated her like a china doll.  Everyone is in love with her!  It's hard not to be.  ; )

We had a great day today, always on my mind that it's hard to believe it's been a whole month...

So blessed.  So in love with my kids!  They are such gifts, all of them!  And, while so enjoying our together, I am remembering several friends who are still waiting on the joy of togetherness with their kids.... I remember it well...  One morning in April, I came out of my room to find this happening:

When I asked them, "What in the world is going on?" they said...

"Mom, we're just ready to go get Meryn. Right now." 

Their bags were packed and they were ready.  It broke my heart at the time.  I couldn't even post it until now. : )  

Praying for all those babies left behind, still waiting... (and their mamas too)...