Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Working in the Mud

Wish I had some new and exciting information to share, but unfortunately I don't. Dan had Maicol and Juan helping him put insulation under the house yesterday. They don't mind crawling under the house and being in the mud. As a matter of fact, they thought it was fun! Maicol told me he likes playing in the mud. His boots and gloves were evidence of that.
Maicol read to me out of his reading book yesterday. It is about Pat the Cat, so lots of three letter words with the short a sound and a few sight words. He did pretty well. Juan seems to have most of his colors down and can match the color word on the crayon with the color word on the page his is coloring. He's not much at handwriting yet, so he has been practicing tracing lines. We're also working on shapes and tracing them too. We've worked on the vowels and their short sounds, but he doesn't remember very well yet from one day to the next. Andrew has learned to hold up two fingers. I was trying to teach him to say how old he is. I'm not sure he completely understands, but he likes to do it and then says "two eggs". That's a pretty common question at our house in the morning - "Would you like one or two eggs?" Juan always says two and Andrew is learning to answer for him I guess. He's still being very mischevious, but is getting better at picking up toys when instructed and putting his dishes in the dishwasher.
We're hoping for enough snow for sledding by Friday. It sure would make the cold weather worthwhile!
Enjoy the rest of the day.

Friday, January 25, 2008

The Week in Review

It has been a good week. I took a little bit of vacation hours and Dan hasn't had much work this week, so we've had more time together. He is working with Maicol on phonics and learning to read in English. Maicol doesn't particularly like doing the work, but learns very quickly. He likes that instant success thing, but then again don't we all. Juan has now completed 3 lessons in Unit 1 of Rosetta Stone English. He is very proud of himself. As soon as he finished the 3rd one today he wanted to go to the store to buy bubble gum. He cannot let that money get even a little "cold". Juan wants to learn to blow bubbles, so Dan is trying to teach him. He is very funny - a mouthful of bubble gum and the best he can do is stick it out of his mouth and blow. :) He doesn't understand about making the "pocket" to put air in to blow the bubble. Maicol can do it a little.
We went to the Children's Museum yesterday. We took pictures, but somehow they have disappeared between the camera and the computer, so you missed out. We were only there a couple of hours. Got to leave them wanting more you know. Only one little behavior problem, so I think it was a good trip. We rode the carousel more than once and saw parts of a couple of exhibits, so there's still lots more to do.
My other big accomplishment this last 2 weeks is that I have all but one page done of a scrapbook of our trip to Colombia. One day a week I work at a job that really doesn't involve much work so I have been trying to use that time to complete the scrapbook. I'm not usually on top of things like that, but with the extra time away from home I was able to get it done. Now I'll have to come up with a new project.
Jonathan came over to play tonight for a couple of hours. They love it when he comes. Usually he plays more with the big boys, but tonight it was mostly Andrew. Jonathan brought his old Game Boy for Maicol, so that took care of him wanting to do anything else. Juan was very busy on the computer playing games, so that left Andrew to get some attention. They had a really good time. They are so blessed to have a good older brother. Maicol was telling me tonight as I rocked him that Jonathan is a good brother. I think tonight it had to do with the Game Boy, but in general they do talk about what a good brother he is. They like playing Hide and Seek and board games with him. They always want to ride in his car. They were coloring pictures today and asked if we could send them to Bethany. So while they don't see her as much, they do think about her. They have been asking every day lately when she's coming home. They don't really understand about going away to college and working.
Today as I made breakfast, did some schoolwork, cleaning and playing games with them I just couldn't help but feel blessed. This really is where I imagined myself. As Jonathan and Bethany grew up I just didn't feel like I was done with children. I didn't know it would come through international adoption and I didn't know it would be with three boys, but it has been a great almost 5 months now. While there are times they are a challenge, they are also such wonderful kids. Like everyone else says, they have added so much to our lives. We can't imagine what we would do without them now.
Well, enough sappy stuff. :) Have a good weekend.

Sunday, January 20, 2008


It's been COLD here! It was a great big 0 degrees when we left for church this morning. Hard to believe, but my little Colombian boys have done very little complaining about it. Andrew does love to put his ice cold hands on me though to get a reaction. Mostly they just want it to snow. Still doesn't look like there's much of it in our forecast.
We had the opportunity to go to a CHI informational meeting today and talk about our adoption. You know how much we hate talking about our kids. :) Anyway, we really enjoyed it and they were pretty well behaved. We met a couple of other families who are interested in Colombia for a sibling adoption, so that was nice too. We are obviously a little biased when it comes to Colombian siblings tho.
I should say something about the name thing. We have Andres whom we are planning to change to Andrew when we do the readoption here. We have been calling him that for over a month now. We had the option of changing it in Colombia (since he is under 3), but decided not to at that time. We are still considering changing Juan Pablo to John Paul. We think we will change Maicol to the traditional American spelling and give him a middle name, since he doesn't have one. We have been talking to the older two about it some, but have not come to a definite decision yet.
Here's a picture of Juan with his new coat and snowpants. They were a very good deal, so we bought them for next year. Of course, they couldn't wait. Juan wanted to wear the snow pants to church today. We also bought backpacks for $2.50, which is why Andrew is in the picture. They are such hams.
Hoping to get above freezing by next week!

New snowsuits and backpacks.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Christmas in January

Here are a few pictures from our recent Christmas gathering. As I said last time it went very well. Juan wanted to know tonight if we were going to Grandma's tomorrow. Wish we could, but the 4 hour trip isn't something that's easily done every week.
The boys finally came running, screaming to see me! They have certainly warmed up to me compared to the first few weeks. I had worked 12 hours Wednesday, left early Thursday morning and managed to meet them for lunch Thursday. They were very excited to see me! It was wonderful. At least I think they were happy to see me, maybe it's just that they were tired of Papi. :) I'm going with the idea that they really were excited to see me.
Jonathan came over to entertain them last night. They don't seem to think he stayed long enough, but then I don't that it's possible for him to stay long enough to make them happy. I think as soon as he leaves they ask when he's coming back.
Have a good weekend and for those of you around Indiana - stay warm!

All of the cousins - I think we're a little low on girls!

Not a Christmas picture, but cute. I called Dan from work last week and happened to ask him what Andrew was doing. His reply was, "I don't know, but I guess I'd better go find him." Here's where he found him sleeping.

Papi and Maicol.

Learning to do Sudoku with Grandma.

One of the best things about going to Grandma's - she has creamsicles and ice cream bars.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

25 cents!

We had a very good weekend at my Mom's for Christmas. I know it's a little late for the holiday, but we like doing it this way. It's easier for my brother's family to come and gives me something to look forward to in January. The boys did really well on the 4 hour ride down. Very little complaining. We got them up at 6:30am, put some clean clothes on them and put them in the truck. I hadn't told them we were going - because I didn't want to answer the question "how long until we go?" about a thousand times before we left. They played well with their cousins, went to bed without much of a fuss, ate well and generally had a good time. Much better then the other two times we have gone.
We rode bikes today - a high of maybe 25 degrees. My usual guideline is it has to be at least 32 degrees, but it was nice and sunny out, so I consented to ride with the boys. They think it's very cool to ride through snow (we have maybe 1/4 of a inch). It's supposed to be much colder later this week, so I was glad we were able to get out today.
Juan Pablo finally completed a lesson on Rosetta Stone without making any mistakes. He has been working on it, but always makes a few mistakes. Today he finally got it. Dan has been giving them 25 cents for each lesson they complete. Maicol has made about 4 dollars so far, but Juan didn't have anything until today. He is anxious to get started again tomorrow. We are also getting started with their Abeka curriculum. We have been doing the Rosetta Stone English, Starfall and some workbooks, but decided we wanted to go ahead and start the Abeka.
Nothing else particularly exciting going on. Just the regular day to day stuff. I love it.
Have a good evening.

This is Juan's creation, but he wanted Maicol to be in the picture too.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


Here are a couple of pictures of my "organizer" Juan Pablo. Once you get him started on a cleaning task he can't stop. That's usually good, but he gets going and wants to rearrange the furniture, shoes, books, etc. in what is many times an inconvenient arrangement. I hate to discourage him, but it doesn't work very well to put the shoes right in front of the front door or a table in the doorway. :) He has become the sweeper when we clean up in the afternoons. Maicol likes to clean the bathroom. He's very diligent about it too. Andrew is finally beginning to help put the toys away and actually accomplish something.
Jonathan had us bring the boys to McDonald's tonight and let us go out for dinner by ourselves! What a treat. Everyone had a good couple of hours. They really like him. Maicol was telling me tonight what a good brother Jonathan is. I asked him if he was going to grow up to be a good brother too. Of course he said yes. He also has decided that he wants to be a fireman when he grows up.
We're off early Saturday morning to my mom's for Christmas. The boys don't know it yet, because I do not want to answer the question "Cuanto, Mama?" about a thousand times between now and then . They have been asking to see their cousins, so they will be excited once they find out.
Goodnight for now.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Trying to Be Good

We have had a good, but uneventful day. Neither Dan nor I had to work, so it was everyone home all day together. We did some house cleaning this morning while the boys watched Cinderella (again). Then we had our weekly Chinese lunch. We have noticed lately that Maicol and Juan Pablo eat alot of rice when we go. Maicol in particular. I think that means they miss it and I need to make more rice. I don't make it very often, but from the way they eat it there, I think they would like more.
Juan has been telling me the last few days that he is trying to "be good". That's a change for him. Before now I wasn't so sure he was. So we have been making a big deal when he does something good and talking about how many days in a row he has been good at listening to Mama and Papa. While Juan has been improving, Andrew is going the other direction. He now only wants to listen and do what is required once you get up to enforce whatever it is you have told him to do/not do. So consequently he has been spending more time sitting on his bed and repeating "yes, Mama" before he gets up. On the plus side he has been dry several days in a row. Now if we could just get him back to being dry all night. When we first got him he was, now he seems to have forgotten about it.
Our warm weather is about to end, so they are hoping for more snow soon. Maybe next week. Have a good evening.

Wish my Dad were alive to see this. He doesn't typically sit any longer than necessary, but today he wanted a book. It may be embarassing, but I think this is where my Dad did much of his reading. As kids we knew why it took him so long in there! Or was it just that he wanted uninterrupted peace and quiet? :)
Didn't know you could buy one of these at Old Navy!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Desperate to Ride

The title pretty much sums up Maicol's thoughts. He really, really likes to ride his bike. Everyday he asks if he can and if I will join him. If it's above freezing, I usually consent to, but below that is just too much for me. As you can see from the pictures even though we have a little snow they were riding anyway. It is supposed to be nearly 60 in a couple of days, so that will be good for bike riding. They are SO much happier in the late afternoon and evening when they have been outside to play. And they go to sleep much easier too! Guess we should be living in one of those states that doesn't have the highs and lows in temperature we have here.

Not much excitement going on here. Bethany will be heading back to school in a couple of days, so there goes my free babysitter and one other person besides Dan in the house who doesn't have to inform me about their every trip to the bathroom. :) I have really enjoyed having her around. Girls sure are different than boys. Not better, just different.

Maicol continues to use more and more English and Juan is actually starting to too. He had not seen the need for it previously I don't think. Maicol still converses with him in Spanish part of the time, but he even corrects Juan when he uses Spanish and knows the English. Maicol is trying to help me learn Spanish when we rock in the evenings. We go over the words I know and he tries to teach me more. He is already forgetting some Spanish. I hope that even if it fades, he will be able to pick it up later (maybe in high school).

We made a gingerbread train today. This was a kit Dan had picked up after Christmas. They did pretty well working together on it. Maicol and Juan really did the decorating - Andrew just wanted to eat the decorations! I gave him some other candy I had and he was content with that. He has been a little mischevious all day today. Getting into things he knows he shouldn't and such. While I was talking to my sister on the phone I looked in the kitchen and he was sitting at the counter with the dishcloth on his head. A little odd, but it didn't concern me. Then I turned around and looked back and he has poured his yogurt smoothie on his head! What was he thinking!? Dan wasn't too pleased with him, but all I could do was laugh and stick him in the shower. I really do wonder sometimes what is going on in that little head of his.

Enjoy the weekend.


Our Gingerbread Train.
Juan Pablo