Thursday, January 16, 2014

Catching up

After a short hiatus, I am back.  I have really struggled with the what to tell and how much.  To help me explain my thoughts, I have added a page at the top entitled, "Transparency in Adoption."  I want you to know that I am not being transparent in this blog.  More like opaque.  I don't mind sharing the good, and I don't mind sharing my personal struggles, but I will be very careful about sharing anything about my girls that would embarrass or frustrate them.

So...with that said, I will tell a little about some of our latest adventures.

Of course, the big event was Christmas.  It is SO FUN to have first Christmas with an older child.  Everything is fresh and new.  We had an awesome Christmas.  Here are a few pictures:

Davina got to experience Johnson family traditions including picking and out and decorating the tree, baking cookies, Christmas Eve service followed by Christmas Eve jammies, and the fun of Christmas morning.  (Although she slept through Black Friday shopping!)  Yuly and Riza had a little bit of a challenge waiting for three teen-aged sisters to awaken on Christmas morning, but they waited (mostly) patiently.

Over break, all seven of us went to see Frozen.  We are still singing the songs...(Do you want to build a snowman?)  But really, the story is wonderful.  There are so many lessons in it that we have discussed.  Like the beauty of family.  Like "perfect love casts out fear."  Like the benefit of having sisters :)

And now, we have resumed school.  Audrey started her final semester at Tallahassee Community College. Savanna returned to finish out her Junior year at Community Christian School.  Riza and Yuly have gotten back to the routine for homeschool and Classical Conversations.  But Davina has something new!  Davina was not a fan of homeschool  (I am not breaking any confidences here, she told anyone who would listen!) so we promised to make some changes.  We have found a great school for her.  It is a school with very individualized instruction and (as a bonus) the owners have three daughters adopted from China.  All of the children in the school have reading/language/learning issues, and although Davina is the only one in the school with English as a Second Language issues, the school is equipped to help children who need extra help.  She has gone for one week and she has been very happy.  She is very tired when she comes home every afternoon, so she takes a nap and then gets up to do her homework.  We are excited to see the progress that she is making.

I plan to post more often now that I have clarified for myself how I will handle sharing stories of our family.  I will close with a silly story...

Riza is a very silly girl.  She loves to sing and dance (and talk)--whether anyone is watching (or listening) or not.  One day, Riza was in the living room and she was singing a nonsense song loudly (and probably dancing around) while Todd, Davina and Yuly were in the kitchen.  Yuly said, "That girl is just crazy."  Todd answered, "She gets it from her mother."  Yuly replied, "Davina, do you think she gets it from Mom or Dad?"  Davina said, "Both..together..that way the crazy is stronger."