Thursday, August 20, 2009

Riding the bus to school for the first time

Marcus and Macey road the mini bus to school for the very first time today. School has been in session for a week now. I was driving them to and from school each day. Marcus goes in the morning and Macey in the afternoon. The school they are attending is not our home school , in our neighborhood. They do not provide the Developmental Delay program that the kids both need. So, they attend their DD school about 3.5 miles away. It's not far, just not convenient for me to drive back and forth 8 times a day through 2 school zones. So, they are now bus riders or bus kids as we like to call them at church. Taylor and Tanner both start school next week. I didn't see how we would get any home schooling done if we were never home.
Marcus got on the bus first. He did great! I carried him on the bus while the ladies introduced themselves and buckled him in. Come to find out one of the ladies, the aide on his bus knows about our family and the adoption of M & M, she attends our church. God was so good to put someone in my path today that I needed at that moment. It's hard to put 2 non-verbal kids on a bus with people you don't know. God let me know I was not alone. He is their protector. Marcus' teacher e-mailed me right away to let me know he was just as happy as he could be when he arrived at school. By the way, there are 5 kids on ea. of their buses with a driver and an aide.
Macey was next, she would be riding the same bus that dropped Marucs off just a short while ago. We watched for the bus to turn the corner and stop in front of OUR house. She was excited to be riding the bus for herself. She climbed right up the steps and sat in the seat right behind the driver. She was buckled in and began blowing kisses and waving to us. She was giddy and happy to be going to school. She was thrilled when she got home. I met her at the curb. Before the door could open they had her unbuckled and she lept into my arms. She was glad to see me. When I'm with my children day in and day out I am hardly ever missed. I felt like at this moment I was missed, she had a great day at school, and a great bus ride too. I can't ask for more than that. I'd say this was a good decision for all and a great 1st bus ride. Continue to pray all goes well. Riding the bus for both of them is a great help to the rest of the family and our schedules. I am so grateful they offer curb side service and with a smile too. :)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The very first day of school for M & M

Today was the Big Day! The day we have been looking forward to. Marcus and Macey officially had their very first day of school. This is a BIG accomplishment, HUGE! I could hardly imagine just 4 short months ago when we met them both for the very first time that they would be "ready" for a day like today. They have come SO far in the short amount of time that they have been home. I have to go back to some of our old posts from our time in Ukraine to remember were they came from. Some days it seems like only yesterday we were beginning our lives together and other days it seems like they have always been a part of our lives. The Lord have truly blessed out time together.
I attended my first IEP meeting yesterday. For those that do not know it is an important meeting for our Individual Education Plan for each of my kids. They were tested shortly after coming home by the public school system. We wanted to see if they would qualify for services for this upcoming school year. There are 5 categories they would need to partially be delayed in to qualify, they were both delayed in ALL 5 areas - no surprise. I can post details of their report and our meeting another time. Today is a day to celebrate!
Marcus was the first to go to school today. He goes in the morning and is in the 3 year old program. He is one of 7 kids in his class with his lead teacher and 3 assistants. I am pleased with the ratio. I enjoyed our sweet time together. I love to see him when he first wakes up, feed him his breakfast then get him dressed for the day. Except today it didn't quite happen in that order. Marcus did enjoy waking up to his breakfast but made a detour to a morning bath before getting dressed. I say detour because he had a MAJOR blow-out in the highchair. He loves drinking his orange flavored Pedisure now but it must not have agreed with him this time. We got him cleaned up and ready to go to his very first day of school, no worries! We were sure to get plenty of pictures before I left him with his new teachers. They were anxiously waiting for him when we arrived. His other classmates were seated at the table working on puzzles. He sat right up to the table like a big boy, then got down to explore shortly after. Ms. Kendra told me he sat still for circle time, ate a good snack (gold fish we brought for his class) and enjoyed going down the slide outside on the playground. His daily report said he had a great day, you can't beat that. He would only be in class for 2 hours and 15 minutes. It went by quickly for me. When I got home it was time to get Macey and the others fed breakfast. I picked up Daylight doughnuts for us. That's a real treat. Taylor was getting ready for her last day of sewing and dance classes for the summer. We all went to pick Marcus up at 10:45. When we arrived at his school his teacher and aide were each holding his hands as they walked him to my car. My little boy is not so little anymore. He had this adorable back pack on (Thanks to Aunt Tara) and was grinning from ear to ear. I did get a picture of it but he looked back as if to say, "I'll be back tomorrow."
After dropping Taylor off at her classes we had 30 minutes to eat lunch before having to get Macey ready for her Big Day! Macey was excited to "go to school." I wasn't sure if she knew were we were going. We pulled up into the school parking lot and she began screeching with joy. She remembered from the meet the teacher night. Ms. Kendra was waiting outside for Macey to arrive. We took a picture, or two and headed inside to her class. It was great for me to see the same faces from this morning. How nice it's going to be to work with the same team of ladies for both kids. Macey is part of the 4 year old class with 6 other students. Macey was eager to sit at the round table with her classmates. She began the puzzle work right away. Ms. Kendra sat beside her as if to help her. She then also got up to explore the zebra rug with different colored chairs on it. She tried out every color. When I picked her up two hours and 15 minutes minutes later her teachers told me what a great day she had. She went pee-pee in the potty. That is no surprise but they are using a Big Girl potty that is across the hall, you know the bathroom ALL the other kids use. She made it in time. She has bean signing potty for a long time now, she tells us and her workers at church and now school when she has to go. Go Macey! I wish I could have been a fly on the wall today to see how they did for myself. Their teachers seem to be fond of both of them, what's not to love?
We could not have asked for a better day for either of them. That is an answer to prayer. Marcus will go to school 4 days a week and Macey will go 5 (It's the way the program is run). So Marcus is off tomorrow while Macey will go in the afternoon. We don't actually have Friday mornings off. We will continue our private PT/ST with Bob and Michelle. We're looking forward to seeing them tomorrow. They took last week off to go on vacation. It's going to take me some time to get every one's schedules down but give me a few weeks and we'll be running just fine. It's my job and I love it!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

'Twas the Night Before Pre-K

The night before school starts is exciting and fun. There are always so many things to get done. Your baths are taken, your beds are nice & warm
So climb inside and dream little ones until morn.
Your clothes are ready, your back pack is too!
Your classroom is waiting with fun things to do.
So fall asleep quickly, fall asleep fast
the night will soon be a thing of the past.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Meet the teacher...Open House

This afternoon was meet the teacher night at M&M's new school. I had already met the teacher at the end of the school year last year. We had only been home a few weeks when I had the opportunity to go "sit in" on Ms. Kendra's class. I was at ease right away when I realized who my children would be spending their days with and where exactly. I have been praying for her all summer long. She is a sweet young lady who married last year and taught her first year this past school year. She is kind, gentle and eager. The entire family came this evening to meet Ms. Kendra and see the new classroom. Taylor and Tanner thought this was so cool. They get to go to school. They enjoyed showing Marcus and Macey around the classroom. Macey went towards the play kitchen , talked on the phone and held a baby. Marcus was on the bean bags (the colors of the Ukrainian flag I might add) and found his way to the table for a snack. They both were comfortable and made themselves at home. I was busy filling out paperwork and turning in school supplies. Wayne enjoyed watching the kids in their new environment and assured me they would do great and we were doing the right thing. I am so glad I brought him along. He is always so relaxed and laid back, unlike me. I was a little nervous. I am happy with their teacher and the school it's just that I am leaving 2 non-verbal children in the care of some one besides me. I know that they are attached to us as a family and they deserve the opportunity of the services the school will provide. They will only be gone two and a half hours a day for goodness sake.

I was given a verse recently that I am claiming for myself and this transition:
Isaiah 41:10
So do not fear, I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

When you think of our new family please keep us all in prayers as we make yet another transition in each of our daily lives.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Lunch out to McD's after OT

We began our Monday morning at OT for both Marcus and Macey. Taylor and Tanner both enjoy going so they can watch the kids through a 2-way mirror. I guess they think they are spying on them. This is an aggressive therapy that we have been very pleased with. The children were evaluated in June and have just blossomed over the past several weeks.
The big accomplishment for Marcus today was not only is he drinking his orange flavored Pedisure but he was able to drink it directly from the spout of his "juice box container." We have only been working a few weeks on getting him interested in drinking from a straw verses the bottle. We finally found the right container and the drink he likes. There you have it, I know he'll be drinking from a Big Boy cup with a straw in no time. We were taught what to do, we did it and now he is succeeding. It sure makes mama proud.
Macey is having a difficult time transitioning from one place to another, from completing a project/task given, to leaving when it's time to go. She is enjoying her therapy, Sunday school class, etc. and doesn't want to quit having fun. We are working on this but now we have a plan. Today her therapist showed her a clock that visually counts down the time, so she can see how much time is left to work/play. When the red color is gone it's time to pick up or leave. She can see the time go away for herself. It works differently than the kitchen timer were she is told a time then the buzzer goes off and she has to quit, not much warning there. Our therapist is so kind to get one for me to use at home. I know Macey will succeed in no time. We have been given the tools to help our kiddos and they are responding just beautifully.
We are winding down our summer, the Little's start to school on Thursday. Taylor and Tanner start back later this month. I wanted to give the kids a treat. We haven't gone out to eat much since being home so this would be a real treat today. Their 1st choice was McD's. The kids eat great there and they have a small PlayPlace for the little ones. After eating their chicken nuggets and fries they both asked for ice cream. We love to watch them sign it. Who could resist those tongues a waggin' for a sweet treat? They both split a cup of vanilla ice cream. Soon after the kids were ready to play, another sign they both use often. Before we made it over to the play place there was a clown there making balloons for the kids and face painting too. Marcus and Macey could not take their eyes off of him the entire time they were trying to eat. I'm sure they didn't see a friendly, dressed up clown in the Big O. He made each of them a balloon animal to take home. Macey wasn't too sure about him. She kept taking steps away from him while Marcus on the other hand walked right up and grabbed his black top hat with a flower waving from it. Who would have thought a trip to our local McD's could be so exciting? I'd say we picked the best day of all.

By the way, I did say Marcus walked up to the clown. He is so close to walking on his own. He has gone from scooting to were he wants to go to out right walking. He still cruises but is becoming more confident to step out on his own. He walked the full length of the living room this weekend and the therapy room today. He's already been moved up from the "creeper" room in the church nursery to the Big Boy walker room. He is doing so much all at once right now. I am so very proud of him. Macey likes to "walk" to us also. She loves the reaction we give her as she "walks" like a Big Girl too. Monkey see, Monkey do.
Have I told you how much fun I'm having?
Your welcome to join in anytime. You don't know what your missing. :)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Why Marcus can not be left alone

I feel like I have some explaining to do. Yes, this is my handsome boy on the kitchen table after drinking/spilling my Diet Coke. He was only left alone for a minute. It was 9:15 and the kids and I were getting together the backpacks for the littles, Bibles, offering for everyone, I stopped to put on my lipstick, you know the things you do before you walk out the door to church. (Wayne is working mandatory 6-7 hour days so he wasn't home to join us). We were all gathered by the front door ready to go, well everyone except Marcus. He was left to himself in the living room. When I noticed him missing I found him here, on the dining room table. A kitchen chair must not have been pushed completely up to the table so he climbed in it himself and up on top of the table and had himself a drink. remind you church starts in 15 minutes. Even though we are close I knew we were going to be late. Satan was NOT going to keep us home. I quickly undressed him and gave him the 2nd bath of the morning. Diet Coke is sticky, there was no just wiping him off. I changed his clothes and off we went to church. The other kids did great. Taylor and Tanner picked up the slack. The wet clothes went in the washer, back packs were loaded, everyone had a Bible and offering and got themselves and Macey buckled in the van. Poor Marcus had no idea what the fuss was all about. I dropped T&T off at the front doors so they wouldn't be too late while I unloaded the two littles and got them to their classes. I sure do miss my husband on the Sunday mornings he has to work. I miss him worshipping beside me and all the help he provides for the kids. It sure was nice that Wayne had lunch on the table when we got home from church. He had NO idea the kind of morning we had. The Lord truly blessed my time of worship and Bible Study. There was no place I would have rather been, distractions and all!

So, how do your Sunday morning's go for you and your family?
I know I'm not alone.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Pretty Toes

Today was not our normal day in the Dickinson household. Taylor is gone over night to a Youth Evangelism conference and Wayne got off early today to go to the doctor. He has a torn ligament in his right foot that now requires surgery. This is why he had such a hard time with ALL the walking while in Ukraine. It probably hasn't helped that he has been working mandatory 10 hours days, 6-7 days a week for weeks now. We are blessed that he was able to pay back the leave he borrowed for the trip and now he is building up leave so he can take off for surgery soon.

Anyway, I had the opportunity to go have a pedicure while the kids napped and Wayne for that matter. I jumped on it. Macey wasn't in bed yet so I decided to take her with me, just the two of us. I wanted my pedicurist to meet her anyway. She had only heard about the kids and had seen their pictures. I don't think she will meet Marcus anytime soon. :) I called ahead of time so she could get me right in. When we got there she had cartoons on the TV. Macey was excited to sit on my lap. She even liked the massaging of the chair we sat in. She kept her legs across my lap for the first few minutes. She then inched her way down my lap to put her feet in the water. Anne stepped away to wax some one's eyebrows so I let Macey stand in the water. She just oohed and aahed at the warm bubbling water. Anne came back and put lotion on my legs and began massaging, this is my favorite part. All of a sudden while my eyes are closed and I'm totally relaxed I feel this little hand rub her hand down my leg to get lotion for herself. Miss Macey began rubbing her own leg, raising it all the way up to her heard. Anne got a good laugh. I asked Macey if she wanted pretty toes, she said, Yea Yea! Anne picked out a pretty pink and added silver glitter on top so her toes would sparkle. Needless t say, it was not the most relaxing pedicure I've ever had but definitely one of the most memorable.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Taylor and Tanner too

A great way to spend some of their summer vacation.

Tanner has enjoyed catching several fish while spending time with his dad.

Taylor has spent many hours making a beautiful quilt to display in her "new" bedroom.

Between working and participating in VBS, attending basketball & soccer camp for Tanner and a leadership camp, Falls Creek and YEC for Taylor they both found some free time to do the things they enjoy.

I am so very proud of them both.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

FUO's meet for the first time

We had the pleasure of meeting another family who adopted a little girl from Ukraine just last year. We were invited to Owasso to visit with the Urban Family. We were all excited to meet Miss Ava and her family. The kids and I loaded up the van and headed up the turnpike this morning. The kids did great with their first road trip. The two hours just flew by. We were greeted by Hope when we arrived. A spunky little 4 year old who just adored Macey throughout the day. When Charissa opened the front door there sat Miss Ava. She was just like we had pictured her. It helps to keep up with their family's blog. Her bald head was just beautiful and her earrings were adorable. Taylor was on cloud nine! It's amazing how attached you become to others and their families when you read about their daily lives. Ava was sweet and enjoyed having us there. Tanner was off with the boys from the start. They played Wii, fished in their pond and swam like fish in the pool. We enjoyed our time together over lunch, pasta and green beans. Isn't it funny how kids just LOVE other peoples cooking. My kids loved the meal and "home made" cookies Charissa made for dessert. Nothing like slice and bake cookies after working up an appetite from swimming. Marcus was just precious. He ate well and was ready for his nap. The only problem was were and how? Charissa offered us Ava's crib since she doesn't take naps. It was a God send. Marcus went right to sleep and slept for hours. He loves his routine. Charissa and I spent the afternoon visiting & getting to know one other. It was an encouragement to visit about our experiences with adoption, home schooling, our church life and our families. Ava was a sweetheart as she just enjoyed her cookies and our conversation. Taylor had a great time swimming and playing with Macey and Hope. This was the thing to do on a HOT summer day. We all gathered together again toward the end of our visit for pictures. It was really fun to see Ava interact with Marcus. She too likes to "grab" others. Marcus just sat there with his eyes as BIG as saucers. He wasn't hurt just surprised. She was harmless. We loaded up the car again with kids and a fresh farm egg from their chickens, the few they have left. Oh, that's another story. Needless to say we had a fun filled day with the Urban's on the farm. When can we come back?
We didn't get to the turnpike before Macey was fast asleep. Remember she hadn't had a nap and was tired from the heat and swimming.
It was a day to remember.
Thanks Urban's for having us!

Title: FUO's (Former Ukrainian Orphans)