Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Fall happenings

Well remiss would be an appropriate word to describe my blogging this fall.  Yes, I fell off the bandwagon.  I guess when we get busy, blogging just goes out the window.  That's my excuse anyways:)

The kids have also been busy.  Here's the rundown.


Our eldest has done such an amazing job settling into her new high school.  On top of rocking her semester she has taken on a very big challenge this year.  Mandarin.  It is a one night a week course that lasts the whole school year through and will ultimately give her a ninth credit this year if she continues in it.  It was listed as a beginner Mandarin credit course.  Since it is offered in the board just north of us, she had to wait to join once all local students were given the chance to join the course.  This meant she joined two weeks later than everyone else.  On top of that, all the other kids except for two others, all speak fluent Mandarin!  These kids in Rykauna's class are not taking the Mandarin course for native speakers because they do not read/write Mandarin.

So yeah, Rykauna is at a huge disadvantage.  But... she managed to comfortably pass last week's test!  Not bad for a girl who does not speak, read, or write mandarin.  The teacher was very impressed.  This course is going to stretch her brain more than any other class she takes this year!  We are pleased she is willing to work so hard at learning this language.  Having Rykauna studying Mandarin has been a great encouragement for Li Lin to learn mandarin too.  After all, what little sister does not want to be like her teenage big sister.


Middle school has gone extremely well for Logan.  He too has settled in well.  Logan has managed to have very little homework so he is a happy guy!  With all his free time, Logan is often a big help around the home.  He can bake, cook, clean... I  tell him that one day some woman will be so thrilled to have a hubby (like mine) that is so helpful around the home.  He still much prefers to shoot a ball around or play video games, but he capably, and willingly helps me often for which I am grateful.


Hudson has been running cross country for most of September and into the early part of October.  He has shown amazing dedication to the sport (that you couldn't pay me to join as a student). 

Yup.  Every single school day in Sept and early Oct he ran during his lunch recess to train for the meet.    He told me one day that he was the only grade three boy that was trying out for cross-country.  I asked him when he plays with his friends.   "During the other two recesses.  But, at lunch I run cross-country."

A couple of days before the race I was concerned he was coming down with a cold so I sent him to bed early one night to try to stave off the cold. He happily agreed to head to bed because, as he said, "Mom, I have to run.  I am representing all the grade three boys from my school." :)

I had told him that no matter how he did during the run, Steph and I were proud of his efforts and dedication.  As I was unable to attend the run, my in-laws thankfully took him to the run and watched him race.  When I saw Hudson later in the day, I told him we should text Steph and tell him about  his run.  This is what he texted Steph from my phone. "I am proud of myself. I came in 123."  

Out of about 300 grade three boy runners...very good indeed. On top of his swimming lessons, which he takes just after Li Lin, Hudson is in no danger of being under-active this fall.

Li Lin

Li Lin is loving kindergarten.  She evens admits to liking it now.  Other than coming home with new  pets  like snails and ladybugs (in hands or pockets) , all is going well on the school front. 

She adores one of the little boys in her class...so much so, that I have had to teach her not to kiss him or hug him anymore. :) 

A couple of weeks ago she had a dental check-up.  I was not expecting the results I got.  She needs over $2800 worth in dental work on her teeth.  On top of that, she will need to be put out under general anesthesia for the multiple fillings, cappings, etc.  The dentist asked me if I feed her lots of candy.  I told him we did not as we were aware that cleft-affected children tend to have poor dentition and are cavity prone.  We have definitely upped our dedication to thorough flossing and brushing with her though, since this appointment. On the upside, our insurance company is covering over $2700 worth of the cost.  Thank God...especially since she is having the work done just before Christmas.  It might have been a very lean Christmas for the family had we had to pay the bulk of the cost.

Li Lin also started speech therapy again.  I am much happier with the speech therapy program she is in now.  It is specifically geared to kids with cleft-related speech difficulties.  I am hopeful that this one-on-one time with a therapist who only works with cleft kids will really improve her speech.  I understand 99% of what she says but adults her do not know her sometimes struggle at times to understand her.  Interestingly enough, other children have no problem communicating with her.

Her Mandarin studies this year are taking the form of Chinese family immersion once a week.  One of my dear Chinese friends from our church has offered to take her for a couple hours a week and have Li Lin "hang out in a Chinese family, eat dinner with them, and just live normal everyday Mandarin stuff like, book reading, cartoons, and talking.  The bilingual family only speaks Mandarin while she is there thus encouraging her to use her Mandarin (which she is reluctant to speak).  My friend has told me that she already can see a big difference in Li Lin's speaking in only a couple of weeks of visits.  Since she spoke fluent Mandarin at adoption, we know it is all there in her mind, we are just trying to pull it back out.  Thankfully, it seems to be working.  I like the fact that she is learning traditional Chinese family life at the same time.  She likes my friend and looks forward to seeing their pet rabbits once a week.

So that is about it on the kid front.  We had a busy Thanksgiving weekend with both family and friends.  Although we feel exhausted at times, we both feel very blessed and thankful to our Father in heaven for the many blessings He has given us.


  1. Love, Love, Love all of the pictures!!! They are just gorgeous! I was so happy to get another update on the family. Kudos to all you awesome kiddos!! We love you guys...praying for you everyday. Miss you! Love Auntie Pam and Uncle David xx

  2. Love the photos, especially the last one of all four. Beautiful! We enjoyed our visit with you last week. Keep in touch!

  3. Fun update! and great photos! Hugs to all,
    Aunt Deb