I have been home for nearly a week now, and really enjoyed it. I have one more day, and then I head out for home on Wednesday. My favorite thing about coming home is seeing development. Children especially change so rapidly physically, mentally, and socially.
Dantzi seems to have aged a lot. She is such a young girl now, no longer the growing toddler. She is reading great, and has an excellent memory. She is continually calling me out for things I remember incorrectly. Silly things like I said tonight, I haven’t seen Madagascar. And she said, “Yes you have, you watched it here, you borrowed it from the Laws!” Sure enough, I had seen it, I had just fallen a sleep. (Big surprise, right!) We played Labyrinth the other night and she did great. There was one time when both Devin and I saw an move that would get her to her card in one move, she moved the board a different way and we both sort of giggled as our way seemed to obvious to our surprise her choice also got there, we just hadn’t noticed it! She is very loud and dramatic, during the same game she was continually doing cheers and singing songs when she got to her card. She was really supportive of everyone, getting really excited when anyone reached their card. Her attitude was contagious and soon enough Devin and I were laughing and joining in her exaggerated enthusiasm. She helped Dad and I tile today. She enjoyed pounding the wood block with the mallet, and “back-buttering” the tiles. She loves to do the adult thing. Yesterday she said, “I hate being a kid, why can’t I just be an adult.” Today she said, “I don’t ever want to grow up!” She came with me to visit some of my adopted grandmas. Anne Hastings gave her these two beanie baby monkeys who were attached arm and arm. One was red and the other white, the red one had a white kiss mark embroidered on it’s cheek, hence their name “cheek to cheek.” Anne had just pulled it out randomly wanting to give her something, but she loves it. She makes them kiss several times a day, and tells everyone how they are called “Cheek to cheek” and then points out the lip marks. She’s a romantic. I visited her class last week to listen to the kids read. After when she came home from school she said, “Ali said she really liked you. She said you are very pretty.” She was obviously proud of the fact that her sister was pretty. For as young as she is, she is very conscious of her looks. She loves her new slender frame, and was proud to tell me that everyone comments on how skinny she is. At the same time, she loves wearing her cowgirl boots and leather coat with the long fringe on the sleeves. Her violin is really coming a long. Presently she is trying to adapt to her new larger violin, as a result her pitch is suffering. When she focuses she plays beautifully. She is actively involved in all conversations. She is excited about learning to type, and spent 40 minutes drilling the letters “j” and “f” on an online typing tutorial, she was determined to be faster and more accurate. She gave me several beautiful crafts for Christmas, all with elaborate stories and meanings! She loved the slippers I made her.
Adee is more confident, her social interactions are more smooth, and she has learned a good way to join into conversation. She always says, “Oh, nice!” after someone says something, with this cute supportive smile. Her generosity and thoughtfulness continues to inspire me. On sunday she brought up her box of candy and allowed everyone to pick a piece. At the basketball game she lent a younger girl money to buy a pretzel. I love her lack of interest in hair and clothes, even though it bothers Mom. I think it’s great. Why worry about those things until you have to eh?! This year Middle school has brought her contact with the concept of “popularity.” She says she knows who is and who isn’t. Last week she slipped and fell on the ice. A couple of kids laughed at her, and she was very upset about it. I jokingly told her that when that sort of thing happens you should just smile, stand up and bow. She responded , “That’s only what a popular kid would do.” “Exactly,” I responded, act like that and you will be popular. Don’t let others get to you. It’s interesting how universal those struggles for acceptance and popularity are in the middle school ages. Everyone went through it. Adee also made me some beautiful crafts for Christmas. I’m excited next year we will be really decked out! Adee has short hair and braces, and walks taller and smiles more. I have been very impressed with her Clarinet playing, and even more her determination to improve on it. She has been winning challenges lately and is working her way up the chairs in band. We haven’t ridden horses yet but we’re hoping to do so tomorrow. She shared some touching experiences in FHE tonight.
Devin has been very busy and I haven’t been able to spend the time with him I would have liked. Though we had a good talk on evolution yesterday. He worked his tail off in the two basketball games I saw him play. I like to think he was doing it for me! (wink) Mom and Dad said that was the hardest they have ever seen him play this season. He is so strong out there. Several times guys ran into his shield and bounced off. He is a rebounded machine, and out jumps everyone, but even more he grabs the ball so strongly with his elbows out, then he tears it down. It’s hard to discribe, but impressive to see. He passes well, and had 10 points his first game and 9 the second. As proud as I was of him watching him play, I was more touched by his reverent reading of the Sacrament prayer, and his participation in ward choir.He has a great sense of humor, and is quick witted. He’s always good to lighten things up. He took the girls out to the Movie theater for their birthdays today. (Dantzi’s first time) They were both thrilled! We wrestled today. Well, I guess you could say it that way. He wrapped me in a ball basically. He finished up the semester well, I was impressed with his diligence to study right up until the end. Not to mention impressed by his courage in taking on 3 AP classes this semester.
It’s been fun to help Mom with the computer, . Helping her upload pictures, download pictures, organize pictures, order stuff and the like. I’m impressed with her determination to learn. I have also appreciated going back to the discovery of computers, and realizing how quick and useful they are. Mom always says, ” You can do that?!” Her amazement has been refreshing, as I too often am impatient with how slow they are, and what they can’t do. It’s fun to see the change in her too. Not to long ago she had a different necklace and set of earrings to go with each outfit. Now she is usually outfitted in flannel and jeans, with long johns underneath so she is warm enough to go out and feed the horses and clean their stalls. She loves her horses, and takes good care of them. I love how interested she is in everything. We enjoyed a late night of girl chat, I always learn so much from the stories of her life. I’m always amazed at how involved her life is. They just moved into a new ward a year ago, and yet you would think they lived there all their life as well as she knows and is involved with everyone. She is always thinking about ways to serve. I have much to learn from her.
As I mentioned previously I spent much of Saturday and today tiling the tub/shower with my Dad. I have loved it. It has given us an opportunity to talk, and just be together. I love to hear his grumblings but see his willingness to do. He gets flustered with the artistic implications of tiling, and was thus relieved to have a little help in that arena. I love how much of a “do-it yourself” type guy my Dad is. I love looking around our house and seeing all of his improvements. He seems happy, we have joked a lot. We all piled into the little low-riding Honda civic to drive down to Devin’s game. It really is a blast of a little car. It sort of reminds me of those arcade car games that you play. The sound when you accelerated is comically exaggerated, giving the feel that you are speeding up instantaneously, while literally your speed is unchanged! I love hearing Dad tell all of the stories surrounding the odd car, it’s funny how seemingly insignificant choices can add such flavor to life! I was impressed by his potato yield. I have never seen potatoes as big and yet delicious as the ones he pulled out for dinner yesterday, and that was even after storing them for several months! Did you know Dad has a radio show?
I love coming home, and I am so glad to have a husband who supported me in doing so. I have learned a lot and I feel more inspired to return and be better!