Friday, April 29, 2011

First Week of School

 This was our Easter Egg hunt. 

 Cali got the shiny egg...she was pretty happy about that

 I'm not sure what we were doing here but he is almost always smiling and I love it!

 You have no idea how many pictures I delete from my camera every time he takes it for pictures.  This is a self portrait and I think he did a great job on this one.

 This is Tiffany's nursing graduation with her husband Jeff.

 I had to throw this one in....She is soooooo cute!

I finally feel rested this week.  Vitaliy started 8th grade on Monday and was thrown into a full day of school.  Luckily Monday's are early out day so it was short.  The school assigns a "buddy" for the first day of school for a new student.  His buddy gets to leave his classes early and get to them late because he walks Vitaliy to all of his classes and picks him up.  I was interested to pick the boys up on Monday.  There are five boys in my carpool including my kids.  When they got to the car they were talking about Vitaliy's first day and how some people didn't believe that he was Jason's brother.  They were all happy and Vitaliy said he had a great day.  He was in a great mood all afternoon, too.  The rest of the week followed the same way.  He has had a good day everyday and likes to be going to school.  The first day of school he came home with a notebook filled with writing in English.  It looked like he copied everything he could from the board in his classes.  I thought that was a good sign.

Sasha didn't start a regular day, he started with a computer class called Imagine Learning.  The first several days were a bit rough.  This program is supposed to be an ESL (English as a Second Language) program but it only gave a little instruction in Russian.  So, honestly, he didn't understand it.  He also has very little education under his belt and he struggled quite a bit.  It does a pretest on the student and then assesses what grade level it should place him in.  He obviously "accidentally" clicked on several right answers because it started him on reading.  Seeing that he doesn't know the alphabet yet, that seemed a problem...don't you think!  Anyway, it wasn't until Thursday that he started showing signs of following the program. (it was put down to a 1st grade level...still challenging when the instruction is in English).  After that, I had hope that it might be helpful.  In the meantime, we are working at home on the alphabet doing workbooks, computer games and other board games.  He does enjoy learning and that really is half the battle.  By Thursday he actually said two different sentences in English.  That was awesome to hear.

The weeks activities included a lot of bike riding and playing mixed in with chores.  It is a little challenging because I am used to my kids knowing what I expect them to do and trying to incorporate that into kids I have only had in my scope of influence for just a couple of weeks.  When I say everybody has to pick up, it doesn't mean you sit there until I specifically call your name and tell you to pick up!  We all have learning to do.

Tuesday night was mutual night.  Some people asked if Vitaliy wanted to go.  My answer was, my other kids don't "ask" to go...he went.  He did end up having a good time.  I took the kids to a play put on by our local group, Center Stage.  The play was the musical, "Beauty & the Beast".  Sasha loved it.  He was mesmerized the whole time.  Vitaliy didn't like parts, the romantic singing parts, I could tell.  He said he didn't like it but I watched him and I think he did but didn't want to admit it.  Why do young men think they need to be tough all the time.  Honestly, it is stupid and when they behave that way, it looks stupid, too!  Wish I knew how to say that in Russian...well probably not quite like that.

Andy and I went to our oldest daughter, Tiffany's, graduation from nursing school at UVU on Thursday night.  It was really enjoyable.  Watching her accomplish such a great thing was a amazing coming from the perspective of remember the years put toward that moment.  It was pretty cool.  I could remember all the melt downs and near "death" experiences of last minute assignments and what not.  It was fun.

When we left that night, Sasha really wanted to go.  He always wants to go everywhere with me.  But, this time he couldn't.  He stood at the window and watched me driving away.  His teacher told him before he left the orphanage that after 18 days, his family would throw him out.  I didn't realize that last night was the 18th night he has been in my custody.  Well, my MOMENT OF THE WEEK was when we came home, kind of late, and he ran down the stairs, saw me and yelled...Mama!  He was so excited.  He gave me a hug and a kiss and was genuinely excited to see me.  It wasn't until later that I counted out the days and realized what day it was.

It has been a good week...tiring...but good.  By the way...Do banana trees grow in Utah?  I buy big bunches of bananas bounteously!  I am so not kidding!!!!


  1. Ira is all set up with that computer program at school too. I didn't know it tested her right at the first though. I'm not getting much communication with the teacher, to be honest. I didn't put her in for academics though, so I guess it's not a big deal.

    That's so cute about Sasha running to greet you. :)

    My brother is in Annie at the new theater up this direction so we went to see that. Ira seemed to enjoy it and thought it was so cool every time Kyle came on stage. She'd point at him, look at me and say, "Kyle?" LOL He played Rooster so he had an accent for it part and I think that was throwing her. :)

    I'm glad things seem to be going well for you! We need to get together!

  2. I'm so happy how things are going well with both kids. I'm trying not to be too jeslous of the efforts towards English. We are resisting big time here. Several conversations on the computer with the translator and still no efforts. aaaa! We have to get together early this week. Call me whenever you get a chance.

  3. Woo hoo Tiffany! So great that she has graduated! I'm glad that things are going well and that you were able to get out the other night. Really love all the kind endearing words that the orphanage teachers instill in these kids. Good to know they are in such kind, caring hands. That said, I do know that some of the teachers are nice and good. It's just such a misfortune that there are many who do not.