November's Mini Elephants

A little late this month, but that seems to be the story of my life nowadays. Although we knew that we would most likely be bringing Anah home sometime during the year, we had no idea when that would be, so I just planned things as usual and giving myself full permission to cut back if needed. (That's okay, right?) This past month has been one of adjustments. Each week, I tried to add at least one new challenge for myself. That way, I wasn't trying to do everything at once plus deal with the adjustments, jet lag, and new family. God has been good and has helped us each step of the way. So let's take a look at that list:

1. Get through jet lag and get back on schedule.

This was a grace of God--we were all back to PST within two weeks.  

2. Work out a new family routine, chore chart and system for our home.

Though we're still tweaking parts of it, we have established a solid schedule that incorporates Anah's needs, school, and the business of running a home.

3. Work on review products for our school time. Other than that, we're keeping it light.

I have really enjoyed the products I've reviewed--something for each of my kids. What a gift these reviews have been. Jonathan has been enjoying KinderBach, Matthew has devoured the Sugar Creek Gang audios, and Janna and I have had meaningful and significant conversations using the Recon Curriculum and reading Journeys of Faithfulness. The boys also have had a good time with the online ZooWhiz program. If you haven't read these reviews, I encourage you to do so. They have been wonderful. 

4. Help Janna with her PSAT coming up mid month.

She did it! It was a good experience for her and even though she didn't answer every single question, she found her studying paid off. Hooray! 

5. Spend quality time with Jonathan each day through this transition time, 30 minutes a day just for him.

I've had some great time with Jonathan. He still is having trouble adjusting to Anah at times, but he is trying. We've been reading every night and having some "fun school" in the mornings. And lots of snuggles when he will let me.

6. Ditto for Matthew.

Matthew and I have been working on his stamp collection together, which has provided lots of good talking time. 

7. Go out on at least two dates this month.

Well, we didn't go out, but we did sit down together every week. Last week, we planned out the rest of this year's date nights so we can keep each other accountable. We decided to switch date night to Sunday...we'll see how that works. We have yet to actually go out, but I am calling this a good start. 

8. Get started on medical visits and care for Anah.

Check. She has gotten her general medical check, which then allows us to have her referred to other specialists. Her lab work came back pretty normal except for her thyroid. So besides getting X-rays and seeing the cardiologist, physical therapist, and opthamologist, we'll have to add endocrinologist as well. Dental work is going to be another challenge. Our goal is to have one visit every week or a couple visits a month. 

9. Plan an evaluation time for Anah's education.

We have an appointment with the Regional Center for this week. I've also been able to talk to the homeschooling specialists and our school district as well as doing my own assessments. 

10. Work our way out of the pull-ups. We're getting used to the toilet but are missing her cues.

I don't know if we will get out of the pull-ups anytime soon, but we are doing 100% better on the toilet. We don't have accidents very often, but until we can work out a communication system for her, we will probably play it safe. 

11. Read Men and Women by Larry Crabb.

Finished...and also read Wrestling with an Angel by Greg Lucas. Both were awesome! 
Okay, this month! In no particular order:
1. Finish memorizing Ephesians 6 and work on making it word perfect.
2. Get back to exercising, 30-45 minutes a day, 5 days a week. This has been such a struggle this year.
3. Read Give Them Grace by Elise Fitzpatrick.
4. Blog at least twice a week on topics other than the adoption and reviews, with the goal of 10 posts this month.
5. Finish my school plans for Janna, Matthew and Jonathan for this year. (I still haven't finished yet!)
6. Continue working on incorporating Anah into our school day. I am training her to work alongside with the others, but this is not always possible.
7. Introduce five new activities for Anah to add into our activity lineup. So far we have puzzles, coloring, books, lacing and beads, and singing time.
8. Continue adding new signs for Anah: all done, bathroom, help. She has learned more, please, and thank you so far.
9. Spend time individually with each of the kids each day, half an hour to one hour.
10. Support my husband this month with his preaching assignments and by cooking for his Day with Jesus event on Nov. 10.
11. Create a scrapbook page layout or two summarizing our Beijing vacation.
12. Clean out our spare room in preparation for my parents' arrival for Thanksgiving.
Lord, thank you for your care for us and for your faithfulness in the transitional period. This past month has been full of evidence of your care in all the intimate details of our lives. Without you, we wouldn't have made it. As we look ahead to the next month, I pray that you will continue to teach me how to number our days so that they would be full of You. In Jesus' name, Amen.