Monday, May 25, 2009


Which means I get a temporary break - well sort of...

We celebrated our first year of homeschooling this past Thursday by talking and journaling about all that the girls have learned and about what this year has meant to them. It was pretty incredible to reflect on all that they had learned in six months!!! I am so proud of how hard they have worked. We have had fun too :) After our little end of year ceremony we headed to a swim party for the end of the year with our homeschool coop friends.

Here's the summary that I made for them.

What we have Accomplished in
6 months!!!!!

Ø Learned to speak and understand English
Ø Completed ALL of Math 2
Ø Completed almost ALL of Math 3
Ø Learned addition, subtraction, and multiplication facts very well and began practicing division facts
Ø Learned 70 phonograms
Ø Memorized The Swing, The Secret, Jeremiah 29:11-13, Psalm 119:9, 11
Ø Wrote many pages of sentences, journals, and stories
Ø Learned over 200 spelling words
Ø Finished 2 Levels of Rosetta Stone
Ø Finished 3 Explode the Code Books!!!
Ø Learned to read in English and completed many books
Ø Learned about 7 contintents and read books about countries all over the world
Ø Learned about the beginning of the United States, Christopher Columbus, Pilgrims & Indians, Thanksgiving, our United States Flag, The Pledge of Allegiance, 50 States
Ø Learned a lot more about who God is and how He loves you and read many parts of the Bible.
Ø Learned so much of life and love and family

…And I have learned what fun it is to be your teacher!!!! I love you girls and am so proud of your hard work. You are both so smart but more importantly you have sweet, kind hearts, you listen to us, you admit when you do something wrong, you work hard, and you ask God to help you by praying and seeking Him by reading the Bible. If you continue in this, then you will have learned the most important of lessons. I love being your teacher and I love being your mom!!

Let’s have a GREAT summer!!!!

We finished with me recording the girls reciting their memory work and presenting some certificates to them. They have truly done an outstanding job!!!

Here are two videos of the girls memory work - they are short but make sure you pause the music on the right.

We will completely break for a week and then do a little math, english, and lots of reading each day that nothing more exciting is going on :) Yea for summer!!!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Happy 13th Birthday Kateryna!!!

And 1st Birthday Home!!!

What a special, sweet day it was. Katya has been anticipating this day since she got home. This morning our birthday princess was awakened to a birthday cake with 13 candles and her entire family singing Happy Birthday. She smiled ear to ear and blew out her candles. She was then led into the living room which had been decorated with pink crepe paper, balloons, and princess plates for the cake. We ate breakfast and she was literally giddy :) Then she opened the presents from Zach and me. She received a Princess Belle dress (she just loves Disney princesses and wanted this even though most girls her age might have already tired of princess stuff, but for her this is the first time to have these type of things). Then for her big present - an IPOD loaded with all her favorite songs. She was beyond delighted and just couldn't stop hugging and kissing us and telling us thank you. Every new song that she discovered was a delight - 1000 Miles by Mark Shultz is her dance song for ballet and she was so happy to have it along with the Sound of Music soundtrack and lots of other favorite songs.

After she got dressed (as Princess Belle) for the day, she came out and gave me a tight hug and told me in a choked voice, "Momma thank you, for you and Daddy doing all this for me. In Ukraine, I never had birthday like this. It is soooo good day!! I LOVE you soooo much!" I tried to include her cute grammar for you - throw in a strong accent and you'll hear her too :)

Sweet girl, it is such a joy to see you feeling loved and cherished and to know how precious you are. You are truly wonderfully made and we are so very thankful that God made you our daughter... What a privilege to be able to celebrate the life of our daughter and to show her that she is precious and special and cherished. How I longed to be able to show her this in the year before we came home and how amazing to see how she really gets it now and readily accepts our love.

Okay so I did go ahead and make them do a fairly full school day with a little extra free time to listen to her music and just relax. I even took a nap because birthdays wear mothers out!!

Then I braved the cooking of BORSCHT!!! This was waaaay harder than I thought but only because you have to grate like a hundred vegetables. And I really hate to cut up veges. Had I realized this, I would have borrowed my mom's food processor but oh well - I now have beet stained hands and really had the borscht experience. The greatest part about it was that it turned out good!!! The girls gave it their official approval and ate two bowls a piece! Our other kids liked it too and I thought it was okay. (I loved Ukraine food but this was never my favorite.) Wow - big accomplishment to meet their borscht approval rating - I don't think they had a lot of confidence in my abilities going into it!! (If you want the recipe I used let me know - I borrowed it off another blog.)

Finally we ate and said a few of our favorite things about Katya. She is: Sharing, kind, sweet spirited, very helpful with a joyful spirit, energetic, loving, has a beautiful smile, is a great dancer, and a wonderful sister. The kids all had presents for her and she was so overwhelmed with all the love and gifts that I saw that she was holding back tears and clearly moved by such love towards her. What a wonderful sight to see.

We thank God for creating Katya just the way He has and for placing her in our family. He truly has protected and guarded her and brought her to us. We are blessed to be her parents.

We love you Kateryna!!

Last note....I am in complete denial that I am now the mother of a teenager. Goodness, wasn't I just a teenager not that long ago? Well that is another post, ha! :) But seriously, that does make me feel old!!!