Saturday, April 28, 2012

Week End

A busy weekend this weekend. Last night Jessica had to go to an art show for credit for one of her classes. Adam, Jasmine and I went along.
Shy decided to hang out at home of course. He will sleep anywhere as long as he can be on top of something.
We arrived early for the art show so hung around outside.

Then we went in to check out the student work.
After that we went to the inexpensive theater in the mall where Jessica works. Our mall has a new policy of no one under 18 in the mall unaccompanied after 6 pm on Fri and Sat. It's nice to be able to go to the mall without groups of teens having too much drama in the food court.
We watched Journey 2: The Mysterious Island. It was the first time for Adam and the second time for the rest of us.
Today we took the jet ski out for the first time this year. Yep. Jasmine is driving it. But only with me on it with her. I let her be in control though as long as she follows my instructions. And obviously I can take over at any time.
Kaleb went on the tube. He's a trooper. Especially after I took off too fast on the jet ski when he was sitting backwards spotting and he flipped right off the back and into the water. I was seeing if we could take off fast enough to try and ski behind the jet ski but I'm not sure we can. Now when I say "hold on" he hold on! 
Jessica, Jasmine and Kaleb had a lot of fun. Adam worked opening and all day today. That's good because he's $1,600 short for his mission trip this summer, but it means he misses out sometimes. Rick had to work too. Jessica didn't have to be to work until 6 pm instead of 12 like usual on Saturdays.

Kayla was busy sabotaging her weekend. She has tried a few very inappropriate behaviors to see what would happen. She did not lose her beach day although she can no longer be with children her age or younger without Rick, Jessica or I until the counselor clears it. Today she just had to write the sentences she wouldn't write yesterday ( "I will listen in class"). She wrote an average of one sentence every 45 minutes. I told her she could choose that for herself, but she couldn't ruin everyone elses' weekend. So she sat there pouting instead of doing it and joining us.

Smores on the grill.
It was great weather and a lot of fun.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

More Dance Photos

I picked up the proofs for the dance photos last night at the studio.
This is Jasmine's jazz costume.

Jessica is in tumbling 3, Jasmine is in jazz and tap. The twins are in tumbling 1. There were more classes we wanted to be in but the cost can get really out of control, and in the fall the kids play soccer so we didn't want to overload them. I don't think they really did a very good job positioning the kids in this picture. Kayla blocks out Jasmine and they have Jessica turned differently. I've seen some really cute group photos so I'm wondering why they didn't put a little creativity into this one.

The twins will tumbling to the Angry Birds song. This photo came out really cute.

This is Jasmine's tap costume. I like this photo a lot too.

FCAT testing is over. We have first grade animal habitats still to do. Shy wanted to help! But I don't think he can pass for a dolphin.

Jasmine has the rough draft of her tropicana speech contest written and now needs to mostly memorize it.

Jessica is in finals this week and next. If she passes them all, she'll have her AA in criminology.

Recital is May 25. There are two very long dress rehearsals the Sunday and Wednesday before that.

What's ahead for you?

Monday, April 23, 2012


Sometimes it's easy to get caught up in the issues--and believe me, we have plenty--and overlook the progress.
Jasmine really struggles at school, but she's come a long way from this newborn in need of therapy and surgeries to a preteen who is figuring out who she is and where her strengths are.
She's my favorite drummer.
And she's just a good kid.
The twins still struggle with sassiness and acting out, especially at school or with Rick, but they've come a long way from this first day home when they would have a meltdown anytime someone left the house. They had only one volume--loud, and they'd disobey on purpose and run away laughing.
I haven't seen this face in a long time.
They are starting to realize that good behavior means you can be trusted to take part in activities and poor behavior means you'll probably spend part of your weekend in your room. They understand what is appropriate behavior, so when they choose the wrong behavior, they aren't surprised by the consequences. They have many more good days than not.
Adam has come a long ways from the days when I seriously did not want to get out of bed in the morning and parent. He still acts without thinking, but he doesn't argue about the consequences when that happens. Sometimes he makes the effort to fix the situation on his own.
This year, since I felt I could trust him to be where he was supposed to be, he took part in cross country and track. He didn't go to regionals, but he has a shot at it next year.
He acts more like part of the family, rather than being a separate family of his own. He interacts with the younger kids. He's at the point where he's looking at colleges and majors since he's now at the end of his junior year. He's been pushing himself to excel academically this year and has done well at it.
Jeff has gone from the point where I removed him from the home (but did not disrupt his adoption) for his own safety and the safety of his sisters to now being enlisted in the army and having goals.
If he can stay focused and avoid the junk behaviors, he should do well. He has the ability. He's been doing more with his running, taking part in some military 10Ks and half marathons.
Tyler has survived a year of college away from home. He did not want to leave. Didn't want to have to cope with stuff on his own.
Although he did not succeed academically so will be coming home at the end of the year, he did succeed in biking to get groceries for himself, doing his laundry and somewhat cleaning his room. He would be capable of living on his own. He does not have a clue what to do at this point. He doesn't want to continue college and doesn't know what kind of job he wants. He will continue at the local college though in order to keep his insurance until he figures out what he really wants to do.
Jessica has gone from a student struggling due to language processing disorder to a motivated student just two weeks from getting her AA.

She is very focused on what she plans to do--criminology with an underwater crime scene specialty. We just have to see how her ear is going to hold up with the pressure underwater. But if she can't do the scuba part, she'll still do criminology and specialize in forensics or another area.

So that is where we are right now. It's going to be exciting to see what God has planned for these guys. Hope you all come along for the ride!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Visiting Tyler and ECW

If you have a blog, you know that blogger has totally changed. I'm having trouble figuring out how to post pictures--they are in the totally opposite order of what they should be, how to caption and basically every thing. I guess since Facebook is messing everyone up with timeline, blogger had to get in on it by messing every one up. Anyway, Jessica and I went to the Extraordinary Women Convention in Pensacola Friday evening and Saturday. We stopped at the beach for a very short while on the way in to Pensacola, took Tyler to Pita Pit and then Hunger Games at a theater there. Then we went to the evening session. Joe White spoke. He's amazing. Chris August and Mercy Me both gave concerts. Love Mercy Me.

On Saturday we heard Angela Thomas and Candice Cameron Bure--DJ on Full House and Kirk Cameron's sister. We went and got Tyler and took him to Firehouse Sub.

At next year's convention they are going to have comedian Tim Hawkins (he sings the Chick Fil A song and what not to say to your wife. Google him. He's funny), Pam Tebow and Karen Kingsbury among others.  
Firehouse sub

They have the soda machine where you can mix types of sodas and flavors for over 100 different combinations.
Joe White spoke about the cross. He's amazing.
Siblings saying a touching goodbye!
Pita Pit
Choosing fillings at Pita Pit
Santa Rosa Island
Now you've seen our photos in backwards order!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Jasmine's Dance Photos

Dance photos with Jasmine went much better than the ones Sunday with everyone. I guess it just works better if I walk them through getting ready. But Jasmine is an old pro, too. This is her 6th or 7th year of dance. Drying her hair to look like "wild hair" for her Michael Jackson costume.

I love this costume. So very modest!! This is for Jazz.

This is Jasmine's tap costume. The fastener at the neck broke as soon as she put the jacket on! Not very well made for $85. Costumes are so expensive. It was $350 for four costumes, $27 for three pairs of tights and $40 to replace Jasmine's jazz shoes that someone took.

The twins are just in tumbling this year. I thought about putting them in a jazz/tap combo class next year, but that requires two separate pairs of shoes (I should have ones for Kayla that Jasmine's outgrown) and two separate costumes for each twin for that one class for the recital. Plus tights etc. So if the twins were in tumbling and jazz/tap and Jasmine was just in jazz and tap (separate classes at her age), costumes, shoes and tights would be right around $1,000 and that doesn't include the monthly tuition for the classes, photos, recital fee etc. Yikes!

Thankfully I have all summer to see what the kids want to do most and then try to juggle school, church, dance and soccer. Plus make sure there is enough down time for each child. With all Jasmine's homework, there isn't really much free time on school nights for her. She ended up dropping out of church choir Wed nights and not playing spring soccer.

Anyone else juggling schedules right now? Anyone else counting down the days until summer vacation and a break from the constant homework, tests and projects?