Friday, March 19, 2010

Purrr-fectly Happy

You will get the title later, especially with the last two pictures. For now, suffice it to say the entire family is happy and doing great. Rimma is learning English and exercising her previously learned skills, at a rapid rate. That is good! She is bent on getting out of the Newcomers program as fast as possible. Everyday she asks to go to regular middle school, the one Nadia and Julia attend that is within walking distance of our house. She read to us last night and Heidi and I are astonished at her amazing vocabulary and use of big words. Simply amazing. She is more animated and talkative with us now and each day we see a little more confidence and growth as the newest family member. Still, she relies on Nadia as a Russian language translator a bit too much and we tell her that until we are convinced that she can stand on her own in this English speaking environment, she must stay in her present school. The other middle school has ESL too, but at a limited level and only once a day for an hour.

All of the kids are still getting along well. Everyone plays together nicely, too. Rimma prefers to do girly things with Nadia. They put a tent in the back yard this week and were out there playing together quite nicely. Julia, being the TV junkie of the family, has shown Rimma all the finer kids programing . Too bad that they only get TV from Friday afternoon until Sunday afternoon, and limited time at that. For outdoor play, there's Kole. Rimma and he can often be found riding bikes together or doing some skateboarding. In these pictures, Rimma & Kole play Twister while Julia spins the wheel. They each traded off so the other two could play.

Hop-on Pop is always a kid favorite around our house, me being the victim though. I put up a mild fuss just for show. I'm sure if they knew that I loved it, it would cease immediately. It's a good way to get a workout and play with the kids, all at the same time. Rimma has become a whole lot more affectionate than she already was. She always let Heidi and me hold her hand or wrap our arms around her, but now she seeks us out and eagerly engages. Such a nice thing for Hi and me! Of course, we love that time with all four of them too. Way cool!
Two weeks ago Heidi started taking Nadia to a Path to Purity class at church. It is a frank discussion about God's Precious Princesses and how it is His design that they keep themselves pure. There was a group meeting and classes one night a week with required mother & daughter readings each night. Heidi was required to read from the book to Nadia about everything from the "birds and the bees" to the function of both sexes, and their responsibility to take care of their "gift" and bodies. There were sections that Nadia needed to read with Heidi, too. After the first week, Rimma became interested and asked to go to the group meeting, something that we wanted to wait on until the next session. One night Nadia and Rimma bounded downstairs and jumped on either side of me on our sofa. They giggled and cupped their faces as they tried to explain that they now knew about all things "Dad". Later, Heidi got some mortified looks as she explained what "Mommy's & Daddy's do".
There was some sharing of testimonials at the church from a woman who had a baby as a teenager and gave it up for adoption. This hit home with our girls and Rimma wrote on her question and answer sheet that she wanted to wait until marriage and not have a baby at a young age. I'm so proud of my teens and I think it is important to do this before kids try something on their own due to curiosity. From an e-mail Heidi let me read, many of the moms have grown closer to their daughters as a result of this experience and it has open a dialog of communication and questions not realized before. On our side, it seems the girls can't wait to read together with Heidi and have many questions, some of which have resulted in, "Oohhh, Daaaad!" coming from their room. Teens need to learn from their parents rather than from their peers and we're glad to have the jump on this subject. There is a session for Dads and sons too, and I can't wait to take Kole when he is age appropriate.
As I said before, Rimma has been working hard in school and doing her best. Many days, she comes home tired and heads up to her room for a quick nap before we get home. Wow, English IS hard! Every one's bedtime is 8pm and Rimma doesn't get up until 6am, so she gets 10 hours a night. This is far more than she got at the orphanage, she said, and she loves it. But, after a hard day of Intensive English, it's always relaxing to take a snooze with a cat! I came home early yesterday and snapped this picture before she woke up 15 minutes later.
Of course, turnabout is fair play! Even Dad gets exhausted running behind four kids and two jobs! Rimma retaliated with the camera and caught me snoozing, literally. Now you get the meaning behind the title. However, can anyone explain to me why cats love to sleep on humans?!
~ Felix ~

About Us

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Longmont, Colorado, United States
Heidi loves to play sand volleyball, sail and garden. Felix loves to fly at the local aeroclub, sail and fish.