Saturday, November 06, 2010

A chef in training...

Hana is growing up so quickly it seems! She seems to be more mature and more independent every day. It is an amazing thing to watch, it is just too bad we don't get a slow motion, pause or rewind button on this journey. there are days it feels like it is going full speed ahead before my eyes and I wish it would slow down!

Lately Hana's biggest thing is helping in the kitchen. She LOVES to cook. the minute I head towards the kitchen she is right behind me with her chair so she can stand up tall to the counter. And I am trying hard to always have on the menu things she can help with. I am trying to trust her totally with the knife, all though it is only with softer easier things to cut. But she's pretty good with it. I am impressed by all that she can do. She can make waffles and pancakes and french toast. She can make scrambled eggs ALL BY HERSELF, with zero help from me. She can wash rice, peel carrots and potatoes, chop cucumbers, cut up mushrooms, tomatoes, onions (although she wears her swimming goggles for this one), make cookies etc. It is so fun to cook with her. She is also pretty good about helping to clean up too. I hope this interest stays for a long time.

she has also really discovered books, finally! She was not the kind of toddler who would sit and let you read a book to her. She wanted to turn the pages, and take the book away from the reader, and lost interest pretty much by page 3 if not allowed to touch and handle the book herself. And this was all if I encouraged some book reading time, she never brought them to us and asked us to read them to her. But NOW she does! she loves it, and I can see in the future it becoming difficult to keep enough books in the house to keep her satisfied.

She is doing well with reading. she has learned almost all of the Hiragana alphabet and can read almost anything written in hiragana in Japanese (although slowly). In English she has learned almost all of the phonics sounds and she is coming along in reading too. But she has little motivation to read English herself, she wants me to read to her. I am hoping she'll realize how fun it is to read to herself when Mommy can't do all the reading soon. but for now, she only reads what she MUST read during homeschool, and even then is sometimes a struggle to get her to complete.

Homeschool is going well now. We hit a rough patch there for about a month. She realized that Corkey and Yuma aren't joining her for 1st grade and she has to do this alone, plus 1st grade is harder the K was and her attitude about it was pretty bad for several weeks. Sometimes that attitude downright stunk (as we would say in Texas). But I am very happy to report that it is getting much better!

Our sweet Hana is doing quite well!!!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The birthday girl...

My dear precious daughter. Tomorrow, you will turn 6. I can not believe that you are six years old. To me, it seems like just yesterday you were a tiny little infant, needing my care both day and night. Today, the only thing you needed me to do was put your hair up in a pony tail, and squeeze all the toothpaste in your almost empty toothpaste tube up to the top so you could get some out! You have become such a beautiful independent young lady. I am amazed each day to watch your grow and learn!

You make me smile every day with your crazy antics and fun chatter. I love how you still say condishconer for conditioner, and spensic for expensive. How you so proudly speak of something in the past as being "when I was 3 years old."

It amazes me how you passionately love your family and friends. I am especially thankful for how much you love you little brother. I prayed and prayed that you two would have a very special relationship! You spent the night at Corkey and Yuma's house just a few nights ago and when I went to pick you up Kai couldn't wait to see you. I asked you how well you slept and you said, "Well, I slept okay but it was hard to fall asleep because I kept wondering what Kai was doing." Then I told you how Kai had cried many times after we put him to bed, and had a very hard time falling asleep without you. You turned to Kai and said, "ahhhh Kai, I missed you too. I love you!" and Kai replied, "Wub ew!" So precious! After Kai put a chop stick in his ear and punctured his ear drum a few weeks ago, you have been so worried about him. Even weeks later, when I mentioned taking him to the doctor to be checked, you began to cry for him. It is amazing how much you care for him and love him!

I love how you love animals and LONG for a pet. We hope that you will love the parakeets that you will be getting for your birthday as soon as the bird store can get special ones just for you from the breeder! We went in search of a little bird store a friend had recommended we buy birds from. We found this little shop tended to by an old man and his wife. When we walked in the door, a big green parrot greeted us by saying, "ohayo!" and he proceeded to talk to us the whole time we were there. We found out his name is Hana too, and the shop owner was so excited that you and his special bird have the same name. when we told them all about you and how we are getting you parakeets for your birthday, he began to make special plans to get you the best ones!

And my sweet precious little girl, I LOVE teaching you and watching you learn. I know it is a struggle sometimes to be different and to study at home. But it is a very precious opportunity God has given us. We get to learn about His amazing creation together. We get to learn from His Word together each day. It is a very special privilege that I hope you will enjoy and embrace as the years pass by. God has a very very special future in store for you and I want to give you all the knowledge and faith you need to fill his perfect plan for your life!

Six years ago today I did not know you were about to be born, but I was praying for you and longing for you with so much passion it was overwhelming! In the days before we got the call about you I was sooooooo desperate, almost as if I knew you were out there!

I can not thank God enough for the honor of getting to be your Mommy. I can not praise Him enough for making you who you are and giving you to us. On the day you were born, I remember what a gift I was given. What a sacrifice another family made, so that you would have the life and love that you know!

My Awesome Heavenly Father, How can I thank you enough? How can I praise you enough for giving her to us? I can not. The only thing I can do is offer her back up to you. I know she is YOUR child, entrusted to us. I pray you will help us teach her about you. I pray she will know your all consuming glory and power! Please, even now, begin watering the seeds of her faith through us and through our studies in home school. And Lord Jesus, I ask you to reveal yourself to her. I pray for the day she falls in love with you and makes you her King and her Lord. Until that day, and from that day on please help me to be the guide that always points her to you!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Becoming a great big sister...

Just want to record a few things she has said and is doing before I forget. Okay, first of all, a few funny things she has said...

I was telling her about her grandparents and great grandparents the other night. We talked about Daddy's grandma and I told her that we all called her baa-chan, but that she is Hana's hibaa-chan ("hi" promounced like he and the word means great grandma in Japanese) and Hana very seriously replies, "No Mommy, she's my she baa-chan." and I thought she thought I was making a mistake between he and she which I often correct her for. so I told her, "well no, the "hi" part means she is your great grandma, not that she is a boy or girl." and Hana goes, "Mommy, I was just kidding, get it, it's a joke!" She made a pun!!!! I was floored, it was sooooooooooo funny!

Also her pronunciation for expensive right now is so cute. She says "spanktion"! I love it.

But the thing I am observing about her more and more these days is how she is getting better at being sweet to her brother. She is wanting to take more and more responsibility for him and she loves to help him. She can be really patient and loving when showing him or teaching him something. It is so precious to watch! I love watching them together.

She loves helping me with things around the house. the other day she did some vacuuming for me. And she often wants to do the dishes or help me cook.

She turns 6 in a month. Mommy is in denial. It just is not possible. She is growing up so fast! We have ordered first grade home school materials. She started piano lessons! We are planning a fun birthday party with a pizza theme, because of a Curious George books she loves where George goes to a pizza themed birthday party.

Her hair is getting so long and her little body is changing into a young girl. She is slimming out and getting taller! She is just so beautiful to Mommy and Daddy.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Becoming a little lady...

This sweet darling is growing up way too fast! Oh my goodness, what a little lady she has become. She was such a big helper on our trip to the states. She loves to take care of her baby brother. And I am really beginning to see what a compassionate caring spirit the Lord has gifted her with!

She had a BLAST in the states. So much so that she didn't want to come back to Japan. She loved the people there, all the family and cousins especially. She loved loved LOVED having Gizmo to ride all the time (Bam's horse). Probably the only thing she didn't just love was the food, but she even did well with that.

She was a breeze on the planes and car travel. Just give this girl an ipod or some DVD's to watch and you are set! Occasionally hand her a Sonic cheese burger and a Dr. Pepper and all is right with the world. Yep, that's right, I said Dr. Pepper. The dreaded day happened. The day she learned to like soda. But I gotta admit, if she's gonna like a soda, I'm so proud it is Dr. Pepper that she loves. She tried other things, but didn't like anything else. Now the only problem is, I always have to share my Dr. Pepper with her ;)

Now that we are back in Japan, we need to try to wrap up the last couple lessons from Home school, although she knows the letters that those units are on. I've tried a couple little activities in the afternoons, but she is resisting getting back into the routine of it. We are going to have to work on a cheerful attitude but we'll get there. There have beens tons of adjustments over these months, so I don't blame her for feeling a bit stressed at times.

My little baby girl is going to be 6 in just two short months though. I can not believe it. I just can't. I love this amazing little angel sooooooooooooo much!

Saturday, January 09, 2010

My little sweetheart...

I can't tell you how wonderful it is to watch this little girl grow into such an amazing person. She blows me away every day with the things she says, does and learns. It's so fun to be her Mommy.

She loves her baby brother with all her heart! I mean she loves this little boy fiercely. There is not a jealous bone in her body when it comes to him. I was watching a show tonight on sibling jealousy in Japan, and just sat there thinking how amazing it is that we haven't dealt with the things they were talking about. She loves to help care for him. She doesn't resent it when her needs have to wait a moment because I am caring for Kai. She WANTS him to be taken care of first. This morning was a perfect example.

It was a Saturday morning so we had no alarm set, and usually that means the kids wake us up. But now that we have two, they entertain themselves in their room for a while, and we don't have to get up the moment they wake up. Hana and Kai had been talking a playing for a while, when I heard Hana tell Kai she needed to go tee tee. As she was opening the door to leave the room, Kai started to cry. So she closed the door and went back to him and comforted him, then tried again. Again he cried, and so she went back to comfort him. It was so sweet. There was no frustration in her tone, no exasperation, just sweetness. And she was telling him she needed to go "REALLY BAD" but still wouldn't leave him crying. So I got up to go and rescue her.

She wants to hold him and feed him. When he falls and bumps his head or something she runs to comfort him, and often times he calms down and I don't have to get involved at all. This last Friday at cafe they played together in the toy room at church so happily, for well over an hour. When they went in there Kai was fussy and wanting me to hold him so I thought it wouldn't last very long, but he was so happy playing with his sissy. I could even go and check on them and Kai made no attempt to come to me and didn't care when I walked away, he was happy as could be with his big sister.

They are just so sweet together. I'm so thankful that God is growing her into such a wonderful big sister.

She is learning a lot in home school. She is picking up reading slowly. At first, she seemed to catch on quickly, but now she is suddenly lazy. She wants to do every part of home school except the part where we learn the sounds that consonant and vowel blends make, and the part where she has to sound out words. She even pretends not to be able to sound out words that I know she recognized the minute she saw it. Not sure why she is doing this, but I am just patiently trying to help her through it, and hopefully pretending to not be able to do it will get old soon.

She loves numbers though. She is counting by tens. Oh and writing the number 3 and all other numbers beautifully in case you keep up with my blog and you're wondering, lol! She wants to count EVERYTHING. If we are reading a book, she wants to stop and count the items on the page often. I catch her counting the things around her all the time. She is starting to add a little bit too. She will do that on her own, she'll tell me she has two spoons for me and Daddy and needs one more so that makes three. I think Math is going to be one of her favorite subjects.

For some reason over the holidays she suddenly became very good at writing. When before, I had to constantly show her how to keep it between the lines on her lined papers, and how to make lower case letters bellow the dashed line, now she is doing it all herself. In her play time she asks for lined paper and writes lots of letters, even ones she hasn't been officially taught yet. And now when she has writing assignments, she really takes her time and is working hard to form the letters instead of just trying to get it over with as quickly as possible and being messy. I don't know what changed, but it is neat to see her being so devoted to it.

She still really loves memory verses and practices them all the time. I never thought that would be one of her favorite parts of home school.

Tonight in the bath she washed and conditioned her hair all by herself, all I helped with was rinsing it out. And she washed all by herself. She is getting so big, I still can't believe it sometimes. It won't be long before I can send her into the bath all by herself. Amazing!

How much longer can I call her my baby girl?