Look What the Bunny Rabbit Gave Me!
Whew - it has been a long time since we last posted. Life has become completely normal in a totally chaotic sort of way. Dasha is definitely just one of the kids now, much to her consternation when she gets in trouble or one of the other kids gets some of the attention. Most of the time, though, she is such a good kid. I really do have to remind myself of how far she has come when I start to get tough on her. We are so fortunate. I don't think I have ever been so aware of just how many holidays and special days we have here in America. She has had something to celebrate every single month since she has been home. Last month, we dressed up in all green for St. Patrick's Day. You had to appreciate the humor of the little Kazakh girl wearing the "Trust Me - I'm Irish" t-shirt. She totally got into it, even though she had no idea what we were supposed to be celebrating. She kept talking about the leprechaun's birthday party during the day. The night before St. Patrick's Day, we set a trap for the leprechauns. We have never been successful with this before, but we always try. This year, we set the trap up in the play room. We found some fake gold that looked pretty shiny and placed it under a cardboard box in the middle of the room that was propped up with a stick. Daddy explained that once the leprechaun reached in to get the gold, he would hit the stick and the box would trap him. Then we could wake up in the morning and demand the leprechaun give us his pot of gold. Well, Dasha was totally into this until it was time to go to bed. Then it took several minutes of convincing her that leprechauns are too small to come up the stairs to her room, and to not worry. Funny how things that seem so fun at first seem so scary at night. You have probably figured out that since I am not writing this from my new golden palace, that we were foiled again this year by the crafty leprechaun. Not only did we NOT catch him and get his gold, he made a mess of the playroom just to get back at us for trying to catch him. Next year.....
After St. Patrick's Day, we had an even bigger event - Dasha got to be Kid of the Week for her kindergarten class. Each week a different child gets a chance to bring a big poster of pictures that stays up all week, gets to be first in line, sit in a special chair, etc. On the last day of the week, the child gets to talk about their pictures, answer interview questions, and bring in 5 special items to show the class. Dasha gets very nervous when she has to talk at school. She is not nervous talking and laughing on the playground, but in class, it is a different story. She was so excited to be Kid of the Week, though, that she played through the pain and practiced answering the interview questions all week at home before the big day. I got to go to her class and videotape the interview, and I am so glad that I had that opportunity. She did such a great job explaining the pictures from Kazakhstan. The kids were fascinated at some of the pictures of her "old house", and Dasha just ate it up. Great for her ego. (Not that she really needs any help in that area, as we have started calling her Little Orphan Diva - but that is a different story) During the interview portion of the morning, one of the questions that they always ask the Kid of the Week is, "What is the best thing that ever happened to you?" She very sweetly answered, "Getting my family". That'll earn you an extra dessert, Missy! The items that she chose to bring in to the class to share were a lot of the traditional Kazakh souvenirs that we had brought home to remember her heritage. She was so proud showing them off and explaining what the did/meant/etc. Definitely a great week! She got to go on her first field trip at school a couple of weeks ago to the farm and hold baby chicks in her hands - another first and another one of her favorite things about America.
Easter was so great this year. Dasha and Jacob are both understanding what it is about on about the same level now. They both told us their version of what they remember the Easter story to be from Sunday school. Dasha's version goes something like this: "Jesus was here because God loved us, and then the mean persons put nails in him on the cross and it really hurt, and that was really mean. Now Jesus is in the sky and he loves us and he tells God that we are perfect." Sounds like she gets the point to me. She is not sure how that relates to a giant bunny that hides eggs and brings candy, but she is not going to point that out and ruin a good thing. It was so funny to hear her talk about "what the bunny rabbit brought her". She had a total of three Easter egg hunts, so by yesterday she was a total pro and actually found the "golden egg" at the egg hunt we have each year at our friends' the Crawfords. If you find the golden egg - there is money to be had, and she won!
This week we are enjoying a change of pace with the kids out of school, and most importantly, a week long break from softball. Amber is loving her first season of softball, and we are loving it right along with her, except for the 4 nights a week of practice and/or games. The schedule is killing me!!!!! Only one more month to go, and then we will get a break from all sports for a short while - whew! More importantly, our friends the Reeds finally have their new Kazakh princess home. Dasha heard me speaking a little Russian to their sweet little baby over the phone a couple of days ago and thought that was so funny. She can't wait to meet her new Kazakh friend - maybe this week!
Here are some pictures of the events of the last few weeks. Have a great week!