16 August 2010

part 2

Thanks for hanging there, guys! Here are the rest of the updates, just like I promised.

Last weekend we attended the first ever Sitka Seafood Festival, where we enjoyed a community free-for-all parade; community vendors, displays, and booths; live entertainment; fresh seafood; games, such as fish-head toss (like egg toss, but with fish heads); face painting; and just a great show of support and enthusiasm from the entire community. One of the performances we saw was a group called NANDA, which did a sort of rock & roll-circus-ninja-action-comedy-dance-movie thing they call "The Jacket" performed live on stage, but synchronized to an audio recording for the narration, music, and special effects. They are four pretty awesome guys and very talented acrobats based out of Washington (state). If you ever have the opportunity to see them perform, DO IT. You will not regret it. The highlight of the show, though, was when they had just completed a particularly intense fighting scene and amidst the silence of the audience and pause in the audio from the show, Seren piped up very matter-of-factly and said, "Silly boys!" Our entire section was laughing and agreeing with her!

Speaking of Seren, she and Porter are doing very well. We were in a crunch for a while there, trying to find care for the two of them while we were both working, but it seemed every option in town was far more expensive than we could reasonably afford. However, just this Friday, we found a full-time sitter who will take them both into her home where she lives with her husband, two teenage children, and a 5-year-old son, whom Seren has already gotten to know a little bit and play with. We really think it's a good match for our kids and for our situation and are very thankful that we are able to afford this solution. We have also decided not to put Seren in preschool yet because the rates are so prohibitive. Instead, I will continue to provide basic education for her at home. We looked at the state standards for Kindergarten in Alaska, and found that she's halfway there already! She's well on her way to reading, she counts and does simple addition and subtraction in her head, she's getting really good at character recognition and she's starting phonic recognition, she understands chronology and has relative spacial awareness, and she's even learning how to draw pictures and letters of the alphabet without any assistance from us! We are very proud of her and know that once we are able to put her in school, she will be just fine. Porter is also advancing nicely. He has a few phrases he uses in repetition now. "Peek-a-boo!" and "tickle-tickle-tickle" are frequently heard when we are playing with him. He's still not walking, but he's purposefully letting go of whatever he's hanging on to while standing to balance now and his efforts get recognized with tons of praise and applause. His appetite has only become bigger since we moved out here... he even eats more than Seren at just about every meal! As he gets taller, he's beginning to become a little leaner, but he's still a solid kid, and very strong. He has gained a few new teeth since we left Arizona, too. This puts the the tally up to 10: four on the top front, plus two top molars, and four on the bottom front.

Stephen had two classroom days last week and has in-service all this week to prepare for school to start next Monday. He's excited to get back in the saddle and he seems to (still) have great support from the school for his program, so he's really enjoying getting everything set up.

We will continue to try to post updates to the blog as often as possible, but please be patient while we adjust to our new schedules. We want to share all we can with all of you, but if waiting an extra day or two to post here means an extra hour in the evening to cuddle with the kids, or take a walk, or take the kids to the library, you can bet that's probably what we're up to.

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