one of the most amazing things about this back surgery season is the way the kiddos have all been sustained and have even thrived. they have rolled with all kinds of amazing folks in and out of the house. they haven't really even missed a beat.
anders will be 5 in january. he is the tallest in his preschool class and when we visit hazel at her elementary school, the teachers do a double take looking at him...trying to figure out where he belongs. but, alas he is 4 and not a student there yet. he is passionate and excited, tender and kind, rambunctious and wild. he is the epitome of social and friendly and he will carry on a conversation with just about anybody who will give him some of their time. with hazel starting kindergarten and lena not being in school for a full day, he and lena have had some sweet time together. i'll look in the rearview mirror and he'll be rubbing her arm or hugging her head. he is legitimately concerned about others in a way that sharpens and challenges me. he's also as ornery as they come. he's like a cartoon character in so many ways. he takes piano at the university of arkansas every monday morning with a sweet college student from thailand. she is strict with him and it is so good for him. she will say "again, this time perfectly". he may not be the next Rachmaninoff, but if he can focus and listen, he's pretty inclined to music. although he has yet to do any sort of organized sport, he is constantly trying to decide between soccer and basketball as his favorites. he wants to be a dad when he grows up...that's all, can't get any other occupation desire out of him.
hazel is growing before our very eyes. not always, but many times she seems wise beyond her years. she is a lot like her dad and is into the school scene. she's done great in kindergarten and i am so so thankful. she's reading, she likes going, she likes her friends, she likes her teachers and all the systems and ways you can work hard to achieve something. she entered the K-2nd grade spelling bee and keeps me organized and up to speed on most of life. she does gymnastics and a local kids theater. theater/plays/musicals are her favorite. she comes alive. her little class this semester at arts live was called create-a-play where the kids learned about developing characters and made up a story that they made into a play. hazel, dear sweet hazel, created her character...she was "ms star" because, well, she said she wanted to be the star. i'm not even kidding.
the picture on the left is her saying "i'm a star" and the one on the right is the face she makes for most pictures when you say smile....it's her ms hannigan face. the deep love for all things annie continues.
this was her play::
lena is in her last week as a 7 year old. i can not believe that this little one we met 3 years ago is about to be 8! and what an amazing 3 years it has been.
she has done so great with my back surgery situation. a lot of my love for her is how i physically care for her and a lot of that got adjusted and changed and i must admit that she did better than i did in the learning to roll it all. and again and again, she is ever the teacher and i am ever her student. lessons of patience and unconditional love and caring nothing of the approval of man and new mercies every day and the list could go on and on. for a year and a half she has been at a small private school, set up more like a clinic. they exclusively do a type of teaching/learning that is exactly what lena needs called applied behavior analysis. if you are in the world of autism or disability, this is super familiar and if you're not then it's not. ((a general idea of what ABA is can be found here. )) well, we love her school and her teachers and lena's experience there has been wonderful... due to a lot of logistics that have to do with insurance and tuition and policies that aren't sustainable for our family and blah blah blah, lena louise will be done with that school in december. and i am sad about it. and occasionally mad about it. not at the school at all, we love those guys. just at the whole system for kids who are not typical. i sit in a parent-teacher conference for hazel and she is essentially getting all the education she needs. whereas with lena, she's not. and it's a fight, but a confusing one.what is next is still undetermined. but as with all of the mooney rascals, we hold her life with an open hand to the One who made her, who knows every detail of her heart, mind, body & soul, and is providing for her when i can't even see what's next.