What is new with us? Well, there's quite a lot, really! It seems like there have been many "new" things happening around here lately, but I haven't always taken time to blog about all that goes on. Today, I'm listing off ten of the best or most influential "new" things I can think of from the last couple months.
1.) Health cards--Andrew and Jadon FINALLY have them!!!! As of October 1, the boys are officially covered by Quebec's health care program. They have been seen by an international adoption specialist at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario. We are very excited to be able to pursue certain treatment options under this program.
2.) CanSkate--Ethan is enrolled in this terrific program. After church on Sundays, we head over to a great arena on the east side of the city. Ethan has put in several weeks, practicing "bubbles," gliding, jumping, skating backwards, etc. He is such a hard worker, and you can see him improving every week.
3.) Rings--I have a new wedding band. Same man, but a new band. Here's the story: Just before school started, our family took an end-of-summer trip to the local water park. Just as we were getting ready to head into the park, I decided to take my rings off because they tend to be a bit loose, and I didn't want them to get lost in the water park. When we got home (with a van-full of sleeping kids, wet suits and towels, messy lunch boxes, etc.), I forgot about putting my rings back on. The next day, we awoke to find that someone had broken into our van. They had taken a few small technological gadgets and (jackpot!) my rings, too. It was so sad to know that the special ring Mike had selected for me was gone, but we reminded ourselves that the rings were only a symbol of something that had not changed! Still, having had rings on my fourth finger for over 12 years, I felt really strange not having something there. We knew we couldn't spend a lot for new rings, however. At first, I purchased a cheap sterling silver ring at Walmart, but it started to discolor after a few weeks. Then, I found some great, inexpensive bands at the Titanium Era website. I ordered a simple titanium band, engraved and comfort fit. It came in less than a week, and I love it!
4.) Vegetables--We participated in a program offered by a local farm called Foster Family Farm. (Actually, the farm is in the town where Mike grew up, he worked for the family as a teen, and the program is currently run by one of his old friends.) Every week, we received a box with a bushel of in-season fruits and vegetables, a dozen eggs, and a recipe. It was fun to see what each week would bring and to experiment with some more unusual options. Maple butter brussel sprouts, beet cake, dilled beans, fresh tomato cream soup, squash spice cookies, and cheesy cauliflower soup were just some of our creative endeavors.
5.) A Little Job--At a neighbor's request, I have agreed to do some house-cleaning once a week. I really kind of enjoy the challenge of making things shine. There is always that bit of fear, though, that your employers will only see the thing you missed and not all the stuff you actually did. Still, it's a perfect little job for me.
6.) My Brown Fleece Hoodie--Okay, maybe this doesn't seem so great or influential. However, when I saw this chocolate brown, long, soft, stretchy, beautiful hoodie at my neighbor's yard sale (for only $1!), I knew this was big. I have a new favorite shirt. I would like to live in it until spring.
7.) Dietary Restrictions--Let me just say that Jadon's digestive system does not always seem to operate according to normal expectations. In an effort to ease address these problems, we are experimenting with his diet. We are starting with the removal of milk products. We are noticing some changes, but there are still some issues that seem unresolved. We will keep trying!
8.) School--I think we have settled into our school rhythm for the year. Of course, it was all a bit crazy with the Abby registration fiasco, but that seems to have sorted itself out very nicely. Now, Mike is into his PhD coursework. He works super hard and is delving into some pretty cool topics relating to the sociology of religion. Andrew is doing amazingly well with school this year. He was bumped up and out of the reading group to which he had been assigned last year. He really wants to excel. In fact, he brought home a math test last week on which he had scored a 96%. We told him that he had done a great job, but I could tell he wasn't convinced. At bedtime, I asked him how he felt about his test. He said, "I wanted to have 100!" Ethan is also settling into school very well. He loves his new teacher. He is learning to read in French, and I'm quite sure his French vocabulary is at least as big as mine (if not bigger!) Abby and Jadon are both at home, where we have been learning about lighthouses, rainbows, eyes, and all sorts of other interesting things! As for me, I have been officially conferred an MA in Human Services (Marriage and Family) from Liberty University!!! Hooray!
9.) Thanksgiving--This is a bit belated, but..."Happy Thanksgiving!" Those of us north of the border celebrated this past weekend. We enjoyed our holiday with special friends from Maine, lots of great food, and some beautiful fall weather.
10.) Cousin/Niece--I am an aunt! My brother and his wife have a precious little baby girl--just a few days old! The kids had been praying for Baby Chamberlain to come for quite a while...and now they pray for her to grow (and let her mommy and daddy get some sleep!) We can't wait to see her for ourselves!
...And that's the news from here!