English classes are going well, but still zero speaking at home if it can be avoided. She's excited to tell us about her day via the translator when she gets home, and chats through the computer. I'd rather let her "talk" and bond and share our day and thoughts rather than force her to speak and have stunted frustration with almost nothing communicated, so it's working for now. Today she told me all about gym and playing volleyball (her favorite) so much that her hand and wrist hurt from serving the ball 50+ times. And classes, teachers, which familiar faces she saw in the hallways, etc.
Overall it's really really good right now. She's still recovering from feeling sick, and often overwhelmed at school, and occasionally just burnt out and moody and human...but she's got such a great sense of humor and is so optimistic and mature and flexible that I feel like we all see the temporary frustrations for exactly what they are.
She's funny and clever and is just so easy to hang out with. I really like this girl.
Tonight when our TV show was over, she got up to go to bed which is typically just her walking out of the room and going upstairs and us noticing as she's 1/2 way up and say "oh, are you going to bed?? Goodnight!!! Love you!" and she acts like it's such a silly ritual and mumbles "goodnight" back like it's just such a waste of energy. So, anyhow, tonight she returned her glass to the kitchen and did some other little things and then walked suuuuuper slowly past the living room so we'd see her and say goodnight. She acted like it was a silly annoyance once we did it, but obviously she'd gone out of her way to get the goodnight, which was sweet. She could have just gone up the stairs directly out of the kitchen to actually avoid it.
Tonight at dinner she was laughing at August (age 4) being cute and silly, and even did something specifically to joke with him and make us all laugh which was a first. She usually is respectfully and politely neutral to the younger kids. She'll help them reach something or hand them something or move so they can pass, but doesn't typically engage much with them. She's decided that he's amusing and this afternoon was laughing with me at him trying to explain that 1 minute was much much longer than 5 minutes. (see also, mommy always says "just a minute" which means 15 minutes).
The other kids are doing well. Jorge has had a rough 2 weeks of behavior most likely due to sneaking milk chocolate from Halloween stashes, but that's mostly under control again. He's working triple hard to keep his impulses and emotions together and I'm really proud of the choices he makes when he's not just DONE. Katie's feeling the pinch sometimes of losing her role as my one and only girl child but we spend as much time together as we can and she knows she may not be my oldest but she'll always be my first child. Also, she's writing a stage production of The Hobbit so that's time consuming. August (aka OLAF) is just a sunny silly chatterbox at all times. He built a tiny snowman in today's snowfall and came in asking for a carrot so he could make it look like Olaf. He's the family pet.
Not as an afterthought, but only because it's raw and sad and harder....Rob's mom has been quite ill for a awhile now and has been in the hospital all week. It's uncertain what the next few days will bring, but we're praying that whatever happens will come with peace and comfort. She is a great mom and a wonderful mother-in-law and very beloved grandma and we all want her to be healthy, strong, and well. But if she can't have that, we mostly just want her to be free from the pain and anxiety she's had during the rougher parts of her illness. Prayers for her peace and health are appreciated