I don't have those days too often anymore, but today was one of them. I had an overwhelming urge to call my grandma today and tell her all about my day. I didn't expect to have those days two years after she left this world, but it still happens sometimes. If I could call her, there's so much I'd say.
Today we went back to school. We didn't plan to take a summer break, but we ended up with four weeks off due to summer camp, Vacation Bible School, and visitors from Taiwan. So today was our official first day of school.
Can you believe Annie is in 7th grade? Time just flies! I remember being in 7th grade and how hard the first day was. Not for Annie; she's doing just fine. She's so smart and loves to learn. And read! She will read the most boring textbook and can't wait to tell me all about it. Now if I could just get her to get her other work done. Usually she gets distracted by all of the wonderful thoughts in her head - things like donating magazines to the hospitals and collecting toys to take to the orphanage. By the way, you wouldn't believe how tall she is - almost as tall as me. Whenever she asks to borrow something, I think of all of the times I borrowed something from you. It's a strange feeling having my daughter looking through my things, wanting to wear them!
Did I tell you about Cece's haircut? For her ninth birthday she wanted to surprise AJ with a new haircut. The only problem was that she ended up HATING the haircut so much that she cried Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning. We think it's cute, but you know how it is when you don't like your haircut. Oh, and if the bad haircut wasn't enough to ruin her birthday weekend, she discovered on Sunday that her salamander died. She didn't even tell us until I saw that she was sitting at the kitchen table crying. She rebounded though. This morning she was up bright and early to tell AJ goodbye before he went to work. The happiness was gone when we started school work, but we did some of it together and she enjoyed that. She has some great ideas but wants perfection when her pen touches the paper. Rather than have mistakes, she just doesn't write. We compromised and I typed while she dictated. She is looking forward to biology - we are studying flying creatures this year. Anyway, when we finished her work, she went outside to use the roller blades she got for her birthday. That girl can already fall with grace and always gets right up and tries again! I love her spirit!
Alex is the same as always. He was frustrated today because his work was more challenging than what he had last year. He got used to things being easy and didn't like that he couldn't do it perfectly today without some effort (yes, another perfectionist in the family). I think second grade will stretch him more than he expected. Everyone comments at how well he is doing for only being in the United States for seven months. Last night at dinner, he told us about the night he called his mother and told her that he wanted to come to America. I couldn't imagine making a decision like that at such a young age. He seems to have adjusted well to life with us, even homeschooling. He reads and writes very well and his math skills are impressive. We are still working on things like contentment and patience, things that most any seven-year-old boy is probably learning.
Miss Corina is super-excited that her birthday is coming up. She can't wait to be seven like her brother. She could do without the school work of second grade. She asked tonight if she could take her baby dolls when we go to work tomorrow instead of her school books. That girl drives me nuts, not wanting to do her school work. The crazy thing is that when she sits down to do it, she knows it. I often wonder when she learns it, but she knows it. She has also really stepped up about doing her chores without being told, especially since she got that kitten a couple of weeks ago. Today she was the first one done with her work. That doesn't happen often, so she was happy when she got to go ride her bike before anyone else.
I have so much more to tell you, but I know you need to go. Later I'll have to tell you about my crazy day at work and the house we're moving to (I still can't believe it). I love you and wish I could give you a hug. Remember that night a couple of years ago and I called you to chat? You had no idea that I was near the end of my 2 day drive to your house while we were talking and you jokingly told me to bring the kids for a visit any time. The look on your face the next morning when we rang your doorbell was priceless! If I had only known that would be the last time I could give you a hug... I'd do it all over again the same way. I'm so glad I stayed an extra day with you for that visit. And I'm glad I took all of those pictures of you and Grandpa with the girls. OK, I can't end this conversation crying. That's no good for anyone. Here's a happy thought for you before I say good-bye. Annie is researching what kinds of flowers to plant in the backyard of our new house so we can attract hummingbirds just like in your garden. We want it to be a peaceful place where we can be reminded of you in the beauty of the flowers and the animals. You know, we think of you often anyway but this is just an excuse to share stories about you with our guests so they can know you too. <3