James and Jessica are into Black Friday now and helped me out as I had to work. James stood in line for an hour and a half waiting to purchase an Xbox.....his had died in early September and it wasn't practical to buy a used one for just a few months, so he waited all that time for another one....and then we made him wait until Christmas to open it! Nothing like prolonging the anticipation, lol!
The girls are always happy no matter what we get them....Jaz got some neon green basketball shoes and a green shag rug, and she would have been happy with just those, but of course they got more stuff.
Ning also got some of his Chinese snacks and i think he was happier about that than even the PSP! Soon I will post a video of when he opened them....it's the most excitement I've seen from him since he arrived.
We have been SO busy since October! James, Jazmin, and Judi are in basketball, and the girls also do dance 3 days a week. Jaz just informed me she got selected for the honor choir at school, so that will be another thing during February. Some things have changed with my work, and in not a good way, so the stress was really getting to me and spilling over into home. I have really had to work hard at letting it go so I don't come home all snappish with the family.
James is a captain in varsity basketball and has really stepped up his game.....he made his career high the other night of 24 points in a game! We are so proud of his effort this year. Jess continues to do well at college and after a month home, was ready to get back to her "life"! She did call twice the first week and said she missed her mama! She's my sweet girl and we are so happy college is going well for her.
Ning continues to keep us guessing and STILL not talking to any major extent. We have just passed the 17 month mark. Sometimes, like in September and over Christmas, things just seem to "click" and seem to really start moving forward, and then it's almost like he catches himself acting like one of the family and stops again. He is a hard kid to figure out. His continued unwillingness to communicate with us to a great extent remains our one big stumbling block. We have a lot of misunderstandings and unexplainable issues because we don't know what he's thinking, what he really likes, or why he's upset or unhappy.
One bummer...we recently had to end piano lessons.....this was such a hard decision because it was the one thing Ning asked for....we went and bought a piano just because he didn't like our electronic keyboard. The only problem was, Ning doesn't seem to realize that to be good at something, you must PRACTICE! He would, but would only play what he wanted, not what the teacher gave as homework. The teacher talked to us about it in front of Ning and it embarrassed and angered him. We gave Ning the chance to show or tell us he wanted to continue the lessons...asked him 3 times over a week what he wanted and he always said "I don't know". He took his anger out on me as usual..........someone told me it might be because I was "safe" to be mad at....I would still continue to be there and love him......maybe.....
So instead of piano, he gets to try Taekwondo which he's not happy about. If he doesn't like Taekwondo, he's going to baseball. I told him the other day I knew how it was for him in China, that he didn't have to do anything and his foster parents let him be, but this was not China anymore, and things were different here. I also told him I simply could NOT allow him to lay in bed and play PSP all afternoon and evening as it wasn't good OR the best thing for him....we didn't allow the other sibs to do it, so not him either! Until the piano thing, everything has been going fairly well, if incredibly busy.
Enjoy the pics....then below those I expound on as somewhat more serious subject.
|December School Concert and a rare smile from NingNing|
|James and Jaz clowning around|
|Practicing his 3-point shot in pre-game|
|Flying down the court|
|We are so proud of his effort this year!|
|Ning on his iPod - he does this every game -says watching basketball is "boring" -but we make him come sometimes anyway to have some family time|
|My lovely family (with Dad and Carol)|