The Alaska photos haven't been blogged yet because of some major computer issues, but at least I could stay in touch otherwise, couldn't I ?!
Whistle has begun his school year, a second year in kindergarten to help him be more prepared for reading and math in first grade. He's been in school a week, and so far -- it looks great! Yesterday he knew all the letters of the alphabet, and if those letter names "stick" he will move on to their sounds. Unfortunately, for kids with FAS, their ability to recall what they know is sporadic. Some days it's there, and some days it isn't. One of the funniest examples of this is the day he wanted to talk about a sheep, and struggled to get the name of the animal. He ended up calling it a chicken. ;-)
Yesterday he also got his first Super Eagle ticket, a special recognition of being caught doing something well. He said he was waiting patiently -- sitting still in line waiting to be picked up after class. You know what a challenge that is for him! Each Friday the principal draws tickets from the Super Eagle ticket box and awards gifts to those chosen. Whistle's on a new dose of medication - looking for something to help calm his brain so he can focus more easily, another thing that causes learning challenges for him. Even in an empty room working one on one, he is easily distracted, just by his own thoughts. Possibly we are seeing some effect from the med.
Our two little guys, Joe and Andy, have left to return to their parents, and we wish them well. We miss them! Time brings changes though, especially in foster care, and this is the best kind of change -- the positive result of kids returning home.
Now -- we have Sarah and C. and E. at home with us, so we won't be having any additional foster children for a while. C. has begun her second grade school year at Whistle's school, and they are excited to go to school together. It took a few days before they crossed paths during the school day, and they were really excited to see each other! This morning they were both wishing they could stay home with E., though. I'm sure E. would tell them hanging out with Grandma is not all fun and games - we still get to do laundry, cleaning, and other household stuff!
As for teenager, she's returned to the Christian school she attended last year. This year she has the added benefit of attending the county-wide Career Center, a high-tech vocational school with lots of educational options. She's taking a digital media class, and a marketing class there. We'll be getting up at 5:30 to get everyone where they need to be on time - today we were ready to leave 8 minutes early!
With the foster care support group, we had a great school supply picnic, and more than enough supplies. It's fun to see the kiddos so excited choosing their backpacks and packing their supplies.