*The youngest had never had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Almost six years old -- sounds like one for the record books, doesn't it? His conclusion: "I thought it was gonna be nasty 'n stuff, but it was really good!"
*The oldest is excited that we have a dishwasher.
*I'm parenting exactly the same way I was before they came -- I'm quite the rule-enforcer, consistent and strict but with a very calm, neutral attitude when I do have to get on to anyone, I try to always make my expectations clear, and I'm trying to really praise each of them for good choices. So far, it's working well. I've already heard them repeating and reminding each other of the #1 family rule: "the first time we OBEY". And I've gotten several "yes, ma'am"s with no prompting from me. They're also really spurring each other on towards good behavior as they don't want anyone getting in trouble and losing privileges.
*We've also been drilling the idea into all three of their heads about brothers being a team, brothers sticking together, brothers being buddies, brothers being kind to each other, brothers standing up for each other, brothers helping each other, etc, etc. (Of course, so far I can't get the movie "Tommy Boy" outta my head, and I'm constantly wanting to say to them, "Brothers gotta HUG!") I would love nothing else than for them to grow up to be best buddies.
*Someone taught these boys well -- they are polite as can be, they take their dishes to the table after meals (I didn't even ask them to do that), they pick up their toys pretty much the first time I ask, and they are very mindful of not being wasteful. Love.
*The oldest told me that he is so glad that I care about his homework and making sure he gets it done. I've also been reading over it to make sure he is catching his mistakes so he can turn in a job well done the first time. I'm grateful he enjoys school and seems to take pride in learning. He's just never had anyone pay attention to his education.
*I don't know who's more thrilled -- my first son or us -- with the fact that he now has playmates! Love, love, love. It's especially perfect because they seem to love Star Wars and Legos as much as he does. We've barely had any issues between them because they are very quick to resolve arguments amongst themselves, and for the most part they've all been sharing really well.
*Warms my heart that the oldest already has a few of the songs memorized from Sunday night children's choir and has been singing them non-stop around the house.
*They hardly ever had the chance to play outside. You can imagine the delight we've witnessed through nightly walks on the trail to the river and hours spent playing outside with a soccer ball, sidewalk chalk, etc. Not to mention it's great for keeping me in shape, haha.
*We're off to a fantastic start -- two school days down with awesome behavior and attitudes. The teachers are happy. We're more than thrilled. And for those of you that asked, we are keeping the oldest at his school for the remainder of the school year since it is only about two more months. The youngest was in a different school and needed to be moved (for reasons not related to him), so he is now in the same school and same kindergarten class as our first son. We'll probably put them in separate classes in the future, but to make his transition easier, we thought for two months it would be a good idea.
*It's really neat having three kids now and seeing such differences in each of them:
The oldest has a caring heart, taking care to help both of the younger ones. He likes music and drawing, loves reading, enjoys school, and always wants to please and obey the adults. He is also excited to help with soccer this season.
The now-middle-child, our first son, really enjoys playing -- with toys, video games, board games, sports, etc. He loves listening to stories, and he loves people. He's definitely outgoing and always up for a good laugh.
The youngest is very mechanically-minded. He enjoys building new creations with Legos, and he has a great imagination. He is more quiet, and he would play for hours by himself (if we'd let him). He loves doing any art, especially drawing. He has also really taken to the cats especially and is very good at approaching them quietly and gently to win them over.
*For the most part they've really enjoyed the food they've been served. For Sunday lunch I made a roast with potatoes, carrots, and gravy, and you should've seen them scarf it down! When they've been served something they don't like, they've obeyed the rules so far and tried their best to eat it anyways since we don't serve a whole smorgasboard of choices. What Mama cooks is what you get. Usually this has ended up with them liking whatever it is they weren't sure about. And thank goodness they love milk! I told them that worst-case scenario, if they absolutely hate something, take a bite and wash it down with milk really fast. Ha.
*They are both proud as peacocks to have a new family and a new last name. (Even though it won't be finalized for about six months, the state is letting us tack our last name onto theirs already.)
*So far they've been calling us "Mama" and "Papa" about half the time. We made it very clear that they don't have to call us that until they feel comfortable.
*Bedtime is such a sweet time. I usually read a Bible story followed by a kid's book of some kind. It's been neat to see their reactions to the Bible stories since it seems to be the first time they've heard most of them. And so far they've all slept soundly each night.
*And yay for the fact that the state has gotten the ball rolling, and we already had our first monthly home visit with our caseworker. Six of those visits total and we will pretty much be ready for the adoption to be finalized.