We are coming up on our one year update, so I decided to blog our adventure. We have had a very interesting year adjusting to one more family member, and just being thankful that our family is now complete. Nastiya has been working very hard on her English, and she speaks very well now. She is still struggling with reading and writing, but our wonderful school system continues to work hard with her and she is making progress! She has learned to love the sport of soccer, and now plays on a recreational team.
I will start with Christmas, which for us was a memorable year with all four girls sitting around the tree opening their presents. Brian and I just sat back and watched, it was an incredible time. We spent time with all of the extended family and everyone ran and played. We also did our traditional cookie making a few weeks before and it was a lot of fun teaching Nastiya to make cookies with her cousins. We also met up with Aimee and Matt and took Anya and Hayley ice skating at our local rink. It was pretty hilarious, as Nastiya spent more time on the ground, than on her feet. However, she was laughing the whole time and everyone had a great time.
After the New Year, we went to the Stock Show and Nastiya got to see her first rodeo. The girls had fun with the animals, and got to take a pony ride. They ate cotton candy, and funnel cakes and petted all of the baby animals. It was really nice to have her with us for our traditional January activity. She also has learned to snow sled, and really likes it when Brian hooks the sled up to the dogs, and they go flying around the cul-de-sac. We hope to add skiing in this year also.
Nastiya really fit in quickly with her school class, and she made friends easily. We had to teach her not to hit the kids with her hockey stick, at the beginning, but she only needed to be told once. She went on some sleepovers, and attended a few birthday parties. The spring went quickly and the school year was over before we could blink. Her teachers were really wonderful to her and she loved her school.
We took a trip to Yellowstone for a family reunion in June, and Nastiya was so excited. I think she was packed a week before we left! She got to meet a lot of new family members on the Fields/Comstock side and she ran with the kids, swam in the pool, and got to see a few geysers as well. She cried when we had to say goodbye, but we assured her that these family members would always be her family, and she would see them again. At the talent show on the last night, she got up and sang two Russian songs. I thought that was pretty brave!
The summer flew by, and school started again this fall. We moved Nastiya to our home school, as they now have an ELA program, and it was a little stressful for her to start a new school. She has been a champ, however, and has settled in quickly. She now has a friend, just a few houses up, and they play together in our cul-de-sac. She also has bonded with our neighbors, who have little children. She can't wait to be old enough to baby-sit, and takes good care of her little sister, and our neighbors daughter. She struggles with her Russian, and sometimes she just wants to forget it. I remind her that if she gives up her Russian, she will not be able to communicate with her Grandparents in Ukraine. She quickly get motivated to try harder.
We have had some behavioral struggles as we get closer to the one year anniversary, but Brian and I have discovered that if we rein everyone in, and keep everyone on a schedule, it seems to improve. Nastiya also really likes to act younger than she is, and really doesn't want to take responsibility for her own things. I have to work with her and hold her accountable for keeping track of her school work, shoes, coats, etc.. She also really would prefer that you do her work for her, and we have to be careful that we don't help too much! She is really very creative at finding ways to get around just doing the work.
All in all, we have really had a great year full of first's. We are all bonding as a family, Nastiya is learning how to work as a team, and if we could just get the sibling rivalry under control, all would be great!!