Monday, June 9, 2014

Matthew--4 Months Home!!

Matthew's 4th month home has definitely been the best month, by far.  Academically he finally has finished his first English textbook.  He's now reading at a 1st grade level.  He knows the 0's, 1's, 2's and 3's times tables.  Sometimes I wish he would work harder and learn faster, but I have to remember he is a boy who just wants to play all day.  I have also been told that it is a lot harder to re-learn to read than it is for a child to learn to read in their original language.  I'm at least glad he's moving in the right direction.  I will likely continue him with the reading all summer.  He has a long ways to go to catch up to even being at his own grade level.  Reading is what is most important to me because once he can read, he can work independently and won't require as much one-on-one time.  It is tiresome to be at his side all day teaching one-on-one.  The girls need help as well, but without me there, he does nothing.  Patience is key! 

Matthew finished up his first Indoor Soccer season.  He did very well and enjoyed it a lot.  The other parents knew he was adopted and couldn't believe how well he adapted to playing with kids he doesn't even understand.  They said they'd never know he didn't speak English if we hadn't told them.  That was neat to hear.

We were able to take our very first family vacation with Matthew this month.  It was actually in celebration of our 15 year wedding anniversary.  We took our anniversary trip the weekend after our anniversary over Memorial Day weekend.  We hiked many, many miles (uphill both ways...haha) and we all had an absolute blast.  Over and over Matthew said, "I'm so very very happy!  I very very like mountains!!!!!"  I don't think he was expecting so much fun.  We'd hike all morning, then head for some ice cream and then back to "relax" at the cabin.  We usually grilled something for dinner, soaked our sore muscles in the hot tub, then relaxed down by the fire pit for evening marshmallows.  The kids are all pretty obsessed with fire starting....especially Matthew.  He searched the woods for brush and small sticks to snap with his knees and burn in the evening fires.

We had so much fun we ended up staying an extra day up there.  Tim and Matthew got up early Monday morning for a harder, longer hike while the girls and I slept in and then relaxed back at the cabin.  It was SO much fun and such a treat to stay an extra day longer than we originally expected.  It has been a very long time since our family has had a trip like this and it's been a while since we've all been SO happy!  God has been so good to us. 

It really was so good to finally get away and find such joy and refreshment in God's awesome creation.  He did not spare one detail in His masterpiece.  Everything as far as our eyes could see was spectacular!  I say it every time I go to the mountains that I can't even imagine Heaven being more beautiful than the Blue Ridge Mountains!
"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him." I Corinthians 2:9
Blue Ridge Parkway overlook

Getting ready to hike Grandfather Mountain

Lots of climbing!

More climbing!

Me with the gorgeous view during our hike

Matthew and Haley found a cave!

More high climbing

He kept saying "Wow!  It's so purty beautiful!" 

Climbing to the highest peak of Grandfather Mountain

We all made it to the top!  It was breathtaking up there!

The next morning at Linville Falls.

I liked this picture of Kylie, Matthew and Tim

Silly happy boy

Linville Falls in the background

My husband of 15 years and I.....with sweet Kylie photo bombing our picture.


  1. Sounds like a pretty awesome and rejuvenating vacation! We just took a weekend trip to the mountains to hike. It was lovely! Congrats on 15 years, by the way.

  2. That is so wonderful that you all were able to spend a relaxing vacation together as a family. I always enjoy the mountains. God's handiwork is so beautiful. May the Lord continue to bless your family.