After many attempts and persuasions, Hope finally made the plunge! She did the dip into our local swimming pool! She now loves the water, although she can’t seem to identify the surface of the water and repetitively plunks her face down and then promptly inhales. Thankfully it is followed by laughter (and a tighter grip on me).
Mandy continues to LOVE the water—we strap on a swim belt around her middle and put a noodle under her arms, and off she goes! She doesn’t go under water yet, but it is a matter of time…she was trying to swim without the noodle last time but not succeeding very well. Thankfully I was within a few strokes to elevate her mouth above the surface of the water, but she didn’t seem to mind too much.
Last week we decided it was time to teach both the new girls and Hannah to ride a two wheel bike. Minnie started running up and down the driveway with the little ones while Dave helped Hope. I traded with Min and ran them both twice until I was too tired to handle the bike anymore. Although Hannah was fine with quitting, Mandy was NOT going to let the sun go down without mastering the bicycle! Considering she had NO balance while I was helping her, she took the next 30 minutes to teach herself and continued racing up and down the driveway with a silly grin plastered across her face. The next morning Hannah was up before dawn ready to ride her bike…and not ready to be outdone by her sister! It took considerably longer, several hours, several attempts and many tears, but Hannah learned that afternoon. Hope still couldn’t catch on, partly because she was trying to use my bike that was too big for her. Two days later Dave decided that these girls needed bikes to be a part of their Americana experience. Off to Meijer we went and 30 minutes later our new girls had new bikes. Not expensive ones, no bells or whistles, but new for them! It took a few more days and Hope was able to ride too (and only crashed into trees occasionally).
Monday marked the day of Hope’s first full day of school! I accompanied her for two lunch periods, but then she learned to go solo! She still sits by Andrew even though she has received multiple invitations from other girls. Even though she is exempt from homework (except math) she still attempts it every night. She no longer needs Hailey’s help to practice the flute. AND she changes her clothes every day! We have seen great progress!!!