Sunday, August 22, 2010

All about Nick!

It is so amazing how much Nick has grown and changed in the last three years! We told him yesterday the story of the day we met him. We were both so excited and nervous as we headed to the Civil Affairs office. We sat on an old couch and did paperwork while we waited for the nannies and kids to get there. I don't think we will ever forget the moment when Nick walked into the room holding onto his caretakers hand. The look he had on his face that day is so familiar to us now. We know that is how he looks and acts when he is going into a new situation! We fell in love with him at first sight. It took him a little longer to adjust to us but I have to say by that afternoon, he was acting so happy and wanting me to carry him and hold him all the time.
Here is what I wrote after we got back to our hotel with Nick:
"We are trying to calm Nicholas down. He was very attached to his orphange nannies. It breaks our heart to see him so upset. We are trying to lay him down for a nap. He knows we are his mom and dad, but it might take some time for him to get used to us. We showed him a learning Chinese DVD. He is very independent and can do many tasks on his own. We showed him some pictures from the album that we brought from home. He is constantly carrying around to picture from his orphanage. His primary care taker also was so upset when she had to leave him. Please pray for us for Nicholas to be able to adjust to his new surroundings. We are so happy to have him! He knows how to count to five in English. We will try to put some more videos and pictures as the day progresses."
After Nick took his nap, he woke up and called my parents. He repeated after us "I love you, Grandma." He caught onto the language so quickly which made things much easier! Later that night, I wrote:
"We went back to the Civil Affairs office and Nicholas did great. His nanny was there but he stayed in my arms and didn't cry at all. He was very quiet.
We made it offical that he was ours. We put a red fingerprint on the documents and now we have our offical adoption decree. Nicholas is ours forever.
When we got back to the hotel, we went to an Italian restuarant and he had so much fun eating his noodles and a lot of my noodles also. Oh, and quite a bit of bread. He seemed really hungry, but he hadn't hardly eaten all day.
He is sitting on my lap now while I type and being quiet. He really acts older than I expected. He doesn't seem to be behind at all. He is even repeating our english and he can already count to three.
Tomorrow, more paperwork. Yuck! Pray that Nicholas sleeps good tonight and is able to communicate with us. Thank you for the prayers. You are right, Gina and Paul, all of the stuff was worth it. He is a wonderful gift from God. Now if we can just get through one more week of China."
This week at school in Nick's class they are going to talk about what makes each of them special and unique. Of course, when I told Nick this, he said his hands make him special. I guess we talk a lot about his special hands! So I tried to explain to him that there are lots of things that make him special, unique, and wonderful. Here are some of the wonderful things about Nick:
He has a great sense of humor and can make people laugh.
He tells really good stories and his dramatic nature helps with this.
He uses big words which is funny coming from a six year old. He also understands very deep concepts.
He asks a lot of questions which means he is always thinking and using his brain!
He has a beautiful singing voice and can be very expressive with music.
He is very kind and sensitive toward other people.
He is a very caring big brother and good at sharing with Alex and enduring Alex's constant need to tease.
He has a great imagination!
He listens so well to us and obeys us and is such a fun kid to have around.
So every parent should have a blog so you can brag on your kid like that, huh? I never knew how much you could love a child until we got Nick. And I realized pretty quick that my kid was the most intelligent, most handsome, the funniest, etc... :)
Nicholas Ryan Jian Pruett gave us a great gift three years ago when he became our son and we got to experience the great joy of being a mom and a dad. I guess I should give credit where due and say God gave us the great gift of Nick. We know that He worked everything out according to His plans and blessed us beyond what we could have ever imagined. Thank you Lord for the gift of this child!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

It's finally here!

Two very excited little boys headed off to their first day of school today! For Alex, it really was his very, very first day of school. He is starting Kindergarten. And Nick was the expert 1st grader today who could tell Alex how things were going to go!

Of course, we had to get brand new backpacks to start the year. Alex picked out a Lightening McQueen backpack at the Disney store, and Nick picked out a new green backpack at Old Navy that has dragons. It also happens to have skulls which I didn't notice until we got home!
We also bought new lunchboxes because both boys wanted to be "brought from homes". I let them pick out danimals and a lunchable for their first day. I also stuck a little picture in their lunchbox.
The parking lot was crazy when we got to school. I think this is because everyone is going to drive their primary kids this year. Our school district is only running one bus for K-12 this year and so the little kids would have to catch the bus really early in the morning and ride for a long time. Alex was ready to go and told me not to walk him to class!
Nick wanted me to walk him to class. We put his backpack outside the door and then he headed out for a few minutes of morning recess until the bell rings. Unstructed things like that kind-of freak Nick out, so I was a little worried about him. I'm sure once his teacher came to get them, he was fine.
Right now, Nick should be finishing up spelling and Alex should be finishing up music class. I can't wait to hear about their first day!

All good things...

must come to an end! It is exciting to be starting a new school year. We are so proud of Nick and Alex and how much they have learned over the past year. We wanted to have a very special day on their last day of Summer Vacation! So we decided to go to Dinoquest at the Botanical Gardens. Nick has been wanting to go all summer. We changed our plans after we could not even get into the parking lot and there were no parking spots on the street. We ended up at the... Science Center. This is another one of Nick's favorite places and we had such a great time. It worked out so good because it was not crowded at all. The boys loved the Discovery Zone. There is so much to do and play with in that room and they can go anywhere they want.

Alex found a friend while we were waiting to go to the Real Pirates Exhibit. He reminded me of my Dad and was very patient and let Alex do every puzzle and tanagram he had. He was very impressed with Alex's ability to put things together.

Nick really enjoyed the Real Pirates exhibit. It was pretty amazing to see all of the items they had rescued from the bottom of the ocean that showed what pirate life was like.

Open House

Nick and Alex were both super excited to be going to Open House on Tuesday night August 17th. We spent the day running to doctor appointments, but by the afternoon, they were begging to go to school! Nick has Mrs. Blackmon this year for 1st grade. We were excited to see all the technology she plans to use in her classroom, and she really wants to help Nick any way she can with his writing. She made bumblebee cupcakes for each student so of course, Nick ate all the icing off the cupcake. She had an extra cupcake for Alex, too.
Alex has Mrs. Brown for Kindergarten this year. We are very excited because she was Nick's teacher last year and we think she is wonderful!
Mrs. Brown had a special bucket of goodies on each child's desk.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Summer fun...

is coming to an end.
But we've had a lot of summer fun, I think. I've tried to let things go at home and do fun things with the boys. We have done a lot of swimming! We've gone shopping and let the boys ride the carousel at Chesterfield Mall. They love to ride the teacup with Hannah because she spins it so fast.
We went to the City Museum. I didn't get many pictures because I was trying to keep up with two very fast boys. The boys loved climbing all the stuff there. We can't wait to go back especially when it is a little cooler. There is plenty to do inside but Nick really wanted to climb the stuff outside and it was super hot! We also went across the street to eat lunch at Ozzie's which was really good. I'm not sure that is what it is called but it is Ozzie Smith's new restaurant.

Our new rooms

Nick and Alex decided they wanted to sleep in the same room again, so we moved things around a little and now have a sleeping room and a play room. They really enjoy playing upstairs together. I finally got the curtains made for Nick's room. It is hard to tell but the fabric has very cute dinosaurs on it.

New Quilts

Grandma Pruett made the boys these beautiful quilts. They use them on their beds at her house when they spend the night. Alex's is a Lightening McQueen quilt and Nick's quilt is dinosaurs!

Jokerst Park

We have a new playground that the boys really enjoy. Once it gets a little cooler, we will probably be visiting more often.

Funny glasses

Hey Mom! Look what I can do!

My Birthday

The boys had a lot of fun celebrating my birthday. We didn't do anything too exciting, but they seemed to think we were having a party. Michael, Kerry, and Hannah came over and ate Casey's pizza with us and watched The Lion, the witch, and the Wardrobe. You know you have a good friend when she sits threw such a long movie and the whole time is wondering if she is going into labor because she is in so much pain. She didn't go into labor so I don't get to share my birthday with baby Zane. Oh well!
Nick was so excited that it was my birthday and told everyone we saw. He also asked me how old I was about 400 times! Alex had a little bit of a rough day. It is still hard for him when other people get presents and attention. But he did okay.
Three years ago on my birthday, we were getting ready to leave to go get Nick. Two years ago, we were getting information on Alex and doing paperwork to adopt him. Last year, we had been back from China about a month, and for some reason, I can't remember anything about my birthday last year. I was in survival mode. This year, I am thankful for two wonderful boys, an amazing husband, my family, and good friends. Life is good.
Recently Pastor Matt preached a sermon about adversity and grace. That sermon really convicted me and taught me a lot. It's been an exciting year but also one of the hardest years of my life. I'm glad I heard his sermon before I turned 34 and am ready to approach this year full of joy because of the never-ending grace of God.
Check out the sermon at Scroll down to the sermon titled Grace and Adversity on July 25, 2010. That happened to be our 12th Wedding Anniversary, too!

More Branson

Here are a few more things we did while in Branson. We visited the fish hatchery and fed the fish. We went to the College of the Ozarks museum. It was great. It was inside (which is good when you decide to go to Branson in the middle of July- hot!!!!).

We also saw an Imax movie and swam at the pool everyday. Oh and we did a little shopping :)

Riding the Train

My favorite part of our trip to Branson was riding the Branson Scenic Railway. We boarded the train Saturday morning and ate breakfast on the train. The boys loved riding the train because we could go anywhere we wanted on the train and try out all the different vintage cars. We sat in the dome car for most of the ride.

This is the view coming out of the tunnel.

The train took us down into Arkansas and then back along the same route.

Alex and Daddy were pretending to be asleep in the "fancy" train car with reclining seats.
And I think this really was a real yawn from Nick.
Nick and Alex enjoyed their breakfasts of biscuits and gravy. The train conductors were really nice. They came around and punched everyone's ticket but for the boys, the conductor asked what their name was and punched an "N" on Nick's ticket and an "A" on Alex's ticket.