Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Changing Seasons

Winter 2013 has brought about some exciting changes to the Lew crew.  After a few months of soul-searching and re-evaluating some priorities, we've landed on a path that is a great fit for our family.  What is happening???  Here you go...

Zadie is sleeping in a big girl bed.  All cribs have been removed from our house!  (!!!!!)  The boys have been sharing a room with twin beds for months, but Zadie was the last to transition to a bed.  She loves to come out of her room 10-12 times each night before going to sleep, claiming the need for a drink, potty, blowing her nose, finding her sunglasses, needing her bunny, hearing a train, etc.  This girl has a stubborn but sweet streak.  I think she'll be getting her way for the next 16 years if she keeps up her charm! Zadie loves to sing, do silly dances, and watch Dora the Explorer and Bo on the Go.  She can sing her ABC's and loves to discuss the merits of certain colors with Ezra.

Ezra is turning into the sweetest, most generous little boy.  He is constantly watching his big brother and keeping up with all kinds of big boy things.  It's so fun to see how he plays with Zeke and Zadie.  With Zeke, he watches and then participates wholeheartedly.  They play firefighters and police officers all the time.  Ezra will share just about anything with anyone who asks.  If he's got a cookie, he'll give you half if you ask!  Ezra is strong and athletic.  He's able to climb and jump as well as many 4 year olds. Sweet and earnest, he'll snuggle in the morning.  By afternoon, you can hardly catch him!  Ezra loves his blanket and little stuffed monkey, and his favorite book is Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell.

Zeke is a full-on preschooler.  He turned 4 in February and is showing so many signs of growing up.  He can dress himself, he's beginning to try new foods. (One sliver of carrot at a time counts- right?) He knows most his letters and can identify beginning sounds/letters of many words.  Zeke's imagination is in full swing, and he can spend hours setting up his rescue hero toys (think little green army guys, but instead of tiny guns, they're red and holding fire hoses) and narrating complex plots involving firetrucks, police officers, helicopters, and rules.  He loves learning animal facts and thanks to the PBS show, Wild Kratts, he knows all sorts of information about worms, skunks, whales, and pygmy marmosets.  Ask him anything- I dare you.

Starting in January, Tom began staying home with the kids as the full-time caregiver.  He has been taking education classes at the U of Arkansas, and anticipates graduating with a Master of Arts in Teaching next May.  His focus is secondary (7-12) English Education and will be student teaching starting in the fall.  Teaching middle school in Honduras was an eye-opening experience for him, and he's decided to follow this career path.  We very much look forward to having two teacher schedules and summers and holiday breaks to travel and enjoy with our family.  Tom ordered seeds and a starter kit from the Gurney's seed catalog this year.  Our bathroom is serving as a makeshift greenhouse to the sprouts as they prepare to make their journey to our four square foot garden boxes.  That's 64 squares of summer gardening!  It's going to be a great summer.

Also in January, I went back to teaching!  After looking for an elementary teaching job in the area for a couple months, I was encouraged to "get my foot in the door" locally by accepting a non-certified position.  In January I began working as an ESL (English as a Second Language) Instructional Assistant in a Rogers public elementary school.  I travel to 6 classrooms throughout the day working with K-5th grade students who are English Language Learners.  I've loved this work, and it has been a natural fit since coming back from Honduras, where 95% of my students did not speak English in their homes.  Taking that stepping-stone position has paid off.  Last week, I was offered a full-time certified position teaching Middle School English to ESL students.  I will begin my new job at the middle school mid-March.  I am so excited to be working with 6-8 graders again (the age-group I taught in MN) and I'm passionate about working with ESL students, so this is a great fit!  The transition from full-time at-home mom to working mom has been relatively easy, mostly because Tom has been so wonderful.  I know the kids are in caring, capable hands, and I love seeing the bond between them all grow.

Oh- and we got a dog.  Roxy (short for "Rock and Roll") joined our family in February.  She's a little terrier mix.  The guy at the humane society thought maybe a Manchester Terrier/ Jack Russell Terrier Mix?  She loves to chase tennis balls, dig in the yard (currently taking suggestions to combat this), and snuggle with the kids.  Roxy is a year and a half old, so past the chewy puppy stage- thank goodness!  Zadie is crazy about her, Ezra loves to chase her, and Zeke likes to pick Roxy up.  Roxy finds safety and comfort in her crate for a part of each day, but she's been a fun addition to our family!

So that's the news with us-  fun huh?


Kristin and Peter said...

So many exciting changes for your family! I'm glad to hear everyone is doing so well. I'm also thrilled to hear you are teaching ESL and loving it:)

Casey and Tom said...

Looking forward to seeing you guys!!!!! Also I love when your boys are in sweater vests.

Anonymous said...

CONGRATULATIONS on the teaching position! I hope you love it. It is nice Tom can have some time with the kids while they are still young. He is a busy guy with gdaduate school too! KIds are adorable. Any chance of a MN visit this summer? Miss you all. Love, Carole

Rori Koch said...

Hello Lew Crew!!! We miss you! And can't wait to see you in June/July!!!
So happy things are going so great for you all. Love this post. But to be honest I miss the regular posts. Maybe Tom can add posting more often into his new schedule? 😉 The kids and I would love that! They really get a kick out of watching new videos of there little cousins!
Love and miss you all!