Tomorrow will be the one month anniversary of Jack’s arrival into the U.S. He has seen many changes and many “firsts” – he has begun high school, and begun a third language (French!), he has begun learning about doing chores (making his bed each day, doing his laundry, cleaning his bathroom each week, emptying the trash and the pool skimmer), and is learning a bit about being self-sufficient (making breakfast/lunch for himself from the abundant supplies of food we have on hand). We have had a few little “hiccups” along the way – he was apparently unused to closing doors behind him and both cats have escaped the house. We had to explain that the doors need to be kept closed at all times. We’ve also found the windows wide open on occasion. Unfortunately, our air conditioning was also running at the time. So that had to be explained as well. (I am a bit nervous about our next electric bill, as a side note!)
The biggest “hiccup” is one we’ve experienced previously as well, and has to do with the computer games the Chinese boys are so fond of. You see, when they play, they play on teams and for whatever reason, our internet (fastest speed (50 mgs!) is basically inaccessible to anyone else in the house while he is playing. And they do not tend to play for 30-60 minutes…but more like 3, 4….or even more hours at a stretch. And, well…no. Nope. Not happening. We all need the internet. That’s just not acceptable.
So, we’ve placed some very strict rules in place regarding these games, and the laptop, and we will see how it goes. I don’t think Jack is especially happy about these rules…but then we have not been especially happy about having our internet hijacked. It’s basically a deal breaker, so we will just have to see how this goes!
In other news, Jack began the year trying swim team, which he really enjoyed. Unfortunately, it was really much more of a commitment, both financially and time-wise than he is able to do at this time. He has begun taking tennis lessons after school a couple of times a week, which we drive him to. He is hoping to try out for the school tennis team in the spring. He is really enjoying the tennis lessons and his coach says he quite good!
The College Kid seems to settling into his new home quite nicely. He gets along really well with his new roommates; they cook “family dinners” together on the weekends and are planning to start “family movie night” soon.
I recently had to make the trek out to his college town to deliver a textbook to him which came (quite) late, and while his bedroom was still a bit of a mess, I was surprised that it wasn’t nearly as bad as I had feared. He was even doing laundry when I came by! And his roommate told me he cleans up his dishes! 😳 Apparently, some of my lectures sunk in.
The Princess is just…busy. Senior year is a busy time! I feel as if I hardly ever see her – between cheer practice, dance team practice, and SAT prep she rarely gets home before 6. And then she either has to start on homework and studying right away or dash right out to dance class. This weekend she has the (hopefully final) ACT exam. We’ve been working on college applications, and I’ve been trying to schedule some final tours and interviews in November.
And finally, today is the Mid-Autumn Festival In China. We held a party here at our house yesterday afternoon to celebrate the zhong qiu Jie and for all the students from the three area high schools and the host families to get to know one another. We were a bit worried when we woke up yesterday and it was pouring, but thankfully the rain passed and the kids were able to swim. It was great fun, we had great food, and it was…well, GREAT, to get to meet everyone!