Friday, January 29, 2010

Happenings around the home w/ pics

Some wordy posts lately so thought I'd break it up with some pictures and clear the camera for snow pictures tomorrow.  Wahoo!!!  Snow is coming.  Though the only stuff we see here is usually sand on at the beach, we are all thrilled to see white stuff every 10 years or so.  It's great b/c today no matter where you went, everyone is just beaming with smiles at the thought of snow.  Everyone is emptying shelves as if their going to be without supplies or power for weeks.  Still cracks me up.  All is good though because this is falling on a weekend.  Things will be shut down for sure but most were going to be home anyhow.  Neighbors are already talking about what they're going to do tomorrow.  My kids have their sled routes, meetings with friends and everything else already planned out.  Too bad they can't have this mentality when it comes to school projects.  Fun is on everyone's mind young and old alike.  I have 7 sleds at the ready.  Fridges are stocked.  Of course, they normally are for us anyways.  I just bought 10 gallons of milk the other day.  Not b/c of the snow, but b/c it was on sale for a $1 a gallon and we go through 1 to 2 gallons of milk a day.  Need our own cow.

We're starting off tomorrow with some hot pancakes and sausage with some orange juice to drink.  Play in the snow for a few hours.  I've already mandated the kids must give me at least 2 snow pictures w/ everyone together.  That is my one requirement for them to go off during the day w/ friends.  Ironically, most of the friends end up here anyhow.  Already have 3 coming over.  Scratch that, 4 now.  Better get used to that, right?  Need to practice having more kids here.  We can hardly wait for a day of play.  Playing for a few hours after breakfast, come in for a hot cocoa break.  We even have the hot cocoa maker out.  Lunch is some hot soup and grilled cheese.  Soda as this is a special day in our eyes.  Keep in mind, most my kids aren't allowed soda except on special occasions.  More playing and back in for chili that's been simmering all day.  Celebrate with a snowflake cake for dessert.  Watch a movie that evening and to bed as we all should be exhausted.  Can't wait to take some pictures of the snow.  It's funny b/c my Siberian Princesses and Princes think that a foot of snow is nothing.  LOL.  Growing up in Russia will do that to you.  So for some normal happenings around here.


I asked Alex and Nik if they had cleaned up their room. The answer was YES.  Umm, no I think would have been more appropriate.  This is just a small portion of their room.  One day, I'll take a whole picture.  We leave the walls plain as less stimulation is better for FAS kiddos.  Walls are more of a deep blue.  Now, I told them today if they don't pick up, they can't play in teh snow.  Room is now completely clean and I'll take a picture of it tomorrow.  Proof.  LOL.  

For those of you new to FAS, the BEST investment by far for us was this trampoline.  Children with FAS need lots and lots and lots of movement/ exercise.  Need to be physical.  This helps immensely.  They are on this almost everyday.  Irina is still swinging on the swingset at age 17.  Kids are never too old for fun.  I get on the trampoline too sometimes.  Max was making Alyona and Nik go way up.  Again, no socks on my kid.  I swear my children could walk on hot coals and it wouldn't phase them.

OMG!  Three teens at once.  Miracles never cease to exist.  They must be getting more comfortable w/ the camera around.  Max has really grown lately.  Max and Yana are both 14.  Irina is 17.  Right now, I have 2 sets of virtual twins.  Max & Yana at 14 and Bojan and Alyona at 10.  Well, Bojan is now 11 but half the year they are virtual twins.  When the new kids get home, we'll have 4 sets of virtual twins, ages 7, 7, 9, 9, 10, 10, 14, 14 and then Little Bit at 3 and Irina at 17.  Phew.  What a mouthful.  I think we should make them all have the same birthday and celebrate at once, what do you think?  

This was on thoughtful Thursday yesterday but had to share.  This was Bojan doing Alyona's hair before school yesterday morning.  Very sweet brother for sure.  Not all the time of course but he has his moments and this was one of them.  He took his time and really helped her.  Alyona struggles in some of the basics but the others are there to lend a helping hand when necessary.  Ignore all the wires in the background.  We're trying to redo all that righ tnow so they're not all over the place.  

This is our beloved Bear.  Bear has been with Warren and I since the beginning.  In fact, we went the first weekend after we were married to the local flea market.  Just to look around really.  NEVER intending to purchase anything let alone something so permanent as a dog.  But, there he was, a fat chubby little puppy.  It was love.  Bear is growing ever so much older by the day it seems now.  He really is showing his age.  Bear has Cushings Disease and is covered in tumors right now inside and out.  He still loves to walk though a much short distance now.  he no longer runs after squirrels, just watches them now.  He's turned gray.  A dog that could literally eat about anything now eats soft food mostly.  He used to swallow things whole.  Not anymore.  We break it up for him.  This is "Bear's couch."  This is where he likes to rest.  Either there or at the bottom of the stairs.  His hair is falling out in clumps right now.  I'm sure it's related to something.  We have not taken him back to the vet for quite a few months.  We know he needs to go but part of me is scared to take him.  We had to put down our other dog Aspen last year and it was by far the hardest thing I ever had to do.  I can't even fathom losing another dog in such a short time.  So, we may visit the vet, but no tests will be run.  We want Bear to enjoy whatever time he may have left on this earth.  He is the most faithful, compassionate and tolerant dog I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.  Hope for many more years for Bear but feel strongly his time is getting shorter here.  He's starting to shake like Aspen did and miss stairs the same way.  For now, we are just enjoyijng him being here.  

Need something a little more upbeat now.  This is camera hog once again.  When Nik and Alex go to bed, there are a mountain of stuffed animals on them.  It's nuts.  The whole bed is covered w/ animals and pillows.  We also keep the room dark b/c Nik is a very visual person.  He is up when the sun gets up so we have shades and dark paint on the walls.  Helps.  There is a set of bunk beds here and then a single bed right next to this set.  We finally got the diving from top bunk onto the single bed to stop.  

Most families buy a pack of gum, we buy 360 pieces of gum--LOL.  Warren surprised the kids w/ gum tonight from Sam's Club(where we shop).  Orphanage kids LOVE gum.  It is almost sacred to them.  It is the craziest thing and they never outgrow it.  ALL my Russian kids are like this about gum.  They will cherish a piece of gum.  One kid once gave Irina a piece of gum for $5 in her class.  Teacher gave the money back but she would do anything for gum.  My kids ask for gum for Christmas and their birthdays.  We could advertise for Wrigley's I'm sure.  Irina's friend gave her bubblegum for her 13th birthday and it was Irina's favorite present.  My kids can keep a piece of gum in their mouth for days if you let them.  Trust me, they have before.  Yuck.  Wished I would have caught their faces when they saw this tub of gum.  

Alex and all the rest of the kids showed me their bubblegum blowing skills.  This is Alex on his way to a big bubble. Bojan blew one the entire size of his head!  I realize now that Alex is in need of a haircut lately.  Maybe next week.  For now, all are enjoying a movie downstairs.  Yes, they're all chewing gum.  And you know what, that is okay.  It's almost 10 o'clock here, way past bedtime but way too much excitement w/ the snow falling that no one can rightly sleep.  Enjoying these moments though as I knwo they don't last forever.  Yeah, I won't be saying that tomorrow when they wake up at hte crack of dawn and we want to sleep in.  But for now, we're enjoying our weekend of being stuck at home.  Love it. Ask me in 3 days, however, and I will have a totally different answer, I'm sure.  Have a great evening.  Post more tomorrow.  Fund raising, RAD, and snow for sure.  Stay tuned for more.  Good night.  From , the Southerners awaiting snow.

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