Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Catching up

Ah, a day w/ NO appointments or meetings.  This is great.  FYI, we have finished two Valentine's Day mailboxes, 1 chocolate bar graph, 100 days of school project, 1 set of Valentine's day cards and started on 4 other projects this past weekend.  Phew.  What will homework be like when all 10 are home?  Yikes!  But, we've managed all these years, I'm sure we'll manage the next few years when the others are home.  Plus, Little Bit will be home with me for a few years before entering school.  Here's a few pics from the past weekend:


This was Nik's 100 days of school project.  We were going to spell something out but the gum & glue were just not cooperative.  So, we just pasted a hundred pieces of gum on there and called it a day.  It was all the kids could do not to eat all the gum.   I love Chicklets Gum.  Reminds me of my younger days.  So much flavor and you were happy w/ just one or two pieces.  Even though the flavor ran out faster than you could blow a bubble.


This is Irina trying to decide what to do with the rest of her posterboard.  She was stuck on the fact the teacher told her to be creative.   She has already finished about half of the project.  She is on an occupational track at school where they trained developmentally delayed and disabled students for the work force.  For this project, she had to tell about herself and attributes she has and what she wants to possibly do later in life.  It's turning out great so far and she is doing it all on her own.  I try to get most my kids to do their own projects.  I know a lot of parents help but I go to school and see some designs that actually looked like a professional was hired.  You know for a fact the parent did most of it.  I think the kids learn more if they do the projects.  If they can.  The younger ones I obviously have to help a little more.  


The things you'll do for your kids.  Of course, this was not that hard to do.  Warren and I were out doing errands and picking up some bread.  Usually we get around 40 loaves for the month but for some reason they were low.  While there, we picked up various candy for Bojan's project.  Ahh, the tempation.  


Bad lighting, I know.  I'm learning with every shot.   Irina' s job(gladly I might add) was to carefully open every package of candy we got so we could then use the labels for the project.  She bagged up all the candy.  I'm sure she got a taste or two in there.  This is the good candy too!  Reeces, Hershey's, Nestle, Hershey Kisses, etc.  I've snuck a few pieces in the teens' lunch boxes this week. They enjoyed it.  I may have tasted them, you know... for safety reasons.  Right?  Well, that's the story I'm sticking too anyways.  


This is Bojan working on his chocolate bar graph.  Alyona is making sure he doesn't mess up.  She likes to help and all the kids are really good at helping each other with projects.  And letting each other help as well.  Again, I only made suggestions and Bojan was totally self-sufficient at doing the project himself.  He's awesome & very smart at academics.  It's the common sense things sometimes that I wonder what is going on in that kid's head.  LOL.  But, then I see his friends come over and they do some of the same stupid things.  I was rather impressed Bojan figured this out all himself and really put forth the effort.  He was working on one end of the table and Irina the other end.  Then, Bojan and Nik did their Valentine's Day mailboxes.  I helped a bit on those.  Productive Sunday for sure.  


You have your self-motivators in our house and then you have Alex.  Okay, Alex is not on my best list lately.  It seems every single year I have at least one kid that has seemed to have given up in school.  Last year it was Max, year before that it was Bojan and this year it's Alex. URGHH.  This kid is driving me insane b/c he CAN do the work, he just chooses not to do it.  I can not stand laziness.  Ask any of my kids if you ever see them.  What does mom hate?  First thy'll say liars and second they'll say laziness.  Not kidding.  Those are the two things I can not tolerate in this house b/c it is something that you can do about it.  Max and Bojan are excelling academically now and in regular classes.  Alex, is facing failing this year.  I told him he's digging his own grave and only he can get out of it.  Let's get one thing straight too.  Alex IS capable of this work he's given.  He'll simply hide it or lie that he has to do it.  He's been caught several times.  Currently, he's grounded until he can prove to us his grades can go up.  (btw, I know they can have had discussions w/ the teachers).  Alex has several dx's including RAD and FAS.  Warren and I treat all the kids the same including punishments no matter what you have.  I know many don't find our approach what you should do w/ FAS kids but we look at what works in this house.  We know society isn't going to give them a break when they are older.  They need to learn failure as well as success.  This everybody gets an award deal in school drives me nuts.  Have them EARN the rewards.  Don't insult their intelligence.  Alex has learned to play the system.  FAS kids are more than capable of leanring consequences for their behaviors.  Trust me.  Even some of mine w/ very low IQ's.  Sidetracked again.  Sorry about that.  Alex is a good kid, just lazy.  That may sound mean but it is true.  Alex also is intellegent.  Max used to be the same way.  Now, Max is doing things ON HIS OWN.  So, it can be turned around.  We are going to a huge bonfire party this weekend.  It was rescheduled due to snow.  Alex is grounded and has to stay with mom and dad during the bonfire party.  Alex has to learn that he CAN do things.  It's a matter of time I feel.  Otherwise, everyone is doing pretty well.  

Mostly school stuff going on this week.  Had an IEP meeting for Alyona on Monday.  Lots of progress.  Lots!  Was happy to hear that.  Now, if I could just get the teacher to actually give her consequences for stuff, we'd be alright.  TEacher said she's always getting up out of her seat and not finishing the work.  When asked what do you do when she does that I am told redirection.  In other words, this kid isn't really being told to sit down and do her work.  I know it is a special needs classroom, but Alyona can sit down.  At home, she gets out of her seat, she's punished.  This week it was get up from the table & you get 10 minutes of play taken away at the big party.  AFter getting up twice, she got it.  Why can't the schools apply the same principle? My kids understand punishment and rewards.  They do.  They know if they behave, they are allowed to play with friends and that we get to go places.  They also know sometimes we throw in special treats or rewards for doing good.  They know if they misbehave, they can't do that.  I hate it when schools think kids with special needs don't "get" alot of stuff as far as concepts go.  I think many of the teachers would be shocked to see what the children actually can do at home.  I think parents push more b/c they realize their children have far more potentiial than the teachers give them credit for.  This has happened to almost all my children here in the NC Education system.  Saddens me as a parent b/c I feel they feel the kids aren't capable or aren't worth the effort.  I'm here to prove that wrong--LOL.  My kids have different levels of abilities but I'll be dog gone if they're just going to sit around and do nothing as an adult.  They can and will be productive members of society.  My kids have awesome potential and intelligence. 

I'm finishing some more papers today.  Waiting for those stupid passports to come in and the FBI fingerprint checks.  Not much going to get done the next week or so I'm sure as the federal government is shut down due to a blizzard.  Always delays in adoption, always.  We are just going with the flow though.  Hoping I get my dossier kit in the mail soon so I can start on htose few hundred pages.  I really want it in by March but can't do that if I can't start on it b/c I don't have it.  Should come soon.  which brings us to a huge issue which I will discuss tomorrow.  Fundraising and child care while we're away.  Discussions for another day.   

Kids and us are very, very excited about the upcoming bonfire party.  We always have such a good time at the farm.  Oh, found out hte dates of the Orenburg Adoption Reunion... June 25th and June 26th.  It's near Washington D.C.  We are planning on going.  I know we can't stay with family and that's okay.(some of you know the story of why)  We should be able to find plenty of campgrounds and neat places.  On the up side, my brother said he'd try to visit us while we're there.  And the reunion hosts are trying to get a White House Tour on the 25th.  The kids would be SO exicted.  Me too.  I've never been.  Some fun little trips coming up for the kids. That is one thing I've learned in past adoptions.  Life goes on while you wait.  Don't plan around the adoption and do NOT cancel anything.  May and June will be busy for us for sure.  Hoping for other reasons as well but you never want to wish too early.  Will finish Nik's other post soon too.  Just catching up here a bit. 

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