Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Happy Birthday Max!!!

Well, this post is obviously a little late.  Max turned 15 years old on Saturday.  I could hardly believe it myself.  Max is our introvert so very low key for his birthday.  He came to us when he had just turned four years old.  He actually celebrated his 4th birthday in Ireland w/ a host family.  He was so little when he came home but has grown into quite a young man.  He just shot up this past year.  Getting muscle and giggling at girls.  Well, he's really lost that baby giggle he used to do.  Now, he tells me what girls are "hot."  I think he secretly likes the fact that he has two teenage sisters that bring their friends over all the time. Definitely works to his advantage.  LOL.  Anyhow, we made Max a cake on Friday b/c we knew Irina wouldn't be here on Saturday.  Her best friend has the same exact birthday and year as Max.  I make a simple box cake w/ homemade icing.  I make whatever the kids request.  I used to work in a bakery for a few years so they know I can make "specialty" cakes w/ designs on them and such.  However, Max just wanted a simple cake which was awesome for me.  We all sang and wished him well. 

I have no idea why Max was making that face.  And yes, I do realize my two other boys do not have shirts on.  Ironically, a rule we enforce here is no shirts at the table, no service.  Don't know how I forgot that this go around.  So, Max has 15 candles there.  How do you think he's going to blow them out?

Yep, he put them out with his hands.  This in turn fascinated his younger sibs to no end.  They all thought Max was "cool" and "awesome."  Now, I know what some of you other FAS parents are thinking.  Trust me I really do.  Monkey see, monkey do.  It is only a matter of time.  So in the future when you see a post about burnt fingers, you'll know exactly where the idea came from.  Now, awhile back we had gone shopping and asked Max if he wanted to spend his money then.  For all our kids, we always give them the option of us picking something out or them.  The older kids always take the cash option.  We give them $35 and then throw whatever party they want to.  Since we have a pool, Alyona, Alex & Yana always have a pool party.  Nik has an outdoor party too.  We keep the parties simple and let them have firends spend the night if they wish to.  My kids also recieve presents from their grandparents.  Well, I was shopping and saw something Max might like despite him already receiving his present.  He has been helping around the house a lot so thought it was justified.  Here's what he got as an additional gift:

Probably can't tell what it is but it is an art set w/ paint.  As some of you already know, Max is our resident artist.  So, gave him a new art media to use.  Paint.  He usually does sketches and perspective drawings but this should add to his portfolio.  He has 3 canvases that have something on them that you paint.  Then 2 canvases where he can sketch something and then paint it.  Once done, I'll frame them for him to hang on his mini art gallery wall at home.  

Next day we had an awards ceremony for the kids at Upwards.  Tell you about it later w/ pics.  This is all Max.  AFter the ceremony & after we dropped off Irina, we let Max pick a restaurant to go to.  He picked Cracker Barrel.  We all had a great time w/ some great food.  Not often you go out to dinner w/ this bunch.  Many reasons and the first being cost.  Love it when family gives us gift cards to restaurants.  It helps for sure.  Anyhow, they have this little pyramid peg game at the table.  The kids all enjoyed it.  

All of us tried to get this game where you jump pegs to where there is only one left.  Yana got it once.  Was a wonderful way to pass the time.  Alyona enjoyed coloring too.  After we were done w/ our meal, we passed through the general store.  They have games and such from yester year.  It's great!  Well, kids were good and we decided to splurge a little.  Very little.  Got them each candy sticks. They were 10 for $1.  And of course, we couldn't go home w/ out the peg game, slinky or the worm w/ the invisible thread.  It is very refreshing to know my kids get just as excited from this stuff that is a dollar or two as they would from fancy electronics.  We have found over the years, orphanage (PI) kids actually thrive better if they don't have all the "stuff."  So, there are no tv's except in the living room.  No cable.  No ipods here.  No cell phones here.  And guess what?  They are no worse for wear.  They really enjoyed looking around the store and playing checkers outside while waiting.  We used to be afraid somewhat of taking our kids out and unexpected behaviors you sometimes get.  That fear is gone, we handle whatever may come up and enjoy the outing.  Key to all that:  staying firm in what you say.  We have literally loaded up the van, fighting started and we got right back out and didn't go.  That never happened again.  cAme close, but didn't.  So, Max enjoyed going out very much.  He and his dad are goign out to lunch...just the boys.  That is in a few weeks.  So, Max is are laidback, simple 15 year old who I know will be dating in the next year or so.  Scary for me.  That and driving this summer!  Just had to get a quick post in about a birthday this weekend.  Next birthday...'R's.  Yep, she is in Bulgaria right now & hers is coming up this week too.  Wish I were there to give her a birthday hug too but I'll be patient.  For the rest of her life I"ll be able to make her a cake and give her a big birthday hug.  So, though I wnat Max to now stay 15 & not turn 16 next year, I also know next year I'll be ableto celebrate birthdays w/ ALL my kids. 

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