Friday, July 16, 2010

Injured at Target??

Yep, my kids can get injured anywhere.  We left off at the Family Fun Fest.  Went home for a bit and then off to Target.  We still had the 11 kids so we took two cars.  Plus, didn't know what all we'd end up with.  We were letting Alex spend his birthday money, we knew that.  So, we split up into 3 groups when we got there and did a little shopping.  Kids were all good so not too much trouble.  Well, one of the "littles" spit on his sister but not too bad in the grand scheme of things.  And, Nik got in trouble from us for running in the store but then was hit by a bit of "karma."  Or was it a lawn chair.  He was running down the aisle, after being told not to, and ran smack dab into a lawn chair sticking out.

The ego was hurt more than the head.  Maybe he learned from running down the aisle.  Just the way it goes around here.  For the most part though, ALL the kids did great.  I can't complain when I see other kids in a store throwing a tantrum and the biggest problem I have is who is going to help put stuff in the cart.  No complaints.  After Target, we headed to Coldstone Creamery as I said before.  Cake is worth it for sure.  Plus, the gift certificate doesn't hurt.  For those who've not used, you're missing out.  Lots of deals especially for big families as you know you'll meet their minimum purchase requirement.  Oh while at Target, we let Alex pick out snacks for his celebration.  He lit up when he saw these:

I don't  buy this stuff except for parties and the kids know this.  It is best to keep FASers away from processes stuff.  The kids LOVE these things.  They ate the entire container full. 

After Target we went home to eat some dinner and have that ice cream cake everyone was drooling over.  Remember, it's high 90's here practically all the time in NC so ice cream is almost a necessity.  LOL.  Below are some shots from dinner.

Dinner was burgers and of course those cheese puffs everyone was dying for.  Max was breaking a rule here w/ the no toys at the table rule.  But, during a b-day celebration, most rules aren't that well enforced anyhow.  Max had bought this car w/ some of his work money.  Max loves cars.  Draws them all the time and tries to whittle some out of wood as well.  He is a very gifted artist for sure.  Anything mechanical, he's for it.

Alex and many candles to light.  10 to be exact.  Very hard to think of him in double digits now.  Growing up way to fast.  Blonde hair, blue-eyed, "dash" is growing up before our eyes.  He was wearing a sweatshirt b/c they had just finished swimming.  

Alex, getting ready to think of all wishes and dreams.  Love the innocence of this age. Just a little time left before we hit that preteen stage.  Need to enjoy it while we can.  Of course, Alex is already a hit w/ the girls at school.  Yikes!  For now though, he's loving being a boy.  Playing outside most of the time and getting dirty.  Everything boys should be doing.  Happy 10th Birthday Alex.  May all your birthday wishes come true.  

Next birthday is Yana's in September.  Have a wonderful weekend everyone!  We are summer cleaning this house inside & out this weekend.  Including the dreaded garage.  2 sets of windows are being delivered tomorrow.  They will be going into the garage which will later become Alyona & her sisters' room.  Currently, they are rotting and something has to be done.  They have to be replaced, there was no option.  The rest of the windows we are patching until we can replace them.  I think it will be a productive weekend for sure.  Next weekend as well.  Then, when it's August, we'll have some last trips planned for the kids.  Enjoy some last summer fun before school starts on August 25th.  Irina is adament about being homeschooled so doing some more research on that before I officially pull her.  She's been homeschooled before but have to figure out what requirements are required for graduation.  Always something new in this house to keep us busy.  I think the rest we are putting in school.  Give it about 2 months and then see how they do.  Max has been wanting to be homeschooled as well but w/ the new high school only being 9th & 10th this year, it may be alright.  We'll see.  We may actually pull Alyona as well.  I think w/ one on one she may be able to go further.  I still hate the idea she's in a Kindergarten through 5th grade class setting.  It does her NO good to be around younger kids at all.  She regresses.  She is 11.  Many her age are going into middle school this year.  She is going into 4th grade.  We're highly concerned as she still can't read.  If a child is able to get to a 4th grade reading level, then they can most likely hold a job and live independently.  Believe it or not, we're told most of the paper is on a 4th grade level.  Go figure.  She has tremendous catching up to do.  I'm wondering if she could catch up more at home.  She has awesome teachers, that's not the problem.  I've seen them in actually & really do appreciate the job they do.  Trust me, I've seen them in action and her main teacher was able to turn a corner for Yana which set her on the right path.  But Alyona is not Yana and has many, many more cognitive delays than her.  Yet, I am very confident in this teacher.  She really is awesome.  I've seen the changes in many of the kids in the classroom this year.  Again, it's not the teachers that are the issue.  It's the classroom set up and the fact that no matter how you slice it, one on one w/ delayed kids is always better.  Plus, some of her classmates are hard to deal with.   Alyona gives her phone # out freely now that she knows it.  However, this causes great problems at home when her "friends" call and she doesn't really consider them her friends.  Again, working on what is best for all the kids all around in regards to schooling.  A very hard decision for sure.  For now, just Irina being homeschooled.  However, it may be Max and Alyona as well in a few months.  Time will tell.  It's just hard to make such a big decision.   Keep you all posted in what we decide.  Time to get down to the dirty work & get this house spic & span.  I cheated.  We all just had ice cream sundaes before we cleaned up.  Trying to keep things easy going as we had such a busy, busy June, I want July to be more calm for them.  Now, August is super, super busy with a trip to the beach(just a day trip), trip on a boat around the lake here, a trip most likely for a weekend to Lake Anna, VA with friends that we miss dearly, school starting, Bojan's surgery being scheduled, school shopping, all docs to Bulgaria, and the list goes on.  It's packed, trust me.  So, relaxing w/ some ice cream is okay I guess.  Enjoy your weekend everyone.  Posts regarding Bojan are forthcoming. 

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Family Fun Fest 2010

A local church, that we actually need to check out as it is a smaller one, has a fun festival every year for the community.  No charge, just old fashioned honest fun.  So, we decided to take the kids to the festival...all 11 of them as I was babysitting that day.  And, one of the girls' friends wanted to come along so why not.  We roll w/ the punches here.  thought you all might enjoy a photo or two from our adventure out.

First, we all waited in line and had lunch together.  It is a requirement of this family that we have lunch together no matter where we are or what the event.  Reason being is it gives us ample time to lay the ground rules and if the older kids go on their own, when to be back & where we'll be.  We all had hotdogs, chips and water to drink.  Typical carnival food.  

They had face painting among other events as well.  Our girlie girl w/ her heart on her face.  It was so hot that day, this did not look this good for long.

They had a petting zoo w/ all kinds of animals.  This is Irina petting a cow.  She LOVES animals and truly wished we could have some more land to make her dream come true.  I do feel she most likely work w/ animals this year.

Nik, however, will never work with animals!  LOL.  He would not even go into a single cage.  No rabbit, no duck, no cow, no nothing.  He watched but that was about it for him.

What better on a hot day than a slushee??  Cooled us off while we waited in line.  And two girls were kind enough to go & get them for us:

Yana and her best friend Lauren were kind enough to retrieve all of us slushees while we waited in the never ending pony ride line.  Worth it though.  

Had no idea the camera had a print on it at the time so some photos will have that smudge in the middle.  Nik loves horses.  Just a natural. Really doesn't need the arm holding but they do it for all the kids.  

Time for the big inflatable slides.  The kids all took a turn down this one except for the "littles."  They stuck to the dragon which you climb through.  Oh, and the bounce house until they collided heads.  What's a carnival w/out at least a little injury--LOL.  No one truly hurt so we were all good.  

Nik going down full speed.  We were so proud b/c when he got to it, he said clear as day big boat.  SAID the words, not signed them.  Lots to celebrate.  

True sibs through and through.  You can click on any of the pics to blow them up.  Alex looks out for his "little sister."  She's a year older than him btw.  But, you couldn't tell.  He stands up for her a lot.  Alyona is fine to accept the love and leadership.  

Everyone had a wonderful time.  Nice to go to.  We then went home to cool off some and get a quick bite to eat.  We then headed to Target w/ all 11 in tow.  More on that in the next post.  We also stopped by Cold Stone Creamery for this delightful piece:

It was Alex's day of celebration after all.  We surprised all of them by picking up an ice cream cake.  You can gift some gift certificates online.  I had a $10 gift certificate that I paid .80 for I believe and we put it towards this.  And yes, it was just as good as it looked.  After such a hot day, all of us were very happy we got an ice cream cake.  Wouldn't you be?  More to come on our day.  The rest of it.  It is not over by a long shot. Hope you enjoyed some of the pictures.

Thoughtful Thursday

It's that time of week again...already.   This summer is just flying by in my opinion.  It's crazy.  But, we're having fun, soaking up some sun and I think that's what counts.  Just the pure simplicity of summer.  We love it.  We have yet to go to the beach.  That may be in the plans in August some time.  We'll see.  Or, may just wait till after tourist season is over.  Remember, in NC, it stays in the 80's to 90's till the end of October.  How do I know, b/c every Halloween we have a costume party for the kids & their friends and by the end we're covered in buckets of sweat.  So, hot for sure.  Getting sidetracked again.  Thought it wood be great for a Thoughtful thursday post. 

Irina--Very thoughtful at making Nik a necklace.  She made it w/ his name & hearts. 

Yana-- Knows her brothers and sisters want to walk w/ her everyday.  She took Alex for a walk yesterday w/out any prompting.  She just thought he'd like to go.  Was even more conscience of his overheating problem and made sure he was okay the whole way.  They were gone for over an hour walking the neighborhood.

Alyona-- One day I was yelling  talking at Alex on the stairs.  Didn't even notice how Bojan was struggling w/ the couch cushions behind me(he was vacuuming out the couches).  Alyona slipped between us on the stairs to go and help her brother out.  Very thoughtful.

Max--Saw the pool needed vacuuming and went to set it up w/out even being asked.  Just did iton his own to help out. 

Bojan-- Noticed Alex struggling to reach a cup and went over to help him out.

Alex-- Helped Bojan out every time he saw he needed help.  Bojan's legs are in bad shape right now and he can barely walk on them.  (for another post tomorrow).  He hurts and Alex has been offering to help Bojan do the things he normally does on his own. 

Nik-- When Alex got hurt in the pool, he went and got a wet washrag for him and kept signing hurt.  Nik looked genuinely concerned and stuck around to see if he could help Alex.  Big gash on that tongue.

Can't tell from the picture but this was a deep cut.  He bit his tongue in the pool when Bojan accidentally elbowed him.  Not the most pleasant picture for sure.  He survived.  Definitely didn't eat dinner that night but next day he was okay for the most part.  Nice his brother cared.  It is always traumatizing for Alex to get hurt due to his PTSD.  Kids went running when they heard him screaming.  I did not.  I know Alex gets very bent out of shape, especially when he sees blood.  It's crazy.  but, this is who he is and we've learned over the years how to handle a post -traumatized child.  He needs a lot of care but when hurt you can't feed into it anymore than necessary.  When he needed stitches a few months ago, I was very casual about the whole thing.  Helps that we have the best docs who know our kids & their past.  Know the right things to say & just how to joke around when stitching Alex up.  He has gotten much better over the years.  Much.  So, this tongue thing wasn't as bad as what it could have been.  But, he survived & now likes to look at the picture & see how brave he was.  LOL.  Love it.  

Sidetracked but sometimes feel it's important to interject about some of the kids & how far they've come.  More to come later.  Probably a 3 post day.  Hey, I have done most of my to do list & I have only my kids here today.  Plus, I don't feel like organizing the closet.  Remember, we have been re-organizing to fit in the new kids coming home.  To do that, we have to stock stuff anywhere and everywhere we can for now.  Well, the homestudy agency needed previous homestudy dates.  You knwo, only from 11 years ago!!!  URGH!!  This is where I had to look:

See that stack in the corner?  With the old passports on top?  yep, that pile is about a foot deep of papers.  My girls tried to help "organize" it.  That word help again.  It WAS organized before they got a hold of it.  Was my old homestudy in there?  Why no.  We found the one from 1999 in w/ the tax docs..go figure.  The 2003 Russian homestudy is still MIA.  Old agency told me "I don't know how to go about locating that."  Really?  I hate transitions but know they are necessary to get to the end result.  Very happy to say I think we've resolved this "glitch" part of it.  Still have one more "glitch" to go which I'll share later.  Well, need to get more done.  Like that corner there.  LOL.  We'll have to take some before and after pics for sure.  Stay tuned for a picture post later.  We're not all work around here. 

Lights OFF kids!!!

You know when you have kids, the lights are going to be left on no matter how many times you scream to turn them off.  Well, proof positive came in the form of an electric bill today.  Now, we're used to high bills just b/c the house is older(almost 20 years), not effecient heat pump at all, windows that have condensation most the time, etc.  But this one even took me back a bit.  I was actually scanning the bill hoping there was a "past due" amount on there.  Knew there wasn't as we pay on time but still kinda of hoping something crossed in the mail.  Nope.  This was all us.  It's lights and electricity.  We try to conserve as much as we can.  Just hard w/ outdated stuff and kids who seem to want every light in the house on.  I just yelled at Max for leaving the lights on upstairs while he went downstairs to get something.  You know, the one who is distracted at even a raisin on the floor.  Anyhow, he forgets and then it would be left on all day.  He can't see the magnitude & they can't relate that lights on equals money out.  I know summer is expensive as far as electric costs go but this is literally the highest bill we ever had... $434.  That is just too much.  And since my kids "don't get it," I'm honestly thinking of charging them a percentage of the bill every time I have to mark their names down in a notebook for leaving the lights on or the radio or tv when not in the room.  What have you all done for electricity usage?  We have all the flourescent lightbulbs..which I HATE w/ a passion btw.  They've caused 2 fires in our home thus far.  We have all the shades down in the day b/c of all the sun.  High efficiency washer & dryer.  Clean out the air filters.  Set the air conditioner at 76 to 78.  Other than this, what else can we do?  We save energy whenever possible.  We're going to try to really crack down on the lights issue here.  That is all I can think of right now.  Any other suggestions, I'd love to hear them.  I really would. 

There are a couple things we are focusing on right now.  Trying to focus on just four things at a time and go from there.  So, they are:

1.  Homestudy done & sent off
2.  Dossier done & sent off
3.  Driver's Ed meetings & sign ups for Max & Irina
4.  Nik's speech therapy & goals

Those are the 4 things we are currently focusing on.  Hoping to have ALL completed by next week.  Well, Nik's is ongoing but at least now it is underway.  His new speech teacher is awesome I think it will be a great match.  After this set of focuses, we will do the next four:

1.  Decide who we are homeschooling & start getting that set up.
2.  Get Bojan's second opinion & amputation stuff set up.
3.  Get all school shopping done & sign ups for any sport stuff.
4.  Finish all the repair work on start on Alyona & her new sisters' room.

I figure if we can accomplish four major goals every two weeks, we'll be okay.  I know the first 4 will indeed be able to be finished next week....I think.  the next four I am slowly starting to get organized for.  Lots to do.  Speaking of lots, time to go reserve some hotel rooms for guests coming into town to help us out.  Speech therapist came today.  She comes 2X a week now.  We'll be checking the status of his pre-qualification stuff next week.  For the second implant that is.  I made an appointment for bojan.  Tomorrow's post will be about Bojan.  Lots and lots of stuff going on w/ him physically that needs to be addressed.  Poor kid can not even walk right now.  Again, tomorrow's post.  Hoping a surgery can be done before we leave for Bulgaria.  Timing is everything & our docs are great about working w/ us.  However, new doc.  I will explain in detail tomorrow as it is a post in itself.  Got to go.  More to accomplish today.  Trying to sell some things around the house that we don't need or use.  Helps w/ raising a bit of money.  This time though,, it was more of a selfish reason.  See, our whole family has this relaxing place we go in the yard...the hammock.  We all go to relax, read a book, just swing, just sit, quiet alone time, etc.  Different reasons but still the same place.  Well used.  We had gotten a hammock maybe a year or two ago.  It has been well-worn & has started to fray to where it will become unsafe soon.  So, I sold some stuff yesterday online and we made the same amount as the hammock.  Can't wait to surprise the kids when it comes in.  Here's where we ordered it from:

Well, actually on sale at overstock but this allows you to see the picture.  Think we got the sapphire one.  I think it is important everyone have a place to go.  So, that's why I thought it important to get another hammock.  Kids don't know. This one is made of nylon.  So,should last a bit longer.  I'll take a picture for sure once it comes in & is set up.  Got to get some work done now.  Stay tune for more happenings and definitely pictures soon.  Lots of pictures to catch up on. 

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Mommy, am I an alien??

Yep, that is just one of the many questions I get daily around here.  I have no idea what possessed Alyona to ask that one.  I do know Irina had just finished reading a book about that topic so maybe from there?  Not sure.  Another statement we had yesterday:  " Dude, Christmas is Jesus' birthday!"  Okay.  Apparently, there was a discussion as to when Jesus was born.  Fine, at least they are doing something productive.  They are signed up for VBS(vacation Bible school) for the first part of August.  Maybe this will give them something to talk about.  LOL.  We have all kinds of out of the blue questions in this home daily.  Or statements.  Another statement from yesterday.... "Mommy, please don't sell my baby."  That one was from Alyona too.  And this may be why:

Alyona loves her baby dolls and reading to them.  No wonder she doesn't want me to sell them.  I would not do that.  Here, she is reading her doll a story.  Legs crossed and all.  What a little teacher.  She was full of all kinds of statements/ questions yesterday.  Alrighty then.  She said that b/c I was going around the house seeing what we don't use anymore that we might be able to sell.  Every penny counts during an adoption for sure especially, when other things are happening at the same time such as fixing up the house for the kids to come home.  Plus, for some reason, the declutter process makes me feel so, so much better.  It's awesome!  Some things I've given away.  Such as two air mattresses, kids' stampers and a bag of silk flowers.  Some things we've sold.  2 vacuum cleaners, a jacket, and a desk.  Getting there slowly.  I'm selling things piece by piece.  Easier to track that way.

Had a wonderful friend give Alyona a mattress today!  Wahoo!!!  Bye-bye dogbed.  I hope.  For those new here, our daughter Alyona has some security issues and loves to be enclosed and in a small place.  Her comfort is a dogbed in between two closets.  I have gotten here really excited about this mattress and hoping it is a small step in the right direction.  It is just the mattress part.  We'll add the box springs later.  After that, a real bed.  For her, it is best to go slowly and little by little.  I am not getting rid of the dogbed quite yet though.  Have to make sure she can sleep a few nights in a row w/out it.  Looking forward to this though.  We will be building built ins for Alyona and her two new sisters.  I really thrilled at the thought of it all.

We have had a glitch in our homestudy & currently trying to work it out.  I will not give out details on here yet.  I do promise to later on in the adoption just in case others run into the same situation.  I've talked to some privately about this & know for a fact others have experienced the same "glitch."  But for now, I can not.  We are diligently working on it though.  For now, my heart is just beating faster & ready to be finished w/ it all.  Don't need the stress eating.  LOL.  Warren and I are committed to losing weight before we go to Bulgaria.  Is hard when you have 3 teens constantly wanting to eat.  Today I'm getting back to my normal exercise regimen and am ready for it.  Stepping everything up two notches and will get back to doing the Flabulous to Fabulous posts.  Plus, exercise is an awesome why to relieve some of that adoption stress we all experience.  I actually woke up this morning tired as can be but did do my stretching and weight lifting.  Felt great about that.  Later today, I'm walking and then doing cardio.  I'd love to walk at least twice a day but that really is hard to do w/ my first kid arriving her eat 8am.  I am dreaming to do a 5K.  I know to those of you who do that stuff all the time think that is no big deal.  But for someone to go from being totally out of shape to doing a 5K, would be a huge deal for me.  That is what I'm shooting for!  Time will tell.  Just reached a point though where it is time to make a necessary & responsible change in habit.  Believe it or not, I know exactly what to do & how to do it to lose weight.  My major in college (& please don't laugh)... Health & Fitness Specialist.  That's right.  The mom who is currently out of shape holds a degree in fitness.  I plan to get back to that.  My real dream... is to become ACE certified.  I've always wanted to do that.  Who knows.  Maybe one day.

I have a bunch I'm catching up on today.  It's been great.  2 more people coming to pick stuff up and then I put stuff for sale again.  Been working well & declutter is going great.  Only one closet left to do downstairs.  Alex & I are going through his stuff this weekend.  Remember, he's on the FAS 7-7-7 rule so I'll see about things.  Alyona has plenty.  Yana and Irina could really use some new clothes.  Irina is a hard one as she understands she tends to spill stuff, so if she gets something new, she loves to "save" it so it stays clean.  More on that for another day.  I want to make sure all the kids have new shoes for when school starts.  Also, great time for clothes sales here.  We stocked up on shirts for the boys the other day.  Target...$2.48 and jeans for $3.48.  Umm, not bad at all.  I just have this feeling that we may be busy in the fall and what all this stuff taken care of now.

Irina and Max are going to a driver's ed meeting this Thursday night.  Yikes!  Yep, they'll be taking the class.  Nerves a plenty here.  For the parents that is.  Still can't believe I have two kids going to be learning to drive.  wow.  More going on and will do my best to post.  Still owe you all some pictures from this past weekend.  Just know, I need to pay all attention to this adoption stuff right now.  It is our focus.

Nik had speech therapy.  She comes to the home twice a week.  He learns so much.  He will just explode this year.  BTW, I will video tape him saying some words soon.  Just still melts my heart.  Nothing like your deaf child learning how to speak.  Such an accomplishment especially, at his age.  Simply amazing.  Have to go but will be back w/ more info.  And of course pictures!  though I'm definitely NOT able to do any professional photos like some of the other blogs I see, I still think my kids look great.  Enjoy your week everyone.  More to come so stay tuned.

Monday, July 12, 2010


I have a long time friend who adopted from Russia and Kazakhstan.  There is a girl in the same orphanage in Kaz that her son came from.  It is too late for her to be adopted. However, she has diabetes and will die if not treated.  Arrangements have been made for her to come to the States for some treatment and medical care.  However, the only part missing is the money for the travel to here.  Here is a link to Dee's blog and more of the story:

There is a wonderful Russian nesting doll too!  Read her blog and the story regarding Diana.  Please spread the word especially, if you have blogs of your own.  Frankly, spread the word everywhere.  Facebook too.  thanks so much. 

A piece of time

As you all know, Alex celebrated his birthday on July 5th.  We keep birthdays simple here for the most part.  Do we know Alex's true birthday?  No.  His documents had July 3, July 4th, July 5th, July 7th and July 17th as possible birth dates.  The majority said the 5th & that's what we went with.  On the day of their birthday, I ask what cake they want.  Alex requested yellow cake w/ chocolate icing.  Fine by me.  He wanted a round cake he said.  Irina makes the cake part but has trouble pouring into the round pans so I do that part.  I also make homemade icing.  Birthday kid always has priority licking the beaters:

He looks way too old here for my tastes.  Oddly enough, Alex is our messiest eater yet he is not too messy here at all.  Blonde hair, blue eyes.  Am I in trouble in a few years or what?  LOL.

After dinner and cake, Alex wanted to open his presents.  We had only gotten him one thing and we're waiting to buy something else for him.  sometimes our kids like to spend their own money.  He didn't want to wait for his party on Saturday so we went to get the items.  Umm, not wrapped yet.  It was a busy week and Alex could careless.  So, we improvised:

Yana covering Alex's eyes as we had not wrapped anything yet.  I really thought he'd wait till his party but oh well.  

Think he is surprised?  

If not surprised, he certainly is happy.  For months, Alex has been begging for a watch.  He got two of them!  I was reluctant to buy them but I found a deal of super clearance for only $2 a piece so couldn't resist.  See, last watch Alex got, he cut up.  He promised not to do that again.  Felt now was a good time.  he wants to be like his older sibs and maybe this will help responsibility.  See, FAS children have a very, very hard time w/ abstract concepts and especially concepts such as time and money.  We had always said our kids would tell time on analog clocks.  And most can.  Still working w/ some of the others.  Rule in our home is you are not allowed to have a watch until you can tell time.  Nik is wanting a watch so I'm working on time w/ him too.  Anyhow, I was getting frustrated when some of my kids could only tell time on a digital clock.  One day I was at my neurologist appt. w/ one of them.  She sees all my FASers.  She said "Stephanie, in the grand scheme of things is this a big deal?"  I said "but I want them to tell time on a regular clock too."  She said exactly... YOU want them to tell time.  She said they CAN tell time.  With a digital clock.  Let it go.  That was one of my first wake up calls.  I was pushing.  Yes, you have to push your kids especially when society doesn't think they can accomplish much but careful what issues you push.  Our neuro made it clear that them being able to tell time on a digital clock and get to a job on time is far more important then knowing how to tell time the other way too.  Agreed.  Hence, Alex got 2 digital watches.  That was some of the best advice I had ever received from one of their docs.  Celebrate what they CAN do and expand on that.  Shoot, none of us know it all.  

Have to tell  you all about the other gifts.  My SIL brought something for Alex when she came.  Some water toys and goggles.  Something Alex always wanted.  Long story about goggles at our home & tell you another day.  Anyhow, Alex ran upstairs to show me. Here is what he said "mom, look at what WE got!!"  "We got splash bombs, we got goggles, and we got ....."  Every time he showed me something, he said WE.  Yes, yes he did.  The selfish, unempathetic, self-centered, mean ways of our old Alex are G-O-N-E.  The RAD part of Alex has been healed.  I truly believe that.  Can you believe he said WE???  This may not seem like a big deal to many of you, but trust me, this is a huge deal here.  It really is and it means a lot for Alex's future.  What better birthday present could we ask for?  

I will tell more of Alex's day in another post.  And in true FAS fashion, is he wearing the watches? No.  But, he always knows where they are and is always practicing telling me what time it is.  The watches being on his arm bother him.  Got to love it.  Stay tuned for more happenings here.  Lots went on this past weekend.  Just trying to recover. 

Sunday, July 11, 2010

red eyes, little pyro, & a trip

Won't be a long one either.  More pics & posts this week.  We're just simply exhausted.  Took 11 kids to the fun fest and then shopping.  had a little party for Alex.  Stayed up last night w/ the teens & their friend until 1:45pm.  Warren got a call to come into work at 4 am.  Yep.  Couldn't get back to sleep.  He was there until 2pm.  Since all the junk food & party stuff, kids have been a bit out of whack.  Not too bad but enough.  I think we all have red eyes though from being up so late last night. 

Thought it would be cool to buy this gigantic magnifying glass thing yesterday to look at bugs.  Kids love it.  It's about an 11 X 13.  Huge rectangle.  Well, went outside and smelled like a forest fire.  Like someone was burning leaves.  Can you guess who it was??  I myself was shocked.  Still no idea?  It was Minnie Mouse!  Yepper.  Alyona was sitting there BY the house burning leaves, bark, old pop-it's from the 4th of July, etc.  Now, being of little to no sleep, this was not going to go well w/ me.  She has now been banned from playing outside alone.  Usually she's not alone but still, no go.  Still stunned it was her.  While Warren was at work all day, we cleaned the house.  Don't know what possessed me to clean under my bed and shamefully pluck out dust bunnies the size of a small cat.  Seriously.  By doing this, I broke the bed.  Warren had to come home and fix that.  It's fixed and holding.  Irina was on the way to break my dryer.  URGHH.  I know she loves to help but some days I can do w/out so much FAS help.  You other FAS parents I'm sure get what I mean by that statement.  I gave them ice cream cake for lunch.  I told you, bad day today.  Don't worry, we are back on track but so ready for bed.  Dinner tonight will be pork tenderloin on the grill, baked potatoes and either peas or broccoli.  Trying to make up for the junk the last day here.  Again, back on track tonight & tomorrow.  Some of the kids and I are going for a walk after dinner after it cools down some. 

Not a bad day, don't get me wrong.  Just a long day.  We had such an awesome time yesterday and they were all great.  Now, just need to get back to normal and do a few things around here.  Kids are scrubbing potatoes and getting them ready.  Oh, have some really neat news regarding an old friend of mine.  Okay, can't stand not sharing.  They invited us to spend time w/ them at the Lake in VA.  We're going to work out details soon but sounds like a wonderful time w/ friends and an unplanned trip...the best kind.  It will most likely be in August some time as Warren has to work next weekend and the weekend after we are having the house repair party.  I can not tell you how excited I am at the thought of seeing our dear friends again.  See, they used to live near us.  Also, my college roommates.  So, we do go back.  They had moved to England for a few years and obviously, this bunch at Chaos Manor never seems to go across the Atlantic unless we adopt.  LOL.  Thrilled they are back stateside and we can get back to visiting once again.  Alright, time to help w/ the potatoes.  More to say but too tired today.  Enjoy the rest of your weekend everyone.

4th of July 2010 (continued)

I left off of all of us enjoying some refreshing pool time.  We live in a town that has yet to decide a name for itself.  It's a very long story.  So currently, we live in Garner yet don't really feel a part of Garner as it is another town.  Most of us here refer to ourselves at the 4042 area or Cleveland.  The entire town does.  So much so, they have their own fire department and even their own fireworks.  However, we used to live in Clayton.  And used to go to their fireworks.  Well, due to the economy, they canceled their fireworks show.  So, we decided to keep it simple and stay home.  We have wonderful neighbors who shoot off fireworks and put on a great show.  hint, hint...these are not the store bought kind.  LOL.  Where our house is, you can see many different shows.  We bought some from the store but not many.  I had massive trouble finding sparklers of all things.  What was up w/ that?!  Had some from last year so used those for the kids.  Anyhow, some shots below of some things we saw/did.

Some of the kids waiting for Dad to get organized.  I know they don't have shirts on.  Rarely do they ever in the summer and I've learned to just let it go.  Shoot, Nik's still in his bathing suit from earlier that day.

Finding new spots on the grass for the show to start.  This is Yana and Nik.

A little bit of sparkle to highlight the night.

Alex and Yana.  Both came home in May of 2004.  Still celebrating together after all these years.  Great time to celebrate too.  This seems to have been the year that we've finally conquered a lot of that RAD stuff.  Lots of accomplishments this year for these two but now, just a time to enjoy a show and each other. 

What could be more fun than dancing around w/ fire?  LOL.  Alex zonked out by this time so it was just the 3 younger ones as the older ones and their friends went inside for a movie.

This is what it's all about.  The sheer enjoyment of the simple things in life.  these pictures say it all about the 4th of July here.  Simple, but fun.  

We had a wonderful time last weekend together.  This weekend we did a bunch as well.  That is for another post.  Went to a carnival and then shopping so Alex could spend his birthday money.  Right now, recovering this morning.  I'm getting ready to make pancakes for everyone.  Warren got called into work at 4 am and is still there.  Unfortunately, we had stayed up until 1:30 so I know he'll be tired.  Again, we most likely will not finish that bathroom upstairs as planned today.  Max most likely will go to work today as well.  Irina will be at a friend's house.  The rest will hopefully be somewhat tired from all yesterday's festivities but somehow, I highly doubt it.  Enjoy your weekend everyone.  More pictures and posts to come.