Saturday, March 5, 2011

Coneheads, chocolate & church

Catchy title, huh?  I guess I'll just start w/ the first one and go from there.  Coneheads.  What better way to explain it than w/ pictures.

This is Max sporting one of the dog's cones from surgery.  No idea why.

Another one of my coneheads imitating his brother.  Monkey see, monkey do.  Not sure why they did this other then to be funny.  I swear, my kids could have fun in a prison as long as they had each other.  LOL.  They all do the goofiest things.

Okay, this is a candle.  This is NO ordinary candle folks.  Oh no.  We got this at TJMaxx (one of our favorite stores).  It lists for $29 & we got it for $5.  This candle is simply delicious!  It smells up the entire house like chocolate.  I mean you feel like you can eat the candle.   People have come over & asked what's cooking.  If you ever see one of these candles, it is a must have.   For a chocoholic that I am, this works wonders.  No calories!  Everyday someone asks to light this candle.  I'm not sure what we'll all do when it runs out.  

Told Max to get dressed for church & this is what he ended up with.  Not too bad if I do say so myself.  Now, here is what Bojan decided was okay:

Jeans & a shirt.  I usually don't like my kids wearing jeans to church.  Just a pet peeve of mine.  You're there to worship & show respect.  I know, I know, just a personal choice but something I really try to get the kids to follow.  I tell them 1 day out of the week for 2 hours is not going to kill you.  Whether or not these jeans were clean was the real question to ask.  Oh, that basket is where our permanent basket of socks remains.  They are all the unmatched socks.  Instead of any of us considering matching them while watching tv(oh no, b/c that would be too easy a solution), they just literally dump the basket & find a match each time they need socks.  Why?  Why not just match the dog gone socks?  I refuse to match the basket so there it sits.  I guarantee you, it will be there next week as well. Pick your battles is what I've learned over the years.  This is one I choose not to fight.  The battle of the never ending matched socks.  Sad part is, I even dump it once a week to let the "littles" find their socks.  I think there must be unmatched socks in every home.  Please tell me we're not the only ones.  

More to come tomorrow.  Kids had friends spend the night last night.  Tonight, we all chilled out and watched a movie.  More on today, tomorrow.  Warren & I are about to watch War of the Worlds.  All kids are in bed.  I guess they're making up for being up last last night.  Hope everyone is having a pleasant weekend.  We are.  Normal feels good. 

Friday, March 4, 2011

Towel time!

Very quick post to let those of you know who ordered towels that they were shipped to me today.  So, I should get them maybe as early as tomorrow.  If not, then Monday.  After that, I will ship them back out ASAP to all of you.  I can't wait to see your reaction and would love to hear feedback.  The sale itself was great.  Though we did not sell as many as we had hoped, every little bit helps for sure.  So, let me know what you think once you receive them.  Hope the little ones enjoy it.  Have a wonderful weekend and more posts to come. Hey, I'm on a roll!  Feels great to be back. 

Camp Cheerio!!!!

It's that time of year again!  Time to get registered for Camp Cheerio!  Our family absolutely adores this place.  The first year we had received a scholarship to go.  After visiting, we were hooked for years to come.  LOL.  It is for us, a retreat, a gathering of friends old & new, new experiences and so many other things that come to mind.  We learn an incredible amount each & every time we are there.  There are speakers, cuers, & signers there.  It's a wonderful mix & everyone blends so well together.  If you have a hearing impaired child or deaf child, I encourage you to go.  It truly will benefit you in some way or another.  We feel that strongly about it & I believe so does every one else that attends year after year.  Usually, you come once, you come for life.  LOL.   Our first year in attendance was 2007.  We went every year since too.  It is beyond fun.  Short but filled w/ fun & learning.  Here is the link to the website & registration.  It is in Roaring Gap, NC.  You will NOT be disappointed if you attend.  I guarantee it.  Here's the link:  Camp Cheerio .  thought it would be nice to share how my kids have grown.  I for some reason can not for the life of me find the 2007 Camp picture.  I'm bummed.  I know I have one, just can't find it.  So, here are group photos of 2008, 2009, 2010. 

I always take a picture of the kids in front of the cabin right when we get there.  Why?  Because I really won't see them much the rest of the weekend as they'll be having too much fun!  Nik looks so little to me.  Even Max.  

The difference in Max & Bojan in one year is amazing.  They really grew!  This shot was from 2009.  

This was from last year.  I still can't believe how big they're getting.  Can't wait to see this year's shot.  

Come on out to Camp cheerio.  It is just the best.  You learn so much.  You really do.  The views are spectacular.  VERY relaxing and my kids feel so at home there.  They talk about it all year long.  Hope to see new faces there.  Any questions, ask me & I'll be happy to answer.  Can't wait to see what this year brings.  I know there is now an annual canoe trip planned for the first time this year.  Maybe I'll get to go w/ the teens on that one!  Too early to tell the kids about Camp Cheerio but I know they'll be asking soon.  It's in May every year.  

More later.  Told you, lots to catch up on now.  This is one of those good things that was coming.  We are also going to the Orenburg Reunion.  Irina and Max were adopted from Orenburg, Russia & we try to go to the reunion every year.  Last year, it was in VA.  This year, here in NC.  Have a wonderful weekend.  I'll try to catch up some posts on here.  Like I said, only plan on going to the museums maybe & some new shoes for everyone.  Low key weekend. 

Catch up post

I am going to try to get back to blogging.  I need some sense of normalcy right now & this will help to fulfill that.  Our saga is NOT over.  Those that know what in the world is happening, know this is a process.  Trouble is, we have a time sensitive situation considering we are due to be submitted any day & receive a travel date shortly after that.  What we are in the midst of is something I still am unable to disclose fully.  Some have figured it out & written me privately.  I will eventually share all this, trust me.  I do feel the story needs to be told as it may help others.  And, as Forrest Gump says, "that's all I got to say about that."

Since our life was turned upside down, inside out last Friday, we have been trying to straighten this mess out, calm the kids, & figure out our next step.  I will not go into too much depth on here on the kids' feelings about everything right now.   Just know they are raw and emotional.  I feel today, we have finally taken a huge step forward and laughter is returning.   Playing is returning.  Stupid sayings are returning.  Life is returning to this home.  That does feel good.

Anyhow, I figured it was time to get back to writing on here.  We had 3 appointments  this week for the kids.  Irina had her videoscope of her throat on Tuesday. Confirmed the acid reflux & the GERD.  Her losing weight is crucial.  We already knew that & are trying to get her active again.  Hard w/ the school situation & her.  Good news is all her bloodwork is normal.  Very great news actually.  She may need another sinus surgery next year but they're holding off.

Nik had his ENT follow up.  Such a waste of time & money really.  Pay a $30 co-pay to wait forever & then have an MD look at his head for nearly 2 seconds.  Not kidding.  I have a feeling it must be part of the implant protocol.  However, Warren & I have decided enough of these 2 second $30 visits.  Done w/ those.  Seriously, he sees the audiologists enough that if there were ever a physical problem, I think they'd let us know.  Warren stopped by Castle afterwards and got his implant reprogrammed.  AB sent us a new processor but programmed it w/ the wrong side.  So, Warren took care of that today w/ Nik.  Stopped off at a gas station on the way home.  It is now $3.49 a gallon here.  Yikes!  This go around will most likely cost me around $150 to $175 to fill up my van.  We've already warned the kids we will be going nowhere the next few months at this rate of increase.  Tough times are coming I'm sure.  Well, Nik thought he was so slick b/c Warren let him have chocolate milk at the gas station.  Shoot, I think anything out of a bottle the kids think is special.  LOL.

Other appointment this week was for Alyona.  Remember, years ago she had a botched up surgery job that left her right arm a great deal compromised.  She has radial articulation.  Her arm is fused up at the elbow area.  Very limited range of motion.  Her thumbs are also in  flexed position.  Doc can't do anything about that b/c it is late.  Alyona will go back in a year for a re-check.  Since she has metal plates in her arm, they need to keep an eye on them & make sure bone does not grow over them.  All in all, good news on the medical front this week which is a huge relief.  Just have to sort out when Bojan's next surgery is b/c he'll be in a cast all the way up to his hip.  Yuck.  Working on that next. 

Lots of other things have been happening at Chaos Manor but the events of last week overshadowed it.  That makes me sad b/c some of them should have been more highlighted.  Like Alex getting a 100% on a math test for the first time.  Or Yana getting a 95% on the social studies test.  Or Nik getting a 100% on spelling AND learning how to read!  Yes, you heard all those things right & more on the reading later. 

We are now getting back into routine, flooded w/ tons more paperwork to make sure all this is cleared up for Bulgaria.  In regards to that, we are to be submitted any day.  YOur guess is as good as mine.  I'm hoping for today but not holding my breath.  We know how international adoption goes.  LOL.  We will be working on grants next.  And some fundraisers.  But, one thing at a time.  I just tied up a dress on a 3yo.  Same dress that Alyona wears.  Yep, she still has a ways to grow. 

From here on out, blog posts will be back to normal.  Pictures will be back too.  Don't know about you, but I love seeing the progress of the kids.  Both the good & the bad(guess that's the wrong choice of words.  Should say normal teen stuff.  LOL).  Especially, with teenagers growing up.  So, more pictures in the next few posts for sure.  Tomorrow I think we're taking the kids to the museum and then everyone to get new shoes.  Tax time is right around the corner & this is the time of year everyone gets new shoes for spring & summer, new pillows, new socks(don't know why I torture myself when we have a laundry basket full of unmatched socks), new brushes, etc.  It's something we do every year.  You know, kind of like checking the smoke detectors when the time changes.  Tax time is a time for us to replenish the basics rather than trying to remember who got what when.  I found myself buying WAY too many brushes for the girls & like 4 pillows for the boys throughout the year.  Got ridiculous.  This is just easier to track to do it once a year.  Well, unless they need it or something crazy happens.  Like their brother dropping the brush down the toilet or something like that.  It happens.  We compile a list of what's worn out, what may be needed, etc. and go get it. 

So many, many things to tell you all!  I will tell you in the next post.  Right now, one "little" is asleep & the other 3 girls are drawing cards for their moms & dads.  Very limited time to write on here.  We've been playing outside a good chunk of the day b/c it is just too beautiful not to.  I've been getting them into the habit of reading quite a bit lately & they love it so that's great.  2 are headed to kindergarten next year.  We're making bookworm bracelets in a minute.  Tried to convince them to make bookworms to eat so since too disgusted by the idea, we decided square rice krispie treats instead & no worm shapes.  The boy was for it but the girls were not.  Typical here.  Like I said, so, so much to tell you all.  So many plans & so much happening here.  Can't wait.  March is taking us to the zoo, museums, camping, church BBQ(signing up to help w/ it), & many more things as well.  Nice to get back into the swing of things.  My rug has been returned.   You know, from where it was yanked out from underneath me last week.  Never loose faith, stay strong.  Great things are yet to come even during those dark hours.  Took me a good knock down to realize that & get back up again.  So, life back to normal, things getting done, waiting on Bulgaria still happening, kids counting days down till summer(yes, already), Deaf Camp on the horizon, possible FAS camp & much, much more to share.  Hope this caught you up somewhat.  I think next post will have some random pictures in it.  thanks for being patient.  I can not tell you what all the support has meant to us during this trying time.  I wish I could share more but am unable at this time.  Prayers, thoughts, outpouring of support, outpouring of willingness to help, etc. was truly overwhelming.  Thanks once again & stay tuned for more of the "normal" stuff.  These wordy posts are just not me.  LOL. 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Dark before dawn

Just wanted to say we're still here.  Alive.  I will start this blog back up later this week. Just been an extremely mentally, emotionally & physically exhausting week.  Hey, at least the flabulous to fabulous post should look good on Friday.  Since this past Friday, I've lost 6 lbs.  Still trying to eat, just not that hungry.  I can't share what is happening yet but hope to soon.  For those praying & thinking of us & helping us, a big thank you.  Means the world to us right now as we're going in ten thousand different directions.  Came across a song & even heard it on the radio on the way to church Sunday morning.  It is SO appropriate for right now & how I'm feeling.  It is the dark before the dawn for sure.  After listening all the way through, it helps.  Sometimes going through dark times to realize just how great the joyful times are help.  Though I knew we were happy in our family before this event, after this event, you realize just how happy & content your family is and the daily joys you have.  When those are disrupted or taken away, it has a profound effect on you.  Truly, you don't know happiness until someone or something takes that away.  Not thinking anything of it every morning when the kids kiss us goodbye.  Not thinking anything of it w/ all the laughter at the dinner table when Max & Bojan are doing their stupid movie skits.  Not thinking anything of all the little pictures made for us.  Not thinking of all the little things that make our family who we are.  The smiles, the laughter, the sheer joy of jumps on the trampoline.  All that for the past for days has been halted in its' tracks.  It's been very difficult to see this change in our children.  We know the normalcy will come back soon.  We are working on that for them.  Again, I'll write more later.  Just here to say don't take all the happiness you experience on a daily basis for granted.  If anything, this event in our lives has taught us that.  I saw this song on the web & then heard it on the way to church this past Sunday.  It is so appropriate for how I'm feeling.  When you listen to the whole song it just makes sense.  Puts everything in perspective for us.  Dark times to prepare us for the joy that's coming.


You know, I'm not sure that video link came up so trying a different way:

Either way, great thing to listen to.  We will be back up & running most likely tomorrow, Friday.  I will be very limited as to what I can say so hope you understand.  Enjoy the week.  Trust me, I'm sure it's been better than ours!