Saturday, March 12, 2011

Blast from the past!

While organizing folders & such, I came across a March 2006 picture file.  Thought it would be neat to share.  We had the 5 kids back then.  Just neat seeing how much they've grown.  See what you think.

This was Alex at one of Bojan's appointments.  We were waiting to get his casts off.  A goofy smile or somewhat of a smile.  Alex was 5 years old in this picture.  He really has grown.  I used to call him cotton top.

Their b-days are in January so must have been loaded in the camera late.   Warren & Bojan celebrating.  We were in the midst of a massive house remodel here.  See what I mean about the green walls never turning out?  Green carpet to boot!  

I had always loved this picture of Alex.  We got to do Equine therapy for a month.  I SO wished we could have afforded to do it long term.  However, it would have costs us $800 a month and since we don't get subsidies, CAPP, medicaid or anything else for that matter, we just couldn't do it.  He had fun though as did the other 4 kids and it really does help the kids learn calm.  

Years ago, Warren & I thought it would be good if I took the boys out for a night & he the girls. NEVER again did we do that!  LOL.  I took them to a Monster Truck Show.  Okay, you do NOT take FAS kids nor sensory integration kiddos to something like this.  This was the before part of the show.  They enjoyed this part.  We even got great seats as Bojan did look rather medically frail.  No, he wasn't but looked that way so they let us have balcony seating.  Wow!  Put the headphones on & earplugs and still they were terrified when the show started.  We didn't even last 5 minutes.  Loaded them up & ended up going out to dinner & met Warren & the girls there.  My kids are not real fans of crowds either.  Max goes into a bit of an autistic state and Alex gets nervous.  Bojan doesn't care.  Nik doesn't like it either.  Now you know why we keep big outings at a minimum.  But don't they look adorable here?? 

Just had to share a few I found.  Found one of my dining room table when it was new.  No scratches, no markers on it, no nail polish remover, no dog teeth marks, nothing.  Hope you enjoyed my little blast from the past. 

A Saturday here

It was mainly uneventful but I will have to brag about one thing!  Well, one kid.  Day started out cooking breakfast (Warren did) and then to the trash dump.   Finally got rid of the redneck mattresses on our front porch.  Nothing like walking up to your door and seeing trash sitting there.  Glad it's gone.  After that, we decided to go see Nik's artwork which was on display at Showcase of Stars!  yep, told you I had to brag.  LOL. 

This is Alex.  Not very happy is he?  I made him come w/ us.  Older kids were at home & he wanted to stay home with them.  However, we can not leave Alex w/ them as we've tried it before & every time they've had trouble w/ him.  We told him when his behavior changes, he can then stay home w/ the teens like Bojan does.  Obviously, he was not cooperating with this deal.  Don't worry, he came around.  

Warren is trying to lift him up to his picture.  I don't know where that silly smile is coming from.  He just lost another tooth.  Only fear I have now is he's been trying to loosen his permanent teeth.  

This is it!  Nik's drawing and no indication of any Stephen King thoughts whatsoever.  I love it.  He read his mommy's mind.  Relief seeing this picture.  

Nik in front of the school's board of selected artwork for this show.  It was really neat seeing all the different pieces of artwork from different schools.  

Upon leaving, Alyona wanted to find our car.  She said what color is it again?  This is pure FAS folks.  That car has been in our driveway for years.  Years.  And today she asked what color it was.  But, the look on her face was priceless when she found it in the parking lot.  She was quite proud of herself.  It's the little things that make the difference to our kids.  Her feeling like she conquered a parking lot is priceless to me.  

After the art show, we went to look at barns/ sheds.  We must find a solution if we are unable to add onto the house.  I will explain our housing situation later.  We then stopped by the outlet center.  We usually go to the Premium Outlet Center here in Smithfield but had never gone to the JR ones.  Went to the Soffee one that had athletic stuff.  Amazing deals!  We are going back.  When I can pick up shirts, sweats, shorts, & other things for $1.00 to 2.98, we do.  That is cheaper than I can find at Walmart or even consignment shops.  And these are brand new items.  Had 3 kids w/ us & let them pick out some items.  Going back w/ the teens tomorrow as some can use some gym clothes for school & running and some can use some new shirts.  Any locals should try it.  I really was shocked at the deals.  Unreal.  After all that, we took them to Micky D's for .99 sundaes.  It really hit the spot.  By this time, Alex had forgotten he was mad.  We discussed how he can change some behavior & how we'll work on it.  He was okay w/ the plan.  With FAS children, you must do baby steps.  

We got home & the teens had cleaned up some of the house & given both dogs a bath.  Kota threw up in the tub.  I'm not sure why as he's never done that before.  Strange.  Girls had gone skating last night w/ friends.  So, Irina said "mom, I'm almost afraid to ask."  I knew what was coming.  Though I thought it was going to be can so & so spend the night.  Instead, she asked if they could go out to the movies tonight.  Cheap seats.  (that's what we call them here).  Now, they'd been out w/ their friends all night last night & today.  But, I said yes on the condition that next weekend they MUST stay home and help w/ the yard.  They agreed.  I'm glad they have friends and go out but they also must help out here a bit too.  They did today which was great.  But I also have to monitor closely b/c once FAS kids get out of routine, it is hard to reel them back in.  The attitude changes dramatically if they're up too late.  It's a hard balance really.  My kids do have a social life.  There is no problem w/ that.  LOL.  

tomorrow is church and then a Sam's run.  When you are down to ketchup & canned peaches, it's time to go to the store.  LOL.   Well, we have more than that but you get the picture.  With the chaos of our current "situation" over the last two weeks, we didn't get to do our normal Sam's run.  With life returning to normal, we must re-supply.  Hate taking the kids w/ us b/c we're in there twice as long & end up w/ twice as much stuff.  But, trying to conserve gas, you go when you're out that way.  Coming home, letting the puppies out and then off to the outlets for some spring/ summer clothing for the kids. It's mostly the teen girls that need a few things.  That and Alyona.  She is so skinny it is hard to fit her.  I think Warren & Max may work on fixing up some of the bikes tomorrow too which would be wonderful.  I got half the towels out today & will get the other half out on Monday.  

Kids have had a decent weekend.  All have gotten to hang out with friends.  Nice to see them having fun again.  Laughing is definitely back & that is awesome.  I'm having issues w/ the school & that will be a separate post.  Homeschooling is definitely in the future for some this coming year.  I have gotten a ton of paperwork stuff done.  Adoption stuff, grant stuff, organizing, forms for deaf camp, & a few other things as well.  Busy but it's a good thing.  Much to do tomorrow & we loose an hour so I need to get going.  All the kids are doing really well.  Alex was very proud that he got a 100 on his math test.  So were we.  It is just nice that things are going back to the way they were after such a harsh situation.  Can't wait for tomorrow.  Another sunny day here in NC.  Talk soon, I'm sure. 

Tidbits about me

Well, this is a public blog & some of you don't really have any clue as to who I am.  Other than an adoptive mom.   So, thought I'd share a bit more.  Just stupid little facts about me.  Mostly boring stuff.  But, it may show you I'm not too much different than anyone else.  So, here goes nothing.

1.  My favorite color is green.  Warren will tell you I try to paint every room green and it never ever turns out to be the right green.  Never.  You have no idea how many cans of green paint we've been through.

2.  I HATE feet.  Can't stand them.  Not my own, not my kids' feet, not anyone's feet.  Nope, not even baby's feet.  Even the "littles" know I only paint fingernails, not toenails.  No kidding.  My kids try to torment me by putting their feet on me & laughing.  Don't know where this disdain of feet came from but doesn't seem to be going away any time soon.

3.  I long to be a vegetarian but just can't give up Warren's burgers.  I love a hamburger.  I do.  I was almost vegetarian in college.  Almost.  It was those dog gone burgers that did me in.  Just can't seem to get those out of the diet.  Given up on that dream for sure.  Been eating a lot healthier but definitely no vegetarian diet here.

4.  Absolutely love flowers.  Flowers just make you smile.  Doesn't matter what time of year or even what kind you get.  They just seem to make you smile.  Love it.  I love having a yard surrounded in flowers in spring and summer.  Each year, I add a bit more.  Though I love flowers, don't care for roses one bit.  Though I think that has something to do with making countless rose arrangements during Valentine's Day & Mother's Day when I worked at a florist shop.  My favorite flower is a Gerber daisy though those don't last a whole long time.

5.  Another favorite which is no secret on here is chocolate.  Oh my goodness.  It is my guilty pleasure so to speak.  Not a big fan of dark chocolate but give me a milk chocolate candy bar & you've made a friend.  Kids know I'm a chocolate nut.  They offer up their candy from parties every time.  Very sweet of them.  "mom, I saved you one!"  Though, most my kids like those sour sweet stuff.  Yuck.  I am one of those people who could most likely live off chocolate.  Visiting the Hershey Factory in PA was SO much fun for me.  I'd love to take all the kids there one day.  We went when we just had the 4.  We were there for a wedding at the time. 

6.  I have always dreamed of having a baby in the house.  Each& every adoption we've started out doing, I always, always wanted a baby.  Youngest we've ever adopted was 3yo.  Almost 4yo.  No baby in sight.  By now, I've accepted the fact I must wait for grandkids.  Still, if a miracle baby arrived, I'd embrace it.  Since that is not happening,must wait for grandkids.  Surely, they're going to be spoiled. 

7.  I have never played the game Clue.  Always wanted to, always wanted to learn but never have played.  May have to do that soon.  Maybe my kids can teach me.

8.  I always, always wanted to learn how to play the piano.  I played the flute & piccolo while growing up & even into college.  However, I always longed to learn how to play the piano.  Just never had the chance to.  Maybe that can be on my bucket list.

9.  I hate vomit.  Now, I know that every one pretty much hates this but I take it to a whole new level.  Though w/ kids, I have indeed gotten more accustomed to being able to be in the same room now w/ a kid & not feel like I will throw up as well.  Yes, that is a tidbit I'm sure you could have lived without.

10. I could live at the beach.  I LOVE everything about the beach.  Everything.  The sounds, the taste, the sand on my skin, everything.  I could seriously give up everything to live at the beach.  All my possessions just to wake up to the beauty of the beach.  Now, ironically, I married a man who HATES the beach.  I was a beach bum growing up.  Even in college I'd escape to the beach whenever I could.  When you are at the beach, just seems a huge sense of calm & relaxation comes over you.  For me, the hour & 20 minutes away that we live from the beach seems like forever.  I used to be 15 minutes from Atlantic Beach.  So, hard for me to see my current home as close to the beach. 

11.  I don't know how to french braid and really do feel guilty about it.  I badly want to learn.  My kids tried to teach me but quickly I learned they had no clue either.  LOL.  Got a good laugh out of it though.

12. I have severe night blindness and can no longer drive at night. Not even at dusk.  Thought I could make it the one day last year when I was to take Irina to a friend's house.  In the neighborhood, I could not see the people walking.  It was too close for me.  Optometrist said the only thing I can do is stop driving at night or dusk.  Haven't driven at night or dusk since that day.  No, I didn't hit anyone or anything like that.  Just scared me too much to ever do it again.  Day driving only here for me.

13. I'm terrified of the dentist.  I take my kids regularly but I haven't gone.  This is not a normal fear either.  This is pure terror from bad experiences in the past.  Next time I go, it has to be sedation dentistry.  Only other person who has this problem is Nik.  We're the dentist chickens of the house.

14. I can type super fast.  Not trying to brag, that's not it.  Just used to be a secretary & if you type all day long, you kind of get fast at it.  That's why I think nothing of a long post.

15. I love antique furniture but am afraid to have any in this house.  You can pretty much guess as to why.  Maybe one day.  I just think it has a lot of character.  Used to go to antique shops in college.  Can you imagine going to an antique shop w/ this bunch now?  Me neither. 

16. I grew up a military brat.  Always hated that term and still do.  I think every kid hated the word military brat growing up.  I lived along the east coast mostly but spent my high school years in Stuttgart, Germany.  Learned so much there and experienced even more.  It is a beautiful country and dream of going back to visit one day.

17. I nearly drowned in a rafting accident.  It was years ago and in high school.  This was much better than being medivac off the mountain in Switzerland & taken to a French hospital where no one spoke English or German(only two languages I could speak).  It was a skiing accident.  Looking for a crepes stand.  Don't ask.  LOL. 

18. Rode in a Russian ambulance in one of my adoption trips.  If any of you ever complain about western medicine...don't!  It is the BEST thing ever.  Trust me.  Once you experience a ride on a gurney w/ other people's blood, vomit, & body fluids clearly visible, you never ever complain about waiting in an American ER ever again!  Never. 

19. I'm a bargin hunter by nature.  My kids and I do go to yardsales and I'm not afraid to admit that.  Girls and I have a lot of fun together finding bargins and having a good time.  Though, we never agree on the music.  Yardsales are about to start back up big time.  can't wait.

20. I don't think 7 or even 10 kids is considered a big family.  Everyone tells me it is but when we're all sitting in the living room or dining room it just feels very comfortable.  Not a huge amount of people.  Just our family. 

There are many more tidbits I'm sure you don't know about me.  Thought it was time to share a bit about me  since I share a bunch about the kiddos.  Hope you don't mind.  I know it's pretty boring stuff but hey, I'm not that exciting to talk about.  Just my kiddos.  LOL.  I'll have to share what Bojan did yesterday.  It was a long Saturday today. 

I hate daylight savings time in the spring.  I need that extra hour.  Not to have it taken away.  All my FAS kids always seem to react a bit differently with the time changes.  We go through it every year.  Take about two weeks to get them settled back down.  Odd, but it's noticeable.  I used to think the full moon thing was bologna but it's not.  My FASers are much more out of sorts when there is a full moon.  Crazy.  Thank goodness those don't happen often.  My kids are supposed to be in bed now.  It's 9:45.  I can tell waking them up for church tomorrow will be quite the challenge.  I'm up for it.  Okay, going to try to get some of these kiddos in bed. 

Friday, March 11, 2011

Random pictures

I've had a few pictures hanging around the camera & thought it was just time to do a random picture post.  No real rhyme or reason behind the pictures.  Just they were there & thought I'd share them.  Not even sure what is all in here.  Might be interesting.  Hope you enjoy them. 

This was after they'd had a bath.  You couldn't ask for a better big brother.  Seriously.  Max is very sweet to his younger sibs.  I mean, they'll have their tiffs but for the most part, he's always there to play around with them.  And they eat it right up as you can see in this picture. 

Not sure what is w/ that look.  Looks like chocolate around his mouth.  Who knows though.  This was Nik's way of telling me he wants a haircut.  He came and told me he's like a girl.  He hates his hair being any bit shaggy.  Yet Alex will want to look like a shaggy dog before he let's me get it cut.  

Just a few more signs of spring.  Love it!  The colors just start to pop everywhere.  We have pear trees all around the neighborhood in full bloom.  Beautiful white blooms.  Daffodils are out in our yard as well.  Grass is showing signs of life again.  Can barely wait to get started with the garden and flower planting.  Most mine are perennials so very little I have to do as far as planting goes.  Can't wait to share the end results.  

My kids are still loving those snuggies from Christmas time.  Alyona is at the age of the akwkward smile.  I think all kids go through that at some point.  Still, beautiful to me!  She truly is our girlie girl. 

I know this is horribly blurry but still love it.  Nik wanted to put a Santa hat on me.  He thought it was just too funny.  Love that little boy of mine.

My son is NOT happy I'm taking his picture.  Can you tell?  I ask Bojan all the time why in the world he likes to read here.  Still no answer.  We have chairs, couches, beds, etc.  Many, many places that would be comfortable.  This is where he likes to read.  Hardwood floors.  I don't get it.  Bojan has boots. He must wear boots due to his clubfoot & instability of the leg/ankle.  It is very hard some times to find boots for him.  Lucked out last week at Target.  $12.48!  I was thrilled as was he.  Cool looking so that helps.  

That's it for now as for random pictures.  I'll have more stuff tomorrow.  Catching up big time.  Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy the great outdoors.  going to be near 70 tomorrow here.  Can't wait.

Need a laugh??

A friend sent me these links and I seriously can not stop laughing at some of the pictures.  Why laugh?  because many of these have happened to me.  Title of the site is not the most appropriate but content is not bad at all.  Just simple pictures.  Enjoy a laugh this weekend.

I cracked up when I saw that dog's head in a jar.  Knowing he's okay  you feel alright about laughing.  I thought about submitting some of the stuff my kids have done.  That though, I'll save for another post. 

Flabulous to Fabulous & bits & pieces

Oh my oh my.  So much happening here.  Okay, so started this post this morning and then no phone or internet for quite a few hours.  I had so much going on today & really needed at least a phone.  Hey, it happens.  Littles have left and it's Friday.  My kids are all playing outside w/ their friends so it's my chance to play catch up.  Then, get busy to making meatballs for dinner.  Yumm, baked meatballs.  I don't even know where to start.  So much I want to share but tons I can't disclose yet.  Our situation is still ongoing but hopefully coming to an end the week after next.  More on that later. 

Okay, we have a major problem w/ the pups.  They are escaping.  At first, it was Alaska.  Today, Kota learned how to jump the back fence.  Lovely.  I need ideas and fast on how to fix this problem.  We can not do electrical fencing as I have kids here.  Can't afford to spend any more on a fence either.  So, no invisible fencing will work.  Ideas, please, please send them my way.  Alaska is part Austrailian Shepard.  We see a lot of this in her.  She can RUN.  And fast.  So, I need suggestions and solutions. 

Let's see, what else is going on.  Lots of organizing of appointments and such and happenings here.  Bojan just came in & I cleaned him up.  Hmm, let's see what the genuis did today.  Just before he did something, he said this to his friend " stupid things have consequences."  Anyone even want to hazard a guess at what he did today?  Anyone?  I can't hold it in any longer.  He decided to hang by his feet (keep in mind, one prosthetic that is new) and go down the zip line like that.  Yes, yes he did.  Came home w/ bandaids all over his back.  You have to see this.  I actually took pictures b/c Bojan wanted to see what his back looked like.  Remember, the kids put the bandaids on.  I'll put them up on here one day.  I asked the boys, did you clean the wounds first.  Can you even guess that answer?  No.  Of course not.  So, I peel all the bandaids off and clean it up.  He landed on pinecones, leaves, and sticks.  Looked like major road rash.  I think it was a lesson learned. 

Otherwise, kids are doing pretty well.  I am too.  Trying to shake some under the weather cold.  That is just b/c of the last 2 stressful weeks.  Some of the most stress I've ever had in my life.  That brings me to that stress diet I'm involuntarily on.  I lost 6 lbs. last week but nothing this week which makes sense.  I will be getting back to normal soon I hope.  Once the stress is away, that will help.  Then it will just be normal adoption and school stress.  I can handle that though. 

We may take the kids to the zoo tomorrow.  We'll see.  It's supposed to be beautiful outside.  Have something to share regarding Nik but want to wait till I have pictures tomorrow.  VERY proud of him!  Oh, Alex got another 100 on a math test but now I'm questioning the teacher.  How can you get a 100 if I ask him 9 X 3 and he answers 6?  Doesn't make sense.  We have an IEP meeting coming up.  Should be interesting.  They want to leave stuff as is.  Umm, NO.  Changes will be made.  I'll have a separate post about the schools here soon.  We have some big decisions to make.  Though in our minds, we've already made them. 

I do need to get going.  More posts to come.  Catching up this weekend on posts.  So, one on schooling.  One on the good pups.  One on random pictures.  Plan on a semi-relaxing evening.  Teen girls are gone w/ a friend to the skating rink.  Hope you all enjoy your evening.  Lots more to share.  It's just been very busy this week & I'm trying to do one thing at a time.  Where is that 50 hour day when you need it? 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Trouble makers

No, I'm not talking about the kids.  Well, not this time.  LOL.  Though, the milk jug boxing was a bit much yesterday.  No, I'm talking about our troublemaking pups.  Yep, Alaska and Kota.  Have they done anything lately?  Let's see....

This is what they did to the couch while we were out one day.  Not sure who did it but my guess is Alaska.  Stuffing out of the cushion.  With 11 kids here daily & 2 dogs, you can see why we picked an olive colored couch.  I said once my kids are all grown, my entire house is going to be white w/ crystal all over.  YOu know, all the things you can't do while you have kids.  

Now, this picture may not look too guilty at first, but let me give you another view and then you make a decision.

Alaska is laying on my linen blinds.  My white blinds.  She and Kota had just finished playing in the mud pit of a yard.  They are covered in wet mud.  Don't know why no one picked up those blinds to begin with but doesn't surprise me one bit.  Not a bit.  

Not a great picture but gives you an idea of what they do.  If you look at the middle window, you can see the blinds are different.  They chew them out to look out the window.  This is Irina's room.  She has the front bedroom of the house and the dogs absolutely love it.  they can see everything.  Here, they were watching the kids get off to school.  

So even though they 've been chewing and destroying, we still love them like crazy.  They have been awesome and I'll have a separate post on that as well.  Though they're trouble at times, we do love them like crazy.  Everyone does.  More on the good dogs a bit later.   Our biggest troublemaker right now is indeed Alaska.  She is digging holes all over the yard and then my kids & the "littles" are making them bigger.  URGHH!!!  We're going to try to fix that this weekend but we have to haul dirt in.  Not sure of the cost of that but since Warren fell twice & a few of the rest of us too, we need them filled in.  On the ever growing to do list.  I don't think that list will ever be checked off.  Got to go.  Have a wonderful week. 

Waiting pups Wednesday

Just have to give a heads up to locals about an upcoming pet adoption event.  It is the same organization we got Alaska & Kota from.  Couldn't be more pleased.  They have wonderful foster families for these dogs and kittens.  Here is a link: paw prints .  They do have some really cute puppies!  Love little Saduka & Billy.  They'll be in Knightdale if you want to check them out locals.  I warn you all, go to one of these local events at Petsmart one weekend, and you may just walk home with a dog or two!  That's what happened to us & we couldn't be happier.  Hope you enjoy looking at all the cute pups. Young and old!  All need homes. 

Dining Room Dish

For those new, I thought every once in awhile, I should pull out some random things said at our dining room table.  Each night, it is filled w/ laughter.  Mostly due to stupid stuff that Max & Bojan are up to.  Tonight's discussions included all kinds of things including a war criminal from Auschwitz.  Don't even really know how that one got started.  Oh yeh, from Bojan wanting to change his eye color.  Let's see, some other conversations or stuff said.  It started off w/ Warren telling Max "you do not need a headlight to see your food."  Max had a head light on shining on his food.  For whatever reason, I don't know.  Another thing heard at our table tonight was from me this time.  "I would like to eat a meal without quarters or keys falling in my face!"  Warren thought it would be cool to teach the kids the quarters on the elbow trick.  URGHH!!!  Bojan then tried it with keys.  There was something hilarious said that had us in stitches but I'm having trouble recalling it.  Maybe it will come to me in a few minutes.  I think next few table conversations I'm going to keep a pen & paper by me.  Well, need to go.  Next episode of dining room dish I'll be able to recall more.  I just know tonight we could not stop laughing.  It was great.  Stupid, but good.

Well, forgot to post this yesterday.  So, now it's Wednesday.  And, tonight was not much different.   Bojan & Yana had made this stupid bet that neither could touch the back of a chair or anything.  First one to do it owed the other one a dollar.  Made for some unusual sitting positions, that's for sure.  Just b/c that wasn't interesting enough, Max & Nik decided to invent milk jug boxing.  Yes, using the emptied milk jugs, they started boxing w/ each other laughing hysterically.  I would like one sit down meal other than Thanksgiving to do just that...sit down.  With no noise, no funny business, no skits, no nothing.  Just quiet, calm talk.  I'm beginning to think that is near impossible in this dining room.  The majority of folks that have had dinner w/ us will agree.  And this concludes another episode of dining room dish. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

She finally did it!!!!

Can't believe I can finally post about this accomplishment for our daughter.  You have no idea over the past few years, how hard it has been to watch her sleep on a dog bed or the hardwood floors.  Don't freak out. This was all BY CHOICE.  She had a bed.  She just would never sleep on it.  To understand Alyona's sleeping habits, you must go back to the orphanage days.  At her orphanage, they slept two to a bed.  And these were NOT big beds either.  I have pictures but for the life of me can't figure out how to load them.  They were from their orphanage. 

Anyhow, for the past few years, Alyona has chosen not to sleep on a bed.  for months we were finding her in odd places all over the house in the morning.  Behind doors, in the armoire, by the bookcase, under the table, etc.  Her favorite spot became by the bookcase.  Well, we hated seeing her asleep on the hardwood floors every morning.  So, since she's so tiny, we went out and bought a brand new dog bed.  At the time, Bear never used one.  We put it by the bookcase and that is where she preferred to stay.  We finally were able to graduate her to a mattress on the floor.  Then, a mattress in the loft area. Then, we finally were able to do this:

That is Alyona testing out her new bed!  Alex messing around underneath it.  This is not Alyona's room.  She doesn't have a room yet but that will change next month thanks to a local church in Benson!  For now, Alyona is in the loft area. 

Still, unsure of this whole bed idea.  As you can see, she's a little timid of it.  She prefers to be under it.  For awhile, I thought she might sleep under it.  But, no.  We conquered it!  She remained in her bed the entire night & Alaska slept at her feet.  Alyona felt safe and comfortable in her own bed.  This is a huge accomplishment for her after so many years.  Very proud she stayed with it. Wasn't sure it would happen though.  The first night it was nearly 11 o'clock and she told me she was too excited to sleep.  

Happy to report she loves her new bed.  there is a trundle that comes w/ it but we don't have a mattress for it.  Don't have any daybed bedding yet but eventually we will.  For now, a Dora comforter will do.  Trust me, she doesn't mind.  She has her bed.  But more than that, Alyona has her confidence.  Love it.  Just had to share.  It may not seem like a big deal but trust me, this is huge for her.  

Got to go.  Been a long day & need to get dinner ready.  max & the boys are messing around w/ the walkie talkies pretending to arrest people.  This could get interesting.  LOL.  Is homework done  More to come. 

Monday, March 7, 2011

Max's drawings and missed exits

Figured we hadn't had one of Max's drawings for awhile.  Overdue.

Here's a view of what Max drew for school.  He had to draw one of his hallways at school.  I'll explain part of it in a second.  Love the depth perception here.

Here is another view.  Now, the thing in the middle of the hallway is a trap door.  Max added that himself.  They do not have a trap door in their floor at school.  He wanted the trap door to show the boiler room.  I think it's pretty good if I do say so myself.  

Now, next topic is Missed Exits.  That is the name of our other blog though not up & running yet.  We are going to do it though.  We want it only to chronicle the travels we take w/ our children.  Some local, some events, some further away.  Just never know where you'll end up if you go past a missed exit & just explore.  That is what we are hoping to do a lot of.  Explore new things w/ the kids.  So, we have been planning a few things.  March will be left open as we still have this "situation" to deal with which I do promise to disclose at some point.  Thought I'd tell you a little bit of what we have planned for April, May and June.  In April, we have folks coming on April 9th to help fix our home up.  We can not express enough how appreciative we are to the Turner Memorial Baptist Church in Benson!  I can not wait to meet these folks and work with them.  More about it a little later.  Just had to share the good news.  So, that is a weekend we will definitely be here.  The first weekend in April, we plan on going to the zoo.  Third weekend in April is camping, weather permitting.  First w/ the new pups so that should be a riot.  What else?  Oh, we have Easter Break in there and I think some of the kids are going to Warrens' parents house for a few days.  They'll have fun for sure.  We also have Special Olympics for Alyona in April.  April 29th.  We're also going to an airshow in mid-April.  That will be fun.  May help out w/ Relay for Life with our church but trouble is it is the same day as Special Olympics.  Depending upon the timing of it all is whether or not I can help w/ that.  I'd like to though.  We'll see.  So, April is packed.  We have a zoo pass, air show is free, Special Olympics is free to watch, camping is $12 for a site, etc.  Costs will be  minimal for sure.  I write that b/c many wonder how we can take the kids to different places in this economy...budgeting.  

May will bring a trip to Roaring Gap, NC for Deaf Camp.  Camp Cheerio.  It is a cueing camp but people cue, talk, and sign there.  Wonderful experience and I encourage all HOH or deaf families to attend.  We also most likely will go to the aquariums on the coast in May.  I know there was something else but can't think of it at the moment.  June is end of school and an Orenburg Reunion in NC.  Also, we'll be hitting the beach.  We can make a day trip out of it so it only costs us gas money.  Okay, so who knows how much that will be in June!  We also plan to visit a few local museums.  And, I found a paddle on the river at moonlight for just $3 to $5 a piece.  Should be neat if we decide to go.  It's in Durham.  For those being cost effective & still trying stuff to do w/ their kids, start w/ museums and join local groups.  We have a free paper here called Carolina Parent.  Has all kinds of activities listed and events.  We try to do little things throughout the year and then a few bigger trips for them.  

Our BIG trip will hopefully be in summer of 2012.  We are dreaming of taking all 10 kids cross country.  Yep, suicide mission I'm sure.  LOL.  Especially, by the end of the trip.  I have heard from other big families the cross country trip is either something you absolutely love or without a doubt hate.  There is no in between.  One of our docs has already said to let him know for sure when we do this and he'll make "bets" of what state we get to before we turn around.  He said, hey, you can pay for gas that way & we all get a good laugh.  Yeh, I'm not laughing.  (don't worry, there is no betting going on, this is all talk).  I'm sure there'll be some type of poster involved.  Though, I'm betting we get to Graceland and have to turn around.  They want to see Graceland, all want to see Mount Rushmore, Grand Canyon, and quite a few other places.  Over the next few months, we'll have them pick out some places they'd like to go and then narrow it down.  Should be interesting.  Again, this is a dream that we hope to do.  It will take us 4 weeks.  Of togetherness.  in tight spaces.  Learning how to share when we don't want to and things like that.  LOL.  Again, this is quite a ways out but since it is so huge a deal, it will take tons of planning for sure.  And, if gas hits $5 a gallon, it's out anyhow.  I really want to make this a learning experience for the kids.  And for me.  Maybe a book afterwards:  how to survive a road trip w/ your kids.  Possible title?  My all time dream is to take the kids on a Disney Cruise.  I know it won't happen but I can surely dream.  It is 4 days to a week and that is perfect for our kids.  Not only that, they entertain every age group. And, we don't have to do the driving.  Or the pitching of the tent.  So, if any of you ever see a Disney Cruise contest to enter, let me know.  I'm sure that would be the only way we'd ever get to go.  UNLESS, we catch travelzoo's deal. They do a Disney Cruise deal every year where it costs you just $200 for the whole deal.  It goes super fast though and you have to pay attention.  Can't remember if it comes out in September or October but figured I'd pass the info along.  

Lots of good things happening in the future I hope.  We truly want our kids home to be able to share some of these adventures with us.  I'll keep you posted.  this weekend, museums seem to be what we'll be doing as weather is still a bit iffy.  Have a wonderful week.

Manic Monday

It is definitely a manic Monday for sure.  Crazy stuff.  Finished  a letter we needed to write regarding our current situation that I still am unable to fully disclose.  Sorry.  Has to be though.  Anyhow, it's done.  Pray that things continue to head toward the right direction & that truth will continue to prevail. Yesterday we did manage to get quite a bit done.  Despite Yana handing me an IEP meeting paper at 5pm.  It's for today of course at 2pm.  Not sure what I'm going to say.  It is for an annual review & to discuss what track we want to do for high school.  Right now, I have very mixed feelings about it all.  Yana is a point.  In addition, she does ALL homework & that is "fluffing" her real grades.  Reason I say that is b/c she is not getting any information out of school. Otherwise, she wouldn't fail all tests & quizzes. That's how you determine if someone has retained the info & she has not.  Yet, school wants to push her along anyhow.  When you have a child that needs academic help, you don't keep pushing them through the system.  You figure out how to help them.  Maybe they have new info, I don't know.  We'll see.

Only appointment medically that we have this week is to get Bojan's leg adjusted again.  Other than that, nothing.  So, I think I"ll make an appointment.  Been having trouble w/ my right leg lately & guessing it's the veins.  We'll see.  Varicose veins are hereditary & I know for a fact I have some.  Always better to be safe than sorry.  I'll call tomorrow.  Not sure how long the wait is but at least I'll be on the list.

No news on the adoption front.  Hopefully, we can hear some info soon.

Some really awesome news is that a local church has volunteered to help our family out & get the room ready for the new girls.  We are thrilled!  Patching up the boys' room and then painting it for the girls.  Also, we may be able to do some work on the rotting window sills.  This help couldn't have come at a better time.  More on it in a bit.  Date will be April 9th. 

Kids are doing much better this week as are we.  Nice to get back to normal.  Well, as normal as it gets around here.  Praying for a quiet week for a change.  I have so much to catch up on and trying to get it done one thing at a time. 

Great news is Alyona has finally, finally slept on a bed!  Took her forever to get to this point but excited for her.  She was having a difficult time deciding if she really wanted to sleep under the bed or on it.  Of course, she kept telling me she was too excited to sleep.

Started this earlier today.  Had the IEP and it went as expected.  We are doing a re-val on her and getting a better idea of where she is at.  Yana is very weak in math as I suspected.  Not many FAS/FAE kids excel in math.  Just the way it is.  They have trouble processing the steps in the problems.  However, she has gotten further than any of my other kids in regards to math.  She has a love & passion for poetry and teacher said she's pretty decent at it.  We are trying to find a way to help her by focusing on her strengths in academics not the weaknesses.  We'll get there.  We are having another meeting right before school's out and going over some things together.  I do worry about her in high school.  Time will tell.

Nothing else today.  Oh, yeh.  Alaska has figured out how to climb up & over hte fence. She escapes every single time.  URGHH!!!  We spent the day chasing her and Max had to bury a dead squirrel.  Max is like "shouldn't we say a prayer or something."  My response:  "Max, I'm not giving some ulogy for a squirrel.  Just dig the hole & be done."  Retrospect, I probably should have been a bit more sympethetic but hard to get attached to a squirrel that's made a disaster of your yard.  Maybe next time.  LOL.  Lots more to do tonight.  Laundry for one and filling out app for Camp Cheerio.  And, responding to Orenburg Reunion.  It's in NC so no hotel needed. Yeh.  More later.  Chicken is in the oven and homework is calling. 

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Dinner & a movie

Well yesterday was Saturday.  Wasn't all that warm & since Warren fell twice this past week, we opted not to go to the zoo.  Instead, there were things we needed to get done.  Older kids had friends spend the night Friday night & since 2 were still leftover, gave them the option of going with us though not exactly sure at that point what we were going to do.  Warren had taken off the trash w/ Alex that morning.  I headed out w/ Alex, Nik & Alyona to a local consignment shop.  They had half price off winter items.  Found a nice spring jacket for Nik for $5.  Not bad.  They got a few items for church since we were low on those.  It's so, so hard to find Alyona clothes that don't look inappropriate.  I can't believe they make shorts that short for little girls.  It's nuts.  We only found 2 pair thus far.  Alyona is so hard to fit as she is desperately skinny w/ her eating issues.  From what I hear though failure to thrive kids do tend to be on the small size.  I'm just thankful that last year we finally exited the toddler sizes.  All in all, did great at that store. 

Next we ate lunch at home.  Just some salad but it was refreshing.  Full bellies make for smoother shopping. 

All got in the van and off we went.  Stinks b/c we have to remove 3 carseats since the tots aren't there during the weekend & we need the room.  Just a pain taking 3 other carseats out.  You can see we left the one in.  Went to Target first which had some really, really awesome deals.  Able to get shoes and undergarments for the girls.  Stuff we needed and all was on sale.  Did some more stuff & decided to go out to dinner at Logan's Roadhouse.  We expected a wait and well, we're not expecting an hour & a half wait.  So, left and ended up at Chick Filet.  With a playground so no complaints. 

We took up three booths while there.  Teen girls in the back as you can see.  Alyona trying to give her pickles away.  Bojan was sitting w/ Warren & I.  Not sure why either b/c usually he & Max are stuck like glue chatting away.  

As some may know, some of our FAS kids are on medications.  A schedule must be followed.  However, sometimes w/ teens, that does not get done.  If Max takes his meds late, he is extremely tired & out of whack.  Part of this though was NOT from forgetting to take his meds on time but for staying up late w/ his buddy.  Combo of the two.  He refueled w/ food though & was good to go for the next stop.

This is Nik's new thing.  Make a face right before I take the shot.  He smiles & then goes to this face.  Then, laughs hysterically when I'm done.  URGHH!

After re-fueling at Chick Filet, we did end up going to Shoe Carnival as Max didn't find shoes at Target first.  He was the only one left.  Well, him & Warren.  Let the teen girls go down to Blockbuster while we looked for shoes.  Found some for Alyona for $5 so picked them up.  Warren got his on sale as did Max.  So, 9 of us got shoes & between what we have and what we got, we are set until August.  See, in summer, my kids live in cheap flip flops.  I'm grateful for that.  I try buying them sandals but nope.  They go back to those el cheapo flip flops.  I've realized I should be very thankful.  LOL.  Got shoe sticker shock.  Thank goodness for sales.  Went down to Blockbuster to meet the girls.  They are going out of business so DVD's are on sale.  PIcked up Grown ups and Open Season 3.  While paying, I made Warren go next door to grocery store so we could surprise the kids w/ ice cream sundaes when we got home.  I found a Godiva chocolate bar on sale at Blockbuster.  Well, had to have that.  Went home to the puppies.  Teens' friends went home & we all settled down to watch a movie & have a snack.  Just a nice relaxing evening.  

Today, we have got so, so much paperwork to do to work on the "mess" that's going on that we have decided in our best interest to miss service this morning.  Also, have more errands to run.  Taxes MUST be done.  Warren did them but due to the previous adoptions, we have to file adoption decrees, birth certs, etc.  Also, in the state of NC, you got audited last year if you had more than 5 kids.  So, including paperwork in that as well.  Schedules & major organization has to be done today as well.  Last week was so incredibly stressful that it will take us all day to figure out our next step and get it done.  Praying we are submitted to Bulgaria soon.  Also, need to put Alyona's bed together today.  Irina and Yana have youth group at 5pm.  Busy day.  Just a quick note to say we will survive!  And thrive!  More to come.  Have a great weekend everyone.