Thursday, April 7, 2011

Thoughtful Thursday

It's that time of week again.  Thank goodness we're already to Thursday.  Not sure I could take a long week.  Few issues we're working on at home.  Going to try to post some of that a bit later on in the week.  For now, want to concentrate on some of the good around here lately.  When you have children w/ severe behavioral, emotional and mental health issues, it is always a good idea to see the good through the bad.  Trust me, sometimes that is easier said than done.  This has been one of those rough weeks for us.  Yet, I was still looking for those thoughtful moments from my children.  Caught a few.

Irina-- She did two really thoughtful things this week.  I'll show you.

I thought this was sweet of Irina.  She wakes up before anyone else.  She wrote this for Warren & I to see.  

Irina knew Warren was having a time w/ Alyona.  Again, another post for that FAS moment w/ homework.  So, Irina went & made Warren coffee.  Topped it off w/ whip cream. However, Irina wanted it to be a moccha coffee so she added Hershey's syrup to it.  YOu should have seen the after face after he took this sip & realized how she made it.  Still, very thoughtful of Irina.

Max-- We received new bunkbeds for the new girls and Max was so excited, he went and put it together for us.  Now, he must disassemble as it has to be moved so we can paint this weekend.  Quite thoughtful of Max though.


I know it's hard to read but I'll write it out.  The yellow says "To the ones I love."  Blue part says " My heart seems sad when I leave the house to school but it's good cause I know I'll be back soon.  Very soon.  Love, to you all."  Very sweet & thoughtful note she left.  Think we should worry about them being attached at all?  LOL.  I think they're just fine thank you very much.  

Bojan-- On more than one ocassion this week, Bojan has asked if I needed help.  Very thoughtful of him.  He knew I was sick and has really been trying to help me out a bunch.  I can do that mom.  I don't mind.  Was nice to see him thinking of me & I thought that was quite a thoughtful gesture. 

Alyona-- Alyona knew I have been sick the last few days.  Today she told me I can rest (LOL-- 11 kids,no) and she would take care of the "littles" and play with them.  Just a thoughtful moment for her.

Alex-- The other day Alex saw Alyona struggling w/ her shoe laces and went over to help her tie her shoes.  Very thoughtful for Alex, especially after such a RAD week.  I was impressed.

Nik-- He saw someone had written something & put my name on it.  He went & put his name right under my name w/ a heart around it.  Very thoughtful and loving for sure.  

There were more items but this is what stood out to me.  You really can find the good in people.  Sometimes you just have to look a little longer.  Anyone who's met my kids can tell you they are really good kids.  Thoughtful and sweet.  Mindful of manners.  Yes, they do have issues.  We work on that though and move on.  There is much more to come.  Just got home from an IEP meeting for Nik.  Getting ready to take the "littles" to have lunch in a tent in the front yard.  Beautiful day outside for sure.  Hope you all enjoy it.  Some big things happening soon and a post later tonight on it all.  

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Bojan's hands...need ideas

Okay, I'll be brief.  I know you're all excited about that.  Bojan wants to join the band.  I think that's fantastic.  Warren & I were both in band in high school & I went on to play w/ the Marching Pirates in college.  Now, I know you all know that Bojan is missing his right leg & has a clubfoot on the other leg.  I've never really spoken of his hand issues b/c I never gave it much thought as he's adapted so well. But now it is indeed an issue that we have to figure out.  Here's what Bojan's hands look like:

These are both his hands.  So, the one on the left is his right hand.  

This is Bojan's left hand.  As you can see, shortened digits.  There is some webbing but not too bad.  The 2 fingers were fused but separated early in his life in Serbia.  No nails for most the fingers but that shouldn't effect anything in regards to instruments.  

Bojan's right hand.  Ring finger missing as you can see.  Now, this pretty much eliminates quite a few woodwind instruments as you need all fingers for them.  He originally wanted to play the flute or clarinet.  I  played flute & know he can't do that one.  Nor the clarinet.  I know percussion but honestly, I will have 10 kids, 4 "littles", 2 dogs, & enough noise already.  LOL.  Plus, I think the other kids would want to band them.  However, Bojan hasn't shown an interest in drums.  Let me know what you all think.  He's leaning toward trumpet which would be great.  

I know Bojan will practice.  He is also musically inclined unlike his sibs.  That's not to be mean. It's being honest.  Each one has their own talent but Bojan is clearly the only musically inclined one we have so I'd love to encourage this.  Max is into art as is Nik so we really encourage those two in their talents.  Alex loves sports so he does running club & we support that.  Alyona has not found her "niche" yet but she's getting there.  Yana wants to do track this coming year so I think that is fantastic.  Irina is athletic.  Anyhow, I do feel Bojan would excel at band.  Just need to make sure I find the right instrument given his hand deformities.  They all function fine.  But, some will not be able to reach the holes.  Hope that all made sense.  Need some input.  Thanks.

Irina's ASL performance

Last week, Irina had a performance to do w/ her ASL class at school.  It was being held in the auditorium.  Now, I should know w/ my FASers that I can never, ever trust the info that is bestowed upon me by them.  Why you ask?  Because they tend to mix up the info and/ or leave vital info out.  This was true last week as well.  I had happened to be exhausted that day so anything new sprung on me was not going to go over well.  Irina gets home and says she needs to be at the school at 5:30, not 6:00 like she told me.  URGHH!!!  Fine, we can handle that.  Rearrange everything, including the turkey I was cooking for the evening.  We can cut the potatoes up when we get back.  Oh, that was the next thing she sprang on me.  She gave me a program. Originally, I was told about an hour long.  Now, 2 and a half hours long!  URGHH!!!  Fine, we can handle that.  Then Irina tells me she needs a ball for that night's performance.  Okay, not handling that.  I am not going out to buy a ball when I have 45 minutes to get kids off bus, semi fed, meds given, and little homework done in order to leave in the pouring down rain to go see Irina's performance.  Told her to go find one in the woods.  They all land in the creek.  She said no.  She said she can't use balloons.  Told her to figure it out.  She went over to the neighbor's & borrowed a bicycle helmet. 

Irina's part in the play is a pregnant woman.  Nik wanted to play along.  Umm, I think he has his parts mixed up.  His belly is a little high.  LOL.  I honestly don't even see how we had time to take a picture.  As I told Irina, "poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part."  Warren says that at work I think.  She knew this last minute stuff she springs on me does not make me happy.  

You all know the meds Alex are on make him zonk out at 7 pm every single night.  I knew where this night was going even before we got to the program.  It was literally one thing after another.  Oh, before we even got here, we realized we'd left the windows on the van open for 2 days in the downpours.  Sure enough, had to run back inside for beach towels b/c the driver's seat was soaked to the core.  

Got there and sat down.  Chatted w/ another adoptive mom who's also one of my kid's teacher last semester.  She, btw, "gets it."  She understands the kids & their needs.  It was nice talking to someone who can relate.  Kids were settling in and we were waiting for Warren.  Irina did her part and it was extremely short.  She walked on stage, walked off. No signing in that skit for her part.  

Time past and then the audio started feeding back...BADLY.  This in turn was excruciating to Nik.  Now, the processors on his ears are supposed to have limits where only a certain amount of sound is allowed in.  In other words, he can't hear when it is extremely loud.  It's a protective mechanism of sorts.  Well, appeared to be failing.  First three times it happened, I got him back to normal.  He was antsy but okay.  4th time it happened (this was THE loudest for everyone), Nik ripped the implants off his head and screamed like he was being tortured.  It was horrible.  Truly horrible.  He told me (in sign) in the hallway that his ears "popped" inside.  He did not want to put the implants back on & there was no way we were going to make him.  No way.  He did NOT even want to go back in the auditorium.  SO, I'm in the hallway, play's taking an intermission b/c of all the failures and I'm in the hall w/ a distraught child, no one was inside watching my kids, Alex was passed out, Irina was annoying a boy from her class & he was getting aggravated (remember, FAS kids don't have  an "off" switch & can't stop), & Warren had not made it there yet.  To boot, my head was killing me (this was when I was starting to get sick).  I was in no mood, no shape to be there.  Usually, I'm very ept at handling chaos.  This time, I just wanted to sit in the hall & cry like Nik was.  Nope, couldn't do it.  Sucked it up and moved on.  Found gum in my pocket book to keep other kids busy, Warren did come & take over w/Nik.  Alex woke up.  Told Irina to leave people alone.  Decided not to worry about the turkey I'd put in the oven before we left.  Time to sit back down and try to enjoy the rest of the evening.  Nik came back in.  

Warren had to take Nik back out again.  While out there, Irina asked him to take the helmet back to the car.  Well, they came back in and Nik had lots his glasses between the front of the school and the parking lot abyss. Yes, brand new glasses.  AT that point, I was begging for the night to just end.  I couldn't take it any more.  We still had piles of homework, baths and dinner to contend w/ once we made it home.  Anyhow, back to the play that seemed to last forever to our family.  Don't get me wrong, we like seeing stuff like this, just was a very bad night for all of us.

Irina's in the blue shirt.  Signing along w/ the rest of them. It was classes I, II , and III mixed together.  It was great to see all of them signing together.  Very happy Irina took the class and is learning something.  We try to have her teach us stuff everyday.  

Warren towards the end did go back & look for Nik's glasses.  He found them under someone's truck.  Guy of course wondered why he was snooping around under the truck  but then realized what he was doing.  Glasses weren't too worse for wear.  Now, it was onto going home.  In the dark.  You all do remember I can't see in the dark.  I had to have the girls be my eyes.  Warren drove in front of me.  Thankfully, we don't live far from the school.  Still, was very, very tough.  

Got home & assigned everyone tasks.  Nothing like getting home at 9:30 on a school night.  Yana and Nik helped me peel potatoes.  

My potato peelers.  Hey, I finally got them off the floor w/ the potatoes.  Nik is trying to create a monster from his potato.  

Nik's really getting into his job.  I had just basted the turkey.  After dinner we managed to get everyone to bed...late of course.  Irina did a great job and we were proud of her being able to keep up.  It's just everything else that was happening at the time made for a rough night.  Still though, we all made it, learned something and that's what counts.  We do go to all our kids' performances or when they have something at school.  Only time it gets tough is when it's poor planning on the schools' part.  When they have different schools having something at the SAME time.  I guess they don't ever think someone could have a child in middle school and elementary school at the same time.  LOL.  That's when Warren & I split up amongst the schools.  

It was a rough evening for sure.  Not going to lie.  But, we did get to see Irina up there signing and that made it all worth it.  She has come so far for sure.  And if you're wondering, the turkey did not get burned and the potatoes were fantastic.  Sometimes, you just go with the flow around here. 

Adoption Nation

Hello again everyone.  A few short weeks ago I was asked if I'd like to read a book and write a little something about it.  Now, as those who've been reading on here for awhile have figured out by now, I definitely am not of writer quality.  But, I can talk a lot and say what I think.  So, we will see if I can actually give this review thing a try.  The reason I wanted to read this book is I had heard so many things about the first version of it.  Plus, it is of a topic that is near and dear to my heart.  What book is it? 

Adoption Nation.  It is written by Adam Pertman.  It is a book I would have never thought to have read.  But, it is one now that I think every prospective adoptive parent should read.  I have been in the adoption community for over 11 years now and still was learning new things from reading this book!  Now, if you are reading this post and are interested in international adoption, this is not a book about international adoption.  Only touches very lightly on the subject.  Wished I'd seen more about the international side of things but I think I'm biased with that as that is how all my kids came to be in our family.  That being said,it was still a very beneficial book to me even this late of the adoption stage of our lives.  I did learn a lot.

The history of adoption was interesting as was the why of it all.  Many things I honestly did not know.  And when you are doing something so life changing such as adoption, I do believe you should know the how and the why of it all.  This book will help you do that.  On page 34, there was a paragraph that struck me.  There were a few people gathered together and they realized they had all been touched by adoption in some way or another.  Here's the paragraph: " Suddenly--or at least it feels sudden-- adoption is being transformed from a quiet, lonely trip along America's back roads to a bustling journey on a coast to coast super highway.  The infrastructure has become so extensive that it has made all of us-- not just adoptees, birth parents, an adoptive parents-- into fellow travelers.  We should do all we can to make this a smooth ride."  I love this paragraph.  Those new to the adoption world will quickly learn all of us in this community refer to this journey as a roller coaster ride.  There are so many ups and downs and unexpected turns along the way.  But, like the author seems to imply, once we learn to navigate this & help each other along the way, the smoother the ride will be.  I whole heartedly agree.  

This book is a comprehensive look at adoption.  Not just one aspect of it.  Though like I said, it is mostly referring to domestic adoptions whether via private adoptions or from foster care system.  I was glued to the chapter regarding the quest for identity and exactly what that means.  It actually was reassuring for me to read this.  And this applies to every adoption , not just domestic.  For me, it is something I have been struggling w/ for years regarding my childrens' birthparents.  I felt burden by information and what I knew.  Not knowing how much to share with my kids.  This part of the book really put things in perspective for me. I think I too had that hidden fear of some adoptive parents though none of us will openly admit it, of having our kids search for their birthparents and somehow forgot all about the ones who raised and loved them.  It isn't like that and this book definitely gave prime examples of how it wasn't like that.  People who did birthparent searches.  It wasn't so much what happened after as it was the whole reason why they did the search to begin with.  It helped me realize that my kids had an identity before they came to America.  Yes, I knew this but I don't think I really understood it until I read Adoption Nation.  

All in all I really liked the book and the subjects it addressed in regards to adoption.  I believe all adoptive parents should read it.  I've been in the adoption world for a long time and even I found many new interesting facts and information.  It gave me a different perspective at looking at adoption and what it truly means.  Adoption does effect an entire nation and I did not realize the magnitude it had on our nation as a whole.  Simply amazing.  There is a revolution going on in adoption.  Our nation has been transformed & the adoption community especially has been transformed.  Years ago there were few records kept of adoptions and in addition, most adoptions were very secretive.  Nowadays, you may freely express you are adopting.  You can share your stories.  I never even stopped to realize how hard that must have been on folks years back not being able to share their stories with anyone, let alone their children.  There have been many, many changes over the years in adoption and this book, Adoption Nation, addresses these changes.  Makes a huge impact in my opinion on how adoption is viewed.  I do feel it is a must read.  

There were a few things I did not agree with but you'll never agree 100% w/ everything you read.  The issues of international adoptions and why people do them is something maybe I'll have to write about a little later.   I think the author touched on some very important points though on as to why people look overseas to adopt.  There are a lot of rules in foster care and it does indeed leave many prospective parents out of that option to adopt from our American system.  In our state of NC, you are not allowed to adopt from foster care if you have 5 or more kids.  Nor are you allowed if you have more than one special needs child.  Even if you are willing to give the child a home.  So, that is why we had to go overseas as did a neighbor I know.  Point is, Mr. Pertman did touch on the subject of rules preventing prospective parents from adopting the many available children from America.  But, it also gave hope to many.  The book tells of all the changes that have taken place thus far in adoption.  I never realized just how far the adoption community has come and the changes that were made for the better.  

Adoption Nation was well written.  A very comprehensive look at all aspects of adoption and even the many perspectives of adoptions.  I appreciated not only the facts but the varying views on multiple subjects.  All in all, I learned many things I did not know and now have a different perspective on birthparent searches that I intend to share with my children.  I do hope all of you at some point get a chance to read it.  It is a book on adoption and gives such a variety of information, that I do believe there is a little something for everyone.  Thanks for letting me share. 

Monday, April 4, 2011

Raising the Boyd Boys

Raising the Boyd Boys & Lessons Learned

Hello everyone! I got an email tonight on raising boys so I thought I’d create my own such list of the silly or not so silly things boys can do. I’ve come up with 98 so far from my four boys but would love to hear what some of you fellow parents have discovered about raising boys. And I assure you, 100% of it is true. Believe it or not!

The following are my discoveries about raising boys:
  1. A bra thrown up in a ceiling fan will cause the motor to burn up.
  1. Using a drumstick to practice on glass globes on a ceiling fan will break into many pieces.
  1. Swallowing a magnet ball will pass in time and intrigue boys for a few days while looking for it to land in the toilet.
  1. If you leave a hermit crab unattended, he will end up in another room no matter how slowly they crawl.
  1. If you mess with electrical cords around the pool, your hair will stand up.
  1. Shooting a water gun over and over again at the bathroom ceiling does cause it to fall down.
  1. When you jump from one bunk to another bed, sometimes you land…..sometimes you don’t.
  1. Even if you think you’ve locked up the tool box, they can still find a way in and cut themselves with a utility knife. Thus, causing a trip to the ER.
  1. Doing a back flip into a pool that is surrounded by concrete can only end badly.
  1. A 4yo boy CAN pick the lock of your cars.
  1. 1 child in a crowded restaurant is loud. 7 children in a crowded restaurant feels like you broke the sound barrier.
  1. Slime always sticks to carpet and you have to replace the entire room of carpet if you move.
  1. Boys can flood a bathroom in a heartbeat.
  1. A 6yo with a prosthetic leg at a Walmart can really cause a scene. Especially, when his 5yo brother is pretending to twist his leg all the way around and the 6yo is screaming for the crowd the whole time. Thus, causing mom to look stupid at yelling at them both. He had pants on so no one knew. They about died when I yanked the entire leg off to prove my point.
  1. A call to poison control can be funny, especially, the night before a big surgery.
  1. Enough playing in the sand can stop a prosthetic leg from working.
  1. A 4yo boy can erase priceless memories with the push of a record button on a VCR.
  1. You can shove anything down a toilet.
  1. A stream of urine is only about a centimeter wide, a toilet is a foot across. Yet, 4 boys can’t hit it to save their life!
  1. Prying a night light from a socket w/ a screwdriver is a guaranteed way to lose all power in the house.
  1. Despite the red glow, hot isn’t hot until you’ve touched it with your hands.
  1. According to Max, dog food tastes great. He’ll eat it by the handful if you’d let him.
  1. Candy can be hidden anywhere, even behind the toilet in a ziploc bag.
  1. A plunger can also stick to skin.
  1. Pouring old gasoline into a brand new riding lawnmower will cause it to stop running, thus causing another pricey repair.
  1. The underside of a boxspring when pulled completely off can fill an entire boys’ bedroom of “Spiderman Webbing.”
  1. A popsicle stick when stuck in an aquarium will indeed kill fish.
  1. Pooping on the floor and having your sister step in it is a sure fire way to start a war!
  1. Peeing in a toy box lid is never a good idea.
  1. Peeing outside is always more fun than peeing just a few feet away in the bathroom.
  1. Hiding peed in underwear in your pillow cases is NEVER a bright idea but rather a very smelly one once discovered.
  1. Hiding sandwiches under the bed for weeks at a time is a surefire way that even a seasoned CSI expert would not be able to identify it!
  1. If you jump on a brand new 5 gallon bucket of paint long enough, it is bound to explode all over the brand new flooring that dad just installed!
  1. Having your son show a social worker his hacksaw tool while she’s visiting, leaves A LOT of explaining for mom and dad to do.  LOL.
  1. Ramen Noodles WILL float in the toilet.
  1. A 5yo w/ scissors can and will give himself a haircut.
  1. If your son is out of underwear and doesn’t tell you, inevitably, he won’t wear any. Not even when it is a big awards ceremony!
  1. If a tooth is loose, do NOT go into the moon bounce or your brother will kick you right in the mouth causing a very upset child. He did not think the tooth fairy would come b/c he couldn’t find the tooth in the grass.
  1. Going up to an anatomically correct statue of a bull at a zoo is always an interesting adventure. One of the boys went and started “milking” the utters. Another father passing by said “those ain’t no utters kid!”
  1. The size of a coloring page of paper requires, for some unknown reason, a full roll of scotch tape in order to hang it up.
  1. If you leave $21K laying on the bed, the kids are bound to think it is play money. (it was money for the Murmansk adoption trip).
  1. A four year old will swallow liquid glue.
  1. A deaf little boy is VERY loud in a store.
  1. Eyeglasses fit just right down an air conditioning vent. So right in fact, that they can never be retrieved.
  1. A pool in the backyard is a treasure hunt in the summer once drained—from all the things a 4yo has thrown in it all winter long.
  1. Going down a steep gravel driveway on a garden cart can only end in disaster.
  1. A 4yo can find unique places to lose his hearing aides; including a sandbox.
  1. A 6yo boy can down 24 Easter peeps in about 10 minutes. No lie.—he paid the price later.
  1. Boys can make “snow” in the living room. Yep, it’s raining an entire case of packaging peanuts!!!
  1. You can break a brand new sprinkler by filling the garden hose w/ sand( unbeknownst to dad).
  1. You can ice skate using china plates.
  1. If you dump nail polish and nail polish remover in an aquarium the fish will die.  

    53. 4yo can fill two rooms completely full of smoke by trying to make his own popcorn. We learned then our smoke alarms needed replacing.
  1. You can break brick steps w/ just a hammer and a chisel.
  1. An entire front of a fireplace can come off by just “touching” it.
  1. Paper airplanes if aimed properly can accurately land in vomit as your sister is throwing up.
  1. NEVER leave a bag of candy unattended while you get a shower. Honestly, he could have entered a professional eating competition.
  1. Rocks can make pinstripes on a van.
  1. Glue is VERY hard to get out of the dog.
  1. Boomerangs seem to always land on the roof.
  1. If Dad unbolts the toilet and puts it back down, the boys will NEVER tell you that the rest of the toy is still jammed in there. “but daddy, the boat had 2 parts. You only got 1 out.” Urghh.
  1. If you leave motor oil in the car, boys will obviously find it...unscrew the cap and for whatever reason, put it back on but not tightly. Yep, next time you're in the car, it will have just a hint of motor oil from where it was dumped all over the car!
  1. Burying “treasure” in the yard will always be in the place where pipes are...urghh!!!
  1. Not me is a very popular kid in this house.
  1. Permanent marker makes lovely artwork on brand new bamboo flooring. Yep, installers had left just ten minutes earlier. BTW, it comes off w/ nail polish remover.
  1. Boomerangs from Austrailia can make holes in the siding of the house.
  1. 67) Even with all toys out of the tub, boys can still invent a way to make fun. Soap can make the tub slippery as ice and boys can slide back and forth as if they are on the luge.
  1. Trampoline's are a magnet for injuries.
  1. Your little brother is stronger than you think. He can push you in the garden cart all the way over the ravine and into the creek!
  1. A rock can make pinstripes on a car.
  1. If you leave a red crayon on the windowsill, it will look like blood is dripping out the window when it melts.
  1. Electrical cords are easily turned into jump ropes.
  1. Screens make wonderful “soccer goals” against the house. Thus, causing the entire screen for that window to rip apart.
  1. Ticks and private parts on boys do not mix.
  1. If you're putting a tent up in the front yard and can't find the rubber mallet, just take your brother's leg off and hammer it w/ his titanium knee!
  1. Hearing aids can survive being hailed on, rained on, mowed over and stomped on all in the same week and still work.
  1. A 5yo can lock you out of your own home for hours at a time. Urghh.
  1. Going down the top of a hill full speed on your bike w/ Dad's car parked at the bottom, can only end badly.
  1. Getting a bug net sounds like a good idea until one of the boys brings in his capture proudly...a HUGE wasp nest.
  1. A nostril is the perfect size for a honey roasted peanut.
  1. Tiki torches have a strange attraction when lit. Boys just HAVE to touch the fire!
  1. Ziploc containers make better bug catchers than regular bug catching kits.
  1. Lightening bugs act as a nightlight when hidden in a boys room.
  1. Bugs taste better if roasted on top of a tiki torch. (they were daring each other to eat a grasshopper)

  2. 5yo's can run fast when been attacked by a swarm of yellow jackets. Run fast and into the house to try to catch them. Thankfully, he was not allergic. Nearly 30 stings...ouch!

  3. HGTV can seem harmless to most. But even our boys can find something destructive to do from it. They built their own fire pit. 
  4. Too much candy will indeed cause bellyaches.

  5. A sharpie adds a nice design element to brand new furniture. 
  6. To make a bow & arrow, you must use a branch from a tree that has poison oak!

  7. Asking your brother to “draw” something on your neck is just asking for it. What was drawn you ask? Why barbed wire necklace of course!

  8. Using a toilet bowl brush as a back scratcher in the tub is not hygenic. 
  9. Having the entire county search & rescue (helicopter & all!) look for you will truly end up in big time grounding.

  10. Eating 9 apples in a day will prove that they do indeed have fiber

  11. Throwing shoes at your brother the night before a huge vacation can prove to be detrimental to your well being after mom & dad get done w/ punishments. Broke a second story window the eve before our big D.C. Trip. No swimming in the hotel pool that trip!
  1. If you put the word “dare” in front of it, they will do it. No matter what it is or how red or teary eyed they get from eating Jalepeno peppers.
  1. Pliers are a wonderful cutting tool. Did you know they can cut implant coils right on through??

  2. Boys won't tell you they left the toothbrush at a friend's house. Nope. Even when you ask them 2 weeks later. 
  3. You can choke yourself by a homemade weapon like Daredevil has. Yes sir. Out of yarn & kinex pieces. Got there when it was wrapped around his neck.  We had left him in his room playing w/ kinex pieces.  At 8yo, it didn't seem like a bad idea.  Yep, boys can make trouble where there is none.

  4. Stupidity does have consequences. Especially, if you hang by your feet upside down on a zipline & land on a pile of pinecones, sticks & bricks.

I know all the #'s are messed up.  I copied & pasted & just honestly didn't feel like writing the whole thing.  There were way many more incidences than this.  I started this a few years back when I had received an email.  I write stuff down here and there.  From all different ages & years.  This is only form the stuff I remember to write down.  I plan on passing this out at their weddings.  What do you think??  Any of your kids do this stuff?   Just thought of another from last year.  Skating boarding in the pool will result in having to buy an entire new pool liner.  I would love to compile a book of these things one day. I hear from so many other parents the crazy stuff their kids have done.  Hey, at least I know we're not alone.  Hope you enjoyed some of these.  It's great b/c when it's happening, definitely not funny.  When you look back now, you can surely laugh at some of them.  Have a great week.

Waiting children... with grants

I have some young kiddos that really do need families.  All are special needs children so fees are reduced.  In addition, many come with grants of $5,000 or more.  These are some VERY cute kids and young children as well.    Just wanted to pass along the info in case someone on here may be interested or may not have seen it yet.  All these kids are from Eastern Europe. 

ID:  Bethany, girl, Osteogenesis Imperfecta

$5,000 Grant!! This is an international adoption. Bethany is a precious Asian 4 year old girl with Osteogenesis Imperfecta otherwise known as Brittle Bones. She is extremely smart and apparently is advanced for her age. Despite being in an orphanage, she is getting pamidronate which is currently the best medication to treat OI. Now that she has received this treatment, she is feeling much better and her bones are quite a bit stronger. Bethany is a child with personality plus. This smiling girl loves to interact with people and is very communicative. She has terrific fine motor skills. We have a great video of Bethany available for interested families to see. In order to have a chance to grow up and lead a productive, happy life, she needs to be adopted and the sooner the better! There is a $5,000 grant towards the cost of her adoption. Bethany is in a region that will only work with married couples. If you would like more information on how to make this cutie part of your family forever, please contact Kids To Adopt by email at or by phone at 360-695-1704.

ID:  Cheyenne, girl, spastic Paraparesis

$5,000 Grant!! This is an international adoption. This little girl was born at 34 weeks. She was born in October of 2009. She has a diagnosis of lower spastic paraparesis. She has a background of retinopathy with some retinal vascular changes. In her photo, her left eye looks different than the right eye. It is more open which makes it look bigger. We do not know the level of her retinopathy and the region will not give us more information than we already have. Cheyenne is being placed as a special needs child. Her full medical will be given to the adoptive family at the time of official referral. This is a new region so we need a family with a pioneering spirit! There is a $5,000 grant towards the cost of her adoption. If you are interested in more information about Cheyenne, please contact Kids To Adopt by email at or by phone at 360-695-1704.

ID:  Dotty, girl, cerebral Palsy

This is an international adoption. Dotty has blonde hair and big beautiful blue eyes. She was born in the Summer of 2008. She was born prematurely to a very young mother weighing just over 900 grams. She did receive some prenatal care. This precious little girl, as a result of her prematurity, has Cerebral Palsy in her legs. She can move her legs but at she can't walk on them at this time. She has received a few botox treatments. She has not had casting or bracing done. This will pretty much make the botox ineffective. They have not continued the botox at this time. They do massage her legs. She has adapted well and can motor around the orphanage by crawling with her arms. As of March of 2011, Dotty weighed 9.6 kilograms and was 83 cm tall. Dotty is very communicative. She can understand what is said to her and follows instructions. She likes to play with toys and can move them from hand to hand. She can clap her hands. Her caregivers have nothing but wonderful things to say about Dotty and how smart she is. She is happy girl who is attached to her caregivers. Dotty needs some assistance to eat with a spoon and drink from a cup but she can feed herself finger foods such as cakes and bread. They are concerned that she has no future where she is and they hope she gets a family so that she can achieve great things in life! For more information about Dotty, please contact Kids To Adopt by email at or by phone at 360-695-1704.

ID:  Hailey, girl, Heart Issue

This is an international adoption. Hailey is all smiles! She was born in October of 2009. Hailey was born very prematurely at approximately 26 weeks weighing just 2.2 pounds.Hailey may have some retinopathy of prematurity and may have some partial atrophy of the optical nerves but they are unsure due to Hailey's young age. She does have some heart issues but seems to be doing fine at this point. As of January 2011 she weighed 17 pounds and was 69 cm tall. Hailey is a happy baby girl with brown hair and a grin that lights up the room. She is being placed as a special needs child. If you would like more information about Hailey and how to make her a part of your family, please contact Kids To Adopt by email at or by phone at 360-695-1704.

ID:  Ryan, Boy, cleft lip & palate

This is an international adoption. Ryan is a precious blonde haired little guy who had a bumpy start in life. He was born in February of 2009. Ryan is happy that he has had his surgery and is now able to eat real food. He is also starting to learn to talk. Ryan loves to play with toys and interact with the other kids and the caregivers. Developmentally he is progressing. Ryan was born with a heart defect, interventricular septum defect, and cleft lip/palate. The heart defect has been successfully repaired. His cleft lip/palate has been repaired but will likely need more surgery. As of March he weighed 13.4 pounds and was 72 cm tall. He is toddling around now and ready to toddle out the door and home to his new family! For more information on how to make Ryan a part of your family, contact Kids To Adopt by email at or by phone at 360-695-1704

ID:  Suzie, girl, corneal opacity

$7500 Grant! This is an international adoption.

Suzie was born in the spring of 2005.  She was the first pregnancy for her mother.  At birth she weighed 5.9 pounds.   She stayed with her biological family until November of 2009 but unfortunately, never received treatment for her eye condition.  Suzie is very independent and she loves working with her tutors.  Her speech is well developed for her age.  Even at the age of five months, the doctors suspected Glaucoma or corneal opacity. Her official diagnosis is congenital eye developmental anomaly and corneal opacity, OU.  We are not sure the extent of her vision issue but they did tell us that she must see something because she never falls and trips over objects and can navigate her way around the orphanage.  She is otherwise considered healthy.  They do believe it is possible she was exposed to TB in her biological family because of a 12mm Mantoux reaction.  She has no symptoms but they are giving her a course of medication anyway.  Suzie really wants to have a family and a chance to grow up with the love and care she needs to reach her fullest potential.   She has a bleak future where she is living now. With the technology available here in the United States, the sky is the limit for this little girl.   There is a $7500 grant to assist with the cost of her adoption!  If you would like more information on how to make Suzie a part of your family, please contact Kids To Adopt by phone at 360-695-1704 or by email at

ID:  Timothy, boy, chronic pyelonephritis

$5,000 Grant. This is an international adoption. Timothy was born in January of 2005. He is very small for his age at the age of 4 he was 33 inches tall and weighed a little less than 20 pounds. His impish smile and huge ears endear all those who see him. He has syndactyly of two toes on his right foot and is missing a toe on his left foot. He has a diagnosis of chronic pyelonephritis with chronic renal insufficiency. Timothy needs a dedicated family who is willing to get him the medical care he needs, especially for his kidneys, so that he will start to grow and thrive. Special Needs Fees Apply. For more information about how to make Timothy a part of your family, please contact Kids To Adopt by email at or by phone at 360-695-1704.

ID:  Vincent, boy, cleft lip/ palate

$5,000 GRANT.This is an international adoption. Vincent is a precious Asian little boy who was born in the spring of 2009. He has cleft lip/palate and still needs surgery. Otherwise he is considered to be healthy. He is described by all who meet him as a wonderful child who is emotionally developing normally. We just received updated photos for the New Year and he is cute as ever! Vincent really needs surgery so we are looking for a family who is motivated to complete an adoption quickly. He is being placed as a special needs child. Both married couples and singles may apply to adopt Vincent. This is an international adoption and the complete medical report will be given at the time of official referral by the central authority. There is a $5,000 grant available to assist with the cost of his adoption. This grant is for Vincent only. For more information about how to make Vincent a part of your forever family, please contact Kids To Adopt by email at or by phone at 360-695-1704.

If anyone wants info on the agency itself, please feel free to contact me.  These are the same kids that are posted on Rainbow Kids.  It's a wonderful website & free to sign up to receive emails and view the children.  As you all know, pictures are not allowed of kids from certain countries.  However, once you contact the agency, you'll be able to learn how to view photos of the children that are mentioned above.  And you never know, maybe one of those angels is your future son or daughter!  Feel free to speak with Katie and she'll give you all the further info you need.  Thanks a bunch!  

Manic Monday

Busy weekend and I'll have to catch you all up in another post.  I have been sick.  Went to the doc yesterday and dx'd w/ respiratory infection of some sort & double ear infection.  Fluid on the ears and such.  My head's killing me & it's torture to cough.  But, it could always be worse so I best not complain.  Antibiotics for a few days and should be good as new.  No "littles" today which I may take advantage of and try to nap.  Hard as I'm one of those people who can't nap when I feel there is stuff that needs to be done.  We'll see. 

Appointment wise this week, not too bad.  Nik goes to the dentist tomorrow to get his first cavity filled.  that's going to be  tough one as he's terrified.  Warren and I will both be there.  That afternoon, Bojan goes to get his new knee.  Yes, active one already had issues w/ the brand new knee he has.  Other than that, it should not be too bad.  The doc office ran out of shots for Nik.  Waiting for a call for them to tell me when he can get one.  I do think I have Nik's IEP meeting this week.  Don't know what I"ll say.  Happy w/ the progress but due to our "situation," we may have to pull all our kids from school this coming year.  I don't really want to but may have no choice.  Time will tell.  And yes, I plan to disclose what all has happened but just can't until it's all over.  I know for a fact one of his friends is going to be homeschooled next year as well so thinking they can play together some too.  There are tons and tons of homeschool activities for the kids in this area.  Waiting lists are long as there are so many homeschoolers.  There are also now some virtual schools which we're checking into.  So many options but have to pick what is right for each child.  2 of my older kids will hopefully be working soon so I need a program that can be flexible w/ them as well.  That and it's hard to find a job around here.  May have to get creative.  Irina wants to open her own type of job and she'd be great at it.  I'll throw some ideas out for a name and you all can give some comments.  That too is for another day though. 

This past weekend, a group of folks came from a church in Benson to our home.  They have volunteered their services to help get our home ready for our three newest additions!  Can you believe the generosity of these people?!  Giving up their time, their weekend to help serve others.  Amazing.  Simply amazing acts of kindness and selflessness.  I can not wait to work with them this coming Saturday.  They are arriving early.  We are going to get the girls' room ready which is no easy feat.  Big ceilings & lots of painting.  They will also fix the quarter round that is not nailed down.  We don't have a lot of tools so this is wonderful for us.  They are also going to fix our back steps.  Both sets.  They are in pretty rough shape.  And the spot on the back porch they will check to see if the rot has gone further under the house.  With all we've had going on and some challenges w/ our children lately, this is a huge, huge burden lifted off our shoulders.  Having help is beyond a blessing.  I honestly don't know how we can ever thank them.  We were truly worried about not having the room ready for the new kids but now that worry is gone & we can concentrate on their healing when they get home & all the necessary medical help they will need.  This group is giving so much of themselves to help others.  God will provide.  It is proven over and over again.  This is so much more than helping us paint a room or fix a few things.  This whole project of serving goes so much further.  It is really helping to bring three special kids home from an orphanage into their first home ever.  It will be a safe home, a refuge for them.  They will have beds of their own.  A wonderful family from this same church dropped off much needed bunkbeds.  How awesome is that?!  After all the delays, all the craziness of this final adoption, it is all slowly coming together.  People all the time say it's God's timing.  Okay, I will admit (told you I'd be honest on here) I used to always think people used this as an excuse to deal w/the wait.  The more I think about it, the more I realize there is indeed a reason for delays and for why things happen the way they do.  It is part of a great plan though we may not always know why.  I look back on all our adoptions and the delays.  Had we not been delayed w/ Max & Irina's adoption (court date changed 5 times!), we would not have been able to do the adoption as we didn't have the money until literally the day before we left.  Had we not been delayed in Yana & Alex's adoptions, we would not have found Bojan nor would we have been allowed to adopt Alex.  Had we not been delayed in Alyona's adoption, we would not have known how much serious trouble she was in w/ her health nor would we have been able to adopt Nik as he was found much later in the process.  In turn w/out Nik, we would have missed out on great opportunities we've had over the years to meet all kinds of people and learn about deaf culture.  See, delays for everything and a reason for those delays.  Had this adoption not been delayed, we probably would not have had the opportunity to meet these wonderful people from this little church in Benson and realize how big their impact can be!  I'll write more later on it.  I am just now seeing that the delays in this Bulgarian adoption are for a reason.  I'm at peace w/ that now and still being impatiently patient about it.  sorry for rambling on.

I'll have a post about Max's celebration this past weekend.  Still exhausted and need to rest.  It's a beautiful day but I can't really breath that well so staying in.  Need to finish a book that I need to review in 2 days.  So, going to go read some more.  Praying there is a resolution to our "situation" this week.  Trying to get some yard work done once I feel better.  I'm way behind on all our flower planting that we typically do this time of year.  We'll catch up.  Love flowers.  Enjoy your week and much more to come and pictures as well. 

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Blast from the past!

Well, a new month a new blast from the past picture parade.  Just really a hodge podge of pictures from this time last year to see what we were up to.  Hope you enjoy.  Always fun seeing what we've done in previous years.

Irina was in Middle School here & went to the Special Olympics.  She medaled in this running long jump.  I believe she got 2nd place!

This was Nik cheering his sister on in Special Olympics.  Still in a stroller.  It was April of 2007!  Wow, how they've grown.  

Irina came in 1st place in running 100 meters!  She was very happy.  

This was Alyona's Special Olympics in 2009.  Do you think Daddy was proud?  She was so happy that day.  It was her day.  

Bear was still around last year at this time.  We still really, really miss that dog.  Our beloved Bear.  Treasured for years, missed forever.

We do a family Easter Egg Hunt every year.  Look how little they all were in 2007!  Seems like ages ago. 

This was a couple months after we brought Alyona home.  Look how tiny for 7.5 years old!  Those were size 3T's still.  She has just thrived here.

Okay, this is gross but hey, part of what happens from time to time.  Spring is outdoor time.  Irina was on the trampoline & fell off.  She kept about the entire day until bed time.  She told me she had a nail stuck in her knee. I was assuming fingernail, thumbtack, etc. but NO.  It was a finishing nail!  The top is in the middle of her knee. The end is to the right of the picture.  That lump.  See, Irina has sensory integration issues.  She does not feel pain the way you & I do.  Doesn't freak her doctors out any more.  Still does us to some extent.  That's why she went the whole day & didn't feel it.  It caught on her sheet was the only reason she noticed.  Missed everything inside which was wonderful.  Healed up just fine.  Doc said " you always bring us the most interesting cases."

2009 we went on an Easter trip to my parents' house.  We made it a vacation and visited DC as well.  Yes, we always wear the same color shirts when going to big places.  Kids don't mind either.  I let them tie dye them now so they think they're cool.  Easy to find in crowds for sure.  And since most our kids can't remember what hotel they stay in let alone, mom & dad's full name, it helps.  Younger kids we make where name tags on their backs w/ emergency contact info w/ our cell #.  

Hope you enjoyed our little blast from the past from this time of year.  We have things planned for this month as well.  Can't wait!  For now, need to go help w/ dinner.  Late dinner.  Time change is not working for us.  LOL.

Punishment chores

Punishment chores have been running rampant here lately and I am NOT happy about it.  It means the kids have gotten in trouble, big trouble.  and yes, I'll have a post about the trouble they're in but right now, still very sick and just tired.  Anyhow, Thought I'd share a few pictures from what we had them do the other day as part of their punishment. 

We had  10 cubic yards of dirt delivered to fill in holes all over the yard and other low spots.  Plenty of those in our yard.  Yes, these two are the two that are seriously in trouble for weeks to come.  and that is correct...weeks.

Another shot of them actually working together.  Before this, Alex was just constantly yelling at Bojan.  They got it under control after "the look" I gave them.  This dirt was heavy too as it just rained. 

No, Nik was not part of the work crew.  He decided to work on his own.  he was asking me if Irina went to the doctor.  She didn't & have no idea where he got that from but that's what he was asking.  No, Nik decided the work looked like fun.

Alex taking a break. Pile was getting smaller.  They are about finished this week with it though they are still grounded.  What they did was unacceptable in this house & they know it.  Again, I'll share in another post.  Just been very tired lately.  

Went to the doc today, Sunday.  Have a respiratory infection & double ear infection.  Not fun as I can't sleep.  Antibiotics start today & hoping by Tuesday I'll feel a bit better.  Lots to share about this weekend in an upcoming post.  For those I need to get back to, I will eventually get back to you.  Answered around 15 of those emails today.  Like I said, it's been a tiring weekend.  Playing catch up as best I can.  Got to go.  People are coming over soon to see what needs to happen to help get our house ready for the new kiddos.  SO excited!  Alyona will finally be getting her room.  Thrilled.  We are planning a really girlie room for her.  Pink walls and all.  Wahoo!!!!  Found a couple things at the yardsales yesterday.  We really enjoyed ourselves shopping yesterday.  Girls and I had a great time & found really awesome, awesome deals.  Got to go.  Hope  you all had a great weekend.