Saturday, April 30, 2011

Special Olympics 2011 (part I)

Warren & I went to see Alyona in the Special Olympics on Friday.  It was the most beautiful day outside.  Could not have asked for better weather.  Clear skies, sunny, light breeze & about 73 outside.  Fantastic weather & even a better atmosphere if you can believe it.  All the athletes were so excited including Alyona.  She practically flew out of bed that morning.  See, Alyona really wanted to try to win a medal this year.  Last year, she won 2 ribbons.  She really wanted a medal.  So, we set out that morning to try to make that dream happen for her. 


Sunscreen was a must with how bright it was outside.  Alyona is getting lathered up here before her events.


That's Alyona second on the left.  She is running!  


This was her lining up for the medals.  She's #2!  Look how small she is compared to others in her age category.  She did great.


Alyona after she received her silver medal for the 50m run.  Look at the smile.  She was so proud of herself.  BTW, the school's PTA donated the shirts for the kids to use.  Thought that was nice.  They do have to go back but nice the kids will be able to use them next year as well.
This is Alyona and her best friend from class.  I believe Alyona is actually older than her.  They've been buds for awhile now.  Trouble is, the girl recently moved to another school.  Both are bummed about it but still try to get together and play every once in awhile.  This little girl really wanted to participate in Special Olympics but the new school didn't sign her up and apparently changed her IEP.  Her mother tried to get her to be able to participate that morning but it was a no go.  Long story and the new school truly was in the wrong.  This child has been participating for years w/ Alyona.  Still glad they got to see each other & hang out a bit.  Made them both very happy.  


I'm not sure which one was more proud.  Alyona or Warren.  Think it's a toss.


Alyona getting ready to throw the softball.  Told her to pretend she was aiming for Alex.  She really threw that thing.  


This is a close up of the medal they receive.  Says skill, courage, sharing and joy.  I think that totally sums up Alyona.  That child has so much joy & has brought so much joy to so many people.  She lights up a room w/ her girlie ways.  She shares beautifully, especially, w/ the "littles."  She demonstrates so much courage and never, ever let's her disabilities hold her back.  Earlier this year when she couldn't see, she simply used larger print.  Luckily, we didn't have to go to braille and her eyes had only gotten worse.  Long story but w/ her disorder the vision was not supposed to change.  Anyhow, her skill is clearly there.  She can run w/ the rest of them just fine.  And who knew she could throw despite both her arms having issues.  Yep, this medal sums her up in a nutshell.  Part II coming soon. 

Saturday happenings

Well, zoo was a no go.  We all stayed up super late on Friday and well, just couldn't do it today.  So, revised plans.  Went to Sam's for groceries.  Took Nik w/ us.  Mistake b/c you waste more times eating those stupid samples.  Made it through and came home to unload.  Ate lunch and we all headed back out to go shopping w/ one "extra" today.  Went to the outlets.  We have a bunch of outlets about 15 minutes to 20 minutes from the house.  Great deals if you know where to look and if the tourist buses aren't there.  We went to one outlet that sells athletic clothing.  Soffe.  Great deals.  $1 bins and let the kids go crazy.  They also have other items for reasonable prices.  1.98 to 4.98 usually.  Not bad when clothing many.  Plus, these are kind of fill in clothes for them.  Play wear, running wear, exercise wear, etc.  Did pretty well.  Everyone got a little something.  Now I can stop hearing I have no shorts all the time.  If we could find shoes as cheap, we'd be in luck.  Dumb puppies keep chewing all the shoes!  They take them out of the shoe basket and chew them up in another room.  Sneaky little pups.

AFter that outlet, we went to the JR ones.  Do not like those.  There's a lot of hype about them & finally decided to check it out.  Won't be going again.  However, did find Alyona two baby dolls for her birthday next month in June.  I know she'll be 12yo but she loves baby dolls and is more around 4yo.  I love it.  I love the fact that she can still be my little girl and not be into the preteen hype type of stuff.  Can't wait to see what she thinks of it all.

Next, we went to Big Lots to get bread.  We get Nature's Own for $1.20 a loaf versus $2.79 a loaf at the grocery store.  SAME thing.  So, go once a month & stock up.  Got Alyona some headphones while there as hers broke.  Few odds and ends but didn't need much so really didn't get much.  Came home and I made some homemade pizzas.  One day, we'll actually get on schedule again and eat dinner like normal people do instead of 9pm at night.  Don't know what it is w/ us this last week but the late dinners have become a norm.  Usually that's a summer thing for us as we go & go swimming all day.  Only have a month left of school so guess we're breaking in the schedule early.  LOL.  Relaxing soon w/ a movie.

Tomorrow brings church and work in the yard.  Max will finish weedwacking and mowing.  I'll finish gardening and cleaning up from the storm this past week.  Need to mulch but I'm slow.  Plus, paying for airline tickets, yard looking nice is just not a priority this year.  Getting my kids home is.  Going to finish painting the front door frame and Warren will install the invisible fence.  Busy day but hopefully we'll get stuff done. Been a long weekend.  Next weekend we are definitely going to try that zoo thing again.

Kids are doing well.  Can tell they're getting excited about me traveling soon.  That's wonderful.  Not fearful, but excited.  Good sign.  Boys finally cleaned their room.  Not sure how long it will stay like that but maybe for a week would be nice.  Need to sort their toys and clothes.  Still clearing some clutter and reorganizing.  Got to run.  More pictures and such later.  Just enjoying a day w/ the family and ready to relax a bit.  Figuring out a game plan for all the stuff we have to get done.  Lots.  Max's glasses broke this evening.  Can't see a thing w/out them.  The "extra" that was w/ us lost her cell phone.  Apparently, her and the girls decided it would be a good idea to put it in a bag.  A bag filled w/ clothes to go in the donation bin.  Yep, in the donation bin it went w/out our knowledge until after we all got home.  They are going to go try to retrieve it tonight.  Do hope they can.  More to come.  Going to try to catch up on a few posts I had started.  Enjoy your weekend everyone!  It's going way too fast for us.  Still can't believe it is May tomorrow.  So much to do before I leave.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Park adventure part II

I will continue with some more of our park adventure.


Alyona and Nik just hanging around.  Those two have some serious strength.  When they first arrived home from Russia, they were too weak to push bike pedals.  

Some of the kids eating lunch.  We had PBJ, fresh strawberries (from strawberry picking), Sun Chips & homemade brownies.  Delicious!  Irina made the brownies for us all.  The older girls and I sat at the "big kid" table.  


Alex and Bojan goofing off as usual.  Bojan's teacher was actually sitting right beside us!  Small world.  We don't do soda too often but a day at the park calls for soda for sure.  Yes, they spilled one of course.


One of the "littles" and Alyona playing together.  Funny, as Summer is the same age as this "little."  I think Alyona will do just fine w/ her new sister.


Got to love the frizz in the hair shot.  My kids don't think it's fair that I never have any pictures of me on here.  Well, now I do.  Bad hair day & all.  


Bojan has absolutely no trouble working these monkey bars.  I'm surprised at that too. Not b/c of his leg but b/c of such shortened fingers on the one hand.  Yet, he manages to grip and stay up.  


Alex.  Don't know what to say bout this picture.  He just looks like he's getting much older to me.  That cute little blonde hair, blue-eyed little boy is no more.  He is becoming one of the big kids now.  Growing up.  


And this my friends is a sign we need to leave the park soon.  Just look at the look on Alyona's face.  That is priceless.  LOL.  She is thinking boys...why am I surrounded by them?  Just take a look at the size of Alyona's legs for a moment.  When we brought her home from Russia, you could take your middle finger & your thumb to form an 'O' and run it from her ankle all the way up her thigh.  It was terrible.  Look at her now!  A family makes a difference. It's night & day in kids living in an orphanage.  Please consider it.  

They all had a good time at the park.  Yana and her friend went to play tennis for a little while.  They came back and said "Mom, we're no longer horrible.  We're just bad."  I guess that's improvement.  Great that all ages had a good time.  All behaved and really had no issues.  

Have a great evening.  Going to bed and waking up to go to the zoo.  We have a wonderful zoo in this state.  It's a all day thing for us to go.  We try to go once a year but haven't been for two years.  Should be fun and weather is simply going to be beautiful.  Just wonderful for sure.  Packing lunches and hitting the road.  Sunday is church, outlet shopping for the kids a bit, and working in the yard.  I will try to catch up on posts and email.  Just need a few more hours in a day.  So, be patient w/ me.  Our "situation" we hope is nearing an end.   Told the meeting is next Wednesday or so.  I think today some eyes were opened a little more which is always a good thing.  Keep praying for truth to prevail and resolution so we can not have to worry about it any more.  I want all focus to be on ALL ten of our kids.  Need to get my 7 through the end of school and meet my other three.  Very ready.  More posts to come.  Thank goodness I am a wickedly fast typer.  My kids ask me to type of their reports.  I never do.  It's their project or report, they are to do it.  They beg b/c they say "but mom, it won't take you long but it will take me forever."  I said practice.  Hope you all enjoy your weekend.  I believe we will enjoy ours. 

Thank you, thank you.

Okay, first I want to say thanks so much for everyone who wrote me about traveling w/ me.  I have 5 people seriously interested in going.  Going to talk to people and then figure out what would work best for travel. 

Second, thanks to everyone for all the ideas about the job outlook for teens.  Just due to cost of gas, we must stay close to home.  There were lots of ideas that I had not thought of so thanks so much.  Both my kids would love to work at a vet office.  A few months ago, we contacted two of them locally about volunteering and they said they don't do that.  I'll keep checking though.  The girls are looking for paid work, not just volunteering but do see the benefit of volunteering for them.  Keep the ideas and suggestions coming.  Gives us ideas that maybe we haven't thought of.  Irina is supposedly in a job training program that helps them find a job.  Umm, no.  They keep telling the kids to go find a job.  The whole point of the program is to help them train for a job.  Hence the title... occupational course of study.  URGHH!!!  I contacted the JCI people three times but no one ever returns my call.  I will try again.  They are the organization that is there to help developmental delayed adults find jobs and such.  There is another place locally that works w/ special needs and next week I intend to ask them a few questions as well.  Maybe they have some contacts.  Meantime, we'll be filling out applications for sure.  Just wanted to say thank you. Let you know if any of them lands a job.  Locally, I know of quite a few teens that have been looking for months upon months with no luck.  Even going back twice to double check. Nothing.  Yet, know of others who have jobs.  The economy is tough for jobs for sure.   Keep you posted.

Park adventure, part I

No thoughtful Thursday post today.  Honestly, just been a lot going on right now in this house. Lots of decision making for sure.  So, needed to break up some of these wordy posts and catch up on some pictures.  Last week was Spring Break and I took 11 of them to the park.  Ages 3 to 18.  We have  a great park and it was a gorgeous day here. 


Everyone, minus 3 older girls, was watching a movie before we headed out.  At this point, we had one too many.  He wanted to go to the park too but I only had room for 11.  Had told all the "extras" that come to our home the day before who could go.  I am responsible for 11 kids during the day.  I must take those children. Oh, Max had stayed home.


Alex starting off w/ the monkey bars.  No problems there!


Alyona getting help from a friend.  This friend has been a friend of the our older girls for years and really treats Alyona better than Yana & Irina treat Alyona at times.  She is such a sweet girl, always respectful and just the kind of friend you'd what for your children.


Never too old for a slide ride.  Alyona coming on down.


Look closely & you'll see the sheer laughter & delight in their faces.  This is one of those spinning things that makes you dizzy.  The boy he's with is one of their friends and is originally from Ukraine.  


Irina is helping the kids and watching on.  She did enjoy a few rides herself later too.  Hard to believe she is 18 now.  Really hard to believe.  

video

This is Alyona and Irina on the spinning thing.  Yana is filming and telling them to go faster.  Problem w/ this is after this, Alyona was scared.  Really scared.  I said next time, do not keep going, tell them to stop.


Nik climbing high on one of the playgrounds.  No fear.  My kids have no fear.  Many more park photos to come.  In addition, Special Olympics photos as well.  So much to share, so much to tell.  Stay tuned for more.  It's 9:47 here and no, we still have yet to eat dinner.  Been a crazy afternoon and the kids & friends have been playing here till evening.  Ever have fun where you totally forget about the time & forget to eat?  Well, that was all of us.  We all realized about 9 that we were hungry.  Warren is making beef & veggies on the grill.  Have it over rice & we shucked fresh corn on the cob.  Yum.  Full bellies, all of us going to bed & then off for a long day at the zoo tomorrow.  Busy, busy but a good busy.  Stay tuned!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Job Outlook for Teens w/ Disabilities

Guess I should just write job outlook for teens in general.  Doesn't really matter if you have a disability or not, jobs are hard to come by.  I have 3 teens in this house right now.  Irina is 18yo, Max is 16yo, and Yana is 15yo.  All have challenges they must adapt to in order to work.  I haven't thought much about jobs for them until recently.  See, last night Yana went w/ a friend and her mom.  They stopped off at Chick Filet.  Picked up an application.  She was excited and I did want to be excited for her.  However, I also had to give her the reality check and that's always hard for any teen to swallow. 

Yana has what I call a few invisible disabilities.  Of course FASD is known as the invisible disability anyhow.  But she also has CAPD and RAD.  RAD doesn't really come into play here much.  Believe it or not, the CAPD(central auditory processing disorder) does.  She can hear.  She just has trouble processing what is said in noisy environments or anywhere w/ background noise.  Yana's is extremely severe is what the ENT said.  This was the only place in the triangle that even tested for CAPD.  Put it this way, she can't really follow dinner conversations at our table.  Everything has to be repeated.  Now, try that in a retail or restaurant type setting for a starter job & see what happens to you.  There would only be so much they'd take.  I know Yana does not understand this.  Lots and lots of repeating goes on w/ Yana and lots of misunderstood words in this house.  It's hard.  In an entry level job setting, this will most likely not work out so well.  In addition, her working a register is out as they are up front in the noise.  That and the FASD issue of trouble w/ money.  Though, she's better at math than most our others, she still is way, way off.  This would add to the difficulty of finding a job.  Processing speed is slow as well.  All these factors play into not only finding a job but maintaining one as well. 

Add to all this the fact that I would have to drive them back & forth to said location.  Where they want to work is out of reach.  It would add $200 a month in gas for me to take them to & from work.  Not happening right now nor in the future.  Told them they have to find a job close to home.  Closer to home.  Easier said than done in this economy.  We're going to give it a shot.  But, they have to remember I don't get off work until after 5pm.  Earliest they could get somewhere is about 6pm.  Most places want you their earlier than that.  Or at least that was my experience as a restaurant mgr.  Suggestions on things to do would be great.  Babysitting is out.  Trust me on that one.  It's not an option.  Cleaning is alright.  So is dog walking or caring for animals.  However, very few people will spend extras on this stuff in this economy.  Trying to find an unique idea for them but drawing a blank. They want to work which is awesome.  I should be ecstatic about that.  

Others w/ adult FASD children or teens, what did you do about the job situation?  There are many things my kids CAN do but certain things get in the way.  No impulse control, no cause & effect thinking, etc.  All those FASD characteristics.  They need an external brain and as they get older, they don't have that luxury at a real job.  We've been acting as their "external brain" throughout childhood.  Tried to give them independence but yet keep them close in case they fall.  Just thought I'd share a bit of what we're going through w/ the teen girls. 

Warren & I thought about paying them a salary to do some manual jobs around the house.  Trust me, it needs some fixing up.  ALL the baseboards need repainting and the windowsills.  Outside maintenance.  Warren and I just don't have the extra time right now.  2 of us working gets a bit hard to find the time to do this stuff.  Especially, with so many mental health issues or medical issues our children have.  They come first, house last.  There is enough to do to keep them busy for months.  It would be cheaper for us & them.  They'd get cash and we'd save by not having to drive them to a job.  It's an idea.  Working on various ideas right now. 

Got to run.  Tomorrow is Special Olympics!  If you see Alyona, please cheer her on or congratulate her.  It means a lot to her.  Going there, taking her out to eat, taking Digby to get groomed (trust me, this first time we can't do it at home), clean up and then a visitor comes regarding our "situation."  Again, hoping for resolution and truth to finally prevail.  Then relax tomorrow night & off to the zoo on Saturday.  Enjoy your weekend.  

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Adoption Update & bits & pieces

Oh my.  I'll start w/ something simple.  I don't have any more paperwork.  Haven't for awhile now.  I do expect to have many docs that need to be redone before court just due to the delays b/c of our "situation."  URGHH!!!  Still trying to remain calm.  working on it but so ready for things to go full speed ahead.  Very ready.  Rooms are ready and all moved around.  Little things are being purchased for the trip.  Dare I say I even got brave & bought those TSA appropriate sized shampoo bottles the other day.  Started making a list of what I'll need.  Yes, I've done this too many times before to count but it is honestly just as exciting every single time.  Making sure none of my kids 3 month supply meds run out while I'm gone.  Little things. 

As you all know, we had travel dates of April 13th.  That week was hard to get through knowing I could have been over there.  However, this is all about timing.  I have learned during this last set of adoptions to be patient.  Still learning.  We then had dates to leave June 25th and arrive home July 4th or 5th.  For some reason, my gut was telling me those wouldn't stick.  Like I said, done this before.  So, I was not even looking for airfare then.  Well, low & behold, received new dates this week.   We are to fly out June 11th and arrive in Bulgaria on June 12th.  Come home the 21st.  To say I'm beaming is an understatement.  MANY things must happen first for this all to fall into place.  Main thing is our "situation" must be concluded & cleared up.  Please pray for truthful resolution of this and SOON!  Seems each week we are told a little longer.  I am going to go ahead w/ booking tickets just b/c I really feel this is the date, this is the time we're supposed to go.  It's not far away.   As fast as April went, this is not far at all.  School here ends June 9th.  Some reunions happening at the end of June. 

Okay, the plan currently is for me to go w/ someone.  Right now I'm asking if anyone would be interested in going to Bulgaria w/ me for 11 days.  You would be gone a total of 11 days.  All expenses paid.  We feel at this point in time and to truly continue the progress we've made w/ Alex's PTSD healing and the issues that have arisen since our "situation" took place, the best scenario would be Warren staying home w/ the kids.  So, if you are thinking about it, please let me know.  I know two folks were interested when we were originally due to go in April.  Hoping there is at least one interested for June.  If you have never been to an orphanage before, this is an experience of a life time and a changing one at that.  I promise you, you will never ever be the same.  Never.  We will be going to two separate regions in Bulgaria as our children are in separate regions.  It is very easy to keep in touch w/ people back home.  The time will fly by.  I'm serious about someone going with me.  Just let me know if you may be interested. 

Much more coming up.  Please just keep praying that our situation will clear up so that we may leave on these dates.  Just had to share our dates again.  Doesn't mean we are 100% sure as nothing ever is.  Our one obstacle indeed is our current "situation" that must be resolved first.  Getting there slowly.  Very slowly.  So prayers really needed for a truthful resolution to come about and that we may travel in June.  Thanks and just had to share as we can barely stand it.  Hard enough not being able to tell details and such but as most of you are aware, that is the way it goes in the adoption world.  Have a great evening.

Swimming upstream

Okay, I feel like I'm swimming upstream here lately.  I am so far behind on things, I feel like I get behind any more, I'll be going backwards.  It is nuts!  This will have to be brief.  Very brief.  First off, if you are one of the many who have written me in the last week & wondered why I haven't responded, I can assure you I am not being rude.  I am just seriously behind on emails, the house stuff, the car maintenance(inspection due), laundry, school stuff, appointment making, airline booking(more on that one later!), blog posts, gardening, & the list could go on forever.  I'm sure you all have felt like this at one point or another.  I only have 2 of the "littles" tomorrow so hoping I might be able to get a few more things done.  Doubt it but I can dream. 

Despite the chaos here at Chaos Manor, we're getting stuff done.  I will share all just trying to catch up as you can imagine.  BTW, Digby is doing much better w/ Kota.  No more growling.  Digby is awesome!  Stays in the yard, listens, etc.  Great w/the kids.  Hoping Kota & Alaska learn manners from him.  Again, more wishful thinking.  More updates to come, kids that desperately need homes, and adoption stuff.  Pictures too from the last few weeks.  Told you, I'm behind.  Hey, it's life.  Fridge seems to be back to normal now.  However, car repairs thus far are $566.  Next bill we are expecting for my van would not surprise me to be well over $600.  I know it could be worse but when you're about to book airline tickets, you simply want to cringe.  Enough chatting.  Going to catch up.  More to come.  One day I'll catch up. 

Locals-- check it out

Okay, okay, I know I've said this a dozen times before, but seriously, anyone in the triangle area needs to check this event out.  The pawprints people are at it again w/ a huge adoption fair this coming weekend.  TONS of dogs/ puppies, kittens.  Every age you can think of and breed for that matter.  We have done both routes...puppies and a dog. All great experiences working w/ pawprints.  However, we have definitely met our quota for this home in regards to pets.  3 dogs is more than enough.  Please check out the site and all the available dogs.  Oh, if you scroll down to 'Kylie' you'll see what our Aspen used to look like...uncanny the resemblance!  Some I know are afraid of chow-chows.  However, we had our chow-chow mix for years..15 years to be exact.  He literally saved my life 3 times.  VERY protective of their owners for sure.  Yet, he was gentle as could be around the kids.  Loved Aspen to pieces.  So check this pooch out for sure.  Also, if you look down at adoption/adoption pending statuses, you'll see 'Alexander.'  He is now called Digby here! 

I love this organization.  I think it is extremely well run and you can tell the foster folks truly care about the care of the animals.  Here's the link:

pawprints

I am banned from Petsmart per Warren.  The folks at Pawprints & Warren have decided to have a GPS installed in my van & when it gets w/in 10 miles, the van is to shut down.  Warren is to pick me up & take me home.  Yep, that's the plan.  I have to agree it's a good one.  Also have to add though, there were 9 YES's that day we got Digby...not one!!!  All in fun.  So, if in the triangle area, come take a look at some fantatic dogs and puppies.  Or, just drop off a donation.  They love comforters, bedding, dog bowls, leashes, etc.  Hey, that's what we did...just went to drop off a donation.  No plans to get Digby.  None whatsoever.  Of course now that he's here, we love him to pieces.  He is SO awesome.  Listens, loves to be petted, walks wonderfully on a leash, quiet, etc.   See if any of you may find your next pet there.  I know we did!  All three of them!  Petsmart in Garner (Timber Dr., not the Whiteoak one).  Thanks.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Neat link

 Someone sent a link to me that I had to share.  I love looking at things from the past.  Wished I had antiques in the house but do to the sheer nature of our children, we can't.  Have some but definitely not many.  Anyhow this video is from 1906 before the San Francisco earthquake.  Just was watching all the different people all dressed up.  Never do you see a woman in pants.  Many people walking.  If there is a car, definitely more than one rider.  Shoot, I think they had carpooling down way before we ever thought of it.  The horses don't seemed phased by all the noise which I'm sure there had to have been.  Can you imagine just a little over a hundred years later and there are lines all over that road, tons of lights, accidents, people talking on phones while driving, no horses to be seen, and so much commotion.  Just a different time back then & I think it's great to watch it.  Can you imagine officers of the law carrying a nightclub that big nowadays?  Times sure have changed.  I just thought it was something different for a change.  Here's a little bit from the email I received:



This film was "lost" for many years. It was the first 35 mm film ever. It was taken by camera mounted on the front of a cable car. The number of automobiles is staggering for 1906. The clock tower at the end of Market Street at the Embarcadero wharf is still there.
How many "street cleaning" people were employed to pick up after the horses? Talk about going green!
This film was originally thought to be from 1905 until David Kiehn with the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum figured out exactly when it was shot. From New York trade papers announcing the film showing to the wet streets from recent heavy rainfall & shadows indicating time of year & actual weather and conditions on historical record, even when the cars were registered (he even knows who owned them and when the plates were issued!). It was filmed only four days before the Great California Earthquake of April 18th 1906 and shipped by train to NY for processing.


old trolley car video

Water fun

It's that time of year again.  Time for water fun.  Time to get soak and wet and not even care what you're wearing.  It's always hot and humid in NC.  Most people where we are do one of three things... 1) buy a pool 2) join a pool to swim in or 3) head to the beach.  It's too expensive for our family to join a pool and too much back & forth to head to the beach all the time.  So, years ago we used tax money to make an investment in an above ground pool.  It was by far one of the best investments we ever made.  We open our pool in May & use it all the way through October.  For now though, no pool so slip & slide & tarps have to do.


Before you go, you must munch on gummy worms.  I'm guessing they make you slide faster on there.  


Kids getting ready to make the slip & slide work.  Told them the tarps won't work b/c they're not the right kind.  No one listened to me.  And no, they didn't work as planned. Some lessons though need to be learned on their own.  Irina really ticked me off w/ those hands.  I HATE it when they do that as it looks so ignorant.  Don't know why but it bothers the heck out of me.  Really does.  She thinks she's being cool & every time I tell her it just makes you look stupid & ruins a picture.  As you can see, they STILL have yet to learn that.  


Alex, slip & slide battle scars and all.  Nik following behind in one of the pool inner tubes.  Definitely looks like fun.


I think Bojan is enjoying this part a little too much.


Max on one of the inner tubes.  Why he is getting ready to go down backwards, I do not know.  
Kids had a good time for sure.  Short lived b/c they couldn't get the tarps to work out the way they wanted to.   Maybe next time.  However, our pool will be opened soon so they won't need this much longer.  Time to break from the pictures.  Couple posts forthcoming.  today though is now back to a normal work week.  Plus, this evening I need to go speak w/ the band director regarding Bojan.  He seems to be able to manipulate Warren's old trumpet okay so he wants to go w/ that.  Asking the band director his thoughts this evening.  Busy, busy night.  I know b/c doubt the kids will want to get back into routine of homework.  I know I don't.  Enjoy your week. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Goodies (part III)-- Egg Hunt

Just b/c there is not enough candy coming to this home, we decided on an Easter Egg Hunt on Friday, I think. Think it was Friday.  Thought I'd share a few pics from the at home event. 



Yana and Irina were helping me to hide the Easter Eggs.  Thought of some pretty good places I guess as Warren has found 3 more since our hunt.  


Great hiding places, huh?  Right in the trees.  This is one of our young maple trees.  Kids found it though.  


4 of the kids getting ready to go wild for eggs.  You can tell we're still working on painting that front door.  Was supposed to take a day.  Umm, nope.  We'll get it done at some point I'm sure.  


Alyona showing me the eggs she got so far.  Not bad.  She was pretty quick.  I was surprised.  


I had one egg that was the special egg to find.  Nik happen to be the one to find it.  Truly thought it'd be Alyona as she was close to where I hid it.  He got $10.  He spent it on a pair of binoculars to watch bugs and things and also a bag of jelly beans he shared w/ everyone.  

They had a good time.  We had such nice weather for all the activities we did this Easter season.  Was just beautiful outside.  Still nice out today, Monday.  I still have to catch up w/ last week's pictures and a post about how to pick an amazing agency.  More of that to come. 

Easter Goodies (part II)

Time for the other part of Easter goodies. 


Our kids no longer have individual Easter Baskets.  Honestly, it is just too expensive.  So, we do group gifts, usually outdoor stuff as that what our kids like to do.  Some of the items in there were kickball, soccer ball, baseball bat & ball, tennis balls, bug catcher net, bug house, bath tints, bubble bath, Easter Chocolate rabbits, etc.  Too long to list everything.  


They were not at first thrilled w/ the idea of sharing. Can you tell??  Don't know why they thought they were each getting  a basket as this is what they did last year...group gifts.  They wanted more candy is the bottom line.  Let's see.  They had gummy worms and a chocolate bunny in this lot.  A goodie basket from my brother.  Earlier in the week, jelly beans, malt balls & reeces peanut butter eggs from the Easter Egg hunt here.  So, I think they met their candy quota to be quite honest.  


Nik and Alex digging into the bin.  Yes, Alex slept in his clothes again.  And Nik slept w/ just pajama bottoms on.  Hey, if they're going to sleep I really don't complain.


Max was too tired to even open anything.  Poor guy.  Getting my kids back on schedule after a break is rough.  Always is.  But, we had a good time over spring break so I'm ready.  


Looking at the movie that was in there.  Sponge Bob Lost at Sea.  they all love Sponge Bob.  Girls each received a necklace and then some craft items to make as well.  


Some more of the "loot."  Sidewalk chalk, goal cones, bingo game, 2 tubs of bubble gum, a whole package of candy bars, etc.  Just a variety for sure.  They have really enjoyed the bingo game which surprised me.  Gummy worms are gone as are the chocolate bunnies.  Candy bars have not been opened yet.  

Nik digging right into that bunny at 7am.  He ate the whole thing.  Crazy kid!  Kids did enjoy what they received and have been playing with everything, especially, the balls and bingo game.  Oh, and all have been getting tree frogs.  After this, it was church time.  I'll have to fill you all in on that too.  So many updates, so little time.  Sorry but the blogging is the last thing on my lists.  That's why I get so far behind and then do like four posts at once.  Chat soon.  Time to go clean up a bit.  Get ready for school tomorrow & me back to watching just the 4 "littles."  I personally hate trying to get back into routine after a break.

Manic Monday

So much going on that it truly is manic Monday.  Well, manic week.  Today, I only have one extra here so we'll be able to get stuff done for sure.  Our neighbor is selling their house & having a showing so having the kids help pick up the outside.  We don't have to but I just feel it's respectful.  Don't want new neighbors thinking they live next to Sanford & Sons.  We hate to see our neighbors go but would love to know who may be moving right next door to Chaos Manor. 

Warren is going to be late for work today.  He's getting new tires as they are worn down to the fabric.  Lovely.  Van must must be inspected this week. Shooting for Wednesday even though we know it won't pass inspection.  It needs new tires.  Ouch.  New tires on our van are around $150 a piece.  Yikes!  Just not good timing but it usually never is.  Go w/ the flow.  That's why we both work, right?  Good news is Warren did manage to fix our refridgerator so now we don't have that repair cost looming. 

This is the kids last day of spring break.  Phew.  Two have projects to get done that I have told them ALL spring break to do.  Nope.  they saved them for today.  I refuse to help.  As Warren says at work: poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.  Asked while at Walmart the other day if anyone needs supplies for their projects.  Answer was no. How much you want to make a bet that the answer will change if asked again today?  Max has an art project to finish.  Irina has a report on cochlear implants to do & learn to sign.  Should get interesting today.  Don't mind helping but do not expect me to help too much the last minute. 

Kids are watching Megamind right now.  Going to clean up the yard after it's over and then may do slip & slide.  Don't know yet.  No appointments this week that I'm aware of.  We do have Special Olympics on Friday for Alyona and I can hardly wait.  She LOVES going there and really does well.  Warren took off work so he & I will go together.

Kids will have to get back into routine and after a break that is always difficult.  I have thank yous to do and such but I am still way, way behind on things.  We are still awaiting news on our "situation" and do hope we here soon so we can officially book our tickets.  It's so hard to wait. Prayers on a truthful resolution would be wonderful.  We are very ready to move on and meet our children in Bulgaria.  The kids are ready as well.  The girls' room is ready.  Prayers for an answer this week. 

May is fast approaching and it is packed full of activity.  We're bummed we're going to miss the SAS picnic/ anniversary but great reason to miss it.  Going to Camp Cheerio of the whole weekend!  That is the cue camp we go to for Nik.  We're not a cueing family but learn oh so much at the variety of workshops they do there.  It is just amazing.  Kids are even counting the days down.  We are finally able to get to the zoo this coming Saturday.  Haven't been for awhile so should be nice.  HOpe we are able to feed the giraffes.  That would be really cool.  Neat experience.  We'll see.  More posts forthcoming.  I have a pile started and not finished.  Shhh.  I sound like my kids and their projects.  Enjoy your week everyone. 

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Goodies (part I)

On Friday, we received a wonderful surprise.  It accidentally was delievered to my neighbor's house but she was kind enough to let us know.  Me, I probably would have kept it.  Just kidding. 


What could possibly be in this box that was delivered to us?  


Was Alyona our special delivery?  Well, not this go around.


It was a delicious goodie basket from my brother & his wife!!!  Had all sorts of ice cream toppings & cones, cookies, candy bars, gummy worms and all sorts of stuff.  That basket was filled.  


Another view of the goodies.  I had to get a picture quickly as this stuff wasn't going to last long.  We all got to share, enjoy an unexpected surprise and just was very sweet of Uncle Chris & Aunt Mindy to think of us during this holiday.  We really did love getting the gift basket.  

More goodie posts to come of course.  Got to go.  Lots to do and figure out for this coming week.  Wishing you all a very Happy Easter. 

Happy Easter!!!

Well, it was a very pleasant Easter here in NC.  Sun was shining and it was almost 90 outside.  Perfect Easter day. 


No, we could not get a decent picture.  I had one shot & this is what came of it.  Hey, we tried.  Don't know why Alex is making a goofy face, Max or Warren are not smiling & Bojan looks like a robot.  Yep, normal family picture. 


After church, the boys were getting to know Digby.  He's not a runner.  Stays in the yard, listens, doesn't jump the fence, friendly to other people.  Only issue we're having is him and Kota are currently having an "I am king" thing going on.  Both are males so we expected it a bit.  It happened when we brought Bear home to Aspen.  Hoping it dissapates over the next few days.  Watching them closely for sure.  He's fine w/ Alaska.  Okay w/ Kota on walks and around the house.  Kota is still in puppy play mode though.  Again, will most likely take time as it did w/ Aspen and Bear.  


Nik enjoying some gummy worms from Easter.  Have no idea how his hand has a hole in it.  Kind of cool.  No photography trick.  Kid looks like a ghost.  LOL.  

Not the surprise we were hoping for on Easter...no fridge. We have two refridgerators and a freezer in the garage as well.  Both fridges are usually full.  Remember, there are 9 of us here, 4 "littles" during the week, & all the extras that stop by.  Warren is trying to troubleshoot the problem and hope that we can fix it w/out an expensive repair.  Keep your fingers crossed. 

Boys went fishing w/ a neighbor today and had a great time.  Very cool of him.  Thanks so much Tony!!  Alyona spent the day w/ one of the "littles" and Irina & Yana went to a friend's house.  All are home.  Was a very nice day for sure.  I know I'm kind of going backwards by starting w/ Sunday.  Just been that kind of week.  Hope you all had a wonderful Easter as well.