Friday, June 3, 2011

Broken parts

We have children that have special needs.  Some of those require certain equipment to keep them healthy or walking or whatever.  Sometimes, equipment fails.  Told you about Nik's implants.  We try to fix as soon as possible.  Bojan's leg has been problematic for quite some time.  I'll go back and tell you a little history.  See, when Bojan was first going to be getting this new leg, we were contemplating whether or not to go to an adult knee.  Our prosthetist talked it over w/ a representative & told him all about how rough Bojan is on equipment.  Otto-bock rep assured us that the knee could handle it.  So, we moved forward.  Bojan has a hydraulic knee.  An adult knee.  Broke the first week.  Fixed it.  Broke again.  Fixed it.  Leaking hydraulic fluid.  Fixed again.  Point is, this knee was NOT meant for kids.   Period.  The company was even trying to tell our prosthetist office that we were putting it on a different patient that exceeded the weight limit.  They said NO, it was put on a pediatric patient.  At that point, I think they were in a bit of shock themselves.  We see the problem.  We see the flaw.  Our prosthetist tried to put a cover on that they gave.  Didn't last that evening even.  Our guy made one himself.

 This is the cover that was made for his leg. Well, we had to add the blue painter's tape. 

The cover, busted after 2 days. 

Heaven forbid, we used duct tape on one of our kids!  Okay, those of you who know about the CPS investigation get that joke.  Hey, if you'd gone through months of that garbage, you'd laugh too once it was through.  Anyhow, we hate that he is all taped up and looking horrible.

Alright, I wrote an entire page & it was lost by blogger...URGHH!!!  Can't remember what I was going to say.  Basically, we must wait to figure out where we go from here.  His leg is functional for sure.  Years ago he got a running foot.  He busted the carbon fiber foot 2X!  Two different feet.  Within one week's time on each foot.  Kid is hard on equipment for sure.  Thank goodness we have Frank.  Best prosthetist ever.  He has found all kinds of solutions for this kid of ours.  So, if you see him about, know you'll know why he's all taped up.  Got to go. I wrote a whole other part of this post but I'm too tired to do it twice.  Tomorrow is our yardsale.  Trying to raise some last minute funds for the kids' orphanages.  Praying we can sell at least a little there.  Would be awesome.  Plus, would help us clear some clutter.  Older kids are helping w/ a church fundraiser.  Bright & early.  Lots to do.  I'll post some more pictures tomorrow for sure.  Time to see some of the kiddos. 

Bits & pieces & update

Today has been a bit hectic.  I woke up & had to finish making 24 cupcakes for Alyona's class.  I make the boxed cake but homemade icing.  Cleaned out icing bowl, told kids to get up for the 30th time & get ready, & started icing. Warren had to leave early w/ Nik & the problematic implants.  More on him in a minute.  It's 7:53am.  Kids go out the door at 7:55.  Bus comes shortly after.  I've decided I should have been a short order chef.  How I managed to get out 24 cupcakes, iced & decorated, I'll never know. But, I did. They made it to school.  No idea what my kids looked like or if they even grabbed their lunches for school but the cupcakes for the party in Alyona's class were done.  Max told me he didn't have reviews or exams today so he stayed home.  More on that in a minute too.  I got ready to go to the chiro at 9am.  Littles came over about 20 till.  Made it to chiro.  Then to post office who couldn't guarantee an overnighted package.  So, went to fedex place here called Bulldog.  They are always, always so nice there.  should have gone there first.  Anyhow, got the papers mailed out and headed home.  Got home to an Alex is sick message.  Load everyone back up to go pick up Alex.  School tends to over-react w/ Alex.  He is NOT sick btw.  I can tell when Alex is sick b/c he literally just sleeps & his eyes become diliated.  Same thing happens when he has a RAD episode.

Okay, started that yesterday.   I'll finish up w/ saying we went to Bojan's graduation.  Whoever planned it at the auditorium must have NOT knowingly done so knowing that the air conditioners were broken.  People were frying in there.  We had to keep going in & out.  People were going outside to place orders at restaurants to leave immediately afterwards b/c it was so bad.  Bojan did great & have a separate post on him later this weekend.  Remember, Alex doesn't handle heat well. Max told me the air conditioners had been broken at that school(brand NEW school btw) since the last storm & they'ev been opening windows & doors.  The ceremony was incredibly long for everyone.  2 hours.  Not counting the time you had to wait.  Standing room only.  No seats left so you know that didn't do well for my bunch.  Mid-way I gave up and let them have free range.  Sweating, everyone's hungry, audience is fanning themselves, everyone is checking watches, everyone is thirsty, etc. was not going to add constantly telling them what to do.  Call it bad parenting if you will but at that point, an hour in, I didn't care.  So, some of mine went outside & apparently joined other families waiting in the lobby w/ their kids too.  Warren & I decided there was no way we were going home & cooking over a hot fire.  Took the kids to get something to eat.  Came home & it's 10pm.  Kids went to bed & so did we.  It was just a very tiring evening & hence, why I didn't get anything written here.  I know the school could not have known that the other school was having air conditioner issues but I do believe that the school we went to should have informed them.  Or, given fans out.  LOL. 

About Nik.  Both his internal mics on the processors were broken.  We knew something was up.  Knew it before we went to Camp Cheerio.  However, the problem was intermittent at the time.  And, he was still wanting to wear them.  Turns out poor kid has been hearing horrible static when he tells us they're too loud.  We had tried every combo here & just couldn't figure out what was wrong.  It was odd b/c he'd wear them .  Anyhow, they are temporarily fixed till new ones are sent to us.  Hoping they come before we leave so we can make sure they are okay.  Warren said he was just thrilled when he could hear more again w/out the static.  They also want to put Nik in a research study for AN kids who are bilaterally implanted.  He fits that prototcol for sure. They're calling us when home from Bulgaria.  He'll get another ABR which I think will be good to have anyhow.  Glad he can participate.  Nik is all fixed up. 

Bojan's hand, where the missing finger is, is fine now.  Bojan said it was really hurting him & such.  We said we'd take him in to get it checked out but wanted to give it a few weeks as we suspected growing pains.  Sure enough, yesterday Bojan said it doesn't bother him any more.  Fantastic!  Now, positive it was growing pains.  Same thing happened w/ his chest years ago & sure enough, took him in & doc said growing pains.  So medically,all our kids should be okay while we're gone.  Keeping fingers crossed.

Today, I went to the chiropractor.  Trying to get well before going on the plane.  I have 2 "littles" today & we're getting ready to go out to slip & slide.  Now is their winding down time after lunch & morning playing.  I get 15 minutes to do some things while they play.  Next, outside, which btw, is gorgeous out.  I will try to pull some weeds & such while they slip & slide.  My neighbors are having yardsales so as a last minute way for us to raise money for the orphanages, we will have stuff for sale as well.  Lots of things we can sell.  If we can make even $50, it will be worth it.  No matter how last minute it is.  So, when one takes a nap, I'll be looking around the house for items we no longer need.  Can't wait to clear some more clutter & at the same time, help the orphanages over in Bulgaria.  So, wake up early & do a yardsale & at the same time take some of the kids to the church fundraiser.  Then, come home to do our fundraiser in the driveway for icecream.  Busy day.  Very busy day tomorrow. 

Orphanage fundraisers are doing awesome!  The outpouring of generosity is a bit humbling for sure.  We are up to $882.  I think that is amazing for the amount of time we've done this.  We'll be adding to that tomorrow w/ our fundraisers here at the house.  Praying all goes well as it is all very last minute.  Please keep helping to spread the word.  It is making all the difference.  I know with help, we can make this happen.  Restore hope & life to these children.  And not just our children, but hundreds that live over there.  Thanks for listening.  I have much more to do.  I won't even get into the phone conversations I had w/ one of Yana's teachers who could care less that she can't do basic math at the grocery store.  I gave her & Alex a simple math problem to figure out.  They couldn't do it.  Her teacher's explanation is that it is calculator alternative on her IEP.  What?!  That excuses them from teaching basic math?!  NO WAY!  I knew the conversation would go nowhere. They wanted me to meet next week.  I said no.  I told them August.  Gives me time to research laws & such b/c I know there is no way this can be right and allowed to happen.  It's crazy.  My intentions this coming school year is to homeschool all the elementary kids.  May be high school kids to if this keeps up.    I do not want my kids to memorize what is on a test.  I want to be able to learn & apply information.  Period.  More on school later.  Just was stunned that the teacher could care less if my child could do simple math.  Just cared if she could use a calculator or not.

Much, much more happening.  We are at T-8 days and not nearly enough has gotten done here.  Praying it all falls into place before we leave.  I can hardly wait for the adventure that awaits us.  May stay away from fresh salads just to be o the safe side.  Though so far, not hearing of any contamination in Bulgaria.  Russia has banned food from Spain already though.  I hear Bulgaria has excellent food.  We're on a very, very tight budget so most likely we'll eat two meals a day.  Plenty of opportunity to try some new things.  Warren tends to be much more adventurous than I in this department though.  Got to go.  Slip & slide time!  Enjoy your day & more pics to come. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Put yourself in their shoes

Please try this everyone.  Maybe it will put things in a little better perspective.  Some of you have several pairs of shoes laying around the house.  Various sizes.  Do me a favor and put on a pair of shoes that is 3 sizes too small.  Walk around in them for at least an hour.  If you can last that long.  Seriously, I want you to do this. I want you to feel what these orphans feel if only for an hour.  I wear a size 8 shoe.  I can not even imagine the pain of fitting into a 5.  Yet, that is how some of my children from Russia came home to me.  In shoes that were 3 sizes too small.  This is not a rare thing.  This happens.  They clothe them in whatever they can find.  My boys would wear pink tights.  Cute picture of Max in pink tights.  Not cute for them, I'm sure.  The clothes are well worn. Lucky to find one item without a hole in it. 

Now, after you've attempted to walk around in those shoes for an hour, go to the bathroom.  Yet, you're not allowed to grab for the angelsoft or the charmin.  Nope.  You instead grab for a piece of newspaper.  Can you imagine?!  The things we take for granted just amazes me.  I think nothing of going to the store & buying a huge pack of toilet paper for our bunch.  Yet, the orphanages do not have that luxury.  These by the way, are things I've been told or seen from my own kids & their orphanage experiences.  These things happen daily to the kids over there. 

But with your help, we can change lives.  Give them hope.  When we went to Yana's orphanage, we bought them boilers to have safe & hot water.  The kids were so grateful.  They lined up to thank us.  Remember, Yana was the 8th child adopted out of there in 30 years.  Not too many adopt older kids.  After they said thanks, a 16yo girl stood up to give a little speech.  It was hearwrenching and heartwarming all in one.  She told us thank you and told us that we gave them a great gift.  We said it was no big deal.  But to them it was a big deal.  She told me we gave them hope.  She said you made us realize that people can care for kids like us.  Not a dry eye in the room.  So, if you don't think that your donation can make a monumental difference, you're wrong.  It does indeed.  It can restore hope.  Restore lives.  We are asking out of the millions of people in the world, that just 500 of them contribute ONE time donation of $4.  Or $2.  That's it.  I'm sure you all spent way more than that this past Memorial Day Weekend on soda or chips.  Or decorating for the patio. I'm not saying not to do those things.  I'm just saying one time give $4 to help transform hundreds of lives at two orphanages in Bulgaria.  We are doing what we can here.  Today, we went & listed things for sale.  With those items sold, it now brings our total to $612.  That is still way off the $2000 mark that is necessary to change hundreds of lives.  I can guarantee 100% goes directly to the kids at the orphanages. I can say that b/c we will be the ones purchasing the items just as we did in Stavropol. 

So please, if you can, search the couch, the floor of the car, & the loose change jar & consider making a difference.  Be the change you want to see in the world- Ghandi.  I think it was Ghandi that said that.  You have the opportunity to really make a difference and all it will cost you is the empty calories of 2 bottles of soda.  Aren't these orphans worth 2 bottles of soda?  Absolutely & more!  I can not stress it enough just how important it is for the orphanages we will be visiting this go around.  It is vital.  Plain and simple.  We are asking for less than the cost of a movie ticket.  My kids know this is important.  They have been going through stuff and seeing what they can sell to help.  They have decided to do an ice cream fundraiser this the 100 degree heat mind you.  It is that important.  I think they understand it better than anyone as they have lived this life of an orphan before.  They do not forget.  Max remembers being reprimanded if he dared ask for another piece of bread.  They'd pick him up by the ears.  He'd get no extra bread & had his piece taken away.  Annie said it best "it's a hard knock life for us.  No one cares for you a smidge, when you're in an orphanage."  I want to change that but can't do it alone.  We have paid for most of this adoption on our own.  We are asking for donations now as we just don't have any more to give.  Yet, we're trying to come up w/ more by selling what we no longer need.   I need your help.   Please consider donating to the orphans in Bulgaria.  If not, please help to spread the word.  They desperately need our help.  Thank you for hearing me out. 

Miscellaneous pictures

I know people like to see how our kids grow and see the things they do here and there.  Well, it's getting to be warm around these the high 90's so water is a staple for play lately. 

 Alyona enjoying one of her firsts swims.  The water wasn't cleared up here yet as we weren't planning on opening the pool that early.  Someone wrote their phone # on Alyona's hand.  Most at school know if they tell her a #, she'll mix up the numbers or forget some.  So, the kids write on her.  I've seen it more than once & hey, it works. 

More of the kids enjoying their first swim. It has been unusually hot here in NC.  Getting so hot, 100's, that we really don't even want to swim.   may be a movie day for sure today.  

 As I've said before, my kids love the outdoors.  Here is Nik attempting a new stunt. Our sidewalk has an incline so he easily rolls all the way down it.

This is not what they do for fun but rather punishment.  Alyona owed me time.  So, she was pulling grass out of the mulch.  Never again will I let my kids help me seed the yard in the spring. 

 Nik enjoying some slip & slide fun before the pool was open.  Alaska enjoying the water herself. 

Nik cheering on one of the "littles" down the slide.  These two play so well together.  They love collecting bugs & could spend hours doing it if you let them.  I think Nik is going to be an excellent big brother.  Though, he'll always be my baby boy. 

Not sure what's w/ the face but took the shot anyway.  Max now carries this case around versus a backpack.  He really likes it.  Warren brought it home one day & Max now carries the briefcase to school.  Hey, whatever works for him.  Some things you just let go in this house.  

Those were just a few pictures.  I have many more on this computer.  I'm getting some things done today but not too much.  Getting ready to make cupcakes in a bit for tomorrow.  Slowly but surely, we'll get there.  It's T-10 days.  I still can not even quite comprehend it.  Seems like just yesterday we went to get Max & Irina.  This time, it's our last adoption.  Still the same butterflies in your stomach.  I am very ready to meet my children.  Hold them, talk to them, get to know them.  Much to do before that moment though so I'd best get to it. Enjoy your week.  More to come tomorrow. 

I don't....

have it all together.  I hear "how do you do it?"  or "you are so organized."  I'm here to set the truth straight.  I do not, do not have it together all the time.  I don't always check my kids' clothes to see what they are wearing to school. It wasn't till last night that we discovered Nik had his shirt on inside out.  Whether he wore it to school that way or put it on that way after the pool, we'll never know.  Yesterday I forgot it was Alex's field day.  Remembered it was Alyona & Bojan's b/c they gave me their folders & notes.  Alex did not.  I truly wish the more important papers teachers would call me on as Alex does have FAS.  Remembering stuff is not his strong point.  Some of you may remember that Alex has temperature regulating issues.  Whether it's due to his one kidney or not, I have no idea.  Neuro said some kids just have temp regulating issues. He's one of them.  I was w/ Alyona's class & passed Alex in the hall.  I stopped him and gave him my gatorade & asked how he was doing. He looked awful.  He should have been pulled off that field a long time ago.  They did try to keep him wet but at over 100 temps, it just was not effective for him.  Though, thankfully he did not pass out.  His cooling vest can't come fast enough.  Anyhow, I should have known it was his field day.  Just another bit that shows you I don't have it all together. 

I don't have everything done for my trip yet.  I have about 10 things left on that list of 75.  I don't have the house cleaned up.  I want to be one of those people that actually gets stuff done on time, all the time.  Just not me.  Shoot, I have a computer full of pictures & boxes full of pictures yet to go in an album.  Don't even get me started about the whole baby album scrapbook stuff that was started.  I don't have the ability to keep things as organized as I'd like them to be.  Even frustrates me.  I don't have half the stuff done that I need to get done.  I've come to the conclusion I'm human.  Also, come to the conclusion that the blogs where everyone seems to have it altogether all of the time are fiction.  They are stories.  They can't be real.  either that or they are super women.  Me, I'm not one of them.  I try to get stuff done.  I try to have it all together but honestly, that's just not true. 

Another example.  Teacher just called me.  "Ms. Boyd, you signed up for cupcakes."  Yes, yes I did.  Well, another kid is bringing cupcakes.  Oh, so you don't need them tomorrow?  "Yes, we do.  You're making cupcakes tomorrow."  The red, white & blue ones, right?  "No, Ms. Boyd, that's our end of the year party.  Ahh, things are finally starting to click for me.  There are TWO parties.  Long story short, no idea there were two parties.   Making cupcakes tonight for tomorrow's party (graduation), and then bringing strawberries for end of the year party next week.  Already forgot the day.  Yes, this could get interesting if these people plan to rely on me for anything over the next week.  LOL.   I do know tomorrow is Bojan's graduation.  HOwever, I thought he had to be there at 6pm.  My neighbor told me, no, they need to be there at 5:30pm.  Okay then.  More info.  See, not that I'm blaming them, but my children are nowhere near helpful in getting much needed information to me.  And, the only thing I ever saw from Bojan on graduation said 6:00. 

So, for those who think I have it together, you're wrong.  I am not together.  Working on it but not nearly there yet.  I'm a parent like most everyone else out there.  Sometimes I forget to leave the meat out to thaw & we end up having hot dogs for dinner instead.  Sometimes, I forget to remind the boys to bring down the laundry & realize days later they've been rummaging through the dirty clothes.  Sometimes I forget what day it is and that Alex had running club after school.  (though in my defense the "littles" get picked up at 5pm and I'm supposed to pick him up at 5 too).  Sometimes I forget to send in the scripts early so that the meds don't run out.  Sometimes I have to make up stories of why the tooth fairy mouse(don't ask) didn't come for the fourth day in a row.  So again, if you think I have it all together, think again.  I am human, I make mistakes, try to learn and move on.  Just wanted to clear up any ideas that anyone had that thought I had it all together.  Pictures in the next post.  This one was way too boring. 

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

My graduate

Another milestone reached in this home.  Do you know who it is?

I took a picture of the picture so it's fuzzy but you can clearly see who it is.  Bojan is graduating from 5th grade to 6th.  No more elementary school.  He's going to the big leagues next year of middle school.   We have yet to decide if he's staying home or not.  For now, he will attend middle school.  I still can hardly believe he is 12 years old and done with elementary school.  The time went by way to fast.  He came to America at 6 years old.  No English.  He was in special ed up until this year.  BOY did he come far!  He is no longer in any special education services whatsoever.  No pull outs or anything.  His progress has been stunning.  I really gave him a hard time in 3rd grade b/c I realized at that point he had way more potential than he was letting on.  I was not going to let him take that for granted.  I stayed on his case, gave him a hard time, tough love kind of thing when it came to school.  No coddling for him.  Well, that was when he turned things around.  And, he hasn't stopped since!  Bojan has done extremely well academically in school.  Regular classes and all.  Though his spelling has much to be desired, all else is pretty good.  I can not complain.  Very creative guy.  He will be playing trumpet this coming year in school.  I can only imagine what the future has in store for him.  It is endless right now.  He graduates this Thursday in a ceremony at the high school.  Very proud of him and just wanted to share. 

Cleaning up & chillin'

though it was a holiday weekend, we honestly did much of nothing.  Mainly b/c in June we are booked solid w/ traveling and disruption in routine.  So, need to stay home this weekend & next to prepare kids for all that.  It was good though b/c we decided to clear out some clutter for sure & clean up as well.

 Max was helping clear out the living room for the girls to sweep & mop.  Alaska refused to move so he just moved her right along.  No complaints.

Warren was busy doing repair work this weekend. He painted the front door frame & chipped away at rotting windows in the back.  He even fixed a few of my window boxes so that they could be hung up again.  You can never have too many flowers.  Just adds so much color.  

 Digby's favorite spot.  The front porch.  Think he likes the coolness of the cement.  and the fact that the kids can't kick a ball in his face if on the porch.

Warren taking a short break from all his hard work this past weekend.  This hammock is the one that usually flips us all over.  It's really a balancing act to stay on.  It's like a scene out of a cartoon when the person flips round and round.  Kids just do it to see who can flip over the fastest.  Other hammock on the other set of trees is much better.  Still,nice to lay down for a minute.

Today was field day at school.  It was brutally hot.  Read 104 on one sign.  The condition Alex was in was on the brink of passing out.  I could tell.  Gave him my gatorade as I passed him in the hall.  I'm ordering the cooling vest today.  His body just can't regulate  the temp in this extreme heat we have.  Not good.  Found one for $39 so ordering and hoping it works alright for him.  He'll have to use it when we go to the family reunion for sure.  I stayed for a bit and then came home.  Now, getting ready to fill more papers out.  Yes, there are that many.  Yes it does seem never ending.  Yes, you will eventually get through it.  I'm sure kids will swim this afternoon.  I have no "littles" today which has been great to be able to get stuff done.  Making lists and POA's while we are gone.  I'm trying to keep things as easy as possible but you still have to prepare just in case.  Have a great day.  I'll have more pictures up later tonight but really, my focus as of lately has indeed been this adoption trip.  Family reunion is completely planned & handled.  Right down to the dog/ puppy sitter.  Even the birthday parties are planned for Alex & Alyona.  Even signed up for VBS.  All focus now is completely & utterly on getting the kids, getting the orphanage donations necessary & trying not to panic.  More to come. 

Monday, May 30, 2011

Manic Monday

Happy Memorial Day!  Please take a moment to remember those who so valiantly fought for our country.  They sacrificed so that we may enjoy our freedoms today.

So much happening as usual at Chaos Manor.  Had 4 "extras" today. Just two extras left.  May take the 9 of them to Wally World soon for a few items.  Kids and us are making tie dye t-shirts.  We do this every time we go on a big trip so that it is easy to spot any of our kids.  We only do it for big trips that are not local.  Anything local, no need.  But, when our kids are in crowded places & do not know anyone, then yes, we all wear the shirts.  And, let's just say tie dye makes it not so nerdy.  Hoping we can do a bright blue this time.

Warren & Max are fixing screens today & painting.  Found out we will get 2 sets of brand new neighbors the day we return from Bulgaria.  Umm, new  neighbors have no idea we will have 10 kids.  Not sure if that's a good selling point. LOL.  Can't wait to meet the new neighbors though.  VERY sad to see the old ones go.  They've been great!  Quick recap for the happenings to come.  End of school w/ ceremonies & parties, adoption trip to Bulgaria, family reunion trip to PA, 4th of July, Alyona's b-day, and Alex's b-day, & then vacation Bible school.  I think we may be a bit busy in June& half way through July.  That doesn't have all the little stuff thrown in it either. So, busy as usual. 

This week we have a lot of stuff happening for the end of school.  We need to get Nik's implants fixed at some point.  There is something just not working right on them. It's an intermittant problem & we've trouble shooted every which way.  Have to take him in.  That stinks!  Do what you have to though and move on.  Got to go. It's now evening.  I know that was all short but I truly have to get this paperwork done tonight & it's already 10pm.  Tomorrow, pick up a cashier's check , go to the post office, & then off to school for 2 different field days.  100 degrees.  Lovely.  Enjoy your week. I'll have more tomorrow.  Oh, best part is we have a sitter!  More about her later.  Oh, & this weekend's sermon from Children's Church included them saying a phrase... "it will be okay.  God is leading the way."  So true right now.  BTW, we have raise $500 thus far for the orphanages.  We have $1500 to go!  We MUST do this.  Read the previous posts for more info & I'll have more info tomorrow on it as well.  For now, papers are calling me. 

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Pickle juice, peas & pups

Well, the boys are at it again.  Some times my boys will do anything on a dare.

Max & Bojan saying cheers to each other.  Why they are in my bedroom, I'm not quite sure.  That is not Mountain Dew they are drinking.  Can you even guess what is in those glasses they are about to down??  

 Bottoms up!  No grimacing or anything.  Got to love the pre-trip mess on the dresser, huh?  Any guesses yet on what they dared each other to drink?

Max taking a gulp.  Bojan's face says it all I think.  These two decided pickle juice from the giant jar of dill pickles was the thing to drink.  Yuck!  

Max mows the church grass every week to two weeks.  About 4 or 5 acres.  On that land there is also a garden.  We were so excited that he was able to bring a few fresh veggies home as we go through them like water.  We got snap peas, cabbage, red potatoes and onions.  LOVE them!  We used everything so far but the cabbage.  I'll use that with a recipe I have this week.  Wish we had the land for a big garden but that's our next house.  don't these look absolutely delicious?!  They were.

This is Trouble Kota.  He's the protector of the muttley crew for sure.  Don't let his size full you.  He is boss.  His nickname here is 'King Kota.'  No lie.  If he does not know you, he will NOT let you in this home.  He knows all the kids & their friends.  We love him but he is a piece of work at times. 

This was not how I wanted to sleep in this morning.  The muttley crew kicked me out of my own bed!  For those who were wondering if our dogs get along, here's the shot.  3 of them together.  Comfy as can be.  They abandoned their dogbeds for a much more soft spot.  

I think this picture says a lot.  Digby has fit in just fine in this home.   No biting or growling going on here.  Just some love.  Our dogs are part of the family as you can see.  They have free range of the house.  The puppies have grown up so fast.  Yet, still have plenty of puppy left in them.  

It's Memorial Day Weekend.  We're working on the house.  We went to Shoe Carnival to get the kids some shoes. Unfortunately, our puppies have eaten many of our shoes.  We only got what we had to get.  Did buy Summer some shoes for the fall.  Guessing they'll fit her by then.  If not, she'll grow into them.  But, when you can get brand new shoes for $6, you grab them.  

Went to the fruit stand & made a bit of a deal w/ the local farmer.  So, we'll be able to get produce quite a bit cheaper.  Hey, every little bit helps.  Monday, I'll go take my list to him & pick it up the next day.  Very excited. Today, we went to church and have been home cleaning ever since.  Warren has been painting the outside windows that have been rotting. He's chipping stuff away, caulking, & re-painting.  Lots of work.  Max & Yana did some yard work.  I've been trying to sell stuff online to raise some funds for the orphanages.  Every little bit helps.  PLus, always nice to clear the clutter.  Kids have been swimming some today as well.  Trying to relax despite it being T- 13 days!  NOT ready.  Not enough money, no sitter, no driver from the airport, etc.  I know we'll get there but not easy.  Got to go.  Enjoy your weekend.