Friday, August 26, 2011

Hurricane prep

Well, we have been trying to somewhat get ready for the hurricane that is coming early in the morning.  Not much you can do to get ready though.  Made sure all projectile objects were put away in the yard and everything else flipped over so that wind would not catch it.  Will drain part of the pool out soon.  Took pictures.  We are surrounded by trees.  Should be okay but you just never know. 

My little "Stephen King" is convinced we are dying in the storm & then smiles.  Yes, I do think I'm going to have him draw a picture this time.  Who knows how that one will turn out.  LOL.  I looked up the sign for hurricane on the computer.  On ASL pro.  Not sure if it's right or not b/c seems complicated to me.  Nik is VERY into this weather.  I've reassured him it's fine here but the news is talking it up and he's watching intently.  It's his first hurricane so understandable.  I'll have 2 that will go ballastic if the lights go out.  That should be fun.  Hoping to keep the power though so not going to worry about something I have no control over.  However, you have kids w/ PTSD, certain events can trigger some reactions.  Spent lots of time really downplaying this storm for them.  Told them the house is safe.  Mom & Dad will be here throughout and if the lights go out, we'll simply play some games, read or clean their rooms.  Yeh, they didn't like the clean the rooms ideas.  Not too worried about anything.  The trees that could hit the house we're cut down 2 years ago.  Other tall ones should not be able to reach it. 

Warren went to Sam's for some food.  Remember, all the meat was gone from the popsicle fiasco.  Look 2 posts down & you'll see what I mean.  We'll enjoy some time together and good food.  Will post again tomorrow if we have power.  It's kind of a wait and see type of deal.  Stay safe everyone and take the time to enjoy some down time w/ your family.  All the events have been canceled here so a Saturday w/ nowhere to be.  This house is pretty sound so maybe, just maybe, we can sleep in for once.  Despite pounding rain.  Enjoy your weekend wherever you are.   Just stay safe.  Updates to come later this weekend. 

Playground pictures

The other day, it was gorgeous out.  My sister in-law stopped by & we took the 8 kids here to the park.  It was too beautiful not to.  Thought I'd show a few pics from the other day.  You know, to remember the sunshine before the trerential rains start from Hurricane Irene today and tomorrow. 

 Nik, enjoying his view from the top of the world.  Well, in his eyes.

Irina, taking a break.  BTW, things are finally starting to turn around for her and I'll have a post on that soon. 

Alyona stopped long enough for me to snap a shot.  This thing really makes you dizzy.  Doesn't stop my kids though.  

Alex, showing us his skills of going across the monkey bars.

Okay, this thing spins so fast and they were laughing so dog gone hard.  Should have video taped it.  They could not get enough.

 Boys taking a break from all that spinning.

You may not be able to tell from this picture, but he was white as a ghost.  Totally pale.  Remember that human centrifuge contraption?  The ones my kids would not stop going on?  See, many of my children have sensory integration issues.  They can spin forever and not get dizzy.  Trust me, other parents on the playground notice.  LOL.  Well, their bodies can only take so much.  So, Alex, Bojan, and Nik felt like they would throw up at any moment.  None of them did but you could tell it was a close one.  

We had such a great time at the park that day.  It really was just a beautiful day to go.  Hope you enjoyed the pictures as much as I did.  It's hard to take one when they're spinning so fast.  

There may not be as many posts this weekend.  Depends upon the hurricane & what exactly it does here.  All sporting activities are canceled for tomorrow.  Hurricane is supposed to come on shore some time around 9am.  I call not it for letting the dogs out tomorrow morning.  LOL.  Got to go.  I'll try to do an update post very soon on a few items. 

What's wrong w/ this picture?

Well, time for another what's wrong w/ this picture post.  This time, I have 2 to share.  See if you can tell what the problem is.  This week I think it should be more appropriately titled gross pics. 

Yes, Yana would not enjoy me posting that picture.  Ahh, the prerogative of being a mom.  LOL.  Okay, apparently, someone left the subzero freezer open.  Therefore, everything in it defrosted.  Someone thinking they were doing the right thing, apparently closed the same freezer causing a refreeze.  Yes, the raw chicken juice had now refrozen & everything was stuck to it.  See, we didn't know this for a little while.  Why did we not notice?  Well, we have 2 full fridges in the house and this is our stocked spare.  However, it is also where Popsicles are kept so you can see how this happened, right?  We unplugged the freezer waiting to chisel out the meat.  Then, straight to the garbage it went of course.  Stinks b/c that was quite a bit of meat wasted.  URGHH!! I blame the Popsicle location.  BTW, Popsicles are now in the house.  Freezer, waiting to be restocked this coming week.  

What's wrong w/ this picture you ask?  Not too much except for the fact the boys thought they should bring it all into the house.  They love picking the cicada shells off the trees this time of year.  Save them in jars and make scary porch decor for Halloween.  This bonus for the boys was they found an old skull.  Lovely.  Boys love to be gross.  

Not much else going on here.  Preparing for the hurricane but nothing too dramatic.  Waiting for adoption stuff to just move forward.  Remember, in EE, they have August vacation and don't get back till September.  So, really ready to hear something next week on our case and hopefully, find out an exact court date soon.  Very ready for that.  

Locally, we have decided to sell pies.  Yep, homemade apple pies.  I'll have more about it for sure but pretty much for locals since it would be too hard to ship elsewhere.  Well, not hard but expensive to ship, I"m sure.  Checking into it though.  More to come on the pie selling next week.  

More going on but really need to finish up some things around here.  Kids have read this morning, done art, p.e., geography, and are now working on math.  Taking it easy this week since it is just week one.  Told them next week to be really ready to work.  They've already asked when the first field trip is.  I do need to go.  Since some of this is just review, they are okay on their own on this math.  Next week, I"ve got my work cut out for me.  But, we're ready.   More to share but for now, need to get stuff done. 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Thoughtful Thursday

Wow, I don't think I've done this for a few weeks.  Crazy.  It's high time I recognize the thoughtfulness going on in this house.  See, for those new here, this is when I recognize what thoughtful thing each child has done during the week.  With multiple children w/ mental and behavioral issues such as FAS, it is easy to forget this sometimes.  This is a way to remember.  Hope I can remember anyway.

Irina-- She knows I've been trying to get the house organized and ready for school.  She did all the laundry w/out me even asking just to help out.  Thought that was thoughtful of her. 

This is Max pushing all the kids on a playground.  Max is such a great young man when it comes to helping not just his siblings but others too.  He was helping other kids on the playground that needed it too.  Very thoughtful Max.

Yana-- Yana knows Irina got called retarded last year at school and picked on.  Well, this year Irina is going to Cleveland w/ the rest of her sibs in high school.  Yana said "don't worry Irina.  If anyone picks on you, I've got your back."  Sometimes they don't get along but this time she was thinking of her sister for sure.  Nice, very nice.  

Bojan-- I don't know why but I had trouble with this one this week.  I think it's middle school attitude.  LOL.  But, Bojan too is just as thoughtful this week.  He was really willing to pitch in and help the other kids clean up when he was done with his part.  Very thoughtful to extend a helping hand to someone else. 

Alyona-- Alex really wanted to learn to make tea the other day.  So, Alyona was teaching him!  She volunteered to teach him when Alex asked.  Thoughtful of her.

Alex-- Alex saw Alyona struggling with the sweeping job on the porch the other day.  So, he volunteered to help her out.  

Nik-- He drew a picture for his friend Ava and sent it in the mail.  It was the cutest thing. No address on it so figured mailman would leave it in the box but they took it & Nik was jumping for joy!  Thought for him to think of his friend.

Take time out to notice, even if it is something small, what thoughtful things your children are doing.  Yes, even with RAD, FAS, PTSD, ODD, ADHD, and everything else, they WILL do something thoughtful each and every week.  You just have to notice it.  Your kids really will appreciate the recognition.  

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Back to School poem

Stole this from a friend's facebook page.  Too cute not to share.  

Twas the night before school started, when all through the town, the parents were cheering... It was a riotous sound! 

By 8, kids were washed and tucked into bed... Where memories of homework filled them with dread!

New pencils, new folders, new notebooks too!

New teachers, new friends... Their anxiety grew!

The parents just giggled when they learned of this fright- and shouted upstairs: Go To Bed! It's A School Night!! :)

Upwards Soccer

My kids have all participated in Upwards basketball or cheerleading before.  However, this is the first year they wanted to try out for soccer.  Alex loves soccer.  I signed Alex, Alyona and Nik up for soccer.  Alex has practice on Tuesdays & Nik & Alyona on Thursdays.  Yesterday was their first practice.  Alex was so excited. 

 Alex listening and getting pointers from his coach.

 Alex and another teammate doing some practice drills.

Since the van had literally no gas in it & we were limited on time, Warren went to get gas while I stayed w/ the kids at practice.  He brought us back a nice surprise of sodas.  It was a hot practice & since right after the IEP meetings, did not have time to fill our water bottles up even.  This is Nik enjoying his soda while watching Alex practice soccer.

Nik playing on the playground at the church.  It's fantastic they can play while their sibs practice.  Love it.

Alyona also enjoying her time on the swings while there.  She and Nik can hardly wait till practice tomorrow.  It really was great.  Relaxing and not too long.  Still had to speed away to pick up Yana on time which was tough.  Fortunately, it's the last day we have to do that w/ this schedule.  

Glad Alex had a good first practice and enjoyed himself.  can't wait to see Nik & Alyona today in action.  Yana is at cross country right now.  Glad she's keeping up with it. More to come.   So much going on, I have to get the time to write about everything.  But, homeschool the kids during the day and activities after school don't leave a ton of time to blog.  Promise to catch up at some point.  Beautiful weather.  They always say it's the calm before the storm.  So far, Irene is staying on the same path & looks like the outer banks here will get the brunt of it.   We should just get the outer bands but that too can be dangerous.  Glad it seems to be staying east but someone just told me that it is starting to shift west now.  You just never know with these things.   And watching the news about it will drive you insane.  Yana's meet is still on.  Upwards stuff is canceled.  Got to go.  Need to put away the produce and get ready to pick up Yana and then go to soccer practice for Alyona and Nik.  After that, shoe shopping for some.  Home, sign papers, bed time, walk dogs and head to bed.  Somewhere in there snap shots of the house just in case.  Stay safe everyone and hope you all are soaking in the great last bit of summer as we are.

Flowers in bloom

Though summer is slowly coming to an end, we still have flowers in bloom here.  I haven't taken pictures of the hanging baskets still in bloom or all the annuals but found a few pictures from the other day that I thought I'd share.

 Love these pretty pink flowers.  These are from a shrub called the tree rose of Sharon.  To me, they look like mini hibiscus flowers. 

These shrubs line our driveway at the top.  People laughed at me when I planted them as sticks two years ago.  Yep, 2 years ago they were those looking sticks from a direct gardening company w/ those penny sales.  I think they were worth the money, don't you?  

 They line the driveway as you can see.  The plants on the right have done better due to the drainage of the yard.  We fixed that problem this year & have now see SO MUCH growth on the left.  Most on the left will be caught up to the right side next year.  

Caught this bug eating from the petunias the other day & snapped a shot.  My petunias are still blooming.  Always get trailing petunias.  BTW, tried the seeds for trailing petunias this year to see if they worked since they are incredibly cheaper than the plants.  Only .99 a seed packet at Lowes.  They did fantastic as you can see.  Love it.  Next year, I'll have petunias all over the place & it will only cost me about $5.  It really is easy to have flowers and shrubs at very reasonable costs.  

I know flower season is coming to an end.  Not many fall flowers really.  Just mums.  Well, a couple more but just mums that work at this house.  I'm not much on winter pansies so I just mostly do lots of spring and summer flowers.  Gives us a break from the yard altogether which is nice b/c then in the spring we are so ready to garden.  Got to get going.  School starts tomorrow.  This week just seems to be dragging on.  Crazy how that happens. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Weirdness continues

You know, since the earthquake in NC wasn't enough, we had to have other things happen here today as well.  An example:

 Vultures in our front yard!  Now, try that for a sight in the morning.  Sorry so fuzzy but took the picture through a glass window.

We were all glued to the little windows trying to sneak a peak.

You can click on the pictures to get a bigger view.  You should have heard the kids when they flew right toward us with wings spread wide open.  It really was cool looking.  We of course were looking for anything dead in our yard but couldn't find anything.  Maybe the turkey we threw out?  LOL.  It was entertainment for awhile if nothing else.  I had them all trying to guess that bird.  Guesses were eagle, hawk & vulture.  I honestly thought they were hawks at first.  Nope.  Vultures.  Yuck.  And two of them.  

Besides the vultures, we've been having humming birds non stop on the front porch.  So cool to watch and much less creepy than the vultures for sure.  Many more pictures to come tomorrow.  Kids had such a blast on the playground.  They really did enjoy the park as did I.  Just was too gorgeous a day for it.  Busy day tomorrow so calling it a night. 

Shaking up an IEP meeting

Well, today was rather busy.  It's Tuesday, btw.  First off, I took the kids to the park when my sister inlaw stopped by.  8 of them went to the park w/ us.  It was such a beautiful day, how could we not go to the park?  Came home and then had a quick lunch.  Realizing at that time, we picked the wrong time this week to defrost the freezer as we somehow forgot to restock the freezer.  LOL.  Kids & I open the fridge & soon realize it is Ramen Noodles for lunch today.  See, a few days ago, we had to empty the entire freezer in the garage.  We have 2 full sized refridgerators in our kitchen.  1 sub zero freezer in the garage which we put all our meat in and such.  We needed to defrost it badly.  Did that and only ended up having to throw a few items out.  Not bad.  However, we forgot to reload it.  So, time to go the grocery store again.  Hey, kids were excited for the Ramen Noodles b/c I usually don't let them have it.  I have to admit, it was good. 

Anyhow, after lunch, Warren came home & he and I went to the IEP meetings together.  Not too long after the meeting started, we had the earthquake.  Went outside b/c we were really feeling it in the school and let's just say nothing in NC is built to code for shaking a building.  Went back in after a few comments and calls and back to work.   I think it broke up the meeting somewhat.  We got a lot accomplished and I think everyone here had better attitudes than our experience last year w/ the other high school & middle school.  We agreed to change some of Irina's classes, have her report to someone each week to make sure no more violence is going on in the school, make up job hours, and encourage her a bit for a successful year.  Max.  Max is now in 9th grade again, not 10th.  He failed math last year.  It is required.  You must fail it twice before they'll give you a waiver & you STILL have to take teacher standards & pass it.  IF he does not pass this semester, we will seriously look at changing him to the OCS track w/ Irina.  However, we all want to really give Max a shot.  He's a smart kid despite the FAS and severe learning disability.  We have adjusted his schedule to try to make accomadations and get help for math.  So, he'll keep weightlifting but lose his art class which he really wanted.  However, they have agreed to let him going during lunch to the art room since it is a release of sorts for him.  Also, they may look at having him help w/ the school mural.  That would be awesome.  They will keep a close eye on Max and give us reports as well.  Yana will keep on the academic track for the time being.  She is being given all teacher handouts w/ notes as her severe CAPD will surely get in the way.  She is extremely behind on reading level.  We are not sure she'll be able to handle regular ed classes but we're all giving it a shot.  Good thing is, she's motivated to try.  Bad thing is, she's distraught when she can't do it.  Working on a solution and teachers & us will have communication throughout.  The one thing I don't want though is for them to "give" her a grade.  They've done that before & it doesn't help the student in the long run.  We'll be testing her at home also.  So, again, we've made adjustments to their IEP's.  We'll be meeting on Yana's evals some time this month.  It will be interesting to see what those read.  Overall, we were pleased w/ how it turned out & how professional everyone was w/ out being overbearing.  Hopefully, we'll have a successful academic year. 

After the meetings, came home & went to the bank, drop off donations of household items, and then to Wally World for cheese to make some homemade pizzas.  Then, off to soccer.  Was such a beautiful day for soccer.  This was Alex's practice.  From there, pick up Yana from cross country.  Then home, make more pizza, eat cake & Irina spending the night w/a friend.  Good day overall and not a whole lot of drama except for that unusual earthquake here.  Tomorrow is just as busy.  Pictures in the next post for sure.  Just wanted to update on successful IEP meetings for once.  Though our kids have multiple learning disabilities, we try to put them on the regular ed path whenever possible & glad the school wants to attempt to do the same.  School starts Thursday for the big kids.  Can't believe it's here already.  But hey, with fall, comes our new kiddos so we are ready for Fall.  Bring on the cool weather, the sports activities, the day trips, the playing outside, the baking, the camping  and of course our new family members coming home!  We're ready to take it all on.  Ready for a successful school year for both homeschoolers and high schoolers.  Stay tuned for more from Chaos Manor.  Need pictures for sure! 

Hurricane headed here

Well, hurricane Irene is forcasted to hit the Carolina shores.  Actually, current path shows more of a direct hit to Raleigh.  For those who don't know, we live next to Raleigh.  I never worry about Hurricanes that hit as a Cat 1 or 2.  Those are more like rough thunderstorms.  Cat 3's are when they start getting a little rougher in my opinion.  This storm is expected to strengthen again.  Now, they are saying possibly hitting as a Cat 4.  Now, Category 4 is nothing to laugh at.  We do not live at the beach.  We are more inland & once the hurricanes hit shore, they dissapate over land.  However, the amount of destruction at a level 4 or 5 can do is massive.  Remember, we patched our roof last year.  It's holding.  We are very concerned if this storm comes in as a cat 4 or 5.  It is August so it is still hot here but nothing we can't stomach if the power goes out.  Last major, major storm that hit this area caused massive damage.  There are trees, large oaks, that could fall on the house but most should not.  One is very questionable but it won't hit the house if it falls.  These are really, really tall trees.  Really tall.  We are obviously keeping a close eye on this storm.  We really should know a lot more by late Thursday.  Don't know when they'll start evacuating the coast.   We'll be getting our supplies though most everything we have on hand anyhow.  Hurricanes are so unpredictable and so much could change between now and then.  So, amongst other things this week, we need to prep for a hurricane.  I was caught one time in the eye of Hurricane Fran.  Driving home from work.  A two hour commute.  It was erie.  We were all terrified.  I was young and not married at the time but will never, ever forget living through that storm.  Good  luck to those in its path.  We are hoping for a sharp swift turn to the east & out the Atlantic.  For now, path is this way though.  Keep you all posted.  For now, taking the kids to the park this Tuesday morning.  It's gorgeous out today and not too hot.  Love it!  Some places to track what's going on here w/ the storm:


national hurricane center

Still expected to hit here around 2 am or so Sunday morning.  Now, for me to go enjoy the park w /the kiddos.  Hurricane prep is Thursday here.  Yep, think it is time for my homeschoolers to learn about the weather.  Enjoy your week and more to come.  Pictures to come soon too.  Been slacking in that department lately.