Saturday, September 24, 2011

burned my hand

This will be a short post.  Mostly b/c it really hurts to type.  I have some unfinished posts that will be finished but not tonight.  I was making zucchini parmasean when I was scooping out the hot grease (it was still cooking) & accidentally missed & poured it on my hand.  Ouch is an understatement.  Ran cold water on it and then we went on the hunt for that wonderous silver sulfidianzine.  It's the burn cream I received from the hospital the last time I got the kitchen then too.  Needless to say, Warren finished cooking dinner.  That is what I get to attempt something new.  BTW, the dinner did turn out fantastic.  All the kids ate it AND had seconds.  My thumb (got the brunt of it) is pretty much staying in excruciating pain.  Burn cream helps a bit but only eases it slightly. 

Air show got rained out today.  So none of the kids got to fly.  bummer.  Came home and Nik got to play w/ a friend from last year.  They had an awesome time together.  Now, we're all trying to decide on a movie to watch together.  We all voted no for Karate Kid.  Looking now for something else.   Tomorrow we have church.  Other than that, we need to do all the stuff we promised we'd do around here this weekend.  Did not include a burned hand.  More to come later on in the weekend.  Hope everyone is having a relaxing weekend.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Our weekend ahead

It has been such a hectic, hectic week.  I have gotten behind on quite a few things and am using today to play catch up.  I will have a picture post  and a birthday post later today as well.  Today is Friday and Warren took off work to work on the yard.  Umm, it poured down rain.  No yard work.  Figures.  That's okay though b/c we've spent quite a bit of time discussing future plans w/ our kids.  Kids that are here and kids that will join our family.  Some of our kids will be able to leave home, some will not.  That takes planning especially, when it comes to the living situations.  Working on plans.  Ideas from parents of adult children living at home who've been there/ done that, please feel free to chime in w/ advice.  We get so much mixed advice we are at a stand still.  We've been told by our neurologist to already declare one of our kids incompetent for their own safety in regards to signing things and banking and such.  It just sounds so harsh.  I know that's the wording and I know she is NOT but still, it's hard to hear.  You want your kids to be as independent as possible.  Yet, still make sure they can handle certain situations and people.  Again, we're learning.  It is hard.  Not going to lie.  It's hard to think about.  We've disagreed w/ professionals before.  Deep down though, we know this one is correct.  She's known our daughter for just about as long as we have.  Let me know if any of you have been down this path and what you chose for your adult children living at home once they reached adulthood.  We need to think of the future so that it does not sneak up on us.  You know, since we are the ultimate procrastinators. 

Picked up more orphanage donations today which was wonderful!  Great people getting together to help neighbors in countries across the ocean.  Makes a difference.  Very grateful for everything that was donated.  Many jump ropes and crayons and frisbees and yo-yo's and such.  Love it!  Now, to figure out how to get it all over to EE next trip. 

Not much else going on today.  We did a few errands and mostly vegged out.  Warren and I just got back from a walk w/ the dogs.  Kids and I are figuring out a menu for next month and activities as well.  Yana has cross country tomorrow.  has to be at the school at 5:30 am...yikes!  The rest of us will be going to an air show locally.  Kids will get to ride up in a plane.  We may be able to make the kids' soccer games.  If not, it will be the only ones we will miss.  This only comes once a year and we missed it last year due to Nik's surgery.  We're all actually really excited about it.  One of Nik's friends from last year is coming over to visit tomorrow.  Nik is VERY excited.  These two are best buds.  It's wonderful. 

Sunday, we have church and then a homecoming lunch afterwards.  Then, we have a youth group meeting with the kids at 5pm.   October is right around the corner.  Blows my mind.  I'm still hopeful of an October court date.  Just very ready for my kids to be home and us to get settled in as a family.  We have opted not to do any sports or extracurricular activities for winter.  Spring and summer we'll be back full force.  But, this fall is proving to be quite busy.  Even the kids have started asking do we have to go anywhere.  That's a sign to slow back down.  And, those are the plans for November, December and January.  Those are the plans.  However, you throw in regular holiday happenings, birthdays, new kids coming home and well, not sure how much slowing down there will be.  LOL.  We'll figure it all out I'm sure.  Got to go.  Promised Irina she could use Facebook this evening.  Gives me no excuses for cleaning my room.  I have orphanage donations all over the floor and bed.  And laundry.  Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.  Much more to come.  Picture posts and sweet sixteen.

Update on apple pies

Have just a few things to add.  Thanks to all who've inquired.  One thing I forgot to mention was how much the jars were.  They are $13.99 a jar.  It can be paid now or when it arrives.  Either way.  It will need to be paid to me.  If writing a check, write it out to me.

These really are great gift ideas for the upcoming Holiday season.  Thanksgiving & Christmas are right around the corner.  With all the business of the season, it would be great to have a pie filling on hand that is beyond delicious (seriously is, ask those who've tried it!) & so easy to make.  I poured the filling in my ready made pie crust, all of a 5 second step and then popped it in the oven.  Like I said, the longest part of this is finding the pie pan.  LOL.  In the oven 55 minutes & then ready to take to your party or classroom or friends' house or church.  It's wonderful!  You won't be the one bringing the grocery store cake this year b/c you didn't have time to bake anything.  Umm, trust me, I fall into this category too.  Pies are good any time.  Great gift idea as well.  Who doesn't like pie?!  So please locals, place your orders.  I guarantee you will not regret it.  It makes a great teacher gift too.  Or, when you don't know what to give your hostess at the Thanksgiving feast.  So many things you can think of to do with this pie filling.  Me personally, I'd make it & eat it.  Too good to give away.  So, you may just want to give one and keep one.

You can write me at and put apple pie in the subject line to place an order.  Please locals, feel free to pass this info around. We will be taking orders for the next couple of weeks.  I will give a reminder on here & on Facebook every week.  Can not say thank you enough for your support.  Those who know us, give us a call to place your order if you'd like.  We'd love to catch up.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone.  There will be several posts coming up.  First, I have to go gather some orphanage donations that some local folks donated for us.  The generosity is still overwhelming.  The orphanages really can use a variety of supplies and I do think they will thoroughly enjoy the frisbees, jumpropes, crayons, paper dolls, etc.  coming their way.  It really does transform lives.  I've seen it firsthand!  Something that we don't think twice about, they will cherish till it breaks.  We will accept donations until we are ready to fly out.  We'd love more outdoor toys.  I think we have plenty of crayons & markers now which is fantastic!  Jumpropes, frisbees, gliders, light kites, etc.  would be much appreciated as well.  Thanks so much for all the support and helping the children in the orphanages of EE.

Don't forget to order your apple pie filling in time for Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Homeschool update

Homeschool.  It's trial and error those first few weeks and I'm well aware of that.  though lately, I think we've had more error than trial.  I had a schedule all worked out.  Yeh, that hasn't been followed since we started.  With short attention span theater, I think it's difficult at times to have a strict schedule.  So, we're going with the flow here.  I will tell you what we do do everyday.

Here's Alyona and Nik doing some of their workbooks.  We do not have one set cirriculum here.  Their levels are just all over the place.  Would be too hard to do. 

Sometimes, we have to stop and play with one of the "littles." 

This is what they enjoyed doing for about 5 minutes the other day.  Pig faces.  Nice, isn't it?

Well, the day starts w/ waking up.  Hasn't been hard for any of them to wake up thank goodness.  Then, Nik, Alyona & Alex enjoy going for a morning bike ride.  Come back eat breakfast, get dressed & then read a book.  While they read, I read a book to Nik.  Then, they work on a journal entry.  I pick the topics for now.  By this time, the "littles" may come.  Only 1 or 2 of them this year.  Little 1 & 2 (if both are here) go upstairs to play.  Mean time, the other 3 do their math and I do flashcards(multiplication) with Alex.  After all that, it is time for them to go out and play while I pull weeds.

Usually, we'll go on the playground.  This day was cool so they all enjoyed the sandbox.  Yeh, needs weeding, I know.  Why the roller skates are in there, I'll never know.  

Alyona.  Using our seeder for the wrong purpose.  Shampoo bottle?  Not sure why all these weird items are in the sandbox.  Hey, they're having fun and creating something, I let it go.  

After some time outside, we come back in for a snack break.  Then, we take the 3 dogs for a walk.  Come back and do some work together.  Usually talk about history or do science.  My lectures are brief or I lose them.  LOL.  So, all the kids sit and listen.  By this time, it's lunch time.  After lunch, we do something else.  Usually, workbooks.  The "littles" like work too so keeping it to ABC's.  Today, they glued cotton balls to make the letter A.  While doing this, their learning basic sign as well.  They think it's cool.  After the Littles finish their work, they usually play while my homeschoolers finish their workbooks.  By this time, it is either speech therapy time or time to go outside again.  I let them all play the rest of the afternoon unless we have a project to do.  This week, we made Apache shields.  

It varies from day to day but that is the general routine.  Tomorrow, we're going to the bounce house in the morning.  Wednesdays are story time at the church but didn't go today b/c Max's teacher called before we were going.  URGHH!!!  So, going next week.  Friday, are park days.  This week though, supposed to pour down rain Friday.  Now, my kids are full during the week in the evenings.  Soccer and church clubs.  In fact, getting ready to leave for the science and cooking club at church.  

Not sure we're doing this homeschool thing right but we're sure trying.  And, they've completed a few workbooks already.  Nik is trying to sound out letters.  The "littles" can even tell their parents we live in the milky way galaxy and the sun is hot.  LOL.  Alex is rolling along finally learning his multiplication facts.  He's excited about that.  Alyona is frustrated but she still is trying so hard and getting their.  We had to first break her of the cycle that she was used to in school.  No, mom is not going to tell you how to spell something or give you the answer.  Now, she doesn't even ask me.  She the dictionary!  Trust me, huge step.  I see progress.  I'm not pushing them...yet.  HOwever, I've seen a lot of self-motivation to want to learn new things.  We're just now getting into new world explorers so I think they'll have a good time with that unit.  They are thoroughly enjoying the science and planets we're studying.  Very happy about that.  They loved and really got into the solar oven.  We plan on doing many more hands on science projects/experiments.  For now, just getting our feet wet in stuff.  

For science, by the end of the year, they will have studied the solar system, dinosaurs, human body, rocks and minerals, animals, oceans, and much, much more.  For now, trying to fill in the huge learning gaps with my kids.  It's not easy.  Alyona is in 5th grade, yet can't read.  She can't write.  She can't do basic math.  By law, the schools here must teach on grade level despite the kids NOT understanding it.  Even in special ed.  I think that is just plain stupid and wrong.  Seriously, you can't teach a kid algebra if they can't even add!  Alex has huge gaps as well.  Not as big as Alyona's mind you but still their.  He is a very choppy reader.  Doesn't comprehend much of what he reads.  Nik is in 2nd grade.  He can not read or write.  Or speak.  Nik is now starting to sound out words with me!  Letter by letter.  I tell you all this stuff not to demonstrate what they can't do.  No.  It's to show you by the end of the year, just what they will be ABLE to do.  I see progress little by little.  I will share this journey we're on.  To catch up our kids as best as possible and allow them to reach their fullest potential in academics.  Keep you posted.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

American as apple pie

Who doesn't love apple pie?  Okay, don't answer that as I sure there's a select few.  However, you taste this pie, you will become a pie lover.  Yes, it is that good.  On Sunday, we had a church picnic.  Locally, we are selling pie filling.  Now, if there are bulk orders or a bunch in one spot, we would definitely look into doing that for sure.  For now though, we have orders we are doing here.  The name of this is called EZ PZ pie.  You will find out why very, very shortly.

Let me start by saying I have never made a pie in my life.  Okay, take that back.  You know those boxed apple pies in the freezer of the grocery store?  Yeh, I've slipped one of those in the oven before.  But the truly homemade, mouthwatering pies, I have never ever made.  So, you can see why I was nervous.  No need to be w/ EZ PZ pies.  I will take you step by step so you can see for yourselves.  Trust me, you'll be drooling by the end of this.

First, find a pie dish.  Notice this looks new?  Umm, that's b/c I have never used it before.  Received it as a wedding gift.  Along w/ a tea pitcher which we used every single day until it broke.  We LOVED that tea pitcher and love pottery.  Anyhow, start w/ a pie dish.

This is the pie filling you'll use.  When you open the jar the smell is just absolutely magical.  Kids asked if we can keep the empty jar and put it in the living room.  LOL.  yes, it smells just like fresh pie.  

I cheated.  I used a ready made pie crust from Pilsbury.  No one knew the difference btw.  That is the beauty of this filling.  You an use any type of pie crust you want.  Homemade or store bought crust.  

Next step, simply dump in the pie filling.  No cutting, no peeling ,nothing.

Now, this if optional but I did it anyhow.  I made a crumble topping for the top of the pie.  You don't have to but I did.  Butter, brown sugar, flour.  Again, simple.

Crumbled topping and pie ready to go in the oven.  Honestly, the longest part of preparing this pie was looking for that pie pan I never use.

Oh, if this computer only had smellivision!  The smell permeated throughout the house.  It was so hard for the kids to wait till we got to the church.  This is the finished apple pie.  Essentially, you have three steps.  1) put a pie crust in or make one.  2) pour the pie filling in and 3) bake it in the oven for 55 minutes.  Folks, you can not get any easier than EZ PZ Pies!!  

Please feel free to ask me more or check out their website I'll have at the end.  We are selling the pie filling.  Locals, we are taking orders everyday for 2 months!!!  These make the perfect hostess gifts, Christmas gifts, boss' gifts, etc. So many options and with the holiday season coming up, less worry about what to get and give as a gift.  Shoot, I'd rather keep it myself.  LOL.  We are trying to get to 100 jars.  We are at 15 jars sold and we just started.  Very excited about this as it really is such a super great product.  And, the lady who makes these lives in Raleigh!  For the people who don't know, it's not far from here.  Love supporting locals.  I can pretty much guarantee you won't be disappointed in this jar of pie filling.  And, there are so many other possibilities for recipes.  Their website also has recipes on it.  Love it!  Thanks for considering purchasing a jar of pie filling or two, and supporting our endeavor.  Now, we'll be selling any time.  Just ask any of the Boyd bunch.  Here is the pie site.  Gives you some mouth watering recipes. 



I don't think I can stress this enough.  I wrote about these wonderful children just a few months ago.  I honestly can not believe NO ONE has contacted the agency about them.  No calls. (last I heard)  These kids deserve out of the orphanage and it is vital for them given their dx's.  I will give a little more info.  

The siblings are just 2 and 3 years old.  That's it!  So, so much life left in them but only if they are out of an orphanage setting.  The reason I say that is not because they are orphans or b/c of institutional life.  No.  The reason is much greater a need than that.  See, these two precious little ones have Cystic Fibrosis (CF).  You can find out more about CF here:  Now, there have been   great, great strides in this disease for sure.  These children live life to the fullest and grow up into adults living life to the fullest.  I have a friend who adopted her first little girl from EE.   She came from Bojan's orphanage.  (No, this is NOT where these two sibs are located).  Anyhow, this child is simply amazing.  Despite what some think, CF children do not spend their lives in hospitals.  This wonderful little girl, goes to school, plays with her siblings, goes to church, and does everything else a child her age should be doing.  Yes, there are some meds to take and treatments to do.  But, that is a minimal part of who she is.  I see pictures of her w/ smiles and playing with her brothers.  It's heart warming.  The lives the children w/ CF live are full of life and spirit.  Remember the singers on America's Got Talent last year?  So much love.  Yes, they had cystic fibrosis but that was not what their life centered around.  They had God given talent and used it.  

I guess the point I'm trying to make is the sibling set with cystic fibrosis deserve to have that same chance to live life to the fullest.  To smell the fresh air here and go to school.  We all know despite even being at what is considered a "good" orphanage, it is still an orphanage.  It is still not the same loving care a family can provide for the rest of their lives.  Give them opportunities they would otherwise not have.  Not to mention, orphanages are not the safest place for children with this disease.  Their bodies are not quite equipped to deal with the many infections that go around an orphanage.  Irina had asthma as a kid.  Still does.  However, when we got her, she had really bad asthma.  Her orphanage was old, surrounded by kids and not having the best hygiene in the orphanage does not help.  She came home and though she still has asthma, she was not in the shape she was in when we brought her home.  Struggling to breath or talk clearly without wheezing.  The siblings with cystic fibrosis may have that same type of issue.  

The sibling set is a 2yo little girl and a 3yo little boy.  They are healthy right now.  That is wonderful to hear b/c it means they have been taken care of in their orphanage.   This country is a two trip process but only one person has to travel on those trips.  It is one of the Hague countries.  Big families are accepted as are singles.  It is a beautiful country and the people are just as beautiful and friendly.  The fees for these two siblings have been reduced to help them find a home a little faster.  This sibling set does have CF(cystic fibrosis).  Anyone considering these children should do the research of what is involved with raising children with this disorder.  In addition, my friend has offered to speak with anyone interested in what it is like to parent children with CF.  I'm sure the right parents are out there for these precious little ones.  These two have stolen my heart and I know their forever family is out there.  Thanks for allowing me to share about these sweet toddlers.   For more information, please contact  Katie.  

More to come later today.   Warren took Irina to neurology today.  Just check up.  I have two "littles" today and homeschool of course.  Alyona, Nik and Alex woke up and went for a bike ride around the neighborhood.  I read books to everyone and older kids read their own books.  They did a journal entry...reluctantly.  They hate writing.  We're working on that one.  Now, a short break for all of us.  Then, we all walk the dogs and eat lunch.  head to an IEP meeting for Yana.  Back, do some history and paint our Native American shields (Apache) that we started to make yesterday.  Speech therapy after that, another play break, then onto science for all.  Math will have to wait till later this evening.  FAS support group meeting this evening for anyone in the area interested.  Takes place in Cary.  Let me know & I'll give you info.  Fantastic group.  Busy day but we can pack in some fun too.  Not worried.  This is one of our busier weeks.  Those sneak up on you for sure.  Break is coming to an end so I'll have to go soon.  Enjoy your day and please help spread the words on these two tots available.  I truly believe they'd make an awesome addition to a family. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Nik's drawings

Well, haven't done one of these for awhile. 

Nik made this one.  Of course.  Can you even guess who this is??  At first, I thought it was Max.  Nik said no and started laughing.  He said it was Alyona.  I said why is she red?  He said she was angry but yet she's smiling.  Nik colored her eyes w/ the red streaks.  Gave her a necklace & earrings.  Alyona was then mad at him for drawing the picture.  He looks at the picture & then points to mad Alyona...while laughing.  Which as I'm sure you can guess, makes her angrier.  Got to love it.  Nik has one sick sense of humor to be sure.

Another one of Nik's even though it is not completed yet.  This is Nik wanting to be like Max. Max draws a lot of tractors and mechanical things.  This was Nik's first ever tractor and I took the picture before he was finished.  What the skull is for on the door, I have no idea.  Max draws skulls so again, think this is Nik just following big brother.  

I'll have to start taking more pictures of his drawings. I love the way his mind things.  Need to keep a portfolio for him like we did Max during his younger years.  Well, got 3 blog posts in today.  Been a busy, busy day.  Much, much more to do tomorrow.  Working on a few other posts as well.  Hope all is well with everyone.  I seriously can't wait for September to be over so that we can eventually slow down a bit.  Though, No free weekend until the first weekend in November.  Told the kids already we are doing NO extracurricular activities this winter.  Spring, yes.  Winter, we need to just chill and not be on the move all the time.  Don't worry, somehow I still think the calender will be full. 

Turn down the heat please....

Some of you who've been following for awhile all know my kids have quirks and "issues."  Some have medical things well beyond our control.  One of those is Alex.  Alex has what is called a horseshoe kidney (or renal fusion).  This is also one of the many things that can happen with FASD is what we were told by our neurologist.  Essentially, it is one big kidney in the shape of a horseshoe.  For this reason, Alex is to avoid contact sports such as football or wrestling.  Those he can never play.  Which is fine.  Just that Alex is our sports nut for sure.  Another thing apparently that happens w/ people w/ this is that they get over heated very easily due to the adrenal glands.  However, recently it seems Alex's overheating is getting much more severe.  He has an appointment with neurology very soon so we're asking for a referral for the endocrinologist in the area.  Can only go by referral.  Alyona went there when she was dx'd w/ failure to thrive and possible dwarfism among other dx's.

Now, Alex has always had regular blood work done just due to the other meds he's on.  Our neuro is extremely cautious & always on top of things.  None of us thought too much of Alex's over heating issues.  But this past year his temperature regulation issues (also present in FAS kids some times) seem to be more prevalent.  So, we will be asking if this is normal since he's hitting adolesence age or what may be contributing it.  Alex is a very healthy kid otherwise and really doesn't have too many other physical issues.  Two weeks ago, we had an Upwards soccer game.  It was hot out.  Alex assured me he'd be fine w/out his cooling vest.  I know, retrospect, I should have stepped in but honestly, we'd gone all summer in the 100's w/out incident I thought surely this would be okay. I'll go bit by bit & explain what happens.

 They always say a prayer before the game.  Alex's team is in the blue & he is #9.

 Alex in action on the field.  This was in the first quarter I believe. 

Second quarter, Alex is started to get "that look."  Even Alyona noticed it.  I don't think Alex is going to last long.  I yelled at him to get water which he did.  Remember, I had doused him w/ water even before the game began.  

This was Alex AFTER he'd already been cooling off for over 10 minutes.  Look how red he still looks.  When he got over heated, he ran off the field and said he couldn't breathe.  Others were rather nervous but we've been through this before. His hands & such were going numb as well.  Put him in the shade and started the cooling down process. 

Alex, after the game getting snacks.  Still hot but standing.  Alex told me he promised to listen and wear his cooling vest next time.  Relief.  See, I was going to tell him he couldn't play unless he wore it next time but was glad he came to his own conclusion on that one.  Nonetheless, we want to be sure it is just over heating going on and nothing more.  In all other areas, perfectly fine.  He loves soccer and we encourage him to play sports.  It's where he shines.  With all his mental/ academic FAS health issues, we need to make sure we find what is one of his strong points.  Soccer and sports really is one of those.  Hope one day we can send him to some type of camp. 

Just wanted to show you some issues that you may not be able to first see with your FASD kids but may discover slowly over time.  Temperature regulation is something I've heard of other parents having issues with.  For Alex though, we need to know if it's the FASD or the kidney issue.  Either way, we can work with it so that Alex can really enjoy sports w/out stopping for sure.  Out of my FASD kids, 3 really have temp issues.  You'll see some of my kids freezing in the 100 degree weather.  They are not.  It's just who they are.  We get strange looks sometimes but that is okay.  As long as the kids are healthy, safe and thriving, I don't mind.  I'll take those looks any day.  So, if you ever see a kid on a playground in the middle of summer w/ a sweatshirt on or a kid seeming to sweat when it's only 70 degrees out, don't stare or think they're weird.  They're just who they are and simply enjoying life as a kid. 

Manic Monday

Where did the weekend go??  Where did my "catch up" time go?  This past weekend was good.  Tiring, but good.  Saturday was really rainy and dreary out.  Still, had to go to soccer games.  First set started at 8:30am.  Kids all made it.  After that, came home, had lunch & then Warren & I went to Barnes and Nobles to find something.  Not there.  Put us in a pinch b/c we MUST have it.  Can't tell now but will later this week for sure.  Came home and we all just vegged out a bit.  Yesterday was busier w/ church and then a church picnic in the afternoon.  I also did my apple pie fundraiser.  There will be an entire post on that & can't wait to share it w/ you all.  Today, I have 2 "littles" & my homeschoolers.  So, not much time on here to write till later this evening.  Nik, Alex & Alyona did reading, writing, and math before the "littles" even got here so that was a big relief.  I'll do science & history together w/ the "littles" today.  May do a project this after noon but not sure yet.  Making sure we have enough supplies.  Just popped cupcakes in the oven as Nik has a soccer game this evening & I have snacks.  Needed to find something around the house for snack.  Others have brought donuts so guess it will be fine.  We'll be taste testing soon as my neighbor gave me egg replacement.  Never used that before.  Her daughter has severe allergies. I had one egg & for some reason neighbors were out too.  LOL.  We were all laughing about it b/c all of us used the last eggs this morning.  You know that would only happen on a day I needed eggs for cake, right. 

This is a very, very busy week for us.  We have a soccer game this evening for Nik.  Tuesday, Neurology for Irina, contractor(again, more on this later), FAS support group meeting, speech therapy and I forget what else.  Wednesday, we have the church clubs after school and Yana's home meet.  Thursday is Yana's birthday and a whole list of other happenings that day as well.  Friday, no school but hoping we can go hiking possibly. 

So, much to do for sure.  I will explain a bunch more later and have pictures from this past weekend.  Just duty calls & I must answer.  Need to check some more work that the homeschoolers did.  Cupcakes are about done & I'm taking all the kids for a neighborhood walk w/ the dogs.  Lots of good things happening at Chaos Manor.  However, we're dealing w/ some ups & downs of teen life too.  Much more to share.  Also, we have many, many kids that need families.  I the two that are truly weighing on my heart...the CF(cystic fibrosis) siblings.  Just two and three years old.  Babies really.  I will have more on them very soon.  Got to go. Nik is holding a legos creation while messing w/ the computer mouse.  Have an awesome week & like 5 more posts to come this evening.  LOL.