Friday, December 16, 2011

Really??

We've been doing some cleaning lately as you know since we're going to sell the house.  I mean seriously decluttering and cleaning. 


At first, I thought they were Barbie hats.  I did.  Look closer.  Someone cut the fingertips off of all the gloves.  Nice, huh?  This is that cause and effect thing you hear about w/ FAS.  I so want to see the kid who did this make a snowball when it snows w/ these gloves.  BTW, I have yet to find the gloves!  URGHHH!!!


Remember last year at this time when my parents bought us a new washer?  I looked today and this is what's happening to it.  It's a whirlpool Cabrio.  


All along the top here.  You can see it better in this shot.


Summer's comforter in there.  But, you can see the top of it.  It has not effected the function thus far.  Of course, just noticed this.


Warren seems to think there was something in one of their pockets.  Not sure though.  Doesn't look like it to me.  Again, doesn't effect function.  I will check on the warranty for sure this weekend.  But, we know our luck w/ warranties.  


She dropped an entire huge hat box full of little beads for necklaces.  Nice one, huh?  What you don't see in the picture is her little sister Summer coming from the tub, drops the towel and proceeds to help Alyona pick up beads till I make her get dressed.  I swear some times my kids like to think clothing is optional.

These are just a few of the examples of happenings at Chaos Manor on a daily basis.  Just par for the course.  You just fix it or clean it up and move on.  Never cry over spilt milk.  Or over replacing a $500 pool liner b/c someone ruined it w/ a skateboard.  You just move on.  I totally wished I'd kept a journal of just how much stuff my kids have cost me over the years.  I know it is in the tens of thousands at this point. Shoot, they lost 2 of Nik's $8K implants in the woods.  Only one of those was able to be covered & replaced.  Or how about the $1200 door they broke?  Or the couple hundred $ window before the big D.C. trip?  The list would be a couple pages long but truly would do no good.  It is par for the course when you have kids w/ behavioral issues or just kids in general for that matter.  Just thought I'd share a bit.  Next post is on the house and why we need to sell it.  For now, time to relax.  Okay, so I'm up here b/c I have 4 kids doing punishment chores who refuse to go to bed. URGHH!!!  Hey, on the bright side, at least they're not breaking anything again.

Bubbles, balls and brains

Thought it was time for a few more pictures of happenings around here.


Getting ready to try her hand at bubble blowing.


Just watching in amazement.  It's the simple pleasures these kids enjoy the most.


 She is loving her bubble blowing abilities. 


Summer is just such a happy little girl.  I simply love her. 


Alex has gotten so big lately.  That soccer ball was NEW last month from Upwards.  Now, shredding and well used.  They play soccer that much.  Every single day in the yard.


 Logan, getting ready to show some of his skills.


He stopped long enough to pose for the camera.


Logan and Alex wanted me to try to catch them heading the ball.


Alex's turn at it.  By the time these two hit soccer season this year, they should be ready.  They both have some pretty fancy footwork.  Logan's foot work is a bit better but he's teaching Alex.  However, Alex can run circles around him.  So, it's nice to see them teaching each other and getting along.  Alex needed his brother in so many ways.  And I'm not talking just soccer.


The other day the kids were all working on some math.  Reni is about at Nik's level.  I know the shades are closed but that is intentional.  Kids w/ the disorders some of mine have lose attention to fast.  A backyard w/ pool, swing set, trampoline, & woods just draws them in.  So, closed while school work is done.


Nik, reviewing some of the basics.  Found out he needed a little more practice before we moved on.


 Alyona.  She's not happy at the moment b/c I made her use the dictionary instead of spelling it for her.  Oh well. 


I know, lots of stuff piled on the table.  It happens.  We don't clean up during the day until after we are done w/ school.  Really, no point.  Plus, our focus is on the school work.  Alyona was working on writing.  Logan was doing some math.  He and Reni both finger count.  URGHH!!!  

Catching up with things this evening.  Tomorrow, garbage gets taken, cake dropped off at church, job hunting w/ teens, Digby to Petsmart (only dog we don't bathe ourselves for several reasons), Bojan and Yana to a teen lock in w/ youth group(Irina and Max did not want to go), and Mom & Dad at some point need to Christmas shop.  Between all this is the decluttering that is seriously going on.  Sign (FSBO) will be in the yard next month.  More on the house stuff in another post.  Busy weekend I think it may be.  Would love to squeeze in the park w/ the kids but that may have to wait till Sunday.  Beautiful weather here btw.  Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.

Nik's makings

Haven't done one of these in awhile.  Though not impressive, it is creative.


Nik wanted a chain to count down to Christmas.  I would LOVE to hear something about this duck tape.  LOL.  Yes, Nik decided he should duck tape this to the wall.  Painting must be done as this is the entrance hallway.  Lovely son.  Duct tape does peel paint right off the wall.  Nik did this all on his own.  I give him one for creativity. 


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Our celebration

Ever since we adopted Max and Irina, we have always celebrated the adoption by going to a Japanese Steak House  in Raleigh.  It's called Kanki.  It is our absolute favorite place to go.  Issue, it is way too expensive.  So that is why we can ONLY go when it is an adoption that we've done every few years or once we went b/c it is the only thing Irina wanted for her birthday.  The kids all look forward to it.  They put on a little 'show' while cooking.  For the new kids, their eyes are always in awe.  Just is a nice time for all.  So, we decided to go for lunch this past Saturday.  Lunches are much less than dinner.  Thought we'd have to wait forever b/c it is the holidays but ushered right in.  We fill up every single seat at the table...12. 


Sorry, could never get a shot w/ everyone.  This is them first opening the chopsticks.  One grain of rice at a time is how they want to eat it.  


Bojan, reenacting a scene from the Karate Kid.  Trying to catch a fly.  No, there were not flies in the restaurant.  


 Waiting for the chef to arrive. 


Kids starting to get excited about the fire.  Not to mention the amount of food on that cook top there.  


Since I was sitting next to them, I really didn't have many pics of Summer and Irina.  So, this is them watching w/ intensity.  


 Still having lots of fun here watching the chef do his tricks.


No idea what Reni and Alex were doing.  Sure it was some sort of challenge.


 Max is waiting to do something to Bojan w/ those chopsticks.  Pretty sure of it.


Nik messing around w/ the straw.  Yana just smiling.  Don't let her fool you.  She only smiles for pictures.  Years ago she said to us when we questioned why she looked so angry her reply was:  "I'm not angry, I'm Russian."  Logan is wondering when he can dig into all this food right in front of him.  I swear these Bulgarian kids must have been told that all mushrooms are poison.  They freak out at mushrooms.  Guess we can't visit a show w/ smurfs, huh?  


Terrible picture of me but oh well.  Picture of Summer and I w/ our meal together.  She obviously had more fun w/ the drumsticks chopsticks.  

We had a wonderful time together.  Wish we could do this once a year but just not in the budget.  It shows us that when we adopt we are a family that can go out to eat together.  Means the kids are settled in to their family.  It just is a special celebration for us as a family.  

Gee, five posts in a day.  I'm on a roll.  LOL.  Still have a bunch to do this evening so must be the last post for now.  Realized tonight Bojan is going to need another surgery on his foot.  How in the world could he let it go that long like that?!  I said how are you walking?  He's almost 13 and honestly, I do expect him to tell me if something is bothering him.  Like say not being able to walk right.  Calling ortho tomorrow.  Called neuro today for Alex.  Calling a plastic surgeon for Reni.  Yes, have a feeling we may have a few surgeries in our future.  Reni and Summer's tonsils are both very huge but like our ped said, unless they have infections or such, we're not doing anything.  Praying for no infections.  Hoping everything goes well at the next few appointments that we'll be having.  That's all for another day.  For now, just reflecting on our peaceful meal last weekend.  Why can't dinner be like that every night?  Enjoy your weekend everyone.  Bojan and Yana are doing a lock-in w/ the youth group.  Max and Irina didn't want to go.  That's okay b/c they can go job hunting.  More to come on just about everything that's happening at Chaos Manor.

Beater, boots and just beat

Thought we needed a few pictures to break of the wordy posts.  More words to come shortly, don't worry.  I know, I talk a lot.  Thankfully, used to be a secretary and can type faster than I can talk practically. 


Do you think Nik is going to enjoy that beater?


Yes, I would certainly say so.  He's definitely my son.  


She bought these boots w/ her money.  My parents sent us an early Christmas gifts so all the kids went to pick out their own shoes.  Summer picked these boots all herself.  Don't mind the face.  It was super late and we were getting ready to leave to go get her hair cut along w/ 3 other kids.  She was tired & ready for bed.


I believe this was after the parade.  She was just plain beat that day.  Yeh, we wore one out!  That's a miracle in itself. 

A little more info

I started this post the other day, Tuesday.  I figured I'd write a little about the rest of the day.  Warren had off today but poor guy spent it w/ appointments.  We took Alex & Max to the dentist.  6 month check ups.  No cavities.  Max is getting his wisdom teeth in but looks fine.  So, 5 kids in less than a week and NO cavities.  Only problem I have now is that the dentist has now decided to hand out tokens for the balls.  These are big bouncing balls.  Big ones.  Hard too.  They want to bounce them all over the house.  URGHH!!! Doesn't matter the age.  They are cool, I'll give them that but seriously considered a weapon at this point.  I keep throwing them in the garbage.  Too much damage.  It was a super quick appointment for them so then went to Target to grab a few things we needed. Realized Summer had ONE, count them ONE pair of pants that fit her.  So, had to get her some that fit better.  She's in a 3T pants and 4T shirts and dresses.  Found some on clearance rack for $3.50 so picked them up.  Also, got Yana the poster board she needed for a project.  she told me the sign said $3 something.  NOPE.  $6 for a stupid piece of fold out poster board.  I was not happy as teachers I don't think understand how fast this adds up.  Some do but many don't.  However, Yana hasn't needed as much stuff as previous years so I didn't mind.  Just wished my kids would read the tags better. 

New kids are doing fine in stores now.  Still wow w/ everything though.  Funny at times.  I think Reni learned last time though a few things.  She'd look at candy and say "no candy mom."  You're right, no candy.  She was a good sport when we passed her spot from where she had her previous meltdown.  Went home and got a phone call.  Endocrinology called us to tell us all of Alex's blood work was normal.  This is both good and bad.  Good that it's normal.  Bad b/c now endocrinology thinks it is a brain disorder going on of some sorts.  So, back to neurology for an MRI.  I called to make an appointment.  Waiting to hear.  We'll take it from there.  Great news is she said she doesn't believe it could be any type of tumor as it has gone on for too long for it to be that.  Relief.  Sometimes figuring out my kids is a puzzle.  You have to do it one piece at a time to get the whole picture.

We've digested what they said about Nik and disagree.  Our speech therapist disagrees as well.  She has called to see how they tested him and has some theories as well as why Nik may have just not tested well.  You know, for them to even suggest he needs OT is an indication that something is "off."  Nik is very meticulous and has excellent fine motor skills.  Warren was explaining to them he's just being lazy w/ his signs right now.  Really, what 9yo wants to sit still and listen to a bunch of words?  Especially, a 9yo w/ ADHD who is NOT medicated.  Yeh, I know, it's on my list.  However, I was waiting for a reason. Anyhow, Warren and I have decided to continue w/ his speech therapy and keep practicing everyday like now.  Nothing is going to change no matter what the professionals think.  I have received excellent advice from many out there from that post.  I'm going through links sent to me and everything else.  I appreciate it very, very much.  I have been given rough news in the past regarding a few of my kids.  This is nothing new.  I know to keep fighting for him and never give up.  Never.  He's too important. 

Now, we all know Nik can hear w/ his implants.  He LOVES to hear.  He's told me.  Ever since we showed him the Advanced Bionics Neptune processors, that is all he can talk about.  He tells me how he won't  be scared in the shower anymore and how he'll be able to hear in our pool.  He sweats b/c he's outside alot.  Playing soccer, swing set, bike riding, etc.  Having waterproof implants would be a dream come true for him and us.  A safety type thing.  This is not the same as a kid saying ooh, I want that playstation or computer.  This is something Nik wants to help him have a better quality of life.  I wasn't there when Warren was inquiring.  But a comment was made to him about 'winning the lottery.'  Kind of a good luck w/ that one.  Referring to getting the implants.  I do know AB is going to have some type of trade in program.  I do believe the processors are going to run around $8K a piece.  No, we don't have that but will try to apply for grants, do fundraisers, whatever it takes to help our son have a better quality of life.  Nik lOVES his implants and I swear would be a model spokes kid for AB.  LOL.  These new Neptunes won't be available till the summer.  Nik is still asking me when he's getting them.  I told him it takes a lot of money.  We will do what it takes to help our son achieve this goal.  Suggestions on what may be available out there, please do let me know.  To tell you how badly he wants this, he is even willing to do the surgery again to get them!  No, he wouldn't need to by my knowledge (correct me if I'm wrong) but that is just how much Nik wants these implants. 

Today is Thursday.  Been busy just getting homeschool stuff done.  Thankfully, our speech therapist came the same time my muscle experiment was going wrong.  Made them go out and play while Nik worked. 

Oh, some sweet neighbor dropped off a tin of dog treats for the pooches.  With a homemade recipe for dog treats.  Can't wait to try them!  Well, try to make them.  We are staying put this evening.  Got to make some lists.  Trying to figure out what all I still need to do as far as Christmas shopping goes.  It will be VERY tight this year compared to previous years for sure.  We've told the kids this.  I think for the most part they understand. They each get individual presents and then get some group gifts.  Anyone has suggestions on reasonably priced group type gifts, let me know.  We've already thought of outdoor items such as balls, Frisbees, etc.  Would love some other ideas as well.  Thanks.

More posts to come.  Making spaghetti and meatballs for dinner so need to go make the meatballs.  This weekend we are going to experiment making some of our own items to try to lower costs around here even more than we already have.  See, when we sell our home, it will be at a loss.  We already know that.  Trying to prepare as best as possible.  More on the house thing in a bit.  Kids & I though are going to be experiment w/ making our own types of bread.  That would save us tons if we could get it right as we buy over 50 loaves of bread a month.  No, not a typo.  We're also going to make our own window cleaner and laundry detergent.  And dog treats.  If this works, it will save us quite a great deal.  If it doesn't, no harm done.  I'll let you know how it all goes.  Hey, could end up like the gingerbread houses.  Who knows.  Hoping not. 

Need to go make dinner.  May have Alyona help this go around.  Girl has learned to make various types of tea.  She is learning things here and there.  So much to say about everything and everyone.  Can't wait.  But, must go make some dinner.  We're trying to keep schedules.  Trying. 

Is it torture??

Weird title but when you see the pictures of Yana, you have to think to yourself why would she subject herself to this by her sibs.  What is it??


Why braiding hair of course.  I guess they were bored during the commercial breaks.  This is what they did w/ their time.



Yeh, that does not say fun in my book but rather "torture."  Look at the look of pain on Yana's face.  Having your hair pulled in 5 different directions will do that to you I guess.


They wanted to see just how tiny they could get some of those braids.  Umm, yeh.  BTW, the smaller the braid, the longer it takes to get out.  I also like this shot as someone is holding Yana's hand for comfort.  Too funny.


Honestly, they were all being really meticulous.


Bojan did not want to risk his sibs doing a number on his head so he decided to have Max give him a haircut w/ the clippers.  


Nik, looking on to see if Max missed any spots.  

They were all pretty good sports.  Since my hair is really long, they asked if they could braid my hair.  I said not quite yet.  Didn't you see the expression on Yana?  Oh boy.  Not sure I could handle that "torture" quite yet.

Another sweet gift

Well, I told you of my mom sending us Tastycakes...yum.  Well, the other day we received yet another wonderful sweet gift.  This time, from my sister Heather and her husband Kevin.  As usual, the kids wonder what's in the box. 


Yes, one day I will take a shot w/out crap all over the counter.  That will be the day we move out of the house though.  Here's the goodies just waiting to be opened.  Don't think I didn't have enough volunteers to open it.  LOL.


There was such a great variety of cookies in here.  And yes, they do taste as good as they look.  Alex and Summer and I were especially fond of the sugar cookies.


sorry so blurry.  Everyone wanted in the picture.  Well, in the picture and closer to the cookies.  


Decisions, decisions.  It really was hard to choose.  We didn't even wait for the others to get home.  I told them they could have ONE now & wait till the other kids got home.  


Even the "little" got a cookie.  Very good cookies and very sweet gift.  And best part, I didn't have to make the cookies!  

I think I had mentioned this the other day.  We came home from the parade and a bag of clothes and box of fruit was on the front porch.  No note, card, nothing.  Still have no idea where this Santa gift came from but it sure was well received and kids thoroughly enjoyed it.  


Food is always, always a great gift for a large family.  This was filled with oranges, apples and some grapefruit.  Almost all gone right now.  My kids go through an entire bag of oranges and apples in a day.  And two big bunches of bananas as well.  All love fruit and veggies and when you receive a surprise gift of them, it makes everyone happy.  Not sure what's up w/ Bojan's expression in this picture.  I think it was a "mom, you're not going to take a stupid picture of this box, are you?" kind of look.  

Just wanted to say thanks so much to Heather & Kevin for our sweet treats and thanks to our secret Santa for the fruit and clothes.  

More to come on just about everything.  I know I'm behind but that audiology visit really threw us for a loop.  More is being looked into at the moment.  Tonight, I should have quite a few more posts.  Just thought I'd do one real fast while kids are taking a break playing outside.  Reni really worked hard on math this morning as did Nik.  All did math and reading. They come back in, we're tackling science and English.  My kids are the type that need little breaks from time to time.  More pictures, more updates, more thoughts.  Ran into two of Nik's old teachers this week. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

It hurts to hear....

It hurts to hear the words your son is making NO progress.  It does.  I'm going to be very honest in this post so my emotions may get the best of me right now as I just found out and they are very raw emotions.  Nik had audiology appointments today.  Big evals and everything.  Warren just called me.  Other kids are home w/ me eating lunch at the moment.  We were told that Nik is making NO progress since being implanted.  And, one of the implants he's had 3 years now.  We are heartbroken, devastated, hurt, sad, angry, etc.  See, I've seen tremendous progress in my son.  Am I biased?  Maybe?  I don't know.  Just can't believe this right now.  Do we regret getting him implanted?  NOT ONE BIT!  He LOVES his implants.  Tells us he loves to hear & he couldn't do that before.  And, he can clearly hear us.  He does not understand all we say but can understand a lot of it b/c we say it to him verbally w/out sign and he knows it.  Common phrases for sure.  I don't know what to think.   They told us today to put him in a deaf school or cued speech program.  Helloooo.  These are the same people that told us NOT to do that years ago when we were looking into deaf schools.  We've spoken w/ many deaf adults and one thing rest assured we will never ever do is put him in a residential deaf school program.  Never.  I can get all the nasty comments about that if you'd like but I've heard too many horror stories from various people.  Now, I loved the ENCSD when we went to visit.  LOVED it.  However, we were encouraged not to do this years ago by the medical community.  And that's okay.  They were going off what they knew at the time.  Plus, too far to bus him there.  We were told even this summer to drop sign completely.  Though, we never have, we were using it less and less.

Things must change.  We have to move forward from this point but where?  We have been dying to move for years now.  Years.  We knew there was nothing in this county for our kids w/ devel. disabilities when they got older.  We knew this.  Kept making excuses not to move.  We love our home, neighbors, community.  Well, can't delay now.  There are way too many signs pointing to us to move and this is just icing on the cake.  No matter how great the loss, we will indeed have to move if humanly possible.  We have found many great places.  With services for ALL our kids, not just Nik.  However, it is a matter of selling this home.  First, it must be fixed up.  Cosmetic stuff but requires many hands.  Preferably non-FAS hands.  Those with kids w/ this disorder know exactly why I said that.  LOL.  Anyhow, this has to happen.  Warren and I will be making plans.  We had already started to before this appointment.  This will just speed it up. 

What do I tell Nik?  Not to use his voice?  Use sign?  Both?  Yes, we're going w/ both for now.  Didn't you hear him when I put the video up?  He said words. Words.  I understood them.  I wasn't signing to him behind the camera.  How can they say he's not making progress?  How?  He tries to talk.  I am so confused right now and know I need to process it all.  We want only what is best for Nik or any of our kids for that matter.  Did we do him a disservice all these years?  Irina even took ASL at school to help learn more.  We all soak up ASL every chance we get.  Just need more of it.  But how?  No classes for the whole family.  Haven't found any ASL camps for families yet.  We will be going back heavily to ASL again.  All the time.  If this is indeed the direction he's headed in life, we all want to be a part of his life for sure.  We are all now but as he ages, he will need more communication. 

This is hard.  Unexpected.  New kids, new prognosis, new dx coming for one kid, etc.  We never said it would be easy.  never.  But really today was unexpected news.  I was ready to be beaming for them to tell me just how much progress he had made.  I guess I was seeing things that weren't there?  how though?  His personal speech therapist sees progress too.  Which way to go?  So many questions.  No answers at the moment.  I wrote this all just shooting from the hip.  Whatever came to mind.  I know many may not agree.  We all have our own perspectives.  I'm NOT angry he's deaf or anything else for that matter.  Just wished we would have known a bit sooner as maybe we could have prepared better.  Trust me, we did everything known to man w/ the school systems.  Right now, we have major, major decisions to make regarding all our futures.  This will not be easy to do.  Finding balance is key.  What is a good area for one may not be for another child and we have several to consider.  For now, we will be seeking advice from others in NC.  We need to find a place where ALL of us can learn more in depth sign.  We know the basics and basic conversation but we need to really, really get in deep.  I will have a follow up post when I can think more clearly.  Sorry if this is a downer of a post.  Wasn't meant to be.  Just wanted to put on paper while it was fresh in my mind what I was feeling.  We love Nik like crazy.  And, he loves us.  But, as any parent, we want him to reach his fullest potential and grow.  Hoping we make the right decisions in the next few months for ALL our kids.  Thanks for listening.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Manic Monday

Well, let's see here.  It's 10:11 at night and Alyona is down at the dining room screaming she wishes she never had sisters.  "I thought we were going to get a different sister and not her."  Ahh, can you feel the love?  'Evilona' is back.  That is her nickname when she gets this way.  She is currently writing a page of lines that reads "Screaming and kicking is not the answer."  No worries, her and Reni are fine.  This isn't about that.  This is about Alyona not quite being able to express herself.  Her sister told her to go to bed and Alyona just flew off the handle.  Yes, we have some drama here from time to time.  Who doesn't?  It's just the way it goes.  They played all day together laughing, etc.  Had to end some time, right?  She'll sleep it off and all will be well w/ the world in the morning.  That is the thing w/ FASers w/ her degree of damage....they truly do not remember what they did the night before.  Crazy, but true.  I think of it as they get a fresh start everyday. 

Now, Logan and Nik are playing around.  Fun playing around.  Those two have gotten SO close.  It's good and it's bad.  Good for bonding.  However, bad b/c all they want to do is stay up and play all night long or ride bikes all day.  Though, they do know they have to do school work first so that's good.  See, right now we have no clubs, no meetings, no sports, etc.  We did this intentionally.  We knew the kids were coming home & everyone (new & old) would need time to adjust and get to know each other.  So, lots of time at home for about 2 months.  Then, all the crazy activities start back up again.  Homeschool classes at the academy starting, clubs, and soccer a few times a week.   For now, enjoying the lack of such a busy schedule. 

Nik has audiology all day tomorrow.  Taking all broken stuff in.  Nik still is asking for the AB Neptune.  Max & Alex have the dentist tomorrow.  Hope theirs goes as well as the other 3 last week.  Still awaiting results from neuro and endocrine.  May call.  Then, we need to still take care of that chest x-ray for Reni to officially clear her of TB.  Logan got his x-ray & was totally cleared of course.  And the most dreaded part...taking Summer back for one of the vials of blood that something happened to.  What?  I have no idea.  Hoping to take her in tomorrow after the "little" leaves. 

I'm trying to get super organized this week.  I will get there for sure.  But Chaos Manor needs super organization and I will admit that since I've been back from Bulgaria, that has not been happening like it should.  Shoot, tree's been up but not even decorated.  Well, skeletons on it.  Still have that post yet to come.  Just been staying very busy lately w/ kids and things to get done.  All three dogs need a bath.  We are usually on top of that.  Along w/ the van.  Usually do that too.  If I had the money right now, car wash it would be.  LOL.  Hey, never claimed to be superwoman so I guess I get a break. 

Don't even mention Christmas shopping.  Somehow, that has been pushed to the back burner.  We did get a wonderful surprise in the mail today though and made our day.  A big box of cookies!  Well, 3 boxes inside of it.  Can't wait to show  you.  It was a Christmas present from my sister and her husband.  Sorry, no leftovers.  All gone.  Hey, you put cookies out and ten kids, there is not going to be anything left.  Big thank you on a great gift on a day that was not so hot originally.  Put some smiles on some faces for sure. 

School for Bojan is going great.  School for some of my high schoolers not so much.  Not academically but in other ways.  Since they are older, I do put limited info on here.  Just know, this is NOT an academic problem w/ one and I think it will be time soon to contact an authority figure.  This school has always been very cooperative w/ any issue that has arisen.  I'm sure they will be in this situation as well.  School is almost out.  They get out early on Friday for the rest of the year. 

Just wanted to say a big thank you to two people.  Well, there are so many more but off the top of my head for right now.  One of Irina's teachers found out that Bojan really wanted a dummy for Christmas.  Wants to practice being a ventriloquist.  She gave us one to give to him!  Amazing.  Then, the other day we came home from the Christmas Parade.  Found a bag of boys' clothes that we could really use and an entire box of oranges, apples and grapefruit!  Was SO good.  Still eating some of it.  Fruit around this house is extremely appreciated as are clothes.  Two things you can't seem to keep enough of for kids around here.  Just two examples of kindness.  I still don't know who gave us the fruit or clothes but am just really touched by it.  Was very sweet. 

Well, more to say but more to do around here so things will have to wait.  I am determined to get a Christmas picture done this week.  Hey, we got 5 kids hair cuts this evening.  Not bad. 

Meadow Lights (part II)

Continuing on my Meadow Lights post.  Still can't believe we took them after being home only a week.  Normally w/ PI kids first home, that is like going on a war mission.  LOL.  But, we really felt our kids could handle it and if not, we'd simply leave and come another day.  Didn't have to leave and all of us left w/ a little bit of Christmas in us.  Not just candy either. 


I think my Bulgarian kids have such gorgeous eyes.  BTW, Alex is our only blue-eyed kid in the bunch.  The other 9 have brown eyes.  


Alyona and Irina enjoying the ride.  Yes, the teens amuse us by going.  Though not forced, you'd think they were.  LOL.  They only go for the candy, I'm pretty sure of it. 
 

Just crazy how much more straight her eyes are now that she has glasses.  Summer is simply amazed by all the lights.  


Lots of meaning for us w/ only being home a week w/ our new US Citizens.  


Alex was getting sleepy but he always does early in the evening.  Just the way he is and maybe some answers will come soon on all that.  Still waiting.  


Summer did have a good time as did the other kids.  Yes, even the older reluctant participants.  

After the train ride, we went to see Santa.  No pics allowed in there unless you pay for them.  They all told Santa what they wanted.  Well, the younger kids did.  Yes, I helped translate for Nik.  We all know about his infamous 'shit line' he wants.  (for those new, he's learning how to talk and can't say zip line).  Alyona still wants her blanket heater.  Electric blanket.  Alex still wants $15.  Nik has thought of a few other things as well.  Of course.  List gets longer the closer they get to Christmas you know.  

Finally, we went to the old fashioned candy store. SO cool.  Made sure one kid was matched up w/ another just in case.  Worked out well.  Got candy and went on home.  Yes, we all ate some in the car.  It's a once a year treat.  But oh so good.  I have another picture I would love to share but Summer had just gotten out of the bath so was only in her diaper.  She fell asleep on the papasan chair, legs crossed, with a bowl full of candy in front of her.  It was the cutest thing.  Candy comatose is what I call it.  LOL.  All had fun, all behaved w/ few incidents, and we all thoroughly enjoyed the candy.  

More posts to come this evening.  Warren just got home and we're going to get the new kids a haircut.  Alex & Nik got one the day before we left for Bulgaria so they are good.  I've got some coupons too so that helps.  Homeschoolers accomplished things today so I was happy about that.  Obviously having to spend some time w/ Reni and Logan till they better understand English.  Starting slowly and working our way up.  Stay tune for more happenings around Chaos Manor.