Friday, February 10, 2012

Out to lunch

The other day, Warren took off work.  Unfortunately, almost all his vacation days are used on medical appointments or errand running.  This day was no different. Appointment with a CPA in the morning.  We did lots of other little errands as well.  With all this, we decided to do something that is not done often in our house.  Going out to lunch.  It was only the homeschoolers so all kids' menus.  Kids were really excited for the change of lunch menu.  Everyone was being good and it was just good timing for all of us to spend a day out and go to lunch.  We decided to go to Andy's.  Burger place.  Kids ordered their meals and us the same.  All of us got water as usual.  It would be nice to one day go out to eat & get a soda.  However, it just really adds to the cost. 

Alex, getting ready to eat his burger.  They come in these cute little cardboard cars which the kids love to "drive" around later.  That is if they haven't spilled ketchup all over them.  

Summer, getting ready to eat some french fries.  Already, she needs another hair cut.  Growing like a weed this little girl.  

Was great but it was as bright as bright could be w/ the sun.  Nik was squinting quite a bit.  Alex had to move b/c he was starting to over heat.  Logan was complaining how hot it was.  He does this all the time. It's really annoying.  It's only been in the 60's and Logan and Reni are acting like they're in the tropics.  I told them both they will die this summer.  When it actually is over 100 degrees here. I told Logan it gets 100 degrees Fahrenheit here and he didn't believe me.  Yep kid, you're in for a long summer in NC.  

We took two booths up.  Nik is finishing up here.  

 Nothing like cooling them off w/ ice cream. It comes w/ their meals.  Nice treat.  And SO delicious.  So much so, I decided on a scoop.  50 cents.  And worth every penny.  I ended up being full so ate just a few bites and gave Alex the rest of my ice cream.  

I think Alyona's smile says it all about lunch out that day.  Big kids were jealous when they saw where we went to eat.  Can't please everyone you know.  We all really did enjoy ourselves and it was just relaxing to do.  It was a late lunch but a nice one.  After that, went to a consignment shop and was able to get the girls some items and cleats for Logan.  Summer is officially covered for clothing in the spring and summer time.  So are the boys.  All 5.  Granted, we need at least 20 pairs of Summer shoes for everyone here and that will indeed add up in the hundreds.  So, happy that we were given a lot of clothing for all 5 of our boys.  The ones who truly need clothes are 4 of the girls.  As you all know, orphanage kids grow super fast once they arrive home.  You will go through clothes like water for those that don't know.  It's a good sign.  However, a tad expensive sign.  LOL. Seeing what we can do for everyone.  Alyona also finally hit a growth spurt.  I wished I had my camera when her and Reni were trying on clothes.  Alyona felt like a real teenager as she put it in a jean skirt.  It was the cutest thing.  On top of everything, it was buy one get one free.  A real treat.  Reni and Alyona got some really cute things for now.  They need all new summer clothing.  Owner will let me know when it all is put out.  

For our family, we do have to budget.  Basics such as underwear, socks and shoes are bought new. Any other clothing we try to do yard sales or consignment sales. It helps quite a bit.  The girls and I love yard sales.  This will be Reni's first year going w/ us.  I can just imagine.  Summer I will not take.  She'll drag us down.  We love her but she's slower than molasses.  

Just wanted to share our day out a bit more.  Scary movie that they had on is over so I'm going back downstairs.  Yana, Irina, and Max are working most the day tomorrow.  Rest of us are fixing up the house.  Warren and I will write our advertisements for the house.  May even do a website w/ our house on it.  Really can't wait.  Though we love it here, we know it is time to move.  Much more on that in the next few posts. 

My girl

I can not express in words how much I love Summer.  I really can't.  I love everything about her.  Everything.  Annoying habits and all.  I love the way she wants to give me kisses all the time and hug me till I feel like I may choke.  Just a deep love she has.  I will write all about Summer later.  For now, I wanted to show you my girl and what she did for me. 

 Summer came in the other day to me in the kitchen.  She had flowers in her hand for me.  Biggest smile on her face. She did this all on her own.  Did you hear that?!  All...on...her....own!  She looked so proud.  She went out, picked the flowers and brought them back in.  She then signed cup to me to get water. 

Summer kept showing me the flowers over and over again.  It was just the sweetest thing. I couldn't help smile.  My daughter is showing such great potential.  She is blossoming before our eyes.  I can not wait to see her in a year.  Last year at this time, we were waiting for a travel date.  So very hard to believe she's real.  My daughter is home.  My baby girl is thriving and loving life.  She loves her family.  And we love her.  I wish I had better words to say how we felt about her.  There are no words for such a great love.  She is our baby girl.  I wish everyone could meet her. I really do.  

More to come.  Bojan and Max are watching a horror film.  They can only watch them when the younger ones are in bed.  And, since I don't do scary, this is a perfect time for me to catch up.  And, book campgrounds.  That's right.  Campgrounds.  Headed to Ohio for the Bulgarian reunion!  Then, visiting Kentucky.  Kids are excited.  Tell you more about the Bulgarian reunion and our proposed trip in another post. 

A Sweet Surprise

Today is Friday.  Thank goodness.  This morning for school (the academy classes we go to), I didn't think we'd make it.  I swear, if these children were to have to get ready for battle, they'd all die.  I just don't get it some mornings.  Do you have your water?  Do you have your pencil?  Do you have your snack?  Do you have your shoes?(yes, you MUST ask that one).  We get in the car, and half don't have a water bottle, all don't have a snack, and only 2 have pencils.  Ridiculous!  We trudge on though and arrive late.  Kids traded Valentine's today which was nice.  There was a skating party after but I wasn't up for it and after this week's behavior, well, that just sealed the deal of not going.  Been a week.  Full moon week.  I digress though.

Warren had off yesterday and we got many, many appointments and errands done.  Was great to catch up on some things.  Wished we'd caught up on more but we'll take half a list better than no list done.  Even got to take the kids out to eat.  Another post on that one.  Lots of boring life stuff.  We have very, very big decisions that need to be made regarding quite a few of our kids.  Guardianship, employment (for them;Warren's fine), house, schooling and so much more.  Our focus has been on that and not the blog.  I think there are some med changes that must be done soon.  One child is "out of whack" as we call it here.  For those that have kids w/ behavioral/ mental challenges, you must go through this every once in awhile.  Especially, when they grow.  It's involved.  I will explain that as I know others deal w/ meds as well.  Not as scary as it sounds.  I"m really sidetracked here.  Bottom line, lots going on here at Chaos Manor.  Lots.  I'll probably catch up on some blog items this weekend. 

for now, going to share a very, very wonderful surprise I got today.  Not expecting it at all.  Made it that much sweeter.  I received a box in the mail:

A box just for me!  Couldn't believe it.  The kids crowded around like it was Christmas time.  

So beautifully wrapped, you almost didn't want to open it.  You noticed I said almost, right?  You know these were going to be opened.

 This was inside one of the boxes.  My favorite....strawberries.  I had never had chocolate dipped anything before so this was indeed a treat.  A real treat.  As Warren's strict instructions were do not share.  The kids did not like that idea but truly, would have been hard to share 6 strawberries. 

These three were in the other box.  Cheesecake.  Now, these I almost have to share as I'd feel guilty not.  In addition, I'd probably gain the weight of the cheesecakes at the least.  LOL.  

I couldn't believe Warren gave me an early Valentine's Day present.  Such a sweet surprise from such a super sweet guy.  Made such a hard week so much better.   Love him.  

More to come this weekend.  Lots of pictures still to share.  I am so far behind.  Hey, it's life.  And, since I don't get paid to blog, it must take a back seat at times. I'll have a catch up post shortly on what all has been happening at Chaos Manor.  Have a wonderful weekend everyone. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Soccer tryouts

Last Saturday, we went to Upwards Soccer tryouts for the 6 younger kids.  We played here for the first time in the fall and absolutely LOVED it!  Kids had a great time, people were wonderful, atmosphere was fantastic and I could go on and on.  Suffice it to say, we decided to do it again this year.  So, thought I'd share some pics from some of my soccer superstars this past weekend. 

 Alex, practicing some skills and drills.  He loves soccer.  Loves it. 

Nik, showing how fast he can run.  

 Logan, showing us his soccer skills.  He and Alex have been practicing..a lot.

Reni, taking the ball down the field.  All smiles.  

 Nik, making a goal.

Okay, so Alyona is not so much our athletic one of the bunch.  LOL.  She has fun.

And, she loves to pose for the camera.  She's my girlie girl for sure.

Logan.  You think he'll make it in American soccer??  He needs some cleats.  Alex snatched Logan's.  What a worm.  LOL.  Brothers.  I know we have more cleats.  Just have to see if they're the right size.  

 Look at Little Bit go!  Who says we need PT?!  Who says those skills are that of a 2yo?  Not me.  Not by a long shot!  Soccer will help Summer immensely w/ gross motor skills.  Did you know she did not even fall one time?!  BTW, this is the best coach ever!  He is so fantastic w/ all the kids.  My kids love coach Chris.  If you ever met him in person, you'd know why.  He has more patience working with all these kids then I can muster in a year.  Umm, this would be why he's coaching and not me.  LOL. 

 Tell me she's just not the cutest thing ever!  Got to love the jeans falling off of her.  

Just look at Summer go.

This game will give Reni the confidence she needs again.  She's made great strides since home in America but still has a little ways to go. I think Upwards Soccer is the answer for her.  Self-esteem and confidence booster for sure.  Not to mention F-U-N as all get out!  

Kids can't wait to start.  First week of March is when it starts here.  Wahoo!!!  And, we'll be practicing 2 days a week w/ games on Saturdays.  More to come tomorrow.  Got to go finish finding tax receipts now. 

Not impressed. Decisions must be made.

Well, today was the day we went to check out Irina's new potential place of employment.  She is in a program here that helps young adults find jobs.  This is through the school system w/ a combination of vocational rehabilitation.  Now, I'll be honest, I had my reservations going into all this just based on talking on the phone with the lady.  Any time, any time, you mention the word "entitlement" to me, it sends chills up my spine. My children are not to be taught they are "entitled" to anything.  Period.  They are to earn it.  So, starting off that way really rubbed me the wrong way from the get go.  However, I decided I should keep an open mind.  After all, this may be where my daughter ends up for a few years. 

Went to the facility.  No roads marked btw.  Made it rather difficult to find even w/ mapquest.  How can you turn down a certain street if there are no signs?  We were greeted not too long after arriving.  I know they didn't know what to think that I had brought the 6 other kids with us but I told her over the phone I homeschooled so I assumed they would have figured that I can't leave the kids at home alone.  We asked a lot of questions.  I don't think they have had parents ask this many questions before.  I really don't.  We asked for a copy of the contract that Irina would be signing.  They said we can come another day and sign it right there.  We said no, we want to be able to read the contract over before she signs it.  The lady was NOT happy about that.  This right there causes Warren and I grave concerns about their business practices.  Since we were getting nowhere fast with that one, we moved on. 

We asked about who funds them.  Ahh, another question that apparently hits a nerve and gets someone beating around the bush.  She said it comes from various places including some grants and such.  Next question was about her actually working there.  When?  She said well, she can come after lunch since students are entitled to free lunch at school.  Ooh, nails on the chalkboard for me again w/ that word.  URGHH!!!  My kids bring their lunches.  We budget like crazy to be able to do that.  Because of the whole "free lunch" thing, she wants Irina to wait till after noon to go there.  Okay,that's just stupid.  First off, you have a person willing to work.  At any time.  Secondly, she's available at 10am, after her classes are over.  So, if she doesn't have to go till after noon, she has almost 2 hours to "kill time."  This is not my idea of efficiency nor does it teach my soon to be adult child how to be efficient w/ time.  

Next question from us was one that also probably hit a nerve.  Let me back up first to something I did not say off the bat in this post. I used to be a restaurant manager.  I used to hire people from the county.  They were people w/ developmental disabilities.  I paid them minimum wage just like every other single employee there.  So, not like I don't know how this is supposed to work.  They told me she would get paid by the piece.  Umm, excuse me?  By the piece.  See, they assemble products.  Depending upon how many products you make, depends upon what you get paid.  However, not true piece pay as even if you did an exceptional job & cranked them out (which I KNOW for a fact Irina would do), you can only get paid maximum minimum wage.  Warren went to see what they were doing.  At a table putting 3 or 4 things in holes of another part.  Very simplistic, very mundane and very, very below her capabilities.  Lady also commented to Irina she tells everyone not to worry about the pay she would get b/c you're here to learn.  Really?  Really?  Warren said there are NOT enough people there for that place to be self-sustaining.  In other words, money has got to be coming from somewhere. 

There is so much more to this but I really am still boiling to write it all out.  We are not comfortable at all sending our daughter to this facility.  My daughter had a job coach last year.  She got fired for not doing her job.  Actually, she was on the phone literally all the time, ignoring the kids.  So, my confidence in this place was shaken last year already due to that incident.  I know maybe it is my not wanting to admit she needs this experience.  It's just I think there may be better opportunities out there that are better suited to her.  There are lots of little things that have happened last year that does not have me too keen on starting here.  What makes it worse is Irina has stated over and over she hates this place.  They came last year for a bit but never worked in the capacity she'd be working in.  I'm the one for the past two weeks that has kept telling her to keep an open mind, it's experience, you'll gain something, give it a chance, etc.  Now, I'm the one saying it's not my cup of tea.  We have to make some very big decisions in the next few days.  I have 3 IEP meetings to attend on Tuesday.  Hers being one of them.  I know, what a way to spend Valentine's Day.  Got to love it.  Just want to do what is right but in this moment, I don't exactly know what that is for her.  Maybe tomorrow I'll have a different perspective.  But when it's your child, you want them to reach their fullest potential.  I feel this would be severely limiting that and not giving her the opportunities she needs in life.  Not sure though.  I"m going to be speaking to another parent this evening whose children have been through this process.  Maybe they'll shed some light on the situation.  I would love to hear from those who have been through a program like this and how it ran or how your child reacted to it.  Is this all normal? 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Alyona's eyes

For those that are new, one dx that Alyona has is ONH(optic nerve hypoplasia).  It is typically not progressive.  Last year we were concerned b/c her eyes changed greatly.  This year, we are happy to report today that her eyes are stable again.  No change!  Now, that doesn't mean her vision doesn't suck.  It does.  Royally.  She really has only one "good eye."  Other eye is useless for the most part.  Not just b/c of the vision but the strabismus too.  Along w/ other fancy eye terms I don't know.  Her good eye w/ correction is around 20/200. Her acuity has gotten better this year.  That means she is compensating very well for the lack of vision she has.  Our ophthalmologist explained it a few years ago w/ her.  For Alyona, it is as though she is looking through grains of sand.  I can't imagine.  Though, if you ever meet her, you'd never know.  This causes issues w/ schooling and her being able to see.  However, there are other issues that don't help things along either.  Just good to know that Alyona's vision hasn't gotten worse again.  Warren took her out for a biscuit afterwards so it was just the two of them.  We do that w/ our kids here and there.  One on one time. 

Anyhow, got to get back to work.  Alyona is helping me make pigs in the blanket for dinner.  Rolling up the hamburger & rice in the cabbage.  Rest are outside doing soccer drills for 30 minutes or so.  We take breaks while homeschooling if we're home.  With all their dx's, focusing becomes an issue.  So, going and taking breaks seems to break that cycle.  Focuses them more.  Also, allows me time to get in phone calls to docs and things like that.  Warren and I are doing lots of paperwork this evening.  Lots.  Taxes, Nik's processors need to be returned, some Christmas gifts that the kids broke & are under warranty need to be returned, bills paid, etc.  Paper work.  Boring stuff.  And, some painting.  Yep, getting serious about selling the house.  Can't wait.  More to come on different things here and there.  However, need to get kids back in.  Break's over.  LOL.  Just had to share how her appointment went.  Hope tomorrow's voc. rehab is just as good.  We'll see. 

Monday, February 6, 2012

Star gazing

The other day we were studying winter and winter stars.  Which ones are the brightest during winter and why.  So, that night, we decided to see what we could see from our telescope. 

 Dad getting ready to set the telescope for them to see out of.  I know, one day I'll have a picture where all my kids have all their clothes on.  Hey, for once, all the boys have shirts on.  There's progress.

Max, checking out the adjustments.  And, Digby has to see what's going on. He hates to be alone.  What a great dog.  

Don't you just love that look Summer's giving?  

All the kids had a good time trying to find stars and looking at the surface of the moon.  Would love to be able to take them to the planetarium here one day.  More to post but Castle is on and we have got to get some organizing done for sure.  And bill paying.  You know, the boring stuff to do that you have to get done.  Alyona gets her eyes checked out tomorrow.  Keeping fingers crossed. 

My Hot Shots

 Going through old stuff and forgot I had this from a few weeks ago.  

This past weekend we laid low and fixed up the house a bit more.  It's a process.  Well, needed a big breakfast w/ enough fuel to last a few hours for the amount of work we were about to embark.  So, scrambled eggs and sausage.  Well, no biggie, right?  Except, some of the boys love hot sauce.  At Christmas, Max got a whole set of various hot sauces.  They decided it was time to try them in a different way. 

 The boys fixing up their concoction.  I can only imagine what is going through their minds at this point.  See who can one up, I'm sure.

Bojan, chugging down what?!  

 Maybe the face says it all.  They mixed a combo of the hot sauces together. 

Kids, looking on in amazement.  Sisters, not believing their brothers could do such a thing.  Especially, after Bojan's watery eyes.

Max getting ready to swallow his mixture.

The aftermath of it all.  Just look at that face.  A tad too hot maybe??  It was barbecue, chipolte, habanero, jalapeno, etc.  Shoot, I can't stand one of those let alone five of them.  Boys, just plain crazy.

 Before you all flip out over that glass, I'll explain that one at the end.  BTW, Alex drinks water, milk, anything w/ his pinky out.  Think it's cute.  And yes, that is yet another clutter corner we're working on clearing. 

Ahh, relief, a drink of milk.  He couldn't get this down fast enough.  I have no idea why Alex even did this.  See, Max, Bojan and Nik all LOVE spicy foods and hot stuff.  Nik eats hot sauce on eggs.  Alex, he's our mild kiddo.  Logan, too early to know yet.  

Yana, thinking to herself this is a really, really stupid idea.  

 Oh, Logan is all smiles now.  But just wait. 

This cracks me up.  Max just encouraging him to go, go.  Remember, Max did this so he knows just how hot it is.  I swear, when Logan was finished, it looked like he was crying buckets of tears.  That yellow cup on the table is his.  

 Now, this is my loves hot stuff kind of kid.  He was ready and wanted to be like his big brothers. 

Umm, a little too hot there Nik??

Yes, it burns going down.  All 5 of the boys tried it.  Even Reni tried it.  Her pics for some reason turned out blurry.  She was waving her hand too fast to cool of her mouth.  LOL.  We let the kids goof around.  I know some might not approve and that's alright.  My kids love experimenting.  I feel it no different than when they decide they should see who can chug down the pickle juice....yuck!  There was tons of laughing with this and only the ones who wanted to do it did.

Now, to address what they were using as I'm sure it will come up given some of my kids' dx's.  Yes, that was a shot glass.  Did they know that?  No.  Well, my older teens do.  Shoot, they go to school.  My kids have always called it the little glass.  They used to love putting Hershey syrup in it.  The other use it has is for a small vase for those dandelion flowers/ weeds they pick for me and only have the tops.  Perfect for it.  We do not keep alcohol in this home for obvious reasons.  We must set an example.  Not sure if you all are aware but someone w/ FASD is more likely to become an addict of alcohol.  Why?  If you take one drink, for them, it is the equivalent of 6 drinks.  And goodness, I wish I could think of the source of where exactly that came from.  It is what I tell my kids all the time.  Well, ones who are age appropriate.  Stress the importance of no alcohol whatsoever for them.  Back to why we have a shot glass.  I honestly can't even remember unless it is leftover from wedding gifts or such.  Just know we usually have it for flowers or when the kids think it's cool to drink Hershey milk out of the little cup as they call it.  So, yes, even though it is a shot glass, it is NEVER used that way nor do my kids (except for much older teens) know what that even is.  So, no harm when they got it out.  I know somehow, some way, I would have gotten questions on it so thought I'd do a preemptive response.   

After all the hot shot kids were done, we all went outside and worked really hard for a few hours.  I really was proud of them.  Much more to come.  Had a vocational rehab meeting for Irina today.  Went really well and ready to tell you more.

Manic Monday

Been a busy weekend.  I'll have more on that later tonight though.  For now, it's Monday.  This will be short as Irina needs the computer for research today.  Today, we hung around the house and did some home school stuff.  Nothing exciting.  Monday is usually our boring days.  Oh well.  Have to have those every once in awhile.  Irina is having a hard time breathing.  She has asthma so this doesn't help matters.  Will probably take her in this evening to the doc.  She'll need an inhaler but we're out.  Possibly, steroids.  Have to see how rough it is this go around.  Everyone else is fine. 

Normal stuff happens this week such as speech therapy, home school academy classes, etc.  Appoint tomorrow is for Alyona and her eyes.  She has optic nerve hypoplasia.  Goes to a specialist for that just once a year.  Her disorder is not supposed to progress.  However, last year, her eyes got worse. Hoping tomorrow brings no change or better vision.  We'll see tomorrow.  Warren is taking her in the morning.  Wednesday, Warren and I will go to see where Irina will be working and what goes on there.  I'm really hesitant but trying to keep an open mind. It's hard as Irina has already stated how much she hates it there.  She went last year.  Keep you posted.  If it is a situation that will not work out, we are prepared to home school her.  Would love for her to give this another chance though.  Time will tell. 

Thursday is the appointment with the accountant.  She is well versed on adoptions so think it will be a good fit.  Adoption laws are some times complicated.  We did our own taxes for the past 12 or so years.  This time though w/ all the changes going on, thought it a safer bet to use a professional.  Praying we get enough back to help pay off more of this adoption.  Any "extra" would be put toward medical expenses for all the kids.  Well, that and a new roof.  Whether we stay or go, the roof must be replaced. 

This coming weekend,  nothing is scheduled.  For once, no schedules, no places to be. Keeping things open.  Knock on wood, everyone is pretty healthy.  Even the dogs.  Lots of cleaning up around here going on.  Trying to figure out what all is happening this summer.  I know we'll most likely go camping in April, deaf camp in May, Bulgarian Reunion in Ohio in June, Family reunion here in July and quite a few beach trips over the summer (only an hour and 20 minutes away!).  To do some of these things though takes planning.  And, need to get it done.  I am way behind on emails, organizing, etc.  Never did get that family portrait made yet for Christmas.  Can it be a Valentines Day portrait now?  It is becoming higher on my priority list.  Think it's important to have a family picture including everyone when kids come home. 

Need to get some new items around the house.  Trying to make it look not so run down.  It's not run down but you know over time, you tend not to replace things unless you have to.  Old towels, blinds (thanks dogs), carpet runners, etc.  Trying to replace items bit by bit so when we show the house, it doesn't look like a bunch of people live here. LOL.  That and "staging" the house.  Hate that.  Seriously, will it sway a buyer if it looks a certain way??  Didn't for us.  We moved in here, there was hideous striped wall paper in the kitchen, a sea of old green carpet throughout the house, the master was purple, the lighting fixtures were beyond tacky, etc.  Yet, we saw the potential in the home.  I am hoping others can see that in here as well.  We have always put the kids' needs first so repairing or repainting has fallen by the wayside.  Trying to make lists now and take care of that. 

More on what we did this past weekend.  Alyona is learning new things. She made pudding today, sweet tea, and muffins for breakfast tomorrow.  I'm teaching her how to read directions, and doing some basic math for recipes.  She loves it.  I have decided one day a week for basic life skills for her is necessary.  We are trying our best but the hopes that she'll be able to read past a kindergarten/1st grade level are fading.  It's a hard reality to accept but one that needs to be accepted.  I must do things on her level.  No, I haven't given up and will continue to push her as hard as I can, but also, teach more of the things she'll need to do in daily life.  More on that later.  I'm having issues w/ my teens and schooling right now. If I ask you a basic, basic math problem like how many days will these vitamins last for us all if there are 300 in the bottle, you should be able to answer it if you passed math.  I'm saddened as I feel they(the schools) are just passing the kids just to pass them.  If they weren't, they'd be able to answer a basic question like that.  Don't know what we'll do right now.  Their grades are fine but if you can't answer a simple math question, there is something wrong.  Just my opinion.  I'm thinking of giving them each basic test on various items from history to math to English and see what they can do.  Then, hand it over in the next IEP meeting and ask what's going on.  They could provide some entertainment, don't you think? Just thinking out loud today.  Don't mind me.  I'm tired I think. I know I'm tired.  But, need to look forward.  Can't wait for soccer season to start in March for the kids.  When it starts, we will be doing something 5 out of the 7 days.  And though for most people, that's not a big deal, it is for children who have issues transitioning.  Kids are excited about things that are yet to come.  Really excited.  February is the last "easy" month we have.  We had this for January for the most part.  December was busy w/ Christmas and just getting home from Bulgaria and adjusting the family.  Starting in March, we are going to be packed full again until July.  Yet, somehow, looking forward to it all.  Ready to enjoy it.  Ready for spring.  Hasn't felt like winter at all so kind of threw me off. 

Well, time for Irina to use this.  Picture post next from our past weekend.  Have a wonderful week everyone. 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Penguin project

Got a bunch to say but working on a few other things at the moment.  So, for now just a few pictures of our penguin project.  I like the craft ideas we get from Kaboose.  Just gives us something extra to add to homeschool stuff.  Since we are doing a unit study on winter, decided to make the penguins. 

Nik and Summer working on their penguins.  

While I help Nik and Summer, Reni and Alyona were supposed to be working on some workbooks they have.  Yeh, not much happening there.  

Alex and Logan were actually working on their workbooks.  

 Nik, pretty proud of his penguin as he should be.

 I think she is pleased as punch w/ hers.  My kids liked this so much, we did it w/ our class at homeschool academy this past Friday.

Summer and Nik comparing penguins.

Older kids obviously could do more of it on their own.  While they did this, they learned about penguins.  I was actually shocked that Alex remembered many of the facts we discussed.  He is rather visual.  

 Geez, what is w/ that serious look Logan?  Do you love Shrek's swamp in the background?  At least the pool can get blue again.  We can't cover our pool where we're located.  Back yard is kind of a hole for wind the way it's situated. So, the pool cover, metal straps and all, fly up and hit the windows.  Hence, not covered in winter.  Ladder is up and locked and it's drained down a bit but kids call it Shrek's swamp and want nothing to do w/ it in winter anyhow. 

 Alex w/ his penguin.  I think it is time to take down the human body poster.  LOL.

Alyona and Reni working on their penguins.  Wished I had gotten one of their finished projects but batteries died on the camera.  They did great.  

More to come soon.  Been a long weekend but not a bad weekend.  Just long.