Saturday, March 3, 2012

What happens when Nik plays hairdresser??

What happens when Nik plays hairdresser to Yana??  Well this of course!:

We have no idea exactly what Nik did to Yana's hair but this was the end result.  Sadly, she thought we could easily get this out.  Umm, no hon.  This will take some strategy and patience.

Nik, still rather proud of his hairdressing abilities.

 Warren made the first attempt to get the embedded comb out. 

 Yeh, wasn't going so well and I seriously thought we'd have to cut it out.

 As you can see, we switched people.  Frankly, we all took turns.  Notice the crowd forming?  And Irina's blatant lack of empathy? 

Max explaining we have some serious trouble here.  Why he's in a blazer, I'm not sure.  Who knows at this house.  

Summer, feeling this is quite a great way to entertain her.  This was before she got her new haircut.  

I think that look explains it all....painful.  

Just because we don't have enough excitement going on at the time, we need to spill baked potatoes all over the floor. Lovely.  

Believe it or not, this is awesome progress!  Max had managed to get it down to just this bit of matted up mess.  And, we salvaged most her hair!  It was due to Max's amazing patience.  I gave up, Warren gave up but Max stuck it through.  Yana owes him big time.  This took well over two hours to untangle.  Needless to say, Nik will not be a hairdresser when he grows up.  Nor will any female in this house let him touch their hair ever again! 

Are we tired yet??

Are we tired yet of fixing up the house or getting medical appointments done?  Tell me what you think:

 Maybe CSI needs to investigate this little one.  Barbie near hand.  Zonked out cold.  She was so sound asleep, I just didn't have the heart to wake her.

Nik wasn't too far from her.  

We've had really long days here lately.  Just trying to fit everything in and get stuff done.  I'm hoping to break this cycle this coming week.  Doesn't help though that they go to bed and then want to stay up and chit chat.  And, we've tried staggering them to bed but the first one just waits for the next one and so on.  Tried punishment chores but then they go and laugh the whole time.  URGHH!!!  

We did a lot of running around today.  Irina and Yana worked today.  Max and Bojan worked the church concession stand for Upwards.  The rest of us did some boring things.  Like going to TJMaxx to try to "stage" our house.  You know, to make it look like someone more sophisticated lives here and not people w/ 10 kids.  Trust me, we don't readily keep breakables around.  Went to Staples.  We had another free $20 from the rewards program.  Every time you return ink cartridges, you get credit.  Other errands but nothing exciting, that's for sure.  

Bojan, Irina and Yana are sleeping elsewhere this evening.  Wahoo!  down 3 kids.  LOL.  Bummer it feels the same w/ 7 as it does w/ 10... loud.  Tomorrow is church and more cleaning up at home.  Warren hurt his ankle somehow, some way.  So, he's taking it easy this evening.  We will be chipping away at more paperwork tonight.  Never ending, is it?  

I'm just thankful for a non eventful evening.  Hope it continues.  Going to continue catching up on those emails. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Blast from the past!

Yep, time for that segment again.  Man, interesting to look at old pictures and see just how much the kids have grown and what we were doing at that time. 

this was back in 2006.  Bojan had finished up w/ one of his clubfoot surgeries.  Yep, getting ready to do it all again in a few short weeks.  He's had others since this one back in '06.  I really have lost count and so did he.  

Alex was on a horse.  We were experimenting w/ therapeutic riding.  LOVED it!  However, it would have cost us over $800 a month to have them go and we just could not swing that at the time.  5 of them could have gone.  Sometimes there are things I wish insurance would pay for.   Oh, this was 2006 as well. 

This is the same year Warren took the girls out & I took the boys.  Oy!  Never again.  Monster Truck show is what I decided on.  Umm, nope.  Waste of money.  We had to leave as soon as the show started.  They could not handle the noise whatsoever.  We met up w/ Warren instead and all went out to dinner.  You have to remember, they were younger back then and couldn't handle all that noise and sensory input.  Live and learn.

 Our beloved Bear.  Oh how we miss him so.  This was in 2010.

Yana had to do that egg project in middle school.  Carry the baby egg around.  I guess she was trying to suffocate hers.  

March 2010.  This was Max and Alex goofing off and getting ready for Alex's upcoming EEG.  Max was trying to help Alex feel more at ease.  

This was in 2010 as well.  Nik and Irina taking a break between Upwards Basketball games.  Such a difference in Irina.  CPS had no idea what they did to our daughter last year.  None.  I'm still outraged!  I'm sure you all can see the difference in her.  And that is only a year's difference from last year.  Crazy.  

Daddy lifting Nik up to his boat picture.  It was the showcase of stars art show and his work was selected for his grade.  Love it!  This was last year, 2011.  So many changes last year for our kids.  So many.  Both good and bad.  We learned to appreciate the good things life had to offer during such a dark time.  

Hope you all enjoyed looking at some old pictures today as much as I did.  Have a wonderful weekend.  I intend to catch up.  Yep, that seems to be a theme with me that just doesn't seem to happen. 

Surprise from Nana

The other day a package came for Yana.  Typically, packages only come on birthdays or Christmas so this was interesting indeed.  Everyone gathered round.

Yana, getting ready to rip open the package. 

Alyona, looking on as is Reni.  Nik is taking pictures of the whole thing as in true Nik fashion.  LOL.  

A great pair of running shoes for Yana to start her track season off with.  She was thrilled.  

My parents are coming for a visit to see us next weekend.  It will be the first time they meet the new kids.  Hoping we all have a good time and the rain holds off.  Not sure what we'll do that Saturday.  Yana was very pleased with her new shoes and has already started to wear them. 

Generous people

We have run into many generous people over the years.  And frankly, we couldn't do this without their help.  Whether it is an extra box of oranges left on our porch or bags of clothes, it helps immensely and I don't think the people doing this for us realize just how much it helps us out.  We have ten kids.  I'm not going to lie and say it's not expensive.  But kids are not what is expensive, it's the lifestyle you live.  Even so, it's not cheap raising ten kids on a budget.  When  your grocery bill is almost as much as your mortgage, you know you must budget.  One thing we've been hugely grateful for is the clothing we get for various kids.  The other day, someone left a note.  Someone named Margie.  Honestly, I can not remember who Margie is and feel terrible about it.  I want to thank her in person.  I'm horrible w/ names so please don't be offended if I forget who you all are when I meet you.  Anyhow, a sweet lady dropped off a bag of clothes for the girls. 

The girls could not wait to tear into the bags and start trying on clothes.  

They both picked the same pair of shoes.  Umm, this is not going to work girls.  They are both in the same size so they can share.  But I prefer them to have their own shoes.  They do, it's just sometimes they'll swap.  Both in a size 3 girls.  I took a size 12.5 over to Reni in Bulgaria.  It was a bit small but she could still get her foot in it.  

So, Reni didn't know that Alyona was doing bunny ears and Alyona didn't know that Reni was sticking her tongue out.  Then I showed them the picture. 

So, they both swapped.  And no, Alyona is not sticking up her middle finger.  Remember, she can not bend or straighten her fingers out normally due to the botched surgery job years ago.  She can not put her hands flat even to do a push up.  Kind of permanently bent.  

 Did I mention the sisters are close??  Camera hog is in the background of course.

One of Alyona's new outfits.  She is too cute!  I love it that she still wants to be my girlie girl.  Loves to dress up.  She's almost a teenager but in a size 8/10 girls.  And that's perfectly fine with me.  

Just my girls have smiles on their faces due to some very generous people.  I can't thank them enough.  Having food and clothing given to us at various times throughout the year is a Godsend.  Just last week, a neighbor dropped off not 1 but 4 bicycles for the girls to use.  Yes, the initial cost of an adoption is great.  However, having generous people once home helps immensely.  I hope one day I have the ability to give such as these people have to us.  I know they think it's no big deal but it makes a huge difference in the lives of our children.  Thanks to all who've been so generous to our family over the years.

Glimpse of an FASD day

I woke up this morning w/ a severe headache and sinus ache.  You know, the kind that feels like someone is stabbing you in the eye, light hurts, etc.  This is the third day in a row like this.  Hoping it goes away by the weekend.  Anyhow, decided there was no way I could do home school academy w/ the kids today.  Called and let them know we could not be there.  Kids have been wiped out as well this week.  So today is very low key.  Doing some more research on amphibians on the computer, watching the America documentary series, multiplication and I don't know what else at this point in time.  Whatever my eyes can muster.  LOL. 

Alex and Logan take the dogs for a walk every morning.  Irina and I at dinner time and then Bojan and Max at night.  Today Alex and Logan left as usual.  Wanted them to get in the walk before the rain came.  Logan comes back, normal time.  I said where's Alex?  He said Alex went for a run.  URGHH!!!  He knows he's only allowed to run w/ Yana due to his overheating issues.  He must run w/ a partner no matter what.  Rules.  So, I wait.  He doesn't show.  Knowing FASD comes w/ very poor judgment, lack of impulse control and no cause & effect thinking, I knew I should go out to look for him.  I go to get ready.   In that 2 minute time I went to go get ready to look for Alex, Logan and Alyona left to go find him. URGHHH!~!!!!  So, I then load everyone else up in the van and proceed to go look for the 3 kids now. 

Found Alex w/ Kota coming down a street.  A street he knows he's not supposed to be on.  It's not bad but just need him to stay on isolated streets where neighbors know my kids, know some of their "issues" and can call me if they see something strange or kids need help.  Got to remember, though my kids are older, FASD age is about half their chronological age.  Hence, why I have them walk in pairs.  If running, run w/ one of the teens.  Anyhow, had soak and wet Alex get in w/ Kota.  Kota did not want to get in the van.  Got him in and went home.  Alex's saving grace was that it rained and he didn't over heat.  Dropped them off, kept Summer in her car seat and went to look for Alyona and Logan.  Hey, at least they went in pairs.  Saw them and made them get in the van.  I understand that Logan is new, however, he is 11yo and is mentally just fine.  He knows Alyona needs help in making decisions.  Yet, I know he's still learning so give him the benefit of the doubt...a little.  They both knew I was not happy a single bit w/ the lack of decision making.  Yes, they were trying to help.  But it's like saving someone drowning in the ice.  You don't keep piling everyone on the ice.  You wait for the rescue crews. 

I tell you this b/c this is only ONE small sample of the little bad decisions that happen throughout my day.  Yes, we keep pretty much 24/7 watch on them but still tough.  Like yesterday when Bojan told Alex to open the garage door.  Keep in mind, Bojan did not know about the door.  Alex did indeed know b/c he got in trouble for it the previous day.  Garage door is broken.  Easy fix but Warren can't do it till the weekend.  So, it must, it must remain closed.  Alex went and opened it.  More work for Warren this weekend.  This is a vicious cycle w/ FASD kids.  We have 7 kids now out of the ten w/ a brain disorder.  They look "normal" as we get told but they think  very differently than you and I.  We must, we must be their external brains.  We must think for them.  Everyday, all day.  All year.  It is draining some days.  I tell you all this because I know some on here are new to the FASD world.  Don't know what to expect.  It's the little things like this that some days will drive you bonkers.  And, with FASD kids, most things won't become noticeable until after school age.  Up until that time, they are for the most part accepted as kids just being kids. 

I Know I don't focus much or talk about FASD on this blog.  Yet, we live it daily.  So from time to time, I like to tell things like this so others can get a feel for what it is like to live with a child effected w/ this disorder.  Not easy.  Doable, but not easy.  Yet, here we are.  Not changing anything.  We do what works around here.  change things when it doesn't.  Everyone is going to have a bad day at some point.  That's a given.  You help them learn and move forward.  always move forward. 

Anyhow, just wanted to share a glimpse of FASD.  Decision making.  Repetition.  Not getting it.  All sorts of things.  And though they seem minor, they are not.  They pile up.  We dig through that pile and keep moving forward.  I know the FASD life is not for everyone.  But I've seen how far the kids can come.  What they can over come.  I know we've gone 'against the norm' in regards to how we handle our kids.  We do not do special diets, take all sorts of supplements, or get all sorts of therapies.  Our choice.  Each person is different.  Like I said, you do what works w/ these kids.  One day I will explain how we've raised our FASD kids and how it's worked for us.  That will be a very long post most likely in parts.  For now, just glimpses here and there. 

Need to get going.  Kids are watching the America series documentary.  It's raining out so great compromise.  I'm getting stuff done.  Trying to knock down my list.  List keeps growing though.  Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.  I think my teens are going to work the concession stand at Upwards Basketball games.  Not a big weekend planned.  Just working on the house for sure.  Next weekend, my parents come.  Kids are excited.  Following weekend, a boring weekend.  Need those every once in awhile.  After that, surgery weekend, we go nowhere for sure.  Weekend after that, soccer games and such.  The business of March is starting up.  We're ready for it...sort of. 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Nik's makings

Yes, time for another installment.  Haven't done one in awhile though Nik has been creating things left and right.  This is only one of the items he's made. 

 When we don't have something around here, Nik is awesome at improvising.  He takes after Max.  He wanted to weave.  So, he created his own loom out of construction paper. 

I thought it was quite clever of him.

Not to be outdone, Logan wanted to create a mask.  Yes, I think he will be ready for Halloween.  

Trying to answer some old emails and send out some new ones.  I just wish there were a few more hours in the day.  Well, maybe not.  Then I'd be even more tired.  tomorrow is home school academy.  Kids have so much fun there.  This is the weekend we are to be productive and fix things on the house.  A sign MUST go up and soon.  We are ready to sell and we are so ready to move.  Time to look ahead and move forward.  It really is.  More posts forthcoming. 

Working it out

Lately, we've been working it out.  What have we been working out?  Our bodies of course!  That's right, we're getting in shape around here.  And apparently, I'm not alone.  Just look at all the extra coaches I have to help.

Okay, ignore the hideous working out pics of me please.  One of the kids took these pictures.  I work out 4 to 5 times a week to a Biggest Loser dvd.  Living room is not that big for all of us to workout together but somehow the kids like to sneak in too.

Summer, taking the lead in the workout.  One day I'll have a picture where every single child has both shirts and pants on.  LOL.  She had just gotten out of the tub I guess.  

This was towards the end so I look like I'm dying but the kids are still going strong.  Though, they kept stopping every few minutes.  Digby is just laying there trying not to be stepped on.

 Then the boys wanted to work out after I was finished.  It was a miracle the dogs were stomped to death in the process. 

Okay, she just exuded cuteness here.  Looked like a little elf to me.  Could put fairy wings on her and she'd be good to go.  

Brothers Logan and Nik.  Yep, don't think Nik minded getting another brother.  Of course, both are typical boys.  URGHH!!!  

Catching up on some posts.  More to come.  Maybe.  Kids have to be put to bed first.  Not to mention more paper work.  Hope you all enjoy your evening.  

My Nik Nak

I love him to pieces.  That will never change.  From day one when I saw that picture, he was firmly on my heart from then on.  He is growing.  REally fast!  Too fast for mom.  He still crawls into bed in the mornings (weekends) to cuddle for a few minutes.  If he sees someone coming, he gets up.  Now that's a sure sign he's getting older.  I'm taking advantage of this cuddle time as I know it is soon to come to an end.  He's 9. 

My little big guy on a bike.  I know, I know.  We all need new bikes.  But, if it works...use it.  Nik just is growing into a nice young man.  Though working on a few etiquite skills, he's come very far on things.  Very far.  I was stunned when I worked w/ him on regrouping and he got it first try!  It was fantastic.  Though he forgot this morning, he quickly remembered after a review.  He's taking an interest to history a bit.  Today he drew a poster for me.  I'll show it to you all later.  It was regarding WW1.  Let's just say I learned to sign bombs and explode today.  I love  Great dictionary that has come in handy for Nik and I.  I also learned worm and skin today as did he.  We're studying amphibians.  Frogs right now.  

Nik is growing in so many ways.  He is still very shy w/ new people.  He loves being the big brother.  Summer loves it too.  Nik has learned to stand his ground and is not afraid to speak his mind.  Nik is fascinated w/ knitting.  I know Nik and I may never have a verbal conversation.  But trust me, there are enough words to convey how we feel.  I have enough sign now to ask him questions.  That is one thing his speech therapist and I are trying to work on.  He doesn't like to answer questions whether in sign or speech.  I'm not sure if he's afraid of being wrong or what.  I know Nik will go far in life.  He wants to read so, so badly.  We read books every single day.  I do sight words every single day.  We do phonics.  The hard part is knowing he wants it so badly. I know we'll get there.  He is progressing.  Just slowly.  Remember, we are not solely dealing w/ deafness.  It's also FAS and ADHD.  It gets tough to know sometimes the direction to turn.  However, I will let Nik guide me.  I have come to learn to read him in his actions.  I would love for him to stay young forever.  I really would.  I love how he wants to still give me a kiss from time to time.  I love his quest for knowledge.  I love his spunk, his activeness, his genuine curiosity, and so much more.  There is way to much to tell about Nik.  Just know, I love him to pieces.  Yes, he's 9 and driving me crazy in some ways.  But he is also my youngest son.  He is still my baby boy.  Love you Nik Nak! 

Surgeries scheduled

Duke called yesterday.  We have surgery dates for Alyona and Bojan.  They both go in on March 23rd.  There are 4 patients that day.  2 of them being our kiddos.  Alyona's surgery should not be all that complicated.  Remember however, that is what we said right before the botched surgery job she had.  So, hoping and praying this simple surgery goes well this time.  They will be taking all her hardware out of her arm.  She will be casted and hoping it won't be all the way up but we'll have to wait and see on that one.  She is outpatient. 

They just called again.  Surgery is now Wednesday, March 21st instead.  Bojan will be overnight for sure.  He'll have a hemovac and frankly, I don't want to mess w/ that at home.  Though, they gave me the option due to our "experience" and closeness to an ER.  However, I say better safe than sorry.  LOL.  I'm sure Bojan will appreciate me not pulling that out of him or for that matter, one of his sibs!   Alyona will be coming home same day.  Plans are being made for how all this will go that week. 

Bojan is of course way more complicated.  They were supposed to get back to me today as to whether he is to be overnight or not.  In all likelihood, he will be.  I think what we'll do is both Warren and I go to the hospital. I'll have movies and crafts for Irina to do with the younger kids that Friday.  Wish they could go to homeschool academy to kill time but that would be too hard as we'll be at the hospital w/ Bojan.  I'll have neighbors check in sporadically w/ Irina to see how the younger ones are doing.  Once Alyona is okay, she will travel back home w/ Warren.  Bojan will stay in the hospital w/ me.  Then, next day we'll take Bojan home.  That will be a Saturday.  No soccer that day.  No anything that weekend for sure. 

We will have surgery times hopefully in the next few days. And whether or not Bojan is overnight.  Though w/ all the work that they are doing, chances are he will be.  We'll work it all out for sure.  Always do. 

Today is Thursday.  Hey, I need to get back to doing those thoughtful Thursday posts. Next week, I promise.  This week really has been busy again.  Last night, I made baked meatballs w/ Irina.  We all ate, Warren came home and we all left.  Well, Bojan, Max, Yana and Nik stayed home.  Went and got 4 kids a hair cut, 2 grocery stores and then Walmart for supplies.  We had no idea we'd be gone that long.  Nik finally got his knitting kit.  He'll be starting that today.  He is estatic to say the least. 

It's gorgeous out today.  Was going to take them to the park but to say they've been deserving would be inaccurate.  They all have been just plain horrible today.  I mean horrible.  I don't know if it was from being out late last night or cabin fever or what but I can't take much more.  Tomorrow has got to be better.  Tried to review history and it's like they never had heard it before. I think the beautiful sunshine today fried their brains.  LOL.  More to come.  Need to upload some pics.  Been rearranging appointments, picking up Yana from track, checking homeschool work, and making a ham for dinner.  So, more later.  We'll have some answers next week as well.  I should say week after next.  13th we find out if Irina needs surgery.  15th we find out about Summer's eyes.  Still waiting for endocrine to call me back.  Neuro already faxed them the papers and medical records.  Kids w/ ACC are followed by endocrinologists due to the location of their disorder and what all can come w/ it hormonally.  Will be enlightening indeed that day we go.  There are some unanswered questions for Ms. Summer and hoping this can answer some of them.  Well, for now, got to go. 

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Homeschooling update

Okay, so we have kicked off a new semester.  Hope to get more accomplished this semester.  Should be able to.  Not many holidays and definitely not a trip to Bulgaria or the addition of new sibs this semester.  So, we should be able to stay better on track and that seems to be the case thus far.  I wrote out a schedule which is helping us too.  The kids still go to home school academy on Fridays which they love.  Opportunity to take some classes and learn things.  Love it.

We are all doing history together and just now entering the civil war era.  This coming week, they will all be learning the Gettysburg Address and we'll attempt to make Abe Lincoln hats.  Anyone has suggestions on that, send them my way.  We're backing this all up w/ documentaries on Netflix.  The America series.  In mid-March we will be completely done w/ history, including a major review from the whole year.  So, I've decided to do an extra little project on the civil war and also for April & May we will study geography.  Also, throwing in a section on the Wright Brothers.  Would love to visit Kitty Hawk but it's four hours from here.  That would make for a long day.  We'll see.

Next, we do science together as well.  We're ironically doing a unit study on winter.  We studied the winter stars this week, learned how snow was made, and quite a few other things.  We're doing experiments to go along w/ these as well.  After this, we're moving onto amphibians.  We're kind of letting science go in its own direction.  Seems to work well w/ the kids. I like the unit studies idea better anyhow.  Our field trip in March will be to the NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores.  Not too far a drive from here and very worth it.  Excited about going w/ them and they're excited. 

Art and pe is in each week for sure.  My kids all start soccer next week.  Practice is two days a week and games are on Saturdays.  Not bad.

Math.  My kids are thrilled they are finally getting multiplication.  I mean seriously thrilled that they take the lap book out themselves and practice.  It is wonderful that they are finally accomplishing this and feel really good about it too!  Nik seems to be the only one in the group to get regrouping.  I haven't started him on multiplication yet.  So, he is doing addition and regrouping and getting it!  He's also doing fractions.  Very pleased w/ their math progress.

Reading.  Ahh, you can't have it all I've come to realize.  They struggle.  Greatly.  All mine have major processing issues and the ones that don't aren't fluent in English yet.  Alyona still is on a very basic reading level.  Like kindy/ 1st grade.  Alex can not retain what he reads so we really are struggling w/ this one.  It frustrates him so much.  I am hoping w/ his new found confidence in math, it will slowly transfer over to reading.  We'll see.

We're coming along.  Reni and Logan know the alphabet.  Math Logan really struggles in.  Reni is really progressing but she has tons more English over her brother.  Tons.  I still think this is from those first few weeks where she was absorbing like a sponge and he was refusing to learn anything b/c he said he would find someone here that spoke Bulgarian.  Even now, Reni sometimes will act as a translator for us.  Trouble is, she is forgetting her Bulgarian super duper fast.  She doesn't speak it any more.  If Logan asks her something in Bulgarian, she answers him in English.  And half the time now, she doesn't understand it anymore.  We'll get there for sure.  I was just surprised this time of Reni learning so fast and her brother taking his time.

Summer is of course just mimicking now some words.  She will take quite some time to learn to speak.  Very delayed speech.  Very.  She will most likely need sign as well for quite some time.  And that's okay too.  right now, I'll save a post all about Summer. 

Homeschooling is going okay.  I won't say fantastic, I won't say horrible.  Just okay for now.  Trying things out and seeing what works and what doesn't.  My kids are very visual.  Very.  Try to incorporate things that are visual.  I know they are learning new things.  Sometimes I get frustrated.  Sometimes they get frustrated.  But, I wouldn't change it right now. I think they are in a good place.  As for the social aspect....just fine.  They have neighborhood friends they play with.  They go to a home school academy & interact on Fridays.  Next week soccer starts & they'll be w/ other kids 3 days a week for the next few months.  Then we have church and their friends there.  Socially, I do not worry.  Academically I worry but I was worried even more so before they were homeschooled.  I've learned a ton of how they were schooled at public school.  These last few months have been enlightening to say the least.  Alyona will be taking more of a life skills track.  Alex is on the edge.  I'm pushing him academically.  But he struggles in so many areas w/ processing issues.  Trying to find ways to help him w/ that. 

All in all, doing fine.  We're learning.  We're having fun.  Okay, so not fun every single day.  LOL.  Right now they're all outside playing.  I was SO proud of them today w/ the math they've been soaking up.  Amazing.  Something finally clicked.  History is going well too.  Reading is where they all need work.  ESL kids have learned the alphabet and phonics.  They're reading basic books now.  We're getting there.  Need to go.  We do have science to do.  More posts to come.  Just been really busy these last few days w/ paper work.  Lots of it.

Monday, February 27, 2012


I posted a short video the other day about boys.  Well, not really about boys but simply 3 of my boys in action.  Never still.  Never quiet.  That's who they are.  My boys.  I swear they could find dirt where a hazmat team has already cleaned.  They're dirt magnets.  And trouble magnets for that matter.  But, from my experience, pretty typical boys.  The boys will be boys mentality is played out in this home over and over again.  Thought I'd share just a few short examples.

 Logan with his sister Summer.  See, boys can be nice....sometimes. 

Alex and Logan goofing off.  Of course, they won't be able to do this for long alone.  No, they'll have to drag another brother into the act.

Yep, Max fell victim.  LOL.  

Always, always in a head lock, on the floor wrestling or chasing each other.  The boys are never still.  Never quiet.  Frankly, I'm super surprised Bojan and Nik aren't in this picture.  They must have been gone at the time.  Do my boys ever carry it too far?  Yep.  They do.  Not all the time but sometimes they don't know they're on strength and definitely don't know how to find that 'off' switch half the time.  Again, boys will be boys.  

Well, Yana needs to do research so I'm taking a break for a short bit.  4 blog posts in one day.  Not bad.  More to come.  I have a back log of pictures and topics for that matter. 

She's got style!

Our little Summer loves to be quite the fashionista.  This child could shop all day if you let her.  Her favorite thing of all time?  A pair of white cowboy boots.  I picked them up at a yardsale for 50 cents.  The child doesn't even touch the brand new pair of sneakers I bought at the store.  URGHH!!!  Summer has a thing for boots.  She has light up boots, cowboy boots, snow boots, rainboots(cows), and fashion boots.  She'll wear boots with everything before anything else goes on her feet. 

This is Summer styling in her cowboy boots.  Got to love a Summer time dress in February.  

A close up of her beloved boots.  Yes, I know they're on the wrong feet but we really are trying to get her to learn to dress herself.  Wrong feet and all.  Boots are a little big but she does not care.  My baby girl and her cowboy boots.  

Wow, 3rd post thus far.  Kids were so excited about learning more multiplication facts that I let them.  I told them we must double up on science tomorrow.  We did double history today b/c they wanted to.  Science is a promise tomorrow for sure.  Everything else they're doing though.  More posts to come for sure.  Shoot, I'm on a roll!  LOL. 

You can help the kids of Pleven!

I know I haven't spoken a lot about Summer and where she started out.  That is because recently there has been a lot going on with the orphanage she started out in.  See, Summer started out in the Pleven orphanage.  Yes, the one that has had lots of notice lately due to malnourished children and some other things going on.  Summer spent the first two and a half years of her life there. So this place is near and dear to my heart.  Not only that, the little girl that started it all, Katie, I got to see in person when we were bringing our three home.  They were there at the same time.  I will tell you firsthand, it is even more real in person than a photo.  The before picture and the after are stunning.  Just stunning.  Does not even look like the same child we saw that day in the police station.  The child is miraculous indeed.  So, to know there are others in that same condition that can be helped right now, we must do something.  There is a friend of mine that wrote a post.  I've shared it on facebook and will share the link here as well.  I"ve already had people ask me on facebook privately if this is legit and trustworthy.  It is.  I have known Shelley for years mostly via computer though I promise you she's real.  We've spoken on the phone in the past.  She also adopted from Serbia, where Bojan is from.  So yes, I whole-heartedly trust her and this effort.  In addition, the MOJ is aware this is happening and that funds are being raised to help these children.  Many have asked if they can do something for the ones left behind.  Here is your chance!  I've seen how it can make a difference.  A true impact on human life.  Here is the link.  Please pass this website around.  These kids really do need our help.  My daughter is home safe and sound.  Please help these kids survive till their parents can come and get them.  In addition, the 240 kids that are still there, still needing the nutrition that is vital for them to live.  Thanks for taking the time to help the kids of Pleven left behind.  I also would like to just say that what is going on in this particular orphanage is NOT the norm in Bulgaria.  I do not want people to think that this type of thing happens everywhere.  It does not.  I've spoken numerous times about the orphanage in Shumen and how they "got it right" in regards to explaining adoption to the kids and having kids that respect yet do not fear the adults in charge.  They took them places.  They were not sheltered, etc.  I think in time, the orphanage where Summer first started out can get to a point where it can run on its own without outside interventions.  That's just my opinion mind you.  I just know that I do not want people to think that this is how all the kids are treated in Bulgaria.  They are not.  Look at most blogs of folks that are home and you will see they were well cared for.  Well, for an orphanage.  An orphanage is still not the same as a family.  I'm talking being fed, needs met, etc.  But, this one orphanage in Bulgaria does need our help.  My 5yo that is running around the room downstairs had her start in life there.  I can help but think of the ones left behind that are not running around right now smiling.  Please help their smiles come back.  Thanks for reading.

Manic Monday

Weekend wasn't too eventful thank goodness.  All ten kids stayed at the church for a church lock-in.  It was really hard to get used to the no noise at home.  Poor Warren kept thinking he was hearing noises coming from upstairs.  I actually heard them too.  Think it was just the wind or something.  Crazy.  Was nice to have quiet but I really did miss them.  Went on to the computer and watched them sing real quick.  I haven't posted that one yet.  Just was very strange not having them hear and being able to hear ourselves think or ask questions without interruption.  LOL.  Funny the things you notice when the kids aren't here.  thought it was just very sweet of the church to do that for us.  It was our kids and a couple other families there.  We needed that nice break.

Sunday, we went to church, picked the kids up after service and then home to work on the house a bit more.  Bojan got to go to a birthday party.  So, nothing exciting happening yesterday.  Nice to have "dullness" every once in awhile. 

This week I have a list.  It is literally about 50 items long and that does NOT include the fixing up the house stuff.  Unreal.  But, it will hopefully almost all get done.  We are drowning in some paperwork.  This week, I plan to swim above it.  OKay, so that is the goal.  seriously though, some of this paper work has just got to be done. 

Irina started her new job today!  Well, actually she's worked w/ this lady & company before.  She is very happy about this opportunity and we feel it will help her grow quite a bit of maturity.  She will learn so many new skills and this will be such a broader range of skills versus what she was going to learn at JCI. We are confident the right choice was made on Friday to pull her out of school and homeschool her.  She was only taking one class.  Yes, ONE class...English.  And all they were doing this semester mainly was one big paper.  Geez.  So, figured we can continue w/ that paper and her work counts as her classes.  Remember, she was in the OCS program, not the academic track.  Irina is ready for this next chapter in her life.  We will also get her a bank account and teach her a few things about that. With children with certain dx's, you wait to get them accounts.  We think now she's at a point she can handle one.

I am carpooling for track. It's my turn this week.  Yana is doing great w/ her track fundraiser.  Well, after the losing it fiasco.  But, it was Irina.  So, Yana is more watchful now.  Plus, I don't think she liked that her sister found it where she had already claimed to have looked.  LOL.  Other than that, I don't think there are appointments for this week.  There are for next but I think we actually have a week off.  Well, not off per say but you know what I mean. 

Getting all schedules going. Soccer, track, parents coming, doc appointments, surgeries schedule (ahh, wait, Duke hasn't called yet...Day 7), and a trip to the NC aquarium and such at the end of the month.  Getting there slowly w/ plans for everything.  Keeping busy to say the least.  I have many, many more posts forthcoming.  Like I said, lots happening and not just here at Chaos Manor.  Got to go.  Think kids are almost done w/ their multiplication lap book.  Seriously, never thought something so simple would help them learn the times tables.  But even Alyona is catching on!  She is so proud.  Reni too.  They have almost completely learned the 6's & 7's.  This week, we're starting 8's and 9's.  Next week 10's & 11's.  Can't believe it.  And, we're almost all finished w/ our history book.  We'll finish early...mid-March.  So after ,we'll do two months of geography.  Obviously, my kids get plenty of PE and art.  What I'm ashamed to say I've been slack on is science.  Got to catch up on it.  Our next unit study is amphibians.  We were supposed to start today.  Doing a lap book for that one too since they like and actually pay attention to them.  We'll get there. 

Stay tuned for more to come.  Would like to say a few things about Pleven & what folks can do to help.  This is where Summer was born and spent the first 2.5 years of her life.  Anyhow, more on all that in another post.  For now, need to finish up the 8' & 9's.