Friday, June 1, 2012

My morning

This morning was an extremely dreary Friday.  But, drug myself out of bed and went for a walk w/ Rebecca.  Got home and a little while later, the bottom fell out of the sky and it poured.  So, what else to do...crawl back into bed.  Didn't sleep.  Why?  Well, let's just take a look, shall we.

Let the homeschoolers sleep in late.  However, these two get up early no matter what.  They had their blankets they'd made.

Nik, being silly.  

 Not to be out done by little sister.

He's enjoying that pillow just too much.

Pretending to sleep.  Not sure why they thought they could get any sleep in my bed anyhow.  Too many people and dogs!

Cute picture but too much of a devlish grin.  Don't know what these two are getting ready to do.  Mayhem usually follows.  Alaska is none the wiser.  Poor dog.  Poor tolerant dog.  

Tonight is Friday.  Bojan and Alex are spending the night at their friend's house.  Both of them live on the same street so nice and convenient.  I'm going yardsaling w/ some of the girls tomorrow.  Hope we find some good ones.  Then, coming home, Warren goes to the meeting and kids & I clean up the house/ yard and pool.  I weeded the garden today.  Sad but didn't even realize we had all those tomatoes growing b/c I never staked them.  They survived.  Might try a family portrait but that will be a big 'try.'  Burgers are on the grill so got to go.  Have a wonderful weekend everyone. 

Flabulous to Fabulous

I lost 2 more lbs this week!  Okay, so I know some of you think that's not much and it's not in the grand scheme of things.  However, those little pounds add up.  I know I never stated my weight on here before but it's time if I want to be held accountable.  Shoot, in college I had to be weighed and measured every 2 weeks.  I was in very elite shape.  Their theory was if you're going to teach it, you must live it.  I ate well over 5 meals a day back then.  Biked, swam, ran and walked every single day.  Along w/ taking classes.  Had body fat measured all the time.  I need to find one of my college pics to show you all.  You probably wouldn't recognize that person.  My major:  Health and Fitness Specialist.  Yep.  Kid you not.  That's why it is so, so hard to see the shape I have gotten myself into.  However, I am now determined to dig myself out of it and back into the swing of things.  Doing it the old fashioned way and exercise. 

I have started walking every morning at 7am w/ a friend of mine.  Poor Rebecca comes over to a tired mom trying to drag herself out the door to walk.  But, with her support, we both do it.  It's great.  Also, sticking to the just drinking milk and water.  Still have yet to give up chocolate.  Shoot, a girl has to live, right?  I have a fitness journel and food journal but this week was totally slack on filling it out.  That will be my focus for next week.  I like the path I'm headed towards.  A path towards health and fitness.  Food diet needs to be tweeked.  Working on that.  Will give more detailed report next week.  I actually would love to be able to lose the weight and get ACE certified.  Do they even have that any more?  LOL.  I used to help teach cardio way back in the day.  I miss it.  A lot.  I still did not get the cardio workouts in I wanted to this week.  I am walking, light weightlifting and stretching every day.  However, the cardio is just not working out yet.  Going to re look at the schedule and work it in somehow some way. 

So, never gave my weight before.  At my highest, it was 204.  I am now at 195.  My plan is to be in the 180's in June.  I have not been there  for years upon years.  My goal would be to lose 50 lbs.  I'm striving to lose 3 or 4 lbs next week but will have to really work at that.  Even just reporting here helps.  Knowing I am accountable.  I told my friend that if I could just get to 194, I'd be excited as I can't remember the scale saying that in years.  And now, I'm just 1 lb. away from that goal!  And, pool is almost ready.  I do laps as well in the summer.  50 laps a day.  I know, it's not a regular size pool, but it's a workout. 

gorgeous glads

Not sure if you all have figured this out by now, but I love flowers.  Hence, why I used to work at a florist shop.  LOL. But, better than buying them, is getting them free from my own yard.  Love watching flowers grow from spring to fall.  Our yard has a variety from hydrangeas to irises to dailies to gladiolus's.  Hodge podge really of flowers.  But, they do not take over as it is a rather large yard.  Well, only an acre but not so huge that a lot of flowers would make it look tacky. 

This is the time of year we're always clipping fresh flowers to go in a variety of vases throughout the house.  Brightens things up a bit.  I shared some of our hydrangeas we have so time to change it up.

Here's a picture of one of the vases I put together w/ fresh flowers.

This was before I added the hydrangeas.  Just thought they needed something at the bottom to balance it out.  Looked to top heavy before since I had no greenery to put in it. 

Don't you just want this color on your walls?  So colorful.  

Wow, talk about color?!  Red, bright and vibrant.  Love it.  Just makes things come alive.  Since we have a lot of neutrals in the house, this livens things up a bit.  Also have pink striped gladiolus's as well.  I just  buy the bulbs in bulk at Sam's.  Plant in various parts of the yard.  Just wanted to share some color with you all.  

Today is Friday.  Nothing happening today thank goodness.  Nice to just chill some times.  Heard nothing from Mr. IRS man yet so trying to be patient.  Warren had his hearing checked this week.  It's perfect.  Just have loud kids.  LOL.  Have a meeting tomorrow during the day and then may try to finally get a family portrait done.  Finally.  We'll try and I empathize the word try.  Sunday our goal is to go on a day trip to the aquarium.  Beautiful place.  Enjoy your weekend everyone.  I think I may actually get a few more posts finished tonight.  I vowed June would be my catch up month and I think it is! 

Q & A time

Lately, I've been getting a few questions on posts.  And, I've been horrible about answering them.  So, thought it was time for a question and answer session.  If there is anything you've been dying to ask or simply something silly you're just curious about.  From RAD to groceries to gardening to raising a big family to whatever.  Open to pretty much anything.  Ask away and I'll do a post next week. 

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Playing catch up

This week is a just jumping.  Seems like we go from one thing to the next.  Lots of decisions having to be made.  Yesterday the vet came to the house.  She's great.  Brought the scale and all.  This was not a check up.  I discovered Kota has worms the other day and called her to the house.  Both pups had worms as puppies but were de-wormed.  This however the vet said came from swallowing a flea.  Common.  We use Frontline but it can be up to a month that the others stay in the system and the Frontline won't work against it.  Hope that made sense.  She explained it much better than I did.  Alaska and Digby are fine.  So, Kota got medicine for it.

Last night we then had church clubs for the kids.  Warren and I left and ended up getting a few odds and ends we needed.  Came home to terribly made chili.  Tried a new seasoning pack and it sucked big time.  However, they ate it.  So did I.  Never making that again.  Kids got to bed late.  Very late.

This morning, we were supposed to go to the dentist for Reni & Logan.  Sealants.  Didn't happen.  So, rescheduled.  Stayed home all day today.  Finally.  Nice to just get some odds and ends done around the house. Been one of those long days. 

Warren has to work tomorrow evening which stinks.  Saturday, going to an SSI / SSDI info meeting.  We have decided probably Warren will go as it is too long a time to leave the kids alone.  So, I'll stay here.  We'll clean up the house a bit.  Well, quite a bit.  Then our goal will be to get our family portrait done...finally.  we've been home 6 months now and still haven't gotten one.  Horrible, I know. 

Been in kind of a funk lately trying to make major life changing decisions.  Got to love it.  Thankfully, my friend Rebecca still comes every morning and we walk the dogs together.  Accountability.  Only time we did not go was when it was pouring down rain.  Hate getting up to go but glad we do.  I've got lots to catch up on email wise.  So, if I haven't gotten back to you, I promise I'm not trying to be rude.  LOL.  Just with the end of the school year, much, much to do.  Pictures tomorrow most likely and some other posts.  Have a wonderful weekend everyone.  Plans are to go to the aquarium this weekend.  Can't wait.  Hope Saturday is informative and not more confusing.  We shall see.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Random pictures

Well, after such a serious post, we need to relax and breath.  So, random pictures are definitely in order.

Alyona, chilling out at one of the soccer games.

Oh yeh, teen's going to hate me for this one!  She has powder all over her body.  for what?  Massive poison ivy she got from helping dismantle the fence.  Logan's was bad that I had to take him in today for it. He's on 12 days of predisone.  Yuck.  

Kids working on their dinosaur lapbooks.

Irina had to do a ph Probe last week for 24 hours.  We were all a bit creeped out as she opens her mouth and a red light blinks on and off repeatedly.  Would have been great for Halloween.  Summer looks a little concerned.  Results next week.

Not sure why they brought playing cards.  This was during one of the soccer practices.  

Once again, very tolerant dogs we have.  She uses Alaska as a pillow all the time.

Alex, practicing his multiplication facts.

Not sure what work they're doing but hey, they're doing it so I'm not complaining.  

 Summer, w/ her boots of course. 

Had a girls' night w/ mud masks.  She wanted to play along.

 Scary little thing, huh?

Reni thought it stung so she washed hers off right away.  The rest of us "suffered" through it.  Really, wasn't bad at all.  

Irina just hanging out chatting in our room.  Again, a rarity a get a teen in this house in a picture.  Take it while I can.  

More to come. Tomorrow is Wednesday, church clubs.  Thursday, Logan and Reni have a dentist appointment.  Saturday, SSI and SSDI info session.  Sunday, we are taking that aquarium trip.  Signing off for teh evening.

Living through a RAD rage

I started this last year.  To protect the identity, I used A & B  & C and so on as their names.  Never published it but knowing just how many go through RAD situations, I thought it was high time people understand how these things start and get out of control. And, how to somewhat bring it back into control.  Now, I have one RADish that rages openly.  Another one that is "self-raging."

I know I still owe everyone a general post on RAD.  And that will come.  For now though, I wanted to share with you what it's like to live through a RAD rage and how we deal with it.  As some of you are aware, I have two children who do have RAD.  Though told that by a psychiatrist and psychologist, I do not have the "official" dx on paper.  Don't ask why I didn't get it written down.  I honestly don't remember.  Guess I should go back.  My kids are classic textbook RAD.  You meet them in person, you'd never know just what we experience in this home.  Never.  You see the sweet charmer, the nice kid who instantly makes conversation.  You don't see the manipulation.  You don't see the lies.  You don't see the triangulation.  You don't see the aggression.  Ironically, they do not see all of this either when they're in the midst of a rage.  Now, for those new, RAD stands for reactive attachment disorder.   In my opinion, it is one of the worst things you can have come out of an adoption.  Again, that's my opinion.  It is a real reason why many disrupt an adoption.  I mean seriously, who expects their new adopted kid to lunge at them or spit at them or in some cases, try to kill them.  No one.  No one expects this.  No one asks for it.  I'm getting sidetracked.  I have started a RAD post.  Just never finished it.  But after tonight, I feel people need to understand how things can get to that point.  How out of reality these kids get.  How they see things.  It's not real.  Most would shake their heads why.

Okay, time to lay it all out there.  I've never done this before.  Never told of what happens during one of the RAD rages.  No one wants to talk about it in the adoption community.  People are afraid.  I don't quite get that b/c it is a mental illness.  It can't be helped.  However, those looking from the outside in, won't get it.  They won't understand it.  They will give you suggestions to parent differently.  They will tell you to disrupt.  They will tell you to give up.  I'm telling you you can't.  You can't give up the fight.  You can't give up on your kid.  That's why RAD parents keep going and going.  They keep fighting the good fight.  Hoping and praying that each time this happens, it will be the last time.  We went from a RAD rage literally everyday to one every once a year or two.  It was going so, so well.  Thought we had it under control.  Nope.  It was an illusion.  RAD is always there.  Always.  Lurking and waiting for the opportunity to come out.  Tonight was that opportunity.

I will start w/ what happened earlier this evening.  Actually, last night Warren and I discovered that someone had been watching inappropriate movies on Netflix.  Now, we don't have cable or satellite & up until a few months ago, didn't even have Netflix.  Everyone said it was great, had to try, yada, yada.  So, I did.  Liked it actually.  That was until we discovered last night.  now, we knew there were rated R movies and really no big deal.  However, we did NOT realize there were NR movies and that they really should belong in an adult section, not Netflix.  Just my opinion.  It was evident they watched these movies.  And for how long.  Despite them saying they turned it on, and off again.  Umm, NO.  Too much evidence in front of your face. 'A' proceeds to call me a liar.  At this point in time, 'B' is silent.  'A' starts mouthing off b/c I'm giving them blatant evidence and truth.  Showing them.  Didn't matter.  'A's mind was made up.  Told A to go to A's room.  Fine.  Continue it later on.  By this time in the evening, I was already having massive problems w/ all my kids.  Not going to lie.  Not all roses here and neither is it at anyone else's house that has kids like mine.  Boys were not listening at all.  Not one bit.  Girls were being disrespectful and lying about what they'd done.  Alyona was putting makeup on Nik.  You know, that kind of day.  None were doing homework.  Just was frustrated.  So, asked Warren kindly when he'd be home.  He asked if he had to come home.  Some days, you just know where it's headed around here.

Warren gets home.  Tries to calmly talk to them.  Then 'B' kicks it up.  B starts trying to manipulate the situation.  And of course, it's all my fault.  Many RAD children will focus their anger on the ones who originally abandoned them.  For 'B', that was 'B's birth mother.  So, I then become the target any time 'B' rages.  I am referred to as "that woman."  That is what 'B' calls me during a rage.  Face gets all red.  Expletives run out of 'B's mouth like water going over a waterfall.  'B' stops, 'B' tantrums, etc.  'B' lashes out at whoever is around.  'B' called Bojan "you one-legged boy you."  Slams doors.  Threatens to kill.  The whole nine yards.  It is as if someone else is living in 'B's body.  'B' tells us that they hate this family & will make sure we never adopt again.  'B' is lashing out.  You have to separate yourself from this situation.  When a rage is happening,  you can not be that child's parent.  You must go into protection mode of keeping them & yourself safe.  This is not a tantrum people. It's not.  I want people to understand that.  Their eyes actually dilate when they're in a rage.

What set B off was B's getting caught up in their lies and their not being able to manipulate the situation in their favor.  Now, being we have a "situation" going on right now, I took out the camera & video recorded the entire event.  I sure did.  Many RAD parents I know get falsely accused.  Trust me, we know how easy that would be.  So, to protect ourselves & the other kids, we videotaped the episode.  It was by far one of B's worst rages to date.  B kicked out the screen and jumped out the window.  Stomped & screamed all over the yard.  When this happens, we all make sure we follow B but at a distance.  C was w/ me following, Warren was one way & I think D another direction.  Kind of like herding.  But, being that B is not of sound mind, you have to steer B away from any tools or anything that can be hurled at someone.  Seriously.  B knocked over the grill.  Luckily, no damage to that.  B bruised their legs all up trying to jump out the window & running into things in the dark.  When B's in this state, B can't feel a thing.  B is numb.  Numb to the physical pain and numb to the mental pain.  B broke my camera when they grabbed it out of my hand and threw it on the floor.  B tried to escape inside to the downstairs bathroom.  Ripped the shower curtain(new one of course) and broke the shower curtain rod screwed into the wall.

Oh, do I ever remember this rage.  I started this post and was so emotional, I never finished it.  B eventually calmed down.  Living through a RAD rage is no easy feat.  You are physically, emotionally, and mentally drained.  It is hard to describe the feeling.  Now, when one of our RADishes rages, there is certain protocol all the other kids know to follow. Safety steps.  B had gotten good at knowing when a rage may be coming on & would remove them self from the house and go to the hammock.  This night that this happened though, there was no going away, no stopping it.  It had to come out unfortunately. I think it lasted two or three hours.  I don't remember.  Maybe I don't want to remember is more like it.  Once B calmed down, then we could talk.  RADishes will rarely apologize for their behavior.  They don't see it as wrong.  We have to show them it was wrong. they have to learn it was wrong and that we still care and love them no matter what they do.  See, kids w/ RAD are so used to no one caring in their lives & pushing everyone away, that this idea that someone loves them unconditionally, is almost too much for their brains to handle.  I don't say all this lightly.  Remember, this was a post that I mulled over even sharing.  However, in the long run, I think it is important for other adoptive parents to really understand the emotional side of RAD and how much pent up anger some of these children seem to have toward their  birth parents or whoever allowed them to be hurt.  RAD does not simply go away.  And, parents of RAD children have to be extra careful as these kids can twist anything around.  They are master liars.  Though, I must say, we can always ,always tell when our two RADishes are lying.  Always.

Some people think we are way too strict with our kids.  We have to be. There is no middle ground if you are living with a child affected by RAD.  No chances to be wishy washy.  None.  The kids will take advantage of that.  I do not say all these things to be mean but to let others know this is not easy.  It has taken us years to learn how to better serve our kids effected with this disorder.  Years.  We were told years ago when one of them was 5yo to disrupt the adoption.  Told this by multiple professionals.  That their RAD is so bad that they are doomed to be a sociopath.  Umm, no.  I healed C on my own.  I did.  Had to take matters into my own hands as no one else was willing to take their case.  Yes, it was that bad.  Regressed my child and they have continue to do well. 

I started this post on and off.  I wasn't sure whether to share what it's really like. I wasn't sure folks in the adoption community could understand it.  Truly, unless  you live w/ RAD, you have NO IDEA.  The stories I heard on one of my very private groups (with kids w/ RAD, you must know where to trust folks), were heart wrenching at times.  But, there is always another parent there who "gets it."  RAD is something you really can not prepare for.  I don't care how many adoption classes you take or books you read.  It is not the same as living it 24/7.  It has taken us years and I mean years to get to the point we are now.  So many times we wanted to give up.  So many times we felt defeated.  But now, success stories i feel. I can't divulge who they are or what they are doing as I want identities protected.  Honestly, you couldn't tell who this is if you met all my kids. 

What I have I learned in living with RAD?  find someone who gets it.  Find someone you can trust and vent to.  Find a way to help your child.  Some case will not end like ours.  Some must disrupt the adoption due to safety concerns for their families.  It's hard in the moment to know what is right or wrong when dealing with a RADish.  Each child is different and their traumatic pasts are individual as they are.  The horrors one of mine suffered as a kid you wouldn't wish upon your worst enemy.  It takes years to make up for all those lost years of being mistreated, abandoned, unloved, uncared for.  As parents of a RAD child,we have much to learn and much to understand.  You develop a new kind of patience and state of mind as a RAD parent.  And as they get older, your parenting has to adjust even more.  It's a crazy life.  But, when you see the successes, you see the glimmers of hope, you finally find time to breath and smile a bit.  

I hope I wrote this so that others understand it. I hope people understand a little more of how we must parent some of ours.  Trust and empathy are learned over time.  It takes years.  years.  RAD kids typically lack that empathy component and I think out of everything, that was the hardest for us to understand as human beings.  How someone could be void of empathy.  Just want to know that others who are suffering in silence with their RADish, it's okay.   It sucks, it does.  But it's going to be okay.  Reach out to folks.  Join a group.  Find support, it's vital.  Let the healing begin.  It will take all your inner strength to parent a child with RAD. 

Again, I wrote this not to scare folks but to try to help others in the adoption community to understand why it is so hard for some parents new to adoption  to listen to all the happy endings.  They are just living day to day and most of the time minute to minute when they have a child with RAD.  Even as I'm sitting here today, I'm still trying to decide whether or not to hit publish as it is such a hot topic in the adoption world. And this is pure RAD we're talking about. Not attachment issues or bonding issues but full blown RAD.  believe me, there's a difference.  And if you have a child w/ RAD, if you go to a therapist, it must, must be one who specializes in this.  There is a list out there.  Someone not trained in RAD can actually do more harm than good.  You learn a lot over the years with this disorder.  I want you all to know that this was clearly a difficult post to write.  In addition, these are strictly my opinions.  I am not a professional of any kind nor do I claim to be.  If this topic gets too heated for folks, I will just simply take it down.  however, I feel it needs to be out there.  When I was dealing w/ RAD, I was scared to death.  There was nothing out there and I mean nothing.  Started to think I was crazy.  Adoption community needs to get behind RAD parents to help them heal the kids and not put them down (the parents, not the kids) for how they parent.  I think I'll call this a post.  Feel free to comment as I'm sure I'll get a few just for putting this out in the open.  You can not discuss adoption I feel though w/ out addressing the RAD that can occur. 

Homework and hydrangeas

We are winding down for the end of school.  Squeezing more stuff in. 

 Alyona helping Summer w/ some work.  No, she's not really doing any work but she wants to think so.  I won't start Summer on anything till next year.  And even then, not consider her "enrolled."  Blueberries and garlic chips are power food. 

Alex, working on multiplication.  Love how my kids clean up after lunch?

Logan, working on math too.  Nice ham sandwich & half bitten apple on stand by I guess.  Oh well, at least they're working on something.  

 Hydrangeas and gladiolouses from our yard.  Love having hydrangeas throughout the house all summer long.  I have red and yellow glads this year.  Just adds lots of fresh color to the house.

Another vase full.  BTW bargin hunters, that dish soap was regularly $4.50 at Wally World.  Irina & I spotted the clearance section.  Paid .50 per bottle.  Got 6 bottles.  Also, same trip got organic cereal for .50 a box as well.  Got 13 boxes.  Hey, we can spot a bargain.  Flowers are free.  LOL.

Decided some purple hydrangeas w/ a purple iris was a color lifter for the kitchen.  

Rarely every buy bouquets.  This one was $6 at Sam's.  I added the red gladioluses though.  Would have used another vase but didn't have one.  

A picture of the hydrangea shrub where I get most of my flowers from.

Four of our hydrangea bushes.  We took the last one in the back and divided it in two this weekend to replant.  Do it every year.  They grow bigger and I get free landscaping.  I don't use the mop-laced variety ones for my flowers inside.  But, they look pretty nonetheless outside in the yard.  Second & third ones are the mop laced ones.

Manic Monday

Wellll....Tuesday.  Busy, busy week as is expected w/ the end of the year.  thought I'd share a little of what we have going on.

  • Reni and Logan go to the dentist.
  • Warren has a hearing test. (I'm making him go.  Hey, you have to keep up w/ the adult checkups too, right?)  
  • Waiting for IRS man to call.  
  • Cleaning up the house.
  • Pool is turning to aqua now.  Next step, blue.  Then time to swim.
  • Kids have eaten almost an entire bushel of peaches in a week.  
  • Digby needs a bath.
  • Need to finalize all trip plans for Bulgarian Reunion.
  • Need to find hostess gifts.
  • Figuring out what to do for Father's Day.
  • Need to make tie dye shirts for our upcoming trip.  
  • Figuring out what to do for Alyona & Alex's birthdays.
  • Working on weight loss.
  • Getting hotter outside.
  • Wanting to sell the house.
  • Making plans for if we don't sell said house.
  • do or not to do.
  • Attending a SSI & SSDI info session for the first time this coming weekend.  We've never ever taken government assistance and not sure we'll do it this time either.  Even our adult daughter does not receive it.  However, we're concerned once she's out of school, how she'd get health care insurance.  Again, just info.  Lots to think about.
  • Church clubs this week.
  • Soccer is over.
  • Yardsales to go to this weekend.  Wahoo!!!
  • No desire to do homeschool work this week.
  • Taking Logan to doc today b/c arm is messed up.  Poison ivy has gotten really bad for him.  
  • Kids LOVE the new trampoline.
  • Making plans for working on things over the summer.  
  • Never did catch up on all the blog posts.  But hey, down to just 8 drafts now so getting there.
  • Trying to think of ways to get Nik Neptunes.
  • Looking for a shuttle bus.  Both our vehicles are almost paid off so not getting rid of them.  However, became blatantly obvious, we need a different vehicle for trips or even around town w/ everyone in tow.  Keep your eyes peeled please.
  • Gorgeous outside. I don't want to do work.  LOL.
That's a glimpse of what's on my mind or what we're doing.  Much more going on but general idea.  Walked w/ my friend Rebecca this morning.  Definitely need her or I'd be a slacker for sure.  Glad we teamed up.  Now, if she could just take away my chocolate cravings, we'd be in business.  More later.  Back to reality and some school work.

Monday, May 28, 2012

More corn

It is so funny that quite a few people wrote me and sent me the same link!  About corn.  Here's the link:  shucking corn .  Thought I'd share it with the rest of you.  Since quite a few sent this to me off line, I figured I had to try it.  We did.  All of us hovered around the microwave to see if it would work.  Sure enough, 4 minutes later we grabbed it w/ the mitts and cut off the end.  It was tough to get out of there but maybe that just takes practice.  But, there was no silk on there and the corn was indeed perfectly cooked.  Thanks everyone for sharing.  Now if anyone wants just one ear of corn during the day, there's the trick.  Of course my kids would miss the shucking part for sure. 

Time for Dairy Queen

Yesterday was Sunday and we worked hard after church.  So we decided we needed to enjoy the day and hard work w/ ice cream from Dairy Queen.  It was a hot day and just seemed to be a good time for some soft delicious ice cream. 

Love her hair in pig tails.  She's just so stinkin' cute!  She could not eat it fast enough.  

Logan and Nik enjoying their dip cones.  Chocolate on the inside covered w/ chocolate on the outside.  What could be better?

I think at one point they were seeing who could eat it the fastest.  Yeh,not a smart move boys.  Brain freeze ahead.  

Alex is my vanilla on the inside kind of kid.  Much concentration.

 Pure bliss is what she's thinking.

 Reni and Alyona enjoying a treat outside.  They sat with the older girls and a friend.  

Alyona giving a smile for the camera.

I enjoyed a sundae as did Irina.  Younger kids all had dip cones.  Max had a blizzard, Warren and milkshake, and Yana tried a new frozen hot cocoa.  Yeh, not quite sure how that works.  

Ahh, I got to snap the rare teen photo.  Hey, I'm a mom.  I get to do that every so often.  Wait till I tell the kids next weekend we need to get hopping on that family portrait we've neglected the last 6 months.  

Satisfied customers.  It really was just a nice and enjoyable treat.  Old and young alike enjoy ice cream.  Who doesn't?  It's not something we can do every time or that often but when we go, it is fun.  Hey, we need groupons for Dairy Queen.  LOL.  

Overall, had an awesome weekend.  It wasn't anything fancy, just was pleasant.  Hope you all enjoyed your weekend too.  Next weekend, our pool should be opened.  I'm sure the kids won't want to leave the house.  We'll see.

Hugs, handstands, and helping

Been a busy weekend.  We did not end up going to the aquarium.  Honestly, we were all too beat.  In addition, the dog chewed up my ONLY pair of sneakers.  As a mom to many, I typically only have one pair of sneakers at a time.  And they last me.  So, I let the kids sleep in this morning.  Had bagels and bacon for breakfast.  Oh, and those fresh peaches that are now ripe.  Yum.  We worked more on the yard and transplanting some flowers and shrubs.  Divided a huge hydrangea bush.  We have gorgeous hydrangeas here and I divide them every year and plant them in various places around the yard.  It's free and looks great.  Can't beat it.  Anyhow, lots of that type of thing going on around here.  Lazy day really.  Getting ready to maybe take a few of the kids for some flip-flops and shoes.  Going through some old pictures too.  Here's a few from the last few days.

Nik and Summer.  Think she likes him??  Giving her brother hugs.  

Nik doing his classic handstands on the stairs.  And yes, he can walk on them up the stairs too.  Crazy, I know.  Typically, I don't look any more.

I told Nik to go to the garden and pick green onions and beans so I could use them later.  He picked an entire bowl full.  Instead of bringing them to the kitchen, he sat them on the living room floor and everyone dug in.  Nice, huh?  Course, I guess I could have bigger issues so not complaining.  If you want food to cook with, do not ask the kids to get it.  

Max was a huge help this weekend.  I know it's a blurry picture but teens and picture taking don't mix well.  LOL.  He helped all weekend in the yard.  Did a ton of work and did a great job on it.  He mowed the whole yard.  Only a few people can operate the mower.  Switch works w/ a screwdriver now.  

Was proud of the kids for helping so much this weekend.  Was nice.  We had a great time at Dairy Queen and at the soccer party.  Enjoyed the weekend and was nice to just veg out today.  More to come.  Need to go shopping a bit.  Praying we hear good things from the IRS man this week.  All our stuff has been sent.  If it does not come back as expected, our CPA will then initiate a conference cal and we'll take it from there.  Hoping for the best. 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Soccer Party Saturday

Yesterday as I said, we had an awesome day.  Later that day we went to the end of the season soccer party.  They had bounce house and water slides for the kids.  Tons of fun to be had.  Weather was perfect.  Well, hot. 

Nik, very excited about going to the party.  

 Alex, not so excited as he has to sit w/ us for a few minutes for getting in trouble.   Live and learn.  Not sure how but we realized that every single kid in the house has about 3 or 4 pair of flip flops each.  Logan has none.  Of course he can't relay that to me but I'd figure one of my kids would have piped up by now.  So, shoe shopping for flip flops is on the list for Logan this week.

We parked in the shade and walked to the event.  They are ready.

First, they had to get their awards.  We got there too late for Alex & Logan's ceremony.  Well, not really a ceremony per say but still would have liked to have gone to it.  They were more interested in the water slides.  LOL.  This is Summer getting her award. 

Nik, very proud of his accomplishments for soccer season.

They even provided all athletes with hot dogs, chips and a drink.  

Summer, walking through the water slide.

Logan going through.  I barely got any of the boys b/c they were too busy going from one thing to the next and hanging out w/ friends.  

 Logan, taking a break from it all w/a coke in his hand. 

Yes, she is as terrified as she looked.  It was the first and last time she went down the water slide.  It was just too much for her to handle. 

However, Summer recovers quite quickly as you can see.  She stuck to the bounce house which I volunteered at.  

Reni and Alyona are just super close sisters.  They really do care and love each other.  Well, when they're not enemies.  

Summer was very happy with the bounce house and all the little kids she met on there.  It was wonderful to see her interact.  Even her really good friend Rachel was there.  Rachel is 2yo and Summer just adores her.  

All in all, we had a wonderful time.  Great weather and great friends.  We left and then went to pick up the girls.  We had dropped them off w/ a friend at a shopping center.  Irina and Yana enjoyed picking out bathing suits.  Best part...I didn't have to listen to them whine about it or wait the 3 hours for them to find one.  LOL.  They liked the time alone w/ a friend versus having to shop w/ mom.  It is nice at times as a teen to be on your own.  Younger kids were zonked this morning.  That's a good thing.  Means they had fun.  Enjoy your weekend everyone.  After 4 posts this evening, I'm done.  Off to bed and off to the beach tomorrow for the aquarium.