Saturday, October 13, 2012

Nik's new specs

Nik has bad eyes.  At first, they even thought he had Ushers Syndrome & would go blind.  UNC dx'd him w/ RP(retinitis pigmentosa) & said he has the markers for it.  Over the last few years, it seems his vision is okay now & that is what we are surely hoping.  He can see distances just fine but up close is really tough.  Now, he should wear glasses.  Has to have thick lenses as his eyes really are bad.  However, you wouldn't know it if you met him as half the time, he hates wearing them & breaks them shortly after he gets them.  Insurance only pays for 1 pair every 2 years.  Umm, it gets expensive. 

Nik's problem is the implants AND the glasses are just too much around his ear area.  Never has worked no matter what we've tried.  So, recently we went to Wally World to try athletic glasses. 

Totally nerdy looking.  LOL.  But cool at the same time.  

A closer side view reveals that it is a soft strap keeping them on.  We kept adjusting them till we got it right.  

A little closer view.  Shows he's pretty content with them.  Or so we think.

Everyone doing some workbook activities.  And Nik is keeping them on.

Even kept them on as we went outside to study Ancient Egypt.  It was a beautiful day & decided to study outside some.  One day, we'll get to staining that picnic table.  Or not.  
Nik is not really tolerating the glasses any more.  Told him he has to wear them.  Nothing at all helps.  We've tried everything over the years.  He just can't stand them on.  We've tried every kind of spectacles out there.  Just doesn't work for him.  Frustrated b/c his vision will worsen and so will the strabismus.  But, as parents, we'll keep trying.  He's my little aviator in these glasses though.  So if you happen to see him in person and with the glasses on, make a HUGE deal out of it please.  Thanks! 

A little disappointed

Okay, so a lot disappointed.  See, I wrote awhile back about Warren and I having an anniversary coming up.  It's our 15th wedding anniversary.  Really, really wanted to do something special. Given our situation, we can't stay away from the house for too long.  But, I thought 2 or 3 nights away would be perfect.  See, Warren and I have never really had time away.  I know most in the special needs community get what is called respite.  We do not.  Not a bit.  Those in this community know what that means.  It's just plain exhausting all the time here!  And we're okay with that.  However, out of 15 years, I was looking so forward to going somewhere for the first time ever.  Warren and I have never had a vacation together.  Sorry but adoption trips don't count.  They are way too stressful.  Plus, you pick up the kids on those trips and try not to lose your mind in the process of figuring out how to pee in a hole in the ground in the middle of an Orenburg court room.  Though, I'm sure they've redone those by now.

Anyhow, I was really wanting to go somewhere.  Anywhere really.  We were getting excited looking on Groupon, Living Social, Travelzoo, etc.  Great deals.  I wanted to click buy so dog gone badly.  But, I didn't.  I couldn't.  Not when you look at the needs of a family first and that's what we do here.  Look at the needs first.  Max told us this week the springs are coming through his mattress.  Umm, that can't be good.  He's grown a ton and so had Bojan.  They are in their teens.  Frankly, almost all the kids need new mattresses.  We got a few last year from a friend but still need around 8 more twin mattresses.  In addition, Warren can't get out of his car.  I kid you not. Door handle is broken.  He can't get out from the inside unless you open from the outside.  He's dealing with it.  We also have sports/ activities the kids want to do in the spring, therapy Bojan will need in order to get the amputation(urghh!!!-- another post), roof for the house, implants for Nik, Christmas, etc.  Too many things that are NEEDED that truly, we can't justify our wanting to take a short vacation for our anniversary.  Though many will say it too is needed (& I can't agree more), we just can't at this time do it financially.

I'm disappointed but truly, I'll get over it.  There are other anniversaries but as the kids age, some won't be able to live independently, etc., we know are chances of vacationing together are probably slim to none.  We absolutely enjoy our family vacations though so at least we have that.  But just once, just one time, I'd love to go with my husband some place sans kids on vacation.  That day will eventually come and really there are far more hardships in the world that me not being able to take a vacation seems almost selfish to complain about.  It is really.  I know that.  Still doesn't take away the fact I'd love to go.  Warren and I get to walk the dogs here and there as our time away.  And, sometimes in the evenings after 11, the kids are asleep and we can watch a movie in peace.  Last time we tried to go to Sam's alone, got a call saying Reni got stung by a cow killer.  Hence, why we limit how far and how long we go somewhere w/out kids.  Just too unpredictable in a house w/ FASers.  And if you think it's better b/c they're older, you're wrong.  Remember how to calculate age when factoring in FAS.

It is our anniversary Dec. 7th.  I know it won't be glamorous but with ten kids, nothing is glamorous any more.  LOL.  It's practical.  It's what's best for them, not necessarily for us.  Instead of whining, we should celebrate.  A friend offered to watch the kids so we will probably still take her up on that offer.  Enjoy a time away even if just dinner and the cheap seats (what we call the family movie theater in town here). It's time together.  It's precious no matter where you are.  It's a reminder that we're married and still in love.  That's what's more important.  Not necessarily where you go. I do know wherever we decide to go out to dinner, I'm getting shrimp.  I LOVE shrimp and as you can imagine, we don't get to have it that often in this house.  Seafood.  And, we live not far from the Crystal Coast of the Atlantic so fresh seafood is not too hard to find around here.  We may just head to Sanitary.  Known all over the state!  If you ever go to Atlantic Beach, everyone knows what we're talking about.  Sanitary.  Odd name for a restaurant but the BEST seafood!  It's about 2 hours from us so not too bad.  And during fall/ winter, you have no tourons there.  LOL.  Those of us who used to live at the beach would call the tourists during the summer tourist morons.  I know, it wasn't very nice to do.  But, those who've lived at the beach or near it know exactly how those who reside there feel about "their" beach & out of towners taking over for the summer.

Anyhow, fresh seafood for dinner and awesome company will be the ticket for sure.  May end up at Red Lobster though as it is indeed closer.  Either way, it will be a fun evening whenever we decide to go.  Pending no major surgeries on the horizon.  We think Max may have torn something serious in his arm.  Doc's working on a referral to ortho & then for MRI.  Never dull here, is it.  And being able to handle things like that together is why the marriage has remained strong all these years.  Well, that and he agrees I'm always right!  Shh, don't tell him I said that.  So, no trip for our anniversary but a great dinner we'll have and great company.  That is more than enough for us.  Though granted, I can't say I wouldn't be excited if I hit the lottery & won a trip somewhere.  LOL.  Enjoy the little things in everyday life.  They do matter.  Little conversations, kiss goodbye, joking around ,etc. When you have kids, it makes the relationship stronger to have those things. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

OMG! Nik can hear!

Alright, I've caught my breath a bit from last night.  Let me explain.  I went upstairs to yell at the boys once again about going to bed.  Apparently, play time is bed time.  Anyhow, went to the doorway, yelled "NIK!" and he turned around and jump b/c he was caught w/ the kinex.  Now, let me give you a bit more info.  He had NO implants on.  There was NO mirror in front of him and NO way of him being able to hear me whatsoever.  No vibrations could be felt, etc.  And, I have witnesses in case you're wondering.  I looked at him, totally forgetting he's in trouble, and said "Can you hear Mom?"  He said/ signed "yes, a little bit."  I made him move to another part of the room and close his eyes.  Snapped in one ear and then the other.  He heard it in the right year, nothing on the left.  But, in the right ear, he....can...hear!  I was stunned b/c this is the first time we've ever noticed it, assuming he couldn't hear.  Totally forgot the kid was in trouble but still made him go to bed.  LOL. 

This doesn't really mean anything just an interesting finding.  Means a lot to me b/c I know I can scream at him when he's in danger and he can at least be aware of something.  Unlike years ago, BEFORE the implants during a ice storm. Kids were sledding and some idiot (every neighborhood has one, right?) tries to drive down the sheet of ice.  Mind you, ALL the neighborhood kids were playing in the street as the entire city was shut down.  Literally, nothing open.  Nowhere to go.  Some kid w/ a jeep I guess wanted to prove he could go down the road.  Not many happy parents that day for sure.  They were all sledding, everyone moved out of the way.  Everyone except Nik.  He had no implants on b/c they can't get wet (another reason we want the Neptunes).  People along the streets were waving to Nik and we're all screaming.  He was just too happy sledding.  Trouble was, jeep was coming, on ice, no way to stop.  I forgot who ran and pushed Nik out of the way.  I was by the mailbox and way to far to even get to him in time.  I could just watch in fear and horror.  So yeh, for me, a bit of peace of mind knowing now even w/out the implants on, he can hear me if I yell.  BTW, in the bedroom, I was not even full range screaming.  Just a mom yell.  I'm sure you all know what I mean by that.  Not a scream but louder than a regular voice. 

So, Nik heard me.  He truly heard me.  I was beyond thrilled.  I know it's not much, but it's something.  And yes, even though all hearing is taken away when implanted, it is possible for them to have a little residual hearing.  However, we never noticed he had any before last night as he never ever reacted before.  And trust me, there were plenty of times all these years he could of reacted  So, did this come out of nowhere?  Was it there all along?  Is he becoming more aware?  No answers.  I just know Nik can hear and I am thrilled. Just had to interrupt blog posts for this.  Wanted to share. 

A few random pictures

It was a beautiful morning this morning.  Nik and Summer crawled in bed with us to cuddle for quite some time.  Typically, they'll just come in and scream.  So this was great.  I made buttermilk pancakes and then everyone read.  Had individual work with English.  Still need to do phonics w/ Nik but I did 10 pages of math with him.  Kids walked the dogs and now all are taking a You Tube break.  After this, we're doing history.  Studying Ancient Egypt and it's been fun thus far.  Beautiful out so sitting on the picnic table for the lesson.  After, some lunch and then math and science in the afternoon.  Warren may even come home early today which would be great.  Maybe we could surprise the kids w/ a trip to the park.  Not sure. They all just may want to stay and hang out w/ friends. 

Found a few pictures off the last shots that really fit nowhere but thought I'd share anyhow.  Who doesn't want to share shots of the kids?!

Don't know about you, but she has grown!  She's losing that 'baby face' that I adore in kids.  She's maturing which is a great thing but in the same token, sad that mommy's baby is growing up so fast.  She loves her chair.  Irina and I found it at a yardsale...$1.  Money well spent.  LOL.  

Yeh, my kids have their own fashion sense.  Alyona w/ two different socks on, sandels and sweater from a dress.  She's ready to play.

Alyona was having a meltdown.  A long one.  She ended up w/ 5 punishment chores b/c of it.  She kept mouthing off and the whole 9 yards.  Notice Warren holding her hand.  Critical during these.  Always stay connected to the kids.  No matter how much they'll fight you on it.  do that and whisper.  It will help. 

Yeh, Max has no trouble teasing her during this time.  URGHH!!!  But, she's not mad at him.  Doesn't care.  All anger will be directed at me.  Yep.  This is common in PI(post institutionalized) kids.  I told her to go to bed.  How dare I?!  At the end, I'm sure she went in the room and somehow made voo-doo dolls of me.  LOL.  For those that have never heard Alyona, she has a very tiny little voice.  Squeaky at times, very high pitched.  When she is in a meltdown mode, the voice changes SO deep, it's deeper than a man's and sounds like something evil off tv.  The first time we ever heard her do that, we all were seriously scared.  Now, not so much.  She'll even laugh about it the next day and how she sounds.  She can not immitate the sound.  It only comes out when very angry.  She knows she does it. And again, she'll laugh about it.   I think it's important that people know if a child has a meltdown, you can deal with it in a reasonable manner.  

Bob is back and kind of creeping us all out again.  

Bojan, doing I have no idea what.  Him and Max are two peas in a pod for sure.

Alaska, one of the rulers of the house.  

Nik got paper airplanes for his birthday all the way from the UK!  Thank you!

Mail Time!

Unfortunately, I've been bad about posting all his birthday pictures.  Frankly, I couldn't keep up with all the mail.  I wanted to thank everyone individually but reality set in about the 3rd day.  Just know each & every gift was a dream to him.  It really was.  From singing birthday cards to kinex coaster to a pillow pet he sleeps with every night to tattoos to you name it.  He simply loved every bit of what he received.  He has not thrown a single card out and won't let me put them away yet.  LOL.  So, think I'll give him a binder and put each card/ drawing in there to remember.  This is one birthday I know he won't forget.  Now Summer is bugging us for her birthday.  What a character. 

Nik, opening a card.  I love that the other kids get excited too.

Can't you see the look of anticipation on his face?

He typically will read the cards first which really surprised me.  Usually kids want to rip right into the package, skip the card.  Not Nik.  He wanted to savor every part of it.  

That crazy smile that drives me nuts.  Him and Reni do it.  Must be a 10yo thing.

Another package from folks that we met at the Bulgarian Reunion this summer.

Nik, wondering what is in those packages.  He would get so excited at each and every package opened.  Just was very content and happy for a birthday boy.

Nik, reading some of the cards that were given to him. 

I think Irina is excited about the journal.  

Pencils are always quite useful around here.  As you know, Nik draws all the time.

Nik was happy once he knew he could draw in the journal.  He's been using the sketch pads that he received for his brithday.  He got 4 of them to keep him busy!  Max is very happy about that.  Before, Nik would steal Max's paper.  We have all used the color pencils and markers quite often for things we do in homeschool.  Believe it or not, more pictures to share.  I wished I could have caught every moment.  Every kid scream he made when he'd open a card.  The music cards he would play over and over again.  In shock each time and saying I can hear.  I can hear!  Referring to the card.  Just were so many nice little moments in his birthday experience, I was very touched.  It clearly shows Nik has many people that care about him.  Thank you, no matter how many times I say it, will never be enough.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Handcuffs and haircuts

So, my day is totally getting away from me lately.  tonight we had church clubs but had to leave early b/c Warren got a call from work and had to take care of things at work.  Warren's been on the computer for awhile.  On a different note, think Max is going to need an MRI.  He had an x-ray last month of the shoulder but think he tore something.  He's really complaining and it's a rarity he complains of pain.  Calling in the morning asking for an MRI referral to see what he's done to it.  Everyone is feeling pretty okay for the most part.  Sinus stuff creeping in but that's the season for it.  We're keeping very busy here w/ many things and trying to make everything work schedule wise.  I am determined to catch up w/ things but hey, life tends to happen around here. 

When we volunteered to work at the fundraiser at church on Friday, we packed our own lunches.  This is what Nik packed.  

He told me the monkey was bad and was in handcuffs.  Nice one kiddo.  BTW, next carpet on the stairs will be brown!  Beige is a stupid, stupid color w/ kids and dogs for sure.

Max, starting to cut Summer's bangs for me.  He is our resident barber.  

He's very meticulous too.  And, she sits still as can be.  Mind the occasional giggle.

She looks so happy her big brother is cutting her hair.  Summer is almost always happy for sure.  

Can't work without headphones you know.  This is the one thing we can't seem to keep enough of in this house.  Headphones.  Drives me nuts.  What they're doing w/ those and toilet paper, I'll never know.  LOL.  

And there he hog.  This is Nik's new face.  He does it right when the camera is about to flash.  He times it well.  What a nut!  

Soccer Saturday

Every Saturday, we have soccer for the 5 youngest kids.  We only have 2 games left.  It's happy and sad at the same time.  Kids have a great time playing, we enjoying meeting & making some new friends there, and just the relaxed atmosphere and enjoying the outdoors.  At the same time, it signals fall is about to start and that is great to want to go camping and do other outdoor activities on the weekend besides only soccer all day.  So, this past Saturday, they had games.  I didn't go to Reni & Summer's early game this time as Irina and I went to yardsales.  But, did go to the boys' games. 

Alex is all about soccer. His focus is highest when playing.  Wish I could transfer that focus to other areas.

They all move so fast it's too hard to get a picture of anyone really.  

Alex getting back into position.  He pretty much plays all positions except for goalie.  He told me he doesn't like being goalie.  LOL.  

Umm, can you tell we were having issues this day?  

I never got a shot of Logan.  This was the best I could do.  he was just running all over the place.  Well, that & I was watching the two games versus taking a bunch of pictures. 

He was so...very....tired.  Just beat from working at the church all day the day before.  None of them wanted to go to soccer.  Just sleep.  

Goalie was not the best place for him after such a hard day but Nik must learn life lessons here and there.  One day he'll have to work after he's tired too.  We all do in life.  This is the time I wished I had that fm system.  He needs it.

They had Jersey Mikes there this weekend.  Yum.  

Logan walking back to position.  Ready to play ball.  The team had no substitutions so everyone played the whole game.

Oh look, surprise , surprise.  Logan is trying to play 'coach' again.  He does this throughout the game & practice.  Though, he's getting better about it.  We constantly remind him he is not the coach.  Don't worry, coach reminds him too. 

Nik doing a throw in.  Still asleep.  LOL.  Poor kids.  They all survived though and had fun.  We have games this weekend too all morning.  

Well, back to ancient Egypt.  More posts for sure later.  Have started a bunch.  Time's been limiting on me lately.

Monday, October 8, 2012

The FAS Life

Well, despite my intentions of getting some more posts up, I have been busy.  Not by life mind you but 'my' life w/ FASers.  Today was a very rainy day so my couped up kids wanted outside.  That was not possible.  Down pours.  Remember, we have outdoor equipment for a reason.  FASers are constantly in motion and seem to have a need for movement.  Or maybe that is some of the other dx's.  NOt sure.  Just know they struggle to just sit there.  So, busy trying to find peace today w/ everyone and nothing to do.  Yes, there's plenty to do but they just don't want to. 

To add to this, I decided to cook sweet & sour pork from a recipe a found.  Worst recipe I've ever made hands down.  Yuck.  So bad, Warren went to get 12 egg rolls just so we'd have something.  You should have heard that conversation w/ trying to place an order for just 12 egg rolls.  Oy! While at the table, Max and Bojan were goofing off.  Max slapped Bojan in which he says "I think you just knocked the scoliosis right out of me."  Nice, huh?   Oh, side tracked.  A trait I picked up from my kids.  I laid the knife down to tend to the kids.  Came back.  Completely melted on the stove. 

Knife was not the only thing ruined today.  See, the trouble w/ having your FASers help out around the house, it inevitably costs you more than w/out their help.  The other day, someone washed the pin art contraption we have.  Little needles fell all in the washer.  Warren took care of that.  Today, someone washed a really good sized mirror!  How in the heck do you NOT notice a mirror being dumped in the washer??  Yes, glass all broken.  Washer still works...for now.  I may contact underwriter labs and ask to be a testing facility.  If it can survive Chaos Manor, it can survive anywhere.

Tonight, Alyona had a meltdown.  So did Alex but he did his punishment chore and went to bed.  Alyona, well, hers was a production.  It was a huge mess.  I'm sure at this moment she's not sleeping but rather making voo-doo dolls of me. 

So, no picture posts tonight.  Kind of worn out from one heck of an FAS kind of day.  Those w/ kids like mine know exactly what that means.  Tomorrow is a new day.  And, the saying around here is with every new day, there's fresh hope.  Tomorrow is looking pretty hopeful right now.  More tomorrow.  I'll be in a better mood to write.  But every once in awhile, you need to know this is not a fairy tale life but any means.  It's real.  And some days just feel like they'll suck the life out of you.  This, was one of those days.  Back on track and back w/ pictures tomorrow. 

Manic Monday

I made it through the weekend.  Today is a very, very rainy and cold Monday.  Okay, so 53 isn't really cold to many but in NC, it's a drop in temp and we're wimps.  LOL.  Yet, many of us in NC don't turn on the air till it's in the 90's so that should tell you something.  We've got a few things going on around here.  Thought I'd share briefly before we get back to the birthday pics.

  • Nik & Summer have speech therapy
  • Church clubs this week
  • Soccer this week
  • Shed may come this week
  • Rainy, rainy day today
  • Planning many of trips this year
  • Adoption has been way too much on my mind lately
  • We all super duper scrub cleaned the house this weekend
  • Next month is adoption month.  Would love to do something.
  • Nik's birthday was awesome!
  • Big surprised planned for the kids in November.  Only Irina knows.
  • Irina & Yana are going on a beach trip w/ a friend for a weekend
  • We're going camping the first weekend in November
  • Finally fixed the kitchen cabinets this past weekend
  • Refinanced the house
  • Selling stuff around the house to help w/ big trip
  • Warren and I would love to go somewhere for our anniversary
  • Need a new roof....still 
  • Yardsales for Irina and I were too short this past weekend
  • Bojan & Max are picking out colors for their new room.  Pink was not an option of staying.  
  • Need to get our Halloween decorations out
  • Logan, Reni & Summer's first Halloween here
  • Still trying to figure out what in the world we're doing about Christmas this year
  • Have yet to figure out Thanksgiving too
  • Homeschoolers are studying ancient Egypt
  • Need to make reservations for Bulgarian Reunion
  • Kids are getting bigger
  • Little kid fever on the mind lately and do...not...know...why!
  • Reni & Nik are not wearing their glasses and it's really ticking us all off.  As soon as we notice, we make them put them back on.  Nik's always been a pain about wearing his glasses.  But Reni, just in the past few weeks.  Her eyes are fine.  Not the issue.  
  • Bojan's new leg is doing well
  • My kids can do some wickedly cool flips on the trampoline
  • Washer is not broken.  Wahoo.  However, today, someone dumped a mirror in there.  Glass all over the machine.  URGHH!!!
  • Black sheets are just, well, weird
  • Our mattress is really torn up
  • Nik lost part of his implant
Little stuff going on.  This week is actually a "break" compared to normal weeks so pretty psyched.  Only 2 weeks left of soccer.  And though I'll miss it,  it will be nice to have a little more time to get some other things done.  I little miffed at an NGO right now.  How can it be that I've been asking for MONTHS for the info on Reni & Logan's bio sibs.  One is most likely in the orphanage.  In fact, I know they are.  I can't get any info YET a friend of mine recently asked.  Like asked last week the SAME NGO for similar info regarding a sib.  48 hour turn around time!  I'm very happy for them yet at the same time really mad at the NGO.  Our family is very anxious to know the answer and what may be of the sib and if they are available for adoption.  How is it they treat one family different then the other?  Mind boggling.  I'm going to contact our agency and try to get the ball rolling again and figure this out.  Sorry, but we DO need to know.  Reni and Logan NEED to know.  I may sound like a pain or a broken record but I feel my kids have the right to know what happened to their siblings.  Rant over.  More to come.  Tried a new recipe today.  We'll see how it goes.  

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Let them eat cake!

Boy, I'm pretty bad at getting these posts done.  However, there is something I'm trying to work out detail wise but can't post on here as my kids sometimes read.  So, we'll have to be a secret till mid-November.  Shoot, we haven't even decorated for Halloween. We're behind.  But on a positive note the house got a deep scrubbing downstairs today.  I can honestly say I'm ashamed at what all we found under the couch.   Anyhow, wanted to share last Wednesday when Nik wanted the cake before church.  Originally, he wanted me to make a rollercoaster cake.  He was just as happy w/ me writing on it. 

I know, pretty plain.  But, it works.  I used the disposable icing bags so the writing looks pretty rough.  Kids don't care but being that I used to decorate birthday cakes, I do.  Didn't feel like getting the icing bags out or the tips.  Lazy.  Well, that and we had to go to church clubs.  

He's smiling here though hard to tell.  We celebrated w/ just us and 2 of the teens' friends.

I think he is totally pleased that he blew out the candles.

I love this shot.  Love between brothers.  Look where Alex's hand is.

Enough of this.  Time to cut the cake and eat up mom!   May not have looked too pretty but it sure tasted great.  It was gone w/in minutes.  The whole thing.  We haven't found a homemade recipe we like yet for the cake. We love our homemade icing and that's always been a big hit wherever we make it.  Use box cakes on the cake part.  However, love to try a homemade recipe if anyone has one that the like.  More birthday pics to come!

Time for all the birthday stuff

Well, I have a pile of pictures in here.  A pile.  All from his birthday.  Forgive me as my original intention was to say thanks to everyone individually.  That was before I new he'd recieve so many cards and gifts.  Had no idea it would be the magnitude it is.  Then I started getting confused as to who sent what and address got thrown out and well, you probably get the picture.  Trust me when I say each and every card & gift was greatly appreciated.  It really made his week. 

Nik getting ready to open another package.  

Much appreciated t-shirt.  Though Nik kept saying big.  Trust me, he's growing like a weed and it will definitely fit in no time.  Can you tell Alyona was the camera hog that day?

More cards!  He got a few that even sing.  He would keep signing he could hear it and play them over and over and over again.  

Now this was super cool.  Nik LOVED the Halloween drawings.  An entire class sent him cards!  He thought that was so neat.  

More drawings from the class.  Amazing.  We're going to get a small binder and put all his cards in them.  At last count, he had 53 and I know that's not all of them.  

I reused a bag someone sent.  Hey, it's going green, right?  Do you think my kids have the posing thing down pat?

Yes, Logan is always this excited.

Score!  Just what he wanted.  A camera and video camera in one.  

He's showing everyone and they're all oohing and ahhing saying that's what they want for their birthday.  Will do!  I got a deal.  $10 brand new.  No shipping even.  

I'm not sure which child is happier about this camera.

Max getting ready to figure it all out and explain to Nik.  Either Dad or Max do all the electronics stuff.

One of Max's friends bought Nik a Wii game.  He said he's like a little brother to him.  Very sweet for sure.  My teens have great friends who always participate in birthdays here for all the kids.  They've even gotten gifts! 

This is just a smidge of pictures.  I have many more to come.  I want to try to get some more done tonight.  Plus, the kids and I like watching Once Upon a Time.  More in a bit.  After the show.