Friday, October 26, 2012

Fair time!

Every year there is a fair in Raleigh.  Every year, we truly can't go.  It is outrageously priced.  It is a much better deal for us to go to an amusement park.  This past summer, we went to an amusement & water park in KY.  Told the kids they would not be going to the fair and all were okay with that idea.  Well, some managed to get to go with friends this year.  Their friends' parents took them as a treat.  Some were for birthdays some just for us having their kids over often.  Thought it was very nice of them to do.  So, Irina, Yana & Bojan were able to go this year to the fair. 

Friends.  I think they had a great time at the fair. 

Some of the girls goofing around.  

I don't think he's going to be saying much.  

Pretty gross.  Yellow teeth from the Jawbreaker.  

Irina bought an apple at the fair.  She also bought one for me!

 Take that picture and I may break that camera in half kind of look. 

Bojan trying to figure out how to shove the Jawbreaker in his mouth.

Bojan.  That thing is huge!  

Jawbreaker coma.  She sucked on this thing all day.  That's leftover Jawbreaker around her mouth.  Hilarious.  What goes up, must come down.

What I thought was sweet was the kids that went brought home Jawbreakers for everyone that didn't get the chance to go to the fair.  Bojan also won a little stuff cat and gave it to Summer.  Funny story with that.  They saw Bojan at the fair.  One of the game stands that you throw darts at.  I guess they figured he couldn't throw b/c of the leg and deformed fingers.  Whatever.  They told him you could try for free.  Bojan said "So you don't think I can hit that?!"  The parent that he went w/ was cracking up.  She's known him for years, our sons have been best friends for years.  Her son is from Ukraine.  So, Bojan took the shot and made it.  They both said the look on the vendor's face was priceless b/c he didn't think Bojan would win.  Said "oh, I guess you get a prize."  That's how Summer got her black cat.  Just was nice of my older kids to  go to the fair and think of the kids that couldn't get to go this year. 

An educational surprise

Last week in the mail we receieved a few surprise boxes from a friend in NJ. 

Kids were working and I put the boxes on the table.

I think now Nik thinks all future package are for him.  Don't worry, the other kids set him straight.

First box had a big bag of Dove Chocolates!  What an awesome treat.

I have never seen kids more excited to get educational materials.  

This was just one of the kits.  There were all kinds of stuff in the kits along w/ other items as well.  I have never seen these before and now want to see if they have them in other topics.  It went right along what we were studying.

And, Logan wanted his picture taken too so I had to.  

Reni and Nik w/ their fake smiles drive me insane.  Must be a 10yo phase.  Here's Reni showing the tattoos and one of the masks.  Kids were those masks for days.  

Yep, I could see her as a Pharoh in ancient times.  She rules this house.  

King Tut's mask was a little creepy for me.  

Reni, showing off the cat mask.

Now, the thing we all enjoyed the most was these stain glass pages that came with the kit.  You color them and put them in the window like stain glass.  Turns out really, really cool.  They are still up on our windows.  

Nik, working on his stain glass.  Notice the Dove wrappers by him?  

Not only did we get these cool kits, but a movie we've all been wanting to see.  We were so excited as we haven't seen this one before and looked forward to it.  Movie night it was.  Can not thank Heather enough for that wonderful surprise.  Every single item has been used.  They even took the activity books to other places like the soccer field.  Really engaged them to learn more.  

Got to get ready.  Kids have soccer award ceremonies this evening.  After that, the rain is supposed to be starting.  Will last all weekend.  So, fence building is out.  We are going to shop for groceries and then do a really good scrub cleaning on the house inside.  Making a list of little repairs now so we'll have something to follow.  Hey, if we have to be in, might as well make the best of it and get things together around here.  May write more later tonight or may just enjoy an evening vegging out on the couch watching a movie w/ the family. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Miscellaneous pictures

Yes, leftover pics in the camera time.  So, here goes just a few.

Max enjoying some peanuts for an after school snack.  

 A friend of ours dropped off some clothes for the boys.  Some of the shirts were a bit big so Logan and Nik enjoying joking around w/ both of them in it.  Thanks for the clothes Tonya! 

Sisterly love.  For now.  Reni and Irina do joke around a lot lately.  

Nik thought it was hilarious to be in this big shirt. 

The past few days Summer has been under the weather with a cold.  Not that it's slowed her down any.  Gave her a lollipop to suck on.  Blue as you can see.

She can smile even when she doesn't feel well.  Amazing.

Nik going backwards down the stairs.

Handstands.  And he does this up the stairs too.  Crazy, huh?

The smile that will get us in trouble in a few years.  Logan just chilling out for a bit eating a sandwich.  

Warren got home late today as they had a chili cook off at work.  Went well.  He loaded up the rest of the chili.  Missed seeing the hidden speed bump on campus.  Yep, over the entire crock pot of chili went.  Chili all over the car.  We let the dogs eat most of it when he got home.  It's a mess.  Poor guy.  Guess we'll be adding cleaning up the car to our list this weekend.  Not much else going on thank goodness.  We're studying weather and of course the monster storm that's brewing makes for a great topic.  We live in NC.  Too early to tell when & where it will hit.  Been a very slow hurricane year which has been wonderful.  We'll be tracking this one just to see.  Seems like it will miss most the NC coast but catch the outer banks.  I think Sandy's winds are around 100mph currently.  Depending upon how close it comes to the coast depends upon what happens here.  We're not worried.  Just had wanted to patch up the roof before it happened.  URGHH!!!  If we just had a few more hours in the day, we'd be golden.  Oh well.  Not too worried about this hurricane for us.  But, combined w/ the other storms, some of the Northern states may get hit pretty hard.  I guess we'll all know more later this weekend.  Kids have an awards ceremony for soccer tomorrow.  Should be fun.  NO games for the weekend.  Wahoo!!!  Sleep in as it is supposed to rain all weekend.  Maybe we'll finally be able to catch up on sleep, organizing, emails, etc.  Yeh, right.  Enjoy your night everyone. 

Homeschool happenings

It's October and I think we're in our groove. Yes, we do have to still tweak here and there but getting better.   All read every single day.  We do journals and pe of course.  Soccer season is over but they play all the time still.  Currently, we are studying Egypt in history.  Ancient Egypt.  They have had a great time with this.  And what made it even more awesome, is a friend named Heather sent them some surprises in the mail on Egypt.  I have never seen kids so excited to get school stuff in the mail.  LOL.  It was so cool.  I have more pictures but not loaded yet.  Alyona enjoyed it so much, she took her activities book to the soccer field. 

Nik studying the colors of the death mask of King Tut.  We talked about all kinds of things of ancient Egypt.  The gifts we recieved really brought it home. 

He used the picture of King Tut to color his own King Tut.  Turned out awesome.

We've been letting them do Halloween crafts here and there.  Nik created this one all on his own. 

Irina is a teacher assistant to me.  She has history this semester.  And English.  And of course we're working w/ voc rehab for job hunting.  But she is also a great TA for me.  She works with Reni and Logan a lot.  She is working through their English stuff w/ them.  I'm working wtih Alex though he can do most that on his own.  I focus on Alyona and Nik a lot b/c they need the most help.  I'll check all the kids though.  Many things we can do together.  English though and math they are on different levels.  Oh, I was on the phone today w/ a friend for way longer than I should have been.  Came out and they were playing math bingo on the floor!  Never even asked them too.  We're doing the Pizza Hut Book It program as well.  

Finishing up the Wright Brothers and flight as we got sidetracked on the weather.  Flying will be finished tomorrow.  Weather almost.  Probably next Wednesday.  Then, we're studying astronomy.  Going tot he planetarium for that one for sure.  I can tell they're learning things which I love.  And though we follow no specific curriculum, we do much of what the schools do.  We covered all the presidential stuff already.  Thought it was important.  

Anyhow, I'm also trying to get them to learn some home skills as well.  Cooking, cleaning, laundry, repair, etc.  

Reni is almost taller than Irina now.  Irina is teaching them how to cook.  They are making soft pretzels this day.

Irina messed up the first batch but corrected herself and redid it.  The girls are learning quite a bit from the cooking lessons for sure.  And Irina is doing great reading the recipes.

One thing Irina can't stand is germs in the kitchen.  LOL.  She makes them all wash their hands before they can even start to help.  Good practice though. 

Irina has also taught them how to cook Ramen Noodles and tea.  Various kinds of sweet tea.  She is also teaching how to make cookies and cakes.  Hey, keep this up and I may not have to cook.  

Homeschool is day to day.  We do field trips almost every week.  I think it helps a bit.  They learned quite a bit at the chocolate factory.  How many kids get candy for Halloween & have no idea how the chocolate is made or where it comes from?  Mine do know & I love that.  

So, still trucking on with homeschool.  Next up is Thanksgiving studying and the Middle Ages.  Also, astronomy on the list.  Field trips to the zoo, campgrounds, museums, park and planetarium are planned for November.  Well, got to run. 

Plans have changed

Truly, it's the norm in this house so I don't see why I should ever be shocked by it.  Christmas is coming up.  With ten kids, it's not all that easy at Christmas and we budget as best we can.  This year, had it all planned out.  We were going to take the kids to Stone Mountain in GA and do snow tubing at snow mountain as well.  We were to camp in the rv/ tent while there, cooking own meals so we can enjoy the other things.  Well, now Max needs surgery and nothing adventurous will be allowed for some time.  Let me make this VERY clear, this is NOT Max's fault.  Just life.  Plans have to change.  Can't really go anywhere due to surgery.  Like I said before, we have a big thing planned mid-November and we're keeping that.  This one though came out of left field for having to change Christmas plans.  We do not really want to do individual gifts b/c frankly it's just too expensive.  Right now, we are trying to think of ideas b/c well, it's November next week and plans need to be made as other things are going on here as well.  I would love to hear suggestions.  We have such a wide age range of kids.  In addition, need to most likely stay home.  We will know for sure next week how much Max will be allowed to do after surgery and when it is going to take place.  We will not do it before Thanksgiving though.  That we do know for sure.  Like I said, something big is planned which we haven't told the kids about yet. 

So, I'm looking for ideas far and wide.  Do I do individual gifts?  Just stockings and a group gift?  What would I do for a group gift?  Do we  still attempt to go somewhere?  Maybe just a group gift.  Maybe stuff for the new rooms?  Maybe boys or girls' gifts?  Not sure.  Since I have a few medical appointments next week, IEP meetings, etc. I am not as on top of things.  Need other input so coming here for ideas.  I will not respond to them though as the older kids read this blog from time to time.  Still want things to be a surprise.  Trying to think but nothing's happening.  LOL.  If you have ideas of what to do for ten kids for Christmas, let me know.  We want to make it special but be reasonable too.  Hope I said all that right.  My kids have made a Christmas list per my request.  Still blows me away of the simplicity of it.  I mean just to give you an idea of some of their requests....a mattress (okay we are working on this whole mattress issue for ALL.  Just waiting on some deals and for the new rooms), Nutella (my kids are obsessed!), Dr. Who stuff, a giant jar of Peter Pan peanut butter for himself, cleats, zipline (I know, I know), Barbie, watch, kinex, alarm clock (we go through these like water for some reason), etc.  They are not asking for computers or massive electronics.  They don't have lists a mile long.  I think that in and of itself says a great deal of their character.  These kids all spent years at orphanages where they did not receive gifts.  Some do remember getting oranges.  Some, even small gifts.  Some, nothing at all.  So I think it is admirable that they put things in perspective of what they could use or what they like.  Sure, would they be ecstatic w/ an ipod or something of that nature?  You betcha!  But I think they also know what is important in life.  And for me, that just melts my heart.  I want to make this Christmas special for sure as all have come a really long way this year and meshed as a family.  Creative people, come out of the wood work and give me some great ideas or point me to a website or what have you.  Need to get some good Christmas ideas going here.  Thanks a bunch. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Finally, a shed...first step

As I've written over the last few weeks, a shed was coming.  This was the first step to making more room in this house.  You just never know when you'll need it.  No ideas please, there's enough of those going around as it is.  We tend to have house guests here and there over the last few years and this will make things easier if that were to be the case or if something else came up or kids wanted friends over or whatever.  Many possibilities.  Not limiting it.  But, in order to do this, we must empty the garage.  Trouble is, we need the freezer, camping gear, tools and quite a few other things.  So, a shed it was.  Well, today it was delivered.

Two sheds on the truck.  One on the right is ours.  That's the back of it.

We interrupt homeschool to see how in the world they're going to get this shed down the driveway & in our yard.

Do you really classify it as a shed if it takes up almost the whole road?

Guys figuring out how they'll do this.  They deliver two to four of these a day.  It really is no easy task.

Now, here's where we were wondering how in the world this is going to work w/ one guy doing this work.  One shed, one guy.  Nuts!

It made the turn.  Has wheels on one end of it and the mule on the other.  

Leaves knocked off but no branches.  This is where we became a little more concerned.  This guy really must trust his equipment not to fail.  Down a hill they go. 

And this is where the equipment broke down.  They finally got it started back up but took some time.  This is a sharp turn in our driveway.  By that tree.  On the otherside is a very big drop off into the creek.  You can't tell that by looking at the trees though.  Fedex guy hit our oak tree one year after I told him to turn around.  He thought he could make it.  2 people have ended up off our driveway into the drop off at the top of the road.  Umm, we live here.  If we suggest to turn around a certain way it is not b/c we think you can't handle it.  It's b/c it's necessary so your car won't end up in the creek or the ditch.  These guys were listening to us though.

The three stooges goofing off glad that mom is not talking about Egypt again.

 See just how well made this thing is.  Solid as a rock!  And beautiful too.

No, it's not unlevel just the way I took the picture.  We chose a red roof.  Thought of the green one but like this one.  Kids want to live in it.  LOL.  Hey, maybe that's where the new room should be versus the garage.  Just kidding.

Another view to show you just how big this thing is.  Needs to be though.  Now, Warren needs to pull power to it to run the freezer.  First though we're putting up the fence starting this weekend.  Pending weather cooperates.  Hoping to get almost all posts up.  Would be nice.  So, any helpers?  With all of us here we should be able to get something accomplished I would hope.  After the fence, Warren pulls power to the shed and then we start loading stuff in it.  Wahoo!  AFter that, garage changes.  Very excited about it all as you can imagine.  Give us a little more elbow room.  

Well, we're having chili for dinner as Warren has a chilli cook off at work tomorrow evening.  Fun but just for employees.  Bummer!  Friday the kids have awards ceremonies for soccer.  Should be fun.  Weekend girls and I will get up early and go to yardsales.  We missed them.  I know, we're frugal but we have fun so don't care.  Then, it's working on the fence.  A lot.  More posts to come.