Saturday, December 15, 2012

Random pictures

Have some random pictures that I thought I'd share.  Nothing special, just pictures taken here and there. 

When the parade was just too much to go to the other day, we ended up going somewhere we never go.  And I mean never.  McDonalds.  We're more Wendy's type of people.  LOL.  We love Wendys.  But, since it was a warm day and Christmas Parade was not happening, we thought ice cream to cool us off.  French fries and ice cream it was.  I don't think Summer minded one bit.

Nik, vegging out watching a movie.  Notice the large container of cheeseballs, a spelling list he's supposed to be studying and all the laundry that he could be helping fold.  

She thinks she's all that and a bag of chips.  She has all the confidence in the world.

Nik, just being Nik.  He was not too happy b/c I made him wear a long sleeve shirt that day.  

Nik, enjoying Andrew, our guinea pig.  Poor thing.

Nik, after his audiology appointment.

I heard way too much laughing in the back seat.  Stickers everywhere.

And the two troublemakers behind it all.  Summer and Nik. hogs.

Pinterest & Martha...death of me yet

Okay, it is no secret I am not the mother that can bake and make all kinds of crafty stuff or come up w/ all sorts of ideas.  Nope.  That is not me people.  I'm not artistic, I'm not crafty, none of that.  Martha would hate my house.  I don't iron my sheets and they look horrible putting them on the bed.  I'm not making a pile of Pinterest items either.  I really don't have time for all that.  I'll look and I have used a few ideas but for the most part, I leave it alone.  And elf on a shelf, I'm lucky I can remember the tooth fairy let alone some little guy getting into trouble every night.  My kids get into enough trouble w/out an elf giving them ideas.  Elf on a shelf and FASers, I can't ever imagine that being a good combo.

Anyhow, that brings me to the next thing.  Sometimes, I'd like to try to be crafty.  Try.  Remember the candy apples in the fall that looked terrible?  Well, this time I thought I'd try something so simplistic that even I couldn't screw it up.

Birdseed bird feeders.  Isn't that easy?!  Just gelatin, water and birdseed.  Who can screw that up?  Yeh, you guessed it.

Okay, it's not supposed to be soupy.  It was.  So, I just added more birdseed.  That wasn't working.  So I thought birds like peanut butter right?  Yes, but the peanut butter melts when hot.  Duh.  Making it a bit more soupy.  So, dump more birdseed in right?  Finally, when I had practically the whole bag in bowl, I decided to put it in the cookie cutters.  You stupid bloggers make it look SO easy.  Then, you're supposed to knot up twine and shove it in the mix and cover it with more mix.  Easy, right?  Twine doesn't move, does it?  Yes, yes it does people.  Sorry, but this is like a 3 person project.  Really.  Or meant for someone totally more crafty than I am.  

I would have taken pictures of the end product but they all fell apart.  People, save your effort and time, and sanity.  Go buy a bag of bird seed, throw it in the bird feeder and be done.  Lesson learned.  I am done.  I have come to the conclusion that I have not one single ounce of craftiness in this body.  I stink at art.  I'm not the best cook.  I can't sew.  I envy those that have talent.  For something so simple as a ornamental bird feeder to frustrate me so much, means I need to leave well enough alone.  Some folks are meant to make their own stuff.  Apparently, I am not one of those people.  I have to KISS everything I touch.  You know.... Keep It Simple Stupid.  Yep, that's me.  Keeping it simple.  If I see something cool on Pinterest or a blog, I think I will first see if I can purchase the end product at TJMaxx or something like that.  Me, I'll wait to find a nice bird feeder on sale or at a yardsale.  For getting making anything any more.  I encourage my kids to make stuff for sure.  But as you've seen, they clearly have more talent than I do. 

A practical Christmas list

I asked my kids to tell me what they want for Christmas and know I've shared that.  I thought it would be fun to share what I think our family should get for Christmas.  A more practical wish list so to speak.  I'm sure my kids would be thoroughly disappointed but I think it would be awesome to wake up Christmas morning to some of these.

Toilet paper.  Why, because for some reason, it always runs out around here.

A nice tool kit as we have 6 FASers.  Things get broken around here all....the...time.  And, they've broken or lost most of the tools anyhow.

Shoes for all the kids.  You'd be shocked at how they're always outgrowing shoes.

Copy paper.  With homeschooling, we go through a ton of reams of paper.

Nutella.  Okay, so this is just thrown in here for kicks.  Though, I can just imagine if we got a pile of Nutella for them.

Cereal as mine never eat cereal.  At almost $4 a box, it's just not practical.  But, they'd think it was a cool gift.

A gas card.  I don't think my kids realize it does take gas to go places and a big van isn't the most fuel efficient.  That's for sure.

Camping World card.  Why?  So my kids realize it isn't magic that makes the rv run and go places with them. 

4 rakes.  We currently have 1 rake and let's just say the sharing thing doesn't work too well.

A new trash can for outside. For some reason, my kids seem to think it is automatic as they never lift the lid.  URGHH!!!  They'll just lay it by the can.

Socks.  I swear someone steals them around here.  Every size, every kind. 

Headphones.  For some reason, they all break.  It's nuts! 

Bandaids.  Need I say more??  LOL

Pens.  I can never find one around here.  I swear the high schoolers must take them all to school.  For what purpose, I'll never know.  Not like I don't give them any.

Patience.  Yep, everyone can use some of this stuff.

Free pass to a repairman.  Doesn't matter what type of repairman b/c frankly, living w/ 6 FASers, you'll meet them all.  Guaranteed.  Let's see, we've seen the septic man, plumber, glass man, and can't remember who else just in this year.

So, do you think if Santa brought some of this practical wish list that the kids would revolt and hike it to the North Pole?  Not sure.  I don't know.  I may have to at least do the socks and bandaids.  Now where oh where could I find patience to dole out?  Oh well, a parent can dream of a more practical list, right?  Still though, I am fairly surprised at their lists.  Nothing crazy, nothing long.  Now, to get some Christmas shopping done soon. 

Max's drawings

Okay, so this isn't really one of his 'drawings' per say but thought it was pretty worthy in a funny sense of humor kind of way.  See what you think.

Max had to describe the process of how a Bill is passed in civics the other day.  Instead of doing what everyone else did, he used art to describe it.  This is how it went.  Toilet humor.

Apparently the teacher thought he did a good job as that's what was written.

Unique perspective, huh?  That's my kids for you.  And never ask my son what he thinks of the administration.  LOL.  If there's one thing I give Max credit for,  it's his honesty.  He's working on a train drawing currently.  Once it's done, I'll post.  Just thought this one was a bit funny.  We all need a laugh every once in awhile.


Well, I have a few helpers around the house lately and thought I'd share with you.

Reni and Alex decided to help mop the floors.  For no reason at all!  Yes, I did think the pod people had gotten to them.  I was waiting for the ball to drop.  But, took full advantage of this opportunity and let them mop the floors :)

Yana, wanted to help chop onions.  Who was I to say no.

Even one of her friends was helping us out.  Thought that was nice of him.  So, I had a few teenagers crying in the kitchen.  LOL.  These were some strong onions.   But, I was really grateful for the help.  I stuck to chopping up the green peppers. 

What?  You don't wash the car in a pretty dress?

Yana and Summer getting ready to wash the van.  Not sure what Alyona was doing in the background but positive it was avoiding work.

I think the child just knows she's cute.

Yana was mad b/c the "helpers" were not so helpful.  Mostly the Bulgarian kids who decided you should wash the van w/a muddy sponge.  It's a learning process.  They washed both cars but the rv still needs washing to this day.  And being that it's 70 degrees in NC in December, makes it easier to wash the cars.

Today is Saturday and trying to get things done in regards to cleaning.  Cleaning up the house, hauling off trash, getting Logan glasses, taking bikes to the bicycle man to give as gifts, etc.  Boring day but stuff that has to be done.  So, need to go get things done.  Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Homeschool field trip (part 1)

Since I started w/ part 2, I figured it was time for part one.  We went to a nature center along w/ another homeschool family last week. 

This week's study was on hibernation.  It has a variety of activities set up at each table.  Really cool.

Summer is putting a fox in a log to hibernate.

Nik is finding some hibernation words.

Okay, they're supposed to make this huge pile of leaves and cover up to hibernate.

Yeh, not so much.

All the homeschoolers, not just mine mind you, ended up jumping from the log benches and just laughing and having fun.  We all just went with it.  

Summer making new friends and loving it.

The kids trying to make this log balance.  It is pretty high up.

Summer just being cute.

 Irina and Reni goofing around.

Reni taking her turn jumping off the logs.  Summer debating whether it's too high or not.  In the end, too high for her.

Irina jumping down.  They all had a good time on these logs.

Boys enjoying their jump.  Flying high.

Trying to get all the kids lined up for a picture.

And they were all supposed to jump at the same time.  Notice how it turned out.

Nik at the top of the playground.  my daredevil all the way.

We had a great time with friends and enjoyed the entire day with them.  Really was just a lot of fun.  Can't wait to go again. 

Just a little of what's happening

I know I skipped yesterday.  I know I owe a transformation for Logan post as well.  And did I mention that Alyona and Nik have been home 6 years now?  Yeh, the other day I actually thought I was getting ahead of the curve, catching up w/ all sorts of things.  Well, that didn't last long, did it?  I thought I'd give a glimpse of what's happening around here.  So, here goes nothing.  I could spit fire at one of my sons right now.  Really, I could.  Since this is public, I won't say who but I may if he keeps it up.  I was stunned when I asked for a status report from the counselor.  You'd think w/ an IEP they'd keep you informed but sigh, this is JCPS.  Shock when I find out grades are WAY below and I mean way below what I thought they were.  Working on a plan to get him out of the hole he's dug himself in.  URGHH!!!

Bojan has a band concert next week.  I'm not sure he has something to wear for it but will be checking this weekend and getting him a new shirt if he needs to.  My children are famous for waiting till the last minute to find items like this for an event.  Making me look like I don't clothe my children.  URGHH!!!

Yana is going to a lock-in w/ a friend tomorrow evening.  Wahoo, one gone!  LOL.  I do like her friends though & their parents so I don't worry too much.

Irina is going to check on her job applications tomorrow.  She's been working w/ voc rehab on all this.

Alaska keeps eating herself raw.  She's been bathed, she uses frontline but she's raw.  As in red raw.  Going to ask the vet.  Our other dog did this too and it was allergies.  Poor dog.  Any suggestions are also helpful.

The dining room chair broke this week.  It's not fixed yet but will be this weekend.

The contractor for the girls' room is now coming this Sunday.   We'll be clearing most everything out of there (okay this is a hope) this weekend.  Shoot me now.

Girls are getting antsy on the floor.  Our contractor laughed as he comes from a large family.  I told him I thought too much testosterone was a bad thing when all 5 boys were sharing.  It's nothing compared to the girls all sharing rooms.  Trust me, he'll be good yet proficient on this job as he knows it needs to be done.  Honestly though, the girls are doing pretty well.  I can't complain overall.
I'm having massive issues with a groupon I got.  As in I paid money and can not get the service.  I paid for air duct cleaning.  Scheduled for them to come out Dec. 6th.  I called and verified they were coming on Dec. 5th.  Next day, no one showed up.  No one called.  Oh wait, they did call Dec. 6th morning and confirm they were coming to our home at 4pm.  No one ever showed.  I called the next day and left a message.  That was Saturday.  I called Monday and left another message w/ another department.  I called again today and left a message, Thursday.  I can't find their local place.  This is a national chain apparently.  So, I'm writing Groupon tonight and seeing what they say.  I'm just really mad as this is money.  It was $69.  It needed to be done.  We've never had our air ducts cleaned before.  I know, gross.  But it's one of those things you just don't think about.  So, that's where I stand w/ that.

I'm trying to plan things.  I have to plan Summer's birthday party for next week.  Then we have Irina's birthday party.  We have to plan going to my in laws for Christmas.  Warren doesn't know when he has off work as of yet.  Just a lot of unfinished planning.  People are coming over tomorrow for cookies and cocoa.  Umm let's just say we made two batches of cookies and we ate....yep, you guessed it...two batches of cookies.  This will not end well people.  Though I must say I'm totally looking forward to tomorrow.  Worst case scenario, we go to Wally World and buy Chips Ahoy.  I've learned to just go with the flow here.

I am the lead teacher for Science for the homeschool academy classes for 3rd through 5th grade.  I need to come up w/ a curriculum of what we plan to do for the next few months.  Yeh, that one's on the to do  list.

I need to sign up the boys for flag football.  Wrote but the place did not write back yet.  Need to follow up to make sure they can do it starting in January.  I think they'll have a blast really.  And, it's only 5 weeks of camp so not a bad deal.  May get the girls into dance as well.

Working on what to do with Bojan.  In intense pain again.  Sigh.  He needs this amputated.  Looking into Shriners next.  

I'm planning our birthday bash trip for snow tubing.  Found the perfect place I think.  thank you whoever suggested Hawksnest in NC.  And, found the perfect camping spot...across the street!  For those who camp, I came across the BEST website for comparing campgrounds and such and gives you prices.  It is just awesome it will be the only one we use from now on.  I could not believe it.  It's called  .  None of us have been snow tubing before so this could get interesting.  LOL.

 I am beyond way behind on writing thank yous to people.  I feel bad b/c I'd love to thank everyone for what they've done at times but sometimes I just run out of time.  I do hope though people understand that what they do for us does not go unnoticed and is definitely not unappreciated.

Outside never got decorated for Christmas.  I never did end up getting that family portrait done.  I never got Christmas cards out though I think I may actually try this weekend.  Hey, it's not Christmas yet, right?  We are going to take the kids to Meadow Lights here this weekend.  That's always a fun time and we do it every year.  It's relaxing.  I want to convince Warren to go to Old Salem but not sure he's up to it.  We'll see.  I've never been & just think it would be so cool to experience an old fashioned Christmas.  Here's the link .

Working on making some summer time reservations and need to help organize a family reunion at some point.

So, despite thinking I was way ahead and making it happen, not so much.  On the up note here, I'm done whining about my day.   I know folks that are way busier than I am and much, much more to take care of.  Trust me, I count my blessings.  I do.   A few posts will be finished tomorrow.  And finally, some pictures.  Had a great walk this evening w/ Warren so refreshed and ready to get some things done around here.  Maybe I can bake cookies.  No wait.  They'll be gone by the middle of the night as I"m sure my kids will smell those things.  LOL.                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Homeschool Field Trip (part 2)

Yeh, I know I haven't done part 1 yet of where we went but this one has less pictures in it.  Faster to write about.  So, part 2 it is.  After our field trip Friday, us and another homeschool family on a whim decided to go to Pizza Hut.  Now, I haven't been for years.  Part of that is because I used to manage a Pizza Hut and well, you work in it everyday, you really don't care when you go back.  LOL.  But, I always did love their pizza and we were in the car.  They have an all you can eat buffet during lunch.  Kids are only $3!  That's cheaper than the fast food places.  Mind you, not cheaper than I can make it but for a once in awhile treat, not bad.  There were 8 of us and 4 in the other family.  So, not a big group.  But a very pleasant time, that's for sure!  Great conversations and some very happy kids. 

Reni and her friend having a discussion.  Almost all the kids at salad first.

Boys were starting to stack up plates.  Yikes!  Poor buffet takes a beating with boys.  Guess it made up for the girls eating next to nothing.

And Summer is just happy anywhere you go.  Plus, there was dessert there.

Learning new tricks from friends and having a blast doing it.  Restaurant was practically empty as we went late afternoon.  It was fantastic!

Reni trying her hand at it. Just was nice to connect to others and relax a bit.  Homeschooling can happen anywhere which is nice.  The field trip was awesome.  Schools should go there really.  Some might.  It was a nature center we went to before we went out to eat.  We have done lots of traveling just in this semester and taken a lot in.  I think it's great.  So do the kids.  This week is a total work week and they know it.  Though, they finished their reports early.  Well, all except Alyona.  But, I was impressed.  Getting a little more structured as we go along and learn strengths and weaknesses.  May not be the best teacher but I do know they're learning.  And that's what counts in my opinion.  More to come tomorrow.  Need to get some house stuff done.  Poor house. 

What we CRAVE

I'm really behind so catching up on these too.  CRAVEBOX is a subscription box that we get each month.  Sometimes though, they have extra specialty boxes you can get as well.  We ordered the coffee box this month.  Warren, Yana and Max are the coffee drinkers in this house.  Me, give me hot cocoa or tea any day.  I absolutely love the Republic of Teas tea but they're rather pricey for me so hardly order them.  But if they ever had a cravebox of those...delicious.  But, this time it was coffee and made some people here very happy. 

Was wrapped up in bubble wrap.  Now, this bubble wrap is different.  Had never seen any like this before ever.  It's designed so you can't pop it.  Really, it is.  And well, that just sucks for those of us that love to pop those things each time.

Always comes in that recognizable blue box.

Gives an explanation inside and there are of course always coupons.

Doesn't look like much but all of us know how expensive coffee is.  A bag of coffee, some syrup for your coffee, sample of cereal, and 2 biscottis.  BTW, that one biscotti was awesome!  And the coffee drinkers of the bunch enjoyed the coffee.  The syrup we have ample supply since one of the teens' friends brought us a whole case.  Very enjoyable box for the coffee drinkers for sure.  Can't wait for the next box.  One about winter.  Hope it has snow!  LOL.

Nik's Audiology Appointment

Nik only has to go to audiology every six months now.  Great.  His implants were checked out today as well as speech.  They said he did well.  Then, they recommended he go to CIDD for an eval.  Now, I had NEVER in the years I've been going here heard of this place or what it was about.  I can say at this point, I'm a little a lot disheartened that this was not recommended for Nik years ago.  You can read about it here.  This is just what he needs as well as Alyona and Alex.  A team of specialists coming together to help develop a plan for our child.  Again, happy for the recommendation but unsure of why it was not offered until now.  He's had the one implant 4 years, the other 2 years.  Just thought I'd share as maybe there are other parents out there that don't know about this as well. 

Oh, side note of a bit of a funny.  They were coloring in the office.  On white paper.  Summer starts coloring with the crayon and says "it not working."  And she grabs another crayon.  She was coloring with the white crayon.  LOL.  I wanted Nik to actually TALK to these people so they can see what we see.  URGHH!!!  Why's he so stinking shy around others?  Speech therapist today also told him you must show them what you can do.  In June, I will video tape him before we leave.  Fresh that morning and play it while there.  I think they need to see it.  I know we tell them but I don't think it's the same.  I want them to see the conversations he initiates. 

Now, we are in the wait phase for the CIDD to call us and set up an eval.  It's day 1.  Hoping UNC is more speedy than Duke when doing things of this nature.  We shall see.  I will say this for UNC, they are eons better than Duke when it comes to wait time.  Duke, you'll have an appointment and be seen 2 to 3 hours later.  It really is ridiculous.  And that is every time.  (ortho).  UNC, on time for the most part for various departments.  Got to go. 

Nik decided to video tape his sister, Summer.  He came up to me and said "Summer bad.  Mom, Summer bad."  I watched the tape he made.  He made sure to tape the whole incident over and over and over again instead, mind you, of stopping her.  Summer was dipping her entire hand over and over again in the peanut butter jar.  Sam sized.  Yuck!  I'm done w/ PBJ for the week for sure. 

Museum Field Trip (part II)

Guess I need to finish this post up about our field trip last Friday.  So, here goes.

Alex and Logan checking out a car.  of course they have BIG dreams for what their cars are going to be.  LOL.  Yeh, okay boys.  When you get that Ferrari or Beamer you want, let me know.  They you can buy the groceries.

This was cool.  You go inside this thing and it takes you on a deep sea dive as if you're in the submersible.  Nicely done for sure.

Irina knew the camera was going.  The others did not.

Binoculars.  What can I say.

Reni working on spider webbing.  The guy in there said she did the hardest one and did it right.  

Alex being a puppeteer.

Inside this tree, you can see the bats at the top.  Kind of creepy.

Nik wanted to be alone for a picture.  Had no idea Alex and Alyona snuck in the shot.   

Take one.  

Take two of a group shot.  Best we could do.  Bulgarian kids are always trying to be taller.  Not sure why.

One last exhibit before we go.  We did have a great time at the museum and did not even see it all.  Of course we'll go back.  Enjoyed a wonderful day out with the homeschoolers.  Every once in awhile, great to do that.