Saturday, January 12, 2013


Might as well start off w/ what we're doing today.  Or should say did today.  Nothing special for sure.  Being that the flu is in full swing it seems everywhere, we decided a deep clean was needed here as we have many visitors in and out of here it seems on a daily basis almost.  Can't hurt and it looks better.  And, since it is mid- 70's here, we get the added bonus of being able to open our windows all day long.  Fresh clean air. 

After helping clean up, we really didn't do too much all day.  Warren went to get Nik a new chain for his bike.  He's hard on bikes for sure.  while there, he asked about a fix for Bojan's bike so he might be able to ride one day.  His knee locks up and then he can't ride.  Working on a solution still. 

Brothers goofing off.  Candy canes in their mouth.  Brothers being brothers.

I was even determined to get organized again w/ sending cards out.  I don't think I even sent a single birthday card out last year.  So, starting now.  February's cards are getting signed this weekend.  Now, to just remember to be able to send them out.  LOL. 

Nik painting rocks.  No one else wanted to so I let him paint them all.  Found the kit at 5 below.  Kind of cool.  

Bojan was checking out the suggestions of what to paint.  Definitely not kid art.  LOL.  

Yana and Irina are staying over at friends' houses tonight.  Rest of us are going to eat some taco pie and just relax this evening I think.  After cleaning and organizing all day, none of us feels like doing anything.  Boring Saturday but we do need those as football starts next weekend!  And, we'll be snow tubing next weekend.  In addition, going on a field trip with the kids on Monday.  So yes, staying home is fantastic right now.  Hope everyone is having a relaxing weekend as well. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Bojan's gifts take 2/ technology

Well, post #5.  Half way there for this evening but not sure I'll make all ten post goal tonight.  Came back from a short bike ride and am just really tired tonight.  Truly  hope it's just a fluke.  See, today we had homeschool academy classes.  You know, lots of people, small enclosed space.  3 ladies I talked to had already had the flu this season.  Irina was in a class where the kid had been sick this week!  Was not happy about that as the kid was still coughing and such.  She told Irina (my germ-a-phobe if you remember) that it was now just a cold.  Call me paranoid but I would keep my kids home from others and used to when they were in public school.  Again, I think I'm just tired.  We've had our windows open all week and keep the house clean but you know how it goes, it's in the air.  And I'm one of those folks who doesn't get the flu shot.  Let's just say I did it once and that was a big mistake for me.  That's how we found out I'm allergic to eggs.  LOL.  Apparently, really allergic when their injected into my arm.  Crazy stuff.  So, I don't get it.  I think out of all my kids, Alex and Bojan have been sick once w/ the flu.  Hoping we come out okay this flu season but I've talked to so, so many that are sick.  Those who've had the shot and those who've not.  Thinking this virus isn't picky at who it chooses.  LOL. 

Anyhow, back to Bojan.  Boy, sidetracked central tonight.  Bojan also got another gift from the same family. 

Again, out of order.  Sorry.  Bojan a little perplexed w/ all these accessories in the kit and nothing to go with it.

Bojan getting ready to open it up.

Everyone anxious to see what is inside.  Love how it doesn't matter who's birthday it is, they are all generally interested.

Bojan opened up the next package and figured out why he got the accessory kit.  

Nik looks super excited.  Bojan was reading what it was and then asked how did she know I didn't have one.

Bojan received a Sony mp-3 player! 

Bojan checking everything out and reading all that it does.

Bojan absolutely has enjoyed this gift.  I mean he takes it with him and listens often.  Great gift for someone who loves music.  Bojan is 14 now and slowly moving into the tech age.  He has an mp-3 player now, an e-reader and we're going to be giving him a tablet.  He doesn't know that part yet.  Not a fancy one.  It was one of those $60 deals.  But, he doesn't need the special ed apps like his sibs do so this will be perfect for him.  Plus, makes up for the one his sibs broke this past year.  He and the girls had received tablets from Santa in 2011.  Yana's melted, Irina's broke and Bojan's got destroyed.  After him using my computer the other day, I figured it was time he can look some stuff up on his own.  In addition, Bojan is extremely responsible.  I do not worry about him at all.  We don't let our kids have technology early on.  Just who we are despite Warren working for the largest privately owned software company in the world.  So, you HAVE to be tech savvy and many that work there have quite the technology assortment.  And that's okay, it's part of their job.  Our job as parents though is to make sure the kids grow up in an appropriate manner, learning right from wrong, etc.  For us, it's setting limits and this is one of  Not a one of our kids has a cell phone.  Not even myself.  When I left the business world, I figured I wasn't working, I didn't need the extra expense.  My kids can get a cell phone when they get jobs.  Just how it is here. I know many in my kids elementary school had a cell phone.  Little 6yo's walking around w/ phones.  Really??  Don't you always know where that age child is??  I mean, my 6yo's if they weren't in school were at home.  What was the point of them having a phone?  

Gee, sidetracked again.  Just think it's time for Bojan to move forward w/ technology.  He is definitely ready for it.  My two 12yo's are clearly NOT ready for it and it will be quite some time for them I feel.  Got to remember, Logan had full access in Bulgaria to anything.  He went straight for sites he had no right to be on.  He knew right where to go.  I'd love to hear what others do w/ their teens and technology.  What age do you all feel is appropriate.  The girls have ipod touches they bought w/ their money.  Max has a computer he purchased from working.  I know we may appear to be in the dark ages not letting our elementary kids have all sorts of technology but for us, I think it works.  Hope so anyways.  I have seen too many of my friends' kids get in trouble early on.  Many online trouble.  I just think to be online, you need a certain level of maturity.  It's a big responsibility.  Hope that made sense.  Lots of rambling really.  Very curious as to what everyone's opinion is on age of technology access. 

Bojan's Birthday gifts

As you know, Bojan turned 14yo this past weekend.  He received money from both sets of grandparents.  Asked what he was going to do with it and he said save it.  I said good idea.  Though he keeps asking to go to Target so not really sure how long it will be saved for. 

He also received a few gifts from a friend of ours in NJ.  Her family is always so sweet to think of all the kids. 

He looks just thrilled for me to be taking pictures.  

Bojan opening up his present which he guessed was posters.

Nik , Summer and Alyona waiting to see what is on it.

Bojan, kind of stunned at what he received.  He LOVES Dr. Who.  Big, big fan.  These were two big, tall Dr. Who posters.

Bojan said, "oh yeh, these are going up!"  He rolled it back up, grabbed some push pins and they've been up on the walls ever since.  Loves it!  And, mom is glad the walls aren't empty any more.  Thank you Heather, Joe and Emma! 

Flabulous to Fabulous

I'm actually going to have to change these updates to Sundays b/c that's when we're weighing ourselves for the contest.  See, Irina, Warren and I have decided to do a Biggest Loser type challenge at home and see who can lose the most during the Biggest Loser season on tv.  I think it ends in May or something along those lines.  I'll tell you my starting weight on Sunday.  Heaviest I had ever been sadly.  But, admitting it on here and tracking it will indeed help I think.  I know I have lost weight this past week.  Now, being that I can't stay on the BL ranch and I have ten kids and other obligations, don't expect to see 10 lbs. a week weight loss.  I will be very happy if it is 2lbs. or so a week.  It's actually healthier if you lose at that rate.  I would love to see 5 lbs. lost but then I think I'd be living in a dream world.

Let me tell you what I've done thus far and what I'm sticking with.  For the past few weeks, I've actually been doing light weight lifting and stretching everyday.  I've been drinking at least 64 oz. of water a day.  Been taking vitamins everyday.  This week, I added cardio to it in the form of biking.  Cardio to start off will have to be 3X a week to be increased to 5X a week over the course of the next 3weeks.  Even in my peak shape, I would give my muscles a rest 1 to 2 days a week.  I can honestly say I'm proud that I'm keeping up with things.

Plan for next week is to continue w/ this amount that I've been doing but add 30 minutes of Yoga in the morning everyday.  May not make it everyday but going to try.  It addition, next week I start journalling the food.  I'm excited about this new journey and pretty sure it will last.  I know it won't be as dramatic as the Biggest Loser but in the end it should be!  My goal is to lose 50 lbs.  Huge goal but if I chip away each week, a doable goal.  Time will tell.  I'm just very excited to start and was just thrilled to be on the bike again.  I didn't realize just how much I missed it.  And this would be why I think I'll stick with it.  What's nice is the kids like biking with me.  I take a few at a time.  As long as it's not pouring outside, I plan on biking almost every single day.  Just had to share what I'm up to.  Weight report is Sunday.  Kind of scared but anxious to see it at the same time. 

More pics

You know I have a lot of catching up to do.  So, working on it today.  Probably have ten posts done by tonight.  LOL.  Motivated.  It's rainy out, kids had school already and we're all just vegging out.  Most are watching Avengers downstairs.  Nik and Summer are playing w/ a race car track that Max's friend gave them.  Was really sweet of him to do that and they play w/ it all the time.  So, good day for me to catch up on some posts and a few other things around the house.  I've organized the kids homeschool cubbies and am working on organizing the homeschool bookcases (yes, plural) between posts.  You may get bored w/ all these posts today but hey, I'll be caught up for at least a tiny spec of time. 

Alex and Logan stopping to pose for a picture.  Not sure what is w/ Alex's smile.  

Nik turned right when he knew the camera was there.  

Lines aren't in the original picture so not sure why they are on here.  They were playign the Wii and Logan was signing to Nik to push 'C.'  All just relaxing and playing a game.

Bojan hard at work playing trumpet.  He wants to try out for all county band as well.  He is loving band right now.  Think it's awesome.  Think I may have written about this already but it's been a long week.  So, sorry if I did.  LOL.  Time for writing some more posts.  Hope you enjoy hte catch up posts. 

Birthday Boys

This past weekend was Bojan and Warren's birthdays.  Bojan turned 14.  Can hardly believe it for sure.  This year, we are starting a new tradition and essentially doing away w/ all the birthday parties they had.  Seem to just take up time and ended up being rather costly when all is said and done.  Before you all freak out b/c trust me, I've already heard a few comments on this issue, they still get gifts from relatives, we still have cake and sing to them, and they still will be getting an annual Halloween party & a summer party w/ friends.  That's for those that think their party experience will be deprived.  LOL.  Not by a long shot.  Plus, we all voted on this as a family and all agreed.  So, this family Birthday Bash is coming up next weekend.  Wahoo!!!  Snow tubing.  But this past weekend, we had cake for Bojan and Warren.

Camera hog of course.  He loves helping me put on the candles.  

Warren's cake.  Phew, we had enough candles.

Bojan's cake.  They all wanted chocolate on chocolate.  I always make homemade icing.  This time, did one box cake and one homemade cake.  The kids liked the homemade cake and so did Warren.  I did not though.  So, probably have to make it again as majority rules here.  

I put this one up b/c there are just too many expressions going on at the same time.  

Bojan getting ready to blow out his candles.  Nik of course is recording the whole thing w/ Summer's Innotab as hers has a camera on it.

Max helping to light all those candles.  House may catch on fire!  LOL.

Warren blowing out the candles.  Everyone just wants some cake.  It was only us and two other kids over.  Small but nice.  Cake was good too.

More great expressions.

Max checking out to see if he got burned, Nik reviewing his video and everyone else just waiting for the cake to be served.  Was a noneventful night but nice.  All of us are excited about the upcoming Birthday Bash which takes place next weekend.  Should be interesting for sure. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Gooey Gummy

For the past few days or so, we've had a house guest.  Well, someone brought her 5lbs. of Gummy Bear!  That's right, the World's Largest as it said on the package.  All of us were laughing, staring in amazement and just having fun.  None of us had seen something like it.  A novelty.  Just loaded these and still can't figure out why I can't load all at once like I used to w/out them getting mixed up.

This is that giant gummy bear.  This thing is heavy. 

Getting ready to take this monster out of the box.  Nik watching in amazement.

Look at the size of this thing!  We all were stunned by how heavy it was.  And cutting it was like sawing jello only not that easy.  Took forever to cut little pieces off.

Max looking at all the different flavors.  Truly, this thing was interesting if nothing else.  

Reni trying her piece.  We cut them in chunks and still had a huge bear left over.  

Yana pretending her head is the gummy bear's head.  Tasted great and all enjoy the pieces they got.  Though, not sure I'd recommend this thing.  Seriously, for a normal sized family it would take weeks to eat.  The thing is dense. 

More Miscellaneous Pics

Today is Thursday.  Girls are at their first dance class.  Alyona, Reni and Summer are now taking dance.  Watch out!  LOL.  Boys start football next Saturday.  I know many parents do multiple activities for kids but my kids do best when there are not multiple activities.  We've tried it. Trust me, not good.  Those w/ FASers really do need to keep that in mind.  Find something they like and go w/ it.  Add here and there to try out new things but please don't overload.  Just my two cents as I know others have FASers that read this.  Again, more posts to do.  Did three yesterday and hoping to get 3 in tonight as well.  Thought I'd share a few pictures laying around in the camera.

Bojan, enjoying some icing from the cake we made.

Nik doing handstands.  He is filming himself w/ Summer's Innotab.  They play it back later on.  Crazy stuff!

Just hanging out.  

Reni seeing if there was any other way to salvage it.  They got this for Christmas.  Karioke machine.  Well, it broke.  We could have probably fixed it if it were not for Max "fixing" it first.  Everyone takes things to Max and for the most part, he can fix just about anything around here.  But the harder technical stuff, we'd rather have Warren do.  

Max and Yana just chilling.  A major rarity.  One, it is a teen shot and two, they're next to each other & not in separate rooms.

Alyona showing me the soap she made w/ Irina.  We had a part of a soap making kit someone gave us.  Finally decided to use it.  Smells really good...citrus.

Summer showing me what she's working on.

Logan and Nik working together on one.  I bought these at Walmart at the Christmas clearance section.  Something like .50 or so.  

Bought one for Summer too.  A Mickey Mouse one.  She liked it a lot.

Pretty neat, huh?

quite proud of his superheroes he built.

Not sure what expression this is supposed to be but Logan is hamming it up.  They did have fun building these little things though.  Kind of wish I'd bought more at that price for entertainment.  

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

What we CRAVE

Time for another CRAVEBOX again.  It's a subscription box.  Currently, the only one we do.  This one was a teen theme.  You could order as many as you want but since I did not know what was in them, I only ordered one. 

What is w/ Blogger reorganizing the pics today?!  This is Irina w/ some Pantene Mousse.  Used it today and she loves it.

Gum in our house, truly, any house w/ previous orphanage kids, LOVE gum.  A coupon for free gum is  a hit.  Notice the gum already ripped into??

A blue box full of goodies for the teens.

This happens to be Irina's favorite razor.  This is all she gets.  Box also had lip gloss in it from Mary Kay, Vitamin E oil and gum.  Kids enjoyed it and it was stuff we would have bought anyway except for the vitamin E oil.  Though, I've always wanted to try it.  Can't wait for our February box.  Secretly, we're all hoping for chocolate for Valentines Day.