Tuesday, May 28, 2013

How do you know they belong?

How do you know the kids are happy?  How do you know they feel like they belong in this family?  Sometimes you just know and sometimes you just need signs that give you a hint. 

Reni wrote this note and stuck it to the front door.  It got the message across.  Simple but made with love.

They were getting ready for their grandparents to come.  Nik was very proud he made a sign w/ everyone's name on it.  He worked really, really hard on it too.

I know he spelled Alyona wrong but he tried.

Since he wrote all 14 of us on there, I can't show you how the whole thing looks but really cool.  Mom and Dad are attached at the bottom of it in the middle under the two newest ones.  I just really like the fact that Nik did this on his own and wanted to show his grandparents.  Another sign of love.  

Bojan surprised me with this the other day. I truly wish I could show you the whole thing but once again, they included names.  So, kind of stuck not showing names but a few of the kids to give you an idea.

This is part of the family. 

Bojan even included the dogs.  The whole thing read "The Boyd Bunch.  A place not ever quiet nor normal, who wants to be?  A family with a big heart."  Just thought it was very thoughtful of him to do.  

All of them are great examples of how the kids feel I think of being here.  We have one right now who is questioning independence in life.  Thinking it all through.  You know when they reach a certain age and think life is just a big bowl of cherries?  LOL.  We were all there once as young adults.  I think many adults will know what I mean by all that.  It's just drawings like this that reassure me of the love here. 

Memorial Day Weekend (Part 3)

Time to get this finished up so I don't get behind. 

 Bojan, trying to decide if super cleaning the outside is a good idea or not.  Just look at the clutter around him. I think it is!

Max is just dying to work.  Was killing him not being able to do anything.

 Even the play chairs got scrubbed down.

Love that Summer is looking like 'you want me to do what w/ this brush?!'

My kids can't do anything w/out finding critters.  Homeschoolers were identifying it as an insect since we're studying insects.  6 legs mom!  LOL.

Bojan taking a turn at the trampoline.  Won't be able to do this for awhile.

Summer was so excited to mow w/ Daddy.  The Littles absolutely were giddy at their turn around on the mower.

This was probably Nik's last ride.  Getting way too big.  Nik thought it was cooll that dad let him steer.

Reni and Alyona explaining what the sibs did on the bike ride.  They were not pleased.  

Reni with a soccer ball. They all received soccer balls for playing Upwards.

Nik wanted to blow this up himself.  That was his objective.  Not as easy as it sounds.  Summer was intent on supervising.

This thing is huge!  Logan did end up finishing up the blowing up part.  This is a volleyball net for the pool.  Can't wait to play.  Should be a lot of fun. 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Manic Monday

Almost forgot it was Monday.  But it is. So, a short little bit here.

  • we were very productive this weekend
  • painted kids' picnic table and stained the big one
  • cleaned the pool
  • pool has some major holes in it that we are not sure a patch will hold
  • yard mowed and weedwhacked
  • seeds planted in the garden
  • weeds done
  • ordering Irina's diploma this evening
  • Irina's graduation party this weekend
  • Alex's neuro tomorrow
  • Max goes back to school tomorrow
  • Older kids have exams tomorrow
  • Yana out of school next Monday
  • Way behind on homeschool.  We were going good for SO long.  Catching up.  Kids are reviewing and I'll test them early next week.  Wanted to do it last week but just didn't happen.
  • making homeschool plans for next year
  • art teacher coming tomorrow morning to the house
  • speech therapist comes this week
  • end of school is fast approaching
  • Alaska is back to her old self after being lethargic for a bit
  • Alaska had a bath
  • Digby has started walking again
  • I'm getting back on the exercise bandwagon this week
  • making vacation plans
  • one daughter is making some poor choices that I hope changes soon
  • still not sure what I'm doing for middle schoolers next year (public versus homeschool)
  • we found our dream home
  • Irina started to get graduation cards this past Saturday and was so excited
  • Warren's parents came down on Sunday to congratulate Irina
  • I'm of course behind on blog posts but eager to catch up.  So much to say!
  • House is finally starting to get back in order from temporary chaos
  • we have finally found our new normal and enjoying it
  • get to go grocery shopping this week (no easy feat folks)
  • learned of the 'bulk' section at the Farmer's Market and may have to check it out
  • working on eval forms still
  • trying to be better at getting thank yous out. Yeh, I still suck at it
  • determined to have a Pinterest summer.  Do all those stupid crafts I pinned but have never tried.
  • won a photoshoot!!!  SO excited.  
  • dinners have been late every single night since the time change
And a ton more.  Could I really finally be getting my act together?  I think I am finally on the right track after feeling overwhelmed for a few weeks.  Things seem to be back in order and semi normal again.  Well, need to go.

Patches not holding

Nothing like a little 'drama' for the day.  Okay, we cleaned the pool. Looks fantastic.  It does.  Warren checked so we could patch it where needed.  Thought there was one hole.  NO.  Max found 3 holes.  One was patched w/ no issues.  The next, they (Warren, Yana and Irina) worked for a long, long time on it.  They used 2 patch kits and said "it's as good as it gets."  Meaning, it probably won't hold long.  Nothing more we can do.  Trouble is, we have not even gotten to the major hole yet.  This one is over a crease that is also very cracked and weakened.  This one will be a monster to patch and chances are we can't.  Now, if this happens, pool party for Irina's graduation cookout at the house next weekend is out.  We'll just have a cookout.  As well as, swimming for the summer.  Now, we purchased this pool years upon years ago w/ tax money right after we returned w/ Yana and Alex.  We knew we'd get years and years usage out of it and we have.  We have replaced the liner once ourselves.  $500.  And that deal was only b/c we did the labor ourselves.  Truly, liners should last longer than this but then again, my kids are very rough on things.  Lots of use, which is a good thing. 

Anyhow, if the patch will not hold (looking like it won't), there will be no pool for the party or the summer.  Kids are hoping it holds and doing everything they can to help.  And as you know, during adoptions (no matter what kind), unexpected expenses are expected almost always.  LOL.  Happens to everyone and we're no exception.  Calling this week to get our fridge fix.  That one was a tough call.  We have 2 fridges and a freezer.  We have to.  But, the newer of the fridges, a Whirlpool, went out last year.  Couple hundred to fix.  This year, same problem.  And NO, there is no warranty on this.  And you make that call, fix it or replace it. Not ready to spend thousands on a fridge when we did that just a few years ago. URGHH!!!  So, the liner is throwing me for a loop. 

See, this is my stress relief during the summer.  It is hot in NC.  Most either go to the beach or join a public pool.  With 8 kids w/ FAS, physical activity is a must so swimming in summer is a win-win for me.  They go stir crazy on days that are too hot to go out.  Our pool has been a life saver to say the least.  So, hoping tomorrow I'll have good news to report.  We can handle a slow leak.  Not ideal but getting us through one more swimming season would be great.  On an up note, kids did AWESOME this weekend helping out. Truly, they did.  Cleaned up the entire yard, outdoor projects, cleaned the entire inside, etc.  They worked their tails off.  We all did.  It's looking great and we're proud of that fact.  So, tonight is chicken on the grill. Yum.  Great way to end a very productive weekend to be sure.  Let you know tomorrow about the pool.  More posts forthcoming.  Even catching up on posts.  These 3 day weekends need to happen all the time!  Hope you enjoyed yours.  More pics to come.

Memorial Day Weekend (part 2)

A big chunk of our weekend was spent getting the pool ready to swim.  We have a 27' above ground pool.  We drain it completely every two years.  Some leave their water in every year and just treat it.  We do it a little differently. 

This was Shrek's Swamp once we drained it.

Irina looks thrilled to be in there, doesn't she?  Hey, I asked for volunteers.  No one was made to do it.

Alex, carrying some sludge to the woods.  Old leaves, etc.

Bojan still mad we wouldn't let him get in.  If he slips, the prosthetic would rip a hole in the liner.  He knows this.  He's just not happy about it.

A wolf spider found in the pool.  I know you can't tell the size but it was pretty large.  

Even Max wanted to help with his good arm.

Everybody working together and pitching in to get the job done.

Yana, looking like this job will never get done.  LOL.

This is where the real work begins.  They all started rolling up their pants b/c they had no idea it was going to be so hot.  

Once they spray the water on, you can really see the difference.  In a few days, I'll have to take another picture of how clean and clear it is.  Just feels good to get the job done and have it nice and clean for company and the start of summer swim season.  They really did work together.  There was one spat on Alex and Nik using a certain kind of mop.  It was going fine till one of the older teens, ahem, intervened.  Got to love that.  

We also cleaned out a few things in the shed.  Giving away some and trying to sell some things.  Trying to get a few bucks in the pocket for the upcoming vacation this June.  Food and gas are always are biggest expenses so seeing what I can do to help w/ that.  In addition, it helps clear the clutter so a win-win.  Chicken on the grill this evening w/ peas and I'm not sure what else.  Time for some more work.  Truly, can't believe we got all we did done this weekend.  Good thing b/c next weekend is a total play/ party weekend as well. 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Memorial Day Weekend

Love this time of year.  Cookouts, beautiful weather, fireflies, outside playing, planting flowers, etc.  Just a great time to enjoy things in life.  Really is.  The weather this weekend is unusually cool which is awesome for NC b/c usually it's in the mid 90's by this time.  It's been in the low 70's which is just delightful.  We got back from Camp Cheerio last weekend so kids were fully aware this was to be a work weekend.  And work we did! 

 Is this really work for Nik??  These bags of dirt were just $2.50 a bag.

Repotted one plant b/c the kids broke my nice pot.  This one is one of the el' cheapo plastic ones we had laying around.  

Reni checking out the gladiolous bulbs we had planted that are just now coming up.  

My friend had given me a table for the kids.  She told me we could buy some plastic spray paint for it so that's what we did.  A green to match the umbrella of the big table.  Warren is scraping out the dirt that the kids forgot to do before they painted it.  

Some of the kids getting to work staining/ weather proofing the picnic table.

Some little garden work thrown in there.  We lost two of the raised beds this year.  Not sure how really.

Some more of my $2 roadside plants.  LOL.  Shrubs next year will be filled out quite a bit more.  Probably won't be able to see the brick next year which will look really sharp.

We are limited on space till we one day move.  So use every little container we have.  Anyone have some big ones they'd like to get rid of, send them our way.  The one w/ the green are radishes and they're doing very nicely.  The green onions have all grown as well.  The rest we just planted.

The only thing that has NOT grown in a container (hey, we're experimenting this year) was the lettuce.  Hey, we gave it a shot.  

Diggs, just hanging out.  Still have no clue how old he is but we're guessing he may be up there.  

We moved the picnic table umbrella (one of them) and Nik & Summer had a field day.

Nik and Summer showing me their catch.  Roly polys and earthworms.  Fun!  More to come on some of the Memorial Day happenings.  BTW, Max is doing fine but it truly is driving him insane not being able to use his arm and do stuff.  Like draw or build.  More on that later.  For now, getting some kids to bed.