Saturday, November 23, 2013

Blessings Abound!

Can I just say we have the BEST friends in the world?  So many people care about our family and it just melts my heart every time.  These last few weeks have obviously been especially hard on the family and the kids are still grieving a big loss. That being said, we have had many thoughtful people thinking of us and the kids.  Friends have taken the kids places, ordered pizza for our family, come over to visit and so many other special things that have cheered quite a few of us up in here.  The other day, we received a package from a dear friend.

Waiting to open the box.

 All of them looking to see just what is inside this huge box.

Reni really happy about finally having a rainbow loom.

I know it's blurry but do you think Sofie is excited about the candy in the box?

Alyona w/ a picture of a friend she met this summer.

Summer loved all the rubber bands and gorgeous colors.

Alyona and Sofie w/ the antler ears she made.

Nik looking at instructions on how to begin.  He also has watched it on YouTube and come up w/ some great ones.

 Alex chose to do the bracelets on his fingers.  BTW, this was the beginning.  There are quite a few more bracelets on that wrist now.  Box was filled w/ such great things to help distract the kids. Remember, they have a long road to healing.  Can not thank Ms. Katherine for thinking of us during this time of transition and helping put some fun back in the house.  Awesome crafts and things to do.  

A dear friend has chickens that are producing some beautiful eggs.  She decided to share that bounty with us on several occasions.  And yes, by far fresh chicken eggs taste WAY better than caged ones.  You really can tell a difference.

Same friend that brought us the eggs, even brought us biscuits that morning!  Mmmm.  Delicious!  Big thanks to Ms. Amy for making our morning special.

 Another package came from our friend Anna.  Kids love her. 

 Alyona holding some neat straws.  Ignore the lovely laundry boys never took up. 

Think Summer is happy about an entire bag of yo-yo's?

Reni checking out her new bag.  So many goodies and possibilities.  Really was sweet of her to think of all the kids.

Nik and company LOVED the vampire teeth.  Though, they couldn't figure out how to swallow while they were in.  Let's just say gross and leave it at that.  St. Bernards drool less.  

Just was very sweet of our friends to think of us.  What wonderful blessings they are.  Put many a smiles on the kids' faces this past week.  And mine for that matter!  

today is Saturday.  Just vegging out mostly.  Cleaned house as usual.  Now, looks like we did nothing.  You know the drill.  Garbage got hauled off.  Thanksgiving is almost straightened out.  Any last minute stragglers, please let me know.  They'll be two turkeys here so plenty for everyone.  I think current head count is close to 30 so not bad.  Can't wait really.  Day after we will try to prep for Christmas tree. Get a fresh one from the farmer.  My parents and other family are coming to town the following weekend after Thanksgiving to celebrate Christmas early.  Kids are excited.  So, we need to get on the ball and decorate for Christmas soon after Thanksgiving week.  Being that we're the ultimate procrastinators here, I'm sure this will occur like at midnight the night before.  LOL.  We have many fun events coming up.  School stuff and all.  More to come.  Lots to catch up on.  Hope you're having a great weekend.  We get to go to a friend's house tomorrow and have chili with them for lunch.  Can't wait.  Kids love playing together so should be fun.  Got to go.  We're all watching a movie but all debating which one.  Warren & I may go to Redbox if this indecisiveness keeps up.  Enjoy your night.

Reni's View of being Thankful

Okay, been a little sidetracked as you can imagine lately so have decided to catch up on some posts.  Back in September when the kids were learning about 9/11, they had to make a flag.  On the inside are 3 red stripes, 2 white.  Yeh, not going for precise here, are we?  Anyhow, on the two white lines Reni wrote: 
  • I am thankful for my family.
  • I am thankful I am in America.  
Also on the inside panel, she wrote a small paragraph.  It reads:

I am proud to be an American because in my orphanage they used to abuse me and that way, I'm glad to be in America.  Now I have a family that loves me.

On the front are 4 stars.  Each star has something.
  • I am thankful that teachers help me.
  • I am thankful we have food and water and clothes.
  • I am thankful that I have parents.
  • I am thankful that my mom adopted me.
Now, some of you may be saying I shouldn't write this publicly.  This was hung up in Reni's classroom for all to read.  She wants others to know.   This is ALL Reni.  No coercing, no prompting, no nothing.  This is out of her thoughts.  She has told me in the past about a kid in her orphanage who used to hit her...with a gun.  Reni is a totally different child than two years ago.  She has found her voice and plans to use it.  Reni is secure here.  She knows she is loved.  She knows where she came from.  She has family.  She has friends.  This is National Adoption Month and if you ever wondered 'why' we do what we do, well here's your answer.  This is why.  We never harp on our kids' previous situations.  Ever.  We let them tell us whenever they're ready.  Reni is proud she was adopted.  Some of my children do not talk about it.  And that's perfectly okay.  Some choose to talk about it such as Reni. And that's okay.  There is no right, no wrong way to approach adoption discussion.  I let my kids guide me w/ how they want to talk.  Just listening is enough.  Some have only spoken of their adoptions once or twice.  Some over and over again.  To each their own.  I"m proud either way.  Just thought I should share why we do what we do.  Not to be thanked.  But rather to know the kids are safe, happy to be here, well adjusted and loved. 

National Adoption Month Questions

Thought I'd have a Q & A on adoption.  Though we are not experts, I think we have earned the titled experienced adoptive parents.  11 kids later, something is bound to have clicked.  So, since it is indeed National Adoption Month, I thought I'd open up a Q & A over the next few days and then answer the last day of the month.  There are NO stupid questions.  We all had to start somewhere.  So feel free to leave a question.   You never know if your question may help someone else on teetering edge of deciding to adopt or not.  Thanks.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

A Night at the Circus

After Bojan's amputation surgery, we were obviously connected to the Shriners.  AWESOME group of people!  The amount that these people do are extrodinary.  Well, found out about the circus and were blessed with some tickets.  This was for Tuesday evening.  It had been a very long day for us all and so Warren wasn't quite up to going  or was Yana as she had a migraine.  So, I called up my friend Rebecca to see if she'd want to do an impromptu circus trip w/ her daughter.  And well, off we went!  Once we all found the place, we were excited.  Made the mistake of following other cars that thought they knew where they were going.  Luckily, due to that police investigation ongoing about the faulty sabotaged vortex ride at the fair, a police officer has to guard it as evidence.  So, car in front of us asked where to go. Thank you officer.  Wasn't sure Big Bird was going to fit in the parking space but no problems, we parked on the grass.  Went inside and quickly realized that Sofie is terrified of....clowns.  Umm, did I mention we were at the circus folks?  But, clung to me, we managed to find some seats.  After switching a few times. 

Lighting was bad so did not get a whole lot of pictures.  But, this was before it started.

Summer is very much ready for it to start and got to sit by her great friend Ally.

Do you think she's happy for the show to start?

This was the look BEFORE I told her it wasn't all hers.  LOL.  Irina was sweet and bought all of us two giant bags of cotton candy to share.

they had acrobats, dogs, tigers, fire people, and so much more.  We all loved the guy on that wheel that turns way up high.  Scared the entire audience when he fell.  And recovered though.

Summer and Alyona showing off the picture of them w/ their friend at the tiger.  Very cool.

Some of the crowd after intermission.  Sofie was fading fast.  LOL.  We decided to go ahead and leave a bit early as it was still a school night.

Can you tell Summer looks like she's falling asleep on her feet?  This was on the way out.  Nik loved it.   Got the little girls princess crowns and flashing necklaces for the boys.  We didn't end up getting home till 11.  But, once in a life time deal.  All of us had a great time and really did enjoy going out.  We all want to plan more trips together b/c it really was nice.  Big thanks to the Shriners for all they do.  Incredible people to be sure.  Without them, Bojan would still be in pain.  If you get the chance, visit the circus as you never know what child you may be helping next. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Budding Artists

Oh, so so much to say but not enough time yet.  We've had event after event this week but tomorrow night I should have posting time.  Sorry, but kids and life come before blog as we know.  But, wanted to share a few quick pics from art classes taught at the house. 

Reni with her snowman.  They were painted on tile.

A close up of Reni's work.

Nik with his snowman.

A close up of Nik's snowman.

Logan's art work.  

Alyona's is somewhere she said.  Hers isn't quite finished.  I think t hese are wonderful pieces to display for Christmas though.  Very cute.  Much, much more to come tomorrow. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Manic Monday

Very busy week for us all so I'll just cut tothe chase. 

  • Speech therapy this week
  • Sofie likes therapy now too
  • Everyone over the creeping crud that was going around w/congestion and lung stuff
  • Digby finally did get that bath  LOL.
  • Yana may or may not do track this winter
  • One of my middle schoolers is in deep trouble 
  • Bojan made principal's list
  • Alex also did excellent on his report card (surprised me to be honest)
  • Alyona needs to get in gear
  • Having Thanksgiving here this year
  • Planning our family gathering for Christmas on Dec. 7th
  • Our anniversary is Dec. 7th
  • Going to the circus tomorrow
  • Going to an adoption party at Warren's work on Wednesday
  • Making lots of plans for upcoming events
  • Nik needs a haircut as does Sofie
  • Sofie seems to be getting sick.  Hoping it passes quickly
  • Need to catch up on blog stuff
  • getting more organized day by day
More than all this going on but I really need to get things together tonight.   Kids brought me all sorts of paper work.  Hope everyone has a great week.  Doubt I'll get to write tomorrow but Wednesday should bring some circus pictures I hope!  And adoption party pics.