Friday, January 10, 2014

Christmas 2013-- part III (present opening again)

Takes awhile to get through Christmas, huh?  We feel the same way Christmas morning! 

Yana discovering a gift card in there.

Irina with a Bath and Body Works card.  Expression says it all.  As she puts it, I like to smell good.  That's great for the rest of us.  LOL.

Irina with cleaning gloves.  She was letting the bleach eat up her hands.  Santa helped with that after being made aware of it right before Christmas.  My kids.  

Yana loves the slipper socks.  So do I!  Comfortable.  Her pile was smaller b/c Santa thought gift cards were best as did Yana!

Max with Sharpies.  He draws with these some times.  They're a certain type of pen.  

Max with some new sneakers.  

Dog gone Digby was trying to beg for more goodies.  However, the dog takes them and buries them in the yard every single time!  

Max with his new Timberland boots.

Bojan was really happy after reading the paper Santa left.  It was a yearbook form that said "ordered, love Santa."  It's his last year of middle school and will be his first yearbook.  He was pleased.  Even got it engraved with his name.

Logan and Alex starting to open their stocking gifts.  They all do stockings first and then the gifts.

Why oh why he's a Dr. Who fanatic, I'll never know.  Sonic screwdriver.  Need I say more?

The dog was very pleased with her Christmas haul.

NC State hat.  Alex is one of our Wolfpack fans at the house.  I don't think we have any Blue Devil Fans.  But, some UNC fans are about too.  Will be interesting to see where our kids end up going to school.

Not sure what Logan is holding but he's laughing.  Thinking it was the sneaker balls gift.  And yes folks, they do work.

Even Christmas is hard to do after a surgery.  Poor Reni.  Not up to par that day.

Logan loves to paint and this was fun for him to do.

Logan and Alex opening their together gift.

All peeking at what it is.

All the boys were rather pleased.  And though they don't use it the way it is in the box, they use it every day.  They needed one to be higher.  So, they used this backboard and put it at the top of the fence to get the height they needed.  They all play basketball now way more often than they used to.  They all got a variety of gifts.  Some useful, some for fun.  Hardly any electronics this year but truly, they didn't need any.  One more Christmas post to go.

Long day

 Started this yesterday and forgot about it.  Just figured I'd leave it a short paragraph instead of delete the whole thing.  Here goes nothing.  You can tell at the end of it, I was a little upset about the schools.  Sorry, but when your son is telling you they don't take notes in math, they are told to use Youtube, etc. it's just frustrating.  And yes, teachers are telling me it's true!  So instead of actually learning the concept, the kids are looking for the answers on the tv.  Think we're going to take it off the tv.  But, doesn't stop them at school.  Teachers encourage it.

Today was a long day.  Thursday.  It was also the birthday of a very special little someone that is no longer with us.   Though you move on, you never forget.  I can't say we never think about her or that the kids never ask about her.  That's just not true.  Time does help heal but it doesn't erase the memories or the fun times spent together.  We will always treasure the time we had with her.

Mean time, life has gone on.  Pressing forward full speed ahead.  We have a lot of changes happening this year.  Moving & building our own home will be a big one.  A son graduating from high school is another.  And some school decisions as well.  Lots to think about.  Tomorrow is rechecks for Alyona and Warren.  Post ops.  Should all be fine.  We are finally on the upswing post op and focusing on getting our house in order.  I'm pretty mad at the schools right now that I won't even get into that discussion.  Can I just say I HATE Common Core.  Reni came home w/ simply division.  The way they are teaching these children, they should be ashamed.   I wrote the teacher and said I'm helping her the 'normal' way to learn.  Any questions, ask me.  Left it at that.  Going to have a field day at Alex's upcoming IEP.  Logan's situation is a mess.  I had no idea my kids would get further behind going to school.  Oh, and if you think you know what words are, think again.  They're changing them!  It's not orbit any more.  No.  It's a revolution people.  Just stunned at the differences.  It's not B.C. or A.D. any more either.  It's common era instead.  URGHH!!!  I've had about all I can take.  And heaven forbid they actually read any classics in middle school.  Not happening.  Oh, and NO math textbooks to reference.  The teachers are telling them to look it up on YouTube people!  Logan was surfing Youtube for math.  URGHH!!! 

Alyona's Post Op Follow Up

Today, Logan decided he should miss the bus.  We were not happy to see him here this morning to say the least.  Of all days, of course it's the one where we must go the hospital.  Fortunately, Duke is notoriously late for everything.  Great docs but scheduling has much to be desired.  I think we've only ever been seen once on time.  Anyhow, Warren took Logan to school while I got everyone ready to go.  Breakfast was done and we were on our way to Duke.

Check up itself was quick and we always meet neat folks while waiting.  One lady was from the same small town as Warren!  She was waiting to finalize the adoption of two of her boys...4 years later.  Everyone knows the states need a little revamping when it comes to adoption.  But, that's a discussion for the another post.  People really are friendly in the waiting area and we always tend to find someone and something  to talk about.  No x-rays this time.  That's in a month.  Stitches all look great and Alyona is well on her way to recovery.  Time to go home.  Toddlers slept in the car which means they don't want to sleep now.  Got to love it.  Warren has his post -op this afternoon. 

Yana got promoted to private first class yesterday in ROTC.  She was so excited and we're happy for her.  Truly, this has been a changing year for her.  At the end of last year, I"ll be honest, we weren't sure we were all going to survive the late teen years.  And hearing common sense from mom and dad never seems to help.  ROTC has been great and hope she continues to excel in it.  You never know where it may lead in the future. 

Tonight we'll probably lay low at home and watch a movie on this rainy day.  Have some redbox gift card left so we peruse those and see what we all may want to watch.  They are into Cake Boss again.  Next Great Baker series on Netflix.  One day, we'll have to go there for sure.  LOL. 

More things to talk about.  Just been trying to get things back in order after surgeries and not lose my mind w/ all the new things my kids are coming home w/ from school.  One is Big 6.  Hmm.  Guiding them which way to think instead of being free thinkers and actually learning on their own.  Again, for another post b/c I just am stunned at all the stuff I've seen in these past few months.  So much so, even some of our older kids are starting to notice how different it is and how it doesn't make sense.  The way they were teaching Reni division was just nonsense.  Taught her the way we grew up, she understood and said much easier.  Biting my tongue.  Teachers are well aware I'm not happy with the way they're learning.  And I do not whatsoever blame the teachers.  They have to go along w/ the system.  Trying to make it through the school year w/out losing my mind.  Bottom line...have they learned anything.  I'll ask them questions about what they're studying and they can't tell me anything.  It's sad.  They don't take notes any more.  They watch videos on Youtube to learn.  You all know how I feel about it.  I just see a trend I don't like w/ education and want to pull them all out.  Yet, we really need to make sure life is settled to do that.  Will the next school system be different?  Most likely, no.  We're not moving out of state.  Just don't know.  I want my kids to have the best education possible.  Just trying to figure out exactly how to go about doing that.   The more changes I see in public education though, the less I like it.  Plus, my kids are big hands on learners.  For the most part now, just watching a screen.  Instead of seeing the meniscus on the screen like the teacher showed me they do in 6th grade science, how about  letting them pour it into a beaker and see it for themselves.  something so simple but will stick with them.  She told me we find the kids will remember a catchy tune better.  Seriously?!  Getting way sidetracked on this post.  Must be the rain.  More to come.  Need to finish those Christmas posts.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Christmas 2013 -- part II (present opening continues)

Yes, by the end of January we will indeed get through this Christmas post.  sorry getting behind but Alyona had a rough day again today as did Warren.  Hoping all can sleep through the night tonight. So back to Christmas time and opening gifts.

It's the best she could do the day after surgery for a smile.  Still wearing her clothes that she had on at surgery.  Poor kiddo.  She opened gifts, cuddled w/ dad and went right back to bed.  She loved these boots she got.

Can tehy even find their stuff in all that mess?

I think there may have been a little smile in there.

IT was an Elmo Christmas for Sofie for sure!

Her Elmo cup.  Estatic about it.  Now, that is the ONLY cup she wants to drink from.  URGHH!!!

It was his one big Christmas wish.  A friend and her family made this happen!  And he still loves this pillow.  With him every night and shows everyone new that comes over.

 Carpenter jeans for one of the 'disgruntled elves.'  Max and Bojan stayed up w/ me in the wee hours of Christmas Eve to help.  Neither were to happy to wake up early.

  Oh my oh my.  An Angry Bird hat.  Made his day.

 Is there a child in that mess?!  Yep, that should keep her busy for awhile.

Nik with his new shoes.  Not as happy getting new shoes as an Angry Bird pillow but so be it.  Kid needed shoes.  LOL.  More to come.  Been a long day.  

Monday, January 6, 2014

Christmas 2013-- part 1 (waking up)

Wow, can you tell I'm a little behind in posts still?  However, this is post 3 for today so I can't be doing but so bad, right?  let's just jump right in with Christmas that seemed to sort of just sneak up on us this year.

Some of the piles of loot!  As kids get older, piles get smaller as they know the values of gifts.  Older kids know a gift card doesn't take up much space and well, frankly they love it more.

Got a wonderful 10' tree from the farmer this year.  Did the same last year & they last.  Kids decorated.  What can I say.  I used to decorate the Christmas Trees for an interior design/ florist shop in Raleigh.  We'd decorate the BB & T and other businesses in the area.  Would come home from helping decorate gorgeous trees every day and end up with one looking like this.  Got to love it.  But, it is their tree, they love it and if I wanted a show piece, I'd need another room for it.  If you look closely you can see like 3 to 4 ornaments on one limb.  In many places.  

Now, keep in mind it was Christmas Eve and Reni had surgery.  We came home, wrapped presents, stayed up late, and dealt w/ a post op surgical patient all before Christmas morning.  These two turkeys were the first up.

Summer not quite ready to wake up for this present opening thing.  BTW, it was still dark out!

Sofie checking everything out yet also not awake herself yet.

Okay, so let me explain naked Barbie here.  Nik goes and wraps up things around the house during Christmas time and gives them to his siblings.  He insisted he wrap this up for Sofie.  He is so very happy in this picture and she's looking at it like why am I holding my naked Barbie.  Classic.

Alyona's one wish was for a curling iron.  And she got it!  Thank you Santa!

Summer opening up a few gifts herself.

Reni was not that much into opening gifts for obvious reasons.  Still wearing her clothes from surgery day.  Poor kiddo.  But, she loved her hello kitty glitter slippers.

Slowly but surely, working on the presents.

OMG!  Sofie's fvorite part as this is all she asked for....Elmo shoes!  And yes, she wears them all the time.  Whether they match or not.  Fashionista she is not.

Some of the older kids waiting for their turn and wanting to go back to bed at o'dark thirty.  Max is the blob in the back.  He and Bojan helped play elves Christmas Eve w/ me so I could get it done.  Stay tuned for part II and more gift opening.  Will do that post tomorrow.  Alyona is not feeling so hot tonight so need to make sure she is okay.  Long recovery...they weren't kidding.

A very special gift

Some think that since we have brought Sofie home via rehoming, that all ties are severed and that is that.  Not true.  Rehoming can go a few different directions and I for one am glad that hers went the way it did.  Her previous family and us remain friends.  No, not close buddies but we can talk to each other and I leave it up to them if they'd like more info/ pictures/ etc. on Sofie.  It is different for each set of families that does this but it is whatever works best for each family.  I for one want Sofie to know her journey of how she got to our family.  Right now, obviously she is too young to understand what all transpired.  Just as all mine were when they first arrived from other countries.  But, eventually she will know her story and what part this wonderful family played.  That being said, they asked if they could send her something for Christmas.  Of course!

 Sofie wondering what surprise awaits her.  She needed a little help with the box.

Sofie incredibly happy at her gift.  Trust me, it's screams of delight even if it is a tad blurry.

Sofie with a very, very special doll.  Did you know it sings Ring around the Rosie?  Over and over and over again.  Yes, why yes it does.  And she sings it over and over and over again.  LOL.  

Irina trying to help Sofie get the doll untied.  They always package those things to never come out.

My friend happened to be there that day.  She used to run a day care and is great with kids.  Anyhow, she is trying to help Sofie see what the doll does.  Sofie's fine motor skills still need a lot of work so some simple things can be hard for her at times.  Trust me though, she caught on quickly and that doll hasn't stopped singing!  I thought it was extremely generous and kind for her other family to want to give her a present.  Sofie absolutely loved it as did I.  I think it is wonderful for Sofie to have two families to love her. 

Manic Monday

Phew, at least not as bad as last week and all the surgery stuff.  Still, a ton going on.  Here goes:

  • Nik gets new implants programmed today
  • Little Guy comes back as break is over 
  • AWANAS is back for kids
  • Need to figure out where kids are playing soccer this season
  • Need to call vet
  • Need to call eye doc for appointments
  • Alyona has follow up
  • Warren has follow up
  • Both are still in pain
  • Spoke w/ surgeon and staying the course till we see him Friday regarding her headaches
  • Speech therapy back in session this week
  • Back to school
  • Warren and Bojan's birthdays were yesterday
  • Need to change Sofie's social security card (name change)
  • Need to get tax stuff together
  • Van is getting swept out today
  • Still trying to catch up on that sleep
  • Friend and I are going to start running...shoot me now!
  • Realtor comes this week
  • Looking for about 30 to 80 acres so keep your eyes peeled locals
  • Friend came to teach boys some soccer moves
  • School on 2 hour delay tomorrow due to temps
  • IEP scheduled for Alex for end of January
  • Need to start up RV
  • Art classes start back tomorrow
  • Finally framing our Christmas picture but mat is NOT sized what it says it is.  URGHH!
  • Ready to move
And much, much more.  Just giving a few high lights so I can get some other things done during nap time today.  More posts later and picture posts later in the evening.  Getting things done here.  Feeling accomplished finally.