Saturday, November 15, 2014

Flowers, Fixing Up and Finally

So, been a busy, busy week but I feel like we are actually accomplishing things nowadays.  So, trying to back fill some posts and finish a few things off. 

These were some of our bright fall mums we got from the farmer.  However, they were beat to death by a soccer ball.  Not even sure why I bother any more to be honest.

Okay, so we had a very, very rusty old trailer.  And I mean complete rust bucket.  Well, Max sanded the entire trailer and painted it.  Hitch, chain and all!

when he took this pic, the inside still wasn't completely painted.  but, you can see some of the rust.  He painted the outside black and inside gray.  Awesome job!  Just need two new tires now and we'll be set.  This comes in very handy to haul the trash off.  And pick up other items.

Max got his driver's license!  I know he was patient and greatly appreciate that.  He is a great driver and I've even driven with him a few times since he got it.  You know that is very  hard for a parent to do, right?  He is a very cautious driver which I like.  Knows the rules of the road.  For those with teens, waiting a few years brings much more maturity.  Now, Bojan turns 16 in  January but is in no hurry. And that is okay.  He also has to learn to drive a different way than the rest of us so I am perfectly fine with him wanting to wait a bit longer.  Irina has decided not to get her license and that is okay.  We support her on that.  If she ever changes her mind though, we'll support her then too. 

Bojan & His Legs

Today, Bojan had his PT come and work with him.  We decided to get him involved in PT for multiple reasons.  He is 15yo.  Almost 16.  He is going to be getting two new running legs, as well as a RHEO knee, and two new legs.  That being said, he'll need to learn how to use all this new equipment.  The PT evaluated him today and will be working with him once a week.  Bojan will do exercises everyday during the week and then they'll tweak on Saturdays.  This is a good set up for him.  He will not only improve his walk, but will also learn to run!  She also wants to teach him how to ride a bike.  A dream of his for a long, long time. 

These are Bojan's current legs.  He is a below knee amputee on the left side and an above knee amputee on the right.  His most recent amputation being on the left that was once a club foot.  He very rarely feels the residual limb pain.  PT asked him that this morning.

This is Frank and Bojan.  Frank is the man that keeps Bojan walking.  We have known Frank since we got back from Serbia.  Frank works w/ Limbionics.  A fantastic company here in NC.  They have truly done amazing work in more ways than one.  We owe Frank and the team there a lot.  The next few weeks will be very, very busy as Bojan gets fitted and the new legs and new running legs arrive.  This is  a major change for him but a very positive change for him I feel.  

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Thoughtful Thursday

I have not done one of these in awhile.  It's time.  And this time, I won't get to all the kids simply b/c I have forgotten to do this.  Usually, I keep better track.  For those new, we have multiple children w/ various behavioral issues and things of that nature.  Not all, but some.  It is nice if they hear at least one good thing they've done for the week.  And, to make it fair, I do it for ALL the kids.  Usually do it with all of them but haven't had time.  Next week.  For now, here goes:

This is Irina and Bojan.  They volunteered at Camp Woodbine for the deaf/ HOH families.  Was thoughtful of them to offer their time to help others enjoy a day of fun.

Max-- Max works for a company and has been allowed to bring different things home from the foreclosed homes he works on.  He really has been thoughtful and brings different items home for the family that we either need or have always wanted.  Was sweet of him to really think  of literally everyone in the family.  Brought this electric thing for Nik he always wanted.  A banjo for Warren.  And Christmas lights.  Coffee for some.  All sorts of brand new proactive products for the girls.  Something they had always wanted.  Just sweet of Max to think of everyone.  

Alex-- He has been helping others with their school work and when they get stuck.  Offering to tutor them and taking time w/ other siblings.  Notices their struggles and willing to jump in and help.  

Logan-- He has been helping Alyona with school work which is fantastic.  One of the few that has the patience for it.  

Houseguest-- Always willing to jump in and help where needed.  Thinking of others first, asking to do their hair or help w/ chores even if not hers to do.  

Reni-- One day Reni saw I was trying to get dinner together and watch Little Guy.  She stepped up and offered to go give him a bath.  Was very thoughtful of her to see a need and fill it.

Nik-- wrapped up a present to give to Dimitri (boy I babysit from time to time).  Also drew him pictures and wanted to give him a present.  Nice of him to think of someone else. 

Summer-- Been doing lots of sharing lately. 

Sofie-- today, a friend came to visit.  Earlier Sofie had made cookies.  She ran out to the van to go give her friend a cookie.

Little Guy-- I know he doesn't know much yet but is learning more and more.  He was practicing signing I love you to me.  Just thought it was sweet.

I know I missed Alyona.  Can't think off the cuff.  But will be sure to get her next week.  


Medical Stuff

With many children come medical needs.  Some are more in depth than others.  For us, we have a hodge podge but I consider ourselves to be very blessed with healthy children.  I really do.  Irina is older and goes to the doc on her own now.  Doing just fine.  Max goes on his own as well.  We all go to a family doc.  His last pediatric neurology appt. is this week.  A sign they are growing up.  Bojan is doing fine as well.  He is getting new legs and separate post on that coming up.  We did find out recently about some medical history in his bio family so will be following up here as well.  But should be fine.  Alyona is doing fine medically.  She is getting a cyst/ tumor (doc thinks more of a tumor as it seems to be solid) removed in January.  All her surgical follow ups have been fantastic. All those that have needed eye exams have gotten them.  I think I will have Sofie checked out for asthma.  Something just seems off with her.  And, think it's more than allergies.  We shall see.  If it is asthma, VERY mild.  Irina and Nik had asthma and Nik had to have a nebulizer every night.   Sofie would not even need that.  Asked the neuro yesterday but not her specialty so got nowhere fast on that one.  LOL.  Nik will be getting his Neptunes next week!  All our kids that recently went for eye checkups have done well.  Houseguest's eyes have even improved. 

Now, Little guy is most recently home and that entails lots of testing, especially, when a child is developmentally very behind.  Things thus far have all come back normal yet all the specialists are still scratching their heads and ordered more in depth testing.  I can not get into specifics until after court so things must wait.  And, with all my kids, some things are left unsaid publicly to protect them.  Fine line.  Anyhow, he is currently receiving OT, PT and speech.  He sees a myriad of specialists.  His more in depth testing ordered by genetics and neurology will be back around mid-December.  He is getting fitted for a helmet next week.  It is a weighted one.  Never had even heard of weighted helmets before him.  So, learning as we go.  Even experienced parents of special needs learn something new every day. 

Overall, nothing to complain about.  We have lucked out with equipment.  Also, everyone is healthy!  Sofie gained 5 lbs. since last year and grew two inches the neuro told us.  Since medical needs are met, academic needs to be our focus and learning.  And there is much to be done to get them on track.  For medical needs though, we are very pleased things are going as well as they are with all the kids. 

Should We Call it Art?

Art is flexible in this homeschool class.  Last year we actually had a teacher come to the house and even went to someone else's studio for art.  This year, as none of the ones I'm homeschooling are estatic about art, we are a bit more lax in what we do for 'art.'  Well, Halloween week, we do need some fun.  Next semester we'll learn about the great artists and go to the art museum. This semester...lax.  So, it was Halloween.  I pulled out this for Summer and Nik to work on.

They started with this.  Put it together themselves.

Nik is deciding who gets what I think. Though, Summer is strong in her opinion so she wasn't going to let him rule the show.

Nik was taking too much pleasure in all that icing.  The more, the better I think was his motto.

I think this was what they thought about the whole thing.  smiles.  Notice Nik's black around his mouth?  He was eating the icing.

And of course Naked Ken had to help with the decorating.  He's baaack.

The front of the finished product.

The side of it.  I think this is scary enough.  And you know what?  All the kids ate every bite of it.  Great after Halloween sale find at Wally World.  

My creative kiddo.  So Nik took Irina's ipod while she was at work and built this for her.  The ipod is incased in legos and he left a space to take another lego to turn it on with.  The thing in front of it was a couch he made.  Irina was not as impressed but she did say it was clever of him to do.  

More posts forthcoming.  We had a super busy day today, Wednesday.  Tomorrow we are home and house guest has dance.  So, shouldn't be quite as hectic.  I say t hat now. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Studying, spilling and saving

Still trying to catch up on posts as you know.  Hey, 2nd one for today.  May be getting somewhere.  Just not going very fast.  Definitely will be posting this week.  I've set myself up a new schedule which was desperately needed for order around here. Also, new chore charts for the kids.

Woke up one morning to this.  Reni in the dining room by herself studying anatomy.  Umm, I was impressed.  She really is a self- starter and does well. Some of my homeschoolers just need a cattle prod to do work.  But Reni and House guest really are doing well for studying.  So is Alex.  The others? Well, they have a ways to go.  Some are simply lazy.  I'm working on it.  They also have a tutor that started to help us.  A high school student friend that is tutoring as a requirement for one of her classes.  It will be wonderful!  She's come once but is starting more this week. We can't wait.  

Where would we be without spills every once in awhile a day?  Irina was putting the Sam's sized jar of ketchup away.  This was the end result.  Doesn't look like much but it is and took forever to clean up as it was so thick.

Lately, we have been trying to cut costs any way we can.  Lawyers are just not cheap.  LOL.  And with two adoptions, you can just think to yourself.  So, trying to cut every way we can.  Decided to try to make our own peanut butter.  Got the peanuts from the local farmer's market even.  The house smelled wonderful.  Peanuts tasted fantastic.  Made the peanut butter.  We all decided we should stick to Jiff and leave it at that.  Just did not taste right.  Next up, cheese. Mozzarella.  That will be our attempt in a few weeks.  Any other money saving ideas, send them our way for sure.  We already make most our own cleaning products and laundry soap.  Make some of our own beauty items.  We figure every little bit helps.  Plus, nice to not see so many chemicals in things. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Is a Redneck Fort Creative??

Well of course it is!  The other day, Sofie, Summer and Nik decided to build a house as they put it.  I said yes, that's fine.  Not truly knowing what I was agreeing to.

Looked out and this is what I saw.  Not too bad I thought.

And here is a view from the ground.

Upon further inspection, I found it is more likely residents here could sustain a head injury from falling logs and might want to be evacuated from said residence.  They were none too happy about that suggestion.

This was the top.  Blankets, sleds, parachutes, etc.  They were SO happy at what they made.  Had lunch in their 'fort.'  After this, I don't have pictures.  Nik decorated it in Christmas lights.  Put furnishings in there.  Took a Christmas Tree out of the shed to pu in their house.  They had so much fun, I let them keep it up for two days.  But, the eyesore had to come down.  Can only be Redneck for so long, right?  they worked hard on their fort.  Wish we could build them a real one.  Always wanted one in the yard as I know they'd use it all the time.  Just like the swingset, trampoline and pool, a fort would be used daily too.  Course, we'd use a different set of engineers for that one. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Blessings Abound!

Again, so so much to catch up on and share with you all.  Hopefully, a few posts a day.  I'm just staritng somewhere. 

The other day I received a package.  Nice and shiny.

In it, a tiny backpack!  Just what we needed for Little Guy.  See, he needs one for PT so that he can learn to stand up straight and hold his head up.  A dear friend from high school sent it to us.  Thank you Aliss!  Girls are glad to get their Dora one back.

My friend took my kids sweet potato gleaning.  They came back w/ a trailer full.  We've processed a ton. This is just a FEW of what is left.  They are everywhere.

A friend came to borrow some crutches for her daughter.  She brought with her a giant cookie cake for us all!  We devoured it.  Such a sweet surprise.  Thank you Kathy.

Alyona is sporting some clothes someone had given us.  In fact, gave us a bag full w/ some clothes and shoes.  Very useful in a house with this many children.  And, Alyona loved them to boot.  So much to be thankful for.  Our family has been blessed by so many giving hearts.  These are just a few of the examples.

Manic Monday

Understatement of the year!  It has been crazy, crazy here at Chaos Manor.  I will get back to posting now that we're getting back on track.  So, let's get started w/ a bit  and then I'll do some real posts very soon.

  • went to a barn dance/ hayride this past weekend
  • kids went to parties
  • got caught up on laundry
  • we organized the house again
  • kids have youth group this week
  • Spanish, dance, Civil War class, tae kwon do, etc. this week
  • speech, PT, OT therapies this week
  • adoption celebration thing at Warren's work
  • one of the kids stole my $20 today 
  • someone took Warren's silver certificates and tore them up (yes, these were in MINT condition).  We're still angry about this one.
  • dogs need a bath
  • my cardiologist died.  Found out he was involved in a sting operation for not so good reasons (unrelated to his death)
  • found new cardiologist
  • Little Guy needs a cardiologist as well for a check
  • waiting on all Little Guy's more in depth blood work
  • Little Guy is making progress
  • Summer completed 2 school workbooks
  • got into a routine and now doing therapy w/ all the kids every night but Fridays
  • Little Guy still needs many items
  • Alyona's surgery is scheduled for Jan. 13th
  • not sure what is on tap for Thanksgiving as of right now
  • my parents have retired and are moving to Florida
  • kids still need some clothing for winter
  • need to fill out eye exam claim for house guest
  • need to get house guest glasses
  • lots to catch up on
  • Bojan is getting running legs
  • Nik is getting Neptunes
  • Alyona just cost us a pile of money (more in a whole other post!)
  • Logan will need new teeth (umm, related to Alyona & what she did, ahem)
Oh, so much to share, so much to say.  Really is.  Our life has been a flurry of activity hence, the hiatus.  But I'm back I hope.  LOL.  More to come!