Friday, August 28, 2015

Birds, Breakfast and Brothers

Trying to get caught up a bit here and there on the blog.  Today we had an actual lazy day.  Well, not exactly but more lazier than normal.  Forgot I had an appointment for Nate at 8:20 in the morning.  Umm, fastest getting ready ever.  Took Nate, Summer and Alyona with me.  Summer b/c she had a wart that I figured they could take care of while there for Nate.  And, they did.  Froze it.  Will have to go back in about two weeks to get another treatment.  No biggie.

Then we had Nate and his quick check up.  Doc says he's doing great.   And, he will give me a script for a DME.  A  medical safety bed for Nate!  This was awesome news as it has become a safety issue with Nate being in the crib.  He needs something bigger yet something built more like a crib.  Fingers crossed all works out.  He gets his legs stuck in teh crib and he's also outgrown it. But the real trouble comes w/ trying to stand up, falling and cracking his head on the crib.  Like I said, safety at this point.  Doctor agrees which is great.  Working on all that stuff next week. 

Speech therapist came today.  May be one of the last times she's here.  See, while here evaluating some of the kids, she received a call.  It was THE call.  She had to report to the hospital as she got the news she was getting her transplant that she'd waited so long for.  You could see how excited she was yet sad in the same token as you know it comes at a price for another family.  She will be handing over our stuff to another therapist and we'll take it from there.  I am not worried about it.  Was just so overwhelmed with emotion b/c even though it's not happening to you, you know that it means life for the person standing before you.  We wish her all the best.


We have all sorts of wild life in our yard.  Including, rather large birds.  This one isn't a very large one.  We've seen hawks swoop down in the yard.  Amazing to watch the birds in the woods.  It is really making us think twice about the chicken coop idea.


SOFIE ROSE!!  I say that name more times than I want to lately.  The child hates, and I mean hates eggs with a passion.  I came back to the kitchen to find this mess one day.  She poured ketchup over them like syrup.  Looks like a murder scene.  And no, she didn't eat them.  So, other kids were thrilled b/c I made sure we had ice cream sundaes that evening.  


Every night almost, Max and Nate are on the couch.


Max plays with Nate and here, Nate is wanting popcorn.  And, successfully gets it.  He likes popcorn.

Irina feeding Nate peanuts.  He curls himself up like a pretzel.  Great to have so many older kids that want to still help with their little brother from time to time.




My Kids' Runners!

I signed up for a wonderful program called I Run For.   The link is:  http://www.whoirun4.com/.  It is an awesome program that matches runners from all over to your special needs child.  I have signed up Nate, Sofie, Summer, Nik and Alyona.  The runners dedicate their races to the kids and such.  They also are pen pals at times and so much more.  Support, self esteem booster, etc.  It truly is a wonderful program.  We have been matched with such fantastic runners.  Truly, we hit the jackpot!  Nate's runner is a geologist in Canada.  Nik's runner lives in VA, only an hour and a half from where we live now.  Sofie's runner is training and shooting for the Olympics.  Oh yeh, and she's 8yo!  Alyona's runner has been writing her back and forth which is awesome.  And I am just getting started with Summer's runner.  So it is fantastic and we really have had fun with it. 


This was the first letter/ package that Sofie got from her runner.


Everyone was interested as you can see.


Irina reading what Mak wrote Sofie.


Sofie received medals that Mak had sent her from races she had run in.


I think the smile says it all.  After this she kept running around the house outside saying she's running like Mak.  Keep up the great work Mak and all our other runners!  Kids are truly enjoying this adventure.  Hoping to meet a few of them in person for sure.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Today

I really don't have time to blog today so this is a quickie.  LOL.  It was busy.  Bojan's schedule was finally straightened out.  He is in 10th grade, 8 classes. Not an easy load by any stretch but confident he'll do fine.  Other kids are working on school work though today was really a review day and an easy day compared to lately.  Kids went to the library and checked out some more books.  They are actually reading the books they check out and love to read now.  Awesome we are in this habit.  Story time starts back up in September.  4-H forms were dropped off and that starts in September as well.  Little by little, getting things done.  One of the kids had therapy.  Rest of the day we just got things done.  Tomorrow will be hopefully quiet.  Got a speech therapist coming for Nik but other than that, think it will be quiet.  I hope.  Just wanted to touch base here as we are swamped with trying to get neuro paperwork done and stacks of others to.  Checking the list one by one.  Oh, and Max may have found a job.  Super excited.  Interview went well today and they called back!  Know more tomorrow.  Not sure who is more excited.  Me, or him.  More updates this weekend.  For now, need to go back to paperwork b/c I promised myself we'd get it done.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

A Bouncy Surprise

Not too long ago, my parents sent the kids a package.  Wasn't expecting anything, no one's birthday so we all gathered round the kitchen table to open it.  I wished someone had taken more pictures but we didn't as we were all too excited opening it.  And that's okay.  We don't document every single moment of our lives, we live them.  But there were a couple pictures someone managed to take. 

They were so excited for the basketballs.


This one even glows in the dark!  They can play at night.  And yes, they do.


They all took off right away for the basketball goal.  Was just what they needed.  They were using an old beat up soccer ball to play.  Wasn't working too well but they didn't complain about it either.  They knew with us having to spend thousands to fix up the old house from what others did, a basket ball was not priority.  Thankfully, their grandarents thought it was.  My mom said she looked on the Amazon list for Boyd Bunch and picked something out.  Made their week and yes, they play every single day.  They also play with the neighbor next door.  My kids love the outdoors so play equipment for them is more of a necessity.  I'd rather that than video games.  Just was a very special surprise for them.  More posts tomorrow but this is #5.  Nate is still up. 

Logan's Birthday

today Logan turns 15 yo.  We brought him home at 11yo.  Lots of change in four years time. That is for sure!  Logan is definitely a teenager.  He has an awesome work ethic and is truly becoming a great reader this year.  Positive changes to be sure.  Turning into a wonderful young man.


We were all still tired from working on our other home the previous day but managed to make a cake per Logan's request.  Cake w/ peanut butter icing. Homemade by Irina.


Ahh, now a smile is starting to come out.



They sign happy birthday song along w/ singing it.  Ironically, Nik never signs it.  LOL.


Logan looks thrilled, doesn't he?  Like I said, we were all pretty tired that day.


Getting ready to make a wish and make it count.


And 15 candles out like that!  It was very low key and that's okay.  Just us, no one else this time. 

All the kids know we still have to do our birthday bash for this year.  I'm pretty certain we are going to defy gravity and then out to dinner with everyone.  See, we usually just have cake on their birthdays that they get to pick.  Alex picked ice cream sundaes and we were all actually loving that choice.  Anyhow, we then do some activity with all of them to celebrate their birthdays.  One year, we went snow tubing.  One year, we went to a water park. Last year, it was supposed to be an amusement park but Reni got sick.  This year, we think we'll stay local and go to Defy Gravity and then out to eat.  We started doing this a few years ago as it was getting to be too much to do birthdays all the time along w/ all the other activities such as soccer that we had going on.  It works for us this way and so, we keep on doing it.  Also makes it easier on the kids that don't really have all that many friends.  We'll probably end up going to our birthday bash either September or October.  We'll see.  

What are We Studying??

Homeschoolers started school August 3rd here.  One reason was to make up for so much lost time last semester during our move.  Another reason was boredom.  And yet another reason was to slowly get them back into the school groove.  We have been doing spelling, reading, English, journaling, history and science.  We are adding in math, art, and a few other things. 


We got a kit to learn how to discover rocks.  How the geologists do it.


The other kids were working on other school work so they weren't as happy they didn't get the 'easy' project like the younger kids.  Hey, they're in 6th and 7th grade.  No easy way out.


Summer, Sofie and Nik took turns pounding away at the rock. Even gentle with the paintbrush.


Rocks that were excavated from the block.


Decided to leave the indoor lesson for some time outside.


I remembered we had a giant piece of quartz in the yard.  So, time to go have a look.


All were taking a really good look at it and saying things about it.  For the younger kids, a chance to show them rocks are not always those tiny little things in the road.


We are currently learning how to classify some rocks and minerals.


After we were done, we placed the quartz back under the plants by the playground.  

We're studying geology currently in science.  We'll most likely move onto electricity and magnets next.  I know in the spring what we're studying but still wavering on this semester with science after geology.  We've done the planets, we've touched on the human body, we've done dinosaurs, etc.  For history, we did all American History last year, the entire year.  This year, we are studying  Ancient Egypt, Middle Ages and the Renaissance.  I think it will be an exciting year and they'll learn a lot.  Trying some new approaches as well. 

Miscellaneous Pictures

No real topic here.  But, some pictures nonetheless. 


One night, we left Nate alone to play by himself.  He plays with the vacuum cleaner now instead of being terrified of it.  We wondered why he wasn't moving.  He fell asleep pushing the vacuum.


Summer and Nik were so proud they built their dominoes and knocked them down.  It's the simple things.  

Sometimes it is just nice to see my young adults hanging around the house.  Alaska loves Max and I think the same can be said of him but he'll tell you he hates the dogs. :)  BTW, she lays her head on him every night when we're on the couch watching TV.  


So, we smelled an electrical burn and all of us were trying to trace it. Finally, figured out it was coming from the school room.  Logan had forced the shade on the light bulb.  One light bulb fit but was not the candelabra type that goes w/ the shades.  Forcing it on was just not the best idea. Umm, he blamed the light bulb.  But, no one was hurt and caught it before there was a fire.  So good.  

Just hanging out eating grapes.  This was after a long day previously at the old house.


Digby, still going strong.  No idea how old he is but is going blind it seems.  He ran into the van the other day and well, let's face it, that is hard to miss. Such a mellow fellow.  We love him.


Nate loves to be upside down.  All the time he is like this and chewing/ sucking on his shirt.  It is gross but he won't take a pacifier, won't use the chew tubes, and won't wear a bib.  We're all disgusted by this habit but guess it could be worse.

Frugal Fixes

In this house, we have to be frugal.  It's just fact with big families.  You try to make the money go further.  Even more so nowadays given our current housing situation (completely different post).  That being said, we save whenever or wherever we can. 


I had written the Coleman company and told us the experience we had this summer w/ our brand new tent leaking.  So, they sent us three bottles of seam sealer and waterproof tape.  Kids set up the tent and then Max sealed it up.  It should be very good to go for the next trip expected in October.  Our annual Halloween camping trip.  We thought about cancelling but only two hours away, paid for already, and a full tank of gas in the RV.  No reason not to go.  We have so much fun there every single year meeting new folks and old ones.


My kids have been begging for sand since we moved to the new house.  I found out recently from a friend that Lowes puts their busted bags of sand out for $1 a bag!  Score.  Summer, Sofie and Nik were elated and played in there for hours.  And now, playing even more.  Love it and so do they.  Found out Lowes also does the same with concrete and potting soil.


A friend gave us a steering wheel for the playground.


Max installed it and kids of course love it.  So now, kids have a ton to do on the playground and truly use it every single day.  And this deck/ paint repair stain is the best.  A friend gave us that as well and both playsets got painted and now look brand new.  Awesome.  And now, weather repellent.  Little touches we're doing to make it better and most have been very low cost (like the sand) or free.  Waiting to find a deal on swings as they really do need replacing.  Not all but some.  So happy we have this set up that the kids love though and use every day. 


We needed a big space to combine both swingsets.  Summer climbs anywhere.


This is when we discovered the tarp is the wrong size.


No worries though, my kids were going to make it work somewhere, somehow.  Nice that they were working together to get it done.  


Monday, August 24, 2015

Plants and Plate

We have quite a few plants at our new house.  It was landscaped very well when we moved in.  Just tweeking things here and there but nothing too major.


Ignore the mess to the left.  We were cleaning out the garage/ garbage at the time.


So, when we first moved in, I bought a Lowes clearance tree for $5.  It was a small pomegrante tree.  Figured what the heck, maybe it will grow. If not, just out a few bucks.  It is the tree in the foreground above and my how it's grown and spread out since I first got it.  A lot.  This will be beautiful when it gets some size to it.  And i know nothing about pomegrante trees. So enlighten me if you can so I can learn.  Looked stuff up but better to hear it from folks who've actually grown these.

My roses are still blooming!  It's beautiful and all over the place. Smells wonderful too.


Bojan made this back at Camp Cheerio.  Got a plate stand awhile back & now it is displayed in the kitchen.  Wrote everyone's name on it minus mom and dad, and put some personality traits in the petals.  Special Family and love in the middle.  Thought it was very, very sweet of him to do and looks great in the kitchen.

Cleanning, cleaning and more cleaning

Lately, this family is sick and tired of cleaning.  No, seriously, we are.  With the nasty mess left to us at the last home, it has been a nightmare to clean it up and get it up to par for anyone to even live in there alone.  The stench is enough let alone the dirt.  So, doing all that, it is hard to come back home here and want to clean.  But, we press on and do what has to be done.  My kids really have been great through all this and my only regret is not being able to do something more special for them.  Hoping in a few months, we can do something special for the kids for all they've been put through, not by any of our doings.  That being said, still have to clean here.  So, thought I'd share some pics from this house.


With Nate, there is always something to clean up.


This is his new favorite thing.  Dump out all the dog food into the dog's water and stir it around.


None of us are too thrilled with Nate's new discovery.  Even Summer is cleaning it up.


Bojan spent two hours scrubbing down every piece of our old fridge.  Over two hours to do this.  Thinking closer to three.  When there are dead flies on shelves, stuff stuck on them, it takes time.  Sad part is, we did not make this mess.  Very frustrating but getting over it slowly.  Can't let someone else's wrong doing destroy the life you currently live.


Bojan did an awesome job.  The motor in the fridge was broken.  Was not broken when we moved out.  It's the motor to the ice maker/ water dispenser.  One of the reasons we brought the old fridge back to our new house.  Besides needing two fridges, needed ice b/c one here doesn't put out enough ice for us all.  Was very grateful for Bojan doing this  for us.


Alyona not too happy about me taking her picture.  She had just finished her cleaning job so was taking a quick break before starting another.


Alyona enjoying the picture taking a bit more here.


Isabelle and Alex were to wash the car.  I came out and only found Isabelle but she informed me Alex did one half, she did the other.  Hey, whatever works.


With having to travel back and forth to clean up the old house and yard, van has seen a lot of travel and dirt lately.  So, was time for a nice washing.  We do not like our cars messy.  Frankly, we can't have it messy or there's be no room for anyone.