Saturday, October 10, 2015

Alyona's Runner

Alyona has a runner as well.  The other day, her runner sent her a sweet card and some medals from her races.  Alyona writes to her as well on Facebook which is nice. 

Alyona really having a tough time opening that package.  We're working on hand strength in OT.

Summer curious as what is in that package as well.

Look what was inside!  Ignore the background where it looks like Bojan is going to drop his brother.

Summer showed Alyona a card in the envelope. Genuinely happy.

Sweet of Jen to write Alyona.

Not small medals either!

Alyona trying on her medals.

And that smile says it all.  Thank you Jen for running for Alyona.  She truly enjoys it!

Sunshine, Sassy, Spiders, & Sweet

NC has received a lot of rain.  Not as much flooding as SC but just a lot of rain where we live.  That being said, when the sunshine finally did come out, everyone just wanted to be outside all the time.  All of us missed it so very much. 

 Was too nice to be inside this week so we did a lot outside.  Isabelle worked on therapy with Nate outside as well. His therapy ball is a gray one.  This was just to play this time. 

Nate just simply enjoying the sunshine around him.

Sofie has been sassy.  A lot lately.  So, she gets punished.  She's also been mean hitting.  Her punishment chore she hates with a passion is picking up pine cones.  We're surrounded by pine cones at this house.  We never run out of punishment for Sofie.

Please, no, not another pine cone.  I'll be good this time.  She also adds to this screaming at the top of her longs to try to elicit a response from me. Doesn't work.  Though neighbors may think we're skinning a cat if she keeps that up.

And this face takes the cake.  One day, she'll learn.  I hope.

Moving to the woods, there are critters and creatures around here.  One of them being spiders.  Lots and lots of spiders.  This was a small one.  We've seen some wolf spiders and some huge ones at that.  Beautiful mums this time of year but the spiders I could do without.  All over around here.  

A picture from the front.  Cool colors though not one to touch according to Max.

This week we made dinner for another family at church.  I decided to make cupcakes to go with it.  Weird cooking for a family smaller than yours.  But fun.  

My icing bags have been destroyed.  So, no more.  Improvised w/ a small sandwich baggie and cutting a hole in the corner.  Next time, maybe I'll have bags to actually decorate with. Still have the tips at least.  Kids didn't complain the way they looked.  They ate them too. 

Our Christmas Jammies

The other day on Facebook, a friend of mine posted a fantastic deal on pajamas from Carters.  So, went to check it out as my kids really don't have that many pajamas for whatever reason.  Really, I don't know where they go.  Most end up sleeping in their clothes even despite having pajamas.  Pick your battles.  Pick your battles.  Decided to order some pajamas for the four youngest.  Was going to save them for Christmas but said what the heck.  They need them, they'll enjoy the surprise.  So, here are some out takes of trying to get a picture of the four in their pajamas as this is the last time they'd be clean.  I know my kids.  Nothing stays clean.  Nothing. 

Those were some of the out takes of trying to get one decent picture.  Oh well.  At least we got smile practice in for when we do take a Christmas picture.  

Today is Saturday.  We had Miracle League baseball which we arrived way too late for. Got home and Warren & Max left right away to go pick up 2 twin bed frames and two box springs.  Found them off Craigslist.  We all had lunch and then some folks came over to take a look at stuff I was selling.  We put up the girls 3 new (Craigslist new) beds.  No one sharing in that room any more which will be nice.  After that, we headed to Bojan's Mattress Sale Fundraiser at his school.  Deep discounts and well, needed new mattresses.  I've been price shopping for a long time. This helped a lot and the school handed out $50 off coupons too.  Couldn't afford for all to get new mattresses but the guy agreed to honor these prices exact a few months down the road when we order for the remaining kids and ourselves.  SO excited and so are the kids.  We really, really needed new mattresses.  They also had twelve months same as cash so that was fantastic.  They will be delivered next weekend.  

Came home and made dinner.  Nothing special.  sofie has told me at least fifty times tomorrow is her birthday and what kind of cake she wants.  I finally said there are no birthdays on Sundays.  She's not quite buying that one.  Low key evening for a change.  Lots to do tomorrow.  Trying to write some more posts.  So stay tuned.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Our Two Houses

Started this a few months ago.  We worked over two months almost every weekend.  So, posted on Facebook but I'm sure you figured out some of it on here by now.  We have two homes.  One is the one we live in.  One is the house we used to live in.  It was under contract for rent to own.  We'll leave it at that and won't elaborate a lot on here.  Long story short, we are having to fix up the home after tenants moved out.  We have gone every weekend for almost a month now.  It is not easy by any stretch as that was our home.  The place we took pride in and took care of.  The place we raised our children in.  The place we loved.  But, we have to move on from that and do the work that has been placed in front of us.

First time we went to see it, we had to leave.  We could not bare the thought of working on it.  Nor could we bare the stench coming from our home.  We decided to leave, left my cousin there to take down the pool that we gave them.  Under insurance, pool had to come down.  Could not have it here due to the way our septic lines run so very thankful we found a great home for it where I know they'll use it for years to come.

None of these pics are from the first time we saw the house.  Just can't see those.  Even now.  This was the second time we went.  Pool had been taken down.  Pavers are being cleared this weekend and brought here to use since there is no pool and it would look stupid leading to nowhere.

Kids looking at where the pool once was.

We had started the work already when the picture was taken.  Yard work.  It was hard to see the blatant lack of care.  When we first arrived, one weed in the front yard was literally over my head.  Weeds as far as the eye can see, no hedges trimmed, yard trimmed, no lawn mowed, no trees pruned, nothing done. And I mean nothing. Trash piled high.  The inside videos and pictures the first day we arrived are something else.  We took well over four trailer loads to the dump!  Probably more than that but those are the ones I remember.  Trailer piled high with trash.  Coming from a place we once loved.  Neighbors told us of bonfires at the house where they thought the trees were going to burn down.  Also told us many other details I will leave out.  Unreal.  Out of a tv show almost.  Trust me, you do not want to see pictures.  The smell was something else. 

I have never been more proud of the kids.  They went every weekend with us and worked their butts off to clean up someone else's mess.  Lots and lots of mess.  Let's see what had to be done and I'm sure I'll miss a lot.  Refit all air conditioners, paint all baseboards, clean floors over and over and over, clean house, deodorize, steam clean carpets, windows, replace all screens, pull up bathroom floor, replace bathroom flooring, fix tons of stuff, all new door locks, rip down blinds, clean all ceiling fans, mow, trim trees, pull piles of weeds, move fridge to our house, clean old fridge out (dead bugs and all), and list could go on forever.  But, we did it.  Things got done.  I was SO, SO proud of my kids.  They gave up being able to play sports this semester, gave up going pretty much anywhere this semester, and learned great life lessons.  This process cost us more than you can imagine.  A lot more.  So much so, we honestly thought we might have to foreclose.  It was beyond difficult and just being honest.  We do have people back in there again thank goodness.  And hopefully, they will take care of it like we did.  time will tell. 

Despite all the bad, we also got to see good in people.  Friends willing to help, bringing us pizzas, fresh lemonade, visiting us to chat, etc.  During this time, our dryer at this home broke.  A friend online bought us a new dryer!  Kids watched it arrive like watching an ice cream truck.  We wer not going to let what happened to our old home or being taken ruin our spirit as people.  Some time bad things just happen.  You don't know the reason.  I think it brought our family closer together and definitely makes the kids want to take care of this house.  Those are both good things.  We learned to look at the silver lining for sure. 

Well, wanted to finish this one up.  Have a lot of half finished posts coming.  Off to the library this morning for story time.  More to come later. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Blast from the Past

We're going back to October of 2004.  We used to have annual Halloween Parties for our kids.  Mummy wraps, bobbing for apples, pinata, and of course goodies.  Most the time the kids just hung out and played.  Really was a lot of fun.  May have to get back into this again. 

Some of the blondies back then.  Hard to imagine we only had 4 kids at one point in time.  

Alex looks a little strained and Max seems forced into participation. LOL.  

 They all seemed like such babies here!  My how they've grown over the last 11 years.

Even Warren got in on the fun!  Poor guy.

And, I did not escape the tp either. 

Max being goofy.  Honestly, I'm not sure how he ended up doing this with the limbo stick. 

I know I haven't posted about Yana in awhile.  And many have asked.  I will write a post in the next week or so regarding all that.  Some times, life throws  you curve balls.  For now, enjoy the blast from the past pictures.  I know I have.  Nik was wondering where he was.  Trying to get him to understand he hasn't always lived here. 

More posts forthcoming.  LOTS to say.  Trying to find the right words.  It will be hard.  Meanwhile, we're off to 4-H club and then homeschoolers volunteering at a retirement home.  Busy day but good as the sun is finally shining in NC. 

My Subscription Box

I dabble here and there w/ subscription boxes.  Walmart's & Target's are just $5 IF you can catch them.  Only caught each one once.  Well worth the $5 that you'd spend anyhow.  Now, girls and I have tried the Fab, Fit, Fun box.  Yes, it's $50, however, it only comes 4 times a year.  In addition, first box there is always a code for floating around and it's $40.  I think this is our third time.  $357 this time worth of stuff for $50. 

Arrives in a nice box.

Packaged so neatly and the girls and I are always dying to know what's inside.  Like a mini Christmas every time.

This was the load this time.  What you can't really make out is that $75 gift card for canvas which is what i was going to do anyhow at Christmas time for a family portrait.  Was thrilled to see that.  Battery charger will come in handy and boy, the umbrella was of course much needed here recently. So many neat things and we will use them.  Yes, a $15 gift card to Reeds Jewelers.  I looked for super discounted stuff and ended up only paying $3 for a necklace that one of the girls will get for Christmas.  Not bad.  We all love it and for us, has been worth the money.  And, if we stop liking it or stop using the stuff in it, we will cancel which we can do any time.  Currently, it's the only box we get.  We're going to use the gold masks this week.  Kinda of an at home spa day for the girls when we get this stuff.  Boys have asked for a boys' subscription box.  They have them.  Just haven't tried them yet. 

My Nerd, Bojan

Bojan has always been and always will be our nerd, geek, bookworm or whatever else  you want to call him. Just who he is and we're proud of that fact.  He devours books and it shows.  The other day he came home and I called him a nerd b/c he had his pens in his pocket.  He said, I'll show you nerd:

He tucked his shirt in and got the 'look' on his face.  Told me to hang on.

A more relaxed nerd.

Then, he grabbed Nik's glasses.  Yep, he fits the bill perfectly.

But in all seriousness, proud of him.  We received a letter saying since he is one of the top 15 in his class, he was selected to go to the ethics and leadership conference in November.  He's going. He also tries to help out with the younger kids. 

Manic Monday

Wow, have I been slack!  Or just busy. We're going to say busy just so I don't seem lazy.  Today is Monday so it's that time again.

  • Here in NC, there will be sun on Tuesday!  We missed it so much
  • We faired well with all the flooding and nothing happened here
  • Roof leaks here
  • Called roofers, no return calls
  • Under the house is leaking
  • Boys painted their room
  • Need to order curtains (they're tired of girl stuff)
  • Changing up bedroom stuff for Alyona, Summer and Sofie
  • We're blessed w/ a beautiful rug for their room
  • Warren still likes his car
  • My car looks like it was in a derby
  • Kids are safe from hit the other night on way home from church
  • Therapist out of town this week
  • Limited therapies this week
  • 6 of mine volunteering at a retirement home
  • 4-H this week
  • Youth group & AWANAS this week
  • Cancelling an ortho appointment for Nate.  Just no need to go
  • I have a check up
  • Irina's ear surgery rescheduled for next week as doc wouldn't be there
  • We organized today
  • Going through kids clothes seeing where the gaps are
  • Need to sell some items this week
  • Dogs are okay
  • Think Digby is going deaf and possibly blind
  • Doing yard work this week
  • Making dinner for another family this week
  • Doing some Pinterest crafts this week
  • Miracle League
  • Mattress Fundraiser for Bojan's school
  • Need mattresses desperately ironically
  • Ready to make it to church this weekend
  • Think we may have found a little way to help Nate sleep
More going on but I need to get to bed as Nate just fell asleep.  Technically,it's Tuesday now.