Monday, October 31, 2011

Digest 22

Anonymous said...

Didn't you pick the Ukraine so you can marry off your daughter?
October 11, 2011 11:46 AM

My husband actually jumped in on this one wondering, "What in the world does this even mean?"

Liz said...

Since you didn't approve my last comment regarding sending kids too bed I am worried that you took it the wrong way. I in no way intended for it to be an insult to you or your parenting. It was an honest question and I apologize if I offended you in any way.
October 14, 2011 10:47 PM

Yes I do remember your comment about me putting Paul and myself to bed when things got frustrating with schoolwork.  I must have taken it the wrong way.  I also failed to mention that Paul has worked below his ability a time or two because he didn't want to be challenged.  I wondered if this was one of those times.  It takes time before a parent gets to know their child enough to realize when they are truly struggling or just pretending to be so that they are not challenged.  Yes, I ended our unproductive evening by putting us both to bed.  I chose to share this in hopes that it might encourage others who have felt frustrated during homework time-- especially when you think your child is capable of more then they are letting on.

Chenning said...

Christine, I found your blog just a couple of weeks ago and have stayed up many nights to "catch up" your family's adventures and journey! I am sure it must be right under my nose somewhere on this site, but I cannot find your e-mail address. I wanted to know if Dennis needed any clothes? I have some hand me downs if you are interested. I know you have boys, too, so maybe you are set.
October 14, 2011 5:32 PM

My email is thereed8 at yahoo dot com and yes we could always use clothes since he is so rough on them and is growing like a weed anyway.  I noticed you are in L.A.  Maybe we can meet up for coffee or dinner sometime.
Sarah said...

Happy Birthday Anastasia! To see such joy is so wonderful especially after just putting my two year old Russian diva to bed after she screamed at the other 4 of us all day! Whew! She has turned our household on it's ear and my two boys are non too pleased with her behavior.To see Anastasia so just makes me remember this is why I do this! To see your child look like Anastasia does! I also think Galina looks very different and very happy too....I see a huge change in her. Do you agree?
October 16, 2011 4:42 PM

Yes I see a definite change in Galina.  It is a blessing to see her blossom before our eyes.

teamgile said...

Impressive. Can you tell me what curr. You used to do this? I would love to do it with my kids.
October 15, 2011 4:34 PM

Thank you.  It must have been a one time talent, because I have tried numerous times to draw another picture just like the first cornucopia, and I have been unsuccessful.  There isn't a set curriculum-- just a book that shows step by step drawing.

Claire said...

Is Alex taking cranberry capsules as well
? They are very helpful for preventing UTIs
October 17, 2011 1:43 AM

I should have thought of cranberries.  No he isn't taking capsules, but I did buy some cranberry juice.  I took Alex back to the doctor last Friday to have his urine tested again and the doctor called today to say that an infection is still present.  He will begin his third round of antibiotics.  Ugh.  At least he doesn't have a fever.

Linda mc cowan said...

I wonder if you could give me any advice to pass on to a friend. She & her husband have no children, but just took in 2 orphan teenage boys. They (my friends) are missionaries in Central America. The boys have a tutor but don't go to school. My friends' challenges right now are keeping the boys occupied all day, plus the foster parents' loss of privacy and alone time. What could I tell them?
October 19, 2011 10:44 AM

I suggest paper and colored pencils.  Or perhaps scrap wood, nails, and a hammer.  Or let them cook.   As for private time, tell them to set their alarm for 3 am.  Just kidding.  Why don't they go on long walks along a lake or something.  The boys can run around or fish while the parents talk.

Megan said...

Hi Christine,
I have two I'd like to share. They aren't the most eloquent, but they are two of my favorites from my mom and whenever I'm at her house, I always ask for one or the other. They are essentially one pot meals - except for the added noodles/rice.
1) Slop (no tastes great)
1 lb. ground beef (or you can use ground turkey)
1/2 - 1 onion, sliced
1 can stewed tomatoes
Cooked noodles, any kind you'd like
Salt/pepper to taste
Brown the ground beef fully. Drain off excess liquid. Add onions and slightly sweat them. Add tomatoes; when doing so, crushed the stewed tomatoes through your fingers. Allow the mixture to cook for 15 - 30 minutes. While doing this, cook the noodles. Drain the noodles and combine with the beef mixture. Serve immediately and enjoy!
*You can add other things too - garlic, peppers, etc.
2) Beef Mexicana
1 lb. ground beef (or turkey)
1 can corn, drained
1 can tomato sauce (or you can used diced for a thinner, chunkier sauce)
Sprinkles of chili powder and cayenne pepper
Brown ground beef fully. Drain excess liquid. Add the tomato sauce, corn, chili powder, and cayenne. Let simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until rice is done (my rice cooker takes about 20 minutes). Cook rice. Put rice in bowl and layer with beef mixture. Enjoy!

Hope these help you out. Let me know if you have any questions. They're really easy and can also be used for large groups. Just up the amount of ingredients. Each of these, as written, serve about 4. My blog address is if you'd like to include it.
October 20, 2011 4:03 PM

Thank you so much and thanks to all of you who have submitted recipes.  I have more than enough now and I must say the variety of recipes will make an incredible cookbook!  However, I have run into another problem.  There has been so much going on lately, that I can't seem to find the time to input the recipes.  I am slowly working on it, but it is more time consuming than I thought.   It is humbling to ask, but does anyone have time to spare to help input recipes into the database?  I completely understand if you are too busy, but I felt it was worth a shot to ask.  Thanks.

Anonymous said...

If we ask pretty please with a cherry on top, will you kindly post the recipe for that delicious looking bread? :)
October 25, 2011 8:14 AM

Sure.  You can find it here.

Anonymous said...

The bread looks really good but seriously Christine, what are you going to do when the girls go to real high school and you don't have anyone to cook or clean for you during the day???? California needs to watch home schoolers a little closer
October 26, 2011 3:27 PM

This comment made me chuckle since this person obviously doesn't know that teaching extends beyond the classroom and into the real world.    Cooking, cleaning, organizing, baking, shopping, sewing a button, paying bills, balancing checkbooks, learning how to fill out a job application-- why not teach your kids everything you possibly can?  For example-- when my girls go and babysit-- they don't just go and babysit.  They cook dinner, clean the kitchen afterwards, straighten up the house, and give the little kids baths.  Is it wrong to teach a young adult to go above and beyond worldly expectations as if they are truly working for the Lord?  I think not. 

DaYaH JeLitA said...

kristine, i think i had left a comment here before about the nuffnang award..umm u didnt approve that comment right? why? hurmm its okay i might be a stranger but just wanna let u noe that im ur silent reader :)... just wanna inform u about the blogger award...its okay if u do not interested...btw im from malaysia...ur blog inspire me a lots..keep on writing! :)
October 27, 2011 5:20 AM

Hi.  Yes, I got that comment and approved it too.  How thoughtful of you.  Thank you.  We live in the U.S.

Anonymous said...

We were so happy to have you speak for us. I have been so blessed and inspired by your courage, humility, and faith. I've already shared some of your message with friends who aren't a part of that group. You also put my mind at ease somewhat. I'm expecting my second. :)
Would love to have another morning about homeschooling...
October 28, 2011 2:07 PM

Thank you so much.  Since you didn't leave a name or a way to respond to your comment,  I hope you read this.  I would love to come back and share about homeschooling.

Lisa said...

I've been enjoying your blog so much. I can definitely relate as I'm a homeschool mother of three, one bio child age 15, one aged 13 adopted when 8, and one aged 4 adopted when 1. It's hard with such a large age difference and my 13 yr old girl, especially, has several 'issues' we are working hard on.
I'm wondering if you could give me recommendations for books-- good books for girls ages, say, 12-16? I have trouble finding reading material for my two girls. When I do find something that looks good, Crystal (13 yr old) instantly rejects it, deciding it's no good because it's something I picked out.
Thank you so much.. your family is beautiful.
October 29, 2011 7:37 AM

Hmmm, book recommendations. My girls have enjoyed The Princess Academy by Shannon Hale and Absolutely Normal Chaos by Sharon Creech.  They also like Little Women, Ann of Green Gables, and Little House Books.

Blogging Friend said...

I know you do not like to share many of your family recipes but would you be willing to tell how you made the pizza sauce and the dough.
I wish so much I lived near you for I would come to your house and watch your kids make things that look so good afterwards. My favorite is the cinnamon rolls, they look so awesome.
Every looks like they had having fun. Hope all is going as good as it looks.
October 29, 2011 5:48 PM

Most of our family recipes will be in the cookbook-- whenever it gets finished.  The sauce was simple-- a can of Italian diced tomatoes, a can of tomato sauce, red hot pepper flakes, a glove of minced garlic, a handful of dried onion flakes, a pinch of sugar, and a couple of teaspoons of Italian seasoning.  After everything simmered for a while, I pureed the sauce.  You can find the dough recipe here.

Anonymous said...

'Looks like fun. Would you share your recipe/method of roasting pumpkin seeds? I've tried it before but they were not so yummy. We are going to get our pumpkins and carve tomorrow.
MariaG (Canada)
October 29, 2011 10:20 PM

After washing the seeds, I drizzled some olive oil, salted them and then baked the seeds at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Once or twice I pulled the baking pan out and stirred the seeds to ensure even roasting.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Pizza and Pumpkins

Last night was Friday Fun Family Night.  We made homemade pizza.  The dough was made the night before.
I even tried my hand at homemade pizza sauce which was delicious but spicy, so I had a can of sauce for those who preferred regular.
Making pizza here is so much easier.  Not only do we have the counter space, but we have double ovens that can cook up to four pizzas at a time.
Julia and Rachel got a last minute babysitting job, so they made their pizzas first.
Dennis said, "This is the bestest dinner ever!"
This morning we carved pumpkins.  Other than one of them being rotten-- it was a fun time for all!
I have learned over the years that less pumpkins is more.  No one gets overwhelmed doing all the work, and yet everyone has a great time working together.
Dennis and Alex were much more involved this year.
At first, Paul was not interested in the pumpkin festivities.  "That's yucky!" he exclaimed.
After a little while, he was loving it!
Don't look so serious girls.  It's only a pumpkin.
Anna and Anastasia enjoyed working together.
Andrew and Paul watched dad carve out a cross.
After the mess was cleaned up, we enjoyed toasted pumpkin seeds!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Dizio of a Day

Now that it is over, I feel it is safe to share.  I didn't want to stress myself out by talking about it before hand.  A while back I had been invited to speak at a Mom's group.  For the longest time it sat on the back burner and then all of a sudden it was time!  It had been nearly a year and a half since my last speaking engagement-- so I was nervous!
But God is awesome! Julia, Galina, and Annalyn opened with "What Faith Can Do", and then I followed.
I must say that these women are absolutely amazing!  They not only were easy and very fun to be with, but they made sharing such a special experience.  It is a wonderful feeling to leave a place knowing that you've made some new friends.  Thanks girls!
Oh, and the food was awesome too!  Thanks for loading us up!
This is the photo of our Moms' Night Out. Going clockwise, starting after me is Melissa, Pam, and then Erika with a K. :)
I have to say-- we had a blast!  Melissa adopted three older girls from Ukraine after hosting the youngest for a total of six kids.  Pam has three teens-- two adopted as newborns and one adopted from Ukraine after hosting him. Pam and Melissa not only hosted at the same time, but they met up in Ukraine too.
Erika lives pretty close to me, so I think we will be seeing more of each other-- I hope.  She has three little ones adopted privately and through foster care.
Our family dynamics are all very different, but we do have adoption in common-- and we are all Moms!
Our hope is to get together again in a month or two-- please consider joining us.
P.S.  Erika, did you get my email response?
Last night Dennis and Alex were being so goofy. They went around holding hands and a crutch.  It was cute!
After speaking this morning, I took Alex to have an MRI.  From prior experience we knew that he had to be sedated.  This time that little turkey needed three different medicines before he went to sleep.  Ever since, he has been like a floppy newborn, silly zombie.
Tomorrow he goes for his CMG (Cystometrogram)-- and then his testing will be over!
Did I mention that Alex does not have scoliosis?  ~~smiling
Caleb is doing great.  He has been staying after school for basketball practice.  Tomorrow are tryouts.
A week or two ago he was hit in the nose pretty hard.  Now that it is healing, it appears crooked and the tip is numb.  He was going to ignore it, but I think we should have it checked out.  I researched broken noses online and it said that broken noses usually are not fixed until the swelling goes down anyway.
At least that is how I remember it when I had my nose broken.  It was fixed a week or two later.
Anyway, I finally convinced him to go in and have it checked out when he comes home today telling me he was hit in the nose again during practice.  Ugh!
What to do... what to do.
Paul is doing Spelling Workout A at home with me after school.  After a few lessons, he is beginning to read and follow the directions by himself.  It has been a huge confidence booster for him!
He is also working on simple addition and subtraction facts-- gaining speed everyday.  I continue to introduce multiplication and division and other key math concepts.
This is working well for him.  As his Mom, I am thankful that we found something that is challenging, but not overwhelming to him.  It's all good.
Lastly, I can't rave enough about the game Dizios.  Not only is it a great puzzle activity that challenges your brain, but when you keep score it reinforces basic addition.  It is addictive in the sense that you can't play just once!  Anyone up for a game?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Willing Hands

It's safe to say we are homemade bread fanatics.  We were getting tired of making dough everyday though.  Thankfully someone posted a recipe for artisan bread that doesn't need kneading and the dough can be refrigerated for days.  We tripled our last batch requiring over 18 cups of flour and everyday we have fresh homemade baked bread. It is delicious.
Legos are "in" right now-- didn't you hear?  They are at our house anyway.
Even Alex and Dennis enjoy building ships.
Our Mom's night out on Saturday was so wonderful.  Four of us got together and the four hours flew by.  As we parted, we agreed that we need to do this way more often.  The encouragement, support and many laughs-- blessed my soul.  Who knew such amazing women lived down in Southern Ca? ;)
Sunday afternoon, David the founder of ROJ came for a visit.  The drive was a bit long so he stayed the night in the little boys' room.  Dennis and Alex didn't mind though-- they slept in our room!
Please continue to pray for the future of ROJ!  Willing hands and hearts need to come together to be the body of Christ down in Belogorsk, Crimea, Ukraine.  So many amazing things are just waiting to happen.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

A Full Weekend

I don't know where the week went. Do you? It just flew by in a blur.
Oh well, today is a new day.

Caleb is going to the homecoming dance tonight with a girl he met at church. They have liked each other for some time-- but they are taking it real slow. I was hesitant at first about the relationship but I have tired to remain open minded. It's going at a pace that I think we can all be comfortable with. That is the one thing I think keeps our family going strong. We want to be willing to bend, hear each other out, keep lines of communication open, and most of all be willing to change. It is hard, but I can't deny that my kids are growing up.

Today we are making a big pot of borscht, after our devotional-- reading another chapter out of Katie's book. Her love for the Lord is so contagious! If you want a great read that you can share with your family-- I encourage you to get this book!

Tonight I get to meet up with other adoptive Moms for a night out! I am so looking forward to it! Not because I need a break or anything.... :)

And lastly, tomorrow we are having company. David, the founder of River of Joy is coming!

P.S. Thank you for all the recipes! As I read through them, I can see the variety the cookbook is going to have. I'm sure it going to be great. :)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Please Share

Hi everyone!

I have began typing in recipes. I have included my favorites such as borscht and cinnamon popcorn. Thank you to all who have submitted recipes so far. Hope you don't mind, but I am including your blog so that people can go and check out who submitted what recipe.

Honestly, only about 20 people have submitted recipes and I need closer to 100 as long as they submit more than one recipe. If they only submit one, then I need closer to 150 people.

If you have a favorite recipe that you want to share, please do.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

All Better!

It finally came!  The 2010 blog book I made using Blurb just came in the mail.
Thanks Kristin!  You inspired us to make some Zwiebach.  They turned out delicious-- just like I remember them.
Jonny just hanging out in the kitchen.
Andrew showing Anastasia a cool homemade notebook he just put together.
Here are the Zwiebach going into the oven.
We all enjoyed one lathered with butter and jam after dinner.
If Kristin doesn't mind, I will be adding her delicious recipe to the cookbook I have started.
I will also be including all of our family favorites.
Please let me know your favorite recipe or two so that I can add them to the book too.
The last two mornings, Alex slept in till after nine o'clock. He had been waking up numerous times throughout the night for many nights so his body needed to play catch up.  His fever finally broke and he went back to school today.

I have to share a funny story with you. The car that Adam drives wouldn't start so we had it towed to the nearest shop to be fixed. When the driver came to pick up the car, we all stood outside to watch. Dennis is in love with "his Maxima" and watched intently as it was hoisted onto the flatbed truck. The cruel and mean Mama that I am began to fake cry as the truck drove off with Dennis' beloved Maxima. Dennis angrily yelled to the driver who was long down the hill, "You ruined my life!" and began to cry with me.  It was cute and funny all rolled up into one.  I quickly chimed in with the girls, "Don't worry Dennis.  The Maxima is broken and the man is taking it to get fixed.  It will be back later today.  I promise."  To further explain we compared the car going to the shop as if it was sick and needed to go to the doctor so that it could be made well.  Alex was all over this.  "Yea Dennis.  The Maxima go doctor like me.  I get shot my bottom. Doctor me all better now.  The car go doctor get shot in bottom like me. It be all better."
Dennis seemed very satisfied with this answer and that was that.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Alex is still running a fever. :(

Dennis is student of the week.

The boys have been extra rambunctious the past few days.

Annalyn is beginning Aleks Math online.

The girls taught me an Impromptu acting game.  All you do is go around in a circle carrying on a dramatic conversation where the first word you say begins with whatever letter you are on in the alphabet.  If Julia starts she begins her sentence with an A.  Then I respond to whatever she says as long as the first word I say begins with a B.  It is actually pretty fun.

I am looking forward to this Saturday night when me and four other women will get together for fun, food, and fellowship.  It's not to late to join. :)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Keep Getting Well

I just love our family.

Yesterday Adam put on this shirt when he first got dressed.   Julia saw it as a chance to bug her big brother.  She put on the same shirt and got Sveta to do the same.
"Mom, I have a plan.  At dinner time I'll make it so that we all sit next to each other and then you can take a picture... okay?  Won't that be fun?"
 Poor Alex.
He has a urinary tract infection.  This is the reason for his fever.  I was surprised when I found this out since he is regularly taking a low dose antibiotic to avoid this very problem. 
But hopefully he will be on the up and up now.  He ended up getting an antibiotic shot to kick start the healing.
Though my little guy is not feeling completely well, there has been a blessing.
Many nights I have knelt by his bed after giving him medicine to bring down his fever and prayed for him.
It is amazing how your heart grows fonder for the person you pray for.
Taking care of Alex has brought the two of us closer too.
Dear Precious Jesus, I pray that my son continue to get well.
 Here is what it looks like at dinnertime.
Homemade coconut pecan pie-- yum!  One even had chocolate on top.
The social worker called.  She says that her report will be written and turned into the court by mid-December.  Finally we are getting to the end of Galina's adoption. :) 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Birthday Girl

This morning Adam and Julia had the fun task of putting together Anastasia's birthday present.
After lunch, we all went rollerskating.
Anastasia was so excited to be skating-- now that she actually knows how!
This roller skate rink was recommended by our homeschool teacher and she was right-- it was awesome!
Galina with Daddy!
It was so fun to watch Anastasia skate.  She was so confident!
Even Paul learned to skate since our last trip to the rink.
I loved seeing how happy he was.
Anastasia requested strawberry cupcakes.
Isn't she glowing?
I explained to her that even though she has only been our daughter for one year, we have now known her for three years-- when she was 11, then 12, and now 13!
She smiled big!
Anastasia's big present was a Barbie dollhouse.
She was so excited when she saw it!
Up until she became our daughter, she did not have the opportunity to roll play with dolls.
Now she can play to her heart's content.
Anastasia wanted her ears pierced most of all.  That was her other gift.
She was so brave. 
Paul watched closely.
When I was done Paul saw how happy Anastasia was.
"You buy these for Anastasia for her birthday?" he asked.
"Yes," I answered.
"My sister's so happy," he said. "I love you so much Mom."
Without any other words, I could tell that he was deeply moved to see his sister with such a big smile on her face.
Anastasia and Sveta are very close.  Sveta thought it was appropriate that I take this picture of the two of them since now they both have the same earrings.
Happy birthday Anastasia!  You have blessed us beyond words.

It Feels Like Saturday

It's been a busy week. The kids who go to school have today off so the homeschoolers worked really hard to take the day off too. 
Rachel, Galina, and Julia like to goof around.  It gets "boy" rough, but they do it anyway.

I picked up lots of drawing books last week.  We are having family drawing sessions all the time.
I drew this completely freehand with the help of a step by step drawing book.  I am so proud of myself!  Now to water color it!

Today is Anastasia's birthday!  She is a teenager!
We have a fun day planned!  Thankfully, we don't have school!

Here are the kids' latest art projects.
Little tea lites fit inside.

Today feels like Saturday.  It is so nice knowing that it's only Friday. :)