Monday, July 23, 2012

Life Over Here

In the evening we have been working on the yard little by little as a family.  It has been hot these last few days so we aren't getting tons accomplished but we are seeing progress.  John and some of the kids went and bought a couple dozen pavers so that the kids would have a path to the trampoline and around the garden without walking in the dirt. Setting the pavers in place has been quite the job for the kids but they are proud of their work and so are we.
John built two more raised garden beds and this time we are digging down 12 inches so that whatever we plant will have more room for their roots.
Oliver is such a cutie.  We often talk about how much he has changed since coming home.  He babbles and coos and makes the cutest faces.  He is learning to kiss.  I am teaching him that.  After just two days he is leaning his face into mine when I say kiss and pucker up my lips.  It is so precious.
Nolan is an incredible little boy.  He loves having Alex and Dennis as his big brothers.  They do everything together.  He also tends to follow around Paul and Jonny.  Thankfully they don't mind much.
Here is Nolan taking a water break from playing outside in the little pool.  His favorite thing to do is to get Ninja our black cat and walk him over and dump him into the swimming pool.  Ninja immediately jumps out, shakes off, and runs back to his chair.  Then Nolan goes and gets him and walks him back over the pool and drops Ninja in.  As John and I watched this we were sure there would be a natural consequence but Ninja didn't seem to mind.  And of course Nolan thought it was lots of fun! 
This weekend Grandma and Grandpa came down to visit and meet their new grandkids.  We celebrated Grandpa's birthday too by going out to dinner.  The first Denny's we went to was having a car show and they couldn't seat us for over an hour.  The next Denny's would have to split us up.  The third Denny's had our table ready for us when we got there.  
Here is Rachel enjoying a big burger-- her first in a long time.  She is enjoyed it very much.
Annalyn loves to be goofy and make people laugh.  Despite her silly face isn't she growing up to be a beautiful young lady?
Love this pic of Caleb and Dennis.  Love love love it!
This was Nolan's first restaurant experience.  He did really well and at like a champ!
Oliver loved eating spoonfuls of our whip cream off of our pancakes and hot chocolate.  Alex did too!  Yum!
Sveta and Anastasia shared a big nacho!  Every time we go to Denny's two of our girls end up sharing a plate of these awesome nachos.
Anna with Grandma
The amazing grandparents
Radiant Galina showing off her smile!
Happy birthday Dad!
A few mornings ago I took tons of pictures of Oliver.  Here is one of my favorites.
The kids's long time friend Joey came down to stay with us for a few days.   It's nice that they get to hang out even though we live 5 hours apart.
Guess what?  Caleb took the written test to get his driving permit this morning.  He missed 0!  How awesome is that?  Pretty soon he will be accompanying John and I on all our errands so that he could get in his driving time.  Rachel has been preparing to take driver's ed for sometime now.  Finally she feels ready to take the plunge.  She is taking driver's ed as one of her electives this semester and then she will do the online class.  Up till now she just didn't feel ready to drive yet but after seeing how well Caleb did she is encouraged and excited and inspired to get her permit.   
Love these smiles!  Rachel was letting William make up names for her and that is why he is smiling so nicely for this picture.  :)  Whatever works.


  1. Your family look so happy in these photos! Enjoy your Summer.

    My friends and I have been playing a game recently that I think your family would enjoy too.

    1)Each person has a piece of paper and starts by writing a sentence or drawing a picture.
    2)Swap papers, if there is a picture describe it. If it's a sentence, draw it.
    3) Fold over the top, so only the last picture or sentence shows and swap again.
    4)When you have run out of room open up the papers and see how the first entry has changed.
    It's very funny and the more people playing the better, so it's perfect for your family.

  2. I love having the extra drivers. Tyler got his license last week so he has been driving Jasmine to band camp this week and waiting for her. He dropped her at basketball camp yesterday too!

  3. Beautiful family. Thanks for sharing. Glad things are going so well.


  4. Just wanted to say what a change I see in Galina since she has been home with you! She seems to have just blossomed. Beautiful girl! Love all of the pictures and especially love the story about Nolan and the cat:-)

  5. Christine, since you've been home from Ukraine,
    in every picture, you look RADIANT!! You're glowing!

  6. Hi! Your baby is so cute a little ball of love.Wow with a new driver your life will be easier but you will worry more.When my car is getting repair my older children drive me around.Life is a circle when they were younger I took them everywhere now they can help me out that is what family is all about. Pat

  7. I enjoy reading about your family and think you are a lovely mom. However, I was a bit upset by the way you didn't teach Nolan that it's NOT okay to mistreat animals like that (re what he did to Ninja). Sure, the cat didn't "seem" to mind, but I don't think he enjoyed the experience at all. If no one teaches Nolan how to treat animals in a kind and respectful manner, he may do worse things to them in the future and not understand why such behavior is bad. I always worry about all your new kittens (and pets in general), although I know that some of your children are genuinely kind and careful with them.


I find your comments so inspiring! Thanks for visiting our family blog, and sharing your thoughts.