Sunday, August 12, 2012

Special Dinners

You may remember us doing this in the past.  The kids and I came up with three restaurants and each of them got to choose which one they wanted to go out too.  Then Adam chose which restaurant would go first.    Doing this gives John and I some special quality time with just a few of the kids and makes for a special evening out.  Later this week we will take the younger boys out to McDonalds to play in the playplace. 

The first group went to Panera Bread, but first we went to Starbucks to get our drinks.  Anna and Paul ordered sweetened green tea.  Anastasia and Sveta got strawberry frapps.  Rachel ordered a caramel drink.
Paul of course ordered the sandwich with the most meat on it.  Three of the girls wanted three different salads.  After, we went to Costco to pick up pictures, test out couches, and buy gum. :)
It was a wonderful date night out!
A few days later we took Julia, William, Jonny, Adam, and Andrew to Farmer Boys.  
The waitress was very nice.  
She brought William a cookies and cream milk shake on the house.
John and I normally split a burger but we didn't that night.  The girls helped me finish it at home. :)  After we were finished eating we went couch shopping-- which turned out to be lots of fun!
Tonight we went out with Caleb, Annalyn, and Galina to Olive Garden.  Sitting up at the bar waiting to be seated, Annalyn asks the bartender, "Do you have a Shirley Temple?"
We had lots of fun talking about life-- you know-- boys, skateboard parks, movies, school, etc.
Just as John predicted, Galina ordered salmon.  Like always, John ordered my second choice and we shared.  We discussed Caleb and Paul's birthdays coming up.  At Caleb's suggestion we will be doing a joint birthday party for the two of them.  Paul is pretty excited too.
Here are all the kids' pictures up on the wall.  I surprised them when they got home from the skateboard park with John.  Nolan was especially interested in staring at all of the pictures.  It is pretty cool how he knows most of our names now and can point to our picture when we say a name.
Sveta has really matured a lot this past month.  She not only read the little boys a bedtime story but she offered to bake a cake.  Anna only helped her with the water measurement and preheating the oven.  What warms my heart is how much pride she takes in doing these things.


  1. LOVE your photo wall and how you engage the kids in small groups. so awesome.

  2. Do you find certain kids hang out more with certain other kids? Like your bio kids chose to go out together to the same restaurant. Is there a natural divide or did it just happen to work out this way?
    It's a great idea BTW to spend time with the kids.

  3. Funny. Rick will order my second choice if I'm deciding between two and we share. It's interesting to hear you say the same about John.

  4. I love the idea of doing the group dates with a few of the kids! Such great time to connect with just a few, not to mention they get to connect with each other. Love, love, love that Nolan now has his picture on the wall. I remember you saying he was always looking for it:-)

  5. Love the arrangement of the pictures! Looks great! You inspire me to keep going, day by day. I have 2 girls that I adopted as a single women. It is challenging to say the least, somehow we survive.

  6. Nice picture wall! Glad everyone had fun. You know, Panera actually has great coffee, teas and smoothies!! Could have saved a trip (and possibly a dollar! lol)

  7. The pictures are just wonderful! My, how good-looking they all are down to the youngest! It is so precious that Nolan was anxiously waiting to see the pictures of everyone. It's as if he is in the world of his dreams with all of his forever family members and he is trying to grasp the wonder of it.

  8. Love the picture wall AND how you keep it special for everybody by taking small groups out to eat. Great job, Mama!

  9. So precious! I like how your idea of a small group of 5 surprised me!! :)
    It's really a great idea!!

  10. Hi!I try to do small group activities with my children also.The children love it. It gives me time to shares ideas with the me and them with me. The children enjoy the special time with me. The family picture wall is really cute.Pat

  11. Love this! and LOVE the idea to take them separately to dinner!

  12. I'd pick Olive Garden, no question.

    What a fun tradition.

  13. I have a book give away you or some of your readers might be interested in, more for the ones familiar with the books I write.

  14. PS I thought of you because one of the stories is about an adoption from the Ukraine.

  15. You have such a beautiful family.
    All the pictures make me smile.
    the tell tale signs of littles in my home..
    toys on the floor,
    fishy crackers, teddy grahams and fruit snacks in the cupboard, sticky counters and floors, pictures they drew on the fridge and walls, tiny little shoes not put where they belong, bikes outside, tooth paste on the counters...
    I LOVE being a mommy to a lot

  16. Christine,

    How are Paul and Anastasia doing? Paul looks SO happy in every picture! Can you do a little update on them when you have a chance?


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