Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Not Much

It has been a pretty good week.  We are all healthy.  Homeschool has went pretty well too.

Dennis no longer qualifies for an IEP.  At his IEP meeting the other day, I was told that he had met all of his goals for Occupational and Speech Therapy-- a bittersweet day.  On one hand, I am very proud of how far my boy has come.  We started out going really strong with the hope that he would test out of services one day.  That day has come.  On the other hand, there is a part of me who thinks this day came too soon at least as far as speech goes.  They argued that given the structure of his mouth, there was nothing in his speech he could improve upon until he has his next surgery when he is 8 or 9.   At that time we will see if he needs additional speech services.  

We have six kids signed up for baseball and softball.  When the weather permits, they practice outside. 

Andrew is finishing up his science project on stain removers with Julia.

Tomorrow Oliver will see an Ophthalmologist.  I sure hope he doesn't need glasses because duct taping them on is the only way he would wear them!

Julia's birthday is this weekend.  Thankfully she is very easy to please-- all she wants is to have a Star Wars marathon at home.  Done.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

In Love With Orange Juice

This past weekend I got to meet another blogging Mom-- Laurel. We went out for lunch.  It was very nice. She gave me tons of insight and encouragement as she shared her parenting wisdom.  Thanks Laurel! 
Nolan is such a character.  He loves to laugh, eat desert, always see what is going on, but he hates bedtime.
Rather than go to bed, he let his sister Anna draw little people on his thumbs.
William is in love with orange juice.  So much so that he squeezed a gallon of fresh orange juice for dinner last night.  As he squeezed, Anastasia and Sveta ate the leftover orange.
Thank you William for a nice treat!
Tonight I asked William to help make dinner.  He made the chicken nuggets, orange juice, and helped with the rice pilaf.  Since he likes everything that was served tonight, he was one happy camper.

Friday, January 25, 2013

More Silliness

Annalyn is not camera shy!


I just listened to a sermon on adoption.  Wow-- powerful stuff.   When you travel half way around the world where there are a million orphans, how do you bring home just one?  And all the children... all the orphans... they have all slipped through the hands of the bride of Christ.  We are the bride of Christ.  We can do something.  We can make a difference.  Please listen and be challenged and touched and inspired!  Click here and click on watch video.  And there is more.  Imagine a state not having any foster children waiting to be adopted.  Is that not absolutely amazing?  Wonderful.  Beautiful.  Watch here.

Thanks!  And happy Friday!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

It's Always Something

Up till now, Rachel had never touched raw meat.  I thought it was high time she get over it.  With the right incentive, she actually mixed up the 8 pound meatloaf.
She put little sandwich bags on her hands so she didn't have to actually touch it.  Whatever.
Dennis is really enjoying BSF (bible study fellowship).  This past Tuesday he actually took his binder with all his lessons for show and tell at school. 
Sveta is sooooo in love.  You should have seen how proud she was when Oliver fell asleep in her arms.
Caleb is an official driver now!  He passed his driver's test this past Wednesday.  To celebrate I told him that he would get to be the one to run to the store for milk or bread the next five times.   Adam gave me a high five when he heard that.
Oliver is crawling all over the house.  One of his favorite places to go is the back door.  Since it was raining we let the dogs in.  They were very patient with him.
Today Julia made homemade corn bread with honey butter while I made turkey chili.  A perfect rainy day meal.
Rachel helped Alex finish up his homework, while Jonny attempted to overlook Dennis do his homework.  Dennis is a bit of a perfectionist and he wants to do it all on his own. 
I finally had pictures printed of Oliver and Nolan.  These are the puzzle frames that were a fundraiser to help bring the boys home.  I think they turned out so cute.  Thanks to everyone who helped the boys come home.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Dinnertime Craziness

Here is another video with a few more of the kids. When I replayed it, I thought I sounded awful,  so pay no mind to me.  Right before dinner is usually not quite this loud but you know how it is when you are on the phone or have a video camera in your hand--- the kids all of a sudden get loud and crazy! 

Monday, January 21, 2013

A Short Video of a Few of the Kids

Here is a video of Dennis, Jonny, Nolan, and Sveta. Poor Dennis doesn't sound like himself because he is sick. Now that he is going to BSF, he loves to memorize his bible verses.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Love Never Fails

Love is patient
Love is kind.
It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered,
 it keeps no record of wrongs.
 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.
These verses came to mind tonight as I enjoyed the company of my daughter Annalyn for her birthday.  She is a true example of love.
Inside and out she has been transformed into an amazing young woman with a beautiful heart.
She brings joy into my life.  She makes me smile.
She makes me proud.
Happy birthday Annalyn.
John and I wanted to do something special with her, but we weren't sure what.  After talking with her, we decided to take her out to one of her favorite restaurants-- Red Lobster.
Just the 3 of us.  It was there that she opened her first gift-- a purity ring.
On it says love.  

Annlyn ordered a Shirley Temple.  When I was a little girl, I loved to order Shirley Temples too.  The waiter knew we were celebrating her birthday so he brought her a glass full of cherries.
They even sang her happy birthday.
Once we were back home, Annalyn opened the rest of her presents.
Annalyn loves Chicken Soup books, pretty stationery, and beautiful boxes like this.  She got all of those things for her birthday and more.  Of course her sibs loaded her up with sugary goodies.
What impresses me most about Annalyn is her love for Oliver.   Before him she didn't have much interest in babies.  She wasn't even sure if she wanted to be a Mom.  All of that has changed-- and in a very good way.  She adores Oliver.  She loves him with all her heart.  She takes care of him out of devotion not duty.  She can't wait to be a Mom now.  It is a very beautiful thing to witness.  It touches my heart to see the growth she has made over the years.

Six years later and she is thriving.
She is the argument for adopting more children.
Every up and down we have had together has been quite a ride, but seeing where we are today makes it all worth it.  Every single high and low point has been a bonding and healing process for us.
Where there has been a lie, it was replaced with truth.  When that truth was spoken, trust was built and unfailing love affirmed that family is forever.
Happy 15th birthday Annalyn!
We love all that you are and are to come!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Under the Weather

Kids are sick.  John is sick.  Fevers around 102.  I have a cough. 

I think it is the flu.  John with his asthma was sounding really sick, so I got him to go to Urgent Care.  He is on antibiotics for bronchitis. 

Not fun. 

Dennis has been home all week.  The school called for me to pick up Alex yesterday.  I took him to the doctor today because I thought he had another UTI on top of everything else-- thankfully he does not.  For whatever reason I taught Alex to catheterize himself today.  I think it was about time.  It takes him 10 minutes instead of the 2 that it takes me, but I am hopeful that he will only get faster with practice.  Now if I can only get him to remember to wash his hands before and after and find a watch that goes off every 3 hours-- he could do this all by himself.  I'm hoping to achieve this by his 8th birthday.

As I type this I can hear the wind blowing.  It's the kind of wind that feels like the house is going to blow over.  At least is not a bone chilling wind like it was the other day.  Still, this is definitely soup weather.

Or in William's case-- tri tip weather cooked under the broiler.

Whatever.  It was nice though to have him compliment my cooking.

We also made vereniki again.  Yum.

Oliver was evaluated by his teacher to see how much progress he has made in the past few months.  He is now at the 9-11 month range.  He used to be in the 6-8 month range with even some 4 month stuff.  Though I was excited to hear of his progress, I personally feel like the numbers don't do him justice.  Oliver has learned so many new things these past few months.  He imitates, tries to use sign language, pulls up, stands, crawls, climbs stairs, walks along furniture, plays peek-a-boo,  holds a bottle, hand feeds himself, and much more.  I am so excited to see what he will learn next!

Adam and Caleb took finals before Christmas and just got their report cards-- straight A's.  Rachel, Annalyn, and Julia took their finals last week and just got their grades.  Lots of A's for them too!  We are very proud of them.

Tomorrow Nolan and Oliver were supposed to have tubes put in their ears.   Since they are both running fevers and have been exposed to whatever is going around our family, I have decided to cancel the procedure.  Hopefully we can reschedule as soon as they are better.

And now to figure out what to do for Annalyn's birthday.  She is turning 15 this weekend.

Name It!

I am so in love with this little guy.  I often wonder what he is thinking with all this love and attention.  Here Adam is playing around with him.  If you could name this post, what would it be?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

2012 Reed Video

Here is a fun video of our family throughout the year.

Friday, January 11, 2013

A Friday Post

The kids spotted this spider outside.   Only one word comes to mind.  Creepy.  I remember how we used to play this dumb game that I think I made up.  We would take turns with a plastic spider and put it in weird places so one of us would find it.  No more.  Now I jump when I see a smashed brownie on the floor without my glasses on.
Andrew is very diligent in getting his work done for school.  He has to do another science project this year which he is not thrilled about, so he has enlisted Julia for help.  His project will be on different stain removers.
Adam thinks Oliver is the coolest baby ever.  Good thing that Oliver thinks pretty highly of Adam too.
When Oliver first came home he made this face by scrunching up his nose and huffing and puffing.  And then he stopped.  Determined to get him to make this adorable face once more, we all began to doing it.  And now Oliver is back to doing too!
Rachel and I were playing around on the floor the other day.  Just for the record, I was the mature one who saved her from having a second wet willy in her ear by her brother.  She owes me.
 Nolan is a wonderful big brother.  He is very patient with Oliver and is happy to share.  Of course, Oliver is happy to eat.  Always.
 Adam lost his IPOD for the afternoon for putting the fish back in the freezer instead of in the refridge.  He made this little mistake because he wasn't listening very well when I asked him for the 3rd time.  So the good Mom that I am (insert sarcasm) let him make a deal to earn it back.  He cut up the brussel sprouts and carrots for  dinner that night.
Galina, Anna, and William are reading Hatchet right now.  One of their assignments was to make a model of he camp.
After tons of moaning and complaining mostly by William they finally did it. 

Annalyn took this gorgeous picture of Oliver.  Be still my heart.
For months Rachel has been bugging me to make cherry vereniki.  So tonight we did.  And let me tell you, they were worth the wait. 
 With each bite, it felt like we were back in Ukraine.

Rachel was in heaven.
Oliver was wondering where his was.
I want me some cherry vereniki too.
Today the kids buried our Bearded Dragon.  She will be missed.

Name It!

Gotta love this picture! Not.  Rachel has one heck of a caption for it, but we want to hear yours.  As for the last picture of Caleb-- well you can find out his favorite by reading the last comment on that post.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Name It!

Lately I have been taking fun pictures of the kids. It gives us a few morning laughs around here.  I came up with a few captions myself, but I told them that I bet others could come up with funnier ones. Caleb let me take this picture just so he can read your comments. If you had to name this picture, what would it be called?   Leave a comment and he will pick his favorite.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

About the Younger Boys

All the kids like their new cups that they got for Christmas.  Ever since I first came up with the idea of letting the kids have a whole sleeve of Oreos for dinner one night they have been asking when that night will be.  For now they will have to settle with 3 cookies.

This past Saturday we had compost delivered to our house.
We had so much compost that we shared with the neighbors.  It may not look like a lot but it was about 80 wheel barrels worth. 
Nolan is such a ham.  He is so independent too.  Right after this picture was taken he helped to button up his shirt.
Dennis loves to dress handsome.  He would wear a suit and tie everyday if we let him.  He got this washcloth from a teacher at school and went around the whole kitchen wiping down everything for me.  He said he was helping me clean.  He got Alex and Nolan to do it too and pretty soon my table and chairs was soaking wet.  The boys had kept running to the bathroom to get their washcloth wet.  I finally said enough was enough and made them mop up the floor.  It was pretty wet.
While Alex was sitting on the potty he entertained himself by pulling out his tooth.  I checked another one that was loose and it came out too!  He said that he looks like a wolf now and went around howling till it was dinner time.  Alex has a behavior modification plan at school.  Each time he switches classes or goes out for recess he has the teacher  or aide watching him sign off on his card and circle his behavior rating. One teacher wrote that he was sometimes talkative but still said his behavior was good.  When Alex gave me his card I could  see that this remark had been erased and the word good had been written in the space.  It was obviously Alex's writing but when I asked him about it, he lied to me. :(  Hopefully he will eventually realize that this sort of thing only makes things worse.  We explained to him how much better it would have been for him to show us the card as is and tell us that he was sorry for talking when he shouldn't have been. 
He had to stand in the corner and go to bed early for erasing and changing his card and then lying about it.  He knows that tomorrow is a new day and he has the ability to make it a great one!
Tonight Andrew and William went to meet the pediatrician and get physicals.  William had to get 3 shots, Andrew only one.  The pediatrician gave me a lab slip for Nolan so that the dental office could get all the info they requested at yesterday's visit.  Once this is done, Nolan will have all of his dental work done under sedation.
Oliver's food allergy test came back normal.  Just one more thing we can cross off the list. :)Tomorrow we have an early morning appointment with the orthopedist to see if he needs braces for his ankles.