Saturday, September 13, 2014

Happy Birthday Dennis

Today we celebrated Dennis' 8th birthday!
I can't believe  how much he has grown these past six years.
He is smart, funny, outgoing, and determined.
We are so blessed to be his family!
For his birthday we decorated cupcakes with lego candy. 

Even Oliver enjoyed pushing the candy deep into the cupcake.
As you can see, Oliver enjoyed eating the cupcakes too.

Later in the day we all went bowling.

Sveta was the big winner in our family.  She got five strikes!

Alex, Dennis, and Nolan used the guard rails, but after awhile Dennis didn't want to use them.  After half a dozen gutter balls, he asked for the guard rails to go back up. :)

Dennis specifically wanted legos and a costume for his birthday.
It was fun to see Dennis enjoy his presents so much!

Happy birthday to one amazing boy!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Going Into the Weekend

The busyness of our lives go in and out in waves.  When the tide is low, we are able to relax and enjoy life.  But when the waves keep coming in--  a sick child, an adoption delay, a disrespectful child, an out of control dog-- and the tide seems to just keep getting higher--  I retreat and step back from blogging.

After a very high tide earlier this week, I can now say, it is retreating just in time for the weekend.

Thank God.
Earlier in the week:

One of the kids was home sick for a few days.

Lexi- though cute as can be-- has been out of control.  She keeps biting the sprinkler heads off, and digging holes in our grass.  She gets all muddy from the digging and shakes herself off right near our back door.  John replaced the sprinkler head with a metal one, so Lexi chomped down on it and pulled the whole thing out!  She has even bitten a golf ball in half!  The kids take her for runs every morning for their P.E. but it only tires her out for a few hours before she is back to her mischievous self.  She is into everything, jumps on you, and playfully bites (still a no-no in my book).  Granted, this is mostly due to her excitement, but it is just too much.  She seems to want attention constantly, and the kids in my opinion have not been spending enough time with her.  Period.  As awful as it sounds, I have been fantasizing about life without her.  However, John suggested we call a dog trainer to come out to the house before jumping to such a drastic measure.  Why didn't I think of that?   So... on Monday, a dog trainer is coming to our house to help us with Lexi.  The whole family is going to partake in this dog training so that we are all on the same page.

I. Can't. Wait.

On Tuesday, I got some not so good news about our adoption.  Due to the judges being on vacation, we will not be getting a court date until some time in mid October or later, which means that she won't be home until the end of November.  This is a month later-- thirty more long, agonizing, drawn out days, than we previously thought, and it just stinks thinking that she is in her crib gnawing on her hand, being forced to guzzle her bottle in one minute during feeding time.  In our home, we sit down at meals all together and have family time.  Big difference, and it just aches my heart remembering how unpleasant her meal times are.  Her high chair sits empty until the day she is here with us surrounded by family that loves her.  Big sigh.  Emotionally draining to say the least. 

Alex gets his new AFO braces today!

Oliver went to pre-school for the 2nd time!

Rachel, Sveta, Annalyn, and Julia all got the jobs at the pumpkin patch!

Dennis' birthday is this weekend! 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Their Finished Art

Last week I posted pictures of the kids' drawings before they were finished.   Well, look at the works of art now.
I am so proud of them!


Saturday, September 6, 2014

1. In mid- November we will have five 16 year old daughters, and then then it changes in January.

2. Oliver is now attending preschool once a week for two hours.

3. Our garden has stopped producing.

4. I dream of moving to Costa Rica.

5. William is obsessed with the scene in Ferris Bueller's Day Off where Mr. Peterson is on the phone with the principal.

6.  I found out why Lexi keeps digging in my flower pots.

7.  She likes to bury her bones in them.

8. Nutella is a breakfast staple in our home.

9. I wish I had more Organic Valley milk coupons.

10.  I think the new Robocut is awesome!

11. Julia bakes the bestest French bread! 

12.  Today is bread day!

13. Costumes make the best birthday presents!

14. I think Cedar Cove is a nice show.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Now that it is September

Lexi has been with us since May. We think she is about 8 months old now. She is probably close to 50 pounds.   She can be very naughty getting into the trash or digging up my flower pots but she is playful and loyal and we love her to pieces.
I have to admit, even though there are only five kids being home schooled this year, we had a very rough beginning. 
Trying to find the right curriculum for Anastasia now that she is in highschool, making up for lost time over summer, and getting back into a routine has been very challenging.   
On top of it all, Paul came to me and asked if he could repeat the 7th grade so he would have more time to catch up before high school.  After carefully considering where he is academically and talking to his teacher, we all agree that this is a good move for him. 
And thankfully.... thankfully we are finally in a groove.
The kids are doing art again-- and a great job they are doing I might add!

I wrote up a schedule that begins at 7:00am, after everyone that goes to public school has left for the day.  The kids start with P.E.  Then we move onto math, language arts, social studies, art, and then science.  The schedule is such that we finish around 12:15pm.  Any work that wasn't completed during the 45-60 minutes allotted time for each subject is finished up after lunch.  This schedule is working out great!  The kids are motivated to work and spend much less time talking and transitioning to their different subjects. 
And on Thursdays, four of the kids meet with their Specialized Academic Instructors so they are gone for five hours.  That frees me up to get things done around the house and spend one on one time with Andrew and Oliver.
Today, Andrew asked if I would spray paint his hair green.
Reluctantly, I agreed.
And then he showed me the awesome toilet he built out of legos for his house.
He warned me that it was a little in-apro-pro (inappropriate).
Blue legos for the water, and brown and yellow legos for you know what. :)
I finally uploaded pictures from the camera that I took to Nolan's surgery.
This is how he looked about an hour after surgery-- bless his heart.
This is how he looked about 6 hours after surgery.
And this was my little pumpkin last night! 
I think he looks fantastic for just having a lip and cleft palate revision two weeks ago.
As for any adoption news-- we have some!
On Labor Day the Minister of Justice signed our paperwork!
This was the last thing we needed in order for our dossier to be submitted to the court.
Yesterday it was submitted.
We will soon find out which judge we were assigned to and our court date.
God willing, Natalie will become a Reed in the next few weeks. 
Then sometime in October, my Mom and I will travel to Bulgaria to get her!
Please pray with us that the judge we are assigned has a tender heart towards our little girl and moves her adoption quickly.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Caleb Caleb Caleb!

Happy Birthday Caleb! You are finally 18!  Woo-hooo!  We are so proud of you and all that you have accomplished so far.
We are so excited to watch this coming year unfold as you attend your first year of college.
May the Lord encourage, guide, and protect you always.