Monday, September 29, 2008

QUEEN is Awesome!

Well this is one post I never thought I would write. QUEEN, the UK rockband performed at Freedom Square in Kharkov this last week and raised over 800,000 gr which is nearly $200,000 US dollars. The money was donated to the Green Forest Orphanage. This is the home where we adopted our boys. This is a massive amount of money for this orphanage.

Here is Queen live in Kharkov singing "We are the Champions!"

God works in mysterious ways!

A major thanks to QUEEN!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Nine Years Old!!!

Today was Max's first birthday in America. Phew! Am I glad that is over!!! Just kidding! (sort of)

Max has talked of nothing else for the past month. "My Bootday soon, yes?" "27 my bootday, yes?" etc...
He has spent the last three days carrying around a composition notebook and writing lists of 27 random things, mostly our names, and asking me how to spell them all! I can promise you that I was about as ready for the big day as he was!!!

His favorite color is pink. It's funny because that is also my dad's favorite color. He wanted a pink cake but decided to opt for a dinosaur cake instead. I ended up making a volcano with rubber dinos prancing about all over it. They didn't seem to mind the hot lava one bit! A purple mountain and red lava icing, bridge mix boulders and one of those packages of sugar letters that say "happy birthday" that Max saw and asked for, a package of cheep-o dinosaurs and we had a fancy looking cake to make any first birthday party a fun one!
Three blows to blow out all the candles.
It's alright; he's had a lot of wishes come true for him this year.

It was hard to get pictures of the gifts because everyone
would crowd in just as we snapped the shots!
What fun!

Annette's gift to Max...Oh look! just what she always wanted!

Misha picked out the perfect gift. A gun that lights up
and--Heaven help us--Makes rapid fire shooting sounds.

Pra Dedushka and Misha.
(That's Great-Grandpa to us English-speakers.)

Hannah read the card she wrote to Max.

The Birthday Boy

All tuckered out.


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Going Well

Things are going well here. The kids all continue to get along as though the boys had always been here. for the most part, the kids divide along gender lines only for certain times of play. The boys play cars, the girls talk dolls, that sort of thing. In general, we see them play together most of the time.

The weather has suddenly cooled just enough to draw everyone outdoors and we have started school a little late the last few mornings while I let the kids take advantage of the perfect fall mornings. Our driveway is on a hill and while this is something I used to regret, now I am grateful for it! The kids have spent many hours riding bikes down that hill! Remember Max's sneakers?

The last few days I have noticed the wagon hitched to the back of the play tractor. the wagon is full of dry grass clippings. Hannah tells me it is their hayride. Max is the usual driver and I have seen up to three kids piled into the back of his trailer depending on whether he is going uphill or down. :-)
Vitali and Ivy play most of the day together. They fight like little kids will, but they also love to be together. They are so funny! We just love the entertainment they provide! Here are a couple of pictures of today's lunch. Peanut butter and silly sandwiches.

Life is good. We are blessed. So very blessed. Praise the Lord!


Saturday, September 20, 2008

anyone know how to read children's drawings?

I know that there are clues in children's drawings as to how they are feeling about different areas of their lives. I am not worried but I was thinking this morning as the boys trouped out to show me their artwork that Max always draws the same things. Misha always draws his own rendition of what Max draws. I think I know how to read Misha--extreme follower(?)

And to me, Max looks pretty happy with life in general.

These are some of Max's recent works. I haven't selected only my favorites, just a random sampling. And other than that cute little monkey, these are all very typical for him.
A church, a rainbow, a smiling sunglass-clad sun and a big tree.

A very freaky-looking smiling sun (I don't think the freakiness was intentional), a house, some trees, birds in the sky...

I love this one. It's a monkey. Hard to see but so cute.

Here is something typical for him: Christmas-themed pictures. Even in the orphanage when we went to visit him, he was always drawing presents and Christmas trees. That is Grandfather Frost (Like Santa) flying overhead, and of course, the ever present smiling sunshine.

Another house. Ours. I am pretty sure he drew this picture just to have a place to put that American flag. He loves American symbols. He also loves the Ukrainian flag, but rarely draws it.

This is Hannah. I think she needs to brush her teeth. :-)

Here's what I know:
Even though Max is eight, his coloring is more like someone younger. When he colors in a coloring book, he has only this past month or so started coloring things color-correct. In other words, his pictures before might have a purple sun, a blue cat, or one pink and one orange arm, etc...

He draws smiles, bright colors, rainbows and sunshine.
I am guessing he's pretty happy in general.

He draws homes, houses, and churches. I don't really know what to make of this except that he always seems to draw them with a happy environment.

In a coloring book, he will usually choose pictures of a big animal with a smaller one, father son, sister brother, mother baby, etc...

So, If you are learned in this area (or even if you are not), give me some feedback! I'd love to hear what you think. I will consider anything you suggest. Like I said, in general, he seems pretty happy and content. He really seems to be enjoying family life. He's kind and gentle and loving particularly to the little ones.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Venting but smiling

(Vitali: Age four. Cute. Trouble. Yes, that is a capital 'T'.)

I woke up weary this morning. No one to blame but myself for staying up too late. (I got a new book at the library.) I am promising myself a quick nap this afternoon...we'll see.

Vitali has been trying my patience lately. I think he has five-minute-willpower. And that is a generous estimate. For instance,

Me, the other day: "Vitali! Don't bang on the walls with your hammers. That is the third time this morning I have had to tell you." It was 9:30am. "You may not play with your hammers any more today."

Time passes. approximately four minutes. Vitali and Ivy are arguing.

Vitali: "I had it first!!!"

Me: "What?"

Vitali: "I had it my malleto!"

Yes, you guessed it. 'Malleto' means 'Hammer'.


He was cute last night, though. I was singing with my little malinkees (small ones) in their bed. Vitali loves to sing along. His rendition of this one, complete with arm motions, is so .... so .... so "Vitali":
"Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.
little ones to Him belong; they are weak but he is MUSCLES!"

Off to get ready for school today...