Thursday, March 27, 2014

Hi Everyone!


We have been in AL for almost a year now. We have wonderful neighbors, a great church family, and fun new homeschool friends. Not to mention an adoption support group!

Ethan is getting ready to graduate from HS at the end of May. Some days I find it hard to believe that is has been so long, other days I'm ready to move on. :) I know that he is ready to move on to. He is excited about starting the next chapter in his life.

Phoebe will be a junior in the fall. She has found a college down here that she really likes, so I think we'll have to go and visit it. Phoebe is also enjoying writing right now and has collaborated with Lee.

Leanore has been busy writing. She has several short stories and a novel in the works. Phoebe and Lee also perform in our church's 4D drama group where they perform drama's set to a song.

Sophie, Holly, Trudy and Liberty enjoy the co op that we go to once a week, Wednesday night church, and playing outside. Sophie likes reading to the other kids.

Trudy and Vitaly have recently taken the training wheels off of their bikes and are now accomplished two wheel bike riders.

Vitaly is now homeschooled, we took him out right after the Christmas break. He is doing really well and enjoys being schooled at home. He is learning to read and doing very well in math.

Alina still goes to school and is doing well there. She has a lovely teacher and aides. She continues to do well with eating and pretty much has a set meal plan with variations for dinner. She is doing really well with toilet training lately, I think she has just hit a spot in the road where she wants to go. Determining when she needs to go can be tricky, but we're working on it.

Libby is almost two and funny as can be. Her favorite song seems to be "What does the Fox say". To watch the video she will say, "Fox say?" She still is not left alone too long, someone is always trying to play with her, sweep her up and love on her or chase her around.

Tom and I are doing well. Tom is set to retire in January and is looking forward to it. Now we are just waiting to see where God will direct him next. I was able to go to a Homeschool conference in Nashville last weekend and feel energized about another school year.

Family pic as of fall 2013...there is an empty spot  or two. :)
 
We are heading back to Alina and Vitaly's home country to adopt again. It has been almost three years since they came home. Prayers would be appreciated as that country is in turmoil right now. We have come to love that country and it's people and pray good things for them. Our paperwork is there, we are just waiting on a date to go. Everyone is excited :)
Sophie's 10th birthday, we went to a Stepen Curtis Chapman concert.
 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

UPDATE POST!!!!

Here it is, short and sweet:

Dad's back from his long term away job, YAY!!! We missed him sooo much.

we moved the family to AL,

Baby Liberty is now 1 year old, and has started walking..

Vitaly did great in school....all of the staff was sad to see him go. Apparently he was the equivelant to a rock star at his school, everyone knew him and liked him.

We survived and thrived with another year of homeschooling, grades for this year are as follows..12th, 10th, 6th, 3rd, 2nd (2), 1st, K and toddler. :)

Everyone is adjusting well to our new home. Surprisingly well. Thank God. Although Vitaly is getting restless, he misses the structure of school. :)

Biggest news::: Alina is now eating food!! She went to a feeding clinic for 5 weeks right before we moved and there, thru God's grace, she began to eat. She now eats most of what we put in front of her (pureed or soft foods, working on chewing next) and has started drinking juice and milk.

We now have a four legged member of the family, Cocoa "Van Doom". She is super sweet, just what we need.

We are on the road to adoption once more, working to bring home the young man that spent last summer with us. We can't wait to make him our son. Prayers would be appreciated.

Now, onto pictures.....okay, later. I have to figure out AGAIN how to post them. Ugh! Technology, I love you. :) Really. Maybe. I barely know how to turn my phone on. If it is so smart, why can't it do what I want it to do before I try? Hmmm.
Mary

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Happy New Year

Tom Says:

 

Hey everybody!  Once again, sorry for the long delay in updating ya'll.  So, things are going well, my year away from the family is almost over and when I get home, we're moving to Alabama.  Enough about me, here are some pictures of the kids;

 

Despite the liquid diet, Alina keeps growing, and she's doing very well in school

 

Big Brother and baby Libby (he'll make such a good daddy some day)

 

We received an Ipad for Alina's schoolwork, you can see the other girls helping her...

 

Big Brother Babysitting, nuff said

 

Who Me? I didn't eat no cookies...

 



 

Speaking of which, Mary took Tolly to the Neurologist and he's very pleased with how the surgery turned out.  Tolly exceeded his IEP for the whole year before Christmas, so they had to do a new one with more challenges.  He's like a shamwow, just soaking it up.

 

Gotta go, have to prepare for a meeting with the ministry of economics tomorrow.

 

Thanks again for all the Love and Prayers!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Small Update

Tom Say: Hey All,

 

Thanks for hanging in there with us.  Over All things are going well. It's been a busy summer and going to be a busier fall.  Ethan is back in football, Phoebe joined the cheerleading squad and is cheering him on, Leanore has been a darling about helping with the littles, Sophie and Holly have decided to give their hearts to the Lord and are now taking communion with us (we'll get to baptism shortly), and Trudy is the queen of the castle.



Trudy Wrote this...;')



 

 

Alina was scoped the other day and Drs say that there doesn't appear to be anything physically wrong that would prevent her from eating, however, they did say she has a bacteria in her gut typical of Russian children that might be fooling her into thinking she's full when she's not.  She also saw a dentist that concentrates on special needs children, he thinks that he can fix part of her problem by pulling some teeth and fixing some cavities.  So that'll be in a month or so. 

 

 

Little Girl has gained over 12lbs

 

After some serious soul searching, Vitally was mainstreamed in the local school, he has a part time helper that keeps him focused, and he's loving it, as well as he's soaking things up like a sponge.  He knows his complete ABC's, can count to around 30, and his behaviour, language and interactive skills are growing better all the time.  Some people think because we homeschool that we're anti-school, not so, and this just goes to show that every situation is different and we try to do the right thing for each child.

 

 

Mom and baby Libby are doing well also, the littlest one is growing like a rag weed and seems to get bigger every time I skype with them, ah skype, thank goodness for technology.   everybody seems to be going through small sicknesses right now, not sure if it's the flu or some other bug, but we're coping and it'll be alright.  (If we haven't said it a million times yet, Thank You Lord, for Family and Friends.)

 

 

The new job is going well and the relationships and business skills I'm learning here in Central Asia should prove very valuable when we decide to come back.  But I'm definitely looking forward to coming home next spring. 

That's all til next time...

Monday, July 23, 2012

We have the privelege of having a young man from the Ukraine come and stay with us for part of the summer. We felt led to participate in a host program and are really enjoying our visitor.
His name is Valera and he LOVES to ride bikes and play computer games. Oh, and cars, he LOVES cars. Not just any cars mind you, oh no. He loves the cool and expensive cars. Like the Mustangs, Camaros, BMW's, Corvettes, etc.


"Welcome Valera"
He is very handy, he loves to take things apart and put them back together or try to fix them. He's also smart and is picking up English very quickly. He already knew some, but is learning more and wants to learn the English letters. He printed out Russian letters and has taped them onto our keyboard to the corresponding English letter. Pretty cool. He's not too into American Football, yet. But he's got some soccer skills!

He is also very helpful and kind. He helps the Littles if they need it and likes to carry the baby in her car seat.

We're hoping to take him to DC while he is here. I asked him if there was anything in America that he wanted to see or do specifically. He said no. Ok, I can work with that!

Tom got to meet Valera thru skype. Valera was a little shy, but liked meeting "Father". :)

More updates to come......


Ethan, Valera and Vitaly in the boys room.

Vitaly really likes having Valera here.
I need my coffee........ok, got it. Now, to get on with the updates.  Baby Liberty (or Libby) is going great! She is one month old now and totally spoiled, but that's a good thing. :) Eventhough she's only been "out" a short time, I can't imagine our family without her. She's quite a blessing. She is holding her head up and looking around and loves to be in the middle of everything. The other day she was crying (which doesn't last too long because someone will pick her up) and prompty stopped and fell asleep when I started vaccuming. I know what you're thinking, that's a good baby. :) She also misses her Daddy, but we're Skyping with him so she gets to see him on the computer. Not to mention ALL of the pictures of him around and the fact that we talk about Daddy ALL the time.

Liberty Belle, 1  month


Leanore made this comment the other day: "No fair, you hog all the cute ones." to Phoebe in regards to their younger siblings.  So as you can see, that statement is not entirely true. Everyone is getting to love on Libby Belle.


Leanore w/Libby
Daddy smooching Libby
Holly and Libby

Big sister Trudy w/Libby


Big brother Vitaly w/Libby


The only one not pictured with Libby is Alina. That's because she didn't want anything to do with her for the first few weeks, so we didn't push it. Now she can sit next to her (as long as Libby's not crying) and be ok. We know she loves Libby, she just might not know it yet. :)

We miss you and love you Daddy!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

 

Toms says "Hi All!"

Once again apologies, it's been very busy the last few months.  There have been ups and downs along the way but we are basically doing well.  Along those lines the family is pleased to announce the birth of "Liberty Belle" on Tuesday the 19th.  At 8lbs, 8oz she is the second smallest baby we've had.  Both she and Mama are home from the hospital and doing well.

 

Lee loving on her new baby Sis...

 

Both Alina and Vitaly are in school getting extra help and attention. Their buses come to pick them up and drop them off, they are definitely excited about that and both love going to class.  One week before the end of the session Alina's school refused to let her in class until she got a couple of vaccinations, one of which was Varicella, one week after getting her shot she broke out in Chicken Pox, it looks to be a mild case but a couple of the other littles haven't been vaccinated for that one, so we're worried about them passing it to the baby.  But God is good so we know it'll all turn out alright. 

 

That said, we're still taking precautions and we've instituted a "no littles in Mom and baby's bedroom or touching baby Liberty for 10 days" rule and the bigs helping with baby Liberty all have to wash their hands and arms before holding her.

 

Other than that the rest of the kids are doing well; trying to keep up on homework and all their other activities is like trying to tame a hurricane.

 

Ethan will be a JR this year and is still playing football and it looks like he'll be a varsity starter as well.

 

Phoebe decided to give cheerleading a try, so she'll be encouraging big brother.

 

Mommom and Poppop have moved back here to be near us.  They're now only 4 miles away.  They are a total blessing from the Lord.  Mommom helps with the littles around the house and Poppop has been driving everybody to practices, tutoring, etc...Thank You Mommom and Poppop!

 

Leanore ( well, all the kids really, especially Tolly) can't wait to start going to the pool. Oh yeah, Tolly had his skull expansion and last week they also removed all the hardware from his head (he is one tough cookie) and he's bounced back real well.  The Doctors say he's doing great and they don't think they'll need to do the front of his skull.

 

Phoebe, Lee, & Sophie played Upwards Basketball while Holly did Upwards Cheerleading. (Ethan also helped coach)  They all had a good time and look forward to doing it again next year (except PJ, too old.)

 

Trudy is glad that Liberty is finally home, she's been telling everyone for about three weeks now that "she's not the baby anymore."

 

Other than that Dad (Tom) got a sort of promotion at work (increased responsibility, not an increase in pay) and will be overseas for most of the next year.

 

 

We're also going to host a teenage boy from overseas for the summer.  More on that later. (I mean, come on, I've got 7 girls, we need to do something to even the teams up)

That's all for now folks!!!