Saturday, September 27, 2008

Fall Fashion

Saturday was such a busy day with football and soccer games. It seemed that I was continually wishing for my camera. Christian and Karissa were so extremely cute!!! This was their day to spend time with Mom. Dad even met us for some dinner. It was so extremely fun. Karissa wanted the child's plate of snow crab legs. When they brought these steaming crab legs and fried shrimp to our table.....Duane did his usual gross fish response.....stuck his fingers in his nose!!! The way he acts about fish is so embarrassing.....Ha Ha. Although, I only eat shelled fish, mainly shrimp. I wished for the camera as Karissa was really tormenting her Dad with the smell. She would then crack a leg and lick her fingers, dipping the tender white meat into her butter and blowing her breath across the table!!! Duane was so grossed out by how much the twins love fish. Christian and I had fried shrimp....YUMMY!!! I am going to catch Duane on film when someone is eating fish.
We are closing our swimming pool very soon and so we went swimming when we got home. Karissa did not get into the pool. I asked her why she did not want to swim. She replied with a huge smile on her face...."Because I don't want the smell of fish to wash off. I already washed with soap, but, I can still smell it." I said to her "Awe, how sweet, you loved your dinner so much! Let Mommy get the camera." Karissa's face lite up like a light bulb and she told me "Mommy, I am going to touch Daddy's mouth with my fish fingers!" and she cracked up laughing. Later, she waited until Duane was relaxing in his easy chair and away she went with the fish fingers. I love the look in her face and I had to pull out the camera for this one;-). What a little stinker!!!!'s what you have been waiting for. The star of Fall Fashion!!! My Yorkie...Gracie Belle;-). By the way....she is an "only" Yorkie and she loves it this way. Being the only pet means more scraps the kids drop on the floor and any treat she can manage to earn.....Ha Ha!!!! I love what her groomer did for Gracie today!!! She loves "Doggy Day Care" on Monday's and when we are out of town. I believe that they love her as much as she loves them!!!

Speaking of leaving town. We are going on a little Switzerland and NO kids will be included. A very sweet and dear friend of ours will stay in our home with the big kids and the babies will go to Kisty's house. It has been really difficult to decide on taking this trip as I never leave the children over night unless it is for a good reason...such as doctors or adoptions!!! But, I think we need a little "alone" time and so I have committed to go. I will post pictures after we return.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Cupcakes and Fun

Katie Aunna has on her glasses from her orphanage days...she was getting her Rx updated in her new frames and I thought the old glasses were better than none. We had a very good eye exam this time. So, I will buy her a spare pair for her use when we update her prescription periodically. Here, Karissa and Katie, said they would fix Mommy's hair...Ha ha. I think her old glasses do not work very well as Katie said I am very beautiful in this picture and they love what they had done with my hair;-).
Here, all of my children decided to do handstands in our pool. I could not resist a picture of this hilarious scene. Even little John-John is getting into the act, although his hands can not touch the floor of the pool!!!! He swims wildly upside-down. He is in the navy blue and orange swim trunks. He is the absolute sweetest child. We are so happy he is our son. John-John is a breath of fresh air every day and lives his life without a care in the world. He is such a loving little boy!!!
I lost Mary again last week. I searched everywhere in this big house for her. I was about to freak out as it was dark outside and I had all these horrible pictures going through my mind as to her possible location. As I walked through the kitchen ready to start crying...I heard her giggle!!! She had opened the cabinet doors and climbed onto the very top. NICE hiding place!!! As you can see, she thought it extremely hilarious. I did the Mommy freak out and then grabbed my camera...just in case anyone should doubt this little act of hide-n-seek. She is quiet happy with her accomplishment...STINKER!!!!
She is so beautiful and yet so very very ornery!!!! Good thing that I have a good sense of humor around Mary Beth.

Here we have (above) little Trish playing "Cousin It". She insisted that I take her picture with her hair in her face like this. Then I kept calling her "Cousin It". Later in the day we made cupcakes.
Our cupcakes were for afternoon class. We had been learning about fractions and so I thought baking would be a great way for the younger kids to get acquainted with fractions. It worked beautifully and they had a blast. smiling happily as she works while Annie has a look of seriousness to her decorating skills.
Upon completion of her cupcake....Annie is very proud!!! Mary "Blueberry" (below) wasted no time diving into her cupcake...ummmm!!!

Mary crumbled it into what she said was "pack-tions" we can eat.....Ha Ha!!!! Then she said "We eat 'dis part and then 'dis part and I get pack-tions, Mommy".
Below, Katie Aunna satisfies her major sweet tooth. When I asked her what she had learned about fractions today....she said "Ummmm, cupcakes are really good to eat!"

This was difficult for me as I get really flipped out over messiness!!! I had a fair sized mess this day and plenty of faces needed washed...Ha Ha.
Just in case you are wondering about the pink ear plugs in Katie's ears....they are her custom made swimmers ear plugs. She has very bad tonsils and associated ear infections. On the 18Th of October she will have her tonsils and adenoids removed and tubes put into her ears. It seems that all of our IA kids have had bad tonsils. We will be going over to Lubbock where our wonderful Dr. Neal will perform Katie Aunna's surgery. I have tried to discuss it with her several times, but, she starts to cry and I melt down. Then I change the subject!!! Please, pray for Katie's surgery and also for the children while we are gone to Switzerland in a few weeks. Duane is very excited about this trip he earned through the Carrier Corporation. He deserves the break as hard as he works!!! So, I am making the sacrifice of leaving my children at home and spending some much needed time alone with Duane.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Soccer Star

Today was Karissa's first soccer game!!! I have not been feeling well and so Duane and Weldon went to cheer her on. We owe these pictures to her Daddy and we'll enjoy her game through her Father's eyes. Karissa is such a wonderful soccer player and enjoys her sport immensely. Below she has just opened the game with a score. Her triumphant smiles tell the moment. The team is called the "Pink Players" and they shut out the other team with a score of 6 to 0. Way to go team!!!! Four of those scores belonged to her;-).
Karissa (according to her Daddy) shot the ball into the goal at top speed today. Too fast for anyone to block her scores from shooting past and blasting into the goal. Rock 'em....Sock 'em....Rissa #7!!!!
I love this picture (above). I have noticed in many games, that right after she makes a score, she adjusts her ponytail.....Ha Ha. Miss Big Stuff here;-). She has been doing this since she was four years old.

She rests during break and continues to size up the opposing team. My....such a serious look. Glad she isn't blasting that hard soccer ball at me!!!! I love how graceful and beautiful she is as she works the ball.
Below....I've seen this look many times before....sizing up her next play and looking for the defensive hole to shoot through to the goal. Daddy said this picture was taken just before she took her punch with the ball into her goal on the play.

Here she takes her shot and...IT'S GOOD!!!!! I love the way she looks so poised when she side kicks into the goal. Nine times out of ten the goalie is not expecting this turn with the ball and it is one FAST hard moving shot. The goalie will generally step aside for these shots;-).
Karissa plays goalie about as well as she plays in the field. Of course, a big smile on her face as she protects her goal. It was a no score for opposing team!!! The Ukrainian Princess RULES with her genetics to play soccer. Awesome blossom!!!!!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Family Pictures

The children were sitting in the foyer for my nephew's wedding. I placed them all on this bench so they would stop running around and we could get better organized. From Left to right is Karissa, John, Mary, Katie Aunna (having a mad fit), Annie behind Katie, Tanner (my cousin's son), and Christian.

Here is our new family photo. I don't know how to increase the size, but, I will work on it tomorrow. I think you should be able to click on this picture to increase the size. Sorry it is so small!!!!
This picture is of, my sister and I, at her son's wedding. We had only been home with Katie Aunna maybe two weeks at the time this wedding took place.
This picture includes the kids and Kisty dancing. It was so sweet that they all wanted to dance together!!! We are a very close family;-). I had curled Katie Aunna's hair. I think it was beautiful hanging in long heavy curls.
Here Annie decided to stick her necklace into her mouth. This photographer was great at capturing very natural pictures of all our kids. She really enjoyed photographing them. Tanner, my cousins boy, presented a wonderful smile for the camera.

My little stinker Mary Blueberry just smiles with an orneriness which is very visible.
Below, Katie Aunna is delighted with her new life. She had been in America less than two weeks at this wedding and was so happy with her new life. We are so happy with her. It is hard to imagine a day without her in my life. I love my children so much. They make every day an adventure and it is always different. This is an old photo of Duane's family when he was a boy. The baby (Dion) who is sitting in his Mother's lap looks shockingly like John. The little blond girl standing beside Duane's mother (Lynette) looks just like Karissa. Amazing how God plans out where each person belongs within a family. Duane is standing next to his father. From top row left to right: Judy (oldest in the family), then Leona (Duane's Mom), and next is his father, John. Duane standing next to his Dad and is the second oldest child in the family. In the bottom row is Lynette (she is the fifth child in the family), next is Dion (the baby of the family and child six). The cute boy next to his Mom is Reis (the third born child) and featured next is Denis (who is the fourth child). They were all raised in the Catholic Church and lived in Kansas all their youth. Only Duane's two sister still live in their home town. The other children live in various cities within the United States. I will look and see if I can find a picture of my Mom, Dad, and sister together in a family photo. Many blessings...Trisha

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Finally Able To Post

I want to open this post with a picture of all the kids and with our proud football player. Christian started his football this past weekend with his first game!!! He really loves it and has so much enthusiasm to play. Of course, his father could not be any happier!!! Duane played football through high school. The funniest thing happened to Christian. The opposing team was very close to the goal. They all huddled down to make the next play. The ball was hiked and a pass thrown. Christian jumped up into the air and grabbed the ball for an interception. Of course, we all went crazy screaming for him to run. Well, he ran alright......toward the NEAREST goal post....the opposing teams goal....HA HA HA!!!!! You should have seen Christian's coach trying to get Christian to turn and run in the opposite direction. When Christian realized he was running the wrong way, he turned, and headed toward his goal, but, was soon tackled. But, that's okay as his team now had possession of the ball!!!!

Christian is a Longhorn!!! Moooove aside....their coming through to the goal.(Karissa and her sister Katie friends)
Now here is some cool hair!!! Our eldest daughter (Kisty) sat down the girls and put their hair into bands. It is so difficult and time consuming to do. Kisty did Katie Aunna first and surprisingly she did not cry once. She did look at me a few times and asked for Kisty to stop. But, once it is started, it is very difficult to stop the process and make it look good. I want Katie Aunna's bangs to grow out. She is so beautiful and I feel like her bangs cover up her pretty face. Her little face is delicate and beautiful. Here we can see her face so nicely. Karissa is built a lot like Katie Aunna and this pictures shows how these two sisters look so much alike. It often surprises me how much a like they are. In fact, when we first came home with Katie Aunna, I had her in Annie Kate's room. I was thinking that developmentally she would be more in Annie's age group. But, she is not developmentally delayed at all and wants to play with Karissa most of the time. At bedtime, Katie would ask to sleep with Karissa in her queen sized bed. Several weeks later we decided to move the twin bedroom furniture out of Annie's room and into Karissa's room. Annie got Karissa's furniture and so she sleeps in this huge queen bed now. Annie Kate loves it and Katie and Karissa are very happy about the arrangements.

(Annie, Karissa, and Katie)

Well, anyway....back to the hair business. Next, Kisty did Annie Kate's hair. Poor Annie was not in the mood to have her hair done and she cried so much that we could only get two rows of bands before I said enough;-). Little Mary refused to do her hair entirely!!! Kisty said "Mary, I'll give you a treat if you let Sissy do your hair". Mary turned around and looked at her and said "I don't want a treat. I'm playing outside!!!" So off Mary flew out the door to escape the torture chamber...Ha Ha. I love putting their hair up. We usually do it at the end of summer and after the New Year. It makes their hair grow really fast and looks so cute!!! I must brag that Kisty is very good at making different hair designs with these tiny rubber bands. By the way, we use only the glossy type and not the regular rubber band type. The glossy type can be slipped out of their hair whereas the other type would really be damaging.

Here Annie Kate is trying really hard to let Kisty work her hair. But by the time we hit the second row....she was through with it.
Annie has tears running off the end of her nose.....awe!!!!
Karissa takes it well as did Katie Aunna!!!!
Annie, Katie, and Karissa.

Katie and Karissa both smiled most of the time and are pretty tough girls!!!! As you can see, it is a challenge for the girls and lots of hard work for Kisty.

Katie Aunna upon completion.

The entire process took about 15 or 16 hours to get Katie Aunna, Karissa, and Annie's few rows done. We began working on it at around 4:00pm and worked on Katie until around midnight. The next morning we did Karissa's and then a few hours for Annie's hair. BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!

On to other news....Karissa starts soccer this week. She has practice twice per week (so does Christian) and games on Saturdays (as does Christian). Trisha is homeschooling with us and dancing Monday through Thursday evening. She is teaching dance again this year and attending classes for her own dance. Casey and Trisha will both be training to acolyte with our church this fall. Katie will be baptized into the Catholic Church around Christmas time and also with John-John as we have not had him baptized yet. Oddly, I felt that I should wait to baptize John-John. Now, I realize God had this planned, for them to do together. I am also hoping to get Katie into dance after she gets a little better at her English. I have a feeling we are going to be really busy this winter.
Oh yes, and in October Duane is being so mean to me...Ha Ha!!!! He is "dragging" me away from my children to go on a trip he earned through his business in Switzerland....Ha Ha!!! It is truthfully a very difficult thing for me to leave the children, their school, and activities we have running on a schedule. However, after much thought....we have lined out the children's care very well, I will miss our children so extremely much!!! But, Duane and I need this time together to relax and just enjoy being in each other's company undivided by the needs of children. I will take lots of pictures and post to the blog. I worry that Katie Aunna will cry for me and I know that John-John, Annie, and Karissa will.
So, we are making a very simple calender to mark the days that Mommy and Daddy will be gone and when we will return. It was funny....when I told the children that Daddy and Mommy are going on a short vacation, the older kids freaked out. Casey said "No, Mom, you can't leave us for that long like Russia. It was horrible without you here!!!!" The others chimed in and Katie asked me where her suit case was...Ha Ha. You should have seen the look on her face when I said she was not going on this trip!!! But, I explained it would only be for ten days and then in the Spring we will all go to our favorite vacation spot and stay at the lake condo. This really perked them up and we have come to an agreement. Plus I had to promise to bring them Swedish chocolate!!!! But, things will not be so wonderful upon our return.
I took Katie Aunna and Karissa to Lubbock last week to see their Pediatric ENT. Dr. Neal said Katie Aunna's tonsils and adenoids must come out. We will be back one week from Switzerland when she has her surgery. I worry about this as she has now acquired enough English to tell me various things about her past. She was horribly traumatized by her surgery in Russia on her arm. She told me that the orphanage took her by car (maybe van....all vehicles are machina to her) to the hospital. The nurses there took her to her hospital room with two other children in this room. Then later they took her to surgery and when she woke up she did not know anyone and was in a lot of pain. She said she cried to go back to the orphanage,but, they said NO.
In previous posts...this is where we met a Russian hospital where she was recovering from this major surgery. Katie told me she was all alone. When she said this I just cried. How awful for her to be dropped off to a hospital and no Mama or Papa to stay with her for one month. She said she did not eat or sleep very much there and missed her friends and her bed at the orphanage. She has a huge scar on her arm from this surgery. So, I know this is going to be a very big deal for her and she will be very frightened that when she wakes up I will not be there. I got a little coloring book from Dr. Neal's office and I am not going to tell her anything until we return from Switzerland. Please, keep her in your prayers.
Speaking of praying....we are still praying for God to help us find a way to get a second vehicle that we can use to transport all the kids at once. Our mini-van seats eight and we need a vehicle which can seat 11 of us. Please, continue with us in prayer about this difficult matter. It is such a challenge if we all need to go somewhere (church for one thing) without finding one of our adult children to help us transport them. Weldon has been a sweetheart lately. He has a five passenger pick up and has been helping us out with transportation and also by babysitting if we have to take some and leave some. But, if we are to take the kids on a trip to see Duane's aging mother we need a bigger vehicle. I would love for Katie Aunna to meet her only living grandparent who is 86 years old.
Well, I think this just about covers things for awhile. However, I will post again soon as "There's never a dull moment" around here!!!! Many blessings to you!!!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Running like crazy this week

So sorry I have not posted yet. However, it is my utmost goal to get things posted that are exciting and have happened over the last week and a half. I think you will enjoy the update. So be looking for a post with pictures within the next few days. Lots of love and many blessing!!!!