Always a fantastic smile!!!!
Jenae had a hair cut for the first time and had enough cut off to donate to Locks for Love
This is our friend and hairdresser. Jenae babysat in exchange for a haircut. She will be going back next week because she wants it even shorter.
I had to throw this one in. This is Jackson sharing a snack with our neighbor Sadie. They have been spending a lot of time together. I want to save this picture when they are both like 17 to show them then!
Eating ice cream after a healthy walk. Sometimes this angle of a picture for him is the best that I can get.
On the other hand, Sasha and Jenae are always ready for pictures!
Andy finally gets his teeth at the end of this month. A whole year after his accident!
This is Sasha's birthday cake. The others were trying so hard to stop him from blowing out the candles until after we finished singing to him.
More ice cream!!! What!!!!
At first Vitaliy was slaughtering Sasha at soccer. I tried desperately to explain to him that it isn't just about winning. After all it is Sasha's birthday...don't you want him to have a good day. Finally, he thought he understood and then started giving his goals to Sasha's score...it really just isn't sinking in yet.
Birthday cake and ice cream and a great big smile!
It was supposed to be a picture of just me and Vitaliy but everyone saw the camera and jumped in!
Vitaliy thought the glasses were cool. I do think he needs to go to the eye doctor. I'm not sure he will be as enthusiastic with real glasses.
8th Grade Completion. If you look closely, Jason and Vitaliy are the two extremely bored young men on the right hand side second row down.
Completion again...Vitaliy is hold his certificate up-side-down on purpose. I didn't notice until I downloaded the picture. Jason received an award for perfect attendance and perfect citizenship. Vitaliy received an award for perfect attendance. After all, he had perfect attendance the whole month he attended!
The School year wrapped up nicely. It was really easy for the older boys and they kept reminding me that most kids are not going to school the last few days, especially not the last day of only an hour and a half. But, for me, it was my last hour and a half with just Jackson so I made them go...I am so mean!
We have had success with Sasha at school and his behavior has dramatically improved. I was very glad to hear that he was doing better. Whatever he was doing, whether good or bad, it seemed that all the kids knew first and they were very eager to let me know. They were all watching his every move.
Our city pool opened up and the kids are really enjoying spending time there. All but two of my kids can go without an adult so they get a lot more time there than they used to. We are a very outdoorsy family so we have been on a lot of bike rides and walks. Thanks to one of our neighbors I think we now have enough bikes for everyone. All we need is a trailer for those with little legs that can't go too far.
We celebrated Sasha's 11th birthday last week and it was really fun. He got his fingerless gloves that he has wanted for so long, dog tags and a V-tech laptop to name most of his gifts. The V-tech is pretty fun. It even has a function to learn Spanish, but I think we will hold off on that one.
We are big Scouters in our house so Vitaliy helped with flags on Memorial Day. It was raining pretty hard the morning we put them up but he didn't complain. He really enjoys going to Scouts. I think this summer with Scouts will be a blast! They will be leaving next week for a week-long High Adventure Camp in Moab. I can't wait to see how he likes it. It is really helpful that my husband is the Varsity Coach and two of our other boys will be going too. He came into a house with instant friends for Church and school. It has been really helpful.
Missionary discussions are going well. We had two of them without translators but they worked out okay. At one time I prayed for some sort of "gift of tongues" so I could communicate with the boys. Well...I had no major episode of speaking Russian but what I have had is an ability to communicate with the boys so they can understand. It really is pretty cool. I have also learned a few great Russian words which stand for...come here, listen, that is forbidden, and cool! The most important words in our house for them are "I love you" and they know those in English already.
The kids also played soccer with the missionaries on their "P" day and they all had a great time. One of our missionaries is being transferred to Orem and our interpreters are going home for the Summer but they are helping us to find someone who can fill in. We have a Book of Mormon Stories in Russian and in English so for our scripture reading each night Vitaliy and I take turns reading each caption under the picture. We are moving right through all those stories. I love the Spirit that surrounds these two as they are learning the gospel. They can really feel it also. After every discussion, they are really pumped and are in great moods.
Today was the first day of Summer Seminary and Michael and Tyler always like to go to that. They have it every Tuesday at 11:00. Michael is away this week at Boy's State up in Weber so Tyler was going. I asked him to take Jason and Vitaliy and they all really enjoyed it. I am so grateful for programs like that.
Life is good and going well. It is not without it's bumps and bruises though. This is a challenging time in our house. It is hard to be patient, a trait I already struggled with, but it has been worth it. So far the good times still out weigh the difficult or challenging times.
Let me give you an example of the difficult....
Sasha, come here.....Sasha, come here..... (many minutes pass).... Sasha! Come Here!!!!
I win, I win, I win (did you know that just about everything is a competition?)
I not hungry, I don't want to eat (but you will snack on a whole loaf of bread....I don't think so)
Why can't I (the rest of that doesn't matter....It gets old fast no matter what they want)
Now, an example of the good....
When they are asked to pray with out translator here, the number one thing they are grateful for is a family, a mama and papa
So many kisses on my cheeks that I need a bath (my other children have jumped on that band wagon, too!)
Very enthusiastic "I love you's" many times throughout the day
Wanting to spend time with family
The difficult is only difficult because I wish that I could have had these boys long ago so they could have grown up in a family and had the security that comes from that. The difficult is only difficult because life is busy and sometimes it doesn't feel like there is time to be patient. (a correction I need to make).
The good is good because they feel loved by their family and they are starting to feel the love of a Heavenly Father who is watching over them.
So....when you add it all up, Life is Good! It really is!