Wednesday, July 20, 2011

What does 'Busy' really mean anyway?

 Michael and Jackson kick'in it!

 Tyler just being goofy!  Kudos to Tyler because this week he fixed my washing machine.  He wasn't told to do it he thought he would just look at it and see what he could do and he fixed it!  Love you Ty!

 A famous Jenae self-portrait!

 This is the fourth of July.  I couldn't remember if I posted these pics or not but this one is really good of Vitaliy.  He is starting to like the camera.

 The boys went on their Entrada Scout camp.  They rock climbed, biked, shot guns, white water name it, they did it.  Vitaliy was getting back into the boat after jumping into the water.  He said the water was VERY cold!

 This is a group of them on the boat.  Tyler is on the left and Vitaliy sort-of in the middle.

 Still at camp, setting up I think.

 Vitaliy was able to shoot a real gun for the first time.  He had brought a little money with him so he was able to shoot a 357.  He loved it!

 Andy finally got his permanent teeth!  He looks great!  I keep telling him how great he looks with his new teeth.  He is so glad he finally got them!

 We took the kids hiking on the G.  This is not my favorite picture of myself but we don't get too many where we are together in the picture so I let vanity go and posted it anyway.

 Jenae and Vitaliy enjoying the view.

 These two look like twins... it's hard to believe that they are two years apart.

 This is Cali on the Fourth with my niece, Celeste....Two beauties I'd say!

As the summer rolls on I have found that parenting can be a tiring job.  It’s a good job…and I like it, but I feel pretty exhausted at the end of the night.  You know…I was just rolling along in life.  Things seemed rather simple.  Everyone knew the routine and what was expected of them.  Yes…there was always fighting and a somewhat semi-organized chaos about the house, but it was so routine that it really didn’t faze me.  Just picture dinner time…kind of like the kitchen at Denny’s as everyone’s meal was being prepared.  It is just easier to dish out each plate and hand them out…youngest to older.  Occasionally, oldest to youngest…just to shake things up.  Then, someone starts crying or screaming about something…still very normal for our house.  Here comes our favorite private joke…Andy and I would just simple look at each other and very calmly say….”Do you hear someone crying?”  Answer:  “No, do you?”

Then, we thought, hey, two more….really…what’s two more when you already have eight.  Well….let me tell you…..two more is exactly that….TWO more! 

Okay…I am not complaining.  I love my two more!  I get all choked up when I go into Sasha’s room at night to check on him while he is sleeping.  Why?  Because, guess what?   He has a mom who thinks about him before he falls asleep and wants to make sure he is alright.  He doesn’t know I’m there doing that…but I am and it chokes me up…silly, but that’s the way I am.  I love more than anything watching them settle into family life.  They are truly happy and content and I love having them here.

Now, the tiring part.  It really is tiring training or re-training someone to all of a sudden be in a family that has routine and daily practices…does that make sense.  There seems to be a need for constant monitoring to guide and direct these boys.  Again….I am soooo not complaining, it is amazing and wonderful and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.  I am just saying that it is definitely challenging and enlightening.

I am very pleased with my other children who have done such a wonderful job of being patient and loving with their new brothers.  And, I am grateful to all my children for being patient with a mom who one minute is kind and loving and calm and the next minute is bug-eyed and a little less than relaxed.  It really is amazing how resilient children can be….yet another thing to be grateful for.

Update on activities…. Lots of scouting, hiking, biking, scootering, movie watching, eating, video game playing, eating, backpacking and yet more eating.  By the way…thanks to Wendy for her comment on buying frozen burritos (or not buying them anymore).  I never knew about them and I bought them.  The kids love them and it makes for a great and quick lunch!  Thanks, Wendy for the tip from your blog!

Sometimes I really feel like I don’t have anything to keep me busy.  People say to me all the time…in fact it is probably the comment I get more than anything…that, wow, you must be busy.  But, I really don’t feel that way as the day goes on.  Because, I could be cleaning, doing laundry or washing baseboards (do people really do that on a regular basis?) Or, I could clean my stove top instead of just wishing that I could buy a new one so I don’t have to scrub it like crazy.  But no, all this stuff still needs to be done so how can I possible be busy?  What am I doing all day?  Well, when I figure that out I will let you know…but, what I do know is when I hit the pillow at night, I am sooooo done!  I guess I must be busy.

I love my life, I love my kids, I am crazy about my amazing husband and….I look forward to the start of the new school year….what about you?

Friday, July 8, 2011

To Eternity!

Just had to blog today to share with you that our family went to the Mt Timpanogos Temple last night and the boys were sealed to Andy and I.  What a great night it was.  All of our children were in the sealing room with us.  I don't want to blog about the details but you have to imagine for a moment our ten children making their way through the temple to the sealing room all dressed in white!  It was an awesome sight to see.  What a great night it was!!!!

At one point it was mentioned all those who have helped us along our way through this adoption and to this point and I couldn't turn to look at those that were there because I knew it would be very emotional.  But, I need to let you all know how much everyone has had a hand in this.  There were many prayers and well wishers, there were those that helped financially, there were those that were sounding boards and shoulders to cry on and there were those that helped to push us along the way.  Some of you did more than one of those know who you are and we are forever grateful for your love and friendship.

We are, of course, still on this journey and have a long way to go but this was a monumental milestone and it feels GREAT!!!!

I had to throw this one in.  Here we were in our beautiful temple whites wearing our black, blue and brown shoes.  I cropped the shoes out of the first shot but thought this one was cute too!

 This was after we went out for ice cream and came home.  Vitaliy wanted this picture taken.  He prefers to wear his Church clothes this way but understands that it wouldn't really work out.  What a stud, huh?!?

I can't even tell you how many times Sasha said, "I love the temple".  He told each of us individually and then he told us all over again.  So, just to let you know, Sasha loves the temple.

I will blog again soon about the rest of our week because we did some fun stuff this week but I wanted this post to be all by itself.  I am so glad my kids were able to go inside the temple not only to be with us (of course) but because the temples are the most beautiful man made places on Earth!

Sunday, July 3, 2011


Vitaliy and Andy in their white.

Sasha has such a sweet, sweet smile!

We had to get Michael in a picture too!  They all look so good in white!

I had to take this shot.  They pulled out all the aprons and they were trading wearing all of them around the house.  I just love these guys!

 This is Vitaliy bribing me for two pieces of gum.  He said he would let me take his picture for two pieces of gum...I said two, he said three... I said one....he said, "okay, two!"

Okay, I just loved this shot...Jackson in his little short shorts with his apron on running around the house...he is sooooooooo cute.  I still look at him and wonder how I left him for so long!
 I was the photographer on the hike.  I am always thinking ahead to the Scout slide shows so I want lots of pictures.  This is part way up the hike.  Vitaliy stayed in front for the hike until we passed our second rattle snake.  Then, I wanted Sam to be in front because he has a better understanding of the dangers of snakes...even though that doesn't seem to stop him from trying to catch or kill them.  At least he has more experience with poisonous snakes.  Gotta love these boys...they were so good to me.  They made a guard rail out of their bodies and arms so I could cross the bridge without being afraid.

 This is at Indian Campground.  From there is was two and a half miles back down without much light.  As we got near the bottom, it was very dark.  The boys didn't care, they manage themselves just fine.

 This is the group that went hiking.  I love the Scouting program.  It is a great help in raising boys.  They say it is easier to build a boy than to fix a man...Scouting is the way to go!

 Vitaliy and I were heading out the door to help Andy on a job.  We painted and cleaned and painted and cleaned so more.  Vitaliy volunteered and didn't complain once....he didn't volunteer again, but he didn't complain once and I believe he even enjoyed helping out....great kid!

It has been a full week, especially this weekend.  Yesterday was the big day!  Vitaliy and Sasha were baptized last night.  It was a great baptism ceremony.  Elder Costa gave a beautiful talk on baptism in his broken English.  He is a great missionary that we have from Brazil.  He has a great spirit about him.  Andy baptized Vitaliy first.  Just as his whole body went underwater, his left foot popped up so Andy had to dunk him again.  This time, to be doubly sure he did it right, he held him down just a bit longer.  It made everyone laugh a little because it seemed he was holding him under water a little longer than he should have.  Michael baptized Sasha after that.  They got it right the first time.  Sasha was so light for Michael that he just pushed him straight down. 

It was really exciting to see them all dressed in white.  As I was pulling out the white jumpsuits I wondered what they would think of them.  They aren’t exactly stylish you know!  They ended up thinking that they were pretty comfortable. 

After the baptisms, my amazing friend, Angie, gave them a talk on the Holy Ghost in Russian.  She did a beautiful job and ended with her testimony.  It really doesn’t matter what language someone bears their testimony of the gospel in, the spirit of it is always discernable.  I am so grateful to her for the many, many times she has translated for us.  She has been translating for us since the boys came for their hosting last fall.  I was so glad they were able to hear that talk in their own language.  Because both the boys are over eight and it was a convert baptism, they were confirmed and received the Holy Ghost today in Sacrament meeting.  My brother’s family, my Mom, and Tiffany and Jeff were able to be there.  It was really beautiful to hear the prayers that Andy gave the boys as they received the Holy Ghost.  After that, Vitaliy was sustained by our ward to the office of a Teacher.  After Sacrament he was ordained to that office of the Priesthood.

Seeing that it was fast and testimony meeting today, both Andy and I bore our testimonies and so did Michael.  You know when it is your turn to do it.  Your heart beats so fast in your chest, if you don’t get up and do it you know you will regret it for sure!

What a great blessing these boys are to our family!  They have changed our family dynamics for the better and I am grateful for that gift that we have been given.

We finished the evening on Saturday night with our good friends, Garth and Taffy and their family, by having our pre-fourth of July fireworks show.  Everyone loved it!  This year some aerial fireworks are legal.  Our friends had bought a couple of those so we sat on our driveway with these huge and beautiful fireworks going off over our heads.  The kids are all looking forward to another night of fireworks tomorrow night.  It is fun to share these new holidays with them and explain to them what they are all about. 

We should be headed to the temple this week to have the boys sealed to our family for time and all eternity.  We just have to make sure the temple has a slot for us to do it and the other kids get their temple recommends.  I can’t wait!  The baptism was wonderful.  I can’t even imagine what the temple sealing will be like.  All my children get to come in the sealing room together….it will be…how should I say…Heavenly!!!

The rest of the week went like this…Michael and Tyler spent the week at Timberline Leadership training camp as staff members and of course, they had another injury this year.  Our neighbor, David, was also staffing and fell and split his knee open.  The boys took great care of him, got him to the hospital and all is well.  Their family needs extra prayers this week as their oldest son, Devan will be having open heart surgery this week so please include him in your prayers. 

I was able to go on a hike this week with the Varsity troop….that would be Tyler, Jason, Vitaliy and Andy’s group as they hiked up and behind the “G” mountain to Indian Camp.  It is a constant straight up hike of five miles.  I probably shouldn’t have started my hiking this year with that hike because I was pretty sore, but….it is an amazing hike and we have amazing youth in our ward.  These are great young men that get better and better every year!

My prayers and thoughts go out to my friend, Steph, as her and her husband are back in Ukraine to get their boys…Steph…I am thinking of you always and pray that all will be well.  You are an amazing person and I know things will work out just as they should!!!