Monday, June 29, 2009

Home, Sweet Home

We just returned from our family (and friends) vacation to Walt Disney World! We had a blast and kicked off the summer right with hot weather, swimming, fast rides, great shows, popsicles, eating out, and spending quality time with loved ones. :) Pictures to follow, of course,

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

June 17

A year ago today we went to our appointment at the State Department of Adoptions in Kiev. I don't think that I will ever forget the date. I had probably said it hundreds of times over the previous couple months. We got ready early in the day and went over to find out that our appointment was going to be a little later in the day. I think we walked all over Kiev with Kostya and his family.

We were definitely nervous. The door where we entered is on the side of the building. You walk in and there are stairs immediately to your left. We waited on the stairs for a few minutes and we were called in. We sat in an office on the other side of a coffee sized table from a young lady with light, bright blue eyes. Thankfully Kostya went in with us to translate. It was nice to have a friend there.

I remember talking briefly with the girl before she started telling us about some of the kids available for adoption and showing us their pictures. I specifically remember an adorable little blond boy who was 3, 3 year old boy and girl twins, a set of 3 sisters with beautiful dark hair and eyes, and a set of three brothers. We were probably shown at least 10 different possibilities. None seemed just right. I could not figure out which was the child or children God had sent us to Ukraine to bring home with us. Kevin felt the same way. He just knew it was going to be very clear when we saw them. So far there was no light shining down from above or any playing of the hallelujah chorus. The girl briefly left the room and came back with some more options. I honestly can't remember if there were any others besides our kids in her hands. The second she showed us their pictures and told us about each one I knew it was them. I was actually afraid to look at Kevin because I wasn't sure he would feel the same way I did about them. He had been leaning farther toward 2 than 3 all along. Thankfully he felt the same way that I did. The picture they showed us of Sophie reminded him of me when I was little. Unlike most of the other referral pictures, these kids were playing or smiling.

We walked out of the SDA with a huge sense of relief. The only thing that had scared me about the trip was the not knowing. It was so nice to finally have that part behind us. We met up with Kostya's wife and son on the street lined with vendors outside the SDA. I remember getting cold drinks and talking to Olya all about the kids. Our kids. :)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Last Day of School

June 10 was the last day of the school year....

I packed 3 lunches for the last time. (I really don't enjoy packing lunches and don't miss getting out of bed in the dark so far this summer.)

I made a quick but fun special last day of school breakfast.

Woke these poor kids up for the last time for a while. As you can see Lily feels the same way about getting up that early as I do.

Took this picture as we got ready to walk to school and wondered....

has it really been 180 school days since this was taken? Look at those tiny kids from the first day of school! What a change.

Tate and I walked back home and wondered how we should spend our last day together. He made my bed for me while I worked on laundry. He laid down on Kevin's side and told me he looked like Papa. (This is how Kevin lays to watch TV.)

We decided to go to the mall.

Kevin met us there for lunch.

Tate and his Pop checking out the boats they were showing that day.

"This one has a tiny kitchen!"

There was even a fire truck.

Then we rushed home to make some treats for the after school party. These were a cute idea I had borrowed from something another mom in Julian's class had made. Can't say that junk food tasted any good, but they were sure cute!

We drove over and picked up the kids from school. They wanted last minute pictures with their teachers and hugs for the friends. We still beat the bus home though so the kids ran up the street to celebrate with their friends.

We celebrated for a bit with friends.

The girls celebrated like girls do...

and the dudes did their thing.

Everyone was so happy, if a bit hot!

Back home for a little last day of school present.

Summer clothes for their Build-A-Bears! (They had been wanting a change of clothes for them.) Sophie got pajamas for hers since she was going to her first real slumber party that night.

Unfortunately we had to make a pit stop at the dentist for Sophie to get her space maintainer put in.

Can you tell we spend a lot of time here? These two are watching a movie in the next chair over.

Then as quickly as we could get her home and packed up Sophie was off to the house next door for a slumber party.

The rest of us continued the last day of school festivities with dinner out and some Brewster's Homemade Ice Cream later on. What a day!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Field Day

The kids had their field days in late April this year. Smart school didn't wait for the end of the year when the kids would be too hot outside to really enjoy the games. Sophie and Julian both had theirs on the same day and Lily's was a week or two after. Tate and I came and watched the events. Kevin and I think it is silly that the school chose more of a team building type theme than a field day with ribbons and actual winners, but I guess that is our competitive natures speaking. We are proud of all three kids for giving their best athletically and for bringing their good attitudes.

Okay, just when you think that you have mastered the loading pictures backward thing that Blogger has you do, you wind up with another jumbled set. Oh, well. You get the idea.

This picture of Julian cheering on his teammates cracks me up.

These are three of the four little girls who speak Russian in Lily's kindergarten class. Who would have thought? That's Lily, Yana, and Elona. (Missing is Annie.) I would have definitely thought when we changed her name that she would have another Lily in her class before she would have another Elona!

This is Lily with her best friend, Yana. She and Lily co-won the award for "sweetest" girl in the class. How fun is that?

You can tell they just love each other!

Don't they even look a bit alike?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

NC Zoo

A couple of weekends ago we went to the NC Zoo in Asheboro. My friend Sarah and her family gave us a gift card to go as a family when we first brought the kids home. When we got rained out in the fall we decided to wait for some nice spring weather. We picked a perfect day! Sunny, but not too hot. We invited some good friends to come along and enjoy the day. We all had a blast!

Checking out the gators.

You don't want to run into this guy on a dark iceberg! That's Tate (5), Sophie (9), Lily (7), Trent (7), Kate (4), and Julian (8).

My coffee lovers made me take this one! :) (And by coffee we are talking frappucinos. ;) )

The zoo is what is called a natural habitat zoo. Animals aren't contained in small spaces like a typical zoo. Many are able to roam around in an environment similar to where they would live in the wild. In this picture there are some rhinos and elephants in the savannah.

The zoo is divided up into two main sections, North America and Africa. To get from one side to the other is a bit of a hike so we bought cold treats to keep our tired feet off of our minds and no one seemed to notice. :)

We had such a great day and we will definitely be back here sometime again. Thanks Sarah, Jeremy, and Lauren!

P.S. My lack of consistent blogging has made me feel overwhelmed. I keep trying to post but I can't decide where to start. I ended up not posting anything because I couldn't make up my mind. So from here on out I will try to just move forward and I may do some back posts if I get the time.

We only have two more days of school left and we can't wait to start all the summer fun!