Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Disney World 2009

We had a such a wonderful time with family and extended family at Disney World. It was a great bonding time for the 6 of us too. Sure it was hot, humid, and a bit crowded but the kids did it all (and I mean everything) with smiles on their faces and a spring in their step. They are such troopers and so happy to just be living life and part of such an adoring and loving family!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Special Visitors

The evening of the last day of school we got a surprise telephone call. It was Olya, the wife of our good friend and facilitator of our adoption. We knew that Kostya, Olya, and their son Nikita were visiting the US because we received an email link to pictures. We had missed the email detailing their plan to visit the U.S. and asking if we could spend some time with them because I'd used a hotmail email for the adoption since AOL isn't as compatible with Kostya's email address. So were we sad we missed out on making plans ahead with them and excited it still worked out that they were visiting another local family they had worked with so we could see them.

Michelle from From NC to Ukraine, her four delightful kids (including sweet and adorable Mary), and the Farkovets family joined us the next day at a Sprayground for a picnic lunch and time to catch up. The spot was close to Kevin's work so he was able to take a couple hours for lunch and join us. It was great to see old friends and get to talk with Michelle too. Thankfully all kids need to communicate is water and laughter, so the kids had a ball with Nikita!

One of the funniest parts of the visit was when Tate sat down next to Nikita and I told him to say something to Nikita in Russian. I figured he would say hello. He looked right at Nikita and said, "Machina!" (That means car.) We were all laughing, including Nikita who understands basic conversational English pretty well. Silly Tater-tot. Nikita actually liked to play with Lily best of all. She is very giggly and knows how to have a good time. They played in the fountains together for quite a while. Nikita told Olya, "Lily knows how to have fun!" I thought that was sweet.

As we chatted with Kostya and caught up I said it was a good thing they were visiting when they were because we were leaving in a week to head down to Disney World. They got a surprised look on their faces and said, "So are we!" We made plans to meet back up in Orlando. That made it a bit easier to say good bye to them on that day. :) What a fun coincidence. They also tried to talk us into heading out to California in July. They will be visiting some other friends out there then and that is where we are from, but we will likely not be headed out to California this summer.

Michelle sent me these first two pictures. Thanks, Michelle!

(That is Mary, the little firecracker down in the corner of the picture. If you want to read her adoption story you can click the link to the blog Michelle keeps. She is a much more faithful blogger than I am and she has great advice and anecdotes for adoptive parents. :) )

Can you see why the kids all adore Kostya? He is so playful!

Thanks for the visit Kostya, Olga, and Nikita!
If anyone is interested in getting in contact with our wonderful facilitator from Ukraine you can find him at the Ukraine Christian Adoption website.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Julian the Gymnast

Just before school got out Julian's gym had an Olympiad Day where we could come watch the skills he has practiced over the school year. Julian is quite the little gymnast. He is tiny and strong as can be, so this sport comes naturally to him. He really enjoyed it and the conditioning he got will help with any other sport he decides to try in the future. I bet he could go pretty far as a gymnast but he has decided to retire ;) and try soccer come fall. His coach was awesome and we would really miss him and the gym except that Lily started class there the very next week. We may have a little gymnast in the family yet.

On the rings:

His favorite skill each week was climbing this rope and ringing the bell at the top. He practically flies up there and the one without the knots in it too. Clearly he is not afraid of heights!

It wasn't a competition, but everyone got medals for participating.

Any other bloggers out there have suggestions for photo uploading? I have always just used the Blogger one on here with pictures I drag from my iPhoto account to my desktop and then upload. It takes forever and sometimes it is tricky to figure out the order Blogger is going to arrange them in. The time it takes is the #1 and only reason I don't blog as much as I wish I did. I often put the kids to bed and come down to post only to realize I am too worn out to start the tedious process. I tried to load them through for this post. It was quick to upload them but they were all huge. I tried to resize them but ended up scrapping the idea and doing it the same old way after about 30 minutes of playing with it. There must be a secret (that is probably only a secret to me) because some of you moms would not be posting as often as you do if it took you as long as it takes me. I have at least 10 posts in my head, but don't have 10 hours to post them. ;)