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Valentine Hair

February 13, 2015

This morning I woke up an hour early… I knew I would have a line at the Mom salon… and I did. Everyone wanted their hair done for Valentine’s Day (the at-school-version anyway…)

Here are two of my clients- the heart lace braids (we added a red bow), and the more mature version (it IS middle school after all…) with a heart loop pony tail.

valentine hair

Happy Valentine’s Day

February 12, 2015

I’m not a fan of the store bought Valentines. “Happy Valentines Day to my best friend”. Gag. My kid spent so much time worrying about which one would go to which friend, and that one can’t go to him because then people will think I have a crush on him, blah blah blah. So, photo booth it is!

She’s the only one young enough to do Valentines at school. Sniff.


We had a good time goofing around last night…


My Lubaloo

January 23, 2015

Over 2 years ago I got in contact with Alina Grace’s ex-stepfather. I asked him if he had any young photos of AG. He asked “Why would I keep photos of a kid who isn’t mine?” Ok. I asked him if he had any photos of her biological mother. He asked “Why would I keep photos of a woman who walked out on me and my son?” Ok. I asked if he had even a wedding photo of her- anything? He said probably and that he would look and send me a copy. Two years passed and nothing (other than a request for me to send him 3,000 euros- right). Earlier this week I got a notice that he visited my social media page. He sent me a message that only said “hello”. I responded and also asked him about that photo (I’m kind of persistent…) He said he would send it “soon”. I thanked him. A few days passed, and nothing. Today I woke up and was flooded with photos of my first girl. I was flooded with emotions. She has asked for these photos for four years, and I never had anything to give her (even though we have photos of some of her sisters). She wasn’t the favorite at the orphanage, so I only got one photo from them. This girl makes me loopy some days, but she will always be my first kiddo. Seeing her smiling in these photos make me so happy. Her memories of Ukraine are all bad. But now, I can show her that there must have been some happiness.

Part of me is afraid to show her. She’s been so good lately, I am afraid to rock the boat. I know she needs to see these photos, and really I’m thisclose to going to picking her up from school so I can hug her. She’s so stinking cute!

AG 2004 9

Not sure who that person is with her, but look at those dimples showing…

AG 2004 4

This is my favorite picture of her… it’s just so…. HER!

AG 2004 18 AG 2004 20

AG 2004 22 AG 2004 25

B’s Dance

November 19, 2014

This is mostly for Milena… Here is Brettyn’s dance show from yesterday!

Homeschool Update

November 19, 2014

We just closed Ayla’s first term grades. I have to keep grades for 2 reasons A: She plays school sports and B: She hopes to go back to regular school full time in the future. So, I kept the weight of assignments the same, and scored her just as her teachers would. The biggest difference for me is that if it’s wrong (grammar, spelling, etc.) I do not mark it right (her school used to just mark it right- she’s an ELL student after all…). I have her go back and correct it until it is right. She works really hard. She ended up with AWESOME grades! I have noticed a real improvement in her sentence structure. No one told her what she was saying before was incorrect.
When I pulled her out of school, she had an F in Math. At the close of the semester, she had a 94 average. Her math class is 100% computer based. I help VERY little with math (I’m terrible at math!). She GETS it now. She can rewind the lessons and listen to what she doesn’t quite understand.
I am very happy with her homeschooling. I am very impressed with how hard she works.

And then…. we still have our moments. Like last night…. I opened her ESL workbook,  and checked her work. And this is what I found:


Oh bless her heart! I laughed so hard, I was crying! We still have a long road ahead of us!

A Busy Day

November 18, 2014

Last night, before I went to sleep, I said a prayer for our host kiddo. Yana spent the summer with us. A 15 year old orphan from Ukraine. Our 4th daughter’s best friend from the orphanage.
While I was sleeping, Yana’s whole life changed. She’s still 15, but she’s no longer an orphan. Yana has a family. She was adopted by a family from GA. They have a younger daughter as well, so Yana will now have an older biological sister (whom she is very close to) and now a new little sister!

I have thought about this girl every day since I met her. I remember her pulling me out into the hallway at the orphanage, taking a deep breath, and asking to be part of our family. She was not available for international adoption at the time, believe me, I tried. But I promised I would find her a family. There was no way I was letting her become a statistic. And today, my, errr, her prayers have been answered. She has a family.

Yana was the last kid I KNOW in Ukraine that is available for adoption. All of the kids I have met over the last 4 years at 2 different orphanages that are AVAILABLE for adoption have been adopted. Amazing!

Yana adopted

Today I also scooted out of work to go to Brettyn’s school. Her school was doing an international dance and music show. Her grade was doing Sweden. They had to dress in a traditional Swedish costume (she looks more Ukrainian than Swedish, oh well…) and they did a dance. Brettyn was a great little dancer out there! At the end, 2 students from each class were invited to the stage to sing a song that says “Thank you” in many different language. Brettyn was chosen from her class. They said “Thank you” in Did Brettyn sing it? Nope. She was too busy being “red like a tomato” because she was so nervous! Oh well, she was a cute tomato!

IMG_3504 IMG_3505

More Birthdays…

October 29, 2014

October is the month for birthdays. AG was first, turning 13, Maeve followed 5 days later ALSO turning 13, and we just celebrated Ayla earlier this week turning 13+1 (I haven’t come to grips yet with her actual age… give me time!)


Who knew a child could love a BAG so much? She kept hugging it and professing her love for it! Good choice, Memom!


Peanut butter pies- Ayla and Memom made them together. Homeschool science/math class can sure be YUMMY!


The rest of her Harry Po.tter collection on DVD


Ayla has always been my “Starfish Girl”


Handmade Ukrainian shirt


Chocolate heath bar trifle- a family favorite, thanks to Granny!


Half of my kids are now teenagers. I’m not ok with that. Just for the record. Let’s go back in time…


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