Monday, December 29, 2008

Tell me...

...What was your favorite gift, and why?

Monday, December 22, 2008

Cookies, and Bread, and Baking, Oh My!

We tried out making candy cane cookies this year. I let all the kids take turns rolling ropes of red and white dough for the canes.
They look better than they taste. But it was fun to make them!
I spent Saturday icing cookies and baking. Our class Christmas party was that evening and I felt responsible to offset our large family by taking plenty of food! I made my Grandmother's molasses bread recipe into rolls and they were very popular. I love that bread because it is so soft and slightly sweet. Mmmm...I whipped up some frosting for the kids and gave them each some cookies to decorate. Misha and Annette both enjoy piling the frosting high (my kind of kids!) and loading on the sprinkles!
I iced the gingerbread people myself since I know no one else can manage the piping bag and it is my favorite Christmas chore--even though it's messy. Ahhh...
All ready.

Now for this:

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I am: full!!!

Our Sunday school class Christmas party was tonight and the cookies called my name! Ugh! They still are begging for my attention. Yes, surprise, surprise--I overdid it on the sweets! I wish I had time to go for a looooonnnnggg walk!

But alas, I shall sleep it off--or, more accurately: I shall sleep it on.
Good night.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Something my brothers and sister will appreciate...

...Like Father Like Son-in-Law?

Hannah gave Steve this big mug for his birthday; he bragged that he could fit two ice cube trays of ice into it! I just groaned and got the camera.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Thanksgiving! ammended to include captions

Beth said it in her comment but this is how Kramer spent his weekend.

And this is how Simon's gun( and, though not pictured, also at least one light saber) spent it's weekend; safely held in Max's hand. I forget to watch him on this kind of thing. I noticed it at the orphanage too. All the kids would get a toy and then hang onto it whether they switched to another activity or not. Max is watching TV but oh, how he loved that gun! Once I noticed what he was doing I explained to him that he would have to choose, play with the toy or watch TV- but not both at the same time--I could see that was a difficult decision for him to make!

Hannah in her annual pilgrim getup. I wore this outfit when I was little.

Happily waiting for the food.

Little Jude and Lincoln. I am guessing those are Beth's toes in the backround. I mention that because I find it interesting that the two of us somehow inherited this trait that when we sit, we curl our toes under rather than tippi-toe style. We never noticed that we both did that until recently.
Beth's boy Jude with Grandpa.

Lynn, looking lovely and alluring. Nice necklace, Lynn!

This is becoming an annual picture of these two.

time for a walk

I took all the kids for a walk up the street before the big day ( Thanksgiving) . On the way back down the hill, they found some "treasures" and brought them home.
this silly boy wanted this leaf to be a hat for our pumpkin.
It was very important.
The pumpkin loved it.

Getting ready for Thanksgiving...

This little sweetie would rather help me bake than watch movies with her brothers and sisters.
She made the cherry pie. Daddy's favorite! We forgot to take "after" photos.

Extra pie crust: "cookies" and peanut butter and jelly stuffed pieces of dough. I think next time I'll leave out the peanut butter!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Cousin Fun

Our little nephew Simon has been visiting at Grandma's house quite a bit lately because my brother Nathan has been doing work for them there. Vitali has enjoyed having his little cousin to play with!

Monday, November 24, 2008

The coziest holiday of the year...

I am getting ready to bake tomorrow. Family is coming. The kids are excited. We have so much to be thankful for--I just love this time of year!
Remember Who deserves our thanks!
I hope you will all have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Posting a picture with no words makes me think of my friend Rachel, whose pictures blow mine away. 'Course, now it's not a picture with no words...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

You say "Obamanation"

... I say "Abomination".

Either way, It's not good.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Fun weekend

We never trick or treated when I was growing up. I used to think that people who did were devil worshipers or something! Even though this is true for some people, somewhere along the way I have changed my mind. Yes, I know about the pagan roots of the day and all but other holidays we celebrate have very pagan roots and Christians have taken them over! I like the victory in that and am proud of it. Now, I don't pretend to make Halloween into a Christian holiday but I do recognize that it has been "secularized" into pretty much a celebration of candy and costumes for much of the general public. Us included.

I don't blame or look down on those who don't celebrate it. Of course not! I can see both sides quite well. But really, for us, I see it as a kind of statement we make by celebrating it without the ghoulish parts.

Anyway, I go on and on sometimes...

We took the kids to trick or treat with some friends on Friday and on Saturday our church had it's annual Fall Festival which the kids all love. It was the first year for the boys and they were in awe!

Enjoy a few of my favorite pictures--in all mixed up order:
Hannah, Max, Misha, Annette, Vitali and Ivy

We split up at the church. Annette loved being biggest kid with Ivy and Vitali.

Vitali bragged about this one to the other boys. This policeman let him talk into his radio.


Having a good time!


"Police mam" That's how Misha says it.

Soldott. or in English, "Soldier" Vitali

What else would Ivy be?

Spider Max!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Family portraits

I had all the kiddos draw family pictures today during our school time. I loved seeing our family through each of their eyes.

Hannah did this one. I think it shows how she enjoys having a big family and is proud of being the oldest. She drew everyone Oldest to youngest. Ivy is wearing a princess dress because, well, Ivy is a princess around here!

Annette draws such sunny pictures that are so full of the idea of movement that I feel like we all must be dancing in her mind! She also drew everyone oldest to youngest. I think she likes to wrap herself in family. She is a perfect middle child because in her mind, the family all around her is like a big hug. She reminds me of both my dad and my mother-in-law in that way. They love to have their families all gathered around them.

I had a hard time getting a good picture of Ivy's. If you click on it, everyone is labeled. I taped their papers to the table to minimize the arguing over space but, despite the fact that her paper is fixed, Ivy seems to definitely think at random! Everyone is floating in all directions. The grass is sideways and the sky is on one side of her picture with the sun on the other. I guess she figured they needed to be on the paper and it didn't really matter where! I love all the fingers!

Max usually puts more detail into his drawings so it is unusual that he drew us as eight floating heads. This picture is unusual because there are no eagles or American/Ukrainian flags in it. There are some crosses across the top of the cloud though.

This one is Misha's. It cracks me up! See the description over on our adoption blog!

Vitali's looks like a bunch of floating squid. I am proud to be the giant red-head.

This was such a fun activity! I loved seeing how they each view our family and their places in it.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Accepting the challenge:

One of the blogs I frequent is Mary's over at Owlhaven. She is mom to ten kids (You thought our house was busy!) and I enjoy her daily posts about life and this and that. It's not really a family blog, not to many kid-pictures, although I am sure she has enough material to keep a blog pretty full!

Anyway, today she posted a challenge, To post the sixth picture of the sixth file from your pictures files. I did it and since it wasn't an unflattering picture of myself, I accepted the challenge. (Just keepin' it real, folks! Well, semi real--not so real that I will show the unflattering photos; just real enough to admit it.)

Here's mine! Where's yours? If you accept, leave a comment below with the link to your post so we can come and visit you!!

(My little Ivy at the petting area of the Knoxville zoo a couple of years ago)

I hope you'll play along!!!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Look what's for dinner!

So, I was looking in the "can cupboard" the other day for some miracle of deliciousness to serve to my hungry family for dinner when I came across something that caught my eye. Does it catch yours?
Thanks for the laugh, Hannah. :-) And what good comedic strategy to bury your joke in the back of the cupboard for over a week and not tell me about it! I am so proud. (Sob, Sniff)

Friday, September 19, 2008

A bunch more random photos from the trip

On our way to New York, we imposed upon my brother and his family on the day which also happened to be Hannah's birthday. We walked in to see balloons tied to the chairs and a delicious looking cake on the table. (I should not that this also turned out to be delicious tasting, too!)
The present stack looked better than the bag contents were but Hannah posed next to the carefully balanced pile, just the same. There was a karaoke machine in the big one on the bottom which kept us entertained well into the evening!

Steve's Uncle Richard invited us to stop by his farm on our way out of town to pick grapes. We jumped at the chance and picked quite a few! We're still eating them. Most of the kids have been averaging at least 2 bunches a day and there is still a day left! Mmmmm! Thank you, Dick and Stephanie!!

The kids had fun getting the last of their wiggles out for the day on this spinning teeter-totter like contraption. I don't know what it was, exactly, but it was fun!

Steve's parents home was overrun with pets. Theirs and visiting animals. Four baby kittens were excellent entertainment. This is Misha pretending to like the kittens. He really doesn't know why we all held them or why his brothers and sisters carried them all around. He did notice that holding a kitten and smiling would win him a spot on the camera. :-)

Wendy and Little-Wendy.

Steve helping his soon-to-be new little sister with her homework. Selena loves her Uncle Steve. My family will get a kick out of the fact that he is, hands down, her favorite uncle. As in, she cried for an hour in her bedroom after we left. Ha! Beat that, Aunt Elise. ;-)

Max and one of the four kittens. This one's name is Oreo. Another of Steve's new little sisters told me his name. Trouble is, she doesn't say her "r" sounds. So she said "Owee-owe". It took me a minute...

Ivy and a kitty watch Vitali color. He wants no help from the kitten.
But look at this trick, Mommy!
My next words were, "Ivy! don't do that to the kitten!"

Ivy as a flower girl again.

Pretty Annie


All but two of this generation of the family tree.

Steve dancing with Hannah and his youngest sister-to-be, Yasmin.
(pronounced Jasmine, for some reason)

Okay, that's it for now. I think the next photos will be about something else.