Thursday, June 18, 2015

Happy Birthday to Iryna

11 years old. Wow. Time has gone by and Iryna has certainly grown. Her interests include: Mario from Mario Bros, the color red, playing wii (mariokart and super Mario bros), and playing on starfall.com. We had a Mario birthday party for her recently and she had a great time. 

The balloon fairy came and brought eleven red balloons. Iryna requested the Amish breakfast casserole. 



Iryna needed a new dress and she loves red. A Chinese red dress was perfect!



This clock went promptly up on her bedroom wall. 


This watch lasted less than 24 hours. But she loved it. :-/


Iryna's teacher, Ms B, came for the party. 


What's better than a Mario blanket?



My awesome, super talented, cake-making best friend, Nichole, made a Mario cake for Iryna. She. Loved. It. 





Afterwards, the kids enjoyed some old school Super Mario Bros Super Show! I remember watching that when I was a kid. Happy Birthday to my Ukrainian princess! I love you. ❤️ 

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Count your many blessings

True to my word, I don't omit posts that detail my struggles. And I am struggling right now. Moving is TOUGH. And we already move every three years. I am used to that, but having to move one year after moving? Not fun. In fact, it stinks.

After a series of small miracles, we have signed a lease on a new house and will move in at the end of this month. Tyler and I are trying to figure out the logistics of when we will move what and where, etc. We are trying to pack up the house. In addition, we are repairing small things on our current rental with the hopes of getting our full deposit back when we move out. A lot of pressure and lots to do.

As if this were hard enough, our poor kids are feeling the stress in moving. Each one of them had been acting out in their own way, and this has been only increasing our stress. And the school year is drawn to a close.

Most people welcome summertime. There are some aspects of summer that I do like, such as sunshine and swimming. But I am not afraid to admit that having all 5 of my kids home all day long for days on end...that it is overwhelming and I find myself mentally and emotionally exhausted by the evening.

I am fully aware that there is nothing I can do to help myself out, other than to strive to see the positives and to share my gratitude to my Father in Heaven for my endless supply of blessings. I have found that when I verbally thank God for each of my blessings, as I notice them, that I am a happier person.

Speaking of blessings, I asked Tyler to give each of us a priesthood blessing after FHE last night. I was need some Heavenly perspective and I am so thankful to have a worthy priesthood holder in my husband. I am grateful for the love my Heavenly Father has for me, and for the words of comfort He gives me. I know that He will help us get through this transition and I have no doubt that we will be blessed through the process.

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Our lease is up

In the past 10 years that my husband has been in the Air Force, we have never had to relocate during our 2-3 years in one location. That is about to change. Our landlords informed us that they will not be renewing our lease and that we need to move out before the end of July. And so, move we must.

Yesterday we drove around several local neighborhoods, looking for rental signs in yards. Today I am going to look inside one of them. I feel comforted by the Holy Ghost that Heavenly Father will help me. I was reflecting upon the idea of working hard on earth for our heavenly mansions, and I was reminded again how aware Heavenly Father is of me. He knows my needs. He knows my limitations. Physically, I cannot really move much. I can pack items into boxes, but I cannot lift them. I can clean some things, but not everything. I have received offers from people wanting to help us and it humbles me to know that so many people care about our family. We are so blessed.

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This is an image of a rough-and-tumble boy. Holes, no tongues, and soles hanging halfway off. Silas sure knows how to play.


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This past weekend, Alan and Stefanie came to visit us with their kids. We had a jolly time and played loads of games, including quirkle, blokus, carcassonne, caylus, and rummikub. We are so grateful for good friends!


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Happy Memorial Day

 I found the picture below on Facebook and I think it really explains the military holidays very well. We had a nice day, spending time together as a family and enjoying our freedoms. Tyler read a poem that he wrote about serving in the military to protect our freedom and we had our FHE (Family Home Evening) lesson on Memorial Day and what it means.


Tyler at his softball game.


I made Homemade Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream. I have been missing cherry vanilla ice cream every since Blue Bell pulled their ice cream off the shelves. 

Tyler grilled some steaks. Silas kept coming out to help.

For lunch, I made homemade GF corndogs. It was really fun!

Recently, Tyler took the boys on an overnight campout. I took my girls out for some shoe shopping and some Chick-Fil-A. 


Then we came back home and painted toenails. I love being a mama!

And this little gem of a picture is to remind me how overstimulated Iryna can become at church and how if I am not watching her, she can disassemble anything, including her dress. :(

Friday, May 22, 2015

Homeschooling Anna

Anna has been asking to be homeschooled for several years now. Because she struggles in the social department, I never consented to the idea. I figured that she needed to be around other people. However, I thought that if I ever did homeschool my kids that it would be during the middle school years. After Anna was evaluated by the psychologist, we learned that Anna suffers from depression and social anxiety. This explains several behaviors, especially in Young Women's. When things started getting pretty bad, we decided to look into homeschooling. I prayed about it and Tyler also prayed about it. We felt good about it and have decided to move forward with it.

Wow! Homeschooling is not an easy thing to begin! There are so many resources and programs, online vs paper, etc. It is a daunting task, but I am excited about it. Anna will be in the 8th grade. I am looking for good curriculum for her and would welcome suggestions, websites, programs, and encouragement.


My latest project. BIG THANKS to Brittany for helping me do the maps. I love how it turned out. Forgive the reflection of Tyler in the middle picture. ‪#‎familiesareforever‬



The yellow chart is our regular chore chart. I made the red chart for the summertime. No electronics in the mornings. If you get all your check marks before lunch, you earn electronics in the afternoon.


We recently switched to sonic care battery-powered toothbrushes and they have made ALL the difference in our teeth. 6 months ago, every child had a cavitity. This month - NO ONE DID. I'm sold!



It has been cloudy lately and homemade crockpot applesauce has been so tasty. Yum!

I am getting ready for summer. What fun home ideas are you doing?

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Happy Birthday to Keith!

Happy Birthday to my second-born in the wilderness. Keith has been a light in my life ever since we adopted him at age 4. Keith's favorite color is yellow. His favorite meal is macaroni and cheese. His favorite cake is chocolate. Keith loves motorcycles. Keith doesn't want for anyone to be upset with him and tries to mend the situation, usually by saying: "I like you." Keith is tender hearted and an obedient child. He is a joy in our family. 


Keith wanted breakfast casserole this morning. It's also called Baked French Toast. 


Macaroni and cheese with salad for dinner. 


Steve is in our ward and owns a motorcycle. He was kind enough to come over and give Keith a ride. Keith was over the moon!



Nichole made this AMAZING motorcycle cake for Keith. He got to eat the bumper with his name on it. 



So many presents! All of them were motorcycle-based, except for some clothes I gave him. 





Keith's teacher came to surprise Keith. We also had Nichole's family and Amie's family come to celebrate. It was a great day. I love my bugaboo. 

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Cub Scout Hike

Tyler took the younger four kids on a Cub Scout hike. I am so grateful for a husband who is physically able and who desires to do outdoor activities with our kids. 






And then he comes home and needs a nap. I don't mind the snuggles. Snuggles make the world go 'round.