Thursday, October 30, 2008

Ethan left for school today as an owl.  They had to be a character from something they were studying this year.  He wanted to be an owl and that character was from the Owl and the Pussy Cat poem.  Here is our awesome costume.
We then went to the Murray Rec Center to swim, but all the kids were in awe of this wax dude.  Pretty funny.
Ivan and Nick on the water slide.
Anya on the water slide.
Just hanging out in the swing on the deck.

After swimming we had lunch at the neighboring park and the kids saw some fish in the stream running through the park.  We headed home and just hung out for a bit.  I had to pick up the girls from Acting class... good thing, because Lexi told me that her birthday party was Friday at 11.  I never saw the invitation and we would have missed it and I would have been in big trouble.  She is having a How to Host a Murder birthday and each person is a character. Morgan is some famous soap opera singer.

Lorie wanted to know if anyone wanted to see Keatly play basketball and my crew all wanted to go.  So Morgan, Ivan, Anya and Marina went to the game and had a great time.  Grant and Nick skate boarded around and Ethan and Kassandra played and played.  It was a very nice, quiet couple of hours.  The game ended at 7 so we met everyone at Wendy's for hamburgers, mmmm.  Troy made it home just in time to eat with us, lucky him.  It was actually a lot of fun and the kids all crammed together around one table and ate.  

As if 9 wasn't late at all, we all headed over to Lorie's for a swim.  I watched as the kids played in the pool.  Marina and Luydmyla stayed home and watched a movie.  Troy had a stake meeting and Natasha was out with friends.  Good night for staying out since no one has school tomorrow (Friday), yeah!  I am so sleeping in.


As you can see today we made it to the Dinosaur Museum.  It was the one thing Marina said she wanted to do while she was here.  I'm so glad we were able to go and Marina really enjoyed it and took tons of pictures of all of the dinosaurs and creatures.  As usual Ivan and Nick took off at 90 miles an hour and thank goodness for Lori, she took off right after them.  Anya, Natasha and I wandered around and Marina ended up off exploring with Lyudmyla.  Sort of nice to have four adults.  We had a little lunch in the cafe and then went to sea the African 3-D IMAX Movie.  It was interesting the kids really got a kick trying to reach out and grab the trees and plants that we were driving through.  I got a little motion sick and had to close my eyes through the driving parts, pretty funny.  Anya kept checking on me.  I don't know if it was to see if my eyes were still closed or because she was a little bored.  It was a tad long for her.

This is Lyudmyla, the adult that came along from the kids orphanage.  The kids were excited to show her the house and thier rooms when we got home Tuesday.  I think Marina has enjoyed having someone to visit with also.

So, the kids just played the rest of the afternoon.  I'm thrilled that my kids don't have school tomorrow and we can all just hang out.  I'm also thrilled it's the end of the term and I don't have to think about homework for a few days.  I'm truly behind in knowing what is going on in my children's lives after I've partied it up for two weeks.  Grant is excited basket ball try outs and next week, it will be good for him to try out and (we are sure that he'll) make the team.  The kids have been troopers and have been really responsible with their homework, but have totally quit doing their chores.  

So we had a lovely family dinner and ate some fresh Alaska Salmon.  Then we finally brought in the (drum roll please.......) PUMPKINS!  Yes, we finally carved the pumpkins and they had a great time.  I helped Ethan, but everyone drew their own faces (front, back and sides) and carved and gutted them.  We roasted some seeds, but Marina was the only one from Ukraine brave enough to try them.  Ivan was too cute and pestered Troy to play basket ball with him and Grant - the first Jazz game of the season was on.  They played some ball and a little baseball.  

 Ivan loves cars, trucks, jeeps, etc. this was his favorite part of the dinosaur museum, the jeep in the cafe.  Ivan has cracked me up, he loves to tinker with things.  This week he took apart a broken remote control car (it was gutted, I kept thinking of the sound those parts would make in the vacuum) and he re-built it and got it running, it totally works now.  He is fascinated with cars.  The girls were mad yesterday as we uploaded pictures because when he had the camera he took a lot of pictures of cars (on the road, in the parking lot, even the lights and gas cap of my own car).  Yesterday he and Nick spent the day tinkering and changing the wheels on Jordan's skate boards.  First thing this morning he asked if he could go get one of the skate boards and set up the bike ramp.  

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Zoo Day

Hey, hey, hey.  Today we headed off to the Hogel Zoo.  Of course Nick and Ivan were off like gazelles so Lorie headed off after them.  Marina, Anya, Daniel (yep, from the airport) and I followed at a slightly slower pace, although Anya kept us moving.  We had an enjoyable day checking everything out.  I think Marina and Anya enjoyed having someone to chat with all day.  At one point we headed off and left Daniel talking to some people and Anya headed right back for him.  Ivan had the camera all day so I have yet to see what pictures he took.  

We have Natasha and Lyudmyla come home to stay with us after our zoo trip.  Natasha is one of the interpreters on the trip and Lyudmyla is one of the adults from our children's orphanage.  The kids really like her and like visiting with her.  So when we headed out at 5:55 to go to the ward trunk or treat activity we brought them along.  They are good sports, especially Lyudmyla since she doesn't speak any English.  The kids loved dressing up in their costumes and parading around the parking lot.  We had a dinner of corn bread and soup, which the children ate after Marina had some.  Then time for the candy.  Grant had the least and Anya had the most and every one else fell in between.  Marina was a sweet heart and sharing her candy with the adults.  Anya was watching and would offer a smarty out of the pack or a skittle out of the little bag.  She was trying so hard, but it was sure hard for her to give up something she received.  Jennifer also told me that the other kids would take one and Anya would take a handful, so something we'll have to talk about before Friday.  Oh, Cassandra came along and she and Ethan hung out with the Iversons.  Too cute, little Mini Mouse with 3 Jedi's, I think she was well protected.

I finally heard from Troy and the deal fell through yesterday so he's headed home.  Yeah!  But at 8:30 pm he was still sitting in the plane, that they were trying to fix, that was supposed to have left at 5 pm.  Boo!  

Manic Monday... not for me

Monday the kids had early out and I was trying to decide if we should all go somewhere after school or if we should hang around the house or if I should take the Ukraine children somewhere before the kids got out of school.  Too many options so I decided that we would hang around and then when my kids got home I would go to my pottery class.  Just the thought of going to class made me very happy!  So I told the kids we weren't going anywhere and asked them what they wanted to do here.  Well, they wanted to go somewhere.  Just my luck.  So I threw out some options and the girls wanted to go see another movie, but nothing started early enough for me to still make it to my class.  Ivan wanted to go bowling, now that we could do and I could still go to class.  So I pulled my two votes and said we were going bowling.  Ivan was happy, but Anya was not happy with me.  She was already pouting because I told her Marina and Grant were going to be in charge and I was going out.  But some how she survived and we had a fun time bowling and playing more arcade games.

Then I went to class and a good thing too.  Our mugs were due and I was able to finish my last three mugs and turn them in!  Yeah!  I enjoyed every minute of it and jumped right back into the swing of things when I got home.  Made dinner, hot dogs, ran Morgan to piano and then we went into Temple Square and saw the Testament.  Lorie and Keatly came with me, my kids and the girls.  The boys didn't want to go so we left them with Jordan.  It was good, I shouldn't have given the boys the option and just made them come with us, they would have liked the movie.  They had headsets set to Russian there for us so it was fun for the kids to be able to understand it.


We all headed to church on Sunday.  Marina, Ivan, Anya and I just attended the last two hours.  We had an interpreter come and talk about the Ukraine in primary and the children were able to ask the kids questions.  I think it was fun for them to be in the spot light.  We slipped into the last little bit of YW because they wanted to talk to Marina.
Well, isn't that a happy looking group.  Kidding, we were happy.  Troy had to pick up some documents from the office and so we took all the kids to his work to check out his building.  We went through the museum parts and then ate all the rest of the ice cream in the ice cream machine.  

We dropped Troy home to pack for his flight to NYC and I took the kids to Grandma's house.  They were so wound up, they ran and played on everything in the back yard.  Then it got dark and they came in and played with everything in the basement.  Mike and Melissa, who are grandma's neighbors who were adopted from Russia, came over to visit for a bit.  Melissa seemed to know a handful of words in Russian and tried to talk to the kids, but they were playing air hockey and you could hardly hear anything going on.  So I chatted with her for a bit.  She remembers some of her time in the orphanage in Russia and so we talked about that and her brothers and sisters who are still over there.  It was interesting to hear her points of view, she was terribly sad that the children had to go back and that they couldn't stay here.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Swimming Saturday

Saturday morning there was a group breakfast at a home in Salt Lake.  They had an amazing back yard.  Pool, swings, sport court, couple tramps and lots of lawn and garden.  A fun place to gather.  And lo and behold the kids all took off and played even Marina found kids to run around with.  After we ate they had a magician do some fun tricks.  Our neighbor Keatley got to levitate a table, Ethan learned a toilet paper trick and Morgan turned a flat duck into a real duck.  I just sat and soaked up the warm sun.  It was  a beautiful day and so we invaded Lori's home once again and spent the afternoon in her pool.  Lori and I moved our chairs around the pool to keep in the suns rays and the kids played and played.  It was very relaxing and an easy way to watch 6 kids.  (hint, hint Troy.... maybe not the 6 kids, but the pool hmmmm).   The girls also painted nails, danced to HSM3, made scrapbooks and beaded more necklaces and bracelets.  The O'Tooles house is like HEAVEN on earth for girls!  

Troy had talked about going out to eat, but with him at work I ordered pizza.  I knew Ivan would eat pizza so I placed an order.  Come to find out Lori bought hot dogs to cook and poor Nick couldn't decide what he wanted to eat.  It was two good choices and I think he ended up getting both : )  Troy took the boys out after and played some basket ball, but Ivan talked them into soccer after a bit.  I took myself to the grocery store, market, to enjoy the silence and pick up some more bananas and melons.  We discovered they love melons.  Too bad it isn't summer, we had great watermelons all summer this year.

Friday, October 24, 2008

I can't believe Friday is gone!

Wow, today just flew by.  We began our morning by watching another Harry Potter movie, ok I was feeling a little lazy.  I had a busy week, so I sat down and watched it with them.  I don't know how they can sit through an entire movie when they don't understand what is being said.  But they do.  After our video we walked up over the hills behind our house and got a view of Salt Lake City.  Even though it was a little hazy they really like the view of the valley.  They took pictures of each part of the valley, including refineries and trains.  Anya and Marina were our photographers today.  They let Ivan and I each take one picture and I had to beg for one of the three of them with the city behind them!  They love the camera and ipod.  I finally got Anya to share the ipod with Ivan yesterday, but he wouldn't let it out of his sight today.  Even Marina couldn't get a turn out of him.  So we had a lovely two hour walk/hike today.  They loved pouring water into their hands to let Percy have a drink.  They all just love the dog and Percy loves them too, most of the time.

We got home in time for some lunch.  Anya will eat about anything, Ivan had his usual fruit and yogurt and Marina had a turkey sandwich with me.  She's getting braver about eating the food, I worry a little about Ivan, but he can't be too hungry with all the fruit he puts away during the day.  It just can't be too filling.  He seems to eat with Nick all the time so that is reassuring.

So then we got the kids out of school a little early and showed Anya their classrooms and she met their teachers.  I think that was more fun for Morgan and Ethan and not quiet as fun as Anya thought it would be.  Then off to see High School Musical 3 with our neighbor who is hosting Nick.  The girls absolutely loved it.  Marina and Morgan came home and danced to High School Musical music.  I think it was a tad bit long for the boys, there were a lot of Troy and Gabriella songs going on.  

We brought Nick home with us and rode bikes for an hour.  Borrowing another neighbors toys we set up their bike ramp and Ivan and Nick loved riding over it.  Once we got air in Ivan's flat tire he was even popping wheelies.  (Thanks Masseys).  Then Ivan went to dinner with Nick and the entire O'Toole family and hung out with them, I'm sure he had a blast.   Cute Marina made us dinner.  Last night I asked her if she would like to cook for us and she really wanted to.  So I asked her what she would like to make and with our handy picture book she pointed to an omelette.  I said that would be great, but as I kept getting things out like cheese, bacon and peppers she was giving me some funny looks.  I soon figured out omelette to them is scrambled eggs.  But she cooked them perfectly and they were very tasty.  Anya and Ethan pitched in and set the table and got out some veggies and drinks, it was nice to have everyone help with dinner.  Anya can now count to seven, but we made it confusing with Troy at work, Grant went on a Scout camp out and Ivan was having dinner with Nick.  She was counting plates and trying to count people and the numbers weren't working out.  She makes me laugh, she is just a bundle of energy.  And with Grant and Ivan gone she knew she could watch a barbie movie. So we topped the night off with a barbie movie and Troy made it home in time to tuck them in bed.  They really like Troy and ask about him during the day and just light up when he comes home at night.