Thursday, March 31, 2011

hee hee.

What do you call cheese that isn't yours?

Do you like*** BLING***???

Well, this is your last chance to win this fabulous diamond ring!  

Just $5.00 per entry....and you can enter as many times as you like....this is a $2,000 ring AND it will really help bring these two angels home...their family is traveling SOON and is still in need of funds...

And on a side note, one year ago today we were having court in  Zaporizhia Ukraine, and Artiom officially became a Lewandoski :) :)


It's my baby boy's 4th birthday.... Happy Birthday Alex!  (even though he's not happy about having a birthday because he doesn't like the number 4)  ha haa.  silly boy.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

My one year ago reminisce post...oh, how I wish I could go back and do it all over again :)

 This is the sign for the little village we were going to ....Alexander had to clean mud off it that someone splattered on it...he called it Maryuka graffiti :)

Our night at Rambo's....


Alexander came to pick us up and take us to Maryuka around 4 pm. Maryuka is the little country town that Alexander has a home at, and his next door neighbor is the 'other' Alexander, whom I call Rambo. I call him that because he is burly and tough and was a soldier in the Russian military until he was wounded in many places, that he DID show to me, BOTH times we visited him :)

Rambo speaks some English, so he LOVED talking with us. In fact, he wanted to be the ONLY one doing the talking...any time someone else would start talking he would say "stop it, stop it, stop it" then he would start talking again.

So anyway, on our way out to his house we had to stop several places with 'our' Alexander looking for some fish for supper. The little road side stands were all out, so we had to drive to some kind of outdoor market that still had some left. Alexander picked it out and some seasonings for it too.

The drive there was SO beautiful. We were there on our first trip, but it was in the middle of winter and not so pretty then. I LOVE the countryside, so this was a little piece of heaven for me.

When we turn down the road they live on we see Rambo sitting in the road waiting for us :) He was so excited to see us again and hugged us and said "my friends, my friends". We followed him up to his house, avoiding that mean dog again, who was choking himself on the chain as he tried to reach us. He showed us around his little farm, remember last time it was WAY too cold to stay outside long, so we didn't really see much. He had geese, chickens, dogs,cats,pheasants, and probably some other critters we didn't see.

(hey, it's hard to find entertainment in the country, ya know.  And the vodka was kickin in!)

His 13 yr old daughter and her friend were trying to sneak glances at us and snickering...they were very shy around 'Americans' and didn't want to come near us.

He called them over and introduced us, along with his wife, who was also not too keen on being around us :) I gave them some pop rocks and they went behind one of the sheds to see what they were, too bad, cause I would have like to have seen their faces when they tried them :)

Anyway, then Rambo told us he had a friend coming with a horse for us to ride....

Hmmm...I'm up for a lot of things, but I haven't ridden a horse in 20 yrs! But we'll see. Rambo said, 'lets go walk down the road and see if he's coming' so we all go walking down the road. A guy rides by on a bike and does the 'knuckle' thing to Rambo like they are friends. So, I said "is that your friend?" He shook his head and said NO.

We kept walking and soon someone comes out of their house and says something to him...he answers back like they are friends, so I say "is that your friend?" he shook his head and said NO again :) I'm starting to see a pattern here.... Then a car came rumbling by very fast with dust flying and I said "Alexander, your going to get run over" and he smiled and said 'NO PROBLEM, the dog before come out and get run right over, and NO PROBLEM, dog is fine" So apparently even the dogs are tough there :)

Then we heard clip clopping coming down the road. Around the corner comes this shaggy looking horse with this really big, grumpy looking guy driving an ancient looking wooden cart. Our ride. I was just glad I didn't have to get ON the horse.

The guy looked intimidating, I said something to him and he just shook his head, no English, and no smile either.

His name is Ivan and he is going to take us on a ride around Maryuka. Rambo gets out a 2x6 board for us to sit on in the back of the cart and says to climb in. There was no lady like way to do that, so I just did my best not to fall off as I climbed up. Rambo and Ivan were on the small board right in front of us. Off we went down the little dirt roads of Maryuka, where little old fashioned homes lined the roads, all with dogs chained up barking at us. People were coming out of their homes and waving at us, keep in mind this is a very small country town and I think word got around that the Americans were coming back :) So we kept clopping along waving, and trying to hang on, as our piece of wood was moving around. Rambo's dogs were following us in the dust. I tell you I felt like Princess Diana waving to her people! OK, maybe her long lost...very distant..second cousin...or something like that on my little wooden cart with the scruffy horse! ha ha ha. But still the same feeling, I'm sure ;)

We went to a beautiful church out in the middle of no where. It was unbelievably beautiful for the area. We went inside and took some photo's, the care takers weren't thrilled about us being in there, so we kept that part short. Then Rambo took us out back to the cemetery. It was huge, and well taken care of. He showed us the graves of his relatives, most all had treats like cookies and candy on them. And most all had nice pictures of the people on the grave stones. I was sort of surprised by that.

Then it was time to go, because 'our' Alexander was back at the house cooking us supper. As I tried to climb back in the cart, the horse got a little antsy...I almost fell right back out. I just sat down on the piece of wood when the darn horse jumped ahead and I went backwards and my feet went over my head! NOT FLATTERING in the much for the whole Princess Diana thing...

We get the horse calmed down and when Rich stops laughing, he gets in and we go. Then the horse goes over a big rut and BANG the board that both Ivan and Rambo was sitting on BREAKS and they fall down to the floor!!! ON MY FOOT!!!!!!!

Now these are 2 very big men, and my ankle was under them. All I could think was #1 this is HILARIOUS and #2 IT HURTS and #3 and most important, we have COURT in the morning and if I break my ankle what am I going to do????

So Ivan scoots over and sort of sits on the side of the cart. Not Rambo though, he just stays on the floor of the cart talking a mile a minute as usual :) I did get him off my ankle though.

that's home made vodka in that big container :)
I was starving by the time we got back and Alexander had made a 'unique' combination of foods for us. Although he did put me to work peeling potatoes when we got back :) He put me to shame because he was so much better and faster at peeling than I was.
Here he is cutting our supper with an ax he just got off the woodpile :)

When it was done we all sat down to fish, mashed potatoes with egg mixed in them, salsa,eggs,and tomatoes. An ODD combination for sure, but I have to say, it was really good!

Then came the home made vodka, made by Galina, Alexanders mother in law. We all toasted to 'love and friendship' as Rambo likes to do. Many times. Let me tell you that boy, can that Ivan drink! Not little shots either, but BIG ones. He would turn a little purple after downing one, but then recover and have another. Our friend Nikola came from down the road, he was our sweet friend we met last time we were there. I was glad to see him.

We talked and laughed and enjoyed the evening for a long time, then Alexander gets up and he and Kola (Nikola) go outside so we all get up and follow. They go to the shed that has one little light on, (it was dark outside) and he plugs in a barber shaver and starts shaving Kola's hair! Now keep in mind that Alexander was the only one NOT drinking the vodka....and HE was the one doing the shaving. We started laughing at Kola, who apparently didn't realize he was getting it shaved right down to the skin. When he reached up and felt it he stood up quick and said ZIRCOLA ZIRCOLA which means mirror...we are all laughing and saying NO ZIRCOLA NO ZIRCOLA. Alexander made him sit back down to try and 'fix'it.

Ivan went in the house and came back out with a tray guessed it, Vodka. You know, you can't be outside for a half hour and NOT have vodka! So he passed it all around, and by this time the whole hair cutting thing was FAR more hilarious than anything else we have ever seen...

I told Alexander to let me try to fix his hair, that I was a professional (no, I am not) So I gave it a shot, but Kola didn't want anyone cutting it anymore, so he wouldn't stay still. When the rest saw I was cutting hair, they all lined up for me to cut theirs too!

I shaved Rambo's hair right down to the skin. Now this is a guy that has hair on the sides and back, but NOT on when I was shaving, a big clump of hair fell off and Ivan, who by the way got WAY more friendly as the night went on (vodka ;)) took the clump of hair and put it on the bald spot! Rambo didn't know and just kept blabbering, I swear he never shut up, but we were all dying laughing so hard with those big clumps of hair on top of his head!!!

This was the funniest night of my life. It was crazy. Yet so darn funny.

We all went in the house after a while when we couldn't laugh anymore. Kola didn't though, he got mad about his hair and walked home.

Before we left Rich asked Rambo if he had a 'water closet' which Rambo just smiled and pointed to the road. He wasn't kidding either.

We didn't get back to our hotel till 12:30 in the morning and we had court the next morning! But that was a night I wouldn't trade for anything.

I miss my friends.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Help bring Noah home....and a GREAT giveaway!

Here is the link to another family working HARD to bring this sweet boy home....this is little Noah and he's waiting and waiting for his family to come for him. This is from their blog:

It’s no secret that we love Noah and it’s no secret that the cost to adopt him is beyond what we can afford. But also is it no secret that we believe in a mountain moving, awe inspiring God who is exceedingly and abundantly able to do above all we ask or imagine! So we are beginning this give away with a big goal and an even bigger God!!! We need to raise $8,000 to cover our facilitation fees. Here is what we have to offer you:

■Nikon D3100 Camera Body

■AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens

■AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-200mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR lens

■Camera Case

■4GB SDHC Card

■Rechargeable Li-ion Battery

■Battery Charger

■Camera Strap

■ViewNX 2 CD-ROM

■Nikon School Training Pack

•Fast, Fun & Easy DVD for D3100

•Understanding Digital Photography DVD

•Guide to Digital Photography Booklet

Here are the details:

$10= 1 entry

$25= 3 entries

$50= 8 entries

$100= 20 entries

$150= 35 entries

$300= 80 entries!!!!

The give away will end March 31st at 8pm PST and the winner will be announced April 2nd!
Ok, there’s more… Because this is a high goal (but with God all things are possible!!) we need some help with publicity. No question that the more a giveaway (and a need!) are “out there”, the more people will see it and be able to pitch in (and get a chance to win such a nice camera). So… those of you with blogs and/or FaceBook, we have another give-away for you!

My friend, Jennifer Scheiter, has donated a $25 gift card for Bath and Body Works. Every person, whether or not they have donated to the Nikon D3100 Camera giveaway, can earn up to TWO ENTRIES PER DAY by posting a link to this give-away on their blog and/or FaceBook! Yep, you could get $25 for posting a link :) So… leave a comment here with a link to your blog post or letting us know you posted it on FB for EACH TIME that you do! (Winner’s links will be verified). Encourage your friends to post as well!

All donations need to go into the chip-in link on our page so that we are able to get an accurate count of who donated and how much so one of you can win the Nikon D3100

***I don’t understand why but Chip-In is having problems with people using Firefox. This is not just this giveaway’s problem but all those using the Firefox-ChipIn combination. Please use Internet Explorer, Safari, or Google Chrome to make a donation. Thank you for understanding!***
                                          This is little Noah in a pink snowsuit ;)

Sunday, March 27, 2011 my mind, I'm HERE

This makes beautiful background noise :)  I'm dreaming I'm in Florida right now.

Friday, March 25, 2011

My dad was on a roll today....

But you all know my dad is 'salty' keep that in mind.

He came in the door today (they come over every morning for breakfast) shuffling his way to the table and his pants fell down!  He forgot his suspenders, ha haa ha.
 Then he sat down on the couch and said if he couldn't have a certain chair at the table (the one I was on) that he wasn't going to eat. 
Then when he came to the table because I gave him the chair, I put an egg in front of him.  He looked at it and said "you know this came out of a chickens a**hole"  (SORRY! but I told you he was salty)

Then he took a drink of his pediasure and coughed it all over. 

Then after breakfast he went back to the couch and was grabbing Alex and making him scream.  Alex and Mackenzie had been playing with a toy rifle and Alex was screaming  "Mackenzie, grab the gun...grab the gun"!!!! 

Do things like this happen at YOUR house?  Or is mine just a nut-house......

Thursday, March 24, 2011

the things we do to beautify ourselves ;)

I just got some 'Ancient Aztec Secret Clay' facemask....the instuctions said mix with vinegar and leave on for 10 in MY way of thinking if 10 minutes has good results then 25 minutes will have FABULOUS results...right??


My face feels like it's on fire!


But I bet once the redness goes away, I'm going to be beeeeautiful ;)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I'm 'bumping' darling Paisley for sweet Kameron :)

Ok...this little girls family does INDEED leave in 3 days to get her!  And they're still PLEASE, please go take a look at their blog and help in ANY way you can....really no amount is too small! 

Together we can do this...we can help them get to this little girl who needs them SO badly.

Thank you so much for caring about the 'least of these' ....the forgotten little souls that so NEED our help.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Paisley~Paisley~ Paisley~









Monday, March 21, 2011

World Down Syndrome Day~ Sweet Elden

This post comes from someone with a similar heart for these beautiful children.  Her name is Jaki and she's fallen in love with Elden and wants desperately to find him a family.....check out her blog :)  and take another look at sweet Elden, who is still waiting for his family to come for him.

21-3-11 World Down Syndrome Day

Today, March 21, is World Down Syndrome Day!


3/21 represents the 3 copies of chromosome 21 that makes those individuals with the extra chromosome unique in their own special way.


While our country has a long way to go to complete acceptance of these individuals, who are only a blessing to those lucky enough to know them, other countries still consider them unworthy of a normal life. Parents are socially forced to place their children in an orphanage in hopes that someone from another country will adopt them and give them the life they deserve and help them to reach their full potential. If their forever family does not find them by the age of 5 the child is placed in an institution and is unadoptable. They will spend the rest of their life in miserable conditions.....and most will not live a full life.

Reece's Rainbow is an International Down Syndrome Orphan Ministry that helps those forever families out there find their child and bring them home!!! They do this....."Because every family deserves the blessing of a child with Down Syndrome."


Meet Elden (pictured below)!

God has place this child in my heart in a BIG way! I don't know yet if we are meant to be his forever family or if I am touched by his smile so there is someone out there helping his grant grow on Reece's Rainbow to help his forever family bring him home. Until that becomes clear to me I am on a mission to get some money in his grant fund. I have made the first $5 donation to his grant fund and would love if others out there would prayerfully consider donating just $5 today, 3/21, in honor of World Down Syndrome Day. It is so HERE and then click the donate button under his description. Because you are donating through Reece's Rainbow your donations are tax deductible. Consider passing up that coffee at Starbucks or that shamrock shake at McDonald's. And don't think that just $5 will never be enough....every penny helps! Elden just turned 4 in February...the clock is ticking quickly...soon his time will be up and he will face the institution and that sweet smile will be no longer!

Elden ~ Boy ~ Birthday February 2007 ~ Brown Eyes ~ Dark Hair

He is described as having a calm character.

From a missionary that visited with him recently:

"Elden is very lively, joyful and playful. He loves games and jokes. He is a favorite of kids and personnel at the orphanage. Elden is a special kid. Before he was week but due to attention of caregivers and lessons he made a great progress. He has become strong and now quickly learns everything new. He as well started walking."


Please, if you are willing, share this post with your family and friends. Help me rally for Elden and find him a forever family!!!


Click here to donate to Elden's grant fund!

Posted by Jaki at 9:24 AM 0 comments:

Thanks Jaki for a beautiful post on Elden....I'd love to help you find him a family :)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Michael bought his brother a birthday present with his own money :)

Alex is turning 4 soon, but Michael didn't want to wait...
So, he gave it to him today...

                       Brother hugs....Toma has to get a little love too ;)

It's a thomas the train board Alex can drive his trains on!( he got it at a garage sale, that's my boy!)  Michael's my big sweetie :)

*******  oh, and another sweet thing about Michael...every single night he has to kiss me 6 times and say "God loves you and so do I and the rest of the family"  and he say's that twice ...every single night ;)

He's my tender hearted boy.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

who's this kid?

Today a local (used) clothing store was having a half off is my Michael totally bored clothes shopping...and being goofy :)

I think he'd be so cute as a brunette.....his teenage sister thought it was disgusting that he put an old wig on.   She may be right, but it was funny!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Fatherless Friday ~ For the love of Paisley

Ok, well I tried to make this as cool as Gretchen's blog post  But after about 45 minutes of copying pictures and trying to line them up with the appropriate spots....I figured it would be much wiser to just post their links.

But first look at darling Paisley....

Her family at  is trying desperately to raise the funds to bring her home...right now she's a lonely little orphan in Eastern Europe...but she has a mom and a dad and 3 big brothers that can't WAIT to make her part of the family :)

Renee, (mom) has been pulling out all the stops to make this happen...she has been baking up a storm for months to earn money for the adoption and on top of that she is giving away some beeeautiful  jewelry....

Her friends have gone PINK for Paisley!

And Renee has taken a pie in her face...And so has another loyal friend, only I can't gt that picture to load, BUT YOU CAN SEE IT ON HER BLOG  :)

All this ....and countless, countless, prayers for their little girl to come home.  The daughter of her heart <3.
Please check out her blog, pray along with her and help out if you can.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

My new health regimen.. :)

So Shane's been ordering all kinds of 'health' stuff and using me as his guinea pig.  I haven't felt good for days because of it either....but he swears its just the body detoxifying itself and becoming used to new things it's never had before.

It feels like mount Vesuvius in my stomach.

The concoction is:

Vit. C in HUGE doses
Vit.B complex
Rhodiola Rosea

big gobs of Coconut Oil
Apple cider vinegar

(Soon to be added) -
Mineral supplement, calcium magnesium etc.
Lugol's Iodine solution
Feverfew for occasional headaches

Rich thinks we're nuts.  He just shakes his head at me and rolls his eyes when I complain about not feeling so good while taking all this stuff.

But when my biological clock starts to reverse itself and I start to look 10 years younger....and thinner....and he continues to get a little more grey and a little bit bigger pants....Well, then we'll just see who's laughing.

If any of you want the amounts, you can do it too, just let me know ;) 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Does this guy come to YOUR house?

He comes here....the kids have been counting down the days.

And I only have one day left to make it to the dollar store!

 He always brings goodies and green sparkly things to our house....last year he left a trail of green glitter all around the house...baaad idea.  I'm sure this year he's going to be MUCH smarter ;)

What does he do at YOUR house??

Monday, March 14, 2011

Jacee singing with Rascal Flatts

He did GREAT...and I bet he had the time of his life!

Can you imagine being 15 and not only meeting RF....but singing onstage with them!

I love this picture..he's so cute!  Love him!
His mom said it was 'like being in a dream awake', seeing her son up there singing....
I bet it was :)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Toma in his NEW GLASSES!!!! funny ;)

Isn't he adorable?!?!?

But he doesn't like them at all!

Then Mr. Alex had to get in on the action too :)

Artiom's big news :)

He lost his first tooth!  (teeth, actually)
He must have swallowed the first one though, because I didn't find it anywhere...yet.  But I wiggled the second one until it popped out.  He laughed and laughed. 

This was kind of special because obviously we missed most of his 'firsts'  because we got him when he was 5, so this was one 'first' we didn't miss :)

His glasses are in, I just have to go down to the cities to pick them up....we are STILL waiting on the hearing aids....I can't believe it.  It's been since last JULY!  The audiologist is apparently still waiting to hear from our insurance.  What in the world.  

I've been going back and forth with the two different hospitals we take him to about when to schedule the palate surgery....we've had him in twice for MRI's and x-rays to get a good idea what the issues are with his spine and neck....and if extending it for prolonged periods of time (surgery) is safe.

Well, now they said he needs yet ANOTHER MRI done to be sure.  It's a bit frustrating that they couldn't have done what they needed to do the first 2 times.

And its REALLY expensive!

So, now we are hoping to get him on a different kind of insurance this July.  So after talking to the Dr. we decided to wait on the surgery until then.  And same goes for his dental work, because of the sedation and neck extension....  but his dentist said his cavities weren't as bad as I thought they were.

He's getting much more playful with the other kids.  He's interacting a little more.  He gets excited when Rich gets home from work and goes running to him :)

He loves to go places, when he sees someone put a coat on he takes our hands and leads us to the coat rack to get his jacket too.

He's still obsessed very interested in water.  Especially the sprayer on the sink.  He had a squirt gun and loved it...kept spraying himself in the face with it and laughing....but it got a little obsessive too, so I took it away for a while.

So there you have it, my baby's not a baby anymore     :) 

exciting Toma news

I've got some exciting news about Toma....but I'm not going to share it until I get some comments on my favorite teenage singer....below.....

Friday, March 11, 2011

Mardi Gras and Jacee, of course!

Here's my favorite young singer at Mardi Gras....

More interviews...  (isn't he cute!)  (another video of his Mardi Gras performance)

His proud Mother :)

throwing the beads....

being silly, because he's a kid and he CAN!

**there's lots more pictures on this link if you're interested...  I wish him all the best, he's a really neat young man  :)