Sunday, February 6, 2011

Special times at the Horner Homestead

Ready for another update?
Adrian is doing VERY well with his English! 
Both writing and words!!
He amazes me with how much he is picking up so quickly!
Dude, I'd be lost if I was him.
I got maybe 3 or 4 words of Russian during our 7 week stay.

I got these handwriting board things before we left at Target on clearance for 50 cents!
He wanted to write his letters over and over b/c it was so cool that he could wipe it off and start again!

Ooooh!  Look!
A tractor!
Someone is going to come dig us out!
Well, not really but it gave us the unction to get out and work on it.
They did get the huge mound from behind the cars for us.

Fun times here.. Don't forget to take in your shovel before a snow/ice storm or blizzard..
It will get burried and it will be frozen..
Thankfully hot water melts it and you can get it out!
I love you honey!! 

We work smart around here... 

And we're out!
We needed a few things from Wal-Mart so off we went and looky what we saw..
That mound was pretty high but you can't really see it from this picture.. 

Austin, you are such a great big brother! 
Ayden and Lexi really look up to you and love you so much!
I'm so proud of you!
You are going to make a great Daddy and husband one day.

Yesterday was a very special day in the Horner household.
It is an evening that is planned for and anxiously awaited all year long..
Daddy Daughter Dance Night.
Daddy and Lexi go to the dance and Mommy and the boys have a date too.
This year was a bit different from the rest because of our change in circumstances we could not afford to take them all out to eat but we did it up right at home..
Melting Pot a la Horner's!
Yeah baby! 

Doesn't that look wonderful??
Let me tell you .. It was! 

After our nice dinner (we didn't use paper plates which equals "nice" dinner) it was time for Lou and Daddy to get all dressed up for their big date!

Here's my angel all dressed up, hair and make up done and ready to go! 

Isn't she gorgeous?!

I just love her!
Her hubby is going to be so blessed one day..
She is truly a gift and we are honored to be her parents.
We love you Lexi Lou! 
You are the most beautiful little girl both inside and out.
Your compassion and love for others inspires me.

She was courtseying like a princess!
Oh and Ayden was being a photo jacker!
(wonder where he gets that from??) 

The boys and Lou ready for our big night! 

I couldn't tell you how many pictures I took of the 4 of them trying to get them all smiling at once..
Yeah, probably never gonna happen!

Silly pic! 

Nope, not working..

And Daddy is now ready for his princess.
She sure loves him! 

He sure loves her! 

Me and my boys.
We did it up casual since we stayed home.
We usually get all dressed up and go out to eat somewhere fancy and then do whatever they want after that.
We had a great time though and it was nice to just be comfy! 

Me and my baby girl! 

We got Adrian's curtains up to start off our night.
He was so eager to get them up.
Nana had bought him some that he loved but they were too short so we had to get the bigger ones and he wanted a picture for Nana, so here you go Mom! 
Thanks for the curtains! 

Me and my boy Adrian..
Again, a little photo jacker in the back!

We got our coats on and headed outside to get some snow for some fresh snow ice cream. 

Homemade ice cream is so good!

We even added caramel and chocolate!
Sorry, Adrian, I cut off your head..but we got your ice cream in the pic! LOL 

Ha this is Ayden saying over and over "Mommy, it's DEEEEEEEEEEEEEElicious!!!"
Ayden you are the cutest little boy ever!
I sure love you and your silly faces and cute comments.
You keep me on my toes and I sure love everything about you.
I enjoy your cuddles and your sweet thoughts.
You are one special boy! 

After we ate our ice cream and warmed up by the fire we all got in our jammies and cuddled up in Mommy's and Daddy's bed for a movie.
They picked UP and we had a great time watching it together.
We had the volume ALL the way up on the TV and we pretended we were in a theater.
During the movie, I felt eyes on me..
You know how you just KNOW someone is looking at you?
I looked to my left and there was Adrian with a big smile and water in his eyes.
He was looking at me just smiling.
I said kind of sheepishly.. what?
He smiled and shook his head and leaned into me.
Made my heart swell up.
Just to imagine what he is thinking..
He is here.
With HIS family.
With HIS MOMMY and HIS BROTHERS and feeling so loved and at HOME.
Because that is just where he is and where he belongs.
Home with his family.
I am so happy you are here Adrian and love you so much!

Lexi and Bryan got home just before our movie ended and after it was over Lou crawled up into the bed to cuddle with me and tell me all about her special date with Daddy.
Let  me tell you now, the pillow was soaked with my tears!
As I held her and saw her smile and saw her in that dress with the white lace.. yeah you know where this is going... I started thinking before long this will be her telling me about her first date..
Then her first love and that she wants to get married and then I'll be watching her pick out her wedding dress and then with Bryan be giving her away.
It makes me cry just writing that!
I am so proud of her but man oh man time flies!
Cherish your family!
Cherish EVERY moment with your kids!
We are only blessed with them for what seems like a blink of an eye.
She told me it was the "best night ever" and I'm so glad she sees her time with her Daddy as so special.
I'm glad she has Bryan for a Daddy and that he loves her as much as he does and loves to spend time with her and show her how a lady is to be treated.
Man, we are blessed!
I love you Bryan!
Thank you for being an amazing husband and father!

Tonight was the Superbowl which for me means food and funny comercials and a little bit of football. lol
So, we had some chips and queso..
Sorry it was gone before I thought to take pictures!

I made some Jalapeno poppers - anything wrapped in bacon gets two thumbs up from me! 

Then I made some sugar cookies and iced them then the kids put some sprinkles on. 

Let me just tell you now, we are so blessed.
We are so thankful God CHOSE us to take this journey with him.
He has the best plans and we love him so much.
God is good and even when the devil tries to steer our attention away from God and his plans we will cling tight to the promises God has given us.
Please continue to be in prayer for our family during this time of adjustment as well as for our income situation.
Pray that the perfect job opportunity would be presented, available and accepted.
Pray that God would continue to provide in the mean time and pray for our adoption process with Anastasia.
We have got to get things rolling with her but can't do anything till the job is secured.
Thanks again for so many of you who have made a positive impact on our lives.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snowed in day #2

We are on day 2 of being snowed in and we are having a great time!
Today was still a bit too cold - high of 14 - for our family to get outside and play.
We had a morning full of school for everyone, ate some lunch and then had rest time.
I think Adrian is starting to wean himself from naps.
He is still laying and resting for a little bit though.
After rest time we got up and I had to finish up school with Lexi.
She is stubborn on her reading..
Wonder where she gets her stubborness from?!?!
She doesn't like to sound it out and it is easier to say I don't know how to read or it's too hard than it is to actually TRY and do it.  
Sad thing is she KNOWS how to do it!
She got used to the break in the Ukraine.
We weren't doing it everyday so she fell back some and now doesn't want to catch back up.
Funny thing is.. we mentioned a sleep over and the possiblity that she might not get to go if she didn't do her work right and guess what?!!?  SHE COULD READ!

After school, the kids went off to play for a bit in their rooms and were having a great time.

I got hungry and decided I wanted to make something homemade for dinner and I was missing the Ukrainian food we had..
Yes, I know...
and NO, not butter noodles! LOL


They are so good!
So, I searched around and found some recipes; none of which I ended up using, and I roped Bryan into helping me make them.

We decided to make the dough the same as we do for the homemade noodles we make and that was a great idea.  I'll salt the dough next time though.

I took pictures of our process for ya.

This is the dough rolled out and being cut into circles...

Bryan is rolling the sausage to fill the dumplings.
I then cook it and let it sit to drain the grease and then fill the dumplings. 
We used "breakfast" sausage this time but next time we'll try an italian sausage.

The kids were playing dress up at this point and having a blast.
We've got to get some bigger costumes for Adrian! LOL 

Have you met Cowboy Mario? 



And here are the dumplings as I started filling them. 

I even had superhero's come and help me fill them!
Bryan had to quit and go defrost the pipes in the kid's bathroom.
The running water got turned off and they froze up! 
We said a prayer and Bryan tackled it with the hair dryer.
THANK THE LORD it worked! 
The water is now running again!!!

So, here they are boiling in the water...
T-minus 7 minutes to yummy goodness! 

I remembered about half way through to take a picture for you...
My plate... 

Bryan's plate..
(Ayden's in the background) 

The dumplings got a "thumbs up" from everyone!
(I wonder if I'll ever get a good picture of him again??? LOL .. I HAD to teach him to do a silly face!!)
ha ha  

Ayden didn't want to stop eating them to take a picture! LOL 

I had to look around during dinner to remind myself I'm at home!!!

It was delicious!

I am so glad to be home though!!

I started saying "There's no place like home, there's no place like home."

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Did you miss us???

We've been really busy around here!

We are back to our school routine and settling in very well.
Here are some pictures of our school days..

This is Adrian practicing his name.

Break time!
This was cracking me up!
He got out there and climbed right in this car.
He was using his feet out the front to move the car.
He later tried to break the black parts off the car so no more car. LOL 

It's a bird!
It's a plane!

Here's my Austin the boston!  LOVE HIM!

All the kids at work in their jammies.
We love homeschool! 

Look at Ayden's work!
He's doing so great! 

Enjoy this video -
Adrian telling what his paper says :)

Time to clean up!
Ayden LOVES to vaccuum.
He even cleaned up Sister's room!

It was so beautiful outside the other day that we were all in short sleeves!
We had two HUGE successes this day..

Austin AND Adrian both learned how to ride their bikes!!


Yes you read that right.  Adrian had no idea how to ride a bike!
He got on and was pedaling backwards!
I was able to help him and show him to push forward and he got it so quickly!
I had to video it of course so Bryan got him going again and that's the video below.. (like after 3 pictures)ENJOY!
We sure did!

Bryan and I also took turns riding the bikes. LOL
Bryan has some skills on that bike..
I on the other hand .... not so much. 

Austin has been working so hard to figure out his bike and it clicked!
He was so happy!
I was going along holding the bike and helping him balance...
I let go, grabbed the camera and started filming..
Off he went! 
He crashed and I told him he had been going all that time by himself and he was like what??
I did??
He got up and kept practicing and he has it down!
We can all learn from this..
Get back up again!
Reminds me of a song..
I get down, He lifts me up~ I get down, he lifts me up!
In my weakness he is stronger..

This is the 2nd video of Austin so you can actually see him riding~
SO PROUD of my boy~

Look at Keithers with the helmet! lol 

It's Ms. Lindy's turn... 

My little poser..
Lexi Lou--
Yes, it is JANUARY in this picture!
It was beautiful outside! 

Adrian wanted his friend Erik to come over and see him ride his bike so they came on over and we had a great time watching the kids play outside.
Erik had a few tricks on the bike that were pretty cool.
I got them on video but it is taking too long to upload all these videos and so you'll have to imagine! LOL

I got to cuddle Benny (our neighbor's baby) and he went to sleep!
WOAH! How does he sleep like that!
I was wondering what he was leaning to look at and realized he was out! 

We had our welcome home party that night as well.

Here's Adrian and Erik sharing Goldfish.
Just think.. this time last year both of these boys were orphans.
No hope for a future..
And now... 

We had a wonderful time celebrating Adrian's homecoming with you all.
Thank you so much for coming and sharing your love and support for our family!

Adrian had a blast opening all his gifts :)
He has PLENTY of clothes now!

Silly face pic.. he must have really thought I was gonna lick him! LOL

I love it when he is this happy!
We got outside and let the party balloons go.
We weren't able to follow them long! LOL
It was pretty dark!

Friday we got to go visit our friends the Paytons..
Thankfully Brian Payton is a computer genius and fixed our computer- I dissapeared for a bit b/c we got hit with a killer computer virus that shut down the computer big time!
Layla and I took 3 of the kiddos with us to go to the store for some stuff and this was the view of the back seat.

We had a rough weekend medically..
We had allergic reactions, fevers, asthma attacks and flu like symptoms.
Thank God it didn't last long!~

Adrian in his bed with all his new blankets.
He loves his spiderman blankets!
Thank you Mom and Angela!

Adrian is a big helper and I love it!
He wanted to help with the laundry and so he was having to climb in and get the clothes!
Ha ha - look at his feet off the ground!

And now we are snowed in...
This was last night as it started...

This is this morning in the back yard...

Out the front door...

By the car...

The drift at the front door on the porch...

What better thing to enjoy with snow than....


This was a super simple recipe and was really good!
We used a new one this year and it was 8 cups of snow (we used 12 cups b/c it was too sweet), 1 can of sweetened condensed milk and 1 tsp of vanilla. 

Try it if you like and we hope you enjoy it!

So there's our update in pictures.

Some other things that have been going on are...

I am so very proud of Bryan.
He literally loathes job hunting.
He has consistently and actively searched and applied for numerous positions.
We are praying that he will find something soon that will support our family.
We have had so many of you pass on information, prayers and kind words and it means the world to us.
This was definately not something we were expecting but we are so honored that God would see it fit to use us again to show his glory and his power and his perfect plan.
We are all anxiously awaiting to see how he will show himself again through this situation.
God is good all the time!
He always provides for his own.
So glad to be a child of God!

We are not having snow days because we homeschool so that is keeping us busy and entertained.
Austin is working on his cursive handwriting and is getting better everyday.
Alexis is working very hard on her reading skills and is improving all the time.
Adrian is learning more and more sight words and working on writing his letters.  We are hoping to memorize the ABC's this week. 
Ayden is pretty interested in school these days so he is jumping in on the phonics worksheets and handwriting pages too.

I was sick on Sunday and missed church but all our Sunday School kids made me cards and that made my day!  Adrian made so many!  He came in to look at them with me and was shouting ADRIAN, ADRIAN, ADRIAN on just about every other one b/c he had made it! :)

We had a super busy day yesterday and we HAD a busy week lined up with doctor appointments, dentist appointments and eye doctor visits.
Adrian and Ayden went to the Doctor for a well child check and little did I know that Ayden would have to get 4 shots!  I knew he was due for vaccines at this appt but assumed it would be one.  WRONG!
He was not happy at all!
So, I bribed him with a Happy hour drink at Sonic.
Poor guy!

Adrian's medical records are all in Russian and his shots are so sparce and just odd that they didn't know what to do with him.
He has had like 4 or 5 polio shots!??!
He had a severe allergic reaction to the Hep B vaccine we got before leaving the country and hasn't had Hep A or the other rounds of Hep B. 
I can't even remember all the ones he has had and hasn't had but they decided that they would talk to the vaccine rep to see what on earth to do since he has aged out of most of them and it is not a requirement since we homeschool so we'll see what to do about that later. 
We definately didn't want to have any more reactions like we had last time.
That was NOT fun!

We then went to the eye doctor - just Adrian and I.
This was a challenge in itself b/c he cannot communicate with them.
We focused on numbers and tested him as well as we could with those.
He is measuring a slight prescription but the doctor decided it would be better to wait and recheck him in 6 months when he can read and know his letters so they can more accurately screen him.
He was doing the numbers at 20/20 but the other machines said he needed a small prescription.
I hope that make sense but the point is that he will be rechecked in 6 months and might need glasses at that time. He was pretty dissapointed actually!
He apparently wanted glasses like Momma and Austin.

That's about it for our week.
We had more appointments starting tomorrow for well child checks and dentist but I don't think we'll be getting out of this house any time soon!