Thursday, January 5, 2012

PICTURES and a few days update :)

Isn't he just the cutest thing??

 Everyone coloring before Daddy headed back to America.
 (Minus Aliyah of course, she's still at gpa's)

Oh my goodness, Ok, they have the strangest things caged in the strangest places around here.
Pigeons for example.
In the middle of a lot.
On the way out of the village we are staying in, there is this pen of chickens..
With a HUGE turkey in it!
It cracks us up!
Lexi told us the other day to look at the turkey as we drove past and we were like, Lou, honey, that's chickens.
She swore it was a turkey cause she saw the big red thing and it had a long neck.
Sure enough!

 That's not even the best part!  The best part of the story is that we walked past there later and she gobbled at it and .. it gobbled back!! IT. WAS. HILARIOUS!!! 
I got it on video and I'll have to see about uploading it if the internet is working well enough later.

This is the street that we live off of.
  This is where we turn of the main road to go home.  A bit sloshy :)

A view of the city we are staying in.

I'm not quite sure what this is, but there is a big green fence that goes on forever
and there are a ton of trees with the bottoms painted for rot I think.
Anyway, it reminded me of the zoo back home.
We kept looking for the Giraffes.
And, I had my eye out for the creepy ostrich! :)
Bryan was teasing me about it.
I hate those things!
So creepy looking.
Not to mention, I got bitten by one in Alaska when I was a tot.
So, we've got an issue, those "birds" and I.

Here's the house we are staying in. 
It is actually 2 apartments. 
We are on the left.
It's 3 stories but really it's only one room on each floor so it's different than you'd expect back home.
It is great though.
And it's cheaper than any other place we've stayed so that's a GREAT thing!

This is Sasha holding Ayden and her little sister Margarita.
They were outside decorating for their NYE party.
Their parents own the house we are staying in and they are living in the little house next door on the same lot.
Sweet people!
We had some sparklers to celebrate with them on NYE.

Bryan took this one.
Lexi and Ayden were sharing a pillow when he ran up to get the camera,
she had rolled by the time he took it but still, sweet sleeping babies!: )

NYE in Ukraine is unlike any other event I've ever seen!
These people take it SERIOUSLY!
They start popping fireworks at 4pm when it is dark and they don't stop till like 4 am!
It was INSANE how many fireworks went off!
I mean, EVERYONE blows them up.
All over the village, in the city and everywhere, they are going off!
I could not believe how long they kept going.
Austin and Adrian woke up from all the noise and they were with me running in the dark from window to window and room to room to see them all.
It was a great time.
Good memories!

Mommy and me Movie time - Tarzan was being shown :)

We were tracking all of Daddy's flights on the way back to America.
This is Ayden pointing at Daddy's airplane.
They really liked watching the plane move from country to country and state to state.
I really liked getting to keep up with him on there since we had no phone service until he made it into Chicago.

These next couple of pics are of Lexi and her creation.
I took them because it reminded me of what God is doing.
He makes beautiful things out of our messes.
He trades in Beauty for Ashes.

Lexi had a couple of wrappers from some candy.


We were on the way to the orphanage to visit Aaron.
First time alone without Bryan and I was not feeling well.
I was struggling.
I looked over and saw that my baby girl had just made a babuska doll out of trash.
With her beautiful imagination, she made a lovely gown and a headress fit for a queen.
I love it!

This was our first visit without Daddy.
I packed a bag full of games and snacks to help ease the tension.
Aaron was so happy to see us.
4 days is a long time in kid time!
And Mama time for that matter!
Missed that boy!
Our driver was gone for the weekend to visit his family so we had no way to go.
We met a great couple that works at the Embassy here and they gave us some games to take along our journey.
This is one of them - the froggy game.
You have to press down on the little lever thing on the back and pop it into the bucket.
Fun game!
Aaron ROCKS at it!
I was impressed!
It took me a long time and sore fingers to figure it out! LOL

We had apples and pringles for snack -
He likes those!
Here's Austin, Aaron and Adrian during our visit.
There was a sad time in our visit - just after I shot this picture our visit was interrupted.
One of his caretakers came in and told us that it was time for his bath.
Are you kidding me?
We haven't seen him in 4 days and we JUST got him and only have a short time each visit and you want to take him away!!?
Thankfully, Adrian was helping translate that day and he was telling me why she was taking him.
She promised he'd be right back and that the water wasn't cold so not to worry.
Ok, fine, we'll wait.
We waited and waited and waited and waited.
We played a few rounds of UNO and I checked the clock on the camera.
He'd been gone for 30 minutes already.
The clock kept on ticking and ticking away..
our time was dwindling..
45 minutes later after they took him, I heard his little feet running down the hall and giggles all the way.
Here's the clean boy I got to see when he came in the door.
I was worried his hair was wet with the hat on but it wasn't.
He was nice and clean and smelled so good.
Too bad it was just about time to leave :(
He realized a little while into our visit that Papa was missing.
He missed Papa.
We made a couple of videos for him.
He was saying "Menes svatey Papa" and "Papa Babushka!"
Translation:  My name is Papa and Papa is an old lady! :)
It's a fun thing he likes to do and it cracks us up.
He said "Ya tebe lui blue, Papa"
I love you Daddy!
And he even said it in English!
He's learning a LOT!
He's such a fun little guy!

After our visit we had to make a run to the grocery store.
The store I like to go to is in the Mall.
It is a huge grocery store in an even larger Mall!
I like it b/c they have their cheeses and meats all pre packaged and I don't have to try to communicate in broken Russian how much of what kind I need.
What I don't like about it is..
It is in a HUGE MALL!
A huge mall that I get lost in!
This time was no different, other than I had 4 kids totting along and we had a buggy full of groceries and looked like loonatics going this way and that.
I finally remembered how to get out and went the way I remembered and go figure, our driver had gotten worried and come in to look for us!
Yes, it was THAT LONG.. I told him 30 minutes and 1 1/2 hour later we finally made our way out.
Pitiful I know!
Bryan usually led us in and out and remembered where to go..
I know where the food items we need are and that's about it.
Guess I better stay more focused when going out of the house while he's gone!

The kids and I have tried to make the most of our time.
We've had tickle fests...

Cuddle time..

And Celebration time!

January 4th, 2012 was a BIG day for the Horner Family!
We celebrated THIS guy!
He's been OFFICIALLY a Horner for 1 year!
I asked what he wanted to do for his special day and he said "Chicken Hut".
It's a new fast food restraunt in the town we live in.
So, we went.



And I enjoyed a special lunch to celebrate Adrian!
I was so happy that we were able to order there since NO ONE else spoke or understood any English.
Adrian and I managed to order what we needed and we had a great time.
It was exciting to try something new and get out of the house.
Funny thing is, those cokes, they are about the size of the McDonald's kid's cups that you get with regular happy meals.
The picture however shows a HUGE cup - like 32 or 44 oz!
So, I had to order a couple more after we saw they were so tiny!

On the way home, we walked back past the turkeys and had a good time with that of course.
We also found a box of sparklers that had been opened and stomped on and probably ran over and rained on.
But we picked em up anyway!
Sounds like fun right?
So, we took the 4 sparklers we found home and set them on the window sill to dry out.
We cooked dinner - per Adrian's request we had homemade Chicken Stroganoff and fried potatoes.

After dinner, we decided we'd check on the sparklers.
I opened the window to check on them and boy it was COLD out there.
I tried to light it and hold it out the window but it was too windy.
So, I pulled them inside and lit them - (they only had about 1 inch of sparkler part left on most)
and ...
We had a sparkler party.. in the house! :)

Ayden along with the other kids have become rather creative since coming here.
With the limited supply of toys and play things, we have to make some things into toys.
At Chicken Hut they gave the kids baloons.
Ayden took the little sticks they came on and was playing the violin.
It was so cute!
He was humming a song and I recorded it.
Then they turned into drumsticks and he played the drums.
It was so cute!

We had another visit with Aaron yesterday, Jan 5.

Here's my two little guys together.

We got there and I went to get him from his group and they were getting them all dressed up.
Girls were getting their hair done and boys were getting their nice clothes on.
It was so stinkin cute how they all got so excited to see me come in the room.
Over and over I heard one after the other yell "MISHA'S MAMA!"
They were running back and forth telling him  Misha, your Mama is here!
He was still getting dressed when I peeked in and he smiled so big at me.
I was greeting the other kids while I waited on him to come out.
He came running to me and gave me a great big hug and said "Baca" to his friends.
"See you later."

We headed out of the classroom and down the hallway to brothers and sister.
They were all so happy to see him and came running to meet him.

After all the greetings Adrian let me know that they had come looking for me.
He said they wanted to tell us there was a program starting upstairs in a few minutes and we should go.
So, we headed upstairs for the program.
We got there before all the others so we had a few minutes to visit and play by ourselves.

At the end of the program they gave the kids these boxes of chocolate that had a snowman, Santa and a hippo made of chocolate.
Aaron loved it!

Look Mama! 
It's all over me!
 I took him to clean up before returning him to his group and of course they were not too happy with me.  They couldn't believe the mess that he had on him, but I kindly made my way through their line of glares and took him to the sink where we washed and were all clean.
You see, I wonder if the kids really ever get the presents given to them b/c as soon as they get to the room, they are taken and stacked on a counter and they are never there when I go back the next time.
You might say b/c they ate them, hopefully so, but then again, the backpacks FULL of candy are still going at our house and I'm sure they haven't let the kids eat all of that!
Oh well, I wanted him to enjoy it and enjoy it he did!
We turned in his box with one less chocolate.
And one HAPPY kid!


  1. Loved the picture post! All your babies are precious beyond words! And WAY TO GO for letting him eat the chocolate! :)

  2. Such a beautiful family! Aaron looks like such a sweet boy. I would have given him the chocolate also. Hard to believe it has been a year since Adrian came home. So glad things are going better and very soon you will see Aliyah again. :)

  3. You are SO blessed. ALL your kids are gorgeous! Love ya, girl, and am cont. to pray for you!