Hoping to someday find M's brother adopted in the U.S. -
Myckola Oleksandrovych Markov - 8/26/2003

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Vacation: Day 1 in pictures

We are having a great time!

Yesterday we drove down.
Here's what that looked like.

There's nothing like packing 8 people into one vehicle to teach things like
Prioritizing and Spatial awareness.

In the past we've gotten stuck in traffic and had a 10 hour trip.
To avoid a repeat, we created a Quick Morning Exit Plan and Traffic Awareness Plan.

Excellent time management resulted in a 6 hour trip.

Experienced parenting resulted in a mostly quiet trip down, and the ability to tune out the rest.

I think this was during our one and only stop during which we stressed the importance of fluid intake and output.

Lunch at Cracker Barrel in South Carolina!
A little sorting by age was done 
(tricky with my bunch so we resort to which month comes first, not the year they were born!)
We let some of the kids practice their English, ordering their own meal.
The waitress complemented us on how polite and quiet our children were right after she asked if they were all brothers and sister (like for real, I am SO over that question AND they are ALL MINE)

Tomorrow we're going on a Lighthouse tour from a marina in Georgetown that includes shelling at a local island, and viewing Francis Marion's house (The Swamp Fox) who was the main character in The Patriot, staring Mel Gibson.  We also get to see the rice fields of South Caroline which are one of the few landmarks on the globe that are visible from space.
(I know all of this because we've taken the tour before)
The guy that runs the tour participates with an organization that helps orphans in Ukraine and he was actually there last November right before the protests started which is BEYOND COOL because that is when we were also there, adopting our boys.
My jaw dropped when he said that!
So I am looking very forward to a historical tour of South Carolina's coastline tomorrow morning with a guy who also works to help orphans in Ukraine.
I love how God worked that out.

Here's some of what we did today.

E drew pictures in the sand with a shovel.  He made quite a masterpiece.

I taught the boys bow to boogie board and we pretty much did this all day.

Waiting for the perfect wave is the first step!

E found some coral and shells.

V, Mama, and W

Searching the shoreline for fish, shells, and tiny clams.

M absolutely loves looking for shells by digging in the sand.  Its like a treasure hunt she says.

Wy is like I am.  He comes to the beach to play in the waves and to eat seafood.
These are his mussels purchased fresh from the fish market in Murrels Inlet.
We talked about why we have to let bivalves sit in clean water for several hours.
Wy was quit interested in how they clean themselves before we eat them!

I made drunken clams with a bottle of white wine.
Don't worry.  I cooked the alcohol out.
Only the clams got drunk!

W helped set the table by placing forks on the right side of all the plates.


Did I mention that Wy loves seafood?
The fish market had $5.99 lobster tails so we bought a few to grill.
This one was his.

The kids were up first thing this morning, wanting to swim.

V was absolutely determined to catch one of the little fish he saw swimming in the shallows.
He gave up after 45 minutes of very devoted net thrashing. 

Poor W got stung by a jellyfish and went to the lifeguard stand.
He thought it was a bee, but we explained  that jellyfish sting too and produce a histamine reaction that is similar to a bee sting.  We learned what a "Jellyfish Bloom" is from the lifeguard.
30 minutes later, another one also got E on his foot.

Lavender (soothing), Peppermint (cooling), and Cedarwood (anti-inflamatory) essential oils made the whelp disappear in 5 minutes so both boys are fine.

I think the donut was the best medicine for the sting though!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Gardening and Harvesting

I'm not sure if everyone knows this, but 6 children eat a LOT of food.  
I'm pretty sure mine eat more than normal.  I mean its just so much.

We planted a big garden again this year to keep us supplied with fresh vegetables.

V and Wy digging potatoes.

Ukrainians KNOW how to dig potatoes.
If you don't know how, they will tell you how because THEY KNOW.
If you already know how, they will tell you how because THEY KNOW.

A few potatoes.

E was very excited.  He used to do this in Ukraine.


We planted sunflowers.  
Ukraine grows fields upon fields of sunflowers and the kids wanted us to grow some so they could have semechkiy to eat!

Guarding the pile of potatoes because "I hoch yist deez.  Dey veddy good!"

Yes, you get the idea.  
We dug potatoes, but my kid is SO CUTE.

And so funny...
"Mommy look my b00bies"
Why was that word so easy to learn!?

Picking beans.
Not anyone's favorite thing to do.

D said he played guitar in Ukraine for the garden to make the tomatoes grow bigger.
He said all the animals would sit and listen.
Even our crazy hyper border collie seemed enthralled.

Our tomato plants got HUGE from all of that wonderful chicken manure we fertilize with!

M picking berries.

This is why I don't buy white shirts.
You can hardly see that this shirt is covered in berry stains from little boys having a berry fight instead of helping their mother pick berries.
Camo for the win.  It hides dirt (and berries) so well.

Because who needs a shirt in public when you can make a hat?

Ninja berry picking at its... whatever.  
My boys won't keep clothes on.
It is what it is.

See!?  They just won't.
At least E picked berries (except for the ones he threw at W)

(yes I know... I SWEAR they have clothes)
but LOOK at the zucchini I found hiding in my garden!

He actually hates zucchini, but he's all about the dramatic effect.

Easily the biggest one I've ever grown.

The Day the Church Turned My Kids into Animals

Just kidding.  My kids are already animals (haha)

Our church had a fun day after service one week full of activities and of course my children chose to get every square inch of their faces painted in.their.dress.clothes.
Some kids got just a little design on their cheek, but not mine.

This was really cute for about 3 minutes.  
And then they hit the slip and slide.  
I'll spare you those pictures. 
and the inside of my van.
or the inside of their shower.

Enjoy the crisp, non-sweated in, smeared around, or sprinkled on versions.

This is what they looked like later.

We witness a miracle every time a child enters into life; but those who make their journey home across time and miles, growing within the hearts of those who wait to love them,are carried on the wings of destiny; and placed among us by God's very own hands. --Kristi Larson