Update on our family

My kids and one of their friends after the parade

I have had several people ask me how we are doing and when we will be updating our blog, so I will try to do so now.

Gabe's birthday

We have been home in America with our new children for 2 months. It has been a very good 2 months. We must still be in the honeymoon phase of the adoption process. These children have been good for our family in many ways, and we are hoping that we are good for them. When our family lived in Washington, we knew many families that were part of a particular Finnish Lutheran Church (the actual name is very difficult and I don’t remember it). They ALL had large family. One family had six children and that was an extremely small family. Two of my favorite families who had daughters that would come help me clean my house or watch my children had many more children. One family had 12 children and the other 18 children. I get so morning sick with each of my pregnancy and could not imagine going through morning sickness 18 times! I did ask that mom if she ever had morning sickness and she said, “No.” Anyways, my husband and I were at a function for some physicians and somehow these large families were brought up. One of the physicians said that the moms must all be good managers. It is true. I was always asking the teenage girls questions about how their moms do things at their house to keep things going. The moms were all great home managers. First off, they did not enroll their children in organized sports. Wow!! That would make life much simpler! They did have music lessons, they started earning money early, and by the time they were 16 years old usually had purchased their own car and had good jobs for 16 year olds. They had great reputations for being good hard workers, so younger siblings had an easy time getting jobs as they got older. I loved these girls. So anyways, back to our family update. With six children in our home again (our three oldest are out on their own) I have had to be more organized (again) in order to spend time teaching English and piano, keeping food in the fridge and on the table, and in order to keep the house clean. We have a big house and a big yard, so it takes quite a bit of work to just keep up with the house and yard.

In my last blog, I mentioned what meal jobs everyone has. They are all doing a fabulous job getting them done. Yea! We have spent quite a bit of time mentoring them in other jobs. Hyrum and Heather love working in the kitchen. They love to cook up the tortillas, cut tomatoes, crack eggs, measure ingredients, etc. I will now be teaching them how to follow a recipe. They also know how to use the blender to help make smoothies and salsas. The boys know how to start and use the lawnmower and the blower. Jonathon has attempted the use of the weedeater, but Tony is not ready to turn him loose with it yet. We all do lots of weeding around our yard (dad does the most) and the new children have also used some of our pruning tools. They have helped scrub the garage door, clean the grill (inside and out), do the semi-yearly staining of the play equipment and picnic table, plant flowers, replace bicycle tires, run the washing machine and dishwasher, etc. This last week we scrubbed tubs and showers, the week before all six of our children washed and detailed all three of the cars. Our new children are getting very confident and able to do so many things. It is fun to watch them. We all try to do our work between 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon so that everyone knows that everyone is working. With everyone working, the works gets done pretty quickly. It is nice to feel like we are catching up on all the things we fell behind on as we spent so much time working on the adoption and our travels to Ukraine.

Along with our jobs, the children all work on a few studies. Our new children work on their English by working with me and using Rosetta Stone English (which we ALL LOVE!). They also work on their keyboarding by using Mavis Beacon typing. My three newest children and my youngest original child all started piano a few weeks ago. We have a wonderful lady that raised about 10 of her own children and is in her 70’s that comes to our home to teach the children. She teaches them individually for as long as she feels they can go. It is wonderful to have each of them have a lesson time that is flexible. When the teacher is finished teaching, I just pay her for the amount of time she was here. She is great! So the children practice piano every day, with my help. In the evenings, the boys have been reading the Chronicles of Narnia in Russian. Heather has been reading Charlotte’s Webb to me. She reads it out loud in Russian and then tries to explain as much as she can with words and charades. I think this is helpful to her. Her Russian reading is not nearly as strong as the boys, but we do want her to preserve what she has. They are not required to read at night in Russian, but the books are great, and they seem to enjoy it. My youngest original son is really into the Hardy Boys at the moment. I have never read those aloud to my boys before , so it is kind of fun. Tony has been doing most of the reading, but Gabe talks me into ready during the day sometimes or I read if Tony is gone. We tend to spend time reading more of the old classics to our children every night, so it has been fun to read such an easy read. During our morning, the children are always taking breaks to ride the bicycles, jump on the tampoline, play bumper pool, run on the treadmill, lift weights, play ping pong, etc. When all the work and studies are actually all completed we watch a movie, go swim at one of the neighbors’ houses, go to a soccer game or something else fun.

We have spent quite a bit of time in the offices of the “ists.” You know the dentist, two endodontists, the orthodontist, and next week another dentist. We have a very kind neighbor, who is a pediatric dentist, that has offered to do their dental work for free, which has been wonderful. We have had to pay endondists for two root canals. We originally tried to do a filling in one of the teeth that eventually had to have a root canal done in it. After the filling was put in, his whole cheek swelled up. We knew that we would possibly need to do a root canal, but figured it was worth trying to fill first. One of the endodontist was kind enough to come in on his day off to start the root canal on that tooth.The orthodontist is a bit stumped as to what to do with Jonathon’s teeth since three permanent teeth never developed and there is one permanent tooth still up in his gums not able to come down. He still has several baby teeth. Our orthodontist will take this case to a meeting with other orthodontists. The new dentist next week is a regular dentist that will be putting temporary caps on the two root canals. Jonathon is such a tough young man. I am sure he will be happy to not see a dentist or have any shots for at least six months. Tony suspected that we would need to spend quite a bit of money on dental bills, but depending on what the orthodondist says, it may be far more than we suspected. Oh, well!

Yes, I know that this is too much information for some of you, but the kids may enjoy reading about the details some day.

We had a great trip to Arizona to celebrate my parents’ 50th Wedding Anniversary! What a great gift they have given to their posterity to work so hard on their marriage to get through the good times as well as the bad. Tony’s parents’ celebrated their 50th several years ago. What a great thing to celebrate. While in Arizona, the new children were almost overwhelmed meeting all the new aunts and uncles, along with all the new cousins. What a great trip!!

The kids have now met most of their cousins. It is so fun to see them interact with their new cousins.

Some of the cousins

My youngest three children were in a pioneer parade while Tony and three of our older children were on Trek.


Hyrum doing his front hand spring for the people watching the parade.

Hyrum loved the attention of the crowd


Well that is all I can write at the moment, so you all lucked out in not having me write the details about how I floss and brush my teeth, just KIDDING! I will write about that next time.:)

Hyrum built a magnetic cage for his spider

Gabe's magnetic spinning contraption

4 Responses to “Update on our family”
  1. debbie says:

    Glad things are great! I am busy trying to organize our home, hang pic, etc get ready to leave in 3 weeks!

  2. Diane Hays says:

    Hi Anne! So good to hear an update, and to hear that things are going well! I’m still friends with Ruth and Beth Byman. Beth is up to almost 40 grandkids now! 😀 And her youngest son is just starting middle school! They are Laestadian Luthern 🙂 Beth is working at an insurance office in the Merk building, as a receptionist. They are an amazing family! But so is YOURS! 🙂 Best wishes in the upcoming months as you all continue to adjust. Miss you!


  3. Erica Michaelis says:

    What a fun update, Anne! I’ve been meaning to call you back. It’s even on my list of things to do! Life has been more than crazy for me, I’m afraid. Thanks for posting!

  4. Wendy says:

    I thought I should check in to see if maybe my blogger wasn’t picking up your new posts? I think I missed this one a couple of months ago. So sorry about all the dental work!

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