Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Thanksgiving and Christmas Decorations

Alex's tree

This is how we found Sasha the Elf this morning

One morning, we found Sasha posting on his blog

Sasha got into the bandaids!

More info on Sasha below.

Main Christmas tree and mantle with stockings.

Notice Sasha the Elf on the mantle.

Main tree

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family at Yoder's in Abbeville. We enjoyed seeing Aunt Lynn, Uncle Josh, cousins Kayla, Cassie, Connor and John Collin, Granny Carolyn and Papa. The food was wonderful as always and Alex and John Collin enjoyed watching the fish in the inside "stream."

I was sick all Thanksgiving weekend and did not leave the house after lunch and shopping for a few ornaments for Alex's tree. Tim was able to get the decorations completed - thank goodness. One tree has Tim's Hallmark Star Trek ornaments and the other is our main tree that sits beside the fireplace. We used the Star Trek tree for Alex this year and it has child-like ornaments and a Santa Hat topper and Santa suit skirt. Alex has been really good with the trees, so we will probably put one in his room next year. He says he never had a Christmas tree at the Baby House. He was really excited when we were decorating it and was dancing around and singing Christmas tree!

We have an Elf, Sasha, who appeared on the day after Thanksgiving and he reports to Santa each night. He turns up in a different place every morning. He even has a blog where he blogs about Alex and his antics. The blog can be found at:

Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas season. We have so many plans. This weekend, we will go to Connie Maxwell Children's Home to view their Live Nativity, Biblical town, and ride in a horse drawn wagon to see their Christmas light display. Sunday is Greenwood's Christmas parade and I would like to take Alex to visit Santa at the mall on Saturday or Sunday. There is so much we want to share with our son!
Love to all,
R & T & A

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Sasha the Elf

Sasha the Elf arrives today to check on Alex and report back to Santa.

Updates to follow.

Sasha has his own blog at

Merry Christmas!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Better Late than Never

Getting to know baby Simba

Boo in the Zoo

Father and son

Alex and Mama with the elephant

"riding" the elephant

Trick or Treat at Papa and Granny Carolyn's
couldn't keep him still

Trick or treating at Grandpa and Granny's

First bike helmet

Proud of his helmet

....posting photos from Alex's Birthday on 10/29 and our trip to the
Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia on 10/30 - for his birthday.
He did OK at the zoo. You will notice that we finally had to put the harness on him. He does not like to hold our hand, but will not stay with us. It was OK when we were in an exhibit, but when we were walking around the zoo, he needed to hold our hand. We warned him time and time again and he wouldn't do as we asked, so out came the harness followed by a major meltdown. I had to take him in the restroom and then when we came out, he had to sit on the bench until he could calm down.

He has been very good in school the past two weeks. His teachers only reported on him one day and he pushed someone and took a toy from them. That day, they had pictures made and were off schedule, so his lunch was late and nap was late. These are two things that will throw him off. This also attributed to the zoo meltdown, I am sure. He came from such a structured schedule and we try to keep him on it as much as possible.
Alex is growing by leaps and bounds. He seems to have filled out and he is definitely growing taller. He is now in 4T shirts and 4T pants with adjustable waist. He cannot wear the 4T if they do not have the adjustable waist because they are too big, but he needs them for the length.
The video below was taken probably a month ago.
Will leave you with this little funny......


R & T & A

Friday, October 29, 2010

Update on children in the buttons to the left

Danil is still awaiting a family.

Vanya is in the process - 10 day waiting, I believe.

Vika has been transferred from the baby house to an institution. An effort is being made to raise funds for her adoption. Will post more later.

Sveta is still awaiting a family.

Alina is almost home to USA - if no already.

Niko, Sasha & Vera's family is awaiting a travel date.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Happy Birthday Alex!

Mama, Alex & Daddy at Alex's Party 10/16/10

Train at the party

Too cute

Riding his bike from Granny & Grandpa with cousin Justin's help


Big bite of cake!
Alex turns four tomorrow, on 10/29/10.
We had his party at Emerald Farms on 10/16/10. We had it early due to Halloween and family work schedules. The kids had a great time. They got to feed the goats, & fish, see the Llamas, peacocks and chickens and ride the train!
Alex couldn't decide if he wanted a Thomas or Toy Story party. When we went to get the invitations, they did not have Thomas, so we got Toy Story. Thomas would have been so cute with the little train ride, but it was what it was.
Alex had a big time and so did we!
My best friend took all of the photos and I was so glad because I was too tied up with the party to even take my camera out of the case.
I am so glad that we got our son before he turned four! There have been two children transferred out of his baby house lately and I am afraid if he had been transferred, we (or anyone else) may not have had the chance to adopt him. I just realized tonight that I don't know what time my baby was born. I will have to get the birth certificate out, but I don't think it is on there. I also wonder if his birth mother thinks of him on his birthday. I wonder if his babushka who gave him to the orphanage thinks of him. I wonder if his brother even knows that he exists. I guess there is so much we will never know.
We also had a voicemail this afternoon from the Ukrainian Embassy. I surely hope there isn't a problem! I am a little uneasy, but cannot find out anything until tomorrow. Surely hope it is good news, especially since tomorrow is Alex's birthday!
This week at school, they have been doing Halloween activities every day. Yesterday, they went on a field trip to an assisted living to sing and trick-or-treat. Alex was wandering away from the group and his teacher told him to take her hand. He drew away and said NO! When I went to pick him up, he tried to hide on the ship on the playground so I couldn't get him - because he knew he would be punished. Then, he was mouthy all the way home. I was just beside myself with what to do with him!
This morning, they were supposed to dress in their costumes for school because their party was today. He had a major meltdown! He did not want to wear his Mr. Potato Head costume. Well...I specifically took him to buy another costume just for school because they kept telling us to let them wear old costumes. He didn't have an old one, but KMart had them 50% off, so we decided to get him one for today and save his Thomas the Train for trick-or-treating the grandparents. Tim put him in the car kicking and screaming and he acted that way all the way to school. When he got there and saw the other kids, of course, he didn't want to take it off. I guess I shouldn't have made him wear it, but I knew he would be disappointed if the other kids had one and he didn't. Plus, I spent money on that blasted costume and time looking through every costume in KMart for him to make a choice. I was a bad, mean Mama!
Tomorrow, Alex wants pizza for supper and I bought a small cake.
Saturday, we are going to the zoo with Grandma, Jordan, Justin & his girlfriend and possibly Joshua. I have never been to this zoo, but I am more excited than anyone because I can feed/pet a giraffe!!!!! I know the trip is for him, but that is the one thing Mama is going to do and get a picture of it! Hey, it's on my bucket list!
Love to all,
R & T & A

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Another Update on Children at Left of Blog

Sweet Danil is still hoping for a family.

Vanya has meet his family and they are in Ukraine in the process of adoption.

Darling Vika still needs a family.

Sweet Sveta does not have a committed family. A family really wanted to bring this beauty home, but they were adopting in another region and could not make it happen at this time.

Alina's parents are also in Ukraine in the process of adoption.

Mr. Timofey is doing so well. He just began walking! This is a little boy with a broken leg who should be an example to us all.

Niko, Sasha and Vera's family is close to submitting for their adoption and has had a generous donation to cover all of their costs.

There is a precious little boy, Vadim who also lives at the same baby house as Alex and most of these kiddos at the left. We (others who have adopted from this baby house) have been asking for a button for him and been praying for him to get a home. I am so happy to share that he got a family this week! Hopefully, he will be with his family before Christmas because they are sitting on go with their paperwork!

There have been so many blessing for those of us who are connected one way or another with this baby house.

Lord, today we praise you for all the blessings you have showered upon us and these children. We ask today that you continue to bless these precious little ones and the ones who remain in the institution - that their needs be met and that they find a family to love and protect them. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

Thank you for remembering these precious ones in your prayers.

R & T & A

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Update on Children in the Buttons to the Left

Sweet Vika is still awaiting a family. She had surgery on her feet and is doing well. There is an updated photo of her on Reece's Rainbow.

Miss Sveta is hopefully getting a family. They are in the process of adopting another little girl in another region and have opened their heart to Sveta.

Beautiful Alina's family is in Ukraine as I type, awaiting their court date.

Timofey is doing well after some major battles. He now has a head full of dark hair. He still has to have surgery on his leg/hip.

Niko, Sasha and Vera's family is in the final steps of preparing their dossier to submit for adoption. Little Vera had surgery at the same time Vika did. They got to go to the beach as they awaited surgery!

There are still some special children at the Nilolaev Baby House who need a family. Vadim is the same age as Alex and we have learned that he is smart and active. He is in the process of being prepared for a prosthetic eye. Danil and Lena are HIV+ and are precious. I believe they are in the same group as Alina and Sveta. There are also some other children available - Carolina, Olga, just to name a few.

There are also several other adoptions in process from the Baby House.

Please keep these children in your prayers and consider donating to their adoption funds on Reece's Rainbow. Donations can also be made to the Nikolaev Baby House. Contact me for information and check back on this blog and facebook for info on Christmas Warrior and Christmas Angel programs for Reece's Rainbow.

Thank you for supporting and praying for the orphans of Ukraine.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Time Flies When You're Having Fun!

Alex & Daddy

Cool Dude

Rita & Alex at the beach - windblown hair and all.

We went to Myrtle Beach last week and had a wonderful time. The week flew by! The weather was great and we were in shorts or swimsuits most days. This trip was very different from our June trip because it was just the three of us. It was hard for Alex to understand where his Granny, Grandpa and Grandma were, especially since we stay at the same place, but in a different unit. We probably confused him more because Papa and Granny Carolyn came to visit.

Alex enjoyed swimming in the indoor pool using just his swimmies and a swim ring. He also enjoyed jumping waves in the ocean and looking for shells and fish. He finally got to see a dolphin at the end of the week. Of course, he got to ride rides - his favorite thing to do. We took him to Margaritaville and he liked the hurricane and the big blender along with the show. We also went to Benjamins to eat and he liked the ship models, the fish hanging from the ceiling and the scuba man too.

We found a Halloween costume for him - Thomas the Train. We don't actually do Trick-or-Treat, but they will be doing activities at school which include a visit to an assisted living and a party, so he had to have a costume. We were able to pick up a few things for his birthday party which is Saturday. We scheduled it early due to Halloween and a family member's work schedule. Come to find out, that family member has other obligations and two other family members had to switch schedules to attend.

The Birthday Party is at Emerald Farms. It is a working goat farm where they make goat milk soap, lotions and other products. They also have a train that the kids can ride, they can feed the goats, see the llamas, feed the fish and visit the train room which has an entire city set up with model trains running through it. The party theme is actually Toy Story. That is what Alex picked at WalMart. They didn't have Thomas the Train. Of course, after the invitations were distributed, we found Thomas ones at the beach.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Six Months Ago - Tomorrow

We will be home six months tomorrow - 9/22/10. I am posting today because I will be very busy tomorrow. Each year at work, we have a reunion for all of the patients who have been at our hospital. We have had 248 people RSVP as of today, so we have a lot of work tomorrow. We cannot begin to set up until 2 -3 pm and the drop-in begins at 4pm.

Today Alex got fillings. I don't have all the details yet because Tim does the dentist appts. and I do all the other doctor appts. I have to handle all the shots and blood draws, so I think it is only fair that he do the dentist. Alex says that he cried because it hurt, but I am not sure if that is true because they used anesthesia. He picked out a flower ring as his prize. I am sure his daddy is very proud of that choice. He gave it to me just now, but I have to give it back.

So much has changed in the last six months! Alex speaks in English 99.9% of the time, he can count to 10, recognizes his name, knows all his colors and recognizes most of the alphabet. He can write A, B, C, D, E and F. He can almost write his name! He loves to make up songs and loves to sing songs he learns at school and church. We had two people from his school yesterday tell us that he is smart, but needs to learn to listen and pay attention better. Sounds just like my nephew Justin when he was this age.

Sunday, after Sunday School, he said "Praise the Lord with all your heart." This is the first Bible verse he has repeated from church.

I do have some photos, but my cameras are at work for the week. We had a balloon release yesterday, did ice cream sundaes and gifts today, tomorrow we have the reunion, Thursday we have a chili cook off and Friday we have a cookout and crazy hat contest.

This weekend, Alex wanted to know what that was behind his penis. I asked him what he thought it was and he said he didn't know. I told him to ask his daddy. So, he walks down the hall with his pants around his ankles and shows his daddy and asks him what it is. Daddy asks him the same question, twice. Alex finally said, "Probably so!", pulled his pants up and walked away. We don't know if he thinks that is what it is or if he just gave up asking. LOL

Well. that's all for now....

Love you all,
R & T & A

Monday, September 13, 2010


If you are reading this, we adopted from the baby house in Nikolaev. The child you are adopting could possibly be there, but more likely has been moved to the next internat.

Please email me at

I would love to help you in any way I can.


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Ethiopia Adoption

This is a post from a local Minister and musician about his family's adoption from Ethiopia.

Alisha, this is the family I was telling you about.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Photos only

Church Photos - first formal photos

My favorite photo from this sitting

Career Day at The Learning Vine

Dr. Alex - thanks Karen for his Vet kit!

Ours six months!

Alex has been ours for six months as of March 5th. Our Gotcha date was March 17th.

We are amazed at his progress. He can now say his blessing, count to 10, sing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and tries to sing the ABC song. He knows his shapes & colors, can count to 10 and understands all English and speaks it 99% of the time. They are working on the alphabet and he is learning to identify the letters and how to write them. He can write A's really well and we still need to work on the B's. He is growing taller, but has not gained much weight. We think that he is just going to be tall and thin. I have a photo of him when he was younger and he was a little chunkier, so maybe he is just in a growing taller spurt. He is eating better and we actually got him to eat a hamburger patty with cheese on it. He does not want it on a bun. At least he is broadening his horizons a little. If I could only get him to eat some green vegetables! I tried mayo on green beans and it didn't work. Several people told me to try this and I remember that my younger sister used to eat them like that. Mayo seems to be a staple in Ukraine, but he doesn't care for it.

He has been good at school most of the time. He has been on green every day for some time, but he got time out today. They only move them to yellow if they get in trouble 3 or more times, but I have asked if they let me know if he gets it even once because he will fully take advantage of his three times if we are not strict on him.

We are really excited that there are several families in the process of adopting special needs children from Alex's Baby House. There is also another precious little boy from there who is available and someone is working on a button for him, so I will post it on the blog as soon as I get it. He is cute and sweet and we saw him a lot when we were there.

I attended my first Missions Committee meeting tonight at church and I am excited to work towards fundraising for missions in Ukraine. That is the subcommittee that we were assigned to and there is a mission trip scheduled for April 2011. We are not going to be able to go this time, but hopefully one of us can go in 2012. I would also like to see if we could possibly start a grant for those who would like to adopt a special needs child from Ukraine. I feel that more people may be willing to adopt if they had the finances. I know we would!

As of last Sunday, I am a Sunday School teacher for the 5 year-olds. There are two teachers in each class and the other teacher had the class last year also. I was supposed to be a helper, but the other teacher couldn't do it again this year, so I agreed to step in. I was hesitant to step in as a teacher, but God put me in that place where I should be, so I will give it a try! I couldn't say no with all those little kids in there, could I?

Better go,


R & T & A

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Our God is Awesome!!

Most of you know that children available for international adoption from Ukraine have some "special need." Almost all children who are in an orphanage are diagnosed as mentally delayed. Well..Alex had definitely proven that he is not mentally delayed.

However, we knew before we met him that his birth mother had Hepatitis C. We were told at our SDA appointment that he had Hep. C, but that it could be just the antibodies carried from the birth mother. When we arrived at his baby house, we did confirm, after meeting him, that he was Hep. C positive. We were told that he had been tested in Dec. 2009 because another couple wanted to adopt him, but didn't believe that he was Hep. C positive. They chose not to adopt him when the test came back positive.

We asked for the test results and all we were told was COR =10. It didn't mean anything to us, but we are not doctors. When we got home, it didn't mean anything to our doctors either.

As you know, Alex has been to a specialist in Greenville. His doctor is Dr. LaCroix at Pediatric Infectious Disease Group at University Medical Center, part of Greenville Children's Hospital. We had our second visit on August 20th and blood work was drawn. I received confirmation of his test results today and the Hep. C test is NEGATIVE! He was first tested in May and they said there was nothing definitive to show that he had the disease.

I cannot explain how this happened medically, but I can explain that my God can heal any illness and that Alex had many prayers.

Thank you, my Lord for our wonderful son and for giving Your son, Jesus, that we may have everlasting life.

Love to all,
R & T & A

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Weekly Update

Alex was good at school all week, but that changed as soon as I picked him up on Friday. I guess he held it in all week and let loose on the weekend!

He back-talked, told stories, did what we told him not to do and didn't do what we told him to do, pretty much all weekend, but Saturday was the worst!

At lunch on Saturday, he wanted fish sticks and fries. So, I fixed both and gave him the amount he told me he wanted. Well, his eyes were bigger than his stomach and he decided that he wouldn't eat all of his fish sticks. When Tim asked him if he was finished with his fish sticks, he replied that he was. But, he was not. He took his remaining three fish sticks and hid them under his fries. So, he was deceitful and he lied. Now, looking back, I am fully convinced that this child has no mental delay as we were told by the SDA. I am sure we will laugh about this in the future - the grandparents already have. :-)

Alex is doing well at school. They are now working on the alphabet. This week will be C. He has to dress up as what he wants to be when he grows up. Well...he really can't tell me anything. The first time I asked him, he said that he wants to be Justin - his 16 year-old cousin. I just told him that Justin isn't grown yet. But it was really sweet! We decided that he will dress up as a Veternarian because he has a vet kit and we borrowed a lab coat from Grandma. We tried it on tonight and he looks really cute. I will post photos next week.

I tried to post photos of Alex in his cowboy outfit from school and our first professional family photo, but it won't work tonight. Will try again tomorrow.

As I always tell Alex, we still love him even when he is bad.

Love to all,
R & T & A

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Update August 21, 2010

Alex has been learning so much in school! He learned all his colors and shapes and is now working on the alphabet. This week the children in our county went back to school and Alex officially began K3 at the Learning Vine. He is in the same class, but the real work has begun! He has homework three nights and is learning to write the letter A. We got to have fun (not! - for Mama anyway) learning to use scissors. He had to cut out things that begin with A for a collage at school. Alex is very independent and as soon as I tried to show him how, he was taking the scissors and telling me - I do it!

He has been fairly good in class the last few weeks, but one day he did not want to sit down and listen and one day, he wouldn't pick up the toys, but all the children in that area got a time out because they wouldn't clean up. There is a new little girl in his class, Kylie and he says that she is his girlfriend! She is really cute with blonde hair and curly piggy tails, but I am not ready for my baby boy to have a girlfriend yet! We thought he was saying Katcha Kayle, but I after seeing Uncle Barry last weekend, we have determined that he was saying hot chick Kylie. We todl him not to say this at school! Well...Uncle Barry said that he will be the one to teach him bad things. LOL!

Alex had a followup with the specialist in Greenville on Friday. Grandma went with us and we had lunch at Stax Omega and did a little shopping. I put Alex in the stroller for the mall and he took a small nap. He is getting so tall, he is about too long for the stroller and it looks like I am pushing a five-year-old around, but it is really helpful when he needs a nap.

The other night, Tim was giving Alex his bath and he asked Alex if he likes his home better than the baby house and he said, yes and I love my daddy! So sweet! He has been talking about Mama and Daddy bringing him to America on the airplane lately.

One new thing - when we punish Alex, he melts down, crying and yelling, I love you! It is enough to break your heart. I wonder if he thinks that we do not love him because we are punishing him or if he thinks we think he doesn't love him because he has been "bad."

When we were at Stax yesterday, I a little boy was leaning over the booth, telling us hey! We were talking to him and Alex was trying to get him to give him five. I took that opportunity to aske Alex again if he would like to have to have a brother. He still says NO! I think he would be a great big brother - or little brother as far as that goes.

Love to all,

R & T & A

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Link especially for Alicia and Dan

I Forget My Son is Black Until We Are in Public

Travis is a worship leader at a local church here in Greenwood, SC. I love to read his blog. Aren't those boys precious?

When I see a family such as his, I just get a big smile because I know how lucky that family is to have the love of each other.
Will update about our crazy lives later.


Sunday, August 1, 2010

Not going to Ukraine in 2011

It was a difficult decision, but I will not be going on the mission trip to Ukraine in April 2011. I don't think I can be away from Alex that long and can't imagine going back to Ukraine without him and Tim. Also, Alex will most likely have his tonsils out and I will need to use ETO time for that. I would have to take 8 ETO days for the trip and it will take four months to earn those days back. I don't want to deplete my ETO bank in case of emergency.

I still feel compelled to do something in Ukraine and for the children, especially the Nikolaev Baby House.

If only we were wealthy, I would beg to go back and adopt several more.

Have a great week,
R & T & A

Chicken Chicken Boom Boom

Chicken Chicken Boom Boom! (Chicka Chicka Boom Boom) That's what Alex has been saying the past week. He is in K3 and they are getting ready to start their "school work", so they have been working on shapes and colors and will be working on letters and numbers - all in August. The door decoration to his class h as been updated with a coconut tree with the kiddo's names on the coconuts. He is official. This is the first time his name has been on the door.

He had a good week in class although he did not get to go Friday. On Thursday, around 3:30, they director called me and told me that he had pink eye! They let him stay until the regular time since he had already been there all day and told me to call the doctor to get a prescription. He couldn't go on Friday because he was considered contagious until he had been on the drops for 24 hours. His eyes have only been matted once - at 2:00 am on Friday morning. He has been really good to not rub them and has only complained about them hurting once or twice. He looks fine now and is not complaining. So far, Tim & I have been able to avoid the junk.

We are having our family picture made on Monday for the church directory. Excited to have our first family photo, but I like more relaxed photos that are not so posed. My best friend is a photographer "on the side" and we have planned for some time to have an outside photo shoot, but it has been so blasted hot here, it has been impossible. Hopefully, we will be able to do it for the fall.

Within the past two weeks, Alex has begun to speak almost entirely in complete sentences. He is growing so tall too! I hope the 3T pants I bought for the fall will be long enough. They have adjustable waist, so I am not concerned about that part.

At work, we are having a "Top 10" celebration on Wednesday night. For the second consecutive year, we have been named in the top 10% by the UDS. Last year, only the employees and one guest could attend. This year, all immediate family can attend. We will have a cookout, a DJ and a bounce house for the children. I am really excited to take Alex because our night shift folks have not gotten to meet him yet and I know he will have a great time!

I have decided that I will not go on the mission trip to Ukraine in 2011. I really want to go, but it would have to leave Alex for 10 days and I just don't know if I could do that. Also, I would have to take 8 ETO days and although I have them, I would like to build my bank back up. I like to keep 80 hours in there in case of emergency.

Hope everyone has a great week,

R & T & A

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Update on Children in the Buttons to the Left

All of the children listed in the buttons to the left are from the same Baby House where we got Alex from. They are all listed on Reece's Rainbow.

Sveta is available for adoption and needs a home.

Alina has a family waiting on her when she become available for international adoption in August, I believe.

Timofey is in his forever home and receiving treatment for an eColi infection for the next few months. He still faces surgery on his broken leg/hip - which will require replacement every two years.

Isaiah's forever family is in region now, attempting to adopt him. Please pray as they have hit a snag.

Niko, Sasha & Vera's forever family is in the paperwork process, awaiting their USCIS approval.

There are several other precious children available for adoption in this Baby House as well as hundreds of others with special needs listed on Reece's Rainbow who are from all over the world. If you are considering adoption, please consider helping one of these children. If you are not able to adopt, please consider sponsoring one of these children.

R & T & A

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Pictures & prayer requests

I just found out about Alex's art folder at school. It was FULL! He asked me to take a picture of him in these glasses that he made.
Playing in the tub with his surprises from Granny Carolyn.

With "fingerpaints" on his face.

Foam head

As you can tell, Alex loves to play in the tub. I love that smile and love our boy.
Please pray for a family who is at Alex's Baby House trying to adopt a little boy with Down's Syndrome. There is a problem with the paperwork that is totally out of the adoptive family's control. I am not at liberty to discuss the issue, but please pray for all involved - bio family, child and prospective adoptive family. We know that God is in control and know that He will do what is best.
Also please pray for Vera who is shown in one of the photos to the left - as well as another little girl, Vika - both with CP and both from Alex's Baby House. They had surgery this past week. We met Vera while we were there - she was in Alex's class and we fell in love with her. We are so excited that she is getting a forever family!
R & T & A

Friday, July 23, 2010

Home Four Months!

We have been home from Ukraine four months yesterday!

Alex has made amazing progress in those four months. He knows most of his colors, can count to 10, sing Jesus Loves Me, is learning his ABC song and Jesus Loves the Little Children, has greatly improved his coloring skills, speaks 99.9% English with an occasional mooka and la lukey thrown in, makes all his needs know, learned to pee pee standing up, and says his blessing and prayers. We do not have to constantly watch him when he is inside (to keep him out of places he shouldn't be), he falls asleep within 15 minutes of being put to bed, realizes consequences such as loosing privileges when he is bad and getting to do fun things when he is good. He eats many more things than he did four months ago and does not complain when he has to drink milk.

He is growing taller and has filled out, especially in his legs. He loves our dog, Chloe, horses, trains, and watching anything that goes 'round & 'round - fans, sprinklers, merry-go-round, helicopter blades, etc. Today he got to see a real helicopter and he was so excited! He has seen some far off, but today, he got to see one fly into the hospital and then take off later. He said it was a big, strong helicopter.

We are so excited that he has adjusted so well and that he loves his school. Last week, they told me that he has been hitting and trying to bite his classmates. They didn't tell me before because they thought he didn't understand timeout, etc. When they told me this, I fussed at him and told him he would get timeout at home for his behavior that day. At first, he smiled and then later, he began to cry. His teachers told me that he never shows that timeout bothers him - just smiled. So, now they tell him that they will tell his Mama and it must be working. Makes me feel like the meanest Mama, but it makes him behave. He is very proud that he has been a good boy in school and is telling everyone.

We are so happy to be Alex's parents. It is like he has always been a part of our family.

We love you, Alexander Jacob Dixon!

***Tried to add some photos, but it isn't working tonight for some reason. Will update with another post later of just photos.***

R & T

Monday, July 19, 2010

Random Photos & Progress

Slinky Fun - look at that sweet smile!

Double Cantaloupe from Alex & Daddy's garden

PB&J Hands

PB&J Face


Upside down in the bed

Dirty Face
Alex was good at school today. No timeouts! And he has been good so far since I picked him up. We are proud of you Alex! Mama and Daddy love you!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Bad Boy

Alex has been bad at church and school this week.

Wednesday night, he got timeout at church. He would not sit at the table with the other children when he was told to do so. So, of course, he got timeout when he got home.

On Thursday, I was telling his teachers, Ms. Amanda and Ms. Ashley about it and Ms. Ashley, said, "well, I have been meaning to tell you...." Uh oh - Alex has been hitting in school and tried to bite a little girl on Thursday. They said it doesn't phase him when they put him in timeout - he just smiles, so they think he doesn't understand. I assured them that he does understand. I talked to him and he began to grin when I was telling him that he is not to bite and hit. I had to take his face in my hands and make him look at me and tell him again in a stern voice and tell im that he would be getting timeout when he got home. He began to cry and cried all the way out the door into the car. I felt like the meanest Mama. When we got home, he had to go to his room and stay on the bed until Daddy got home.

Backing up a little - the "school" has a green light system. If the child has been corrected less than three times that day, their pin stays on green. If they have been corrected 3-5 times, their pin goes to yellow. If they have been corrected 6 or more times, they go to red. Alex has been on green every day, so we thought he was being good. I have only seen two little boys on yellow and they had a note attached to their pin that day.

Friday, Alex was on green, but I asked about him and he got timeout because he hit someone. Ms. Amanda said when she put him in time out he began to smile again, but she then told him she was going to tell his Mama and he stopped grinning and got serious. I had to run to Burkes Outlet after I picked him up and told him not to touch anything - well he touched everything. So, when we got home, he went in timeout on his bed without all his stuffed animals. When Daddy got home, we ate, Alex got a bath (with no toys or time to play) and went to bed with no movie and no stuffed animals. He usually sleeps with: Buzz Lightyear, Woody, big monkey, Mumbo penguin and two smaller monkeys. I think this was the worst punishment of all. Also, his daddy told him Friday morning that if he was good, he could get in his pool on Saturday, so he didn't get to play in the pool.

He was very good Saturday around the house and then today, they said he was good at Children's Church and Sunday School. He was not good with me while I was attempting to sign up for a time to have pictures made for the church directory. He was trying to pull me away and got loud, but at least no one was in Sunday school or services at the time.

That has been our week!

We head back to church tonight and pray that he will behave in Mission Friends tonight.
Before church, we have a meeting for anyone who is interested in going to Ukraine on a 9 day mission trip in April. I am going to the meeting and hopefully, will get to go on the trip. It is to the Zhytomir region.

As I was typing the closing, Alex was walking down the hall with Tim, trying to help him take some clothes to the laundry room. He could not see where he was going and walked right into the doorway! He wasn't hurt, but I heard him hit and all he said was OH! and laughed. We all got a good laugh out of it.

Love to everyone,

R & T & A

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

First American Nickname

Yesterday when I went to pick up Alex at "school," his teacher told me that all of the children had been calling him Chicken Man and he was answering to it. She asked if there was a meaning behind it and if we called him that at home. Nope! I finally got Alex to explain that he was "chomping" and chasing the other kids and one little boy started calling him Chicken Man. I just asked and no one called him Chicken Man today. :-)

Today as we were leaving his classroom, a little girl grabbed Alex and gave him a big hug. He says her name is Calla, but then he says he doesn't know. I asked him if she is his girlfriend and he says, NO!

We have a new routine at night. After Alex gets his bath, he likes for me to hold him in my arms until he is about to fall asleep. He tells me every night, "sleep in mommy's arms." It is so sweet.

As I type this, Alex is riding around the den in his little car, telling me that he is going to the beach. He is ready for me to go with him. He decided that he had to go to the bathroom before he leaves for the beach and as he went into the bathroom, he said, "I love you more!"

Have I said lately that I love being his Mama?

Love to all,

R & T & A

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Hot, Hot, Hot!

This week, we would like to remember Tim's Aunt Betty who passed away. Her service was Thursday. She is truly one of the sweetest ladies I ever met and my mother-in-law's only living sibling. It has been a tough week for her. We love you Granny!

It has been really hot here this past week. I just checked the thermometer and it is 90 at 7:18pm. One day when I got in the car at work to pick up Alex, the thermometer read 111! Of course, it had been in the sun all day, but whew!!!

Alex's school has been trying to beat the heat - this week they had a pool party (wading pool) one morning and ice cream sundaes that afternoon. Normally, they go outside each morning and afternoon, but lately they have only been able to go out in the mornings.

This weekend, our town hosted the Festival of Discovery - a BBQ cookoff with teams from all over. Last year, it was featured on the Food Network. We have never been and had planned to take Alex to ride the kiddie rides, but it was just too hot to be on the asphalt today. Since he was a good boy, Daddy put up the kiddie pool and Alex got to play in it for a while.

Hopefully, next weekend, we will go to Simpsonville to Discovery Island waterpark. It is in Greenville county and part of their parks & rec department. Wish we had something like that here instead of driving 45 minutes to get there!

Last Monday, Alex's "school" was closed for July 4th. Tim and I had to work, so Granny and Grandpa kept Alex that morning and Granny Carolyn and Papa kept him that afternoon. He was sick all last weekend and had another fever when I picked him up. When Tim took him to Granny & Papa's, he didn't have one. Finally, that night, his fever began to break, but we kept him on meds through Wednesday night because he was running a low-grade fever and we didn't want him to miss his pool party. He was complaining of headache, sore throat and ear ache - basically the same thing that we have been passing around the family since our beach trip over a month ago. I think finally, we are all over it. Hate for my baby to be sick!!

Alex ate some of the first cantaloupe from his and Daddy's garden. I tried to get a picture, but he had just finished his last bite when I got the camera. He has already had cucumbers from the garden. He should have watermelon soon also. We have already had tomatoes, squash and peppers, but he doesn't eat those.

Hope everyone has a great week!!

R & T & A

Sunday, July 4, 2010


Silly Boy - pants on the head

Check out those tan lines

Sacked out on Mama

Ready for first dental cleaning

Dental cleaning

And... because I don't think I ever posted this one...first day of "school"

Celebrating our son's first Independence Day!
Thursday night and Friday morning, Alex complained to Tim that it hurt when he urinated. So, off to the doctor we go. They did a urinalysis in the office and then sent us to the hospital with another sample. As we pulled up, Alex wanted to know where the airplanes were! I never looked at it that way, but the hospital is big like an airport and there were lots of people hustling around. Well, Alex missed lunch at school, so we went to McDonald's for lunch. He got back to nursery, it was nap time. They had the windows covered and soft music playing. By that time, I was wishing I had a nap time also.

The good news is that they did not find anything with the urinalysis and are growing a culture. The doctor said to just push fluids and said that he may even have a kidney stone because there was a trace of blood in his urine. She said to watch for any signs of pain in the abdomen. So far, he has had no symptoms of this, BUT - yesterday, Tim brought him in from playing outside and his temp was around 103! We gave him a chance to cool down, have a shower and it was still around 102. He didn't complain of anything hurting and he was running around like his usual self. I called Nurse Nanci, my sister and she said that if he is acting OK, then don't worry too much about the fever. We went on to the birthday dinner and gave him some generic Tylenol. By this time, he was flushed in the face and his ears were red. When Nanci got there, she told me that I could also give him Motrin, so we did that as well. He cooled down after that and was fine.

We watched fireworks around Granny & Grandpa's house and then came home late - way after Alex's bedtime. Uncle Barry also gave Alex his first lesson in lightening bugs. Alex was not very excited about the "mooka," but was interested that his behind lit up. The poor lightening bug met a tragic injury when he fell out of Uncle Barry's hand and was stomped upon by Alex.

Tim has bad respiratory junk going on and we figure this is Alex's problem as well, so we all slept in this morning. When Alex woke up, he had a fever again, but only 101 this time, so we dosed him again and he has been OK today.

Tomorrow, the nursery is closed and Tim and I have to work. The original plan was for Granny & Grandpa to keep him in the morning and for Granny Carolyn to keep him at Aunt Kim's (for backup) in the afternoon. Then, Granny Carolyn and Aunt Kim planned an entire day with Alex, going to the park, McDonalds, pool, etc., so they were going to keep him all day. Papa called today and said that cousin Kayla is sick, so we are back to the original plan. Thank you family!!!!

Alex had his first dentist appointment last Wednesday. He had four cavities - which we knew about. He was very good, but lost his balloon on the way to the car. He did get a Buzz Lightyear toothbrush.

I will leave you with a funny:
Me: "Alex, are you ready to eat lunch?"
Alex: "No baby, no!"
Loving our son!
R & T & A

Things are going well and Alex has been so good the past four days! No timeouts at all!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

First Two Weeks Back at Work

Well, I survived my first two weeks back at work - it was nice to get almost a normal paycheck this week! And, Alex has done well in "school." He is at The Learning Vine which is right around the corner from the hospital where I work. He is actually in a K3 class where they have lessons and in the fall, he will have homework.

He has been pretty good in"school." I know that he has gotten time-out twice. Once for hitting another little boy with a block. I knew this because he said, "Miss Amanda say, NO! NO! NO!" When I asked him what he did, he told me that he did this (with a hitting motion with his hand.) I asked if he hit someone and he said, "yep!" So, of course, we had the talk about hitting.

Then, in the car he told me that he got timeout for running inside.

The Learning Vine has a behavior system that is a stop light. If they are on green they had a good day (0-2 corrections), yellow is 3-5 corrections and red is 6 or more corrections. So far, every day, Alex has been on green every day.

They had Bible School last week and the asked the children to wear cowboy hats, boots, etc. Alex doesn't have cowboy boots yet, but we got him a hat and a red bandanna and he wore it until he got into the building and he took it off. I don't think any of the kids wore them all day.

Friday when I went to pick him up, all of the children were int he music center listening to Jason Aldean's "Big Green Tractor", sung by children. Alex said everybody was dancing.

We are very please with his school and he seems to be very happy there.

Alex has his first dentist visit next Wednesday at 7:30am! I am sure he will do good because he has at all his doctor visits. He goes for his follow-up with the specialist in Greenville on August 20th and we hope he will then be released.

Work has been busy for me. I walked back in on the 14th and a new schedule was due out on the 18th. I got it out this past Tuesday. Although we have set schedules, I have to attempt to fill the needs from vacation, leaves, etc. before it is posted. I usually have two weeks to do this, but I survived!

Alex and I had dinner Friday night with friends, Rhonda, Randy and Jackie. Alex just loves them all, but especially clings to Jackie. I had to explain all the way home that Jackie and Rhonda were not coming home with us. I told him that Jackie was going to his mama's house and he thought that meant Alex's mama's house! He did finally understand though.

I have had a bad sinus infection all weekend and just taken it easy. Right now, Alex is in the kitchen with Tim and I love listening to the conversation. Alex is bad about grabbing things off the counter and running with them when you are trying to work. He just did that and was threatened with a trip to his room. He immediately said, "I be good boy!" Before that, he was playing with his keyboard and telling Tim about "musica." I also heard him say, "no sir, Daddy, no sir!" Wonder where he heard that from?

We continue to love and enjoy our little one.

Love to all,
R & T & A

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Beach Photos 2

Building sandcastles

More sandcastles

Feeding the fish at Broadway