Friday, January 9, 2015

Adventures of a Family of 8!

Sean and Alexander (who we've been calling Soshko--it's the English phonetic spelling of the Bulgarian nickname for Alexander, and what his caregivers called him in the orphanage) got home safely from Bulgaria, we all settled in, siblings became friends, and we moved to a new state 700 miles away.  Life has been intense adding a newborn and an almost 5-year-old with special needs, who doesn't speak English, to our family within weeks of each other mere months before navigating a major move.  So... the blog went by the wayside for a bit.

Time to catch up!

The rest of the pick up trip went well.  Soshko became an American Citizen when the plane touched down in Charlotte.
Chilling with Daddy's sunglasses on the plane

We had a very sweet reunion at the airport when Sean and Soshko got home.  On September 17, around 5:30 pm, we were united as a family of 8!

First photo as a family of 8

Soshko was a bit stressed, having spent the last couple of hours on the plane crying.  But when he realized he was done with the plane, he soon cheered up and grabbed hold of Rosemary's hand, happily skipping with her all the way to the car.

I buckled him up in his car seat for the first time.  He looks so small here!

And we went to McDonalds for supper on our way home from the airport.  Our first meal together as a family of 8.  Soshko had been eating mainly yogurt in Bulgaria, so we ordered him a smoothie and a yogurt.  He enjoyed them, but he enjoyed feeding spoonfuls of his smoothie to his siblings even more!


A week and a half later, Leo and Soshko were baptized together in a small, quiet ceremony by our wonderful pastor Fr. Andrew Trapp of Transfiguration Catholic Church.  What a blessing!  Neither of the boys cried, although after the water was poured on his head, Soshko tried to splash in the baptismal font full of water for the rest of the service.

Soshko celebrated his first real birthday, where he turned five years old.  He loved the cake, balloons, and party hats.  But he didn't like wearing party hats on his head.  Instead, he decided they were for stacking inside each other and placing around the house like safety cones!

This is what happens when your sister picks your candle...
And both of our new additions celebrated their first Halloween and Thanksgiving with us.

Sean took the big kids trick-or-treating while I cuddled the little ones at home.
We all shared the loot!
Thanksgiving lunch after the great experience of delivering Thanksgiving Meals on Wheels.

Leo and Soshko met both sets of their grandparents from out of state.

 Joey turned 10!

And I turned 33!
Photo courtesy of Joey :)

Sean got an offer for a great new job in New Jersey, so Advent and Christmas was spent packing and moving from South Carolina.

But even with the chaos of moving, we were able to celebrate the birth of Christ and have a happy time with friends and family.
Photo by Miss Rosemary :)
 A couple of days after Christmas the movers came to whisk us away to our new home.  We stopped to hunt geocaches along the way, like this one at the Ben Salem Lock in Virginia.

Finally, we arrived home sweet home on New Years Day! 

A couple of days later, Rosemary turned 8!
Like Soshko's boots?  One of the perks of having a big sister.

And now you're all caught up with what's been going on here with us for the last 4 months.  Soshko handled the move unbelievably well, showing no signs at all of stress or insecurity during the transition.  Sean is enjoying his new job (today he finishes his first week there).  The kids and I are settling in and enjoying SNOW and a real winter at last!
It's all fun and games until someone gets hit in the face with a snowball...
That's all for now!
God bless,