Join us in the adventures of our family, with our Belarussian Prince, Guatemalan Princessa and Ukrainian Princesses!

Monday, July 13, 2015

One month home!

We have been busy getting used to life again. Still have a long way to go, but we are riding the waves!

We had a dr's appt and they had this really cool translator :) actually the in person translator never showed so we were the first to use this online translation service and it worked out great! I actually think it was easier for Reilly than having another stranger IN the small room

Just hanging out and relaxing!


Fourth of July poppers!!

First time with sparklers :)


Reilly loves to paint!

Lots of jewelry making going on!

Playing with her sister's dolls' shoes :)

We let her pick out a jewelry box and she had fun designing

How sweet!

She has one week of summer school under her belt and individual tutoring. She is talking more and understanding much more of what is being said :)

We had our meeting with the middle school and they have agreed to put her in 7th grade!
(Her age puts her in 9th, but luckily they are willing to let her have two years of middle before heading to high school. She only just finished 5th grade in country)

In one month she has gone from not being able to swim to this:

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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Settling in and finding our new normal! :)

Hard to believe we have been home 3 weeks now!!
We have been settling in, figuring out likes and dislikes and learning the family rules.
It has been an amazing process and we are ALL learning :)
everyone likes ice cream!

blue lollipop!
 the first couple of days home were very hard for Reilly. Everything was so foreign. Everything smelled and tasted funny, she couldn't understand anything being said anywhere. She was grieving the loss of her friends, routine and language. She barely ate anything the first couple of days home. She withdrew into herself and barely talked to any of us. It was so very hard on all of us. The kids did not understand what was going on. But we can say we survived!!
first time she met her aunts, uncle, grandparents and cousins!
a bit overwhelming for her, she stuck pretty close to me :)

Danny turned 13 right after we got home.

we celebrated Adam's birthday along with danny's :)

Reilly loves to do hair :)

her very first happy meal, she LOVED it :)
We have had no more food issues, she pretty much eats everything!

a good Ukrainian cleaning up the trampoline.
when she first got home she did not like to go in at all.
I asked her to sweep it up for the girls and she went right in, cleaned up and then started bouncing :)

now she happily goes in with the kids and bounces and bounces!
just don't tell her it is exercise!! :)

she took this picture of me :)
she was pretty afraid of the pool at first, kept saying it was cold.
She didn't realize that the deep end is as deep as it is (9') and went right under the first day.
I had to rescue her, but she went right back in and stayed in the shallow end :)

beautiful girls
crazy boy!

getting more adventurous! floating along happily :)

we spent an entire morning cutting and chopping food
she loves to help cook

getting ready for borscht!

we also made olivye (Ukrainian potato salad)
It was delicious!!

took a break to float in the pool again

our borscht was SO yummy!!
everyone in the house ate several bowls of it!!

we showed her how we chop, split and stack wood :)
she stepped right up, never complained and kept going till we were all done!

we had our first girls day, had manicures done!

bought some pool noodles to help her float :)

she is such an amazingly sweet spirit
she is 14 on the outside, but younger on the inside
it is so cool to share so many firsts with her
she loves to giggle and giggle all the time

everyone has skates and she was happy to show Victoria how to do it!
skating was the one thing she said she did in Ukraine and wanted to do in the US too

we have seen wildlife! lots of bunnies, chipmunks, squirrels and even some mating turkeys!! right in our front yard!

we went to movie night at Wegman's and we ate, watched the movie and colored

she was very proud of her picture

sweet sweet girls!

gerri and danny were in the bathroom :)

they all fight over who gets to sit next to her :)

we made varenkyi too!!

danny wanted to help :)

stuffing them with a pork mixture

they were SO good! we ate them ALL!

Happy Fathers day :)

Grampy with his grandkids :)

she created a new outfit for SuperLu out of paper and a glue stick :)

first play date with a friend of the girls, she was right in there with them!

first shopping trip to Justice! :) three changing rooms for three girls!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Our Family has grown!!

We would like to introduce you all to our beautiful new daughter!
Reilly Valentina Thornell
She is amazing, sweet and so brave!

We have kept it on the down low enjoying the process as a family!
We committed to her the end of November and worked quickly to get her home.
The kids actually found out about her from Jingles (our elf) and were SO excited about it all!
We were submitted in February and traveled the end of March, the whole family!
The kids were SO excited to meet her. Poor girl was a bit overwhelmed, she NEVER thought a family would ever want her :( We kept coming back and visiting and played games, brought food and had fun and she said YES!
This is our first picture as a family! The day she said yes!!
Dan and I flew back to visit and have court, our first time being without kids ever!! It was like a second honeymoon :)

Legally a family!! :)
She is smart, sweet and a teenager :) We are working through learning a new language. Luckily she is not a picky eater, and loves the kids. She is so considerate of everyone. She left all her clothes and makeup, even her phone with her friends at the internat. She made such a brave decision to say yes to us and grab at her dreams.
She will be truly cherished and loved.
We are all truly blessed! :)