Friday, October 17, 2008

Our life since the last post..........

It has been a while since my last post! So much has happened lately :) Lets see.........Alyssa had her birthday! She turned 7 on September 29!!!! I can't believe she is so big! I had my 30th birthday (YIKES) on the 26th. my mom and Chris threw a suprise party for me at my mom's. It was really nice. We had some Yummy Mexican Food (my favorite) and had a great time with the family. Then I had ANOTHER suprise party that was mainly for friends that my sister in law, brother and Chris threw for me. Who knew turning 30 could be so much fun???? :) Hmmmm...........what else..........Oh, my nephew Hudson Gantt Nolte was born on my birthday :) He is such a cutie!!! His mom is doing great too! She had a very bad experience with Ryan's birth and this one, she has done AWESOME!

One more thing........OCTOBER 12, 2006 was the day we adopted Abby and Brayden! Soooooooo we celebrated their 2 year GOTCHA day on Sunday!!!! Brayden wanted Japanese food and Abby wanted Borscht (a traditional Ukrainian beet soup). We went to a Japanese Steakhouse for lunch and had Borscht for dinner. I made this myself in the crock pot. It turned out pretty good! Even Brayden liked it and he doesn't like soup. We then put candles in the brownies that I made and sang "Happy Gotcha Day To You!" Oh, I almost forgot..........the night before this day, Chris scratched his eyeball pretty bad. He works at a Haunted house in Athens and wears these eerie looking contacts that make your eyeballs white. When he took the contacts out, he scratched his eye. He came home in so much pain. I wanted to take him to the ER, but he insisted on sleeping it off. The next morning, when the pain was worse, he gave in and let me take him. Good thing he went because he had an infection in his eye from the scratch. He is much better now, but that day, he was a mess. We missed church because of the ER (that was a bummer for both of us because Pastor Troy is doing an AWESOME series on FIREPROOF the movie) and after the hospital, when we went to the steakhouse, Chris couldn't even see :( He insisted that we go anyway because of the kids. When we got home, he slept the rest of the afternoon. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah................blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, that what I sound like? No really, that is what it seem like I sound like in this post. LOL! Just babling away!! :) Maybe it is the dreary day outside? Who knows.......BTW, if you haven't see the movie FIREPROOF yet, you really should go see it. Take your tissues, you'll need them.

On the Ukrainian front, we are still up in the air about what we are going to be able to do. I really don't know if we are going to be able to go in February now. Money is kindof tight and the economy..........well, no need to explain there..........I am shooting for the end of March. I found a good deal on airfare and it will put us there over spring break, which would be ideal, so my mom could help us out with watching Wyatt. IF we are NOT able to go in March, we may have to wait until November 2009 since the airfare is unaffordable between April-October. I REALLY hope that it works out for us to go in Feb. or March. PLEASE PLEASE pray that it will work out for us. The kids are already so excited, and I don't want to wait too long and possibly not be able to locate the grandmother for some reason.

On a happy note.........Wyatt is crawling EVERYWHERE!!!! He is such a little stinker :) I will try to baracade him in an area, and he somehow manages to bust through the baracade. When he gets through, he just laughs and laughs. :) LOL! He is just like his Daddy!

OK, well that is all for now. I will update more often. I hope everyone is having a wonderful fall :) I LOVE this weather!!!!



Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Abby's birhtday and a poll......

I can't believe that my little Abby is 8 years old now. Her birthday was yesterday on the 9th. We went to Texas Roadhouse with my family to celebrate. YUMMY! and she took cupcakes to school to share with her friends. Also, as I a sure that you have read in an earlier post, Abby and Alyssa had a sleepover last weekend (Alyssa's b-day is the 29th). September is a very busy month for us...........
Sept. 8-ALyssa's gotcha day
Sept 9-Abby's b-day and Chris's sister's b-day
Sept 23- my twin nephews b-days
September 26-My B-day
September 29-Alyssa's b-day
not to mention that Chris's b-day is the end of August and Abby & Brayden's gotcha day is October 12th.
crazy, crazy, crazy time of year for us...........but so much FUN!!!! :)

Oh, and I have put a poll up in the right hand corner of our blog. Please cast your vote! We are trying to decide which airlines to book for our Ukraine trip in February. Is between Lufthansa (layover in Frankfurt) and Northwest Airlines (layover in Amsterdam). They are both around the same price. We have decided to do an overnight layover and can't decide which city would be best. What do you think??? And if you have any input on either of the airline's itself, we'd love to hear about it!

Thank you!

Monday, September 8, 2008


It has been 4 years already?? Wow, how time flies! On this day, in 2004, we were officially named the parents of Jayley Alyssa Nolte, formerly named Olesya Ruslanovna Mazilina. What an awesome day that was!! We picked her up from the orphanage and the first day of our life as a family began. It was the coolest feeling in the world!!

Thank you Lord for leading us to our child and thank you Ukraine for giving us one of your precious children.

We LOVE YOU Alyssa!!!

Here is the food we cooked for Alyssa's gotcha day. This was Alyssa's request. There was a fast food potato place in Kyiv that we went to often. She would always get cheesy hot dogs in hers. It actually turned out pretty good.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

What do you get when you put seven 6-7 year old girls together and give them sugar, candy, popcorn, pizza, etc??? Ummm................

A few pics from Last night....
Here is Abby getting all messy with the ice cream Sundays
Alyssa on left with her friend Kylee and cousin Jacey.
Here are the cakes I attempted making (note to cakes next time.....muuuuuch easier)
Here is my two boys, are't they darling??? :)

Well we had a CRAZY night last night!!! I decided to let the girls have a sleepover for their birthday. Their birthdays are both in September so I do their parties together, much easier and cheaper that way. Anyway, we had 5 girls come over and with our 2 that made 7 wild, squealing, crazy girls running around our house! LOL :) They ate pizza, had cake, made ice cream sundays, watched movies and ate popcorn, had pillow fights! Needless to say, all of the sugar had them WIRED!!! They had a BLAST though and Mama's taking a break today!!!!

I am really looking forward to tonight though! My sister in law is having a little boy and instead of throwing her a shower, 10 of us are going to a Japanese steakhouse for dinner. GREAT idea I must say and tons cheaper than doing a shower since everyone is paying for their own dinner.

The nasty bug FINALLY left our house! It was pretty ugly! We all got it except for Alyssa. I hope he never shows his face at our house again....YUCK!

OK, off to take a nap :)

Till next time,


Saturday, August 30, 2008

Looks like we're gonna be stuck in the house this weekend. Me, Chris, Wyatt and Brayden all have been invaded by a nasty bug. I don't know how he got here, but he is NOT welcome and I guess he has decided to stay and torture us all anyway. He is the kind of bug that comes out both ends. YUCK! He is spreading very rapidly, so we have quarantined ourselves in our house until he leaves. So far Alyssa and Abby do not have it and I keep telling them to STAY AWAY, but they are not listening. I am sure the bug will eventually take over them as well.

Last night, we had a little b-day party for Chris. He turned 29 on the 27th. His family came over and we cooked out. I started to get sick while they were here and ended up in the bed (and on the toilet). I hated that I couldn't join in on the fun. Chris and Brayden started getting sick this morning. Wyatt has been a little sick for a couple of days now. I didn't realize it was a bug until I got it too. I really hope no one else in Chris's family gets invaded. I would feel really bad! Oh, wait, too late......I just got off the phone with Chris's mom, and his sister has been invaded, YIKES! Sorry Tiff.

I have a special prayer request. An online friend, Michelle Hills and her husband Dan have arrived in Ukraine today to start their second adoption journey. I have been following their blog for a couple of years now. The adopted a beautiful 10 yr. old girl in 2006 named Yana and are about to adopt 3 more children. One 3 yr. old girl with Cerebral Palsy (beautiful little girl) and an older boy and girl siblings. Please pray for their trip to go smoothly. Michelle is an amazing woman!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Our journey back to Ukraine! OMG!!!

Well, here i am again, posting about Ukraine. It has been almost 2 years since my last post, but it seems like just yesterday. For those of you who would like to read our story about how our family came together, go to Boy, has our family changed since then! I will just insert an e-mail I wrote to the GA Ukraine adoption yahoo group so I won't have to re-type it.......

For those of you who were not at the reunion, you may not know that Iam expecting. We are due to have our MIRACLE baby in March. Here'sthe very brief version of our story. I had 5 miscarriages from 2001-2003. I could not put myself or Chris through anymore losses, so we decided to adopt from Ukraine. We adopted our precious Alyssa in2004 and could not imagine having our family any other way. We had briefly discussed trying once more for our own, but I just knew thatGod was calling us to adopt from Ukraine again. Chris thought I wascrazy, but went along with it. That is when we found Abby & Brayden(Alyssa's bio siblings). After a long year and a half, we finallybrought them home October 2006. OK, here's the crazy part. After acouple of months home, I felt this HUGE burden on my heart......Iknew we were meant to go back to Ukaine and adopt again. I got upthe courage to tell Chris and he pretty much laughed at me andsaid "NO WAY". I was crushed, but knew it was a little crazy :)Well, after a few more months passed, I brought it up again and thistime he actually said "OK". I was blown away!!!! We decided wewould try to save up ALL of the money before hand before we started the process. We had figured up that it would be Fall of 2008 when we would start the process. In the mean time we decided to have Chris go to the Dr. to get "fixed" so we wouldn't have to worry about pregnancy. Well, just before we scheduled his appointment, I found out that I was pregnant. YIKES!!! We had used the same method we had used for the past 10 years and it NEVER failed us (sorry for TMI). I was in shock, and I wasn't happy at all. All I could think about was, OH NO! another miscarriage, we can't go through that again. Much less the kids to go through it. I was terrified for the whole first trimester (the furthest I had made it was 9 weeks). But then I started to realize that this was God's baby, not ours. We didn't plan this, He did. SoI finally had peace with it and here I am almost 8 months pregnant and little baby Wyatt is kicking me all over the place :) We are ontop of the world and can't wait to hold our little miracle boy. The kids are SOOOOOO excited (I am glad, I was really worried about that). SO, that is our LONG but briefly summed up story.I'll keep ya'll updated when we have him. He is due March 25th.Please keep us in your prayers.

Ok, well that was written back in January, and here it is August and e have a sweet, precious, little (well quite big actually), 5 month old boy who is laying right here beside me in my bed sound asleep :) Can you believe it?? I can't! I am still amazed by how all of this happened!!!! God is so good though! Yes, our life is pretty hectic now......pretty hectic......ha! ha! I mean so hectic that my head is always spinning and I don't know how we get through the day sometimes!!! YIKES!!! But ya know, it ALWAYS works out and the kids and us ALWAYS manage to fall asleep and wake up to a new day to start the crazyness all over again :) No really, it's not all that bad, we do manage to have fun in the midst of all of it though! Kids are great!

So, I bet you would like to know what the title is all about.....Ukraine......our second home?? I'll get to that, but first I'd like to let you know how our kiddos are doing since those of you who followed our blog last time haven't heard from me in almost 2 years!!!

Alyssa Alyssa was adopted from Simferopol, Ukraine in September 2004 at the age of 2 (almost 3). She transitioned into our family beautifully! Well, I have always said that she has got to be the sweetest girl that has ever been on this Earth! I think she really is! She has the kindest heart of anyone I have ever known. Now, as she is getting older, she is getting to be more, how do I say She is doing the typical kid stuff on occasion, lying.....tattling......not following directions......the list goes on, but she is still my sweet little baby. She is doing great in school and loves animals. She really isn't into any sports or activities right now. She says that she just wants to play, and that is fine by me.....and my checkbook! :) She is getting along pretty good with her siblings and is glad that they are here. her gotcha day is coming up on September 8th. It will be 4 years since we adopted her!!! I can't believe it has been so long! I'll have to post a before and after picture of her soon. She has changed dramatically!!!


Abby was adopted in October 2006 from Kerch, Ukraine at 6 years old. She is Alyssa's bio sister that we found through a birthfamily search (you can read all about it at She is my little Ukrainian Princess. No, she really she says anyway :) She is the complete opposite of Alyssa. While Alyssa is into the outdoors, nature, animals.....Abby is more into makeup, what her hair looks like and if her shoes have heels or not. She is SO Ukrainian, she walks in heels like she was born to do it (those of you who have been to Ukraine know what i am talking about) I don't let her wear heels out of course, but I do let her wear the little wedge sandals. She is in gymnastics and LOVES it! Nastyia Lyukin is her idol, she likes her becuse she is "really from Russia" she says :) Abby came in last night after Papa picked her up from gymnastics with her team leotard on. She was SO proud of it. She looked so cute in it :) Her first meet in in January and she is so excited!!!


Brayden was adopted along with Abby in 2006 when he was 8 yrs. old. He is Abby & Alyssa's half brother (same mother). Brayden is such a sweet boy. He is always trying to please us and everyone around him. He is struggling in school a little, but I think that it is mainly the language barrier (still having trouble with reading) and the fact that he was diagnosed with ADD earlier this year. He is on medication now and seems to be doing much better. Soccer is Brayden's passion and he is pretty good at it too. He also likes to draw. I really need to put him in some sort of art classes.

And then there's little man, Wyatt! He is just the sweetest thing ever! The kids adore him, and we do to! I just can't get enough of his sweet little giggles, smiles and coo's :) As far as sports, well......I'm putting him in soccer as soon as he starts crawling.....ha! ha! He is a little kicker!

Ok, and now to the title of our blog..............

As you may or may not know, we have been to Ukraine 3 times. First trip (Alyssa's adoption) we were there August - September 2004 for 6 weeks. Second trip (to meet Abby and Brayden) March 2006 for 1.5 weeks. Third trip (Abby & Brayden's adoption) Sept -October 2006 for 5 weeks. Well......we are headed back again!! And NO, it is NOT for another adoption........I had you worried didn't I? Hee! Hee! :) We are going back to meet the kid's birthfamily. We did another birthfamily search last month and we found the kid's bio grandmother. Brayden knows her well since he lived with her for 6 years. Abby lived with her for 3 years. They miss her and she misses them. I don't blame her for wanting to see her grandchildren and to meet Alyssa, so we are going for a visit next year. We will also hopefully meet the bio mother as well. I am not going to go into what happened with he bio family and why they were put up for adoption, it is a very long story, but we feel very comfortable going back to let them see their bio family. We will have a translator that we trust to go with us so we can communicate. I also will be working on my Russian as well and I am trying to get the kids, especially Brayden, to brush up on his Russian (which he has forgotten most of).

I am looking into the trip now. I spent a lot of time yesterday online looking up airfare, apartment rentals, etc. to get an estimation on the cost. The best (but most miserable) time to go is in the winter. Airfare is less than half the price of that in the summer. I found flights that were only $3,800 for all 5 of us (we are leaving Wyatt at home) on Lufthansa if we travel February 09. Summer would be out of school, nice weather..........but the airfare is around $10,000 and we just cannot do that. So, we'll get the kid's work ahead of time and tough out the winter there so we can go for cheaper. We will probably go for 2-3 weeks so it will be worth our time. Once you fly all the way out there, you might as well plan on staying a few weeks or you will just have to rush everything and wouldn't get to enjoy your time in each place. I am thinking that we wil fly into Kyiv (on Lufthnsa, it takes 2 days to get there), stay two nights in Kyiv, take the overnight train to Simferopol, and drive to Kerch. Abby and Brayden want to go back to their orphanage to see their friends and caregivers. Stay in Kerch a couple of nights, drive to Sudak and spend maybe a week there, getting to know the bio family and letting kids see the town they were raised in the first part of their lives. Then drive to Simferopol, spend a couple of nights there, so to Alyssa's orphanage to visit, and possibly meet Brayden's bio father who lives there. Take the overnight train back to Kyiv, and spend the rest of our time there, showing the kids the city. It is beautiful and so much fun there and with our last trip, Abby and Brayden didn't get to see much of it since we were in such a hurry on our way out of the country. They had always wanted to see Kyiv while living in Kerch and Sudak, but never got to. So, that is our tentative plans.

So, I feel like Ukraine has become our second home (hence the title). This will be our 4th trip, and I know it won't be our last. Please keep us in your prayers as we prepare, plan, and save for this awesome journey the we will embark on next year. Pray that we can form a loving and lasting bond with the bio family, especially the grandmother, who cares for the children deeply. I thing that giving this to our children is PRICELESS.

I will update this blog with info about our family and info about our travel plans.

Till next time,