Thursday, September 22, 2011

Well folks, its coming up on three years, wow how time flies. Here is a quick visual on the progress. The small picture was taken the fist day out of the Orphanage, the larger is their last year school photo. I will retake with the newest photo when they are available.

Been a long, been a long, been a long time!

Well here I sit at Jimmy T's at 5th and East Capitol SE. Sasha walked to school, (Middle School that is) and I dropped the girls off at their new school on Capitol Hill.

In the car, the girls were singing "God made dirt, and dirt don't hurt" along with other camp songs they learned this summer. What a different time and place from the early adventures of the New Kids on the Hill.

Heidi scooted off to her early morning appointments at Bethesda before her work-a-day Army Guard life starts at National Guard Bureau in Arlington VA. She upgraded (yes again) Scooters to a brand new 300 CC Vespa in Mote Bianca white. This leaves me on Her cast off 200 cc Vespa Granturisimo. :) Meep Meep!  But alas, I have been trapped in theKidmobile (Mazda 5 with extra crumbs under the-seats) these last weeks.

I wanted to update you  guys, my loyal readers from soo long ago, for a long time. I Retired from my National Guard gig after a mere 32years of service at the end of August. Now I am getting organized (ha ha) a bit.

Sasha is in 6th grade at Stuart Hobson Middle School, Christina and Tanya are at Brent Elementary School. Brent is very fashionable public school here in DC There are 300 kids on the wait list to get in. Our Lucky Christina made in on the Lottery this last year and Tanya was number one on the wait list. 

Sasha was in bounds for his Middle school, so he avoided the 200 some odd kids on his schools wait list. We have secured an IEP for him,and now we are working on fine tuning it with the bewildering array of Team Members.

All the kids are active in the Sports On the Hill- Soccer program. Both Sasha and Christina are on travel teams now.

Maxim, the oldest of the four is very happy and living in NewMexico now with his family. Heidi's Brother and sister in-law readopted Max and they are doing very well. He a is in the 6th grade too. He came out and visited the kids for a  week this summer.

Our other "Oldest Kid", Masha, has done very well too. She was such a blessing to us these first years, we have been blessed to be able to return the karma in a small way. We have been her sponsor as a student here in the US, and now she is at American University as a Junior with a full scholarship she earned.

We have somewhat formalized our relationship with Masha by declaring her our God Daughter, and we are her American God Parents.

Thank you all for your prayers and encouragement! Love and life to all.

Erik Brun

Monday, November 2, 2009


Heidi's Halloween! Her update: I was on a short work trip to Iowa 29-31 OCT but returned in time to meet up with Erik and the kids - our church had a small kids carnival from 4-6pm with games, treats, and hot chocolate... we stayed til after 5pm then we headed to the big street over on East Capitol Street four blocks from the Capitol...and went down 7 blocks on both sides. The older two kids really had fun running the whole way - Erik tried to keep up with them... I held back and assured Tanya that she didn't need to run to keep up and so we had fun. The yards at most of these houses were really tricked out - cob webs, ghosts, spiders, grave stones (one with puns of political folks past and present) Elvis was at one yard, and etc... Lots of lights and fun, some moving parts and smoke, etc. For the adults, I think it was just as much fun as it was for the kids cause we all laughed and talked, running in to a lot of folks we knew and classmates of the kids too... Even got some token candy for us adults now and then.

We got home at about 7:15 in time to still pass some goodies out to kids in our neighborhood. The kids handed out stuff out by the fist fulls so we were out in minutes. Then Sasha volunteered his loot and poured it in the bowl and handed that out for the next forty five minutes or so. It was such an amazing thing to have a kid give up his own stuff, but he had fun doing it! Imagine seeing three kids on the sidewalk/front steps in full costumes (princess, blue angel, and ghoul) handing out candy in the rain - they loved it! We finally called them in and got them changed and feed and off to bed. We laughed when even after the outer lights were off and the door bell still rang... turned out we forgot to unplug the spider lights hanging from the kids 2nd floor windows and they were hollering out at any kids going by - the last kids at 8:45 said to us - we love your kids as we heard giggles coming from upstairs. You would think it was Christmas eve - so needless to say, they and we enjoyed our first Halloween together!


Thursday, October 22, 2009


October, a combination of light speed and stillness. I have been living very full days and watching the kids developing at such a speed its dizzying. (Note to self, insert bon-i-fidee photo of the most dangerous predator on the block, long overdue thanks to the Holtys)

"mi nnme iz iiingo umtoa, hu hilld mi fdr, retr ttta di!" shhe shouted.

what was that Tanya? she repeats with emphases, frustrated that I didn't get the joke. Urged on by her siblings, we repeats again (and again...) and at last it hits me.
Tanya, its "Prepare to die, pre-pair-too-die"

We had watched "the Princess Bride" over the weekend, and that, combined with a trip to the Maryland Renaissance Festival had inspired a few hours of daring doo and sword fights. We had three Inigo Montoyas running around challenging us to duels for over a week.
We made a short day of the Ren Festival but the kids did great and Masha enjoyed it too. Next year we shall try to put some costumes together for a longer adventure. I have found it easier to present them with the new experience like this, I had thought of building it up over days with picture books and the like, but the language is still a bit daunting and there are soo many obscure angles to try to explain it was easier to say, "yep, that's the way the dress 'round here" and give them a turkey leg.

Inigo Montoya, and his taste for revenge have only been out weighed by the impact of three Swedes and a Norwegian. We had a movie night a few weeks ago and watched ABBA's Momma Mia. They can now parrot all 16 tracks on the cast album I dug out of the closet from when Heidi and I saw the show in London on stage.
We also made a couple trips to Rock Creek Park for some creek playtime, rock hopping and boat floating before the ice sets in for the winter. (and for you NCIS fans, we did not see Ziva, DiNozzo, Abby or any scene tape.)

And last, but not least, the newest adoptee in the family, Chi Chi! she is a 9 year old terrier mix who is a hoot to watch bouncing up and down the stairs at the house. She puts up with the kids just fine and Masha took to her at first lick.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Wow, does time fly! School started and away we go! I have been a very bad blogger! Heidi has been getting complaints on Facebook about my slackerness! (Thanks Jana!)

Hardly a weekend goes by without a adventure, last weekend was face painting at the H Street Open House, this weekend it was petting zoo time at the Oktoberfest on Barracks Row (Marine Barracks Washington)

Update from Heidi:

If you haven't checked the blog lately - the kids are doing well. Still going through a lot of changes and developments on a daily basis but they are coming along and so are we as parents!

Sasha is in the 4th grade and participates in an after school dance class on M,W, and Fridays and is on the same soccer team that he played on last spring. The soccer team practices on Tues nights and plays games on Saturday mornings.

Christina is in the third grade and has soccer practices on Wednesday nights and games on Saturday mornings. She will also start to participate in Girl Scouts on every other Friday afternoon after school. Her and I are also starting to work together on Monday nights to serve a dinner meal to a church group of adults for a new beginner group called Alpha. We went to the training night of which was introductions for the leaders of all Alpha groups and the meal prep folks and we stayed the 1.5 hours of the meeting vs what I thought we might only stay for a half hour. She proved to enjoy it and our time walking there and back as it is near our home was very promising in a Mom and daughter outing that went well. This is a ten week class that I hope we will continue to do well at.

Tanya is in the 1st grade and enjoys it. Because she showed little interest in soccer practice last spring we are not gonna push getting to 3 practices and 3 games in different locations on Sat am so Tanya is not participating in Soccer. Unfortunately being the youngest she gets dragged along to the practices and someones game but there is a playground and other kids that often help that out. Tanya will also participate in Girl Scouts every other Friday after school starting soon. And we started her in on a pre-ballet class (it is a 5 year old class) but it is at her speed of learning and so far so good. We are getting ready to place her in a speech therapy class as her words were hard to understand in Russian and it is following over in to English too.

All in all the kids are doing well!

Erik and I are hopeful that they will continue to grow and develop well! Their care towards one another is good - with the occasional (ok daily) fights among one another that really is simply the whole sibling thing. They also tend to be jealous of one another but are sort of learning to get over that (ok, wishful thinking on my part)... We continue to have Masha (an official Au Pair last year with us from Dec 08 - June 09) and now we are sponsoring her as a student at our home. She provides help for us to listen for Russian phrases especially those that need to be watched (bad words and conversations of concern). She also has allowed Erik and I to get out weekly and be a couple and re-group to maintain our relationship strong. This has been very helpful. We lost our last elderly pet (Ajo, our 16 year old Aussie Shepherd) in August. It was a hard one for me as I had her for 15 plus years. The kids saw the loss and what Ajo meant to me and still to this day thank God for Ajo every night at our dinner prayer. We haven't gotten a new pet yet but may at some point (just hard to match the right pet to all of us) - and no hurry yet! Thanks for your time and support to our new family! Blessings to you all and to your families as well!

Regards! -Heidi

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Shout out!

A quick shout out to Mikes & Sarah's mom out west! always Glad to have a fan out there!

Well, I think the kids dentist is from New Jersey.... she sent one of Christina's molars "to the tooth fairy" today. What a little trooper she is (with rotten teeth). More to follow...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ahoy Matey!

So after Sasha and Christina's trips with Pa and Ma, Tanya was not feeling the Love. so Heidi came up with a clever solution. She took Tanya on a special half day escape to Annapolis and a Harbor Cruise to make her feel special too. Of course she dominated the scene.