Oy and Alas.

I love them all, but they are much crazy.

Just add Latvians to bust out my best broken English. You think I’m kidding, but inside my head most of the time now, I sound like Latka Gravas on Taxi.

Nastja expressed an interest in learning how to cook more things, so we have been firing up thing after thing in my inferno of a kitchen. She takes careful notes, with exact measurements. A chemist, to the bone.

The sum total of these cookies became invisible in approximately 36 seconds.

Will the 9-yr-old boy in me ever grow up? Apparently not.

We have been to the beach twice now. That’s twice more than I’ve been in the past, say, 10 years. While I am not at all a beach lover (which may cause some of you to run screaming for the vodka), I am a good dooby. It has, to my great dismay, been surprisingly enjoyable. Why am I such an Archie Bunker when it comes to sand and crowds?

The owner of these feet is. on occasion, showing himself to be a one-man comedy show. He would like to live at the beach.

I think someone was feeling a little homesick.

The good news is that we also went to Brighton Beach, which involved no sand or homesickness at all. Just Russian food delicious.

Let’s all pause for a moment of silence as we ogle that cold beet soup.

Is it me, or do you find it amusing that I’m the one in plaid and Joe’s all floral and Old Navy pretty? I think it’s me. I’m easily amused.

With bellies full of pelmeni and sour cream, they all three liked us at once for a second or two.

Nastja: “Okay, put heads together and make funny face.”

One of the huger blessings these kids have brought us is now kind they have been to Lil. That has certainly not been the case with, well, any of our other hosting experiences. While Joe and I are entirely outnumbered, our girl is having what I suspect to be the best summer of her life.

Which rocks, plain and simple.

Joe (watching Julia take this photo): “Are you blogging tonight?”

We have a birthday (mine), a name day (Alosa’s), a half birthday (Nastja’s), and tonight as a kickoff of these events, a 11 1/6 birthday. It makes for a mouthful when you sing to the birthday girl.

Does celebrating your faux birthday mean you need to faux wish? Discuss.

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