Sunday, October 11, 2009

Lazy Sunday.

For the most part. C and O had friends over, L was at confirmation for a while, and J went to a parkour rally thing with his friends ("HARDCORE PARKOUR"). I read and napped, as did Daddy. Later in the afternoon, Daddy, with the help of most everyone who was home, made more applesauce (post on that coming soon). Yes, the Lord was present today.

The littlies pretending to be babies, all snuggled up together on our *new* couch. ( A TRUE blessing from God!!)

It was naptime for my babies. I only wished it were actually naptime....

C thought they looked very cozy, and wanted to get in on the coziness. They didn't much fancy her feet in their faces.

God is good.

Friday, October 9, 2009


I just want to scoop up this little love-muffin and cover him with kisses...

So I do.

(I've been on a bloggy hiatus, as you can probably tell. There are jsut so many things to blog, and I get overwhelmed. I'll try to keep up, however!)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A change of scenery.

Every so often, I get this insatiable urge to rearrange something. That something is almost always my room. I acutally just re-did it a few weeks ago, and I'm very happy with the results. But that was just the rearrangement. I was thrift shopping with Mother just the other day, and picked up a matching curtain and bedskirt set. Now, normally I don't go for those kinds of things, but these are REALLY CUTE, and kinda funky, so I thought I'd give 'em a try. I haven't put them up yet, but it looks as though I'll have to do a bit of decor change as well. I don't mind, of course, since I'm just SO HAPPY to have found cheap curtains. But, see, I'm a bit impetuous, and when I want to do something, I want to do it NOW. And before I can put them up, I have to make them into three curtains (they're just two big ones now, and I have three small windows), and wash them. So frustrating. That, and the fact that I have no time, and have to make up a Venitian Renaissance gown before Sunday. We'll see how all that goes...
But my impetuosity happens with almost everything. Including my pending trip to Uganda. As my facebook status said a few days ago, I have far too many things tying me down in America. My prayer is that if God wills me to go before I plan to, that he will free me up!

All this goes to say, I've given the 'ole blog a makeover. Again... Maybe my thinking was that it will induce me to blog more often. We'll see.

Hey, it worked! Blogs posts two days in a row!

Remember to glorify God today!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Happy Birthday O!!

This photo pretty much sums up his personality :)

O turns 8 today... I really don't quite know where the time has gone....

He is sweet, funny, goofy, and loving. He loves playing legos, and teasing his younger siblings. He takes after his older brother in many respects, but he is his own wonderful person, through and through.

My prayer for him is that he would let his heart be open and receptive to the Lord's call, and that he retains his beautiful innocence.

Happy Birthday, Bubbee, I love you!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Our Summer... In Pictures...

So I have been informed that I have more than one reader of my blog, and since getting kicked (not really literally) for not blogging, I thought to satisfy the crowds.

School is in full swing, but before I tell you how that's going for us, I thought I'd do a little re-cap of the summer...

E lost a tooth.

And B lost a tooth.

And some little boys only wish they had a lost tooth.

We played tourist for a day, and went Downtown with Oma while she was visiting. We spent the day roaming Millenium and Grant Park.

One of two new sculpture things.

We were happy to find that you can climb and sit on it.

C. And the other new sculpture thingy. (we're not really sure what it's supposed to be. A flying saucer, perhaps?)

View looking up in the new sculpture thingy.

Oma and Mother trying to figure out what the heck the new sculpture thingy is.

This is what happens when you skip your nap.

On our way home, we found a lovely little fountain, perfect for cooling off our hands...

We had several birthdays too. L turned 13!
For the record, in our household, we do not have "teenagers". We have young adults. My parents do this for several reasons, one of which is that the word "teenager" holds a negative connotation (think rebellious, lazy, irresponsible...), and my parents want to set an expectation of responsibility and maturity. But I digress... Where was I?

Oh, yes! L's birthday. (for some reason, we never have any candles in the house come birthdays, so we use what we can find!)

Grandmother turned 80 (but shhhhh, don't tell anyone!). Most all her children and grandchildren were present, and we threw her a wonderful surprise party. Our Cousin D created that wonderful cake.

My aunts teamed up to create this wonderful quilt for her. All the members of our family decorated a square, and each family had a picture on there too.

M turned 2!

The beautiful cake I made him.

The beautiful cake after Daddy did "his cutting".

M's preferred method of cake-eating.

M opening his presents, most of which included cars.

Every year, most all of Mother's siblings converge upon Grandmother's house, and spend a few weeks there. It's always a fun time, especially to see how much people change. Grandmother has a basketball court behind her home, and also lives just a 3 minute walk from the beach, so there's always plenty to do!!

Cousin E, and B.

M and Cousin D, the mastermind behind Grandmother's AMAZING cake! I've already enlisted him to make my wedding cake when the time comes :)

O and Cousin I. They were born on the same day (today in fact! Happy 8th Birthday O and I!), and thus are twin cousins!

Grandmother's is rather a place of indulgence, since we get dessert EVERY NIGHT. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?? (This is a high point for those young enough to feel the smart of no dessert after dinner at home :))

E and B were very resourceful with their time, building fires on the patio,

and fishing in the grass.

E and B. Aren't they the cutest??

We were blessed to visit our dear friends the G's. They are a TRULY amazing family, and we all had a wonderful time! Since I don't have the tech savvy to know how to insert links into words, you'll have to go to this link
( ) to see a picture of all 18 kids!

It was hot, so while we were there, the Dads talked...

And the Mothers talked....

And the kids played with the hose...

And played some more.

Lastly, we were blessed to just hang out together as a family... (my personal favorite pastime!).

Is there ANYTHING cuter than a little brown boy with a big tummy in footie PJ's?

O took to stuffing things down his pajama bottoms.

Including his brother.


M and C


This Summer was fun, hot, relaxing (at times), and blessed.

God is Good!

Saturday, September 5, 2009


I realize that it has been nearly a month since my last post, but in my defense... Well... nope. I got nothin'.
But to appease the one person who still reads this blog, here is a picture of the cutest little brown boy I know:

Yep. You should be appeased now...

The official post is coming tomorrow... When my computer is no longer dying...

Monday, August 10, 2009

What I'm listening to.

Right now, I'm in the office listening to snippets of different little girls singing.

First, B was singing "Bawk, bawk, chicken.... bawk, bawk, chicken..."

Now she has moved on to "My nose is yellow and bluuuue.... My eyes are yellow and bluuuue...".

Yep. Just a typical Monday here!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

And the fish in my bed. Or, how we don't always understand each other...

You remember how I said B's English is progressing very nicely? Well, it still is, and everyone we come in contact with says how impressed they are with her, and how she's doing wonderfully. The only problem is the occasional stories she tells us. One she told Mother just the other day went a little like this:

B: Mom, an 'den my mom, um, swim.
Mother: You went swimming with your Ethiopia mommy?
B: Yah. An 'den, M this is swim. Fish.
Mother: A fish? You swam with a fish?
B: No. Under. Me, this is under fish. My bed.
Mother: The fish was in your bed.
B: Yah. Um, big fish. This is my bed. M bed, fish.
Mother: Oh, M had a fish in his bed too?
B: Mm hm. An 'den suh-leep. Fish my bed.
Mother: Ok.

Yup. Pretty fun, huh? Well, at least she's learning!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

A milestone.

Of sorts. Today, as I was getting B ready for church, she started babbling. Now, usually when I'm concentrating on trying to get a clip to stay in her hair, I just nod and smile at whatever it is she's saying. (Sidenote - B is at a frustrating point right now. She's forgetting her Amharic, but English is not altogether there for her yet. She understands very well, but a lot of stories include her saying "this is". "This is E, this is mine take, E this is." Yep. So you can understand the nodding and smiling thing, right? But I digress...)
But this time, she caught my attention.
"M, this is, my dad, this is M my dad."
"Your dad, B? You mean, your Ethiopian dad?"
"Yah. This is my dad, bye bye."
"Your dad went bye bye?"
"Yes. Dad, bye bye, all gone."
Now, B and M are biological siblings whose parents both died of "unknown illnesses". Their father died a few months before M was born, and their mother died sometime last year. Since there has been such a big language barrier, we've not tried talking to B about her parents. This was something new. She was talking about the fact that her parents were gone.
"What about your Ethiopian mom?"
"My mom, gone. *closes eyes, and goes limp*. Mom, bye bye. This is gone."
"Your mom in Ethiopia is gone?"
"Does that make you sad?"
She shrugs her shoulders, then points towards the bathroom where Mother was getting ready.
"This is mommy, bathroom."
"You're right, mommy is in the bathroom, and she loves you very much."

Now at this point, I could feel the tears stinging my eyes. I was trying to imagine knowing your parents had died, and living though all this change. It was seriously heartbreaking. Through this conversation, she made it clear she knew her mother had died, and her father was gone. I explained that it was OK to be sad for her Ethiopian mommy and daddy, and that was something she could always talk about with Mother and Daddy. I also explained that she now has an American family who loves her very much, and will be with her forever.

I hope that God will continue to open her heart, and heal it enough to be able to continue talking about her life in Ethiopia.

As I said. A milestone. Of sorts.

God is so good!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

And once again...

I have failed in my duties to faithfully keep my blog. I apologize.
Although, in my defense, I have been rather busy these past few weeks. J and I returned from CHIC (Christian High in Christ), exhausted, but Undone. I will admit I had my doubts about whether this would be worthwhile, (not being a fan of catering to the popular belief that teens need to be entertained) but I believe this was a truly wonderful experience. It was definitely fun, but the speakers were very thought provoking and Biblical, and the morning groups were really great. I also saw many people I hadn't seen in years! The Covenant world is so large, and yet, so small!

I had about a week home after CHIC, before we went off to Grandmother's house for a good part of last week. Every Summer, most all of Mother's siblings converge on Grandmother's house for a few weeks. Since we're a pretty wide-spread family, this is usually the only time we get to see these aunts, uncles and cousins. This year was Grandmother's 80th Birthday (I can say that, since she doesn't have a computer ;P), and we gave her a surpise Birthday dinner. Mother has five siblings, and all but one were present, along with all but three cousins. A gathering like this has not happened for a long time, since not everyone is there every summer. For a present, Mother's older sisters organized the making of a family quilt for Grandmother. It has a picture of each family, and everyone made their own square to go on it. It's now hanging above Grandmother's bed.

B and M continue to adjust, as do we all. Although, most of the adjustment happens by throwing temper tantrums! Since this is a sign that they feel comfortable and safe enough in their position in the family to state their opinion loudly and vocally, we like to think that it is a good thing (for the most part:)).

E is also going through a big period of adjustment after having been bumped one down in the birth order, and made an older sister. This process is not made any easier by B, who is developing a large competetive streak. Anything E has, B must have too, preferably better or bigger. This competitivness has manifested itself in many ways, mostly in the clothing department, though. Thankfully, E is the Amazon queen, and thus is a size larger than her sister, so Mother has pulled out the next size clothing, and separated theirs, so E's in on one side, and B's is on the other. This system has been working wonderfully, as Mother chooses their clothing, and getting dressed now take about five minutes, compared to the 1/2 hour it took before.
Also, this week O, C and E are attending VBS at our "second church" (our church is very small, so we go to this one for mid-week bible studies and VBS stuff), and B is not. Mother decided that, although B is adjusting wonderfully to Sunday School, she was not ready to be away from Mother for about 3 hours every day. This has caused major tears, since E gets to go, but B is slowly getting over it, and is directing her attention elsewhere. Like tormenting her younger brother. Ah, well. One thing at a time, eh?

But all in all, life is getting easier. B and E are learning to share, and that is one huge blessing. On the other hand, the baby (yes, that is how I refer to him! I called E the baby up until we got off the plane from Ethiopia) is taking only about hour long naps eahc day, which is causing Mother great stress, as he is cranky/crabby for the rest of the day.
But God is still good!!
That's mostly our mantra. :)

I am now sitting at the train station, waiting for the next train, since I missed the last one. I'm heading to a two day conference with some more cousins, this time from Daddy's side of the fam. I shall miss my family dreadfully, but I console myself by thinking that I will be back with them in a few short days.

A funny:
I work in a coffee shop/gelateria, and yesterday I met an employee I'd never, um, met before. He started asking me about school, and life, and stuff. I answered politely, and then asked him about his school, and life and stuff. He told me he goes to community college.
Him: Yeah, but I'm just working this to save up. I'm moving to oregon next year.
Me: Really? That's cool. I'm moving to Africa.
Him: *blank stare* Why?
Me. To love children.
Him: Oh... Cool. See ya.

Yeah. Nice talking to you too. That's what I get a lot these days. Apparently taking a gap year, and moving to Uganda to kiss orphans is no longer acceptable in our society. Who knew?

Blessings from us.

And I will post more often. Really I will.

God is good!!

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Is here.
Let me rephrase that. Summer has been here for a while. In fact, I do believe that Summer is already 1/3 over. If you see my June running around, please send it home, won't you?
Despite the fact (or perhaps because of it) that our weeks here have been somewhat slow and lazy (a wonderful thing for adjustment), I have not felt a great inclination to blog. Maybe this is a good thing, but I keep thinking about continuing our Ethiopia Trip Saga. I love closure, but have no desire to bring it about right now :)
So instead, I shall share a bit of Summer so far...
Swimming season has begun! We've been to the beach several times already, but somehow there are no pictures from said beach... So I shall put in pool pictures as substitute. These are from our wonderful time in Florida!

(Please excuse the bad photo quality. I was not there when these were taken. Thus the bad photo quality. And maybe the fact that the children were weilding the camera...)
Mother did B's hair. Since it's so short (yet growing rapidly!) we can only do so much with it. But I think she looks adorable!

Of course, then E needed a hairdo too. It doesn't quite work as well in her hair, but it still looks darn cute! Like someone out of a Dr. Seuss book.

M learned how to chop potatoes. Hm... More like mutilate them. For the record, that is a "safety knife", he was being monitored while using said knife, and I highly doubt he could've killed himself with it. So, he is learning valuable lessons about cooking at an early age. Yup, this one's a chef...

Hanging out with cousins and family. A lot of our time in Florida was spent either eating, or preparing to eat.... Funny how that works, isn't it? We had several delightful, fun meals together as a family.

One of my new most favorite pictures! M and I with Oma.

Oh look! More eating!

When we got home, we decided we needed a new family picture! What a good-looking family!
While things for the rest (read "younger set and Mother") of the family remain nice and easy, things for me speed up this month. Next Sunday, J and I head off to a nation-wide youth conference in Tenessee with our Youth Group. Preceeding that, we have a day-long conference downtown. A few weeks after that, I attend another conference at my cousin's college. All of these things are done in Jesus' name! How refreshing to be fellowshipping with fellow Christians so often!!! In addition to all this conferencing, I have work, and babysitting, and a Girl Scout Gold Award project that somehow needs to get done before September... June! I need you back!!
These past few days have been a bit chilly and gray. I know people think I'm bonkers, but this is my kind of weather! I'm hoping this cool spell stays for a little bit, or at least cools down what Summer we have left!
God is good!