Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy 4th Birthday, Annika Grace!!

Four years ago, I was pregnant with a little girl who was due to enter the world around January 18, 2004. Much to my surprise, we spent New Year's Eve 2003 at the birth center in Chapel Hill, NC. After much effort, a little, grey baby girl floated up into the water of the tub at 8:20 PM. The audience (my mom, Jeremy, & Marissa) was amazed!

As William & I packed our stuff up to go home, we heard "Auld Lang Syne" on the radio as the clock struck midnight. We thanked the midwife and nurse for coming to our New Year's Eve party! We went home, and the three of us were tucked into our bed by 1 AM!

Annika is having a good day today. She had cranberry and chocolate chip scones for breakfast and a hot dog for lunch. She dressed herself in a sleeveless sun suit, and there will be no arguing about it today. We're working on making her chocolate-coconut Polly Pocket cake. This girl knows what she wants and will let you know!

We are looking forward to celebrating more with Mema, Uncle Scott, Aunt Patti, and her cousins later today.

Happy Birthday, Baby!

Happy New Year to everyone else!

(Our computer is down again, so I'll have to post more photos from Christmas and her birthday later on. Hopefully soon.)

Monday, December 24, 2007

Naming Baby Schmidt

So, as we get close to bringing home the newest Schmidt, thinking about baby names makes him more real to us. It was the same when I was pregnant. I love even to think back to when we didn't know if Jeremy was going to be "Sonja" or "Jenna," Marissa may have been "Noah" or "Annika," and Annika could have been "Naomi!" They think that is funny! Right now, we pray for "Baby Ethiopia" unless you're Jeremy who prays for "Babies Ethiopi-i," the plural form!

Here is a good blog site made by an Ethiopian New Yorker who has an interest in helping educate adoptive parents about names and culture: "My Ethiopian Name" On the site, Rebecca explains the naming customs of Ethiopia. A person is given a first name, and their last name is their father's first name. William would be "William James" or "Mr. William," and I would be "Susan Thomas" or "Mrs. Susan." Interesting! She also has lists of Ethiopian names with their meaning and origins -most are biblical or Muslim.

We have more factors to consider as we name our newest little one like "What name does he have already?" If it is a name that can be pronounced fairly easily by Americans, it may work as a first name. Also, "Who named him?" If his birth mother or father gave him a name, we may feel more inclined to keep it for him rather than if it was assigned at the orphanage.

We are planning to make his Ethiopian name his middle name if it doesn't get to be his first. We've been kicking around a few names that we like, and thought that it would be fun to put a baby name poll on the blog! Look to the right of the screen and cast your vote!

  • YOHANNES -"YAHWEH is gracious" (The name of the first Ethiopian we met! Susan's grandfather was John, and both of us have an Uncle John/Jon.
  • MATEOS/MATIAS -"gift from God"
  • BENIAH -"eloquent"
  • OLIVER -"elf army" (Our homeschool is "Rivendell Academy" so that would work! Susan's great grandma was also named "Ollie!")
  • ISAIAH -"God is salvation"
  • JONAH -"a dove"
  • NOAH -"rest, peace"
  • STEVE -"crown," "wreath" (A traditional Ethiopian name! LOL!)
We're open to more suggestions, so add them by clicking on "comments" right below this post!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Happy 7th Birthday, Marissa!

Seven years ago yesterday, after a 6-hour labor, our second miracle floated up in a bathtub. I remember the tears of joy as I checked her and discovered that we had our first daughter!

Marissa got to make some jewelry at the bead store and went to lunch at Red Robin with Grandpa and Grandma. Her best friend, Miriam, came over to play and party with her cousins, Aunt, Uncle, Mema, Grandma, Grandpa, and the rest of us.

She wanted a Barbie cake, and after pricing them at the local bakeries and grocery stores, I was forced to make one. It wasn't too bad. Marissa came home from her outing just in time to make design requests for the dress, and she even helped to pipe the trim around the bottom of the dress. I think next year, I'll just give her a bunch of icing and a blank cake and let her enjoy herself!

I think that she had a really good day.

We also celebrated Christmas with Grandpa & Grandma on Sunday. We went out for dinner and opened gifts. The Snap Circuits for Jeremy and the Playmobil Magic Castle for Marissa & Annika were hits! (It took 2 hours for Daddy & Mama to put it together!)

The kids with Grandma, Mema, & Grandpa

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

All I Want for Christmas is My 2 Front Teeth!

Actually, Marissa needs 4 front teeth for Christmas!

Last night right before bed (of course!) Marissa's chin and Annika's head collided. After the bleeding and crying ceased, Marissa noticed that one of her loose teeth on top was *really* loose. When she wiggled it, it came right out!

She was then left with the other wiggly top tooth spinning in all directions since its partner wasn't there for support.

Finally, at 10 PM, she came down *again* and asked Daddy to pull it out for her. He did the, "Let's go on 3," and pulled it out on "2!"

The tooth fairy brought 2 brand new Thomas Jefferson golden dollars!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Crazy December!

Our silk fundraiser is going well! This is Marc, Dagny, and Atlas in Minnesota enjoying theirs! Aren't they the most adorable pirates? ARGHHH! There is still time to get some for Christmas if you order soon! Click here for ordering info: ORDER SOME SILKS!

The America World families who received their referrals on October 3rd will be represented in court this Tuesday, December 11. We pray that things go well and that they will travel soon. The next group of families who received their referrals on October 19th are still waiting for a court date. We were so excited to hear that one of our families accepted a waiting sibling group of three, ages 9, 6, and 2 years!

We received news that we are getting a new family coordinator who will work full-time. She is from Ethiopia, so she speaks the language and will be able to add a lot to our experience. There are 130 families in the program now!! Another agency staff member is moving to Addis Ababa with her family to run the transition home.

Jeremy got his cast off Friday. He just began to straighten his arm on Sunday, but still won't use his fingers. We tease him that he has a "robot arm."

Saturday, we went to the IBM Christmas party, the Cary Jaycees Christmas parade, our church's production of the "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever," and kids eat FREE at Denny's!

Annika: "I want M&M's"

Santa guessed that Marissa wanted a pony.

Santa didn't think that Jeremy's broken arm story was exciting enough so he added being chased by a bull!

We are trying to prepare for Christmas and the girls' birthdays. Yesterday's plan was to get the tree up, but we spent the day trying to arrange our living room so that we would have room for a tree! Oh well!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Silky Fundaiser!

To help raise money for our adoption, we are dying and selling silks in the colors of the Ethiopian flag. If you order soon, you'll have them just in time for Christmas!

The silks are 35" x 35" and come in a set of four, red, yellow, green, & blue, for $30.

FREE SHIPPING to the continental U.S.!

Both sizes of silks are 8 mm Habotai silk are are dyed with professional-quality fiber reactive dyes. As with all hand-dyed things, there is variation in the color. (The girls are demonstrating the silks that we had already, so they're different colors.)

I made our first set of LARGE silks several years ago for our children, and they have endured much play! We've seen them used as blankets, a play tent, peek-a-boo, dress-up, carrying toys around, etc... They especially make great capes for flying around! Boys like them too!

The LARGE silks can also be used by ladies who don't want the wind to muss their hair or as a belt or scarf about the neck.

The possibilities are limited only by the imagination!

You can use the PayPal button below or contact us to make other arrangements.

Thank-you! (Scroll down to purchase.)

SOLD OUT 4/16/08

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Pampered Chef Update

Several have asked how our fundraiser went. We sold almost $1,400 in products and will receive 20% of that! (A big "thank-you" to Dawn, our PC consultant!)

Thanks to all who supported us through this endeavor!

Love, William & Susan

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Happy 13th Birthday, Jasmine!

Thirteen years ago on New Year's Eve, William & I went to the NC State fairgrounds to see the puppies. Little did we know that our Jasmine was waiting there for us to take her home! As we wandered around, a little boy approached me and asked if I wanted to hold the puppy. She was so round and cute -she looked like a teddy bear with pink tummy. We were both smitten!

We went home and researched her breed. She's a keeshond (kayz-hund). We found that they are a beautiful breed and are very good with children. We popped by an ATM and made her ours!

This past March, we almost lost our good friend. She grew very ill, and the doctors found that she had a grapefruit-sized tumor on her spleen and had to have surgery before her spleen ruptured. She is feeling much better now, and we hope that she has some happy, healthy years ahead!

Jasmine is spending the day lounging and will enjoy her special birthday treat -peanut butter-flavored yogurt drops! YUM!

11/21/07 -We made the mistake of letting the kids taste the dog teats, and the LOVE them and are begging for more! I wouldn't write this if the homestudy wasn't finished. HA! HA! ~S

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Saturday, November 17, 2007


Thank-you to all of those who contributed to the Mina Project to help the America World transitional home in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia!

We began with $110 from our church. Together, our small group, friends, family, and fellow adoptive parents have collected a box of baby items and a total of $600 to send!

We are about to leave for the post office so that these things arrive early next week, and will be ready to go to Ethiopia early next week.


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Mina Project/Helping the transitional home

Matthew 25:14-30

Each year our church has set aside money to help people in need at the end of the year. This year, we are doing something a little different. On October 26 & 27, our church handed out a total of $35,000 to the everyone 18 years and older to multiply and invest in God's kingdom!! Envelopes were handed out containing $10 to $500!!

We have been struggling with what to do with our Mina Project money until today when we received an email from our agency requesting help. To ease the load of the orphanages and to provide better care for the orphans who are being adopted, most agencies in Ethiopia set up a transitional home where the children live between when they are accepted by a family until the family goes to Ethiopia to bring them home.

Last week, the America World transitional home in Ethiopia opened its doors to the first 13 children! They have all of their major needs and are receiving loving care, but they need some items to make the home a more stimulating and nurturing environment -like balls, jump ropes, coloring books, DVD player, CD player, diapers, etc...

The challenge is not just to give away what we have in our envelopes, but to multiply it by adding to it and/or enlisting others to join in. So, we're asking for your help!! If you could give just $10 (or more!) please, click the "Donate" button and send your donation through Paypal. We will be collecting money through Friday, November 16, 2007, and if we can do it longer than that, we'll let you know!


~William & Susan



First, THANK-YOU, THANK-YOU, THANK-YOU!!! to all of those who have already ordered products from our Pampered Chef fundraiser!!!

In order to get these people their stuff, we are closing our Pampered Chef show at
12 PM EST, Thursday, November 15.

If you would like to place an order, please do so before then.

~Click on "Order Products"

~Put in host name: Susan Schmidt

Thank-you!! God bless!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Doctors and Derby

This week, we went to the doctor a lot. Jeremy got a fiberglass wrap over his plaster splint so that he has a "real" cast now. His bone had moved some since his last x-ray at the hospital, so we needed to go back on Friday for more x-rays. (You can see a little bit of the bright green in the photo.) Later that day, he saw the pediatrician to get medication for his sinus/ear infections. All three kids got their flu and Hepatitis A vaccinations on Tuesday. On Friday, the x-rays looked good. No surgery or pins, thank God!! We go back in 4 weeks. At that time, they will take more x-rays before they remove the cast for good!

Our Pampered Chef fundraiser is going well. We are still accepting orders until Thursday, November 15. (Look to the bar on the right of the screen for the link and instructions.) We are now earning 20% of the product price!

Saturday morning was the Awana pinewood derby. We do not make fast cars, but they are creative and fun!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Photo Update!

We've finally got our home PC up and running again- BIGGER and better even! Here are some photos from highlights (and low-lights!) of the events of our lives that we've been unable to share during the outage. Enjoy!

  • October 16 -The Schmidts' 9th consecutive trip to the NC State Fair!

We like to get there before the fog rises off of the pond. It is the ONE day we like to get up early!

Playing tic-tac-toe with the Navy diver! A highlight for 2007.

  • October 17 & 19 -Marissa lost her first and second teeth!

  • October 27 -Jeremy's 10th birthday!

Jeremy began the morning geocaching with his best friend, Bethany.

We all enjoyed a spaghetti dinner complete with meatballs, garlic bread, salad, and Cheerwine! Jeremy chose to eat at the adult table with Grandma, Grandpa, and Mema.

Jeremy opened his mountain of presents!

Jeremy promptly broke his arm the second time around the block on his brand new scooter that he had just opened. He says he was going about 20 mph and decided he might ought to hit the brakes. (Yes, that is a paint stirrer and painter's tape!)

"Where did this come from?" Daddy had some fun with poor Jeremy. He asked him 3 times if he had seen his cast, and each time, it was a brand-new discovery!!
He was NOT funny like Annika. He was GRUMPY and could not wait to get out of there!

(I did get Jeremy's permission to take photos at the hospital. He said that it was OK. It was his birthday after all!)

We enjoyed the Lego-shaped, Cheerwine cake the next day!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Today is Sunday

This weekend was Missions Fair at our church ( The showed lots of video clips featuring little African children, and it just made my eyes tear and my arms ache for our little guy!!

I had the privilege of working at the Compassion International table. Forty-five children got sponsors allowing them to receive care and education. We ran out of kids before the 2nd and largest service was let out! How awesome! There are more children needing assistance at the website (link above) if you want to help! They've got some cuties from Ethiopia!

The radio in my head and been playing this song over and over. I've been thinking and praying for the families from our agency who have been waiting the longest to be matched with their little ones, and also for our dear friends who are going through a very difficult time dealing with unknowns.

He Knows My Name

I have a Maker
He formed my heart
Before even time began
My life was in His hands

He knows my name
He knows my every thought
He sees each tear that falls
And He hears me when I call

I have a Father
He calls me His own
He'll never leave me
No matter where I go

He knows my name
He knows my every thought
He sees each tear that falls
And He hears me when I call

~Tommy Walker

Friday, November 2, 2007

Referral Revelation!

We had some questions about the referral process, so William called our agency and spoke with our family coordinator. For some reason, I had it in my head that some "powers that be" in Ethiopia were reviewing our paperwork and matching us with a child or two. However, we were enlightened today when we found out that it is actually our agency in Virgina that gets files for available children and matches them up with the child requests found nearest to the top of the pile of dossiers! (Did anybody else know this?)

It almost feels like the "Great and Powerful Oz" has been exposed, and it's the AWAA staff behind the curtain!! I feel dumb, but it is also a relief in a way! The whole process isn't in a black box as I thought it was!

The October 3rd referral group got their court dates today for next Wednesday, November 7. They are expected to travel in early December!! Congratulations, y'all!

Since we do not have a referral, we most likely will NOT be traveling in 2007 which is a bit of a relief since both of the girls' birthdays are in December. I suppose our baby could have a December birthday too, but I surely do hope not!! Ha! Ha! (We would take him/them anyway!)

Monday, October 29, 2007


Our dossier was picked up by the Ethiopian America World representative this morning while we were sleeping!!! IT IS ON!!!! We're just waiting to be matched now!





Oct 29, 2007 1:20 PM



Jeremy broke his arm on his 10th birthday, Saturday. He opened his new scooter, and on his second spin around the block, he wiped out. Jeremy is a tough guy and says that he doesn't hurt. He is in a plaster splint and will get his cast next Monday.

Sunday night, Jeremy tells me that his arm is "popping" where the break is when he moves. YIKES! So, I called a friend and the 24-hour nurse-line, and both thought a trip back to the ER was needed. William was just arriving at Awana with the girls, so we left them in Mom's care and took Jeremy back to the hospital. After an x-ray and 3 hours, they gave him a sling and told us he was still good. We were very relieved because he probably was in for surgery for a pin if it had moved.

Today, William got his stitches removed and, Marissa saw the doctor for a double ear infection and began her antibiotics.

Annika gets her cast off on Wednesday. She will spend the rest of the day in the tub!

Friday, October 26, 2007

"When will you get your baby?" (Revised!)

Well, A LOT has happened since I addressed this question in August. That's good!

We heard from our agency that the wait for a boy child is not necessarily taking the 4-7 months. During the last round of referrals from Friday, October 19, one of the families that received a referral after their dossier had been in Ethiopia for about one month! YIKES!

This realization sent shock through me! William's reaction to me was, "Didn't you know this would happen at some point? We're doing all of this to get our baby!"

So, my best guess is that we will get our referral in 2-4 months. That is just a guess though. Things could slow down, I suppose. I just hope I'm not writing an addendum to this post 6 months from now!

Today, I ordered this from the GAP!

It says "TREASU(RED)" and is part of the Product (red) collection from which half of the proceeds are donated to help women and children affected by AIDS in Africa. (It is on sale!)

Today is our 16th wedding anniversary! (We were married as children!)

Tomorrow is Jeremy's 10th birthday!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Pampered Chef Anyone?

Due to the great expense of adoption, we are seeking ways to help cover the costs. So our friend, Dawn, has arranged for us to throw a Pampered Chef adoption fund-raiser where we will earn a percentage of the sales to put toward our expenses!

So, if you need or want some Pampered Chef products, here you go! AND remember that Christmas is coming soon!

We'll need your order by November 15, 2007.

I can't live without my stoneware! We make homemade pizza here at least once a week on the large pizza stone and the large bar pan is great for most anything that you bake or heat up in the oven like roasted potatoes, asparagus, egg rolls, biscuits, cookies, etc... Pampered Chef has lots of other nice stuff too!

Thank-you! William & Susan

Dossier in Ethiopia!

Here we GO!!!

Oct 23, 2007 12:00 AM

Int'l shipment release


12:00 AM

Held at FedEx location for recipient pickup


Package available for pickup at: HIGHER NO 21

We should hear when the country representative picks up our dossier from the FedEx location.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Dossier Tracking





Oct 21, 2007 12:01 AM

Arrived at FedEx location


12:01 AM

In transit


Oct 20, 2007 5:42 AM

Departed FedEx location


1:17 AM

Departed FedEx location


12:30 AM

Arrived at FedEx location


Oct 19, 2007 9:34 PM

Left origin


3:44 PM

Picked up


1:21 PM

Package data transmitted to FedEx

Frankfurt seems to be the last stop before most go to Addis, but the packages sometimes spend a few days there.

So please, pray that our dossier gets to Addis before the AWAA country representative makes his long trip to pick up the dossiers that have been waiting since early October.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Progress Update #21

Over the past two weeks, our precious collection of papers, our dossier, has visited the U.S. State Department and the Ethiopian Embassy in Washington, D.C. We received a notice yesterday, Friday, October 19, 2007, that FedEx now has possession of it, and it is fix'n ta leave the country and go to Ethiopia!!! So far, it has gone from VA to TN, and unfortunately, that won't be the last time that it will appear to be traveling the wrong way! Any predictions on how long it will take to get there?

Scott and Jean's (introduced below) dossier arrived in China this week also!! We are so excited for them!

Our agency, America World, also handed out another batch of referrals. (A "referral" is when a family is notified that they have been matched with a child or children.) Another 6 children have been offered to become part of 5 families! That is a total of 12 children in 10 families in just the past 2 weeks!

It is so wonderful to watch as these children are placed in wonderful, Christian homes! Congratulations to those of you who got to "meet" your children and will be on your ways before you know it! Woo hooo!

Annika's cast comes off on October 31. She declared that is smells like a dirty shoe. She's right!

William got 8 stitches in his leg Thursday night after ripping it open on the rough end of a piece of metal conduit. EWWWW! He will be OK. After all of the stitching he's had over the years, he says this is the most in one spot!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Checking In...

Our dossier is still at our agency. I don't really know what they're doing to it, but it is to go to the U.S. State Department next week to be authenticated. Here is great news from our agency!

America World is happy to announce that we received referrals for six children this week; four of the children were males, and two of the children were females. The ages of the children ranged from approximately 1 ½ months to 11 months old. There are five families currently reviewing the referrals for these children. We look forward to receiving their responses within the next week! (All of the families did accept their referrals last week.)

America World signed a lease for a transition home in Addis Ababa last week! Once this home is up and running, the children who are being adopting by America World families, will be transitioned to this home from the orphanage between the time of referral and travel. In addition to this, our in-country staff liaison has recently hired two additional staff to help with adoption processing. Our agency believes that both of these accomplishments will lead to a smoother, more efficient adoption process for Ethiopia families, so we are happy to share this news!

On the home front:

Our van went back to the shop this week and got new front axles. We're unsure what to do. The "repair" job in Ohio has caused our van to growl constantly from stop to 45 mph. Growling aside, it drives much better with the new axles. PTL!

William took my computer apart last weekend to move my HUGAMOUS hard drive into another machine with a newer processor, so long story short -I don't have a working computer. :-) So, if you're waiting on a reply to an email, send me another email because I don't have my address book up and running. I am checking my mail on the internet everyday, but it is difficult to keep up.

Annika's arm is healing well. She had x-rays on Friday, and it looks like her cast will be removed in two weeks. She's complaining about pain mostly at night, but she is getting around fairly well with a little extra help. It got cold here, and she is mad that she can't wear long sleeves. Her jackets fit, so she'll live for two weeks!

We are pumped up for FAIR DAY at the NC State Fair next Tuesday!! Woo hoo! This is our family thing -William's favorite day of the year! Hopefully, I'll be able to post some fun fair photos late next week -or whenever I have a computer again!

Bad things aside, we are thankful that homeschooling is going well, William has a job, and we are all healthy! AND did I mention? -Next week is FAIR DAY!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Parallel Lives

One of the very first people I met when I went off to College was Scott, and shortly there-after, his future wife Jean. Scott lived right down the hall, and we became fast friends. We were close all though college and even shared a house off-campus our senior year. Scott and Jean were college sweethearts and married shortly after graduation. We were in each-other's weddings and stayed close for many years after graduation. When we moved to Georgia, we saw them less and less and then Scott joined the Air Force and has now been sent to Guam. Guam?! I had to look that one up on a map (It's near the Philippines if that helps).

A couple of years ago, we heard from Jean and she was starting to home school her two boys and looking for help, advice, and support from someone who had "been there." A couple of months ago, I found out that Scott and Jean are in the process of adopting from China. That is so exciting! We are at about the same stage in our paper pregnancies, but things are quite a bit different for them trying to get their orphan petition from Guam and having to send documents back to the states for authentication.

It's just so amazing to me that after all these years, we still have so much in common -- HAPPY 15th SCOTT & JEAN

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Friday, October 5, 2007

Progress Update #20

Oh, Happy Day! Our dossier is safely in the hands of our America World family coordinator in McLean, VA!!

William stuffs the dossier papers into the FedEx box.

See the guy who thinks we're crazy? Actually, he was happy for us!

Eric, the FedEx guy. I told him he was like our obstetrician!

We're waiting to hear that all is well with the papers and to find out what will happen next!

Stay tuned...

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Progress Update #19

When I got home from the orthopedic office this afternoon with Annika, I found our mailbox absolutely stuffed with all of the mail that the post office had been holding since last Thursday. As I sat and sorted out the mail that needed to be looked at more thoroughly from the garbage, I had an inkling that something special like a check could be in the pile when I came across an envelope from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services...

I opened the envelope, and there for four sheets of paper stapled together. They are black and white photocopies. The first one has a Department of Homeland Security seal at the top that has been cut off when it was copied. About a quarter of the way down the page, it reads in all caps:


Huh? Could that mean what I hope it means? I think so!!

I ran upstairs with the papers to show William, and he's like, "What's this?" I told him that I thought it was what we were waiting for, and he says that he's not so sure about that. There are several boxes with X's on it, and he's also thinking that they're just reporting that they've done something or something is wrong...

UNTIL, he spies in the bottom left-hand corner, "Form I-171H."

SO, tomorrow we will get it notarized and authenticated by the NC Secretary of State with our home study and another document, and it will be all ready to go to FedEx tomorrow evening and to America World by Friday morning!!!!

About Annika: She is doing well on Ibuprophen. Today at the orthopedic office, the PA mentioned that it was a really bad break. Funny, how they didn't use that phrase Sunday at the ER! We go back next Friday for an x-ray to see how it is healing.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Reunion -I just don't know what to call it!

We're back from another Ohio adventure! WHEW!

William and I had our class reunions. I won't say what year, but we heard Wang Chung and Duran Duran at the party. We went to William's school's homecoming game and an alumni picnic at a park the next day. I loved meeting his friends and it was a lot easier for me since I wasn't expected to know anybody! We went to my party on Saturday night, and I was thrilled to walk in and see two "kids," Ann & Neil, with whom I went to kindergarten! William and I hung out with the other "bandies," Teresa & Dave (and spouses), and had a fun night! My face hurt from smiling and laughing.

Sunday, William's brother and sister-in-law hosted a family reunion. It was really nice to see everybody there also! Sadly, we didn't get to visit much though...

When attending a family reunion, DO have fun with your cousins...

DON'T break your arm!

Before setting the bones and drugs, "Mama, help me! Mama, help me!"

After the morphine.. She looked at the cast and asks, "Hey, where did that come from?" After being so scared and concerned for her, it was a relief to see her stoned and giggling!!! Check out the bear's cast! She named her "Little Buckaroo!"

Annika should have the cast for 4-5 weeks. By making her so needy, I think God may be using this experience to prepare us for our baby. (That's what I'm telling myself anyway!)

Our van was in the shop for a day before we headed home. Unfortunately, they did not fix the problem for a lot of money. I don't think that they even took it for a test drive. So, we had a shaky 500-mile drive home and have to decide what to do now. BLEH!

It was great to see family and friends though. *SIGH*

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Locks of Love

Annika was tired of the long hair! About a month or so ago, she asked to have her hair cut. Since she was born, she has had her hair trimmed 2 or 3 times. It was hard for Daddy and Mama to give it up, but it is just hair, and it will be easier to take care of.

Look at all that HAIR! 11 inches! We are sending it to Locks of Love to make wigs for little kids who need them.

Marissa got a trim too. Mama had cut it, so Ms. Sherry straightened it up!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Progress Update #18

Well, we are now in a season of waiting... Waiting for the coveted I-171H from our district office of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Two NC families that we know are also in process with USCIS application acceptance dates of May 11 and May 28 BOTH received their papers yesterday, September 19!!!!

Our application was accepted on June 6, so we are hoping to get our approval before the end of October. I've already learned not to be too optimistic in predicting the next step by looking at the progress of the other families -i.e. fingerprinting appointments!

I got a box from Staples with ink refills and a ream of paper, so I've copied and printed most of what we need to send. I've used close to half of the 500 sheets of paper! Our dossier contains approximately 80 pages of paper, and I had to make 3 copies of everything. The folders on the left contain what we will send to the agency, and the pile under the stapler and paper clips is our copy. I have the last documents that we need to have authenticated by the NC SOS ready to go as soon as the I-171H gets here!

Guess there won't be any actual progress until that day!

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Ethiopian Feast!

Today was our first Ethiopian feast at home! No particular reason to party, but maybe, our baby was born today or something. Only God knows!
I call it a feast since we had more than one dish!

After our homeschool swimming this afternoon, Jeremy, Annika, and I headed over to our exotic/middle eastern/islamic supermarket to buy the injera, the giant sourdough pancakes, with which to eat our wats. I scanned the business card so those of you in town seeking injera, spices, or other "exotic" foods can find it. (It is behind a Subway that is on Western Boulevard.)

Yesterday, I made shero wat, a dish with yellow peas, and we ate them this evening with the kik wat (lentils) and some kay wat (beef) that was made in the crock-pot a few weeks ago and froze. Everybody approved!

As usual, as soon as we were finished eating, Jeremy asked, "What's for dessert?" From the living room Annika yells, "Cake Wat!!" Oh, my!