Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

We celebrated Thanksgiving at Susan's mom's house with her sister and her family and Barbara's childhood friend, Donna from Ohio.

We had sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, cranberry orange relish, cole slaw, corn, green beans, rolls, stuffing, gravy, and Turkey smoked on the Big Green Egg. We also had pecan and pumpkin pie. Mom and Donna stayed up late the night before condensing soy milk to make a pumpkin pie for me and Annika to eat. It was wonderful!

Donna passed out goodies to all of the kids after dinner and we enjoyed hanging out while Saint William took on the chore of cleaning up. (I'm keeping him!) Benaiah showed off his walking skills until I took him for a walk in the baby carrier to get him to shut down for a little while. He was a little overwhelmed by all of the people, noise, and activity at first.

It was a very nice day, and we have so much for which to be Thankful! We are so grateful to have our son home with the rest of us!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Going for the Gold!

Got it!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy, Smart Guy!

Yes, that is drool all down the front of Benaiah. He discovered the joy of popping tissues and wipes out of their containers and discovering that there is always another there to pull out.

Apparently, wipes are tasty. He trolled all around the living room with the wipe in his mouth and his magic wand.

What a happy guy!

This morning instead of smacking me in the face as Benaiah has done for the past 4 weeks, he rubbed his hand down my face. The "soft touches" lessons have w finally taken! Yeah!! I enjoyed my soft touches even though they included my glasses. He smiled from ear to ear when acknowledged his accomplishment!

What a smart guy!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Last Week

Tuesday it snowed. The kids all ran out (the girls were bare-footed) onto the deck to enjoy the 3 minutes of snow.

All of the kids are great with Benaiah. Jeremy even took him to watch him for a little bit on Saturday morning so that Mom and Dad could rest a bit more. Benaiah is attaching nicely and showing familiarity toward his siblings. He knows that Jeremy is for playing! He likes to pull the girls' hair, and Annika especially likes to avoid that.

Benaiah is such a cute and happy guy! He could do better in the sleeping department, but we'll get there some day. He is getting a couple bottles of breast milk most days and likes it. He still lights up when we call him "Meteku," but is beginning to turn his head sometimes when we say "Benaiah." His two little teeth on the bottom are sharp, and he is walking back and forth, back and forth across the livingroom with his arms up! He's getting pretty good! We get lots of comments on how funny he looks walking around and being so tiny. Benaiah turned 10 months-old on Wednesday.

Jasmine turned 14 years-old on Wednesday! We knew when she ripped open a bag of dog food and began eating it that she had recovered from her surgery, and we wouldn't need to put water on her food anymore! Crazy imp dog!

This was the end of our semester for our home school co-op. Jeremy especially enjoyed his class in puppet making. LOVED IT!! We did not know how creative he is! His favorite creation is the one with the eyes all over it. At one point, it had 72 eyes! The blue oven mitt is Michael Phelps complete with a gold medal. He also created Indiana Jones and the main cast of the Star Wars movies. (I don't think he has seen any Indiana Jones movies and has seen 1 1/2 Star Wars movies.) Marissa enjoyed her classes also, but they didn't have any displays or presentations. She happily toted home her own Curious George doll and book last week from the birthday party that the teachers threw for everybody in the class! Annika loved her class too. Her teacher hopes to return to teach next semester after she gives birth to her 5th son next month!

Guess I'd better try to post more small posts.

Monday, November 17, 2008

NC AWAA Gathering

Saturday, we met at Pullen Park with several other America World Ethiopian program families! Rebecca, our social worker, and her daughter were there, the Harbaugh family from Ohio was on its way to the beach, and the Forrests drove up from SC, so we got to see all of them too!

Pictured are the Harbaugh, Forrest, Cordell, Kepley, Dragovich, Raymer, Coen, and Schmidt families!!!

It had dumped rain right before we were to gather at the park, so there were LARGE puddles and lots of wet sand. Since we had church that evening and they had just had baths, our children decided to go swimming in the puddles. I apologize to all of you to whom I was talking to for my sudden and frequent outbursts at my children. Most of you missed them getting nekid in the parking lot for the ride home!

I had found out several months ago that Seth and Apryl had both graduated from the same high school as my sister and myself. Turns out that my sister was Seth's section leader in band! Hahaha! Too funny! She says that she remembers him being a cut-up!

Most of the group moved on to the Ethiopian restaurant for dinner, but we knew we'd *really* be pushing our family's limits if we tried to do that!

Thank-you, Candy for organizing and reminding us all when it was! Thank-you, Marshall and Jill for getting this awesome photo out to all of us!! It was so great to see you all!

Update from home: Marissa also lost another tooth on Saturday. Speaking of teeth, Jasmine had surgery on Friday to remove a tooth that had been abscessed and two others that had exposed roots. She looks a lot like Marissa now! (Not really.)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Three Generations of Girls Night Out

Friday night, Mom, Marissa, & I went to see Phillips, Craig, & Dean at church. The concert was held to kick off Josh Hamilton's Triple Play Ministries.

Phillips, Craig, & Dean hold a special place in my heart. They were my dad's favorite group. When he was in hospice, we played PCD's "Trust" CD over and over and over again. I'm sure that Daddy could hear it. It really grew on me, and after he passed away, I decided that I really wanted to see them in person. I can't believe it has been almost 10 years... December 10.

Mom was able to share with Randy Phillips that we had "Crucified with Christ" sung at my dad's funeral as a testimony to his life. Randy hadn't heard that one before and said that it was an honor.

Pastor Mike and Josh Hamilton drew ticket stubs to give away a bunch of autographed Texas Ranger stuff. We didn't win, and that is OK. I would have been more excited if he were still with the Reds.

I'm still unclear as to what Triple Play Ministries is doing. They mentioned something about an orphanage in Uganda...

Crucified With Christ

As I look back on what I thought was living
I'm amazed at the price I choose to pay
And to think I ignored what really mattered
Cause I thought the sacrifice would be too great
But when I finally reached the point of giving in
I found the cross was calling even then
And even though it took dying to survive
I've never felt so much alive.


For I am crucified with Christ and yet I live
Not I but Christ that lives within me
His Cross will never ask for more than I can give
For its not my strength but His
There's no greater sacrifice
For I am crucified with Christ and yet I live


As I hear the Savior call for daily dying
I will bow beneath the weight of Calvary
Let my hands surrender to His piercing purpose
That holds be to the cross but sets me free
I will glory in the power of the cross
The things I thought were gain I count as loss
And with His suffering I identify
And by His resurrection power I am alive



And I will offer all I have
So that His cross is not in vain
For I found to live is Christ
And to die is truly gain


Words and Music by: Randy Phillips, Denise Phillips, Dave Clark, and Don Koch
based on Galatians 2:20

Monday, November 10, 2008


Saturday, November 8, 2008

Walking With a Tooth!

Funny, I forgot to mention in my post yesterday, that Benaiah Meteku had his first tooth cut through his gums on Thursday. He's been pretty good about it, but we did have to give him some baby Motrin yesterday evening.

Also, we has taken up walking! He takes up to 7 steps to get to one of us.

We are grateful that he saved these special moments for his family!

Friday, November 7, 2008

We Are Alive

This week was all about survival mode. Even though William is not working, we still have so much to do in keeping up with the new baby, the old kids, and the mess of stuff we brought home with us.

Monday, Benaiah got to meet the pediatrician. He has an ear infection, and she swabbed a wound on his arm where he received a TB vaccination. He is on an antibiotic for his ear and is as difficult to medicate as our Marissa was when she was a baby.

Our assignment this week was to collect 9 vials of baby poo. This was disgusting, and William is a wonderful daddy and husband.

Wednesday, Marissa went to the doctor for her ear. She has fluid in both ears and an infection in one of them. She is also on an antibiotic.

Our friend Nancy took Jeremy to swimming on Monday and Tuesday which was so helpful. Mom made chili for us on Tuesday and Cindilee brought our dinner on Wednesday.

Jeremy, Annika, Benaiah, and I went to home school co-op on Thursday morning where Benaiah was a rock star! He really got a little overwhelmed and withdrew a bit. He got to see his old friend, Mercy Bethlehem. Their stays at the transition home overlapped, and Mercy's parents got to meet and love on Benaiah 5 months ago.

Mercy and Benaiah at the transition home in June.

We met with our social worker that afternoon. NC required a visit within 10 days of placement. Not much to say, but it was good to see Rebecca and her children!

I can't believe that William's week off of work is over. I'm gonna cry! He brought me flowers today.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Photos From Our Last Day in Ethiopia

This is Meteku in his bed at the hotel. He liked it because it was very similar to his bed at the transition home.

William with Aster, the director or Kids Care and Duni's mom.

Kids with their gnomes!

We were able to visit Gelgela Orpahage where Meteku spent his first few weeks as an orphan.

We bought a mesob! We had it shrink wrapped at the airport and it made it home safely!

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Well, we made it home Friday!! We actually arrived at RDU a half hour early!

Our flight left Ethiopia around 10:40 pm, Ethiopian time. We had more trouble with our plane tickets. The baby didn't have the seat that was paid for. We did get our seat, but somebody ended up sitting in a jump seat because Ethiopian Airlines over-filled the flight.

Meteku was *the best* baby *ever* on the plane! People around us commented on how wonderful he was! He cried just a tiny bit when he got hungry and another little bit when he was frustrated with not being able to crawl around.

We were greeted at the airport by our parents, Susan's sister, Patti with her children, Tabitha, Benjamin, and Isaac, and Leslie-Jean, Carl, Bethany, and Miriam Colglazier!!! Thank-you all for the wonderful welcome home!!!!

Thank-you all for your prayers! We knew that we had a whole army of prayer warriors asking God for our good health, safety, and smooth process! THANK-YOU!

We will be posting photos and thoughts from our trip as we can.