Saturday, January 24, 2009

Awana Bible Quiz Champs!

Today was Jeremy's last Awana Bible quiz. He worked hard to prepare for it, and he met his goal!

The first part of the competition was a multiple choice paddle quiz, and he and his teammate, Sophia, got all of their questions correct.

The second part was a speed round with 12 questions. Jeremy answered 3 correctly, was "quizzed out," and was not allowed to answer anymore questions. Sophia also answered a question, and their team had the most points!

William coached the team again. (The other guy in the photo is the Awana missionary. We don't know his name!)

Marissa says that she wants to compete next year... We'll see!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Benaiah Butter

Since African skin needs a lot of moisture, it becomes the quest of many parents to find a moisturizing product that will work for their child.

When we visited the African market looking for shea butter (story here), one of the African men who is a pharmacist recommended mixing the shea butter with some Aquaphor to give it more viscosity.

So, I came up with a recipe that seems to work for Benaiah. I added the lavender oil to make it smell a little nicer. Shea butter doesn't smell bad (or it shouldn't unless it is rancid!), but neither does it smell good. We butter up Benaiah before bed, so in theory, the lavender scent helps him to relax and get ready to go to sleep. (He does go to sleep well most nights!)

Benaiah Butter

  • 8 oz. 100% shea butter
  • 4 oz. Aquaphor
  • 30 drops lavender oil

I soften the shea butter in the KitchenAid mixer for a few minutes before I add in the Aquaphor. When they look integrated, I drop in the 30 drops of lavender oil.

Every night and after a bath, we butter Benaiah from head to toe. Yes, we butter his head! His scalp needs extra moisture, and his hair is very dry.

Each morning, he needs a little butter on his face because it gets very dry.

Mr. B is so soft and smooth! (He's not the only one using it!)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

God bless President Obama

Although I did not vote for him, I am hoping and praying that our new government administration is a good one!

I am excited to see a non-white person become president in my lifetime, and it is especially good for our African son to see that his skin color will not keep him from doing anything. (Although, he cannot ever be president since he is not a natural born citizen of the United States.) I hope that President Obama will be a good example for him to follow.

God bless America!


I know that those of you who live in the North aren't amused by this because you see it every day this time of year, but we haven't seen this much snow since 2004. So, this was Annika's first *real* romp in the snow! Jasmine LOVES snow. She goes out and just plops down and eats it. She also likes to make puppy prints all over the back yard. She is so cute!

Last night, Annika wanted Marissa to stay up with her until midnight so that they could watch the snow begin because that is when the weatherman said it would start! They did not stay up, but did awaken to a blanket of snow on everything. Marissa was dying to get out in it!

After a lot of winter gear searching (we don't use it often), the kids went out... Benaiah was quick to bolt out of the back door in his pajamas! He ran around the deck and fell in the snow. Shorty thereafter, he began screaming from the cold wetness he was experiencing! It was a sight to see an Ethiopian baby frolicking in the snow in his pajamas! We'll have to see if we can get a video up!

The kids had one shot at playing out today, so they made the most of it!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Happy 1st Birthday, Benaiah Meteku!!

We celebrated Benaiah's first birthday at Mom's house with our family. Benaiah enjoyed his noodles, bread, carrots, and peaches. Then, it was time for cake....

He really, really got into the cake! Instead of putting shea butter on himself, he opted for buttercream!

After the cake, he had a bath.

Happy Birthday, Benaiah!!!!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Thinking of Benaiah's First Mother

Tomorrow is Benaiah Meteku's first birthday, and today has been a lot more difficult for me than I ever imagined.

I decided that I wanted to buy a special candle holder so that we can burn and candle and pray for Benaiah's birth mother on his birthday.

I am sad that she had to make the decision to give up her baby boy, Meteku. She carried him for 9 months and named him. "Meteku" means "replacement," and the name is used like we would use "Junior." He probably resembled someone in his family -his father? his grandfather? -his uncle? We think that his birth mother nurtured him for the fist few months of his life.

My heart is just aching for her right now. I can't imagine my life without him.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Melkam Yegenna Be'al (Merry Christmas in Amharic)

We celebrated the Orthodox Christmas with an Ethiopian feast! The kids were so excited to eat off of the mesob in the living room with Ethiopian music playing.

We didn't get to eat until after Jeremy's swim practice after 8 pm, so we all went at it like piranhas! Benaiah liked the lentils.

While I was in the kitchen getting *more* injera, I heard William tell the kids how happy he was that they all like Ethiopian food! I thought that was pretty cute!

We forgot to burn the frankincense. (If anybody who is traveling to Ethiopia finds a frankincense burner, please, pick it up for us!)

Friday, January 2, 2009

Meeting the Tennants

Today, we went to RDU to meet our friends Rob and Candy as they arrived home with their new son, Henry!!

We began our adoption process at the same time and have been holding each other's hand along the way.

After knowing Candy for about a year, we realized that we had met her at an adoption fair where she was representing America World! Too funny!

We are so glad to see their family together and pray that their adjustment to being a family of four goes well and that they get caught up on their rest!

Benaiah was happy to meet his new friend!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy 5th Birthday, Annika!

Our baby girl tuned 5 on New Years Eve. *sniff*

Annika requested pancakes for breakfast, and we had another favorite, hot dogs, for lunch.

We celebrated with friends at our church's Funzone. Annika had a BLAST! It is the perfect place for a 5 year-old's birthday!

We had cake, fruit, cheese ball and summer sausage. Annika requested "COKE" to drink. (Remember the World of Coke from last June?)

Thank-you all who helped us celebrate Annika's special day and for all of the happy birthday wishes that were sent!

After much partying and cleaning up, Annika opened more presents at home and had Little Ceasar's pizza with added soy cheese for dinner.

We all went to bed early.

Happy New Year!