Saturday, May 30, 2009

What's been going on

Summer swim team season has started which means by far the busiest time of the year.  EVERYONE loves summer swimming. 

For Memorial day, we went to a picnic at the pool.  This was Benaiah's first adventure into the pool.  He doesn't look too happy in the picture but he did like it as long as he was attached to Susan.

One day last week, Susan took Jeremy out of the house for his end-of-grade testing.  I had the chance to hang out with the younger three.  When Benaiah took a nap, I asked the girls what they wanted to do and they overwhelmingly stated "BEAD CRAFT".  I am not a crafty person, but I got out the instructions some newspaper and we painted, twisted, glued, etc. and generally had a good time.  We made a heart-shaped box (Annika is holding), a picture frame (Marissa is holding), and a flower pot picture tree (Between the girls).  We had a really good time and they kept saying "Thank you for doing this".  I guess I need to find ways to spend more time with my girls.

Last night, Susan gave both boys a haircut.  Jeremy was itching for a summer swimming cut and Benaiah's hair was getting pretty long again.  We call this style the "Ethio-poof".  It's very short on the sides, and longer on the top.  One of the early pictures we had of Benaiah from the transition home, he had a similar style and we loved it.  Somewhere along the line, we were told that it was a style common to children from his part of the country (Kembata).  We are very happy with this style and he actually seemed to enjoy the haircut.  

Here is Benaiah's birth certificate photo where you can see his original Ethio-poof and also see how much he has changed in 8 months.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Isn't he cute?

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Happy Amazing Mother's Day Race!

It has been 2 weeks since Mother's Day, but I couldn't let it just go by without blogging about it.

As soon as I woke up, the kids presented me with my first clue for "The Amazing Race!" From there, I encountered a "Road Bl0ck" which required me to say tongue twisters presented by each child. They had me running outside in my nightgown to get a clue out of a tree in the back yard, and I even encountered a "Detour" where I had to choose between two challenges: folding pants or cup stacking. I chose the cup stacking because I thought it would be a harder challenge, but who knew how good I would be? The final clue let me to the "Pit Stop" in the bathroom (hahaha!), where I received my present from the kids: a pink camo Webkinz carrier containing a Webkinz pink poodle! I named her "Philine" after Phil on "The Amazing Race!" That was so much fun! The kids really put a lot of planning into it!

We had a nice strawberry pancake brunch after that, and we all just enjoyed hanging out around the house. The kids were even happy not to be running anywhere!

William had more presents for me including my new tiara (a real silver-plated one!) and the Willow Tree figure on which he painted the baby to match our Benaiah! Funny fact: William took Benaiah to the craft store in order to match his skin with the paint color!!! How appropriate that our little, strong, and fast Ethiopian's skin color is "Espresso!"

Late in the afternoon after our pancakes and bacon wore off, we were ready for our steak dinner. I was so happy that my mom could come over and eat with us! William made a delicious meal of filet mignon and baked potatoes, and we got to use the new crystal that William received for being with IBM for 10 years! William also prepared lactose-free chocolate eclairs! It had been a long, long time since I had eaten an eclair! They were tres bien!

Thank-you, Mom, William, Jeremy, Marissa, Annika, and Benaiah for making my Mother's Day so special! I love you all!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Better Than Sour Cream!

I am such happy lactose-intolerant girl! When we were in Ohio, my Aunt Jane had bought some Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream for us to dip our vegetables, and IT IS GOOD!

It has been YEARS since I have had sour cream! We have made:

  • chip dip made with onion soup mix
  • "AJP" (a potato casserole)
  • Poppy Seed Chicken
  • and we've topped our potatoes with more than just margarine!!!
Now, if I could only find a good, dairy-free or lactose-free cream cheese...

Filing for Re-adoption

Today, we went to the county court house to file papers to re-adopt Benaiah. Yes, he is ours, the country of Ethiopia has granted us full, legal custody of our baby, but in the U.S. he is a resident alien with an Ethiopian birth certificate.

We had to fill out and notarize even more paperwork, and our social worker is writing up another report to submit to the court. We should receive an adoption decree with his name change, and then we can get his NC birth certificate.

We should hear something in the next six months.

After we get our adoption decree and birth certificate, we will get a social security number, a passport, and a certificate of citizenship. We may get that all finished this year...

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Help Malnourished Babies

5/8/09 UPDATE: YOU DID IT! We raised all $12,500 as of this morning. Thanks to everyone who made this happen. We'll keep this post up for now and send you additional details on this project. Thank you Thank you! We can now provide 400 cans of Nutramigen to malnourished babies in Ethiopia.

On the right of our blog, I have added a button that takes you to a blog by Tom Davis. He is a man with a HUGE heart for orphans. He is the author of "Fields of the Fatherless" and "Red Letters" and founder of Children's HopeChest.

In the May 4 entry, Duni who was our family coordinator, tells Tom the sad facts about how the babies end up in her care.

Right now, Tom is running a formula drive to supply the AWAA transition home where Benaiah lived for 5 months with a special formula that helps severely malnourished babies.

$30 will buy a can of formula and get it there, but anything will help.

As you can see, Benaiah was a skinny, skinny guy, but there are babies there right now who are teetering between life and death. Please, help if you can.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


Tonight we celebrated the end of another year of Awana with the combined awards with carnival. We are all so glad to have a long break ahead of us!

Marissa finished her 3rd and final year as a Spark and was awarded the Sparky award! She and Mema are both moving up to Truth & Training next year.

Annika finished her 2nd and final year as a Cubbie! She looks forward to being a Spark next year! After working in all three clubs, William has declared Cubbies to be the most challenging with which to work!

Jeremy helped with Kindergarten Sparks this year and really enjoyed it. He got to work the rubber duck pond at the Awarnaval.

Benaiah enjoyed hanging out and munching on snow cones.

These are the skirts that I made for the girls!