Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Crazy Hair Night!

Here's the crew ready for Crazy Hair Night at Awana. Marissa had the craziest hair in her group. Nobody else thought to put a diaper on her head!

William and Jeremy are both leaders in Kindergarten this year, and Mema is working with Marissa's group in Truth & Training.
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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Meteku Becomes Benaiah

Our friend Kari met our Meteku last summer in the transition home and took LOTS of photos and video! It was such a gift to receive those from her -especially since we had such a long wait before we could bring him home!

This weekend, Kari and Meteku were reunited. He has grown so much! He looked like a sickly little doll in last year's photo! Kari looks great in both!

When the mail carrier brought all of our held mail after our trip, in the pile was our DECREE OF ADOPTION from the state of North Carolina! Our son's name has been officially changed from "Meteku Wiliam Schmidt" to "Benaiah Meteku Schmidt," and our adoption has now been formally recognized in the United States.

Now, we need to pursue his birth certificate, Social Security number, and a Certificate of Citizenship. Most people thought that this was over when we came home with our baby! Ha!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

BIG TRIP 2009 -Part 4: Nashville, TN

09.08.09 Nashville, TN

We got up very early and began the day driving along one of the ridges of the Ozarks on Rt. 160. William just about needed some Bonine to help him deal with the snaky roads. We got freaked out 3 times by big ol' turkey buzzards or something eating road kill. They'd take off right in front of the van as we rounded the curve! Yikes! We also saw two cows all of the way up to their shoulders in a large puddle of water. It was pretty funny!

We arrived in Nashville in time for dinner with Rachel. Rachel was the director of the transitional home in Ethiopia while Benaiah lived there. He was in under her care for 5 of the first 9 months of his life, so they're old friends. He seemed to remember her or at least he liked her. She was impressed by how big he has gotten.

We had a really nice visit with Rachel. It seemed like we just saw her last week rather than almost a year ago! She and her husband, Barrett, are waiting for their referral for 1 or 2 children from Ethiopia!

09.09.09 We drove. It rained hard. We finished listening to "The Time Machine" and began "The Wind in the Willows." We picked up pizza and ate it at HOME!

BIG TRIP 2009 -Part 3 : Branson, MO

09.04.09 Branson, MO AWAA Africa Reunion

We finally arrived in Branson about an hour after the party began where we "met" many friends who we have known for about 2 1/2 years! We have been through a lot with these people, and a lot of times, they were the ones who really knew first-hand what we were going through.


On Saturday, we met the WHOLE crew, 25 families with many children, at a bakery where we had gloriously, wonderful cinnamon rolls! We connected with many friends, and afterward, we went walking along the Branson Landing and had lunch with the Laughners and the Juvinalls. We were able to share a parenting tip with the Juvinalls... You can use Daddy's belt to tie a kid down to a high chair!

Later that night, we met to see the outdoor drama, "Shepherd of the Hills." Everyone really enjoyed it. Benaiah even liked the shooting and running horses!

09.06.09 Silver Dollar City

So, I was a little skeptical about going to Silver Dollar City. I knew that there would be lots of shows, but we closed the park down and didn't see a single one! We spent our time riding. They have 3 good roller coasters, several other thrill rides, and things that Jeremy and the little ones liked too. Marissa is our rider and rode 2 BIG coasters! Pete talked Jeremy into riding the tamest of the coasters, and Jeremy was pretty proud of himself! Check out the photo of Jeremy, Marissa, with me on the log ride. We got really wet. They had craftspeople making things, and we bought the girls' sun bonnets from a milliner there. We had a really fun day.

Oh, the shirts! I tie-dyed the shirts in the color of the Ethiopian flag so that we could keep track of everybody. Well, it worked, but we couldn't believe how many comments we got! People kept pointing at us! We heard over and over what a good idea that was and how bright they were. At the end of the day, somebody said something about how we couldn't lose anybody, so I told them that there were 10 of us when we started!

That night, we gathered with the Laughners, Steigers, Harbaughs, Melissa, and Jill in our hotel's breakfast room for ice cream.

09.07.09 Farewell Picnic

On Labor Day, those of us who didn't have to boogie home got together to say, "Good-bye until next time in Nashville!" All of the kids enjoyed playing together again, and our kids had a little party under the playground with the rare can of soda that we allowed them!

We just couldn't get enough, so after a nap for Benaiah and a little shopping, we met up with the Juvinalls and the Steigers for dinner at Danna's BBQ. The food was really tasty, and the company was wonderful!

We miss you all already!! I wish that we all lived closer!

Thank-you to all of the precious families who made this trip so wonderful! It was great for the parents to see the other parents, for the siblings to see the other siblings who have African brothers or sisters, and for our African sweeties to see each other!

Friday, September 11, 2009

BIG TRIP 2009 -Part 2: St. Louis

09.04.09 St. Louis, MO

We left IN bright and early and began listening to "Where the Red Fern Grows" by Wilson Rawls. The story takes place in the Ozarks, so it was pretty appropriate for our trip.

We mapped our way to an Ethiopian restaurant called, "Meskerem." We killed it! (See photo below. You can click on the collage to embiggen.)

After lunch, we made our way to the Gateway Arch where we all piled into a dryer drum and rode up to the top. The kids LOVED it!

At the arch, Annika looked up at me and announce, "This trip is more funner that I thought it was going to be!"

Back into the car for 4 more hours of driving to get to Branson, MO.

BIG TRIP 2009 -Part 1

We left home early on Wednesday, September 2 and drove for 12 1/2 hours! We arrived at Maria and Bruce's house and were greeted with a wonderful meal and two very excited cousins!

Thursday morning, William was the "Mystery Reader" for Marta's 1st-grade class! He chose "Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel." (Marta has the yellow kerchief on her head.)

We played at 2 different parks and had dinner at a wonderful Mexican restaurant! The cousins enjoyed playing in the basement and just being together!

Thank-you, Bruce, Maria, Greta, & Marta! We love you!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Something to Make You Laugh

He would make a pretty girl.
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