Friday, November 27, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

(click collage to imbiggen)

We have SO MUCH for which to be THANKFUL!

Our family sat around the school table, and we wrote down and drew many of the things that make us thankful. It was fun!

We had a wonderful meal with my mom, Barbara. It included corn, green beans, and noodles by Barbara, sweet potatoes by Jeremy, rolls by Annika, mashed potatoes by Susan, smoked turkey, gravy, and stuffing by William, orange-cranberry sauce by Trader Joe's, and a lovely, dairy-free carrot cake made by Marissa.

William and I drifted in and out of consciousness while the kids all watching "Finding Nemo." After we fed the kids again, we all watched "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" which we all love!

Happy Thanksgiving to ALL!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Second AWAA Transitional Home in Ethiopia!

We are excited to announce that America World will be opening a second transitional home for the children in our Ethiopia Program! In hopes to better serve our children, this transitional home will be fully equipped to house additional children with more resources and space during their transitional time with America World. The home is located just around the corner from the current transitional home and is expected to be open and house children beginning December 1st! Please keep an eye out over the next few weeks as we post news and photos regarding the additional transition home.

~WOW! One year ago, just after we picked up our Benaiah Meteku, the children were moved from the original TH to a larger one, and now they have TWO! I am so grateful that more children are being united with families!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Happy 15th Birthday, Jasmine!!

Yes, she is a dog, but she's 15! That is really old! She is our good friend who has pretty much retired from being our watch dog, although she still sometimes goes out when the kids play to guard them.

On New Year's Eve nearly 15 years ago, William and I were at the flea market looking at puppies -just looking. A little boy who had a playpen full of pink-bellied teddy bears asked me if I wanted to hold one, and I did. It was the sweetest puppy, and all that I needed to push me over the edge. We had already talked extensively about our desires to have a dog in our family. After some research our in an issue of Dog Fancy, and a stop by the ATM, we went back to get our little Keeshond puppy! We were HUGE Disney fans, so ended up being named after the heroine of the most recent film.

Two and a half years ago, we almost lost her to a grapefruit-sized tumor on her spleen. After much anguish, we chose surgery hoping to prolong her life, and I'm so glad that we did.

Jasmine has been here to greet each child as we added them to our family and has done well tolerating them. She has helped comfort us through our losses. She is a great friend.

Happy Birthday, Miss J!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

AWAA NC Africa Reunion

(click collage to imbiggen)

There are many NC families now being blessed through adoption from Africa! We recently got together with families who we have known for years that have their children home and those who are in the earlier stages. Families are working on bringing home children from Ethiopia, Rwanda, and Uganda!

We shared a wonderful meal and even more wonderful fellowship!

I'm looking forward to seeing everyone again soon!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Awana Grand Prix 2009

Each year, to William's and my chagrin, the AWANA groups have a pine wood car race which involves making a car and getting up early on a Saturday to race them. We've been doing this for most of the past 7 years, and no matter how hard we try, we cannot make a fast car! So, we decided to not put much effort into this year's cars.

Annika thought it was a good idea to wrap her wooden block in pink fairy wrapping paper, cover it in packing tape for durability, smear glitter glue all over it, and add a bow! Guess what? She came home with a trophy for 3rd place in speed AND 1st place in design! She is so excited!! She named her car "Lisa," and says that the speed trophy belongs to Lisa, but the design trophy belongs to Annika. She is so funny!

Marissa's group had their races during club time Sunday night. We were successful in NOT making a fast car. She was 3rd and 4th in all of her heats, but at least it crossed the finish line!

Marissa's design was some critters on a log. She also won a 3rd place trophy for design! Way to go, Marissa!

So glad it is OVER and that we avoided lots of tears!

International Fair

Each year, our home school group has an international fair. We have not participated before this year, but I figured that it was about time since our family is becoming more aware of what is going on in our world, and we all should learn a little more about the country from which our precious Benaiah hails.

I got a small pile of books about Ethiopia from the library from which we gleaned information. Jeremy wrote a report on the country, and Marissa wrote a report about the orphan crisis there. We all worked to put together a display, gathered some of our Ethiopian artifacts, and donned our Ethiopian clothing.

Everyone brought a dish from the country they studied. We took "kik wat" or red lentil stew and some injera. It was such a yummy lunch tasting foods from all over the world! William even came to watch, eat, and help wrangle Benaiah.

I hope that we can do this again next year. We just have to decide what country to study...

Happy Gotcha Day!!

On October 28, we celebrated 1 year after receiving our Benaiah Meteku into our arms for GOOD!

My mom joined us all for dinner at Abyssinia for a yummy Ethiopian dinner. Benaiah sure did turn the heads of the Ethiopian men who gather there.

We love you baby boy, and are so happy that you are part of our family!!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Happy 12th Birthday, Jeremy!

(click photo to imbiggen)

Jeremy had a great birthday! He began his day with M&M pancakes, bacon, hash browns, coffee, & lemonade!

Marissa & Annika gave him a Webkinz giraffe which he loves because his favorite animal is the giraffe -an appropriate choice, except that they don't swim. He also got a dolphin Kinz Clip, so I guess that makes up for the giraffe not swimming!

His BFF, Bethany, spent most of the day with him. We all ventured out into the mist for some miniature golf, and then the kids played a game of Monopoly on the computer.

Our family in town all joined us for Jeremy's requested dinner: meatloaf, french fries, and cream soda. I found out that frosting does not stick to ice cream, but his cake turned out OK, and was very tasty. I surprised Jeremy with the ducks. (He gets ducks when he wins his heats at the RSA swim meets.)

He got enough money to purchase an iPod Touch which arrived this week. He is a very happy boy!

Happy Birthday, Jeremy!!!