Wednesday, December 31, 2008

How To Be Nice

This morning the girls kept getting into arguments and poking and pinching each other. I finally had to put everyone in time out. After time out we had a talk about being nice to each other, and then I asked them to each tell me some things we can do for/with each other that are nice. THEN...they had to sit at the table and draw a picture of what it means to be nice. Here's what they came up with. I'm not sure what Elizabeth's picture is, but Ruby and Nora both drew kids holding hands. Check out all the eyes on the faces in Ruby's picture. Could this be a sign of something?



Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Monkey Bizness

For all my friends who live in the Kansas City area, I have to tell you about a fun place I took the girls to today. It's called Monkey Bizness (in Olathe, KS), and they had a BLAST! It's basically a whole bunch of climbing gizmos and giant inflatable climbers and slides. I didn't think to take my camera, but I wish I had. They had the best time and were literally running from one thing to another, jumping, climbing, and sliding for two hours! It was a great winter time activity!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Zoo in December!

YEAH! We got out of the house today...we went to the zoo. It was a beautiful, sunny, 56 degrees while we were at the zoo. There were lots of people there enjoying the break in the cold, wintry weather. The girls had a great time, and best of all -- it's 8:00 pm and they're worn out and in bed! YEAH!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Quiet of My House

I haven't done a "my husband is wonderful" post in a while, and he really deserves this one! By the way, he really is wonderful all the time -- I just try not to brag too much. :-)

Since he's had a few days off work around the holidays, Tony has been giving me some much-needed breaks. Right now he's gone to get his hair cut (by our daughter-in-law at the salon where she works) and he took all three girls with him. Brave man, huh? Yesterday he went out to get me some cold medicine (came down with a cold on Christmas day), and he took all three girls with him. He made Christmas dinner, dinner again last night, and breakfast today! Last night he got everyone's teeth brushed, read stories and tucked them in bed. Oh, and yesterday when I wasn't feeling good he took care of things in the morning so I could sleep a little longer. (Did I mention that last night he was exhausted and commented on what a hard job I have?)

Of course, the girls love having daddy take care of them and do things with them. He said yesterday when he was in CVS they just followed him around in a little line, calling out daddy this and daddy that. Naturally he gets a lot of looks when he's out with them. I know I get a lot of people staring at us, so I can just imagine. It makes me smile to imagine him corralling them all in and out of the mini-van and through stores. He's such a good daddy, and he's such a great husband.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Barbie's Breasts

A very good friend of mine, Linda, gave the girls each a Barbie for Christmas. They've been quite entertained by them all afternoon. However, Elizabeth has this propensity to undress every single doll she has. She just five minutes ago managed to undress Barbie. I walked by just in time for her to point to Barbie's naked breasts and say, "Mommy you have that. What's that?" I managed to walk away without cracking up.

A look out our front door!

It is dim, wet, and dreary here in Missouri! Freezing rain and drizzle, yuck! But hey, at least it's warm -- 33 degrees. It's like a heatwave compared to the single-digit days we've been having.

But it's warm and cozy indoors and we're having fun anyhow. Well, most days we're having fun. Except for the times when one of the girls is getting on another one's nerves and slaps her, pinches, pushes, or just yells. OK, maybe it's not all fun and games, but I'm trying to find things for them to do! I'll be glad when Christmas is here and the gifts are open so there will be new toys to play with. Or maybe there will just be new toys to fight over. Gesh, I hope not!

Yesterday we made a gingerbread house, and yes it's on the FLOOR! There was no other way I could get all three girls around it where they could all reach it.

And today's fun activity...making necklaces and bracelets out of pop beads! I divided them up evenly into three bowls so nobody would get into an argument over who got which beads. :-)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Check out this picture...the girls thought it was hilarious!

Chris is always good at making people laugh. Our game of Scrabble the other nights was pretty funny too. His stellar play...the word "lowsebedoga." He really thought he could convince me that it was a word and was truly cracking himself up. :-) That's our boy!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Monday mystery?

Lots of bloggers have recently started "Wordless Wednesdays." Maybe I'll start the "Monday Mystery." What is this...and why?

Nora used the sock from her Build-A-Bear dog to fashion a sleeping bag for the little lamb she likes to sleep with. It was a cold night in Missouri with temps in the single digits, and she wanted to make sure her little lamb didn't get cold. I took this picture this morning when she woke up and came out of her room. I don't think I'm biased when I say she is one smart and cute little girl! I love my Nora!

Friday, December 12, 2008

I'm getting better at this!

Well, I should say I'm getting better at it with Elizabeth's hair. Ruby's hair is very wiry and hard to work with. Elizabeth loves her hair like this!


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

What are the "little things"?

Our girls teach me every day about the importance of the things in life that most of us take for granted...what we often consider the "little things." In America, our kids grow up with plenty of food, warm clothes, toys, medicine when they need it, and a safe home. They even come to expect that a certain amount of stuff will just be given to them, such as electronic games, iPods, phones, etc. I know this, because we have three sons who are not international adoptees and have never lacked for anything they needed or most things they wanted.

Not so with our girls! Today a big box of oranges came in the mail -- a gift from our friend Pete who lives in Florida. I opened the box right away and gave them each one to hold, and Ruby was SO excited that she asked me to take her picture with her orange! She was grinning from ear to ear! Now, it's not like I never give them fruit. I do give them plenty of fresh fruit, but the sight of a big box of fresh oranges arriving at our doorstep just sent Ruby spinning. Of course, all three of them were excited, but Ruby was beyond excited! She was practically jumping up and down while I peeled their oranges!

My goal this Christmas is to keep the gift-giving small. I don't want to overwhelm the girls by so many gifts that they can't even take it all in. I hope that somehow we can maintain their appreciation for the "little things"!

Monday, December 8, 2008

My glasses were in the freezer!

You may remember a month or so back that I posted about how I'm now having to use reading glasses...only once in a while for VERY small print mind you. Well, a couple of weeks ago, while my mother-in-law was visiting, I lost my dang glasses. I have been looking everywhere -- literally everywhere. They were just cheap magnifiers from Wal-Mart, but the mystery of their disappearance was killing me. Well, last night I was looking in the door to the freezer for some veggies to cook, and what do I find? My glasses! Yes, in the freezer! I never thought of looking there. They were fresh and frozen.

Also, when Mom was visiting Nora lost a glove. We looked everywhere for the silly thing. Mom even walked the north field where we had all taken a walk, but we never could find it. That little mystery was solved yesterday too when the girls opened up the sand and water table and found the glove in the sand!

Two mysteries solved in one day. I think I can sleep better now!

I've been bookworm tagged!

Jaclyn has bookworm tagged me! I'll admit, I kind of like these "tagging games." Some people think they're a pain, but I think they're fun. They give you a little more insight into your online friends.

So...when you're bookworm tagged, you have to pick up the book that is nearest to you, turn to page 56, and type the first sentence of the fifth paragraph on that page. So, here's mine: "Once, his rowdy entrance included a guitar, which he began strumming furiously while singing badly and demanding that the rest of the family sing along." Anyone know the book? It's John Grisham's "The Innocent Man." It's actually the fourth paragraph because there are only four paragraphs on the page. I don't read much John Grisham (more of a historical fiction and classics kind of girl), but this book intrigued me because it's Grisham's first non-fiction book. And so far it's pretty good. I'm about halfway through it.

Jaclyn's blog indicated that she is reading the Twilight series. I'm just like Jaclyn in that I initially had no interest in reading about vampires in teen books, but Gina Ellerbee's post a while back kind of perked my curiosity. Gina seems like she has good reading tastes. I still haven't read Twilight, but now that Jaclyn is reading it too, I'm getting more and more curious! I may have to break down and read it!

So, I'm tagging Linda and Lori ! Tell us what you're reading!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

My Awesome Mother-In-Law (Post Gone Missing)

It was just brought to my attention that one of my posts has gone missing! During Thanksgiving week I posted about how wonderful my mother-in-law is and what a great guest she is. Where did the post go? I don't know! So, here's a recap...

I just love my mom-in-law. She visited us for a week over Thanksgiving, and we had such a great time with her. Some of you might be thinking, "Yeah, right. Mother-in-law at your house for a week is a good time?" Heh heh heh. Well, she is simply a great guest and a joy to have around.

Here's what makes her such a great guest, just in case anyone wants to take notes (just kidding I'm sure you're all wonderful guests). She is helpful, but not overly helpful. As in...she's not cleaning everything while commenting on all the dust in my house. She's easy to chat with, but doesn't feel the need to chat all the time. Sometimes she enjoys just sitting and reading in the same room as the girls and watching them play out of one eye. She goes along with whatever we're doing for the day, and if for some reason she's not up for it she just says so. The list could go on and on.

I know it's hard for her to travel so far; changing flights and layovers take their toll on anyone regardless of age. But still she has made the trip from Massachusetts three years in a row and stayed for about a week each time. Thanks Mom! We love you, and we love your visits.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Quotes from Ruby & Question for Hope Friends

I have a question for my Hope friends who have already traveled to bring home their children. Do you know if there is a caregiver at Hope's orphanage named Hutalem (pronounced hu-tall-um with emphasis on the middle syllable)?

Ruby has very recently started talking about her life in Ethiopia. She mentions Hutalem in the context of being her birth mother, but at times I get the feeling she's someone at Hope. I'm hoping I can find out so that if it really is her birth mother's name I can write it down so she will never forget it.

Other things she's told us recently:

"One time big girls hitting me so my mommy hit them and they go away."

"One time I walking walking walking and find money buy banana and eat eat eat. No car walking by self not far away."

"Cold outside get warm by fire and then hurt (pointing to the burn scar on her forehead)."

"Elizabeth no bottle eat here (pointing at her breast indicating her mommy breast fed her)."

"Sih mesh mah no means what is your name."

And my favorite...after telling me about "sih mesh mah no" they broke out into song. I got them to sing the song again, and here it is. It starts with "sih mesh mah no" and I have no idea what the rest of it is about!

video

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Christmas Party was a big success!

I don't know how many people attended our homeschool Christmas party today, but it was A LOT! There were booths for about 14 or 15 countries, and we had two of them -- China and Ethiopia, naturally! Our backdrops turned out great, and we had cookies, injera, doro wat, and misir wat for everyone to sample. We also had some Chinese and Ethiopian currency on display, which the kids were all very interested to see! Lots of the older kids (8-12ish) asked me a lot of questions about traveling to China and Ethiopia and what it was like. And I was so very happy to share information about adoption with a mom who had some questions and is considering adoption as a way for her and her husband to complete their family! It was a great day! Here are a few pictures.


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

More busy days!

Yesterday I had to go to Costco! Need I say more? Costco with three little girls! But wait -- first we had to go to the bank, gas station, and make a return at another store. And Afterwards, we had to go to Wal-Mart, Michaels (to get stuff for our homeschool Christmas Around the World projects), and out to lunch.

Today I spent the entire morning working on backdrops for the China and Ethiopia booths for the Christmas Around the World party, and then we had to go to the grocery store. By the time we finished with that it was dark outside. Fortunately, the girls begged for spaghetti for dinner. Couldn't get much easier than that!

I'm exhausted! Here are the backdrops for the Christmas Around the World party. Tomorrow we're going to the Ethiopian restaurant to get injera and doro wat for people to sample. The China booth will feature fortune cookies...because I'm too tired to do anything more complex!



Sunday, November 30, 2008

Snow!

Yesterday Ruby and Elizabeth saw snow for the very first time! It didn't accumulate, but it was coming down pretty hard. This morning when they woke up the ground had a light dusting of snow. They kept saying "Wow"! Here's a picture of the girls catching snowflakes on their tongues!

Our Thanksgiving week!

Wow! What a week it has been. We've had a great time with all of our family. Nana (Tony's mom) was here for a week, Katie was here last Sunday night and then again this Friday and Saturday night, Michael was here Friday night and went home Saturday, Jonathan was here for six days, Derrek and Samantha were here for Thanksgiving day, Summer was here all day on Friday, and Jarred, Uncle John, and Granny and Pa have been here too!

Tony is on his way to take Nana and Katie to the airport (his fourth trip to the airport in eight days. The house seems very quiet. I never thought of OUR house as quiet before! Ha ha!

The only thing we missed out on was seeing Davey and Shelly (my brother and his wife) and all of the family that were gathered at their home on Thanksgiving, including Mom and Richard. We weren't able to make it to their gathering since we made Thanksgiving dinner here at home for all of our guests.

Here are a few pictures!




Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Jonny and His Sisters

The girls are having a great time with Nana and Jonny. They love piling on their brother and climbing him like a tree! Today we were at Target, and Jonathan came out with a soccer ball he bought for his sisters. They are in heaven! They're taking a nap right now so they can go back outside and play soccer some more!


Friday, November 21, 2008

Exciting week coming up!

The next week will be fun and exciting! Tomorrow Jonathan arrives in the afternoon, and the girls are soooooo excited to see their brother. Ruby and Elizabeth have only met Jonathan once, at Derrek's wedding. Then tomorrow night Nana (Tony's mom) and Aunt Katie arrive. Jonathan will be here for six days and Nana and Aunt Katie for eight days! We're so happy that we get to spend Thanksgiving with them. OK, I'm off to begin CLEANING HOUSE now!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Stars in the making?

Check out my little singers. They didn't get all the words right, but what was funny was that they were all singing the same words. I think they taught each other their own version. :-)

video

Monday, November 17, 2008

Me and my girls!

Did I ever think I would have three little girls? People ask me this question sometimes, and my answer is a definite "No"! I could never have imagined being so blessed.

When Tony and I got married, we thought our family was complete with our three sons. We had talked about having a child together, but in the end just felt that it probably wouldn't happen for us, plus we lived far away from any family. Still, we talked about what it would have been like to have children together.

Fast forward a few years, and we find ourselves living in Missouri -- very near much of our family -- and talking about adoption. Our journey to each of our girls has been such an amazing part of our lives. I'll post more later about how we were led to China and then Ethiopia, but for now I just wanted to share this great picture Tony took yesterday of me with my girls. I love them so much.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Looks like we'll be eating a lot of venison!

Yep, venison chili, venison stroganoff, venison spagetti, venison stew...

Tony had never hunted deer until last year, so this is his first one. It was an exciting morning. (Sorry Rebecca B. I know it has a face, but it's food.)

Friday, November 14, 2008

America Best

Yesterday as the girls ate breakfast we talked about Ethiopian food. Tony and I had plans to take them to an Ethiopian restaurant for lunch. As we talked about injera and eating with our hands, Elizabeth looked at me with a very concerned look and said, "Mama, America best." She thought we were talking about going back to Ethiopia. It's hard to imagine what she was thinking -- she's only three years old. Also, we've never really talked about the fact that we live in America (due to the language barrier and the abstract concept of countries), but they obviously knew they were coming to America and learned to say the word "America" before we ever met them.

Maybe we should all take note -- America best. :-)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Missouri Sunset

It's hard to beat a Missouri sunset! I took these pictures tonight.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

So easily entertained!

Try to guess what this picture is before you scroll down...

Did you guess? The answer is...

My dining room table after three girls, three pairs of scissors, one magazine, and thirty minutes! Cutting up paper is one of their favorite activities. They're so easily entertained. Now if I could just teach them to use the vacuum to clean up the mess that spills over onto the floor!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Oh Nora, you dance just like an angel!

I think George Strait was playing on the stereo...or maybe it was Lyle Lovett. :-)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Horses Can’t Vomit

Being the wonderful sister-in-law that she is, Pam helped me out with the origin of "sick as a dog." I miss Pammie and love her sense of humor! Yesterday she read my post and before going to bed last night I noticed that I had an email from her solving the mystery of where this saying came from.

"There are several expressions of the form sick as a ..., that date from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Sick as a dog is actually the oldest of them, recorded from 1705; it is probably no more than an attempt to give force to a strongly worded statement of physical unhappiness. It was attached to a dog, I would guess, because dogs often seem to have been linked to things considered unpleasant or undesirable; down the years they have had an incredibly bad press, linguistically speaking (think of dog tired, dog in the manger, dog’s breakfast, go to the dogs, dog Latin — big dictionaries have long entries about all the ways that dog has been used in a negative sense).

At various times cats, rats and horses have been also dragged in to the expression, though an odd thing is that horses can’t vomit; one nineteenth-century writer did suggest that this version was used “when a person is exceedingly sick without vomiting”. The strangest member of the set was used by Jonathan Swift in 1731: “Poor Miss, she’s sick as a Cushion, she wants nothing but stuffing” (stop laughing at the back).

The modern sick as a parrot recorded from the 1970s — at one time much overused by British sportsmen as the opposite of over the moon — refers to a state of deep mental depression rather than physical illness; this perhaps comes from instances of parrots contracting psittacosis and passing it to their human owners."

-- www.worldwidewords.org

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Samantha is THE BEST!

Last Friday, Halloween, I woke up sick as a dog. (Where did that analogy come from anyway?) I couldn't even keep water down. I was having a really hard time managing three kids when I could barely even stand on my feet.

It was 10:45 in the morning and I was getting by and starting to think about how I was going to face getting lunch on the table when it involved a) looking at food and b) standing upright for more than 60 seconds.

Then I got a text message from my daughter-in-law, Samantha, saying "Happy Halloween. Hope you're having a great day." Well, clearly I was NOT, and I messaged her back saying I was really sick. So she messaged me right back and said "Would it be good if I come and get the girls and take them to McDonalds and they can play and eat?"

Would it be good? Oh my gosh, I was so happy I started crying, which really confused the girls. So now mommy is sick and crying too? Samantha is a hair stylist and Friday happened to be her day off. So my new daughter-in-law, who is 21 and has no kids (but is really good with kids), used her day off to drive 25 minutes to my house, loaded all three of the girls into my van and drove them to McDonalds (another 15 minutes away) to eat lunch, and then took them all to the park to play. AND when they came home they had all made get-well-mommy cards for me. She took paper and markers to the park for this little project.

I am just amazed that Samantha did this for me. I already knew she was awesome, but this just completely blew me away! Thanks Sam!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Announcing officially...

Ruby Nigate Smith and Elizabeth Amsalu Smith! Their names are now legally changed and we have the court document in hand that recognizes the foreign adoption in Missouri! Yeah!

Monday, November 3, 2008

November 4, 2008 -- More than just Election Day

Tomorrow is an important day for our nation as well as our family! Not only is it Election Day, but it is also our court date here in Cass County, Missouri. Tomorrow we go to court at 1:30, and when we walk out Nigate and Amsalu will officially be Ruby Nigate and Elizabeth Amsalu! We will also receive a "Recognition of Foreign Adoption" certificate, and the girls will have new Missouri birth certificates issued! Next step...send in these court documents to receive their U.S. Citizenship!

This is a very different process than we went through for Nora. In China, the adoption is finalized AFTER you arrive in the country and meet your child, so they travel home with their new name (if you're giving them one) on an IR-3 Visa and are U.S. citizens as soon as you go through immigration at the airport in the U.S. Then I had to fill out a form and send in the translated Chinese Adoption Decree to the state of Missouri to get a new birth certificate.

Or adoption of Nigate and Amsalu was finalized in Ethiopia via Power of Attorney with our adoption agency BEFORE we met them. This means they came home on an IR-4 Visa and are permanent legal residents on the U.S., but we have to send in paperwork (and more money of course) to obtain their citizenship. Also, their legal names at this time (at least until tomorrow) are Nigate Anthony Smith and Amsalu Anthony Smith. Pretty, huh?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween

The girls had a great Halloween! Here are some cute pics!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thanksgiving in October

I know we're still one holiday away from Thanksgiving, but today I just feel like giving thanks. I know you've all heard before what a wonderful husband and father Tony is, but it's days like today that make me even more aware of how blessed I am. I am so thankful that God led me to Tony. Here's what my day was like...

Got up at 7:00 (even though Tony was up at 6:00), waited as the girls trickled one-by-one into bed with me to snuggle for a while, fed the kids breakfast, said goodbye to Tony as he headed off to work, got everyone dressed, did their hair, got myself ready to go, packed a picnic lunch, and headed to the zoo! It was an absolutely perfect Kansas City fall day with a high in the mid 70s. The leaves are changing colors, the girls were all happy and sweet, skipping and holding hands. We rode the train and the carousel. Nobody peed their pants or threw up in my van. Pa came along with us, which the girls loved

And Tony...worked. He sent me a text message saying how much he wished he could be at the zoo with us. He called later in the day to see if we had fun and made it home safely. He works so hard so that the girls and I can have the joy of being together all day. I know a lot of moms who would love to be able to stay home with their children, but it's just not easy to do these days. And I feel thankful. I'm so thankful that I am at this exact place at this time in my life. It took such a long time to get here.

And after working all day, Tony came home and carved pumpkins with us. :-) Here are a few cute pics.



Wednesday, October 29, 2008

My Four Little Beauties

Today Summer came over to play. We had a beautiful fall day with weather in the mid 60s, and the girls had lots of fun playing outside. Here are a few pics of my little beauties!




Tuesday, October 28, 2008

To my blog-following friends and family...

I just found out today that my friend Jackie follows my blog! Seems like every few weeks I find out that someone I care about, but haven't talked to for a while, actually reads the blog and knows what is going on in our lives. Am I self-absorbed that this makes me happy? Maybe, but still it DOES make me happy. I love knowing that my friends and family who I don't get to talk to so much these days are still connected to us.

Will you all please start a blog so I can know what's going on with you? I promise I'll read it faithfully! It's free and easy! Takes only a few minutes to post every few days once you get it set up! Please, please??? I'll tell you how to do it if you need help!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Homeschool Book Club

I am so thankful for the wonderful homeschool group in our area, Raymore Home Educators.

Even though we are still Pre-K, they have so many great activities that we can attend. Today was the RHE Book Club -- story time with Miss Peggy. She read two books about voting, "Max for President" and "President Pennybaker." The kids got to have an "election" where two pre-school kids "campaigned." Both kids said if they were president you could eat all the pizza you want. One little boy said, "And if I were president you can pray whenever you want." I just about cried! The kids got to make posters for their favorite candidate and go on a parade around the library. Elizabeth wouldn't get more that three feet away from me, but Nora and Ruby proudly paraded around with their campaign posters. Then they got to vote, make buttons to pin on their shirts, and have a great snack. And it was all FREE!

I love the whole homeschooling concept! And wonderful Miss Peggy is a grandmother who donates her time to this activity! She's awesome! I can only hope and PRAY that God will grant me the patience to be as good of a homeschooler as these other parents are!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Random 7


I have been tagged by Karen http://sister2love.blogspot.com/ and Gina http://www.enoughellerbees.blogspot.com/! I feel so popular that I got tagged twice. It's like I'm in HS again and this time I'm one of the popular girls. :-)
Seven random things about me:

1. I’m affectionately known by my friends as “instant gratification girl.” I’m not good at waiting for things. Hard to believe I made it through the adoption process twice, huh?
2. I have a thing for cute, girly socks. I have socks with pigs on them, bumble bees, wine glasses, pugs, you name it.
3. I love Coach bags…my weakness. Since I’m not raking in money now I’ll have to stick with indulging #2 – it’s much cheaper.
4. I tend to buy two of everything when shopping for clothes. As in, "Hmmm, I like this shirt. Which two colors should I get?"
5. I know how to knit and crochet.
6. I know how to string barbed wire fence.

You not a good girl, OK?

Ruby holding up her purse: "Mamma, everybody purse?"

Me: "No Ruby, that is your very own purse. You don't have to share that."

Elizabeth, who is waiting for my verdict while glaring at her sister: "Ruby (rolled rrrrrr here and Ethiopian accent), you not a good girl, OK?"

The other day I heard Elizabeth saying the same thing to Nora...well actually yelling it. Nora was doing her own thing in the bedroom while Elizabeth sat in the living room yelling, "Norrrra, you not a good girl, OK?" Anything to get a rise out of one of her sisters. But she's such a cute little trouble-maker!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

At the Pumpkin Patch

This morning we got around early and headed out to Powell Pumpkin Patch -- 35 acres of pumpkins! The weather was beautiful, and the girls had a great time. We walked and walked until we found just the right pumpkins! Then the girls had the BEST time playing on these giant piles of hay. They would climb to the top and jump off into a soft pile at the bottom. No major injuries were suffered, just Ruby and Nora biting their tongues when they jumped and hit the ground. Even though we kept reminding them to keep their mouths closed when they jumped, I guess the tongue just naturally wants to come out when you're performing such a perfectly executed jump. :-)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The best day...and evening!

We had absolutely the BEST day today, and then the best evening! Today I took the girls to the zoo. We had fun looking at the animals, had a picnic, and played on the playground. Then we came home and had nap time and then went outside to play some more.

THEN at almost 8:00 tonight...Beth (my step-mom and Granny to the girls) called and said "Hey, how about if I come over to your house and hang out while the girls are in bed and you and Tony can go outside or whatever." Well YEEEESSSSS! You won't find me refusing THAT offer. Beth leaves for work somewhere around 6:00 in the morning, and STILL she did this! I feel strongly that Ruby and Elizabeth, being home for only two months, need to have Tony or I here all the time. But, Dad and Beth live about two acres away so this works out great, and the girls were in bed asleep by the time we went outside.

So, for the first time since I don't know when...since before Nora came home last year. We just went outside and started up a bonfire. Then we went for a night-time 4-wheeler ride in the woods, got lost and laughed and found our way out and came home. And we just had the BEST time. It was great!

Thank you Beth, you made our night! And since you offered to do this while they were in bed, and since I was just going to be outside, I had no guilt about leaving them. Yet it felt like we were on a date for a couple of hours!

P.S. If you're reading this Pam, the only thing that would have been more perfect is you and Billy and some red cups. We miss you!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Our Family, So Many Years in the Making

The video below is really special to me. It reflects our family and our lives for so many years. Although life has not always gone as planned, things have without a doubt always turned out for the very best. Somehow, the paths we never could have predicted several years ago have brought us into the fullness of the most beautiful and richest life imaginable. If you know our family very well at all, you'll know what I mean when you watch this montage. Be warned though, it's kind of long. You might want to get a cup of coffee and get comfortable!

Monday, October 13, 2008

And Elizabeth's little "gem" for the day...

I posted my funny Ruby story below, so here's a cute Elizabeth story too. I'll preface this story by saying Elizabeth loves to eat. Tony and I joke about her hearing food hitting a plate or bowl and running to the kitchen from wherever she is in the house.

So this morning I was in the kitchen making cupcakes, and in Elizabeth walks with her tray (the lid to a plastic container) and some of her toy plates and says "Mommy, breakfast!" Look at Ruby's face in the picture below.

I must be careful what I say!

Oh, the kids do copy what I say and do. This was too funny! Nora and Elizabeth were just outside playing on the swings while Ruby was busy at the sand and water table. Nora and Elizabeth started calling out "Ruby, Wuby (Nora can't say r very well), Wuby, Ruby." And then Ruby put her hands on her hips and said "Oh, what now?" in an exasperated tone of voice. :-)

I sure am glad I don't go around cussing!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Hi to Sara!

Our friend Karen was so sweet to post on her blog a video clip of her daughter, Sara, saying hello to Amsalu and Nigate. Sara even named her stuffed animal Amsalu! How cute is that? The girls were so tickled with the video that they asked me to play it about 20 times for them. So this afternoon they recorded their hello back to Sara! Amsalu got all shy and didn't want to talk for the camera. Nora doesn't even know Sara, but she got in on the fun anyhow!

video

Friday, October 10, 2008

My Amazing Husband (And My Very Best Friend)

I post so often about the kids and our life in general, but I rarely post about Tony. I just wanted to say that I have the most incredible husband. He is the most loving, giving, kind, generous, sensitive, hardworking, incredible man. I love looking at pictures of our life together. Here are just a few...