Sunday, August 31, 2008

Duh duh dudu dudu duh - Duh duh dudu dudu duh...

It has been over twenty-four hours since the wedding reception ended, and Ruby Nigate is STILL doing the chicken dance! This girl LOVES to dance, and if it involves shaking her bootie she loves it even more. She cracks herself up and then falls down to the ground laughing. It's even cuter when she laughs now because she lost one of her top front teeth right before the wedding started yesterday!

Nora and Elizabeth try to follow her lead, but they just can't chicken dance the way Ruby can!

Congratulations Derrek and Samantha AND our first family photo!

The wedding was beautiful -- everything turned out about as perfect as we could hope for! We now have a wonderful daughter-in-law, and her whole family became part of ours! AND we got our first picture of all six of our kids with us!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Wedding Day!

Today is the big day! Derrek is getting married at 6:00 this evening!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

My first big lesson in love..

Derrek is an amazing person and a wonderful son! He has taught me so much through the years, and I'm so proud of the man he has become. This Saturday, August 30th, Derrek and Samantha are getting married. I'm very happy for them, and I know they will have a wonderful life together. Here's my little boy...

Monday, August 25, 2008

A day at the zoo!

This morning I took all the girls to the zoo -- our daughters and granddaughter! Ruby got car sick and puked in the van on the way there, so we had to clean her up and buy a zoo shirt to change her into. Fortunately her shorts were OK, but the pic below looks like she doesn't have any pants on (she does). Everyone had lots of fun, and they were really ready for a nap when we got home!

Five days from today...

Our son is getting married. I'm so happy for Derrek and Samantha, but I can't believe my son is going to be a married man!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

We have some smart girls!

Ruby and Elizabeth have only been home with us for a week, and they can already sing the entire alphabet and count to ten! Wow!

Oh, and Nora has taught Ruby to ask "Why mamma" about everything!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Our beautiful daughters!

Ruby takes pouting to the next level...

Geez! So here's the current drama...

Ruby fell down and hurt herself...slightly (all she did was trip and land on a toy on the carpeted floor). When she hurts herself she is NOT tough. She cries like a two-year-old. I comforted her and held her and kissed her boo boo, and she just wouldn't quit howling. So I held her hand and walked her to a quiet place to sit down. Then I went to look in on the other girls. Now she's quit crying but has been pouting for about 30 minutes. I'm pretty sure the pout is due to the fact that I didn't keep on and on babying her. She even refused a fruit gummy when the other girls were having one, which is not like her at all -- she just gave me the shoulder shrug and turned her head.

Maybe by lunch time she'll be ready to join in the play time again!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Olympics

When did beach volleyball become an olympic sport? I must be getting old... I just don't get it. The Olympics were once a dignified sporting event, and now everyone has gold chains, sunglasses, bikinis, and sports like BMX and beach volleyball are fair games for Olympians. Like I said...I must be getting old.

How many bananas can three girls eat?

The answer is...more than you can imagine! Ruby and Elizabeth would eat six or eight bananas each per day if I'd let them. I've been limiting them to about three each. And if they're eating bananas you better believe Nora won't be outdone -- she's eating just as many! I think we've gone through five pounds of bananas in the past three days! Had to make another trip to the store today to buy more!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Derrek met his new sisters tonight!

Do you think they liked him? This picture makes me smile!

We're still adjusting...

The girls are doing great and continue to adjust little by little. I can't believe we've only had them for eight days, and we've only been home with them for three days. It's not always easy or perfect, but all in all I think they're doing great -- better than I expected!

Ruby Nigate and Elizabeth Amsalu get very sad sometimes and just seem kind of far away, and at other times they are completely engaged with all of us and laughing and being clowns. Nigate loves to imitate Daddy at the dinner table and then cracks up laughing. It's really cute. They both have to get used to being part of our family, being hugged and kissed, and they have to learn enough language to start to understand the rules and limits. Nigate, for example, will just open up the front door and start to head outside if that's what she wants to do. She doesn't understand that she has to ask or wait for Mommy. I think we're replacing our deadbolts with the type that use a key on the outside AND the inside! Oh, and we've had no major pouts (Ruby) or tantrums (Elizabeth) today, only minor ones.

Nora continues to adjust. She's acting out a little and trying to compete at every single thing. And I mean everything! Even if one of the other girls has to go potty Nora thinks she needs to race into the bathroom to beat them to it. And if Nigate is being a clown to get us to laugh at her, then Nora tries to be funnier and louder. It's a big adjustment for her, but that's what we expected. They funny thing is that even when she's feeling jealous or competitive she's still so happy they're here and says things like "Mommy, Ruby and Elizabeth my sisters forever and ever and ever."

Well, better go try for a nap while they're sleeping. Yesterday I got in about 20 minutes of good napping before Ruby Nigate fell out of bed and started crying. Here are a few more pictures.

Monday, August 18, 2008

First trip to the store with three kids!

Whew! I'm exhausted! We went to Wal-Mart Super Center this morning for groceries and stuff. Ruby and Elizabeth were in awe of everything -- especially Ruby. They got to pick out a new toy. Ruby kept putting everything she saw in the cart, and not just toys but food, paper plates, you name it! I'm worn out so I'd better go take a nap while they are napping.

Oh, and I didn't mention that they totally have the Ethiopian kid shoulder shrug and pout down to a tee! These kids know how to pout. And Elizabeth Amsalu is VERY spoiled! She knows how to throw a major fit. :-)

More later...

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Our daughters are home!

Hi everyone! We got home last night, and we're all doing great. Nora, Ruby Nigate, and Elizabeth Amsalu are quite the trio! They're having fun together, and the adjustment is going well so far. It is so beautiful to watch them all playing together. We are so amazingly blessed.

Thanks to all the family and friends who were praying hard for us to travel home as planned. When we got to Hope to get the girls, Genanew (he runs things at the orphanage) informed us that because of a paperwork problem the earliest we could leave Ethiopia was a week later than planned. To make a very long story short, the staff there was able to pull off a near-miracle and get the girls' paperwork in order in very short time.

Ruby Nigate was really sick while we were in Ethiopia, but she's feeling better and will be going to the doctor tomorrow. They are such amazing little girls! Here are a few pics, and I'll post more later. I MUST take a nap for an hour while they're sleeping or I think I'm going to fall over!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Today is the day!

In a few hours we'll be off to the airport! We're finally going to get our girls! We can't wait to see Ethiopia, and we can't wait to meet our girls! I will not likely be able to post while in Ethiopia, but I'll update everyone as soon as I can after we get home, which is next Saturday night!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

One year since we met Nora!

Today is the one year anniversary of the first time we met Nora -- and what a fabulous day that was! Wow, the past year has flown by!

And only three more days until we leave for Ethiopia to bring home Ruby Negate and Elizabeth Amsalu!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

"Daddy, my mommy real beautiful."

What a wonderful day! Today was very hot (about 98 degrees), and I took Nora to the local municipal swimming pool.

I have really been trying to live in the moment as we count down these last few days until we travel to bring Negate and Amsalu home. These are our last few -- and precious -- days with Nora alone. It is going to be wonderful for for all of us when we have Negate and Amsalu home with us, but someday we will look back on this time with just Nora and remember it as a very special time. And as much as I want it to just hurry up and be Saturday so we can go get on that airplane to Ethiopia, I also want to savor the anticipation.

So...I say a prayer for our Ethiopian girls every morning and every night, and I eagerly anticipate seeing their beautiful faces on Monday...and I thank God for so many amazing blessings. I can't imagine what I have done to deserve all that I have been given.

Tonight, as we were eating dinner, Nora looked directly at Daddy and whispered quietly (as if I wouldn't hear), "Daddy, my mommy real beautiful." Wow, could it get any better than that?

Saturday, August 2, 2008

One week from now we'll be on an Ethiopian Airlines jet!

I can't believe we're going to get our girls in just ONE WEEK! Lately I have been daydreaming about what their voices will sound like. Will they have sweet, soft voices, or will they be loud and boisterous (like Nora)? I can't wait to find out!

Today, Tony and I enjoyed an afternoon date (babysitting courtesy of Granny and Pa). We went to the Bodies exhibit at Union Station and then had coffee and walked around a lot. It was my dad's idea that they give us a few hours out alone since a) this is our last weekend before we travel and b) we won't get to be alone again for quite a while after we bring home the girls!

It was nice to enjoy some adult conversation without any 4-year-old interruptions. But, of course, I was ready to go get Nora by the time we were done!