Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ethiopian okra?

I'm starting to think just about anything tastes better with Ethiopian seasonings! I've had a lot of extra okra from my garden lately, so I'm trying to be creative about how to use it. Well, today I sauteed okra and onions in niter kibbeh (Ethiopian spiced butter), and then I sprinkled berbere on it as it cooked. It was awesome!

I've also discovered that all three of the girls love berbere on their scrambled eggs and on their black beans and rice! Mmmmmmm.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Words to Live By


I learned this quote from a 3 1/2 year old little girl last weekend (we were camping with her family). I love it! It applies to young and old in so many situations. It's going to be my new motto! LOL

Monday, August 24, 2009

Nora's New Glasses

I wish she didn't need to wear them, but could she be any cuter in these glasses?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Another Fun Camping Weekend!

We went camping again this weekend and had a great time! It was extra fun this time since some friends joined us! They have a 3-year-old daughter, and the girls had a great time with her. We had perfect weather with a high during the days of about 80, and lows around 60. I can't think of better weather for camping!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Definition of Selflessness

My sister-in-law, Pam, lost her husband less than one year ago. Tomorrow would have been their 14th anniversary. Yet, today Pam called me to see how I'm doing since I lost Jack, by beloved dog. OK, this is the eve of Pam's FIRST wedding anniversary without Bill, but she's calling to check on ME and how I'm doing since losing my DOG! That should tell you something about Pammie. I love her so much!

Random Thoughts

Before we adopted our kids, I would find myself wondering what made this or that couple decide to adopt -- not in a negative way, but just curiosity. Now that I'm an adoptive parent, I rarely even give it a thought. When I meet families who have adopted I don't even wonder how or why they decided to adopt. Why is that? It just seems like such a logical and "regular" decision to make now!

So why, when I was filling out the patient sheet at our pediatric dentist this morning, did I have to answer yes or no to "Is your child adopted?" Is that really an appropriate question for a dentist to ask?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Goodby, My Faithful Friend

My Jack will be missed so much. Saying goodbye to him today was so very, very hard. There's just nothing else to say -- I loved him so much, and I will miss him.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

One Year Ago Today

One year ago today, our family became complete. One year ago we met Nigate and Amsalu in Ethiopia. What an amazing feeling waking up in the morning knowing that this is the day you will meet your daughters! It's hard to believe an entire year has passed. Here are my beautiful daughters then...and now.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Saying Goodbye to Jack

Jack has been by my side for almost 12 years, and he has seen me through many things in my life. Now I'm seeing him through his final days. He has been having many health issues, and when I took him to the vet, yet again, last weekend, we were faced with the decision I have been fearing. I was not ready to make that decision yet, so I brought Jack home. This is our last week with my long-time buddy and faithful companion. I'm posting this now, because I know I will not be in any shape to write about it this weekend. Saturday morning we go back to the vet, and we will let Jack go.I know that my many dog-loving friends understand how hard Saturday will be for me. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

This picture was taken yesterday...

About six years ago...

The whole gang about five years ago...

My buddy...

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Fun at the County Fair

The girls experienced their first county fair this weekend! They got to practice their milking skills, look at lots of animals, ride lots of rides, and taste their first cotton candy (compliments of Granny). We had a great time!


Simply beautiful...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Two Years

Two years ago today, Tony and I sat waiting in a small room on the other side of the world for our first glimpse of our daughter. This is what we saw...

We knew without a doubt that we were the lucky parents of one very special little girl. There simply aren't any words to describe what it feels like to meet your three year old daughter for the first time, nor are there words to explain the love we felt for her even before we first met her.

We took her back to our hotel and played for a long time and then bathed her, put her in her new nightgown, and simply watched her as she slept...with tears in our eyes.

Our first two days together were filled with the wonder of getting to know our beautiful daughter. We went for walks, we swam, we played, we snuggled, we laughed, and we cried.

And now, two years later, Nora is a bright, funny, loving, happy five-year-old. She's so charming that people just seem to be drawn to her. She has taught us so very much, and I also credit Nora with bringing us to Ruby and Elizabeth. It's hard to remember what life was like before Nora. She simply lights up everything around her. My little Min Min.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


My Wednesday:

Shucked, blanched, and froze 75 years of corn.
Picked, snapped, blanched, and froze three quarts of green beans.
Taught my girls math, language arts, science, and Bible for 3 1/2 hours.
Fed my family breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Bathed four dogs.
Bathed three kids.
Washed three loads of laundry.
Cleaned the litter box...twice.
Filled and emptied the dishwasher.
Completed all the paperwork to file for our Missouri adoption tax credit.
Made vision screening appointments for all three girls.
Completed the August budget for our household.

If anyone asks me if I "work" today I might just stomp on their foot!

Science and Math

OK, so I know this is only the first week of school, and I'm full of fresh ideas and not yet worn down by the daily grind, but I have to say that so far we're loving it! There are so many fun and interactive ways to learn. We have been learning that on the third day God created the seed-bearing plants and trees. So today we went outside and shucked a big bag of sweet corn. We learned that the kernels of corn are the seeds, what seeds need in order to grow, how to spell the word "corn," and then we had our math lesson. We counted all of the ears of corn (75), and then we separated them into stacks of 10 and learned about counting by 10s. Now we're getting ready to do our writing lesson. So far, so good!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Wal-Mart Education

Just in case you ever need this information...

If you find a baby kitten who doesn't even have its eyes open yet and decide to save it's little life and bottle feed it, you have still more to do. You see, one thing that most people don't know is that the mama kitty licks her sweet little babies' back ends. This stimulates them to "do their business." Without the deal! And a statistic thrown in -- this is why 97% of kittens who are bottle fed don't live. But don't worry, you don't have to lick the kitten's back end yourself. If you have a dog, they can do the job for you.

All of this during my five minutes in the Wal-Mart check-out line. A Wal-Mart cashier has much more to offer than meets the eye.

Monday, August 3, 2009

First Day of Kindergarten

Today was Ruby and Nora's first day of kindergarten! And, not to be left out, Elizabeth first day of Pre-K (she must do whatever her sisters do). We started the day with the girls' first exposure to the Pledge of Allegiance, which they thought was really cool since they've had a big interest lately in American flags. We then said a prayer -- we prayed that they would be good listeners and learn a lot today. Yes, prayer IS allowed in our school. Then we started our first lesson, using My Father's World curriculum. We worked on numbers, letters, and dexterity with scissors using the story of God creating the world. Pa (grandpa) even came by and gave them a music lesson. They loved that! Oh, and they loved recess too. They're excited about learning, and I'm excited about teaching them!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Shuckin' Corn

The girls got busy this evening shucking all of the corn for me! And the horses didn't mind too much either!