Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Berry Picking!

Our family loves to go berry picking. Every summer we find a farm or patch of berries where the owners let us do the picking ourselves. We have been going with friends for years. Today I went with our friends and just my two oldest to pick raspberries. Yummm!

I love to hear the kids start to salivate as we talk about raspberry pie and raspberry ice cream and raspberry jam. They are delicious! Are you getting hungry?

The best part of today was realizing how all those years of berry picking are finally paying off. My girls are great berry pickers. We came home with 14 pounds in just over an hour.

Now it's time to teach them to make jam!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Our Special Dad

At the Tacoma Rainiers game on Father's Day

Hi everybody!! We kids just wanted to say how much we appreciate our Dad.

M&M says: My Dad is one of the best people I know. He sacrifices his daily time for us and our pleasures. My favorite time of day is when Dad walks in the door, ready to have some fun. I love telling him about my day, and knowing that He'll listen. I really enjoyed the looks on His face when he opens a present from me.

Pumpkin says: Why I like my Dad is because he always gives up his time to play with us even when he's tired. I like to have some just me and Daddy time and do some boy stuff together. He is the best Dad ever! I love him so much!

Sweet Pea says: My Dad is so special because he does a lot of things for us. He plays baseball with us. He tickles us. He prays with us. He makes good breakfasts. He teaches us more about how we can know God. He is so special to me and I love him.

Elsie says: A few of the reasons that my Dad is special is because he is so willing to help us and play with us. After a long day of working when he comes home, he always finds time for his children. I love how he cares about my character and tries to help me in my relationship with God. I feel like he is a picture of what our Heavenly Father's love must be like. He's the best Dad ever!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Meeting New Friends, Face to Face...

For many months now we have been following the blogs of a few families who have already adopted from Ethiopia. It is so exciting for us to watch these little ones come home and thrive in their forever families.

The truth is that we don't really know these people. Technology is so strange that way.

Last night we got the chance to meet several of these families in person. A family, not far from where we live, hosted a BBQ/get together for families in the area that have adopted from Ethiopia and those that are "waiting" like we are. The host family adopted a 4 year old boy in January. He is adorable and doing great. I even met a little 3 year old girl who has only been home for two weeks.

We were all thrilled to meet the Kerrigans and their twin boys Caleb and Eli. They are soooo cute. We have prayed so much for this family. It is fun to see the realities of prayers right in front of you. We also met the Fricks, who we saw at an informational meeting about adoption over a year ago. It is so neat to see how much their daughter has grown.

There were many families with their kids already home and that many more that are still waiting. I know I relished talking to other parents who are waiting like us. They completely understand what we're going through.

Our kids had an amazing time meeting new friends and playing with all the babies and toddlers. Last night as Stand-Up Dad was putting Elsie to bed, she said, "Meeting all these little ones from Ethiopia makes me miss little brother and sister even more."

I couldn't have said it better myself.
Sweet Momma

Spring Piano Recital

Our three girls have had the privilege of taking piano lessons over the last several years. I wake up every morning to someone practicing downstairs. I love it! There is nothing like their music filling our house.

This year they each improved greatly. It is fun to point out that the improvement is in direct correlation to a greater effort in consistent practice.

I hope you enjoy their progress as well.
Sweet Momma

Friday, June 19, 2009

Celebrate Good Times C'mon!

Hallelujah, we have finished another homeschool year and it is time to CELEBRATE! I am so proud of all four of my kiddos. They have worked extremely hard and have learned a lot. It is so amazing to see their progress from year to year. The best part for me is that I get to see that progress first hand all through the year.

Elsie has just completed 7th grade, M&M is done with 5th, Sweet Pea has completed 2nd, and Pumpkin is all done with Kindergarten. I am so happy to see how God is working in each of their lives and I look forward to what the next school year will bring.

For the last several years we have had a Homeschool Graduation Celebration with my brother and his family. They also homeschool their four children. We hand out Achievement Certificates and give the kids a chance to share a few of the things they learned or enjoyed over the past year. We BBQ, have water play and always compete in an obstacle course. It is tons of fun and a great way to end the year.

Summer fun, here we come!
Sweet Momma

Sunday, June 14, 2009

In Honor of Monica Haase

Our family has the privilege of knowing a wonderful family with four little girls. We met them several years ago at our church. We got to know the parents as we went through a parenting class together. Our children knew each other through Sunday school classes. The Haase family are part of the military. It came time for them to move out of our lives three years ago. I'd like to share a little of their story with you.

"Our daughter Monica was a sweet, sweet girl that loved to donate hair. The first time she donated it, she was 5. When she turned 7, she said, 'Mommy, I have pretty hair.' To which I responded, 'Yes honey, you do.' She then said, 'No I mean, I have really beautiful, thick, curly, hair. But I don't need it. There are other kids that need hair more than I do, and they would love to have my hair. So, that's what I am going to do for the rest of my life, grow it out and give it away.' So that weekend she donated her hair again. While traveling in July 2007, right after she turned 9, she had it cut again. On July 8th while traveling from Montana to Washington her family was in a terrible car accident and Monica and her little sisters Katie(5) and Sarah(4) were all killed instantly. Monica's braid was lost in the wreckage.
While we are all struggling with the why's and dealing with our grief, we would like to help others as Monica did. We will continue to collect hair and send it to Locks of Love in honor of Monica. Hair and monetary donations will be accepted. 100% of the proceeds will go to Locks of Love.
God Bless You All,
Melody, Kenton, and Vanessa Haase"

My girls, Elsie and M&M, heard about donating hair in honor of Monica and decided this was something that they wanted to do. They found very quickly that growing hair takes a long time. But they were so excited to donate their hair.

This week they had their hair cut. Would you consider growing and donating your hair in honor of Monica Haase?

If you are interested please call or email Melody Haase at (253)306-3012, kentandmel@hotmail.com

Sweet Momma

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Four Month Update

Time is flying and dragging all at the same time. This day marks four months of waiting for a referral since our dossier was complete.

Not much has changed except that we are done with our homeschooling year. Yahoo! We are all looking forward to a little more freedom and less activities.

This past week I painted Pumpkin's room and soon we will set up the bunk beds. He is so excited! He keeps telling me how beautiful the new colors are.

We are now #67 on the list of families at our agency. So in only 4 months there have been 45 referrals. That's not bad. We are soon approaching the rainy season in Ethiopia. There is so much rain and lack of paved roads that they close the courts for two months.

It is such a privilege to be a part of the adoption process. I feel blessed that our family is able to open our home and hearts to two more of God's little blessings. It is a very exciting adventure. Please continue to pray for us and our new little ones. Please pray for our patience as we wait for God's perfect timing.
Sweet Momma

Friday, June 5, 2009

Summer, Sprinklers & Sun

Grab your swimsuits and goggles. Come join the fun with a new sprinkler in the back yard!