Thursday, June 24, 2010

Puppy Love

Summertime is fun. But sometimes when you are having the time of your life something unexpected happens.

Pumpkin experienced the unexpected today as he went flying off of a bike and into gravel at a friend's house today. I got a call from M&M that sounded urgent, saying that I had better come quickly because there was a rock in his knee.

Foreign objects in body parts was enough to send me running. When I got to the house he was a bloody blubbering mess. I don't believe that I have ever seen one of my children bleeding from so many places all at once. He is my oldest boy, so I guess this is just the beginning.

I was informed that the rock had been dislodged, but he may need stitches. What I saw was more than my medical expertise could handle. I am so thankful for the ability to go to the doctor and be seen right away.

The lovely nurse at the clinic put numbing gel in four places and came back after 30 minutes and scrubbed his wounds. He ended up needing four stitches and thanks to the numbing gel, he did not feel a thing.

While in the office, I reminded him that he told me last month that he wanted to be a dirt bike racer when he grew up. I think that is out.

He has gashes on both knees, one elbow and a hip. He will be very sore for a while. But he is still all in one piece. Thank you God for your protection.

After dinner I found him laying on the floor with his head in our puppy's bed. I know exactly how he feels. Our sweet puppy is very comforting when you have had a hard day. She's exactly what the doctor ordered.
Sweet Momma

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Pumpkin's First Recital

This year Pumpkin Started taking piano lessons. He has enjoyed the process and is always excited to share a new song with anyone who will listen.

So, what does a seven year old boy play for his first recital? Boy tunes of course.

We are proud to introduce Pumpkin, playing "Meet the Flintstones" and "Star Wars."
Sweet Momma

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Sweet Pea and Her Busy Fingers

Her is a sample of Sweet Pea's recital pieces. She played "Jig" and "Busy Fingers."

She has really improved this year. She has experienced the joys of improvement with diligent practice. And also that piano ability does not improve without practice. She is growing into such a lovely young lady. We are all so proud of her.
Sweet Momma

Monday, June 14, 2010

M&M's Music Box Dancer

M&M has improved so much this year. This song makes me happy. I love to see her expression through her music. She is such a beautiful young lady.
Please enjoy.
Sweet Momma

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Northwest Trek

We had so much fun watching the otters swim. While we were watching them, the keepers of the otters fed them a big block of ice with fish frozen in it. It was funny to watch them eat their lunch.

We have had soooooo much rain this spring. There have been very few sunny days.

I think summer is finally here. We have had two days of sun. Those of us that live in western Washington have learned to get out and enjoy the sun when it is out. So after church today we packed up the family and went to Northwest Trek.

Northwest Trek is 430 acres of land where animals that are native to Washington are allowed to roam free. There is a tram ride that allows a very close view of many of the animals.

We saw many more animals than I expected to. Our favorites were the otters and all the babies on the tram ride. (Deer, bison, big horn sheep)

It was a great time together. Any time that I can spend time in the woods, I am happy.
Sweet Momma

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Pizza Anyone?

It is the time of the year for our piano recital. I love to listen to my children practice piano and work to perfect a piece for the recital. We have four children in the recital this year and will have five next year, so there is a lot of music at our house.

Elsie has enjoyed playing "The Maple Leaf Rag" by Scott Joplin. She loves to play it really FAST! Every time she gets going, Stand-Up Dad and I are reminded of a pizza place called Shakey's that always has music like this playing. It is funny how your senses can be stirred.

I do not know how to play piano, but have always said that if I could play, this type of music is the kind I would want to play. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Sweet Momma

Thursday, June 10, 2010

She's Been Adopted Again!!!

Last night Sunshine prayed a prayer that will change her life for eternity! She asked Jesus to forgive her sins and come and live in her heart! We are so happy for her.

Since she came home she has been so interested to learn more about Jesus and who he is. We have introduced the concept of sin and that we are all sinners. She has had a lot of opportunity to deal with sin and is trying hard to do what is right. I have felt that she understood the concept of asking for forgiveness of sins and have been waiting until she asked for my help to do it.

Last night at bedtime she said that she wanted to pray the prayer where Jesus forgives her. I led her in the prayer and she said, "I feel better."

Praise God for His faithfulness! We are rejoicing with the angels in heaven for one more soul that will spend eternity in heaven with Jesus. She's been adopted into the family of God and we couldn't be happier.
Sweet Momma

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

New Information Can Heal the Heart

Stand-Up Dad and I are working on our re-adopt of our two new kiddos. When we were going through the adoption process, the Ethiopian courts declared them legally ours before we had met them. It sounds weird, but that is how they did it. Because of this, the US would not consider them US citizens upon entering the United States. We need to complete more paperwork in order for them to become US citizens.

While in the process we have had copies of all of their important adoption papers out where Sunshine and Little Buddy could see them. It has been very interesting to get their reaction as we show them all of the papers with their pictures on them.

Tonight while the other kids were busy I spent a couple of hours with Sunshine talking about Ethiopia. I asked her to describe in detail the house where she lived. We even drew a picture of the rooms and beds, etc. As we talked and she shared her world in Ethiopia with me it occurred to me that she did not understand how she came to live at our house. We looked at the precious picture of her house and talked about how there were not enough beds for everyone and not enough food. I shared with her that her oldest sisters knew that it would be better for her and Little Buddy to go and live at the orphanage where they would have food and clothes and a bed to sleep on. Her siblings were very sad, because they loved her, but they knew it was best for her and Little Buddy. This was new information for Sunshine.

I went on to tell her that while she was at the orphanage, her sisters decided that it would be even better for a family from America to adopt them and care for them always. It was so hard for them to let go of their little siblings, but they knew it was best.

I got the papers and showed Sunshine where her sister had signed her name giving us permission to be her new Mommy and Daddy. She was amazed! I asked her, "Did you think that Mommy and Daddy could just come and take you away?" She said, "Yes, I thought that was what you did."

I promised her that there was no way that Daddy and I could just come and take her away without her sister's permission. Her sister wanted us to be her new Mommy and Daddy. You could see the relief on her face.

How does a five year old carry such a burden in her heart? She seems so happy each day, and at the same time is thinking that we have taken her away from her family without permission.

She jumped into my arms and told me how happy she is to live here with us. I told her that I know how she must miss her family and that I know that they miss her too. She shared how she wants to be there and here. She knows that this is a wonderful place to live, but the land and the family of her birth will always be first.

I am thankful for all her memories. I will do my best to keep them fresh as she continues to fill her head with new memories. Please pray for her and Little Buddy as they continue to process all this very deep stuff.

Before bed I asked her if she felt better knowing that her family wanted her to live with us...YES, was the resounding reply, followed by a huge hug.

Thank you God for beginning to heal a little bit of the hurt in her heart tonight.
Sweet Momma

Friday, June 4, 2010

Some Favorite Sayings...

I hope it is not poking fun at language acquisition to share some of my favorite sayings.

It's lidicous (delicious)! - Sunshine

I have to go very HARD! (I need to go to the bathroom. Sorry if you find this inappropriate.=)
Little Buddy

Picksa (pizza) - both kids, I never realized how hard this is to pronounce. We have tried repeatedly and this is still what comes out.

I need to go to the restaurant! (restroom) - Sunshine

We have watched our little ones go from very little english to almost fluent in english in just six months. We found our list of Tigrynia phrases that we used in Ethiopia and when we got home. Things like: stop, wait, are you hungry, share, enough. We quizzed both of them to see what they still remember. Little Buddy has forgotten everything. I was completely amazed. I can only assume that a three year old is in the throws of language acquisition and can only hang on to what they are using daily. Sunshine remembers a little bit. I can tell that it bothers her a little bit that she can't remember.

Little Buddy doesn't seem to mind. He says, "I am all english now!" There is still much to learn, but at least we are communicating very well.
Sweet Momma

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The fun and excitement of 5 siblings!!

Hello everyone. M&M here.
At my house, Life is never boring, especially in the evenings. After dinner, everyone (including me) has a lot of energy and is ready for fun. Tonight was no exception. Elsie and I were moving the kitchen chairs from the floor to the carpet in order to mop when Pumpkin had the brilliant idea to make a blanket fort. Us kids love to make forts, tents, and hideouts using blankets, rubber bands, and chairs or bed rails. While Elsie was sweeping the floor before I mopped, Pumpkin, Sunshine, Little Buddy, and I were making the fort by securing blankets to the tops of kitchen chairs with rubber bands. I must say (in all modesty, mind you) that I am an expert when it comes to blanket forts. Give me rubber bands and blankets, and I will go crazy. Anyway, after the fort was finished, we all had bunches of fun climbing through it, (the fort doubled as a maze with the chairs) playing, and Pumpkin even read where there was light. When we had to take it down , even our dog joined in the fun.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Six Months with Six Kids!!!

Wow! I can't believe that today marks six months with our two newest. In the early weeks, when they were home, I prayed for this day. I just knew that "things" would get better with time. I knew that June would bring summer, the end of another home schooling year and a more time to slow down.

My summer schedule is already filling up, so I will call it a different kind of busy than the school year.=)

So, how is everyone doing after six months? Each time a person is added to a family the roles change. We have all adjusted to these little ones. The process for Stand-Up Dad and I has been interesting. Just as no one can prepare you for being a parent of a baby, no one can prepare you for the adoption of two older children. I believe that our two have made an amazing adjustment to life in our home, but that does not mean that it has been easy.

As the Mom I found myself beyond overwhelmed. I was working to make these new ones feel safe and loved and wanted. At the same time my older children were going through some serious adjustments as well and needed reassurance and attention. These needs often worked against each other. These were the times that God showed me how useless I was on my own and reminded me that He alone is the healer of hurts. He is the one who can fix the broken places and weave families together.

There were quite a few days that I did not want to get out of bed. But I did . . . and I kept getting out of bed and every day God worked through my children and Stand-Up Dad and I. Here we are after six months claiming God's faithfulness through it all. We know that there is more adjusting to come, but we are well on our way.

Elsie and M&M love having Little Buddy and Sunshine in our home. They have been an extraordinary help to me as they clean and cook and generally fill-in when Mom is being the Mommy. It takes so much time to train little ones who have not been in our home for the first five years of life.

Sweet Pea loves having a little sister. She now shares a room with Sunshine and is learning how to love and show empathy to Sunshine. This new sister has pushed Sweet Pea beyond her comfort zone in a good way. She is very happy that her sister is very neat and enjoys a tidy room just as much as she does.

Pumpkin also is sharing a room for the first time with Little Buddy. Words cannot describe how happy he is to have a little brother. I know he wishes that Little Buddy was seven like he is and can get frustrated at three-year-old behaviors, but it has been good for him. He is finally learning how to be a big brother after seven years as the littlest in our home. Each day he is working on what it looks like to be a big brother. I am very proud of the strides he has made.

Sunshine is such an amazing little girl. She is so smart and is constantly quizzing us in the car as she tries to learn her math facts. She has a constant drive and is very diligent and purposeful at work and play. She has learned that things work best when we work together to complete a task rather than trying to do it all by herself. She is learning that letting Mom and Dad be in charge is a good thing. She has a wonderful sense of humor. She understands when you are joking and can quickly throw one right back at you. She is amazed by God's love for her and has a burden for her family back in Ethiopia. She knows that they do not know about Jesus and is anxious for them to know of His love for them. Please pray with us that someone would share the good news of Jesus Christ with them.

Little Buddy is the most wonderful three year old I have ever met. He has energy that never quits, yet he is able to sit quietly through church. I have enjoyed watching him transition from a little boy who is overtly silly (to get attention), to a little boy who has appropriate silly moments. He should actually have silly as his middle name. He is a riot. He is not afraid of anything. That is to say that he will try anything. We recently let him play in a pool for the first time and he learned a respect for water and breathing air instead of water.=) He is very affectionate and has completely blossomed having a Mommy and a Daddy. He has grieved hard for his family in Ethiopia. He still struggles with this. Just tonight, he had me in tears as he prayed for them and shared how sad he was over the loss of one of his family members. Easter was hard for him. He thought that if Jesus could raise from the dead, so could that person that he lost. Oh, that was a difficult conversation. Yes, I have been stretched in many ways. I feel so thankful that he feels safe enough with us to let us help him grieve.

It is true that I cannot imagine my life without these two in it. They have made our home complete and been living reminders of what is really important in life. I can't wait to see how God will use our family for His good purpose in the future.

Please continue to pray for us. This process takes a long time. There is so much to teach them and our family continues to grow through the process.

I give all the praise and glory to God that a year and a half ago we said yes to God and began this amazing adventure.

Sweet Momma