We went to LEGOLAND with our homeschool group this past week. It's the only way we can afford to go to such places.
We were able to take five of our girls, our daughter-in-law Arianne, and two grandsons. We had so much fun together. I enjoyed holding Stephen while his mom went on rides with Scott or the girls. I went on one ride, the little rollercoaster and thought I would die. I have no idea why since I love rollercoasters.
This is Addis. Aren't those Lego alligators something else?
Abi and Amy
Adah and Addis
Anna, Scott and me
Steve made the two oldest go down the slide together.
This is a tradition the day after Thanksgiving or anytime we have turkey throughout the year. You can freeze the turkey carcass and make the soup whenever you like. I've even made it while we've camped. Yum.
1 leftover turkey carcass
7 quarts of water (28 cups)
2/3 cup of Better than Bouillon or 8 chicken bouillon cubes
2 large onions, peeled and halved
8 whole peppercorns (or more)
4 bay leaves
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons pepper
2 cups chopped carrots
2 cups chopped celery
4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1 cup chopped onion
2 cups uncooked egg noodles
Place the first nine ingredients in a soup kettle or Dutch oven; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat; cover and simmer for one hour. Strain brother; discarding the carcass and any bones, halved onions, peppercorns, and bay leaves. Remove any turkey from the bones; set aside. Add bonedturkey, carrots, celery, potatoes, chopped onion and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for twenty minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Add noodles and return to a boil for ten minutes or until noodles are tender.
Yields: 7 quarts=24-28 servings.
We had heard Eyob of Kingdom Vision International was close as in an hour and a half away instead of continents away. Through a friend we were able to get in touch with one another, and we were able to meet for dinner with just a few hours notice. I picked the girls up from school and rushed them home to get ready. They had no idea so they were pretty surprised. I was able to take them, two of my boys, and Steve met us there.
We decided to meet for Mexican since we are in Southern California after all. He had Steve order for him and carne asada tacos were delivered shortly.
Eyob with five of the kids. (two had left to go to youth group)
Eyob with Meskerem-They are from the same area in Ethiopia. Can you see the similarities?
We adopted through CWA in 2007 with these two. He escorted us to the American Embassy and helped us with our interview and gathering their passports and visas. They were only eleven and fifteen months old when he last saw them. He kept telling me how spoiled Adah was. well....she is the baby.....
Addis first met Eyob in April 2008 when we visited KVI in Addis. We brought donations to the orphanage and he gave us a little tour of the facilities. He told us he has moved many times since then because the rent keeps going up and up.
John and Eyob. One time John was told by an Ethiopian female friend that he would be a missionary to Ethiopia. Maybe!
Back in 2007 it was Eyob's dream to visit the United States and visit the children he has helped into families. While I was there I remember him being so discouraged because once again they denied him permission to enter the United States. His fortitude and persistence paid off. We were so happy to see him!
Another reason for him visiting the USA is to raise funds for the ministry of KVI-Kingdom Vision International. His rent in one facility is $2400 a month. A previous donor has had to drop their funding of $10,000 a month leaving the ministry in a crisis situation. Many nannies and other workers have had to be laid off. Food is being stretched. If you are able to help with a monthly, annually, or even one time donation any amount is appreciated. As always he covets your prayers.
Last night we invited a few families over for New Year's Eve and ended up with over fifty people. Thankfully we live on four acres so the teens and younger kids were able to run around outside in the dark and sit by the bonfire.
We had French dip sandwiches which are just roast beef on roles served with Au jus gravy. I bought twenty pounds of chuck roast at Costco. In the morning I browned the roasts in olive oil and had grilled some onions at the same time. After they were browned I stuck them in the oven, three roasting pans in all, and then later in our electric roaster. Before everyone arrived I shredded the meat and started the Au jus gravy. We used little French rolls to hold the meat. Everyone brought drinks, desserts, appetizers, salads, s'more fixings, and a vegetarian lasagna.
The adults played Apples to Apples and the kids ran around having a great time. Some went home early, but almost forty people were still here at midnight. We had party horns, hats, beads, and sparkling cider to greet the new year.
This morning was clean-up time and later in the day a well deserved nap. I had all but one of my children home, and for that I am truly thankful.
This last year brought us two grandbabies, a high school graduation, an honor roll student, a daughter and her children moving in with us, and many other blessings. I know 2014 is bringing us an ending to our time with our son Joe as he heads off to boot camp in April. It brings Jesse and his family back to us though. We'll see Sarah and her family heading to their new duty station, and that's all I know about. I'm curious to see what the rest of the year holds. Happy New Year and hopefully you have a restful rest of the week.
So much has happened since I last posted. I'll go through my calendar and fill you in.
I put my two youngest daughters back in our local charter school where they're in first and second grades. I still have one daughter at home who is waiting for a spot in the third grade to open up. It's been good for her at home, but I am not diligent enough lately to enforce the learning that should be taking place. One son is changing schools, so will only go to the classroom two days a week instead of five.
We celebrated our 33rd anniversary. Joel had his 13th birthday, but unfortunately he was sick so we didn't celebrate like a 13th birthday should have been celebrated. Isaiah and Elizabeth both had their birthdays as well.
I decided that I wanted to get a job so I enrolled in a First Aid/CPR class, a food handler's course, got a typing certificate, applied for jobs, took tests, and went on job interviews. I interviewed at the post office and a school district. After sitting in the post office training and interview I knew that was not the job for me. My life would not be my work and that is what they were asking of the job applicants. I accepted a job at the school as a special education classroom asst. three hours a day, but had a knot in my stomach for a few weeks, sicknesses and personal issues kept creeping up in my family, and so I decided not to go forward with the job. It was a perfect job, perfect hours, but my job is in my home, for now.
My girls have been taking Amharic classes on Fridays. I took a class or two, but got behind and haven't been able to sit in the last few classes. Hopefully once they start back up in January I'll be able to sit in on the classes and catch tidbits of information that are handy to know.
James earned his driver's license. It helps to have another driver in the house. We bought back a car we had given to Sarah, and plan on letting James use it to drive around, but somehow I have lost both sets of keys. I have no idea how that happened, but it did. As Joe has been at home less and less it is really nice to have another driver around.
Speaking of Joe........he's going into the Coast Guard and has an April 15 boot camp date. I cried for days every time I thought about it. The thought that he won't be here any longer was tearing me up inside, but I know it's what he wants and part of his life plan, so in that I am happy for him. Just sad for me that I won't get to talk and see him every day. He's now working at Turning Point full-time since his first college semester is over. He would leave mid-semester so he withdrew his enrollment for the second semester.
My 8th graders have been learning about the Holocaust. They've been reading their textbooks, non-fiction, one went to the Museum of Tolerance, and two had two survivors come speak to their classroom. I'm glad they're learning about such important things and seeing and hearing first hand from those who experienced it. The speakers that came to the classroom were about the same age at the time of the holocaust as the students they were speaking to. That left an impression, to be sure.
I went to Jesse's for ten days. He and Sage have a new baby girl, Jaidyn Avery. She's as cute as a button. She gave her mommy a hard time during labor, but we all agreed she was worth it. Sage delivered at a birth center and I was able to attend. It was my first time in a birth center and I was impressed it. Even though her labor was very hard, she was able to work through it with Jesse's help and she did it medication free. The day before I left Jaidyn decided to make her appearance so I only spent about a day with her, but ultimately I wanted to be there for Jesse and Sage during the birth should they need any help, and that goal was accomplished.
I've had my sewing machine out and attempting to sew here and there. I made a wet bag for Arianne for her cloth diapers. I'm trying to sew a pair of rubber pants for a baby. I've also been working on a Bucilla Christmas stocking, but I need really good lighting for that, so if we're watching 24 then I can't work on it.
My son-in-law is here for the month of December to spend time with his family. Unfortunately he has to go back next week, and I know his little family will have a hard time without him. Hopefully time flies and May comes sooner than later.
We were able to go on a field trip to the beautiful San Diego zoo yesterday. Steve and I had our three grandchildren three and under, plus our youngest three girls. We did very well and had a great day. Steve took the first picture before we went in. He wanted some reference if anyone got lost during the day. When traveling with small children it happens. A lot. We didn't lose anyone yesterday!!
One time I lost a son there for forty-five minutes. I was a nervous wreck. He on the other hand was walking around looking at the monkeys. Another time I lost a son when we were there with elderly relatives. We had stopped and were debating if we should go on the bus tour or not. He took his time into his own hands and actually went to the bus tour spot and stood in line. Once we went to LEGOLAND and a son told the security officers he was "losed." And yet another was lost at Disneyland. Our youngest son got away from us. My husband told security our son wouldn't ask for help (he's a non-talker to strangers and pretty much to people he knows anyways) he would just walk around until found. And that's what he did.
Another strategy we have used before is placing a business card or our number in the child's pocket in case they're lost.