Thursday, June 28, 2007
After a long day at the beach we were worn out. A video had arrived that I had ordered from Amazon.com. It was rated G so we all went up to mom & dad's room and watched. I loved it!
It was filmed in Ethiopia about an Ethiopian. Haile Gebrselassie won a Gold Medal at the Atlanta Olympic Games. This is his true-life story of how hard he worked and what he overcame to become the fastest Olympic long distance runner in the world. He would run six miles to school and six miles back, go three aways each way to fetch water, and work in the fields for his father.
Some of the characters are played by his real-life family. It gave us a glimpse into what Ethiopia looks like. At one point he moves to Addis Ababa and it showed some city scenes. Steve & I are going to Addis Ababa so we were more than a little interested to catch a peek. We gained insight into the family dynamics, how they live, and how hard they work just to survive. You'll hear them speak in their language as well as their music.
I recommend Endurance. It's from the Walt Disney Co. and the ISBN is 0-7888-1456-7. The running time is 83 minutes.
To learn more about Haile Gebrselassie go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haile_Gebrselassie
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
This is a really neat live webcam from a watering hole in Africa. If you visit at different times of the day you can see all sorts of Africa wildlife visiting the watering hole and you can hear all of the noises they make. It is very fascinating!
(thanks Sharra, Homeschoolblogger.com/Indiana)
We go to Class Days twice a month. I have helped in various areas such as playground duty, nursery, clean-up team, Kindergarten teacher, Art 1-3 lead teacher and Science 1-3 lead teacher. They keep our records and act as an umbrella between us and the government. They also offer SAT prep classes and high school courses for my older kids. Jesse took Honors Chemistry this year and received a B+. We have promotion and graduation ceremonies, field trips, clubs, and just all kinds of fun stuff.
Anyways, the not so fun stuff is to keep track and turn in our grades four times a year. This week our fourth quarter grades are due. Ugh! I have six children that homeschool so I need to go through each of their subjects, figure out what they've done, and what grade they've earned. It's the part of homeschooling I hate the most. Okay, phonics is second, but figuring out grades is defintely tops in my book. At least I can now do all of this online, so no more filling out endless amounts of paper. I finished Joel & John last night since they're the easiest.
Joel's subjects were:
Science (Class Day)
Art (Class Day)
John's subjects were:
Science (Class Day)
Music (He started piano lessons again)
Art (Class Day)
PE (Class Day & home)
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
So to answer the questions she posed:
Why are we doing this? God has allowed us to. He has opened our hearts. We want more children, these children need parents. We wanted to invest in eternal things instead of material things. We were thinking about buying a motorhome and cruising the USA. We decided instead to invest it in children. We know the blessings that come from family and want to grow ours.
Why didn't we adopt from the states? The foster system didn't want us two years ago because of our dry seasonal creek. They wanted us to put up a six foot fence the length of our four acre property. We point blank told them that was the only thing we wouldn't do. We would go through any other hoop, but that one. Also we're older, in our late 40's, most babies would be placed with much younger parents. We also didn't want to deal with a birth mom. We've been there, done that.
Are we getting paid? Are you kidding me? I don't understand why people in the U.S. get paid to adopt. I don't get paid for my bio kids. Why should I get paid to take in adopted children? We have to pay fees for these children, and the fees aren't cheap! We have to pay for a homestudy, birth certificates, marriage certificates, immigration document fees, fingerprinting, notaries, document translations, agency fees, international fees, visa fees, passport fees, medical exams, visas, police clearance letters, and our airline travel and hotel in Addis.
Just for the record: Our adopted daughters will be our "real" daughters. No, they're not blood related, but they're ours. I'll love them, change their diapers, clean their bottoms, comfort them, love them, soothe them, wash their laundry, make sure they're dressed modestly, feed them, educate them, protect them, be up rocking them in the middle of the night, love them, and play with them. The only thing that will be different between in how I mother these two girls will be that I wasn't able to nurse them. I've had two radioactive treatment in the last two years for thyroid cancer, and the treatment did go to the breast tissue. I don't wish to activate that without a pregnancy.
In all other ways, these girls will be my "real" daughters. When you see an adoptive family. Watch your questions and your statements. Don't sound ignorant. We know you're smarter than that.
We have an email in to our doctor to see what her take is, but we're hopeful that everything looks okay!
Monday, June 25, 2007
We should get Derartu's tomorrow!
Sunday, June 24, 2007
From their website:
Ethiopia Reads believes that education is the key to improving the lives of the next generation of Ethiopians, a country filled with children, and that books are the key to fostering a genuine love of learning. Yet books are a scant resource in Ethiopia, which has been named one of the three poorest countries in the world, with a life expectancy of 41 years. While new schools are being built at a rapid rate, teaching is by rote in overcrowded classrooms. In the poor neighborhood where Ethiopia Reads established the first children’s library in the country, for example, there are 180 children per class who attend half-day sessions. Yet enthusiasm and demand for learning is very high: When Ethiopians are asked what they need most, they often say “education.” Ethiopia Reads is the only organization in Ethiopia whose only focus is on putting books into the hands of children and encouraging literacy.
About The Mesgana Dancers of Ethiopia
The Mesgana Dancers of Ethiopia are 10 girls, age 7-12, who perform traditional dances and song from across Ethiopia, while wearing traditional costume. The Mesgana Dancers show is a heart-warming celebration of Ethiopian culture with music and moves to get the whole family dancing and clapping. Last year's tour was a huge hit, making The Mesgana Dancers celebrities both in the United States and Ethiopia. They performed to sold-out crowds across the country, entertaining audiences that included thousands of Ethiopian-Americans.
The Mesgana Dancers are ambassadors of hope for all children in Ethiopia. As the world’s attention turns ever more towards finding solutions to the problems in Africa, The Mesgana Dancers bring a message of hope and celebration, as well as a positive and life-affirming glimpse of Ethiopian culture. All of the Mesgana Dancers are sponsored through COEEF’s school tuition program in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
For more info go here: http://www.mesgana.com/
My husband and Barbara, a wonderful lady at church, are teaching the elementary aged kids this summer and will focus on The Ten Commandments. Steve did a great job today and the kids seemed excited about what they were learning!
The other two boys, James and Joe, were in a different group. They practiced skeet shooting and target shooting with a .22. James only did the .22 shooting as the other guns were too loud for him. He has Autism Spectrum Disorder and hears things much louder than I do. He was pale white and clammy when I went to check on him so I took him away from the group, let him listen to my iPod with me, got him some cold water and he recovered quickly.
They fed us a bbq lunch of hamburgers & hot dogs and then went onto the raffle and prizes. Steve participated in a silent auction and won a duck picture that is now hanging above our fireplace. The boys each received prizes, as all the kids did. For the second year in a row John was the last number picked. I told him he was learning patience and hope. Patience at not having his number called and hope that it would soon be called. For his diligence he picked a pocketknife, a baseball glove, and a slingshot. Joel picked some Nerf type balls, a slingshot and a bicycle helmet. Joe came away with a gun, and I'm not sure about James. He was quite happy with what he got, but I don't remember what it was.
After the prize give-aways were over we headed to the fishing pond with three other families. We had a great time and for the second year in a row I baited hooks with LIVE mealworms and took a few fish off the hook for my boys. After we had our fill of fishing and filling the fishing bucket for Kevin we decided we were all absolutely starving and headed over to Marechiaro's Italian Restaurant for dinner. We picked up another family and Jared, Miranda and Jake on the way by cell phone communication. By the time everyone showed up we had about twenty-four to twenty-five people. It was so much fun! We had about six pizzas and dinner salads for the adults.
I then came home and had a hot cup of tea with a Weight Watcher chocolate caramel bar. I'll have to post pics another time as my camera is not working because the battery went dead.
Friday, June 22, 2007
Yesterday he left for this year's DLT and I think they went to Palm Springs to a timeshare. The girls aren't supposed to know where the guys are going and since Sarah qualifies as a girl, I didn't get to know either (because I would tell her) except through what Steve told me. So we're envisioning them sleeping through the morning hours, swimming and eating in the afternoon, and playing Risk until the wee hours of the morning. What a life......................
Now Sarah is going on a GGG. What is GGG you ask? Well Sarah isn't even sure what it stands for. Is it Godly Girls Get-Away? Girls Godly Get-Away? They're taking the rough road this year. They're going camping for a night with a pregnant leader! This oughta be fun!!!
I'll report back next week how their trips went. By the way.......my house is very peaceful right now. Ssshhhh...........
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Items for Adah Derartu
Items for Anna Mihret
I think I'm going shopping to get some items for the girls. Normally another family who is traveling to pick up their children willingly takes a gallon sized ziplock bag full of goodies. I have photo albums ready and even though they're only eight months and fourteen months, give or take a few months, they can get used to looking at us as we are doing with them. We have their pictures on our fridge so we can gaze at them daily.
It's finally happening!!! Please pray that we have a successful court date before July 23. We would really like to travel in August while school is out. I home educate my children and this would just be the best time for me, but I know the Lord is in charge.
Thank you, Lord, for blessing us with two new lives.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
We're waiting on word when Derartu will be moved. She is in a orphanage in the same city as the foster home so hopefully it won't be too far away. Please pray that somehow we get a successful court date before July 23. Otherwise it won't be until September when the courts reopen. We want our girls home with us!
Usually I don't teach anything but math and language arts until they're reading really well. All of them are bored with the A Beka readers and I need an alternative. This year they'll focus on missionaries, the world and exploring diverse countries while learning geography. I think we'll use A Beka & Saxon math and continue with A Beka or Easy Grammar for Language.
I do need to figure out what my senior and junior will be doing. I know they're taking American Govt. and Economics at Class Day. Jesse should probably take Physics too.
Kisses in the Wind
I hold you in my heart and touch you in my dreams.
You are here each day with me, at least that's how it seems.
I know you wonder where we are ... what is taking us so long.
But remember that we love you and God will keep you strong.
Now go outside and feel the breeze and let it touch your skin...
Because tonight as always, we blow you kisses in the wind.
May God hold you in His hand till we can be with you.
We promise you, my darling, we're doing all that we can do.
Soon we'll be a family for real, not just pretend.
But tonight, as always, we blow you kisses in the wind.
Monday, June 18, 2007
We, of course, waved frantically at Jared yelling, "Hi son!!!!", "Hi son!!!" He cracked a very faint smile to let us know he saw us, and we tried to behave and not get him into trouble. The cadets then marched off to get cooled off in the rec room since it was about 90* outside and they had these wool jackets on. HOT!
We found our seats in the auditorium and waited for the ceremony to begin. We were so excited and proud of him. He made it. He ranked tenth in a class of 131. 49 cadets dropped out, 4 women out of 18 made it. This program is tough and as was stated they are "the elite of the elite."
After the ceremonies he went back to his room to change and we walked around the campus a little. We found the Museum and couldn't resist taking his picture with a picture. He did get a season on DVD at his party from his friend Jim. (along with some of those great cop glasses) We also went over to watch the motorcycle and car show. My little boys would have went crazy. The guys and (girl) driving were spectacular. Amazing is the only word to describe them!
She drove us back to the airport so he could finish packing. They were driving back since his car was there. We waited at the airport for hours and wished we were home. We saw our good friend Mark on the plane when we walked on. I was so happy to see him. p>
Saturday we threw a party for him. Lots of friends came. Faces we hadn't seen in a long time. I was so happy that if I were a balloon I would have burst!
Now they're off to the Bahamas for a short cruise and he reports to duty next Monday.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
The sun wasn't shining and there was a chill in the air. The sky was gray with clouds and the sand was wet. The boys were having fun though. They built a sandcastle with their hands and swam in the COLD water. We headed home and wouldn't you know, just as we hit Hwy 52 the sun was shining. We're talking five minutes away. There was a sixteen degree temperature change from the beach to my house. It was 91 at my house today, summertime hot.
Before we went to the beach I went shopping online. I started browsing Large Family Logistics (you can find the link to the right) and found a book that looked interesting, and since I am a book queen, I had to have it. The book is The Family Nobody Wanted by Helen Doss. You can find it at Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/Family-Nobody-Wanted-Helen-Doss/dp/155553502X/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/002-6704819-8714428?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1181785016&sr=8-1
I also bought Loved By Choice: True Stories That Celebrate Adoption and Acres of Hope: The Miraculous Story of One Family's Gift of Love to Children...
At the beach I started reading Pigs In a Taxi and Other African Adventures by Suzanne Crocker. A hilarious book about her missionary times in Africa. I'm just in to the first few pages and I love this book. If you like missions you need to get it! (If you look it up on Amazon the description of the book they have has nothing to do with the book. Oops!)
Now onto Costco. Our oldest son graduates Friday from the California Highway Patrol Academy. He's been in the program for the last six months and ranks tenth out of 160. They started with well over two hundred and many were fired or dropped out. He's done a great job and we're very proud of him. Anyways, we're throwing him a party on Saturday. We ordered six huge deli sandwiches which should feed about 150 people. I ordered a cake from Costco and bought salads, fruit, cookies, etc.... to go with it. We still need to get the table ware, but we're almost there! We're gone Friday to the graduation so my hubby didn't want me to have to cook. What a guy!
I also bought shoes from Target. I need to dress-up for the graduation ceremon in Sacramento, and my dress-up shoes are not comfy at all. We leave bright and early Friday a.m. to fly up and don't return until late p.m. I found a pair of black ballet flat type shoes as a back-up. I'm all about comfort, almost too old to worry too much about style anymore.
Crazy Thoughts: I feel a pull towards Liberia and adoption. I have an inkling this is the Lord's doing and He's preparing us. It just came out of no where. We don't even have our two from Ethiopia home and I'm thinking about more?! I talked to Steve and he said we'll talk, but maybe we need to get the girls home and settled first and go from there. Sounds good. Crazy thoughts keep runnin' through my brain though! I printed off paperwork from Acres of Hope Liberia. We'll see where the Lord leads...............................
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Each week the boys received tokens and a wristband for the arcade next store. We've saved them and some boring day this summer we'll go spend them. They also had pizza and drinks yesterday as part of the deal!
I suggested that the bowling alley have leagues earlier in the day during the summer. We would join again, but hate going at 4:00 in the afternoon. By the time we get home to eat it's 6:00. We like to be done with outside activities by late afternoon except for soccer season from August-November. Apparently they keep schedule with the schools, can you picture me rolling my eyes now, and parent's work schedules. Never mind the countless kids that have a WHOLE summer with nothing to do all day and parents who don't work or work late shifts. I guess they can't find thirty kids or so out of the probably 200,000 people that live in the nearby communities. Whatever! I've got four just in my family!
Monday, June 11, 2007
Darartu (blooming flower)
Did you know Adah is the second woman mentioned in the Bible? I didn't!
Sunday, June 10, 2007
We have four acres so we had it outside under the oak trees. It was so beautiful! The company was delightful and the food was yummy! We had chicken tostadas with all the fixin's. We bbqed the packaged and seasoned pollo asada, then cut it up into smaller pieces. Since I'm on Weight Watchers I decided not to use the tortilla shell and just made a chicken type salad. I was able to buy shredded lettuce, diced onion, and cleaned cilantro in bags! It made the work so much easier. I topped it off with my homemade guacamole. You can't beat it! We also had fresh strawberries, carrots, tortilla chips and Spanish rice.
juice from a lemon
1 tsp salt
few drops of hot sauce
That's it! No mayo!!!! YUCK!!!!
Your tongue will love you.
We had vanilla ice cream with the toppings and Chips Ahoy cookies for dessert.
Hope you're having a great Sunday!
Unfortunately the courts in Ethiopia close on July 23 for four-six weeks. There is only one judge in all of Ethiopia hearing adoption cases so it is likely that we would not travel to get them until the fall. After the court date they are legally ours and we travel about three weeks or so later to pick them up! We're excited! James has already figured he gets one and I get one, no extras to share with anyone!
Friday, June 8, 2007
It's a long, knee length swim skirt! Now I won't feel so "naked" if I see someone I know at the beach this summer.
What you may not know about me is that I don't wear shorts anymore. A few years ago my husband asked me to not wear pants or shorts. I do have two pair of exercise type lounge pants that I wear when I just don't feel like ironing or I know I'm not going anywhere and want to get dressed quickly. I had one of these pants on the other day when my daughter-in-law stopped by, and she was freaking out because she had never seen me in pants.
I have found that for the most part I like to wear dresses and skirts. Since I've gotten used to being more covered up I thought extending the cover-up over to my swimwear only made sense. I also don't show any cleavage. Years ago my boys were quite concerned when they could see, and realized that other people could see my cleavage. Since then I've bought scoopneck type swimsuits, no more v-necks. When I was nursing it really made it a challenge, but I would just put a blanket/towel over myself when we needed to nurse at the beach.
Change is a process, and sometimes it takes years, and sometimes I just "get it." This year I'm "getting it."
Thursday, June 7, 2007
My seventeen year old son loves Risk. I don't know how to play Risk, but I've heard once you play you're addicted; especially if you're competitive. I'm not, but my husband is. Last night our youth pastor and our pastor's son (late 20's-early 30's) were over until 11pm playing Risk with Jesse. They have Risk parties.
When we go camping or on a Friday night Steve and I will play Dominoes. On July 4th last year we played dominoes for about five hours. Sarah played with us and we had a blast.
What games does your family enjoy?
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
We have accepted the referral of the two girls. Our agency needs to check with the grandmother of one of the girls to see if she would allow the three year old brother to come with her. In my mind I assumed we were adopting three. We paid the fees for three. Is this God's plan though? My trivial prayers don't seem to be enough. There is nothing on my end that I can do to bring home (N) who could be our son. So I wait. I wait on the Lord. I do things within my control.
I paint rooms, I sew skirts, I clean bathrooms, do loads and loads of laundry of each day, and all those mindless things that one must do each day to keep a family of eight running. Actually I should say ten. We do have two older boys. My second son was quite miffed the other night when I was attending my eleven year old son's violin concert, and he was not able to get ahold of me by cell phone. I was instructed that I should always have it in my hand or lap on vibrate. Oh really?! I always say I don't have seven sons, I have eight husbands. Can't we add (N) and make it nine?