Monday, July 30, 2007

Traveler's shots

Today Sarah and I went for our traveler's shots. We each received three. Our arms are sore so Steve just brought us Advil to help with the pain and possible fever that we were warned about.

We might need Yellow Fever shots, but I'm investigating that. Mosquitos aren't supposed to be a problem in Addis and Yellow Fever is transferred by mosquitos so I'm not sure we need it, but it was ordered. Got away with not getting it today though!

Jacob is sick

Please pray for Jake, our second son. He's fighting some kind of illness, but we're not sure what it is. He has lost about fifteen pounds in the last week and a half. They think it is a virus, but it shouldn't have gone on this long. All his blood work is coming back normal and he doesn't have "normal" mono. They did a blood test today for two other strains of mono and we find out the results tomorrow.

He goes to an infectious disease specialist tomorrow. We're also waiting for an abdominal ultra sound. He's vomiting, no appetite, can't think clearly, fatigue. He did receive Nystatin for a yeast infection in his mouth. Apparently he's not supposed to take acidic items into his system and he's been downing Vitamin C by the loads. The pharmacist also told him to take acidophilus.

Hopefully we'll find something out tomorrow. Please pray for him! Thank you!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Pictures of the girls!

Meheret/Mihret in February at about 8-12 months-We will call her Anna.

Derartu in December 2006 at about 2 months-We will call her Adah.

Anna Mihret~July 16 (We were told she did NOT want her picture taken!

Adah Derartu~July 16

She looks so serious! I think she was a little surprised by the flash!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Successful Courtdate!

We've been camping and not able to access a computer. Right now I'm at the local library and thought I'd post our good news! Our court date was successful on Monday. Both girls are ours!!!
Thank you for praying with us and for us. We appreciate you! Now we wait for paperwork on the Ethiopia end to get processed and then an embassy date.

Monday, July 16, 2007


Yesterday was packed from top to bottom. If it were a piece of luggage we wouldn't have been able to zip it closed! We started out by heading down to church where Steve gets the children's area ready for Sunday School. I checked on our VBS craft for the night to make sure I had all the parts & pieces. Since I was done and SS was still going on I headed down to the youth room figuring they would be sharing testimonies about camp at Hume Lake. They were showing a movie/video from Hume, but I must have missed the sharing time.

Went into the sanctuary and had a little quiet time while most of the other people were in front of the church socializing. We were having Dunkin' Donuts to go with our water VBS theme. A man from ICR (Institute of Creation Research) spoke about creation science. He was SO funny. I even got "the look" from Aaron (an 18yo) to quiet down from all my giggling. If you've never looked into creation vs. evolution I suggest you do. It comes down to foundation for me. If God made the world then what He says in the Bible is true and He gives us guidelines on how to live. If the world was made from nothing and no one was in charge of making it, then we have no one to answer to, no moral law. To me it is so simple, I can't fathom that people actually believe that they came from a fish or a monkey.

After church we had shaved ice and a dunk tank. Steve volunteered to go in and was dunked by his daughter pushing the button, the little cheater that she is. Our pastor, youth pastor, and some of the youth leaders also went in.

Then we headed to Presidio Park for Aaron's 18th birthday party. His mom had the BEST pasta salad there. The restaurant that made it made the whole thing, even the pasta, from scratch. The pastas were kind of like a cold cheese ravioli with a yummy well-seasoned topping. So good.

From there we headed back to church to get ready for VBS. Dinner was at 5:30. Opening at 6:30. Crafts, classes and games started at 7. I'm in charge of crafts and by the time I was done I had glitter all over my face. I still have some in my hair today.

I was dead tired by the time we got home. Steve made us some yummy popcorn and we called it a night!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Shopping and Preparing

I've been shopping for the girls and their arrival home. I did find another tandem stroller online that I hadn't seen and looked pretty close to the Eddie Bauer tandem, which I didn't see online either, but did see in the store. I LOVED it, it sits front and back instead of side-to-side and was light like an umbrella stroller, but I couldn't get this one button to work. The other one I bought was by Safety 1st. I'll take the Target one back when it gets here.

I put their beds up and switched dressers around. We're using the playpens until we know what their sleeping desires will be. We didn't want to spend money on cribs if they're going to sleep with us or even in the playpen in our room. With our other babies we put a crib right up to my side of the bed or we just didn't have a crib. I figured the playpens would be more portable too.

Most of their clothes have been washed. We got the cute dresses from Gymboree in the mail yesterday. I'm going to have them wear those for their embassy dates. I found sleepers and other outfits at Target and Old Navy.

I bought an Ergo baby carrier so I have something to help me carry the babies. I know my muscles aren't up to carrying 26 lbs and 13 lbs in either arm. I know if I have one in the carrier I can carry the other with my arm and hip.

Last thing I need to settle on is a diaper bag. I think I need one that goes over the shoulder, but has room for blankets and baby stuff. I have a great beach bag I could use, but the handle is more for your hand and not a shoulder.

We're in the home stretch! On the 23rd we should know something. Please pray that Meheret's family shows up for the hearing. Thank You!

Home School Book Sale

Today we loaded up the minivan with tables, books, dolls, cds, shades, and chairs and headed to a used curriculum book sale for home educators. Ever since we closed down our online bookstore we've been going to different sales and selling a little here and a little there.

We had an online bookstore and closed it when we started the adoption process, but we still have oodles and oodles of books! I think we're down to about ten totes or so.

The boys did great and even went shopping and found treasures of their own. I found some children's books that had black faces in them or was about Africa. One gem I found was about God loving all children of the world. It showed animated pictures of children from many, many countries. When I found a child from Ethiopia I was sold!

The books I found:
Peter's Chair by Ezra Jack Keats
Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain by Verna Aardema
African Wildlife Dioramas to Cut & Assemble (I found a dinosaur one for my boys too!)
Let's Talk About Children Around the World: God Loves Them All by Debby Anderson
Puzzle Map of California

It's fun to find treasures & gems; especially in the form of a book!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I've been shopping!

I found this car seat at I searched on for reviews. Shipping is free to the store; so why not? It's the Evenflo-Triumph and I ordered two.

Then I ordered this stroller from Target. It's the Graco DuoRider Colburn.

I was trying to buy the Jeep double umbrella stroller, but it's out of stock for 2-6 weeks. I'm taking a stroller with me to Ethiopia so I'll at least have somewhere to put the girls while I shower or whatever. I'm pretty sure I'm going before Steve; just not sure how much before.

I also bought a travel case for the stroller so I can check it with my luggage, but still have it somewhat protected.

Beach Day!

Today was beach day! We had fun, fun, fun, and more fun! We really didn't want to leave, but knew dad was at home waiting for us and we had to get back to real life.The boys had fun boogie boarding with their friends. James had fun watching the little ones and helping them stay out of trouble.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Oh my goodness!

How cute is this dress?

I bought one for each girl from Gymboree!


I'm pondering going as early as possible to be with the girls after their court date. Weighing the pros and cons. Our case worker doesn't recommend it. I'm emailing with another mom who has traveled early to pick up her son and she seems to think I would be okay.

You might know that I'm the adventurous type. I do things with my kids that other moms don't do. One of those things is that I actually enjoy my children. What a concept!!! I think those moms don't realize that doing things with your kids actually lets you BE a kid for a while. Who wants to be grown up all the time?

The thought of going to Ethiopia by myself for a while before Steve joins me isn't at all intimidating. I'm not there so I may change my mind when reality hits.


I've been cutting, tracing, organizing and glittering lately. I'm in charge of crafts at VBS this year. Last week I put each craft in its own box so I could see what I had and what I needed. I'll take pictures and show you when I can. Our VBS theme is Take the Plunge With Jesus, using water-waterpark to get the points across.

The first day we're doing an aquarium. I cut aquarium shapes out of blue foam, bought ocean foam shapes and then they'll glue and glitter. Goes with the story about the Miraculous Catch of Fish and obedience.

Second day: Cross sand art. They're filling plastic crosses with sand. I also have a One Way foam hand with Christian foam shapes and sequins/jewels if we have extra time. Story: Jesus and the Woman at the Well-Worship

Third day: Penguin wind sock --Big piece of black construction paper with black crepe paper streamers, white eyes, white chest, yellow beak and feet and black wings with the verse "Even the wind and the sea obey Him" Story: Jesus Calms the Storm/ Courage

Fourth day: Life preservers that say : Take the Plunge with Jesus They'll color those and put stickers and glitter on. Story: Jesus Walks on Water/Faith

Fifth day: foam lacing bookmarks Story: Jesus Washes the Disciples Feet/service (I've been debating about making plaster crafts as extras. After I get all my penguin pieces in place we'll see where I'm at.)

Our family went and passed out VBS flyers the last Saturday in June to the local military housing and apts. Hopefully we'll have lots of children to minister to and be blessed by.


Well we picked up two campers on Friday. Joe was so dirty and had a beanie on that when I saw him I didn't even recognize him! They both had a super time and John sang camp songs to me and Steve all night and the next day.

Here's a picture of the boys with their counselors:

Jared, John, Dynamite, Rico and Joe

Rico, Joe, White Fang (notice how tired my son looks)

Friday and Saturday found me doing laundry so Jesse, Sarah and Joe would have clean clothes when they left for camp on Sunday morning. They took off bright and early to go to Hume Lake for the week. Our big 15 passenger van went with them to carry bodies. Before they left Sarah was staking out her spot in the van, right under an air conditioning vent.

We got a call that they made it safe and sound Sunday afternoon.

Friday, July 6, 2007

We Have a Court Date for the Girls!!!

July 23rd!! Please pray with us that it is successful the first time. Pray that ALL paperwork is in order and everything is spelled correctly (with a name like Vikki it gets spelled every kind of way except the right way). Pray that if any family has to be present that they are there or the proper abandonment paperwork is in order. One family has had four unsuccessful court dates while others will have a successful first one. Pray that if something isn't in order that God would blind the judges eyes.

Once we have a successful court date then the girls are legally ours and we can share their beautiful faces with you! Then we need an embassy date and we can go get them. Woo Hoo!!!

By the way the courts close August 6 and don't reopen until October. So we REALLY need this to go through the first time.

Thanks for praying with us and for us.

Derartu has a cold & other adoption news

We got an email today that our youngest daughter has an upper respitory tract infection and the prescription of the medicine she is on. One little boy coming home this week has pneumonia. It's the rainy season in Ethiopia so as it is when we have winter, little ones get sick.

We found out the courts don't close Until August 6, so that gives us an extra two weeks for a court date. Then they're closed until October. It has been confirmed that two judges are now hearing cases instead of one. Until now there has been only one judge in ALL of Ethiopia hearing the adoption cases.

Please pray for the health of the children in the orphanages.

Library Reading Program

Yesterday I took James and Joel to the library. We signed up for the summer reading program. James is to read 800 pages and Joel is to read 300 pages. I'll have to read Joel's pages to him as he didn't do too well trying to read on his own. James has finished about six-seven books all ready! He picked out dinosaur books and has been devouring them since we've been home.

I signed up for the adult program. I just have to read five books. I'm in the middle of two books right now. I did pick up a book about Ethiopia that looks very interesting.

Before we went to the library we walked and I got two miles in and then after the library we went for some frozen yogurt. Yum!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Interrupted Plans

Before we left for fireworks last night James told us he had a tummy ache. We loaded him into the car anyways. As we were heading down our hill we realized how serious his tummyache was. He brought a big white bag in case he needed to throw up. WHAT!?? We decide that instead of parking along the street without access to a bathroom like we were going to do that maybe we should head over to our two oldest son's condo. We call Jake and he says we can come on over. Steve decides to take a trip down memory lane as we get to Jake's and drive by our old house, which really wasn't that far away, but when you have someone who doesn't feel good in the backseat, exiting the car asap sounds like a great plan to me. I had to TELL Steve to drive FASTER down the street and not the crawl that we were doing. No sooner did we drive up to the Jake's and James started vomiting-big time. He was able to get it into his white bag. Steve parks the car and I try to help James, but you know how it is when someone else is throwing up. I had to turn away or I would have joined him. I ran up to their condo and got a wet papertowel and a trashbag to put the white paperbag in. I pick up the paperbag and all the vomit pours out the moment. Okay, I almost lost it. Poor Steve, but not really, remember he was the one driving us around, took over and put the trash in the plastic trash bag. Ugh.....We go upstairs and let him rest for an hour.

Then I swear that we'll be able to see the fireworks from their balcony. Wrong! We piled into our minivan and went to a nearby hill to watch the show. We dropped them off at home afterwards, came home and had James brush his teeth. Kids, you gotta love 'em.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Happy Birthday America!!!

Joel asked me whose birthday it was today. I responded that it wasn't anyone's birthday. Then I caught myself! It is our country's birthday!! Happy Birthday America!! Hope you're enjoying your Fourth of July. We are!

We took a two mile walk this morning around the new track at the local high school. If you could have seen my six year old, you would know that life just can't get any better. He was walking, running and skipping! How long do guys actually skip? Do you see teen boys skipping? Older elementary boys skipping? How about any men that you know? This is what being six is all about. Skipping just because you want to and you can. Having legs that work and a brain that sends the right messages to the right parts. Thank you Lord for allowing him such movement and the freedom to do it!

We took the two boys to see Ratatouille. They loved it! We then went to Olive Garden for a late lunch/early dinner and then over to Cold Stone for some ice cream. Steve & I brought dessert home from Olive Garden so we'll have that later tonight.

Now I'm uploading songs to my iPod. I bought a bunch of songs from iTunes, but my internet connection is so slow it's having a hard time downloading them. I did get Queen and Hall & Oates to upload from a CD. I love MOST kinds of music (Christian & secular). In my car you'll find Loretta Lynn, VBS, Mercy Me, Newsboys, Country hymns & Scripture Rock. I'm having fun uploading songs that I don't usually get to listen to because as you all know the kids are in charge of the music in the car. Now I'm uploading Wings & their album Band On The Run.

Tonight we're going to watch fireworks and be extremely happy that we live in America where we have the freedom to go to church, listen to the music we want to, worship the Lord in the way we see fit, keep our own belongings and property, the ability to have more than one child, not be forced into an abortion for having a second child, and etc....

I last of all want to thank my brother who has been in the Air Force since 1988, and is now serving with the Army in Iraq in 125* weather. He had to leave behind his wife and two daughters to ensure our freedom. Thank you, Stevie. You're loved and appreciated for ALL you do and have sacrificed.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007


Yesterday I started walking. Four (Steve, me, James & Joel) of us walked a mile yesterday and today three (Me, James & Joel) of us walked. I was able to do 1 3/4 miles today and was ready for more, but needed to go. I had my IPod on and could have went forever listening to Blake Lewis & Chris Richardson from American Idol. I really need to figure out how my IPod works, I have no idea how to adjust the volume. I went to and found a sport skirt that's 20" long. That's the longest I've been able to find in the running, tennis, sport world. I've worn my regular skirts, but they're a little cumbersome. Tomorrow I'm going for the 2 mile!

Monday, July 2, 2007

Out with the old & in with the new!

Emptied our shelves of last year's school books!!! They're sitting in a laundry basket ready for Sarah to put away for me in our book cupboards. Our new books are sitting on the shelf and ready to go!

I love the way My Father's World looks. I'm going to go through the Kindergarten reading program with Joel. When acclerated there are twenty-six lessons to coincide with each letter of the alphabet. Then John, Joel & I will dive into the first grade reading. John didn't test so well in his reading. I think the A Beka readers were too hard, too many words & pages at once. MFW seems to be gentler in their approach. I want my guys to LOVE school not dread it like they do now. I want to like it too! I should be homeschooling until the year 2024. YIKES! I'll be ready for Social Security!!!

I also bought Singapore Math for John & Joel, Saxon for James, Joe & Sarah & Chalk Dust Pre-Calculus on DVD.

Spelling Power for spelling.

Grammar lesson books recommended by My Father's World. Reminds me of books from the 50's.

Writing Strands for Joe.

Grades, Grades, & more Grades!

Finished posting James & Joe's grades. I have all of Jesse's done except for Algebra 2. Sarah helps me by figuring out her grades. (Yes, I trust her to give me the right ones.)

James's subjects for last year: (1st-4th grade) James has autism spectrum disorder and has always seemed to be behind about a year. This year he made leaps and bounds in reading and likes to read dinosaur readers with bigger words.
Math (3rd)
Penmanship (2nd)
Grammar (2nd)
Phonics (1st)
Reading (1st)
Art (Class Day)(4th)
Cooking (Class Day)(4th)
PE (4th)

Joe's subjects: (6th grade)
Science (Class Day)
Music (Violin)

Sarah's subjects: (10th grade)
World History
World Literature
Consumer Math
Spanish 1
Beginning Writing (Class Day)
Bible 10
PE 10 (She plays ayso & indoor soccer, self-defense class & volleyball)
Missionary Studies (she went to Ecuador, read missionary biographies & other book work)

Jesse's subjects: (11th grade)
U.S. History
American Lit
Honors Chemistry (Class Day)
Piano III
Band I
Bible 11
Algebra 2

Indian Hills Camp

Yesterday we dropped off two of our boys for a week at camp. John was a little apprehensive when we got there, but Joe has been two times before and helped John feel more comfortable. To check out this cool camp go to: