Sunday, August 16, 2009

African Thunderstorm

I first saw this video when my dear friend Kristine posted it on her blog with a dedication to our family. I absolutely LOVE this version of Toto's 'Africa,' mostly because it sounds just like the rain on our roof when we were in Ethiopia. We were there just as the rainy season began. It rained every night and the days were clear and beautiful with the exception of one afternoon. And if you, too, love 80's music then this one will zing you back a few years!

BTW, Kristine and her husband have four amazing kids, three of which are from Russia. Several years ago God used Kristine's family to water the seeds of adoption He had placed in our hearts. She's always posting new stuff to her blog and I would encourage you to stop by and visit her!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

First Day of School

I cannot believe we've been home four weeks and the kids started school today. We now have a 7th grader, a 4th grader, two 1st graders and a Pre-K student. It was a great day. All the kids were excited about the first day of school. Hailab Turner went to school in the afternoon and then I picked them all up when school was over. The car was filled with little voices telling me all about the events of today all the way home. Truly a wonderful day!

I surprised myself today. As I was leaving Turner's class after dropping him off, I turned and had a lump in my throat. It really caught me off guard. We are starting to feel like family and the lump in my throat is such a good indication of all the good that is yet to come. Once more, praising God for the good things He is doing in all of our hearts!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Sadness and a Haircut

Our two big kids were getting ready for bed while I ended a book and prayed with our three little ones. Up until today, the kids prayed in Amharic. They would pray and say, "Amen." several times during their prayers. They laughed at me the first time when one said, "Amen," and then I thought it was my turn and started praying. They tried to tell me they pray a little, then say amen, pray a little more, say amen, etc. They got a good chuckle over me!

Well, tonight... the kids all prayed in English and it made me sad. I almost wanted to stop them and ask them to pray in Amharic because it sounds so beautiful and sweet. Not that their prayers tonight weren't pure and childlike, it's just change. One that I wasn't quite ready for, but one that is inevitable. It made me sad.

On a lighter note, I took Hailab Turner to get a haircut this afternoon before school starts this week. I went to the barber shop and told the very kind Korean woman to cut it short. I didn't think a thing about it. Until I looked up from my magazine! Turner was a millimeter from being bald. I am very thankful he didn't see the shocked look on my face! We got in the car and Turner said, "Me no like haircut," and then grinned. He was teasing me, and yes, he did like his haircut!

Ending the fourth day in a row without a tantrum! Thanking God for the work He is doing in all of our hearts!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Roses and Thorns


-Bedtimes are still pretty smooth. The kids like the routine of a short movie after bath and pajamas, brush teeth, book, prayers and lights out. Thanking God for small accomplishments.

-We are working on our third day without a tantrum! (Sh... shouldn't say that too loud and jinx ourselves! ha) Dustin and I high-fived one another last night when all kids were asleep in bed, feeling encouraged by a second day IN A ROW without a meltdown! Praising God for the BIG accomplishments.

-Dustin got a completely unsolicited, "I love you" from one sweet little child last night at bedtime. He said it was wonderful!

-Giggles are contagious! How wonderful when any one of the five kids giggle. It is joyful and usually ends up causing others to join in the fun. Hearing our younger kids' laughter reminds us of great times when Madison and Sage were younger. As my mom would say, "It's all good!"


-The constant barrage of "Me no __________________." Fill in the blank with anything and it will fit into the current theme at our house. Me no eat. Me no brush teeth. Me no like. Me no swim. Me no boat (they love the boat.) Me no dress. Me no underwear. Me no watch movie. Me no THIS book. Me no car. Me no eat eggs (they love eggs.) Me no car. Get the picture? This is really our biggest struggle right now. We continue to use joking and mocking and it does help lighten the mood when a little person puts their foot down and begins with their current, "Me no..." It does get wearisome though. Dustin and I really try to stay positive and know it won't last forever.

-Dragging Feet! And this has absolutely nothing to do with adopted children, just children in general! Dustin and I have had to re-adjust to younger kiddos. We forgot how long it takes to simply load up in the car to go somewhere. Jeesh! I have had to watch the clock a little better and plan add time to whatever the schedule is just to get in the car and get seat belts on. It's getting better. Well, actually, Dustin and I are just getting better!

Praising God that there are more roses than thorns. All in all, each day offers more hope to getting into the groove of a new and improved, larger family. It's tough, it's a whole lot of work. But we are truly thankful!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Flowers? Children? Jesus Follower?

"He who would have nothing to do with thorns
must never attempt to gather flowers."


I could expound on the many ways this quote speaks to me at this season in our lives, but I think I will leave it as is.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Me No Like, Me No Eat

We hear this at EVERY meal from one particular member of our family. It doesn't matter what it is. It can even be something that she likes. It was getting very old. And on top of it, she always ended up eating everything on her plate. She just had to get her complaints out first.

So... Dustin started beating her to the punch when a meal was served. As we were putting plates on the table one night and saw her bottom lip push out, Dustin said with a mocking tone, "Me no like. Me no eat." A little brown-eyed girl looked up at him, wondering what he was doing. She even chuckled (a little bit.) It worked! Now at every meal, it has become a little bit of a game. We still see the bottom lip every once in awhile, but at least she doesn't push her plate away! Woo Hoo! One score for Team Parents!

We have also heard, "Me no school" from our littlest guy. He has said this many times since we've been home from Ethiopia. Today we went and toured the school. It just so happened that his teacher was working in her room. And the room is wonderful! It is every child's dream classroom! After just a few minutes, Hailab Turner was really enjoying himself. When we got in the car to leave I looked at him and said, "Me no school?!?" Turner's response was, "YES MOM! Yes, me school!"

Sometimes a little mock just does the trick!