Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Sweetness of Time

Today I was blessed by a little more time to spend with Almaz and some other wonderful Ethiopia moms! Almaz leaves on Friday to head back to Ethiopia, but had wanted one more time to see her babies! Thanks Kristin for hosting a precious day!

Almaz also retold me about when Grace was first brought to her and how she thought Grace would be a very hard baby to place because she was so malnurished. Yes, the first pictures of Grace were hard to see, but Mike and I never even considered saying no to her!! She was the baby God had chosen for us, and looking at her now..... I can't even begin to imagine life without her!! Also... I found out some more info about Grace's birthmom. For obvious reasons, I can't say much, but I just know that it feels like a huge weight has been lifted. Praise God! And... just maybe.... since it seems like she(Grace's birthmother) works with her( a friend's daughter's birthmother)-- she just might be friends with the birthmother of one of my friends!!! How incredible is that? And now our girls are growing up knowing eachother. God is HUGE! It was a very blessed day.

We tried to get a picture of Almaz with all the babies, but it was just a cry fest. All of the babies are in the "attached to mom" and just cried when taken out of mom's arms. :)

Here's a few of what I did manage to get.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Ode to the hairdo!

Grace has hair! LOTS of gorgeous, thick curls. And... I think, just maybe, that I finally have a system down and her hair is now pretty easy to do!! I have to thank "The Wiggles" for entertaining and mesmerizing Grace long enough for me to actually get her hair done.

So... here's a picture parade of some of our hair favorites!

The morning fro-- check out how long it is! Crazy!

6 twists-- this do lasts for a good 4-5 days!
The pigtails are getting pretty BIG!
My first attempt at french braids. It really wasn't too hard.

Two easy braids
Easy-- down with a headband.

Easiest -- she keeps the clips in all day!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Awesome Video!

I just can't help but believe that our world is changing. That compassion for our brothers and sisters next door, and around the world is spreading. I have to believe that. And this is why I blog. I've never been involved in a community with such a passionate, compassionate, motivating, Jesus loving group of people. I am blessed... and thank you all for your desires to give back.

and thanks to my wonderful hubby for finding this awesome video!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Our God is Huge!

That is what Almaz said last night as she saw all of her babies with their new families. What a treat it was to be able to see Almaz (the director of Hannah's Hope orphanage) last night. The last time we saw her was last August when we went to pick up Grace. And the last time Almaz saw Grace, she was a tiny 9 lb. little bundle! But, when we saw her last night, she reached out saying, Birhan, Birhan! (Grace's given Ethiopian name) Almaz LOVES, gets to know, and remembers every single child that comes into Hannah's Hope! She told me that her job is hard, exhausting, and that it's sad when she has to say goodbye to her children. But, she said that seeing them home with their families and being attached and confident in a family makes it all worth it! She truly is an angel! She was beaming the entire night! It was wonderful to be able to not only spend the evening with her, but with all of the other families, and AGCI staff as well. (Even though, sometime I think it would be nice to just have the adults get together so you can actually have a full conversation and not be distracted while keeping an eye on all the little ones. :))

Well, we made the get together a mini weekend get-away. We got a hotel room nearby, along with our friends (and fellow Ethiopian adoptive family) the Barnetts. We also spent the day at the beach on our way home. These upper 70 degree days are almost over so we're livin' it up as much as possible so we have memories to hold onto as we endure the next 7 months of rain!!!!

The little ones had fun with the bubbles!

Julie S. and cutie Abraham

Almaz and the Barnetts

Beach time!

If you look closely, you can see Mt. Rainer over Jake's shoulder. Beautiful!!

Jake knows how to find cool beach creatures!

Grace's new "silly girl" move. I tried not to freak out and say, "I just washed your hair!!" when she did this same move in the salt water and seaweed!!!

The drive home. Precious!!

A little video of our water baby!! She's non-stop action, this one!!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Summer Games, 2020

This morning at breakfast, Jacob asks, "How old do you have to be to be in the Olympics?" I told him 16. (well, at least you're supposed to be 16! :) ) I asked why? Jake said, "...because I want to swim in the Olympics!"

Let's see: He's supposed to be 6'4". He has very wide shoulders and a skinny waist. Large feet (size 13 and he just turned 5!). And, a total LOVE for swimming. Hmmm.... maybe he's on to something. :)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

1st Day of School!!!

Well, I just dropped Jake off at his first day of Pre-K (actually it's his second year in Pre-K, but since he just turned 5, he's not heading to Kindergarten this year!!) He's been really looking forward to heading back to school, and he was all smiles and Mr. Confident heading into class... several steps ahead of me I might add!! Is he already too cool for mom?? And, in the year that Grace has been home, today marks the first day that I've had Grace napping and no one else moving around the house but me!!! Ahhhh...... just maybe I'll be able to finally get some things done. Pulling myself off Blogger will be the first step! :)

Even Grace was having a good time!! She didn't want to leave.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Happy Birthday, Jacob!


Well, my baby turned 5 today! It wasn't that long ago that I thought 5 seemed like years away, but it's here and my little guy is not so little anymore! Jake is one fantastic kiddo! He has an amazing personality-- he's funny, witty, goofy, creative, quirky, adventurous, loving, gracious, and he has a wonderful heart! We feel so very blessed to be able to call him our son. What a treasure he is!

We've had fun celebrating his birthday. He had a few friends over for a Pirate treasure hunt last week, and today he woke up to a birthday breakfast, a trip to the zoo, and then a stop for a birthday cupcake! I have to say that I've really enjoyed keeping his birthday family centered and low key. It's been fun! His present from us is a trip to the Circus on Thursday!!!! He's been asking to go to the circus for over 2 years.... and they're coming to town this week! Perfect timing!

A note from the Daddy (I took this off Mike's blog. Yes, we have our own blogs!!)

Jake is my first born son (and my only son) and I love him so much. Today was his birthday and he turned 5. Much to the chagrin of his mother he is mostly like me. This means that we connect very deeply with each other. I’ve told his mother that once she figures me out that she’ll understand her son as well, so good luck with that. He is a wonderful and loving big brother to his little sister and I’m very proud of him. So to my fishing buddy, wrestling partner, Jonny Quest watching pal, Wii adversary, stair jumping daredevil, pancake & sausage loving wonderful son, I wish you a happy birthday. Your daddy loves you all the way to the moon and stars and back again.

Here's a few pics of our sweet little guy. :)

Born on Labor Day!!

One week old! He was bigger here than Grace was when we brought her home at 3 months!!

5 months

9 months

Crazy binkie guy!

All "dressed up"

The beach: his favorite place!
Jacob has wowed us all by being the most amazing big brother. He loves Grace to pieces and he really doesn't like to do any type of activity without Grace being with him-- pretty darn sweet.
The pirates at the party!And... to show a piece of Jake's personality, here's a video of him last summer, right before we left to get Grace! Jake is quite an introvert... if you meet him, good luck trying to get him to even say hi-- it will take him a good couple of hours to start talking. But..... he's quite the performer and he's constantly telling us that he wants to be a Rock Star!! Lucky me! :)


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