Monday, December 27, 2010

Dueling Piano

Grandma Neild's piano has been a source of great entertainment for the kids (& irritation for the grown-ups). Matt decided to show Essie how it was done.

A couple of outtakes

Christmas Eve

I decided to start a new tradition in our family that I've seen many other families pjs on Christmas Eve. The main reason this year is all our kids are growing like crazy and needed new and warmer pajamas.

silly poses

Just a note that Mickey is not flipping you off, its his pointer finger.

This is supposed to be our sleeping pose, but obviously a few were laughing too hard to pose

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

2-for-1 special

Not sure when I'll get back on the blog, so you get a 2-for-1 today. Here's some pics we took of the kids at church on Sunday.

Had to have some of the other kids jump in a shot

Christmas Preparations

We have been busy getting ready for Christmas. Essie and Chloe made gingerbread houses at school couple of weeks ago (thanks Mrs. Johnson b/c I do NOT have the patience for this project).
Chloe above; Essie below

btw: you may notice Essie is missing 1 front tooth. It came out a few weeks ago after she was dancing for Grandma K. via Skype and did a face plant on the hard wood floor. Monday, I got a call from Chloe while I was driving to a clients' house to inform me she had been horsing around with the boys and Amsalu's shoulder knocked out her front tooth. So now they match again and we can't cheat by looking at the girls smile to tell who is who.

Today, the kids made Christmas pictures using glitter glue...what a mess, but they had fun. Photos below by Amsalu.

yes that's me, trying to clean while the kids are occupied

photos obviously not by Amsalu, but by mommy

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Student of the Month

Mickey was recently awarded Student of the Month at Wilmore Elementary School for the month of November. Mickey loves school and caught up with his 4th grade subject matter in about 6 weeks. Not bad for a kid who only had 3 years of schooling in Ethiopia, which according to him, is not nearly has broad in subject matter as the US system. Mickey has 2 amazing teachers who are very creative in their teaching style and meet students where they are. We are so grateful form Ms. Whyte and Mr. Tate (pictured below giving Mickey his award). Mickey received a certificate and a water bottle (which is perfect since he has an issue with sharing cups with others). Mom and Dad are very proud of Mickey for all his hard work!

Amsalu also got a 100% on his spelling test last week, which also made Mom and Dad very proud. Amsalu received minimal schooling in Ethiopia and never learned to read or write in Amharic so school has been a huge struggle for him. He is in 2nd grade, but knew no English when he started in August. He has had to learn the alphabet and the sounds letters make while the rest of his class is reading. Essie and Chloe are reading more than he is because their program is geared towards kids who are just learning to read and write. After 3 months of frustration, I think we finally have a good system down with Amsalu and the ESL teacher at school regarding spelling and reading and Amsalu was beaming with pride when he told us he got 100% on his spelling test.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Some Quotes from Around Our House

Essie: "I'm so done with Pa-Rum-Pum-Pum-Pum!"


Ababa: (teaching counting) 996, 997, 998, 999...
Amsalu: 100 BILLION!


Chloe: (tying her pantyhose around her waist with the top hanging down in front) Look! This is kind of like Tarzan!


Chloe: (during a discussion about coaching) They can call you Coach D, because "D" is for "Dad"!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Joy in housework

For those of you that know Essie, you know she loves to sing. She pretty much sings from the time her feet hit the floor in the morning, until she is tucked back into bed at night. Tonight, I caught her cleaning in the kitchen (apparently she's been hearing the Hallelujah Chorus a lot lately).

Boys' First Snow

We were surprised this morning by a nice little covering of snow on the ground, which allowed two very excited boys (especially Amsalu) to go out and experience their first snow. Check out all the fun below:

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Decorating for Christmas

Ababa cuts the base of the tree

Amsalu, Chloe, and Essie loved exploring the Christmas storage box.






Done with all the heavy lifting, Ababa takes a break to watch the Cats lose...again.

Mickey shows off the ornament he made.

Window clings!

Mickey & Amsalu decorate their first Christmas tree.


Amsalu strings lights outside.

Mom & Mickey string lights inside.

Four happy children

The finished tree

On Sunday afternoon, we worked on the house lights. Amy wasn't feeling good, so she went to lay down. Matt said, "If you hear me scream, call 911. If you hear one of the kids scream, call social services, because I've killed one of them."

Ababa works on hanging lights on the house

Mickey assists the ladder work.

Mickey gets the porch peak.

Thanksgiving in Illinois

This was our year to spend Thanksgiving with Matt's family, so we headed to his grandparents' in Southern Illinois where we had a combined celebration of Thanksgiving and his grandparents' 60th wedding anniversary and 90th birthdays, all of which fall within six months. Because lots of family was in, we stayed in a hotel that had an indoor pool - a very big hit.

Testing the waters

Swimming with Ababa

Mom forgot her bathing suit, so guess who got to keep 4 kids afloat?

Mickey is a very good swimmer.

Amsalu, on the other hand, has a ways to go.

Ababa enjoys the whirlpool while the kids stick a toe in the hot water.

Hanging out at Gigi and Great-Grandpa's house

Aunt Daphne, Grandma Melanie, and Matt

Essie & Chloe meet their cousin Carson (Matt's cousin's son).

Essie is a guitar hero.

We had our celebration in the church fellowship hall so the kids would have stuff to do. One of the favorites was the parachute Matt found in a closet. He and Aunt Buffy knew lots of fun games from their elementary PE days. (Thank you, Mrs. Richmond, wherever you are!)

Grandma Melanie helps prepare the feast

Aunt Buffy brought some fun crafts for the kids to do between meals.






Somebody scored "10" on the Wii.

Gigi and Great-Grandpa

A full table

On the way home we found snow on the ground at the Kentucky Welcome Center. Mickey celebrates his first snow while Ababa prepares to initiate him to the joys of winter.

Direct hit!

"It's cold!"