Thursday, March 31, 2011

Chicken Noodle Soup

I had some left over chicken from the whole one I did in the crockpot on Tuesday so thought homemade chicken noodle soup sounded good on this blustery day. Man, was it ever! I had a full crock at 5pm and by 6pm, this is all that was left and Matt was working late tonight!

I even snuck in a cup of pinto beans and extra veggies thanks to the food processor. This is my new best friend as the boys are so incredibly picky. And its not just your typical pickiness. Its caused a real stressline in our bonding process. AJ refuses to eat anything that is a tree (green). Mickey has become much better about at least trying something, but when he's in a mood, all we hear is negative, negative, negative before he even tries it. I've just decided to limit the conflict as much as possible and just put as many veggies through the food processor as possible. And you all thought I missed out on so much by not "having" a baby. See, I'm still making baby food.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Crazy Hair Day

Today is crazy hair day at Wilmore Elementary School and the only thing we could think of to do with the boys hair was shave it with some kind of design. Mickey's has a cross in it. Ababa really outdid himself with AJ's. See below.

Ethiopian Adoption: Why Ethiopia?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Chinese Anyone?

The boys helped me make supper tonight because I'm learning that they eat it with less complaining when they help make it. AJ made orange chicken and Mickey made Schechwen (sp?) noodles with shrimp. All out of a bag, of course, but they did it! I also made them serve everyone at the table what they made. So many lessoned learned here and they didn't even realize they were learning. Mickey practiced using fractions and learned new words like "skillet". Also learned lessons on helping others and serving others before yourself.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Go Cats!


Somehow the first thought I had when I saw the kids playing dominoes was of all the old men in Jamaica who sit around playing dominoes (eventhough I'm pretty sure they don't play with T*y Story dominoes). The second thought was Is this a preview of my kids in 70 years. I hope they still want to play games together when they are old and grey haired.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Momentous Morning

Today was a momentous day in our house. Mickey tried cereal with milk for the first time and he liked it! He started with about 6 pieces of K*x cereal and maybe a tablespoon a milk, but liked it so much, he tried some more. Then he tried some strawberry milk and drank about 1/4 cup of milk (albeit half of that was syrup). AJ decided to be adventurous himself and drank about 1/4 cup of chocolate milk. This is huge for both boys as most Ethiopian do not drink any milk. The boys are always amazed by my fingernail strength and growth, which I always attribute to the amount of milk and milk products I drink/eat. My parents owned a dairy farm until I was about 18 months old and we have always been a milk drinking family. Mickey has decided he wants his fingernails to grow better so, God love him, he's trying the milk approach. I told the boys this morning the calcium helps their bones be strong and their hair be strong too and AJ said, "oh no" in a somewhat panicked voice. We figured out that he was afraid that his hair getting strong would mean it would be even harder to cut. He has the wonderfully, tight curly Gumuz hair that already gets pulled whenever Matt tries to shave it with the clippers. Poor kid, it really does hurt to get a hair cut. My hope is that if he keeps drinking milk, the hair will relax a bit from the added strength. Not sure there is any proof of this, just a mother's hope.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Bikes, Bikes, and More Bikes

Spring has hit KY, well, until a cold front comes through tomorrow. Today is supposed to be 80 and Thursday is supposed to be 47. Classic Kentucky weather! The kids are thrilled to be able to spend long hours outside, usually on their bikes. Matt & I bought ourselves bikes yesterday since we found them on clearance (thanks to some light damage) and our bikes from high school are broken. The kids have been begging for us to ride with them so now we have no excuses.
I bought a bright, pink "cruiser" bike, which really means "old lady bike". Got the big fat seat and everything. All I need now is a big, flowery basket on the front. But when its $40 off original price, I'm not going to complain. Matt opted for a brown mountain bike, since he likes to go a little more off-roading. The kids were thrilled. Essie took the picture of me below, but sorry, I didn't get one of Matt. Mainly because when I came home from work, he and the girls had been working on a surprise for me (see video below).

Saturday, March 19, 2011

G-A-R-D-E-N Spells Garden

For those of you who have been following our blog, you know that I am a gardener. Well praise the Lord, He sent me some boys who are like minded. Yesterday, the kids had the day off of school because it was the sweet 16 basketball tournament a teacher workday, so we decided to head outside. Temps were in the mid 70s and after 8 hours outside, I even got a sun burn. My very black children can't figure out why mommy's skin turned red, but they did find it mildly amusing.

We started by creating a new garden space on the side of the house, since all the grass is dead, thanks to having to install a new water line in January. The plumbers left quite a mess and piles of rocks everywhere. So we decided to make lemonade out of lemons (or a rock wall out of rock piles in this case) and create a new garden space.

Kids being kids, they got easily distracted, but I was impressed with AJ ingenuity of hooking up the wagon to his bike.

We had to wait for Ababa to get home from work to get the rototiller started, but once we did, we rototilled to our hearts content.

Mickey didn't understand the purpose of the rototiller until we made a few passes. Then he said, "oh, like in Ethiopia we do this with cow." I said, "yes, but we don't have a cow." He said, "and it would be hard to turn around a cow (with plow) in our yard." True dat, son!

AJ took this picture and he wanted me & Ababa to hug, so thus the goofy pose

AJ took this picture of me showing the boys how its done (I know, I look pretty dang sexy in the capris with the work is my middle name).

We're doubling the size of our garden this year (since we've doubled our food intake in the last 7 months). That's AJ at the far end working on the new part of the garden.

Distracted again

Priceless videos

AJ loves to help me work outside and God love him, he rototilled most of the garden by himself. I'll probably go over it again when he's in school because he's just a bit too short to allow the rototiller to really dig into the ground. When I tried to go over it again yesterday, he said, "NO, Mom, its all done." So I left it for now.

Monday, March 14, 2011

7 Months Home

Today is the 7 month mark for the boys' homecoming. By far, it was the best day we've had in a long time. The cynic in me cringes to think of what tomorrow will bring, but I'm going to rejoice in today and not let the Devil steel my joy. AJ helped me cook some yummy Ethiopian food while Mickey told me about the garden he grew at the orphanage in ET. He said once our adoption agency director told him that he and AJ would become brothers, he used to take AJ sweet potatoes from his garden that he had roasted in a fire. We made plans to grow lots of sweet potatoes this summer in our garden, which, if the weather holds out, we'll start working on this Friday, since the kids are out of school for some unknown reason.

Since its pouring rain again outside and I needed to do Chloe's hair, we a
ll watched Flight of the Navigator tonight (which apparently was edited for language when I watched it on the Disney Channel as a kid, dang it!) I was running out of time to finish a thousand braids in Chloe's hair, so Mickey volunteered to help me finish. He's a good braider, just needs to work on his finishing technique. (HA!) He wanted to take his picture (below) with the finished product and of course Essie couldn't be left out.
I did Essie's hair on Saturday so didn't want to leave her lovely locks out of this post.

Friday, March 11, 2011

School Music Program

The girls had a special music program at school on Thursday evening. They did a great job. Here is some video:

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Some Good Reads & Videos Regarding Adoption

As we celebrate having our children home, many of our friends are fearing that their's may never come home. A good article by Tom Davis on the subject.

Ethiopia Adoption Cuts: Rumors & Human Rights

Also, please sign the petition below to show your support for intercountry adoption as one way to combat the dire situation that faces Ethiopia's 5 million orphans. If you aren't sure if intercountry adoption is a good idea, click on the "adoption" tag on our blog and see the way God has used intercountry adoption to transform our 4 children's lives (and our lives too!)

On a lighter note: I LOVE THIS VIDEO! Its my favorite Christian band of all time THIRD DAY getting on board with this whole crazy adoption world.

Oh my did I miss the Mac Powell is an adoptive dad??? Oh wait..I guess it had something to do with adopting 4 kids of my own. This video is outdated as now it appears they have adopted 2 kids, but I couldn't find anything regarding the second adoption. Please let me know if there is a video/article regarding their 2nd adoption journey.

One more video to show you these kids are worth saving!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Two Years Ago Today

We were meeting our girls for the first time! WOW...what a 2 years it has been. I can't believe how much they have grown and changed.

Essie was scared to death to meet us. Chloe promptly wet herself (& me).

Didn't take long for them to warm up

Chloe with that tuft of hair that we are so thankful the orphanage staff left so we (& they) could tell the girls apart.

Happy Gotcha Day girl! We love you more than you will ever know!

We also found out our agency director was traveling back to the area the girls were born and we asked the girls if they wanted to draw a picture to send to their birth family. Below are their drawings.
Chloe drew the hut where she was born

Essie drew a happy girl

Sunday, March 6, 2011

First Kiss

The boys just kissed their first women...ME!!! Ethiopian style--on each cheek. I kiss the boys every night before bed and last week they started asking me to kiss them when I wake them up. AJ "likes" (he fusses the whole time) one kiss to the forehead; Mickey takes one on each cheek and one to the forehead. Tonight, Mickey asked if he could kiss me too so of course I said "yes". AJ followed suit and giggled the whole time. Hopefully their form will improve before they start kissing women for real. Which, btw, AJ informed us a few weeks ago that he has his first girlfriend, but when I asked about kissing, he said, "yuck, gross!" Pretty sure I don't need to worry about him and kissing for a while. Mickey informed us he will not have a girlfriend until the 7th grade. Although yesterday, he told Meemaw and Grandpa that "lots of girls like me" and promptly began giggling hysterically. Heaven help us!!!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Soccer Star

Mickey had his first soccer game today with the Jessamine County select team, the Storm. His team participated in the Spring Thaw soccer invitational in Danville, despite pouring rain. Mickey scored three goals in his first game, a 5-4 victory. Another game follows tonight if the thunderstorms aren't too severe.


Here is a video of one of Mickey's goals:

Here's how AJ entertained himself during the game:

UPDATE: No rain in game 2. Mickey scored 4 in a 10-1 blowout.