Tuesday, March 25, 2014

He Likes It!

My sister, Jen, visited over the weekend, along with her 3 kids.  My nephew Caleb is getting so big, 15 months old now.  He got to experience his first smoothie and I think he liked it!




Saturday, March 22, 2014

Hiking

Today was a beautiful Saturday in the Bluegrass.  Cousin Hunter was in town, and everybody needed an activity, so Matt took the kids to go hiking at some friends' farm on the Kentucky River Palisades.  Our friends' son, fellow adoptee John, came with us as we hiked down a ravine from the top of the Palisades, all the way down to the Kentucky River.


Chloe on the way down to the creek bed that runs down to the river

Hunter, Essie, and Chloe

Hunter & A.J.

John and Chloe walk along the creek

Chloe hops down

Standing atop one of the several little waterfalls on the way down

Essie

Chloe

Climbing through holes in the rocks

At the entrance to a cave with an underground spring

Our attempt at a cave shot

Walking behind the biggest of the waterfalls

Essie and Chloe

Making our way down the ravine

More exploring with Essie and Chloe

All the way down to the river

Chloe and Essie take a closer look at the Kentucky River

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

ReMoved

Powerful short film about what its like to be a foster child.  Thousands of children in the US have experienced what this little girl experiences, except it doesn't end after 12 minutes for them.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Middle School Soccer

A.J. loves soccer.  There's never been any doubt about that.  Not wanting to do the club soccer thing due to the high financial cost and time commitments, it has been difficult to find a challenging outlet for his skills. Last Fall we put him in the recreational U14 league because he was so dominant as an 11-year-old in U12. (He was pretty dominant there, too.)

A.J. is only a 4th grader academically, but that, of course, is due to his not having any schooling in Ethiopia.  So, we asked the local middle school coach if they might be willing to give A.J. a look for the middle school soccer team, even though he still has a full year and a half in elementary school.  He made the team and played good minutes in their first win last night.  And so now we enter a new world - school sports.


Saturday, March 8, 2014

FIVE Years Ago Today...

On March 8, 2009, we entered the transition home for children adopted through Celebrate Children International and met our daughters, Essie and Chloe for the first time.  They didn't speak any English at that point, and they still called each other by their Gumuz nicknames, "JuJu" and "Juri".  Since coming to be a part of our family in Kentucky, they have brought great joy not only to our lives, but also to the lives of so many they have met.

Now the girls are 8 years old and in the 2nd grade.  They are taking gymnastics classes, and they love to jump rope.  (They are really pretty good.)  Their newest hobby is listening to music on the mp3 players they got for their birthday last year.  In particular, they listen to Disney music, Patch the Pirate, and Adventures in Odyssey. Over. And. Over.

We are so blessed to have Essie and Chloe in our lives.  Take a look at how they've grown over the last five years:

First Family Photo:  March 8, 2009

2009

2010

2011

2012, with brother A.J.

 2013

Off to school on March 7, 2014

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Composting Through the Winter

Composting is so addictive and composters are always looking for ways to make more of it.  Composting requires heat and therefore, usually stops when winter comes.  I call my chickens "my little composters" and for good reason.  They eat all kinds of "waste" and what they don't eat (citrus rinds, banana peels), breaks down quickly thanks to the chicken's droppings.  Chicken poo is known as a "hot fertilizer", which means it will burn your plants if place directly on them, but works it also works great to break down those harder to break down wastes.  The back corner of my garden has become the community compost site and of course, the chickens help themselves to whatever looks good to them.  The added benefit is the decomposing matter, attracts all kind of beneficial bugs and worms to the surface of the soil, which in turn adds an organic food source for my chickens and ducks. I also use the Back to Eden gardening method and the wood chips help the soil from freezing, which in turn, provides a beneficial home for those bugs and worms. 


Before this week's 4+ inches of snow, I grabbed the shovel and took a peak at what was going on in my garden soil.  


AJ's Basketball Highlights

Just a few highlights from AJ's basketball game from last weekend.  This is his 1st year playing on a team and he is currently playing in our county's Rec league.  His team lost their first 4 games of the season, but are now in 2nd place.  AJ had a career high of 12 points to lead his team to victory. 

video





Monday, March 3, 2014

Asbury Cheerleading Clinic

Essie & Chloe enjoyed participating in Asbury University's Cheerleading Clinic a few weeks ago.  Hope you can spot them amongst the throng of little girls.





Essie

Chloe

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Greenhouse

Had a couple of weeks of sickness in this house, so thus the delay in blog posts.  I'm sure this crazy, winter weather had nothing to do with it, right?  SO ready for spring! We did have a beautiful day today so we were able to get a project done that has been on my do-to list for a few years now.

Last fall, I saw a posting for a free (broken) trampoline.  I saw an idea on Pinterest of making a greenhouse out of an old trampoline so begged my sweet hubby into tearing the thing apart and carting it home.

A few weeks ago, we were able to reassemble the frame into a greenhouse shape



The kids and I tore apart their fort (since they've outgrown it) and I needed the space for my greenhouse.

And last weekend, Matt arranged the frame onto the shipping crates from the kids' old fort.



Zip-tied to the crates

Essie helping (well at least for 5 minutes)

Framing out the door





Cutting an opening for the door





The ladies had to come check things out (of course).


Minus a door, we got it done!
(just in time for another snow storm)