Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Labor Day Weekend Away

Matt & I both celebrated 20 years since we graduated from high school this year. My (Amy) class was a bit late with the celebrating but we took advantage of the long, holiday weekend to travel north to Fairfield Jr/Sr High School.

Getting ready!

All plugged in and ready to leave town 
(which was a bit impeded due to endless rain from the remnants of Hurricane Harvey)

 We were a bit sparse in numbers for our Class of '97 tailgate party at Fairfield's football game, but the food was great and it was fun to watch a high school football game as a family.  I hadn't been back to the grounds of my high school in 20 years (even though I drive by it on my way to my Mom's house).

 Class of '97 was better represented on Saturday night when we gathered at a local restaurant.
It was fun to see old friends and catch up on everyone's lives.

 The weather was beautiful all weekend which meant the cousins spent lots of time outside.  Caleb (age 4) did not want to be left out of the big kids fun and they all did great to include him.

Caleb capped off the evening by entertaining us all with his football skills.  The look on his face as he ran down to score a touchdown had us all in stitches.  He then showed off his celebration skills.

Girls 12th Birthday

We spent Labor Day weekend at Amy's Mom's house in Indiana.  It just happened to be the girl's 12th birthday as well.
Cake made my Aunt Kelly

Meemaw got the girls an Adventures In Odyssey study Bible

Fun Ethiopian/American t-shirts from Aunt Jen & Family


Bibles with their names on it (Chloe has been asking for her own engraved Bible for a year now)

This is their "Mom, enough with the pictures!" faces so...that's a wrap!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Fall Sports Are Underway

Fall sports season is underway.  (Actually, the kids have all been practicing since mid-July.)  A.J., now entering the 9th grade, is finally eligible under state athletic rules to play varsity soccer at West Jessamine High School.  Essie and Chloe are in middle school for real now, and they are playing their second season on the 6th grade team at West Jessamine Middle after playing as 5th graders last year.

Pretty sure parents are funding the athletic programs just in admission.  These are just a few of the tickets from last season.  They make great bookmarks!

When you are at your kids' fourth game of the week.

Essie and Chloe ready for their first game!

Essie in action in a win at Danville.


PrepSpin, a local sports streaming service, broadcast A.J.'s first scrimmage of the year and caught this goal of his vs. Lexington Christian Academy.  (The roster had not been published yet, so they misidentified him as "C.J.")  PrepSpin says A.J. is "the real deal".

More from PrepSpin - A.J. would've had a second goal vs. LCA if not for this good save by their keeper.  West won the scrimmage, 2-0.

A.J. in his first regular season varsity action - a 3-0 loss to the #9 team in the state, Lafayette.

A.J. had a road game at the same time the girls had a home game, so we texted him an encouragement selfie.

A.J. playing at Boyle County High School - a 2-1 win.

A.J. header vs. Boyle

Essie scores a layup against rival East Jessamine.

Chloe with the layup in a 1-point win over Bondurant.
(This win put their record at 3-2, already topping their total of 2 wins last season.)

This is what A.J. deals with a lot now at this level - lots of pushing, bumping, and shoving from opposing defenders.

A.J. on the attack in a great win against Newport Central Catholic at the VisitNich.com Soccerama.  A.J. scored his first regular season varsity goal in the 2-1 win and played the entire game.

A.J.'s first regular season varsity goal

Tuesday, August 22, 2017


Have you heard about the solar eclipse?  (Maybe a better question is, do you care if you ever hear the words "solar eclipse" again?)  All of America seems to have been abuzz about this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to view a rare solar event.  We were projected to get about a 95% eclipse.  (Turns out 5% of the sun is pretty dang bright, but very cool nonetheless.)  We managed to snag some of the eclipse glasses that were more in demand than tickets to the last spaceship leaving an exploding earth.

The kids enjoyed their day off school, complete with solar eclipse homework assignments, and Matt took the day off work.  We watched through the afternoon as the moon slowly made its way across the sun, casting a surreal dimness over our cul-de-sac, dropping the temperature about 10 degrees, bringing the crickets out, and sending the chickens back toward their coop.  Maybe in 2024 we'll make our way to somewhere in the path of totality.

*Bono voice* "I'm not the only one staring at the sun..."

It was so fun to have our friends the Waggoners (fellow adoptive parents with whom we formed an adoption support group about 10 years ago and who are now missionaries in Albania) over for lunch and eclipse-viewing.

Essie and Chloe with their friend Ellie

Eclipse shadows

The chicken did not seem impressed.

More eclipse shadows

First Day of School

This post is about a week late, but here are the required first day of school pictures for our kids.  AJ is starting 9th grade, and Essie & Chloe are starting 6th.

We now have two middle schoolers and a high schooler!

The girls are feeling weighed down by school supplies and basketball practice gear.

Bonus shot:  We went to a friend's wedding at Talon Winery, so here we are in our wedding finery.

Monday, August 14, 2017

A.J.'s Gotcha Day

Seven years ago today, little Amsalu landed in America.  Due to insane sports schedules, we celebrated on Saturday with the traditional Ethiopian Chinese food (A.J.'s choice).

Today, A.J. is a 15-year-old high school freshman who is loved by everyone who knows him.  Our family, our schools, our church, and our community are richer for having him among us.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Soccer Camp

AJ's high school soccer team participated in a camp at nearby Centre College last week, and AJ was named to the All-Camp Team, one of eleven players honored.

Independence Day Parade

On July 4th, Amy fulfilled a life-long dream of driving a float in our little town's Independence Day Parade.  Wilmore's own Crazy Chicken Lady pulled a chicken float with live chickens.  The float was a hit, even though the weather was not.


Dad and AJ set to play hoops at church wearing the jerseys of some of our favorite former Kentucky Wildcats - Demarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis.

(Dad may or may not have dislocated his pinky finger during the game.  Okay, he definitely dislocated his pinky finger during the game.)

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Camden Park

We snuck away over Memorial Day weekend for a little family time just across the West Virginia border.  After a great night at a deeply discounted hotel suite, we spent Memorial Day at Camden Park, a small family-focused amusement park.  

Essie & Mom selfie on the sky lift

Essie on The Whip

The Scrambler

I couldn't help but take a picture of this sign just for the bottom two lines.

Sling Shot

A.J. LOVED the Big Dipper rollercoaster

Dad and A.J. were the only brave ones to try this ride out (at first)

Chloe on The Whip (again)

A.J. finally convinced the girls to go on The Rattler with him (& then they immediately got back on it for a 2nd ride)