Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Big Race

Hannah participated in her first running race today. Our city always has a Munchkin Run for kids to participate in after each cross country meet in town. Hannah did really well considering she was one of the only 3 yr. olds to compete. They ran a full 400 meters...that is a long way for those short little legs. Later she told me that she lost the race because a lot of other kids passed her. I assured her that she didn't lose because the whole thing was about having fun and just finishing such a long race (her age group was ridiculous 3yrs.-1st grade).
Can you see Hannah's little face right in the middle of the photo peaking between two towers
The gun goes off...Hannah had a bad start (bad coaches are we...we forgot to tell her to run like the wind when the gun went off).
Hannah has good form and look at least she is wearing running shoes who takes their child to a race in flip flops? (We are redeemed from our bad coaching)
In the final stretch Hannah found a running partner to encourage her on to the finish
The big finish...Woo Hoo Way to go Hannah
Look my first ribbon...I can't wait for the next

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Gymnastics Girl

OK our girl loves to practice her gymnastics. As you can see in the video she has no fear...the bigger the thrill the better. She has been obsessed with gymnastics since we watched the Olympics.

I did promise an update on our adoption. We have everything completed for our home study. Our Social Worker (we love her she is fantastic and is good) visited the house yesterday. She is in the process of writing up our home study and it should be done soon...YIPPEE. We have a head start with our immigration paperwork (this takes the longest) as we had to renew it for China so it is already being processed and we get one free country request change. So all in all things should go pretty quickly once we get our home study approved. We are very excited about our adoption from Ethiopia but ask for prayer as some the children can be very ill. There has been a few families from our adoption agency who got referrals and saw photos of their precious little child, but had to endure the gut retching news that their baby didn't make it. Please pray God will deliver us a healthy little girl from Ethiopia.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Photos from My Big B-day

As many of you know I celebrated my birthday last Friday we celebrated in Duluth, MN

My DH (for those who follow baseball DH is designated hitter in blog terms it is Dear Husband) got me a great gift that I am still trying to figure out (a smart phone). It seems to do about everything but clean my house (but I could use the Internet that I can access anywhere to find a maid service and call them on the technically it could be responsible for cleaning my house too...terrific).

Hannah practicing her gymnastics in our room...she has been so into gymnastics since the Olympics

My sweet sister-in-law provided the closing ceremonies to my birthday with a delicious ice cream cake. As you can see we were still in the Olympic spirit and ate it in record time...we didn't have one of those fancy cameras used during the games to catch every moment. So trust me we got the gold.

I had a great birthday as always...I have to say my husband does spoil me a bit. It was fun introducing Hannah to Duluth as it is one of our favorites places to visit. We can't wait until we get our little girls old enough to take backpacking...the north shore of Lake Superior is Awesome.

Thanks for all the birthday greetings I received they made me feel special. I will have an adoption update soon.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Last day being 40

Greetings again from Duluth, MN where I am celebrating my last day of being 40. Tomorrow (Aug. 22) is my birthday. So the week long celebration is drawing to a close, but we have had a lot of fun.

We of course watched ships come in and leave the harbor today. If you like to sleep in don't get a hotel room close the the lift bridge as horns are blowing at all times of the night and day. I don't mind I was up before 6Am watching a ship leave the harbor. We also visited the aquarium today. I think Hannah had fun but you never really know with a 3 year old.

Hannah enjoyed some more fun at the arcade last night. Her friend Willy bounced her nearly all the way to the ceiling. Yes my little thrill seeker loved it.

Our hotel in Duluth hosts smores making time every evening

Life is Good!!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Another Day in Duluth

We had another fun day in Duluth. We watched a few ships leave and come into port today. The ship to the right (The Indiana Harbor) is 1,000 ft. long and was arriving to load coal. It is always fun to see the ships come into the harbor. If you want read more about the ships that come to Duluth you can visit

Hannah loves chasing all the sea gulls

We took a cruise of the harbor this afternoon. I don't know if Hannah was impressed but she did enjoy the popcorn and pink lemonade.

We had some fun at the local arcade last evening.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Greetings from Duluth, MN

Hi all we are in Duluth after spending a couple days in the Twin Cities. It was only 66 degrees when we got here this afternoon. It was well over 80 when we left the cities. But it is supposed to be warmer the next couple of days. This is Hannah's first visit to Duluth and our first time back since our adoption. We used to come every year before we had Hannah. We will have fun showing her the fun things (all the ships and the cool lift bridge behind us).

We had a good time in the cities visiting with Hannah's Aunt's, Uncles and cousins. We also visited a the zoo yesterday. Ron and I got to go to a Twins game (they won) on Sunday while Hannah went to the swimming pool with her Aunt Bonnie.
This little vacation is to celebrate my birthday which is Friday. We used to celebrate the whole month of August but since we got Hannah my birthday month has been cut to my birthday week. I suppose once we get our little Marissah it will be just a one day celebration (OK you know I won't let that happen).
I am happy to report that our adoption agency received referrals from Ethiopia today. We are so happy for those getting the very exciting news of their precious children in Ethiopia. We can't wait for the day we receive our referral...yes we will be jumping for JOY as I know these families were once they got their phone call.
OK Gotta go eat so we can be finished by 6:30PM when the next ship is scheduled to come in. I will of course be posting some photos.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Last few days at the water park

Our summer days at the water park are just about over. Really Hannah and I will only have 2 more days and it is supposed to rain tomorrow. Hannah and I plan on attending her favorite children's musical entertainer at the fair right after lunch and then if the weather is OK we will head to the water park.
Of course we were at the water park today and a lot of Hannah's friends were also there. Hannah shared one of her pairs of goggles with her friend Katlyn. After a while of playing the goggles were brought to me (a bit broken) by Katlyn (Hannah right by her side). Katlyn says "I didn't do it". Hannah "she broke my goggles". Katlyn gets out of the pool and walks over to her grandma. Hannah is right on her heals. She gets in Katlyn's face and says "you need to say I am sorry Hannah and you will never do it again and I will forgive you". OK Katlyn's grandma and I am so laughing at this little spat. Katlyn (is almost 2 yrs. older than Hannah) finally gives in and says "I'm sorry". All is forgiven back in the pool playing again. Kids are so funny.

Other funny must share moment at the water park. Hannah has acquired a major tan this summer (I am still darker). I was showing my friend her tan line today (this involves me just pulling Hannah's bikini bottom down a tad). Hannah decided she wanted show her friend Andrew and totally exposed her very white behind to all to see. Very funny because Andrew didn't want to look and it made Hannah very angry. It was a OMG kind of moment for me....girl pull up your britches...but also I had a good laugh with my girlfriends that witnessed the whole thing.

I forgot to mention Hannah got her haircut this morning. She is such a wiggle worm during the process....Bless your heart Becky for putting up with her. We were driving over to grandma's today and Hannah said "I have such a stylish haircut".

Monday, August 11, 2008

Boring Day

It was dark and rainy most of the day so we had a boring day stuck inside the house. It bugs me that it was rainy today for a couple of reasons. One we only have this week left to visit the water park before it closes and today was the first day of our county fair.

This past weekend we enjoyed the opening ceremonies of the Olympics. I thought they were awesome. I love watching the Olympics. I even found myself watching women's water polo this morning. I think that is going overboard. Ron and I spent Saturday cooking most of the afternoon. We had his sister (visiting from CT) and his dad over for dinner (his mother was at the hospital getting blood). After dinner we planned on watching the end of the the opening ceremonies as his sister hadn't seen them and I of course TiVo(ed). Well that didn't happen as the power went out for over 2 hours. I hate when the power goes out.
Sunday we were at church in the AM (I was mainly wrestling with Hurricane Hannah as she refuses to sit still in God's House). After lunch Hannah and I headed to the water park and Ron went to his brothers to make jelly. They got over 30 we have lots of jelly. Hannah and I watched the female Olympic gymnastics. Hannah was so funny. She laid out a blue comforter for her floor exercise and was trying copy all the gymnasts tricks. It was too funny. She actually did pretty good for a 3 year old. She was really into the Chinese girls. I was working on some our adoption paper work and Hannah walked over to me and said "Mama, we don't look alike." That caught me off guard. I asked how we looked different. And she said "Well, her eyes are shaped like almonds and yours are round. My hair is black and yours is blond". It was a very interesting moment.

We have nearly all the documents we need for our adoption. I spent last night scanning them all in so I could email them to our family coordinator for approval. We meet with our social worker in the morning so she can finish up our home study. Things are coming together but it is still not fast enough for me. I wish were already home with little Marissah. Just keep us in your prayers that things will continue to go smoothly with our adoption process.


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Cute Puppies

Hannah with one of neighbors puppies (his name is Harley). She has been enjoying these puppies most of the summer. But they are old enough to go to other homes and a few have already been sold and left the to join their new families. The good news is the family is going to keep Harley...I'm glad too because he is my favorite.

It was a typical hot August day in our city so yes Hannah and I could be found at home away from home...the water park. This child of mine so loves the water and is so advanced for a 3 yr. old that has never had swimming lessons. She dives off the side, glides underwater kicking her feet (like you do when you snorkel...she is so going snorkeling on our next Jamaica trip), she does hand stands and can do forward and backward rolls under water. I knew from the time we got her (at 10 months) she loved the water. She went crazy splashing in her little blow up tub splashing water all over the bathroom and us. We also took her to the hotel swimming pools while in china and she was all about going under water (at 10 that normal). Anyway she is so much fun to watch as she seems to learn new things each day. She is very much into imitating anything she sees...We may just be able save a few bucks on swimming lessons.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Need in Ethiopia

Why we are adopting from Ethiopia.

One in six children die before their fifth birthday

44% of the population of Ethiopia is under 15 years old

60% of children in Ethiopia are stunted because of malnutrition

The median age in Ethiopia is 17.8 years

1.5 million people are infected with AIDS (6th highest in the world)

720,000 children have been orphaned by AIDS alone, and there are 4.6 million orphans in Ethiopia.

Per capita, Ethiopia receives less aid than any country in Africa

In the 90s the population (3%) grew faster than food production (2.2%)

Drought struck the country from 2000-2002 (first year no crops, second year no seeds, third year no animals)

Half the children in Ethiopia will never attend school. 88% will never attend secondary school.

Coffee prices (Ethiopia’s only major export) fell 40-60% from 1998-2002.

Ethiopia’s doctor to children ratio is 1 to 24,000.

In 1993, after 30 long years of war, Eritrea broke from Ethiopia and became an independent nation leaving Ethiopia landlocked without any major seafaring ports.

Monday, August 4, 2008

China Dossier

I was surprised today by a big package from our adoption agency. I was not expecting anything from them as they have gone green...we receive everything by email. It was our dossier that has been sitting in China for nearly 2 years. Most of you know we dropped out of the China program. It was very interesting to see our dossier with all that had been added by the Chinese translation of our documents. It made me a little sad to receive this in the made it real that we have cut our ties with China. We are still very excited about the direction God has chosen for we come for our little African Queen.
Can you believe all the paper required to adopt a child. I guess we will keep our dossier (as it cost us a load of cash) and show Hannah what it took to make her our child. BTW this is not our dossier from Hannah's adoption. You don't get your dossier once the adoption is finalized. So it is actually kind of neat to have this little treasure.