Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Harvest

Hannah picked her carrots last night. We planted carrots (in a little cup) last Spring in her story time at the library. We transplanted them outside at the end of May. My husband said they would not grow. I guess we showed him. They were huge and delicious (we washed them up and cut one up...very tasty). The taste made up for how ugly a couple of them appeared.
The other big event this weekend is that Hannah had her bible presentation at our church this morning. Our church presents all 3 year olds with a children's bible (they also get presented a bible when they are in 3rd grade).

Other fun things from today worth mentioning

We attended an ice cream social with other families from our church with young children (Hannah brought her 2 aunts who were visiting from out of town). The bad thing is it started thundering about an hour into the event and the wind really picked up so we headed home. On our way home it started to rain pretty hard and we were able to rescue one of our neighbors (before the rain got to heavy) who was on a run and about 3 miles away from home. I think she was pretty grateful as it really started to come down with a strong wind shortly after she got in our van.

Our Minnesota Twins one their final game for the season. Bad thing is we don't know if they won their division as the White Sox also won and need to play a makeup game with Detroit tomorrow if they lose the Twins head to the playoffs. If the White Sox win they have to play a tie breaking game with the Twins. Go Detroit...beat those sox right off of Chicago. OK I'm sorry if you are White Sox fan...I know you hope the results are just the opposite...may the best team win (please make that team the Tigers).



Friday, September 26, 2008

"Gotcha Day" Anniversary

Today we celebrate the third anniversary of our "Gotcha Day". What a day that was...Oh Happy Day when they put Hannah into my arms. It was unreal to finally be holding my daughter after looking at her precious referral photos for nearly 2 months.

It was different than what I thought it would be...I thought I would just lose it with big fat tears streaming down my face. I was also prepared for Hannah to cry also. Neither of us shed a tear. I didn't have time to really think about the situation as we were so delayed in our travel to China (43 hour flight delay in Minneapolis, 3 hour delay in Anchorage, AK, 5 hour delay in Tokyo...can anyone believe we still travel on NWA) that our plane landed in Changsha and Hannah was in our arms 45 minutes later. It was amazing there was no break down on my part being so sleep deprived after all the delays and 18 plus hour flight. I know God had a hand in this whole thing as she instantly bonded with amazing. I watch the video that we made over and over and just can't believe the miracle of her adoption. She was 10 months old when we got her so I was expecting some mourning from being taken from the only environment she had ever known. There was none...I don't think she ever really cried the whole time we were in China. I look at our video and she is laughing and smiling as soon as we arrived at our hotel.
We all look different 3 years later...but we love each other even more. Hannah is a very affectionate little girl who has enough energy to run our State (I'm not kidding she is like the Energizer Bunny). She is very excited about getting her little sister from Africa (Ethiopia). We can't wait to celebrate our next "Gotcha Day" with our baby girl from Ethiopia.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Bad Dream

I have to start off this post saying...praise for the referrals that families got today. One baby girl..2 months old. Please keep all families adopting in your prayers.

OK about my bad dream...

I had the worst dream last night that kept me up all night. Keep in mind my mother past away over a year ago.

I'm walking along with my new fancy phone that I received from husband for my birthday. It rings and I answer...and hear my mother's voice. It is unreal I hear her voice and argue with her that she died over a year ago...that is how real this was...
I'm still not doing well after this dream...


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Fun Weekend

We had a fun weekend in Sioux Falls. Life is good.



Thursday, September 18, 2008

Munchkin Run #3

I love that our city holds Munchkin Runs after each local X-country meet. It is a great way to introduce running to kids. These races involve kids from age 3 up to 6th grade. The kids have a great time and it is so fun to watch.

This was the last Munchkin Run of the season. Hannah did OK she only had do run 200 meters the other two runs were 400 meters. I'm just predicting that we will leave the running to the Ethiopian in the family. Hannah would much rather do gymnastics or dance.

Isn't that a lovely look???

Her big finish for the season

Gotta stretch after my run

Another ribbon to complete my first Munchkin Run season

Monday, September 15, 2008

Funny Outfit

This is an outfit I purchased nearly 14 years ago when I was pregnant with our first child who was very anxious to get to heaven she/he jumped from my womb right into our Heavenly Father's arms.

I have been tempted to give this outfit away through the years but just kept saying no. If you look closely it still has the tag on it and very a African print. I guess God was telling me to hold on to it as he had plans for us to adopt a little one from Africa one day.
Speaking of that we are a little closer today as our new home study was sent to USCIS today. I hear that things are moving pretty quickly in the Minnesota office and we should have our I171H in about 2 weeks. Then we send all our papers to our state capitol to get certification (this is fast in SD only one day turn-around). I still think I will just make the 2 1/2 hour drive as our state offers a walk-in service and my grandparents lived just across the river from our capitol so I could put some flowers on their graves. Once our we get our documents for our dossier certified we send it off to our adoption agency and they get it authenticated with the US State Dept. and the Ethiopian Embassy. Then our dossier is off to Ethiopia and we begin the long wait (right now that is between 9 and 10 months for a baby girl). So if all goes smoothly (please pray it does) we should be DTE (dossier to Ethiopia) by mid to late October. I am pretty happy with how fast we got everything together. Our agency approved our application June 23 and we are now in the home stretch not even 3 months later. Can I tell you my husband did all the paperwork with our first adoption and it took us like 9 or 10 months to get it all done. Big difference once I took over (now that I know how much I love being a mom...I want my child and I want her ASAP). I do thank our SW for being so swift in completing our home study...she is the best.
Just to let you know...look for Munchkin Run photos tomorrow. Hannah has her third Munchkin Run tomorrow evening. Run Hannah Run!!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Munchkin Run #2

And they're off...

Hannah participated in her second Munchkin run of the season. She did OK not as good as last time as it was held after the X-Country meet in the evening and we had played outside all afternoon of course running around so her legs were tired. But for a 3 year old just to finish a 400 meter run is excellent.

Look at that form...she could teach those girls sandwiching her a thing or two

OK let's not talk about form but look at the smile on her face

She's in the just about finished and looking strong

The Big Finish

The reward (all the kids get a ribbon and the results are actually published in the paper). I am pretty sure Hannah enjoyed the ice cream we went for after her race far better than any little ribbon.

Speaking of running we have started it again after a 8 month lay off. I have not run since January as I had a broken bone in my foot. I don't know what my husband's excuse is but regardless we started running again a couple weeks ago and it has felt so good. I would love to do another marathon someday but it might have to be to celebrate my 50th. Although, I have a lot of friends who run and have small children we could work out kid sitting plan.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Happy New Year!!!

'Enkutatash' - Ethiopian New Year

The Ethiopian New Year falls in September at the end of the big rains. The sun comes out to shine all day long creating an atmosphere of dazzling clarity and fresh clean air. The highlands turn to gold as the Meskel daisies burst out in all their splendour. Ethiopian children clad in brand new clothes dance through the villages giving bouquets of flowers and painted pictures to each household.
September 11th is both New Year's Day and the Feast of St. John the Baptist. The day is called Enkutatash meaning the "gift of jewels." When the famous Queen of Sheba returned from her expensive jaunt to visit King Solomon in Jerusalem, her chiefs welcomed her back by replenishing her treasury with enku or jewels. The spring festival has been celebrated since these early times and as the rains come to their abrupt end, dancing and singing can be heard at every village in the green countryside. After dark on New Year's Eve people light fires outside their houses.
The main religious celebration takes place at the 14th-century Kostete Yohannes church in the city of Gaynt within the Gondar Region. Three days of prayers, psalms, and hymns, sermons, and massive colourful processions mark the advent of the New Year. Closer to Addis Ababa, the Raguel Church, on top of the Entoto Mountain north of the city, has the largest and most spectacular religious celebration. But Enkutatash is not exclusively a religious holiday, and the little girls singing and dancing in pretty new dresses among the flowers in the fields convey the message of springtime and renewed life. Today's Enkutatash is also the season for exchanging formal New Year greetings and cards among the urban sophisticated in lieu of the traditional bouquet of flowers.
Current year

The current year according to the Ethiopian calendar is 2001. The Year 2001 has started on September 11, 2008 C.E.. The year 2002 will begin on September 11, 2009 of the Gregorian calendar. New Year's Day
Enkutatash is the word for the Ethiopian new year in the official language of Ethiopia: Amharic, while it is called Ri'se Awde Amet (Head Anniversary) in Ge'ez, the term preferred by the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church. It occurs on September 11 in the Gregorian calendar, except for leap years when it occurs on September 12. The Ethiopian calendar year 1998 ˈAmätä Məhrät ("Year of Mercy") began on 11 September 2005. However, the Ethiopian years 1996 and 1992 AM began on 12 September 2003 and 1999, respectively.
The new years begin on September 11 or 12 as described above from Gregorian 1900 to 2099, but differently in other Gregorian centuries, because every fourth Ethiopian/Ge'ez year is a leap year without exception.
How ironic that we in the US will always have a dark cloud hanging above us on Sept. 11 mourning the loss of so many in NYC, DC and PA. This will be a strange day for us in the future as we plan on keeping them both educated of their cultures (celebrations included). I'm really loving the history I am learning from Ethiopia. Being a Christian it really makes me want to do some do some in depth bible studying.
Hope your enjoy the history lesson

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Weekend Highlights

We had a good time this weekend. First good thing was grandma got out of the hospital on Friday. We are so happy about that (although Hannah and I ended up going to the hospital on Saturday...I'll explain later). Hannah was excited to spend some time with her Aunt who was visiting from the Twin Cities. Ron & I were able to go for a run Saturday morning (gorgeous weather) as Aunt was the perfect choice for a sitter. After lunch Hannah and I headed to the hospital to meet baby Alexis Jane. My friend had a beautiful baby girl Friday. It was so fun to hold such a tiny little baby. Her son was there (Hannah's friend from Kindermusik). These two are definitely a miniature version of Mr. & Mrs. Smith (movie from a few years back). They love each other one minute and then bang (no pun intended) are ready to kill each other the next. Yes the visit ended in tears...Hannah was the victor in the latest episode. I guess make the boys cry when you can as they will have her shedding a few tears later in life.

We had to rush home from the hospital so I could get my cooking done for the big family feast. It was after 2:30 and I had 3 dishes I had to make (each one involved a lot of chopping...very time consuming). OK, I do have to be honest here I can't take credit for the whole feast. My DH was in charge of the steak & fish grilling (soooo good especially the salmon and halibut he caught in Alaska) as well as potatoes and caramelized carrots. I did bake a zucchini chocolate cake at 6Am for dessert so I get extra points for that right? Anyway we had Ron's parents (it was great to have his mother attend a family has been so long) his brother and sister over for a fun family dinner.

Today (Sunday) was Hannah's first day of Sunday School. She is in a new room with new teachers (both teacher's are male...I love it that there are guys willing to teach a 3 yr. old SS class). She did great. This girl is such an social extrovert it is unreal. I am excited for this year at SS because at our church 3 yr. olds get presented with a bible.

Sarah Palin Video
Our YWAM friend sent this link to us showing Sarah Palin speaking to a group at her home town Assembly of God church. It is worth a look to see she can speak without a prompter and she actually had nothing prepared.


Thursday, September 4, 2008

Remembering my Mother

Today would have been my mother's 65 birthday (she is in heaven right now scolding me for telling everyone in the world her age). She passed away in Feb. 07 from lung cancer. So I have been thinking about her a lot today. It really struck me as I was visiting my mother-in-law in the hospital today (she too is battling cancer). It is so hard to see loved ones have to struggle with this awful disease.
Adoption Update
Our Home Study is done and approved by our adoption agency. This is great news as we can now proceed on to getting our immigration paperwork updated (country change request...we get one freebie). Things should move very quickly from here on out and our dossier will hopefully be in Ethiopia in the next month or so...please pray that there will be no hick-ups along the way.
Cool News
I got a call today from my friend whose family has been thinking about adopting. We spent the whole summer talking at the water park as our kids played together (a lot about our adoption and their not being sure about what to do). Here is how our God works. I told them when they first approached us about their interest in adoption..."if God has put a tug on your heart there is a reason". Here is the cool part. I was reading one of my fellow Ethiopian family blogs (last evening) and came across the same sort of message and instantly thought about this family. I was going to call her and tell her my thoughts about their thoughts about adopting. She beat me to it. They actually got a call from a Christian Agency (last evening) that their friends used to adopt. She called me saying we have decided to adopt. I was so happy. This is a great family and any child will be so blessed with them (2 girls and a boy...Hannah calls him her boyfriend but don't tell Evan because he is the other man in her life). It will be a domestic adoption and there are many factors involved so please keep this family in prayer as they will have many decisions to make in the coming days.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Happy Labor Day

I did no labor today (well know the floor has to be swept and the dishes done and getting Hannah dressed, fed and entertained). We all headed to McDonald's for breakfast (I had already eaten because if you know me I get up between 4 & 5AM so I can have some alone time). Hannah wolfed down some hot cakes and Ron had his favorite sausage McMuffin with cheese (can you believe an internal medicine doctor with a bit of high colesterol eats that junk). After McDonald's we came home and went for a long walk with Hannah. It was not a pleasant walk for a few reasons. 1. It was horribly windy 2. It was extremely humid 3. My leg muscles were so very sore as Ron & I went for our first run in nearly 8 months (Saturday). Oh the pain. Of course we stopped at the park along the way and then again at the duck/goose lake and then again when we spotted a gigantic turtle (believe me it was a huge snapping turtle and as ugly as can be).
Hannah and I spent the afternoon shopping for her fall wardrobe. She has grown so much this summer she has barely a stitch of clothing that will fit her this fall. I got some pretty good bargains at Shopko (50% off). Shopko is my favorite place to get clothes...they have the cutest outfits at very reasonable prices.
When we got home Hannah played in the yard (with a couple visits from our neighbors dog "Stitches") while daddy did yard work and I sat on the front porch reading. I loved that I could sit on the porch and read my own book...I usually read library books to Hannah on the porch each afternoon. I will miss this once the weather gets cold.
I have to say besides the weather and my sore muscles is was a pretty relaxing day.
Hope you all had a great holiday weekend.