Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Silly girl...

Most of you know I'm a very routined person. So, my mornings begin at 5:30 a.m. with a cup of coffee in hand, Bible on my lap, sitting on the couch.

Most of you also know that Emily is an E.A.R.L.Y bird! She has always been one to crash early at night and get up early in the morning. It's worked out fine for our family...we just let her get up at 6 a.m. on school days to do her devotion and then read in her room until 6:30 a.m. Then she can get up to do her morning chores and come down.

Lately, Em wakes up and comes down for a little cuddle before reading...which is a.ok by our quiet little snuggles. As I see her head down the stairs I put my coffee cup on the coaster, my Bible on the next couch cushion over, and wait for her to curl up (mostly...tall girl) on my lap. Some days she's groggy, but most days she smiles brightly, giggles, gives me smooches, and talks incessantly (have no idea where she gets that from? ). The other day she was trying to make me laugh, which wasn't hard when this is what I was looking at. Plus, have YOU ever tried not to laugh when you're supposed to be quiet? Impossible right? HA!

Anyway, this silly girl also had me in stitches last night at dinner. She looked at me and asked, "Hey Mom, Big Bill is in France right?"

Me: "Who?"

Em: "You know, the big clock"

Yep, she meant Big BEN and no, Emily...he's in London! Hahahahahaha!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Little Funnies...

You know how it is, kids say the funniest little things. Case started our day by dipping his dry (no milk) Life cereal into his cup of yogurt. Once he realized he could dip it as much as he wanted b/c it was his own little cup, he began saying, "I can double dip (followed by dip two), I can triple dip (followed by dip three), and I can FIPPLE dip (yep, followed by...what else?...dip Four)!" Ha!

Then in the evening it was just Em and I for dinner and out of nowhere she says,"Mom, I can scream like a little girl."
Me: I would hope so, you ARE a little girl.
E: Mom. I am NOT a little girl.
Me: Oh, are you a little BOY?
E: No. Duh, I'm a BIG girl.
Me: Oh, pardon me...and at what point does one become a BIG girl?
E: 6.
Me: Oh, and what comes after being a big girl?
E: A big, BIG girl.
Me: And at what age does that happen?
E: 27.
Me: Do you mean to tell me that Miss Molly is about to become a big, BIG girl on her birthday?
E: (at this point she realizes the hilarity of it all and begins to chuckle) Yes!
Me: Ok, so what comes after big, BIG girl?
E: Old Lady.
Me: Are you calling me an Old Lady?
E: NO. You are a big, BIG girl. You don't become an old lady until you are like 80.
Me: (laughing hysterically) Whew!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Case's creations

Case has always been a creative, innovative, and very good at entertaining himself when he wants to. Whether he is throwing something up and catching it repeatedly, or making believe that a whole scene is unfolding around him with only a small pile of ordinary household items...the boy gets props for being imaginative. His latest endeavor involved an afternoon snack of Fiber One cereal dry (his choice...just in case you wanted to judge me for being a crappy snack-giver to my children). Meet Mr. and Mrs. Fiber One...a match made in, eh, kitchen?!?

Jump for Joy

I've meant to tell the story of Emily's jump rope team tryouts for quite a while now. It's worth noting for many reasons, not the least of which is so that I can remember it later:)

Jump roping at Em's school is a big deal. They have a 3 teams and a club. I always thought it might be something Em would be interested in and even good at, but she got plugged in to Bible club and decided that was enough for the time being. Then Spring Break came along and the students were challenged with preparing to jump rope to raise money for a great cause once they returned to school. Leading up to the break, the used P.E. time to practice. Em started pulling out her jump rope at home, as a result, and worked REALLY hard at it so that, in her words, "she wouldn't be embarrassed on the day they jump roped at school. Much to her surprise, she totally enjoyed it and was good at it. She taught herself tricks and pushed to get better and better.

So, when they offered a jump rope clinic in April in hopes of preparing students for tryouts, she decided she wanted to do it. I couldn't believe all they expected them to do during tryouts (jump in on double dutch, jump in on a single turning rope, and jump rope individually for a minute as best they could). I was nervous.

Then the results day arrived...the day where they were going to post who made the teams. I was assured (I thought) that everyone would at least get to be in the club (since that wasn't tryout oriented). I thought she do one better than that, though, and be on the beginner team.

So, I picked her up from school and this is how the convo went down:

Me: "Hey, how was your day?"
E: "Well, not great. I wasn't on the list."
Me: "Seriously? I'm so sorry, Em. I know you must be disappointed. Are you SURE?"
E: "Yes, I even had my teacher look and I wasn't on there. But, it's ok. I won't give up. I'll try out again next year."
Me: (almost near tears b/c out of disappointment AND pride) "Wow, Em. That's a great attitude. I'm just a little confused, though, b/c I thought everyone at least got to be in the club, no?"
E: "I don't know."

So, I decided I couldn't live with this all weekend. I turned the car around and headed back to school. Not that I wanted to get her on the team, but I just wanted to encourage her that she could be in the club. B/c it was Friday, though, no one was really around to help me. So I asked Em if I could go look at the lists.

As we stood there, I couldn't help but come to the same conclusion...her name was not on the club or the beginner list. Another mom was looking the list over and gave me a slight nod to acknowledge the hard Mom-moment that she was witnessing. I asked if her child had made a team and she said "yes" and pointed to his name on the intermediate team roster. As I followed her finger, there before my eyes, right under her son's name was Emily's name. Yes....that sweet girl had gone all day thinking she didn't make the cut. She never thought (nor did I) to look with hope at one of the more advanced teams. And had she, we would have never seen such humility and grace pour out of her precious heart. I'm so thankful for that. But, I'm also super thankful for that moment when I turned to her with tears in my eyes and the biggest darn grin on my face to tell her that she DID in fact make the team....a team she never dreamed of being on! Pure JOY!!!

That was then, and this in now...

So much catching up to do...again. I stink at this blogging thing! Ha! Oh well. Got to try. Got to start somewhere. So here are the kiddos' pictures from their 1st day of school and then their last!

They both had GREAT years!

Case never moved his "Cat off the Mat" (behavior chart), and he was noted as a "eager to please his teachers", "kind to other students", and "very bright". I'm most proud though, that he was truly respectful to his teachers, and loving to his friends.

Emily received all E's, all A's, achieved an outstanding amount of points in her AR (accelerated reading) program, and never moved her clip (behavior chart). She was noted as being "hard-working", "servant-hearted", "a great friend", "a gifted student". I'm most proud though of the P.E. award she received. It was not for the students who were most athletic (which is NOT her strong suit), but rather for the students who always tried, always encouraged others to try, and was the best encourager and team player. What a legacy to leave 1st grade with!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


I have yet to meet my newest niece or nephew. He/She is an Ethiopian orphan awaiting placement in his/her forever home. Unfortunately, due to corruption w/i the adoption processes in their country they are taking "unnecessary and disproportionate" measures that will in essence cut adoptions back by 90%!!!

This requires a CALL TO ACTION!

Please take a brief moment to sign a petition that will be sent to the Prime Minister, Meles Zenawi. It could mean the difference between children "languishing in poverty" or possibly not receiving the care they need to survive. PLEASE give just a minute of your time by clicking here in the hopes of saving many, many children...including my sweet nephew/niece. Thank you!!!

March 7, 2011

Statement on the Pending Reduction of Intercountry Adoption in Ethiopia

Last week the Ethiopian Ministry of Women’s, Children’s and Youth Affairs announced their intention to reduce intercountry adoptions by 90% beginning March 10, 2011. The Ministry’s plan for a dramatic reduction is apparently based on two primary issues; 1) the assumption that corruption in intercountry adoption is systemic and rampant and 2) the Ministry’s resources should be focused on the children for whom intercountry adoption is not an option. Without further announcements by the Government of Ethiopia, it is our understanding that the Ministry’s plan will be initiated this week.

The Ministry’s plan is a tragic, unnecessary and disproportionate reaction to concerns of isolated abuses in the adoption process and fails to reflect the overwhelmingly positive, ethical and legal services provided to children and families through intercountry adoption. Rather than eliminate the right of Ethiopian children to a permanent family, we encourage the Ministry to accept the partnerships offered by governments, NGOs, and foundations. Such partnerships could increase the Ministry’s capacity to regulate service providers and further ensure ethical adoptions.

The Ministry’s plan, which calls for the processing of only five adoption cases per work day, will result not only in systemic and lasting damage to a large sector of social services, but will have an immediate impact on the lives and futures of children. Moving from over 4,000 adoptions per year to less than 500 will result in thousands of children languishing in under-regulated and poorly resourced institutions for years. For those children who are currently institutionalized and legally available for adoption, the Ministry’s plan will increase their time languishing in institutions for up to 7-years.

Joint Council respectfully urges the Ministry of Women’s, Children’s and Youth Affairs to reconsider their plan and to partner with governments, NGOs and foundations to achieve their goals and avoid the coming tragedy for children and families.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Veggin' Out

Okay, so I'm going to start another aspect of my health journey....transitioning to more of a plant-based/vegetarian diet. My family and I have made the move to mostly chicken with the occasional pork, turkey, and fish mixed in. I think it's been a stretch for my meat-eating husband, but the kids don't mind at all as they are not huge fans of meat anyway.

For Christmas I got a juicer and have LOVED the ability to get in more veggies that way. I naturally love veggies, but find that eating more would be challenging w/o juicing and/or subbing them in place of other foods. Hence the move to eating more of a plant-based diet. My plan is to work this in to my day, minus dinner, since I still want to feed the husband's appetite. Maybe in time I'll convince him.

So, far I've been pulling most of my ideas from, a great blog! This week we made her black bean burgers, carrot fries, and roasted chick peas! All were a HIT with me and the kids. Chad liked each of them "fine" or "okay", so I think he'd get used to it over time. I think he truly liked the chick peas, which make a great snack, salad topper, or addition to any dish for texture and flavor purposes.

Here are a few pics:
This was lunch today. Juice: spinach, carrots, and apple. Salad: romaine, cucumber, cilantro, and garlic/herb dressing. Veggie Bowl: mushrooms, cabbage, onion, and roasted chick peas.

Here are the Lemon Rosemary roasted chick peas right after they cooked.

And this was lunch from a few days bean burger w/a little swiss and mushrooms, edaname beans, and carrot fries.