Friday, November 30, 2007

Men I Love

Thanksgiving this year was amazing. We had some priceless family time with both of my sisters and their families. We have NEVER been all together before. Never. We have been together, in smaller groups - but never all at the SAME time. It was so wonderful.

What I realized was this....There are a lot of very handsome men in my life. That may sound shallow of me - which I tend to be from time to time, but just look and see for yourself.

Look at this guy - I get to be married to him! He is one of the good ones.

My oldest is turning into a gorgeous young man. He is so much fun to be with. I love, love, love, hanging out with him. (Oh, and my dog, Quincy - if you know me at all, you know what I think of this guy. Woman's best friend.)

Quite handsome for a boy of 10. For more good stuff on this guy, visit my last post.
Because I share not a single genetic chromosome with this little character, I can say without conceit that he is one of the most gorgeous creations God has made.

This is my nephew. God has marked this guy for something amazing- you watch. His gorgeous face is the least of his attributes - so you can only imagine what's on the inside.

I love all these Men. There are actually two missing from my list here but out of all due respect for their humble personalities I have not plastered their pictures on this blog. I will try to add them in a group shot sometime just so you can see that I have two very handsome brothers in law as well!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Ten Again

I love that our Ethiopian kids have been with us seven months now. I love it for many reasons.

First of all, the transition is hard - and we have transitioned.
Secondly, half a year has passed and that means half of a years events have been successfully processed.
And third, the kids have begun to share more with us about their past. This is a great sign of attaching and bonding that we adoptive parents wait for.

Joseph had a birthday this month. He was ecstatic about his special day as he has been in our family long enough to see four siblings celebrate birthdays. This event prompted a conversation about age that we have waited a long time to have.

It appears our suspicions were accurate. It was clear to us in Ethiopia that Joseph was not eight. We actually aged him a full year at our readoption. That put him at nine. He has just shared with us that he was ten when he entered the orphanage. That was a year ago. Well, he just had his first American birthday and he is now ten - again.

We love our son - no matter his age. We are just happy to see that he is trusting us as his parents. It is good.

In honor of our Ten-Again son, here are 10 things I love about Joseph...

1. Joseph is an excellent eater.
2. And he freely shows his gratitude for good cooking!
3. He is a very hard worker around the house. His specialties are cleaning the garage and van.
4. He adores his Uncle Charlie and wants to be with him a l l t h e t i m e !
5. Joseph is a great soccer player.
6. He is very diligent with his school work.
7. He loves babies and really wants one around here!
8. He loves church and memorizing verses for AWANA.
9. Joseph has a beautiful singing voice.
10. Joseph is a happy, happy boy!

Monday, November 12, 2007

The "New Normal"

We have hit a "new normal" around here. I am grateful for this because now I know what I have to work with. We have some work to do with refining relationships, developing self-control, and increasing patience. With homeschooling I get the whole day to work on this stuff. It is not for the faint of heart let me tell you. But by the grace of God, we keep plugging away, and it is good. Very good.

Each October, it has become our tradition, to go to Hocking Hills. People who say Ohio is flat and boring have never visited Hocking Hills. It is beautiful - including 9 different State Parks that cover over 9000 acres of God's handiwork.

This year was extra fun as it was our first with our Ethiopian kids. It would be an understatement to say that they loved it. We had a great day on so many levels. The kids all enjoyed the freedom of exploration, the stimulation of great exercise, and a day off from school.
Brent and I enjoyed largely the same things but one thing that we didn't expect provided the most enjoyment...
Teamwork. Our kids true colors shined this day. They ran together, laughed together, and worked together. A few of the hikes we took had some tricky spots. It was a huge blessing to watch the kids help each other. They would look around for the more challenging climbs, then plan together for how they would execute a successful route. One would go first, turn and help the next - while leaving a strong one on the ground to help with the lift. All the while, I could cruise smoothly behind, taking the safer route, and watch my cute kids.
Our "new normal" is louder, busier and crazier. But we knew that would be the case when we started down this road of growing our family. It is a good life, thanks be to God.