"Anyone can have one kid. But going from one kid to two is like going from owning a dog to running a zoo." - P. J. O'Rourke

Friday, August 29, 2008

SIx Months

Today marks the six month anniversary of bringing Zoe & Marcus home! Wow, how time flies. It feels as though they have always been here and yet it also feels like we are still just getting to know them. What a joy and a blessing they have been to our lives. Sometimes it is challenging, but that is a blessing too. How boring would life be if there were no challenges? They fit in so well with our family, we just know that God hand-picked them to be here with us.

One of the latest pleasures has been that Marcus talks more and more about Ethiopia and his life there. For a long time, he didn't say anything about it. I don't know if he didn't want to talk about it or if he didn't have the language ability to talk about it. Regardless, he talks frequently and fondly of Ethiopia. It makes my heart happy to hear him share about his ox or about when it would be raining and his dad would open the door and the rain would come into the house. I asked him if he would play in the mud during the rain and he said, "No, Dad said. no." Now isn't that just too cute!

Anyway, here are a couple pictures of when the first came home and now.  

Then
Now.


Then


Now

I Wanna Look Like....

Molly! Yes, that is what little Raelea declared when she started begging to get her haircut. Not being one to cut hair on a whim, I waited a couple weeks, but when she was still asking for her haircut I decided to do it. So here you have it - Little Molly (aka Raelea) Cute as a button!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

373

The number of pictures I took in August 2008 (and it's not even over yet)!  I wish I could say that this an anomaly, but I am sure I have taken about the same number every month lately.  I am a picture fanatic.....

Portraits

Last year, we decided to stop spending oodles of money getting our kids portraits done at a studio and we started doing them at home.  This allows us to save significant amounts of time and money :)  Not to mention the little ones will smile much better at home for Mom & Dad than they will for some stranger in a studio.  Now that we have a Mac we can have fun playing with the photos as well.

Anyway, here's what we do.  We set up our own little studio in the living room by hanging a sheet or blanket behind the kids and then another one on the floor (if the floor will be in the picture), then we take lots and lots of pictures.  I figure if you take enough pictures you should be able to get one or two that are usable.  I had our little studio all set up yesterday and started with Molly (because she was the only one dressed nice enough) all was going along just fine until my camera battery died.  So, I had to take down the studio and I'll have to set it up another day.

Okay, so here is a picture of Molly that will NOT be making it onto our wall this year.

And here's one that might be on the wall.  Isn't she pretty!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Go 49ers!!!

Aidan had his first football game last night.  Although they played hard, the game ended in a tie.  Aidan did a great job of showing perseverance, good sportsmanship and focus, so that makes him a winner all around.  We are very proud of him!

He's the one on the end (#52) Ironically, they were playing the Cowboys, which was Aidan's team last year. I think Raelea thought she was rooting for the blue team the whole night :)
Every player needs his fan club.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Yippee!

Now maybe this is just a homeschooler's thrill, but I am so excited because we bought a new (to us) storage cabinet this weekend for the school room!  Not only do I now have more shelf space; I can shut the doors and everything is out of sight (mine & the little hands that like to take things off of shelves).

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Random Pictures

Zoe playing the piano with her friend Justin.
Zoe & Justin both wanting to be held at the same time :)
Rockstar Raelea
Aidan - too cool for his own good!
Three happy girls enjoying s'mores on family night.
I LOVE my backyard!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Marcus Squared

We have the privilege of having an additional child in our home over the weekend, Aidan's friend, Marcus G. This has only been slightly confusing :) When we named our Marcus, Chris told me it would be okay because we "Don't do Christmas with them." (referring to Marcus G.'s family) Obviously, he (Chris) wasn't thinking about baby-sitting Marcus :)

Personally, I think that Marcus Squared kind of look alike. Check out their smile and their eyes...

Friday, August 22, 2008

USCIS

After complaining a bit about the ineptitude of the folks over at USCIS in previous posts I thought I better post today about my pleasant experience with them as well.  We still do not have Zoe's Permanent Resident Card (because the folks at USCIS dropped the ball a couple times), so I thought I would give them a little call to see what's happening with that :)  Lo and behold, much to my surprise, the gentleman I spoke with was very helpful and hopefully, things will get moving on Zoe's case.  (Why they weren't moving before is still a mystery, but we won't go there now and spoil my happy feelings about USCIS.)

Oh, and to top that off, I have been trying to deal with an insurance issue for four months now (trying to get the insurance company to pay a bill that they should pay, but haven't).  After many, many phone calls to the insurance company and the pediatrician's office, I had a wonderful woman help me yesterday and she has gotten it all cleared up.  It's just my week!

Devotions

Yesterday morning as I was going about my chores, I walked through the living room where the children were having their morning devotions.  Here is what I found.

Zoe likes to snuggle up with Evan while he is reading his Bible.
Raelea & Marcus like to pretend to read their Bibles (actually they like to pretend to read other people's Bibles).  I don't know how much they get out of their "reading", but they looked pretty darn cute.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Rachels' Birthday

My niece Rachel's 5th birthday was yesterday.  As always, they had a wonderful party for her.  This one included cupcakes and a trip to the firehouse to be sprayed by the fire hose.  Now how am I going to top that when my kids' birthdays roll around!

Here's the birthday girl...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Hills Are Alive....

Okay, I got my haircut today - not because I wanted it shorter, but because I am growing it out. Now that makes a lot of sense!? It was driving me crazy, so I needed to do something with it while I am growing it out. When I arrived home my children unanimously decided that I look like "that lady in the Sound of Music". Oh, you mean Julie Andrews? Yes, she's the one. Hmmm. I'm not sure if this is a compliment or a put-down. Well, Julie was only 30 when the movie was made, so I guess that's kind of a compliment.

So you can decide. Here's Julie and here's me

What do you think?  Now if only I could sing like her!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Sad State of Affairs


How many kids can you fit in a toddler swimming pool?  This explains why the kids always want to go swim at the neighbor's in-ground pool.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Things That Make Me Laugh

Not everyone who reads this will be laughing, but to me, these are really funny.  Remember the post on how strange I am...

Anyway, the comedian's name is Tim Hawkins and he has a bunch of stuff on YouTube if you're looking for a way to kill some time check it out.  Btw, he reminds me of my brother-in-law Peter :)

I Forgot

We had a very fun-filled weekend visiting friends, but I forgot to bring my camera! It won't be nearly as fun for you to read about it without pictures :(

Anyway, on Saturday we went to Rochester to visit our friends Dan & Lori and their four kids. Dan & Lori are dear friends who took care of Aidan, Emily & Raelea while we were in Ethiopia. We had a fun and very relaxing day at their house - pictures would have been great if I had taken any!

On Sunday, after church, we went over to our Joe & Natalie's house for a picnic. Between the three families that were there we had 19 kids running around. It was a great afternoon of socializing. The fun thing about going to something like this is that the kids all have so much fun playing that the adults can actually hold adult conversations. Once again, pictures would have been fun...grrr. I think I'll velcro my camera to my forehead, so I won't forget it again :)

Friday, August 15, 2008

Re-Relay

Our Relay for Life event was cancelled shortly after it started (July11) due to inclement weather.  Because the event was called off before it got dark we never got to light the luminaria (candles dedicated to cancer survivors or victims).  So, last night, we had a much shorter event after sunset to light the lunimaria and take a few laps around the track.  It was a very touching time to see the names of all the people who have been touched by cancer.


Since two people have asked me (after looking at the next picture), "Did they not go all the way around the track?"  I will clarify.  Yes, the bags did go all the way around the track, I just took a picture of a portion of them :)  The bags from our team went about half way around the track.  The other however many teams got the rest of the track.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Dog Days of Summer

So, here's what's happening around our house during our lazy August days.

Raelea, Zoe & I did our nails - matching hot pink!




The grass keeps growing (only because we keep watering it), so Molly & Evan have to keep mowing.  Molly does the front yard and Evan does the back.  I didn't take a picture of Evan because he wasn't wearing a skirt while he mowed.
And Snickers, well, what can I say, this is pretty much how she spends her entire summer.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Then And Now

I was looking back over old pictures and I thought I would let you see how the kids have changed in the past four years (when I first got my digital camera).

Here we go...
EVAN
Then (barely 10)

Now (almost 15)

NINA
Then (7 )

Now (almost 12)

MOLLY
Then (6)
Now (almost 11)
AIDAN
Then (4)
Now (almost 9)
EMILY
Then (4)
Now (almost 9)
And last but not least -
RAELEA
Then (1 month)
Now (3)
Okay, I'm really biased, but aren't they all just adorable??? Marcus & Zoe haven't changed much in the 5 months they've been here. They'll have to wait until the next update.