Thursday, May 28, 2009

Kindergarten Graduation!

The class and their families all went to the park after the ceremony
Taye has been so prayed for and sooooo welcomed by the whole school! It feels like he is a little celebrity there! I can't even say how much all the love means to us!
Breck had his kindergarten graduation yesterday! When I was a kid I don't think that we had those-- we home schooled Kait in kindergarten- so, this was our first experience with the whole thing. Man, he had grown up so much in this last year! I felt like he was a hard toddler. Lots of tantrums, super clingy, ect.. I was completely unsure if it was okay to send him to preschool. The teacher, who had 3 boys, came and visited and assured us he would be fine. He was and has continues to grow and he is such a joy!!!
His heart for the Lord is so neat to see. One example- the class had been learning Bible verses all year- one for each letter of the alphabet. We were practicing those for the ceremony and J was- Jesus said, let the little children come unto me. He looked at me and was like, you know mom, that means me cause I'm a kid! Wow! It is so amazing how we can be laying on the floor, playing around while practicing but it is all soaking in! It is kind of overwhelming when I think about the responsibility that we have with these precious 4 kids but what a privilege to see God's work in their hearts!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Ethiopia part 4 - days 3 and 4

Wednesday morning, another beautiful day in Addis, we went to the Addis Ababa University. This part used to be a palace and is now offices. Neat to see and get pictures of. Of course Kevin found some students to talk to! This is with Becky and her little boy Bek-- awesome travel companions!

Here is a picture out of our door at House of Hope! They seriously have soooo much work to do! This is an every day deal-- washing tons of clothes and nasty diapers by hand, hanging them to dry, do it all over again! I can't say enough about how wonderful the nannies and the guards and everyone there was!!! We have so many pictures of Taye with the guards and drivers b/c he loved them so much!

Wed. afternoon, coffee ceremony! We had this every afternoon-- the best coffee ever and salty, sweet popcorn. Simegn,the cook was so wonderful!

Taye enjoying the popcorn with his friend, Amani.

Thursday morning we did some shopping, hung out with the kids, and then we were ready to go to our visa appointment!!! Such an exciting day!

Thursday was also my 31st birthday! That night we went out to an amazing Italian restaurant with our friends the Harrs! We loved them so much and it was so fun to celebrate my birthday with them.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Ethiopia Part 3-- still Day 2

too sweet-- my grandma, mom, and aunt stopped for a visit last week-- Taye loved Grandma-- she just followed him around playing with him, counting his little toes, and ooohing over his cute little pink feet (they are super sweet!)
When we first arrived home we were having a lot of problems getting Taye to eat. We picked up several orders of doro wat and injera and I froze them and give him that once a day-- he loves it! Grandma and Taye were having a great time feeding each other-- she was amazing, such a good sport-- she totally got the whole using your hand thing!

Wow I just realized that I am still posting pictures about day 2. I am going to have to speed this up!

Here are Taye and Kev putting together this little car on Tuesday afternoon. Taye loves trying to figure out how things work and wants to be in on everything! We stayed at the HOH and LOVED it. With a toddler, it seemed like a great way for them to still have the familiar around, but get to know us. Our room was really nice& the food was great!We were back in the van that afternoon. I was so excited that we were getting to see and do a lot of things! The scaffolding on the buildings was crazy!

This is driving up to the top of Entoto Mountain. One of the 7 mountains surrounding Addis Ababa. These women were walking down with these huge bundles.

Kevin and Taye at the top- overlooking the city. There are a lot of eucalyptus groves on the mountain.

This is a really old Orthodox church at the top. There was actually a service going on because it was Holy Week . There was also a old palace there that we went through and a small museum. It was really interesting and a lot of history but as we were leaving tons of kids and moms with babies were coming up to us begging. That is so hard!

We went with the group to the Hilton that night for dinner and had a lot of laughs and some disasters!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Our Trip --Part 2

A quick update- We took Taye to church for the first time today! It was really special to be there as a family (one of us has been staying home with him on Sundays). It is just really hard to know how to manage the situation-- he gets more crazy the more stressed he is-- doesn't really want to be held-- just wants to run around. We are happy that he doesn't seem to want to go to every new person he meets now!

Waking up on Tuesday morning and watching Taye sleep- when he did wake up he seemed less than thrilled to see us-- turned his head away and pretended to sleep-he was not anxious to get out of bed! He did that for a while after we got home. Now he jumps up and reaches for us the minute he sees us in his room.

After breakfast and playing with the other adorable kids at the HOH for a while, we were off with the group to go to see the lions! As I said- no car seats. Taye did great with one as soon as we got home -- I think that he likes that he can see out.

The zoo was crazy-- we were seriously so close to these lions. Taye was not all that into them but he does love to be outside.

Driving back to HOH-- this is one of the roads we took. So typical, people, animals, cars, children. So much poverty but such amazing people! Looking through all the pictures again makes me miss Ethiopia!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Our Trip to Ethiopia-- Part 1

Okay, here are some pictures of our trip.... starting with our flight there. We flew on Emirates Air and loved it! We got to stay one night in Dubai (the airline pays for your hotel). We were only there for 12 hours squeezed in a Lebanese restaurant and a walk downtown to get some baklava. yummmm! We also had fun talking to some of the people there. Finally the moment arrived to meet "Yohannes"! We met him about a half hour after we arrived at House of Hope. It was crazy to see them bring us this little boy! We had looked at his pictures for so long that we felt like we knew him but to hold him was amazing! He was so sweet-- no crying but just so little and unsure-- clutching a handful of popcorn.
After we took him up to the room we were staying in, we gave him his little backpack with toys and played with him for a while. We also brought him the hat which he wore all the time :)

I rocked him to sleep that afternoon for his nap and never wanted to put him down! I still feel like that when I rock him before his nap! It is so magical to rub his soft arms and cheeks! We were so glad that he immediately let us hold and cuddle him... the struggles came later :)

After naps we went with the other families to go to the Hilton to exchange money and to see a little bit of the city. Here is one picture-- it is hard to even totally capture the energy level and amount of things going on as you drive down the streets. Our drivers were great so I felt safe but the lack of organized lanes and the fact there there are basically NO stop signs is a little disconcerting.

Here is a picture of the great group that we spent the week with! They were so fun and it totally made the week! We all piled in to this van! The Hilton was gorgeous! I'm not sure about the rooms but the pool area and restaurant were great.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

17 days

Wow! I can't believe we have been home for 17 days! In some ways it seems longer but on the other hand-- 17 days-- shouldn't I have things more together by now?! We are having so much fun but it is also more challenging in some ways than I thought it would be to adjust! Siblings definitely are helping! Brecken is am awesome big bother! Usually he has a great balance of loving on and teasing and frustrating Taye a little bit!

Kaitlin turned nine! Happy Birthday sweet daughter!
Another birthday party at Chuck E Cheese! Seriously-- it is so easy but that is where all three oldest kids went for their birthdays this year. Oh well, like I said-- it's easy! We debated if we should take Taye but hated to split up so we took him-- he loved it!!!! of course he loves anything he can drive!

Sadly, we said goodbye to our dear friends Angel and Fidelis and their gorgeous girls! They are moving to New Zealand! I met Angel in BSF just this fall but she introduces me as her "sister" and the feeling is mutual! I have learned so much about life and friendship from her! Love you guys!
I really want to post pictures of our trip--- I just need life to slow down :) My goal is do do that before we have been home for a month!