Saturday, August 28, 2010

African Adoption Picnic

Today was AWESOME!!  Our church hosted an African Adoption Picnic.  The weather was great, but the company was OVER THE TOP!! I wish I could find the words to express how incredibly wonderful it was to see all the Ethiopian children with their brothers and sisters, moms and dads.  Here are a few of the moments I will never forget, and I will probably cry as I write about them like I did when each of them happened...(seriously, I cried a lot today!  Tears of JOY!)

*  One mom asked me how Dawit was doing.  She wanted to make sure her son, Nati, saw Dawit.  (James and I spent time with Nati and his brother when we were in country.)  Nati's mom said that when he came home, he carried a small, worn picture of our Dawit in his pocket.  He would ask, "Is he in America?"  "Is Dawit with his mom and dad?"  "Mom, he was sooo small.  He is such a small baby." 

Are you crying yet??  Because I sure was!!  I don't think that could be any sweeter.  He was so worried about Dawit and wanted to make sure he was with us and okay.  Of course, we re-introduced them.  Nati smiled really big and we explained that he had surgery to fix his lip.  (I was afraid he wouldn't recognize him.)

**  One of the families just got home a few weeks ago after adopting a sibling group of 5.  (After coming home in January with a little one!...and having 4 kids before that!!)  It was awesome to see them playing and when an old friend walked up the sidewalk, the big sis would yell to her brothers in Amharic to come here.  They would get so excited to see each other.  Each child would shake hands, kiss, and hug.  It was sweet the first time this happened and every time after that!!

***  I remember this particular sibling group from our time in ET.  I wondered if they would remember Dawit.  I brought the oldest brother over and pointed to Dawit.  I said, "That's Dawit."  he just looked at me and pointed back to himself.  (His name was Dawit too!)  Anyway, I went on to try to tell him that Dawit was at KVI.  He said, "Dawit...KVI?"  I shook my head and pointed to my lip, thinking maybe he would remember.  HE DID!  He yelled for his brothers and sister.  He told them something I didn't understand, but at the end of it, they each got excited and hugged and  kissed our little Dawit. 

There were so many families that came.  The kids played soccer, ran around, played in the sand, and had lots of fun!!  I took lots of pictures and tried to just soak it all in. 
It was amazing to see.  Today could not have been any better!

The kids playing in the sand and getting really dirty!

Bennett and Tedi hanging out by the soccer field.

Avery and Bennett having fun.  I told Brooke, if you want to find Bennett, look for Avery.  She loves him!!

Here is all the crowd. 

More families....The Scott's with a friend I met through our pediatrician.  Before today she only knew one Ethiopian adoptive family (us).  Now, she knows lots and her little guy made lots of friends!

The Henderson's, April, and Danett.

Justin, Vince, and Justin's dad.

More of the fun...

Hiwot and Feven with their Daddy's.
The Brown Family.  (home last week.)
Avery LOVES Feven.  Her baby dolls are even named Feven!  Unfortunately, Feven wanted to play and not take this picture!  :) 

And, of course, we couldn't end the day without a picture of ALL the kiddos! 
 Is that AWESOME or what??  More families came after this picture, so there were even more than this!!

I feel like I said awesome...wonderful...amazing....a lot during this post.


What a blessing it is to be surrounded by other adoptive families and so many beautiful children.  Thank you LORD for each of these children and the families that said YES to adoption!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

State Fair

On Monday night we loaded up two cars and headed to our state fair!  Two cars...12 people...6 different concession stands for dinner....equals quite an adventure!  But LOADS of fun for all.  (right guys?)  After we finally got everyone fed we headed towards the animals.  This was all the girls were talking about.  Not how cute they were, but how much they stunk and not to step in poop.  (I promise, this really is ALL they talked about.)  First we saw the "chicklings"  That's what Grace called them.  :)
Unfortunately, we didn't get to see the cows. I was looking forward to this since Dawit just learned that a cow says, "ewwww" :) We did get to see some BIG piggy's and even some piglets.

While the girls rode their tricycles at Safety City, Dawit got his first sucker.  You guessed it, he LOVED it!  I really didn't want him to have it, but one of the state troopers brought it over for him.  I just couldn't tell him "No Thanks."  I did take it away pretty loud screams. 

We did hit the Midway for some games and rides.  Avery and Reese had fun on the carousel .  (So did Sis and Lin, truth be told.)

 Avery and Gracie rode the airplane.  I love this picture. 

Here are the kiddos when they were still being good in their strollers.  :) 

NeNe and Dawit.  He's out of the stroller and free! 

We thought the kids would totally crash on the way home.  I even brought jammies so we could take them straight upstairs.  However, there was no sleeping in the car!  The were too hyped up!

 They had lots of fun and James and I had fun watching them.  (Now we have to start saving for next years trip to the fair!  Why is it so stinkin expensive?)

New Favorite Adoption Shirt

I absolutely LOVE this shirt!  I have been eyeing it for a few weeks and am going to break down and get yet another adoption tee!  :) 

it says,
"got love?
147 orphans"

They also have the same text on tote bags and coffee mugs.  If you like them as much as I do, click here!

If you visit this site before tomorrow, you can be entered to win a tote! 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Injera: Final Product!

Today I was excited to cook my injera after the three day wait.  I added 2 cups of water and I let that sit for 40 minutes, per the recipe.  When I poured it into my hot pan, it looked like this.  I thought, "WOW.  I think that looks right...this might actually turn out!"
Then, very quickly it turned into this...and I knew the outcome was not going to be good!

Try #2 turned out the same way.

So did try #3.

I tried less batter, lower heat, anything I could think of!  Nothing made it better.  Darn!  No injera with our doro tips tonight.  Hopefully next week I will have the courage to try my other recipe.  (I get discouraged when my food doesn't turn out.)  My other recipe is the one from our favorite restaurant, Queen of Sheba.  I should have just tried that one first!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Injera: Day 2 & Combined Worship

So, I am in to day 2 of the fermentation process with my injera.  Originally, I covered it with ceran wrap since the directions just said, "cover."  Then I realized that it probably meant "loosely" so I now have it covered with a clean cloth.  It definitely is developing that distinct sour smell!  I am going to try making it tomorrow night with doro tips.  I am keeping my fingers crossed.  I feel like the hardest part is going to be actually cooking it. 

In other news...last night we had combined worship at church.  I LOVE combined worship.  Brandi and I were laughing because it never fails that we both cry.  WHY?  During a song...during a prayer...WHATEVER!  It was a great service!
Afterward they had ice cream and bouncies for the kiddos.  Tera called me over to one of the bouncies to point out something totally AWESOME!  The bouncie was full of about 10 kids.....ALL from ETHIOPIA....ALL from the SAME ORPHANAGE!  How awesome is that?  What an incredible sight!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Zoey Hiwot's Welcome Home Cake

Last night James and I got to visit with Justin, Donna, and Zoey!  I tried really hard not to bug them since they arrived home on Sunday...I waited 4 days to call.  (better than I thought I'd do)  I just couldn't wait to see her again!  James and I spent a lot of time with her while we were in Ethiopia and ever since I have been praying HARD for that little one to come home!

I decided that I wanted to make her a "Welcome Home" cake.  Normally I use a box cake mix, but she is special and I wanted her cake to match.  I decided I would make a mocha cake.  Instead of using instant coffee like the recipe called for, I decided to use my Ethiopian coffee.  (hoping I was doing it right!)  Here is the final product...

I think it turned out cute, and they said it tasted good too.  (always a plus, right?)

Zoey and Momma....

We had such a good time visiting with them.  Miss Zoey Hiwot is a joy and I am so glad she is home!  I can see many, many play dates in our future!

Welcome Home Brown Family!!!

Injera: Day1

So, here goes...  my first attempt at making injera.  I have two different recipes, so I just chose one to try first and we will see how this one turns out.

I used 1 pound Teff Flour, 2 tbsp yeast, 1 tbsp fenugreek powder, and 1cup water.   To start, I soaked the yeast in hot water.  Once that was cooled I kneaded it (by hand) into the flour.  Once that was combined, I sprinkled the fenugreek powder on top and covered it.  It has to sit for three days!  (this gives it the sour taste)

(I got all my ingredients at our local Indian grocery store.)

Here is the result

Now, we wait......

I'll let you know.....

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

First Day Recap

Upon picking Gracie up today, she told me the following:

-  We got a popsicle!  (yelled this as soon as she got into the van.)
-  She ate all her lunch
- Rules?  We don't have any rules.
-  Well, we have two rules.  1.  No hitting  2.  No biting
-  I sat by Chloe
-  I met Ethan
- I had FUN!

She even said she wanted to go back tomorrow!  :)

Tonight she prayed for her cute!

Here's hoping tomorrow goes as smoothly.

First Day Of School!

On the night before school starts, I have always had trouble sleeping.  I didn't really think that would be a problem this year, since I don't have the stress of teaching.  Boy was I wrong!  This year I couldn't sleep either...I guess I was worrying about my BABY STARTING SCHOOL!

I really tried to pump Gracie up for the big day.  Yesterday we met Daddy for lunch to celebrate her last day of summer vacation.  Her friend came over to play.  We made popcorn last night.  I let her pick out her lunch and outfit for the first day.  After all that, when I asked if she was excited her reply was always a simple "NO."  :)

This morning she did good.  James and I walked her into school.  She saw NeNe right away.  I think that helped.  She kept telling me she would be fine as long as NeNe and Becky were there.  :)  We walked her down to Mrs. Cline's class and she walked right in!  No tears from Gracie or Mommy!  However, Avery did cry because she missed her sissy!  (funny, since all they have been doing lately is fighting!)

My big girl!  Ready for her first day.

Showing off her tote bag that we "blinged up" a little.  She insisted on decorating it with was EVERYWHERE!  And probably will continue to be everywhere.

Heading into school.

One of Gracie's friends from church is in her class.  I am so glad!  Here mom sent me this picture she took after we left. 

I can't wait to hear how her first day went!  She will probably come home tired and hungry! 

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Fun (busy) Weekend

We had a very busy weekend packed full of fun!  On top of breakfast with the girls and a birthday party on Saturday afternoon, we got together to celebrate 2 of my cousins graduation.  Sarah graduated from UL Law School and her little bro Zach graduated from UK.  They asked everyone to wear their team colors.  It was fun to see all the red and blue.  I wish I could say we represented well, but we were definitely outnumbered.  :)

I had my camera, ready to snap some pictures of all the cousins in their red and blue cuteness!

Missing one little guy in this picture.  You can't win em all, I guess.  I was impressed we got one this good!

This is the face that Dawit makes when he says "cheese"!

Don't you just love that jean diaper and those thighs!

After all that fun, we added more today!  Tonight we had the Allen family over for dinner and got to spend some time with their new family member!  She and Dawit are going to be great buds, I know it!
Is she beautiful, or what?

Then, to put this weekend TOTALLY OVER THE TOP we headed over to the airport to welcome home the Brown family!  I laughed as we were pulling least 5 cars in a row were all waiving to each other.  All adoptive families that knew each other and were excited to celebrate with our friends!  (I feel like I should get a "frequent visitor parking pass" or something.  :)

It was AWESOME to see Hiwot!  We got to visit with her in January when we traveled.  I am so happy to see this family together!

Is that a cute family, or what?

So, I'd say this weekend couldn't have been much better!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Do You Like Doughnuts?

If you like doughnuts, then I have a deal for you!  I am heading up a fundraiser for Arise and Love in Action (the new orphanage in Ethiopia).  Several of us Arise families in the Louisville area are selling KRISPY KREME (yum!) original glazed doughnuts for the great price of $6.50.  For every box we sell, LIA will receive at least 50% of that. 

If our little Ethiopian beauties have pulled at your heart and you would like to play a part in caring for other orphans in Ethiopia, PLEASE contact me.  You can place a doughnut order OR make a flat donation.  I am taking orders until August 30.  Our Doughnut Day :)  is Saturday, September 4.  You will be able to pick them up that morning at the Arise office. 

Hope to hear from you!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Dinner Menu: Top Chef Recipe

Tonight I tried the winning Ethiopian recipe from last weeks episode of Top Chef.  I made a few adjustments though.  I couldn't find currants anywhere, so I used raisins.  I thought that worked fine.  I also cut the recipe in half.  Honestly, I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out, so I made half of this recipe and also made my doro tips recipe.  (tried and true...we know that's good!)  Overall, I thought the dish was good....not great, I can't wait to have that again, just good.  We did have the Henderson family over and JT liked the new recipe better than my doro tips.  I think next time I try it, I will use less tomato puree.  Also, I chopped a jalapeno instead of a habanero...but didn't even use it.  I stopped by the Queen of Sheba and bought some injera to round out the meal...YUM!  Today I also got everything I need to make injera.  I have a recipe in my Ethiopian cookbook that I am going to try.  I have never done anything fermented and on top of that I have heard making injera is hard.  So wish me luck! 

Is anyone else brave enough to try and cook this stuff??

Monday, August 9, 2010

Another Surgery

Today Dawit got tubes in his ears.  His ENT is Dr. Gould.  He is the dr. that went to Ethiopia right after we got Dawit's referral.  He was great and took Haberman bottles and taught the nannies how to feed Dawit.  After that trip, our little man started gaining weight!  We are so thankful that the LORD worked in that way and provided Dr. Gould!  This is a picture of Dawit in Dr. Gould's arms. 

Here is another picture of Andy, Dawit, and Hannah (the great nurse that cared for Dawit in Nazareth)  Notice his tiny legs!

Last week was the first time Andy got to see Dawit (in person) since he came come in January. Of course, he was surprised to see Dawit is a little chunker now!!  Here is a picture I took this morning.

Wow!  What a difference!  (chunky thighs!)

Dawit was really happy and in a good mood before his surgery.  (saying cheese to the camera) 

Then the nurse gave him his loopy medicine.
Poor guy..

Dawit did really well through surgery.  Hopefully this will help.  He has failed both hearing tests, and this will definitely improve his hearing.  (which we hope will improve his speech.)  Our little guy is a trooper!