Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Rounding out the rough edges

I have not posted in a long time. I have been busy with teaching this year and truthfully it is hard to know how much to bear on a public blog and knowing I can never really take my words back. So often I have a thought or something I want to write about, but then decide it is best kept to myself. So many changes on the horizon and yet so much happening now. It is a challenge to know how to keep life going here and yet start planning to move to another country in maybe about 8 months. I am grateful for the here and now. I have seen God put this together in such a fashion that I would be a fool to not see that this is where we are to be today. I hope God knows I am thankful even with my less than smooth heart. I still have So much to learn.

In three short months Malachi will have been home for 2 years. In so many ways it seems like it has gone too quickly and then some days it feels like I wish I could speed up time for him. He is still screaming when frustrated and I wish I could just help him talk and share his feelings--I want to rush this for him. At home it is so much more comfortable and fun. He loves routine and sleeping. He loves to laugh and dance and play and play. He brings such joy to our home and can not imagine our lives without him. Yet there are those nights when defeat and weariness truimph. There is a certain lump that creeps up my throat as I wonder will it ever all be ok. We had a school event and it was so hard for him tonight. He yells and fights when he is in public places. His sense to save himself and fight to survive is still so very alive. He does not always feel and believe that we are there for him and will meet his needs and take care of him. He becomes someone we hardly know and all of us struggle to make him happy and quiet to avoid looks filled with questions of why??? I fear someone asking me what have I done to him or why is this not better yet. I am sure it is all in my imagination, but the parent guilt is real. He always lets me hug and kiss him-- he LOVES being close now. That is a huge gain that took over 1 1/2 years. He listens and follows directions at home and sometimes wish I could make our whole life at home. But with four other angels there are many events to attend so Malachi must press on to learn how to trust us and not let his senses become so overwhelmed. This may just be who he is and not even adoption related, but it helps me understand when I put it into that frame that he just needs more time. So I am off to run and walk with my star.Aser does everything in his power to shield me from the sadness I feel when we are out with our little one and I even see my older kids try to help soften the edges. My mom is a true hero and is so willing to watch Malachi to help him avoid being put into situations that are uncomfortable. I wish the lump would go away, but am sure with time,just as for Malachi, this will also become less noticable. Thankful for life today despite times of me being tattered and learning to be a better mama for my little Angel.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Shoe 'Tude

Can you tell who the serious big brother is??? The girls have no idea how lucky they are to have him to keep things in order for them. I am always amazed at the back to school shoe hunt. It reveals so much about your child and I think is a valuable peek inside their mind. Anna chose her shoes because of the Ethiopian flag colors-- These are totally her personality. Nehemiah chose the latest basketball shoe that I could afford to buy. Rebekah and Lydia chose my favorite shoe -- CONVERSE! I wear mine whenever I can get away with it.

The big news for us is that we are now pushing moving to Ethiopia to July. This will give us time to get our support in order. It is going great and in just about 3 months we are 70% supported for two years. We think this is a miracle given the state of the economy. Wycliffe is then wanting to see our funding coming in solid for about 3-4 months before they send us out, so we think this puts us at about July. We were on the phone with the school and were going over many different scenarios and this one just gave us the most peace and made sense in light of the kids and school. We are very excited now to charge forward with this plan.

Out of the blue a few weeks ago Beaverton schools called and asked if I wanted to come for an interview. They had laid - off over 50 Special Ed teachers this past spring so I never would have dreamed they would have any openings at all. When they called I thought I was in trouble since our kids were not enrolled in a school yet... I did not even have a complete file with my application and had not applied. After much prayer and stress I decided to go to the interview and just see what God was up to. I still can't believe they offered me the job and honored all of my previous years of teaching. So for this year we will have awesome insurance and really get things ready to leave with many dental and vision appts. God COMPLETELY worked this out and I could not have even if I had tried. It is part-time and not even a mile from where my kids go to school. So I still get to drop them off and be there for pick up. I am still in wonderment how this worked out. We also were not planning on having the kids return to the school we have been at for 9 years as we thought we would be in Ethiopia... but the day I was offered the job we found out that there was only one spot left in two of the their classes and room for two more. With a humble heart we are so grateful for the way the board and principal have made it possible for our kids to be there this year. BEYOND GRATEFUL ----

I have such peace in my heart even though our plans have been rearranged a bit. After seeing God just lay-out things so perfectly this fall how could I or dare I question where I am supposed to be ...

Thank you for your continued prayer and encouragement with us through this process.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Time is so sweet! My babies are growing up...

First Day of School! We have kids in the following grades: 8,6,5,and 3rd. They are all off to a wonderful start. I have more updates to post soon as our PLANS are coming together and I have total peace---

Sunday, August 16, 2009

15 Years Ago --

Thinking back to 15 years ago I don't think I realized the enormous decision I was making. I think I thought I knew it all, but in reality marriage is so much more than I thought. It has to be the deepest, most meaningful relationship I have ever been in. It is not that things are always bliss and roses, but the determination to make it better and to be there for our kids have kept us focused on each other and God. I can't believe how much grace Aser has in his life for me. I can be a handful:) , but he is ALWAYS loving and kind. Even when I don't deserve his sweetness he is there. I would marry him all over again. I hope I can even begin to thank him for just how wonderful he has been to me and our babes. I am grateful to God for allowing me to marry Aser. There were voices that would say we would never make it. THere were people who wanted to tell me stats on biracial marriages, but for some reason I knew we could be different. I am amazed at how quickly these years have gone and wish I could slow down time. My heart beats for this man. I hope we can both still be alive to celebrate 50. My mom watched the kids so we could head to the coast for a night... fantastic!!! We saw about 100 pirates in Depoe Bay (it was a special game the town puts on) and even saw a whale. The walks and talks on the beach are the true treasures I hope I never forget.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Bingham Academy-- This is Where I will Teach and We Will Live

This is a promotional video done about two years ago I think. Murray Overton is the man we met with when we were in Addis. I love the part that shows life right outside of the gates. Also, you can really hear the hearts of the teachers by watching this. We will live on this campus in an apartment. Right now in Addis they are only allowing power every other day. I know this will be an adjustment as I think about cooking, teaching, and hairdryers:) It is so exciting and we are still praying we can make it there this fall. |


Monday, June 22, 2009

We have an opportunity to move to Ethiopia-- The video explains it all:)

We have an opportunity to move to Ethiopia this fall. The video explains the details and hope you can watch this. If you would like more information please email us or leave a comment. We are needing prayer partners to pray that we can raise support to make this happen. Thank you for taking the time to listen. We will be posting updates as they happen. We can not do this alone and know God can make it happen.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Can't Get Enough

Malachi could not stop screaming with JOY today when he saw Barney! When he came home last year often a Barney video was the only thing that would stop his crying. I KNOW many of you are probably disgusted that we would let him find comfort from a purple dino and his yellow counter-part, but those were some tired days and he had an exhausted mama who did not know what to do to make him happy. Often those videos were the only time in a day when he seemed content or could be calm. I am not sure if it is the music or seeing talking animals, but it worked.

Today our neighborhood Pump It Up had Barney night, please don't hate me, but we took Malachi. When he saw Barney he could not believe it. I am surprised Barney did not file a restraining order against Malachi as he could not leave his hands off of him. He hugged and hugged him and then would pull his tail to get his attention again. He was so happy. Only two of my big kids would come as the others did not want anything to do with the purple guy:)

It is a strange thing how when you are in a public place with other parents there can be a weird silence. I am not sure if it people trying to decide how these kids with different shades are mine or how at my age do I have a little one??? Sometimes I can be so strong to just ignore, but then at times I can't keep my skin so thick and I wonder why??? And probably in all truth it had absolutely nothing to do with me.

Rebekah took all of these herself with her own camera. Thank you BoBo!

Monday, May 25, 2009

"Look at Malachi hanging out with me!"

Nehemiah LOVES LOVES his little brother. He has never complained about Malachi waking up so early and throwing blankets and books to wake him up. He never complains about not being able to go in his room during nap. He doesn't complain that there are toys and baby things all over their room. He is a super big bro! He was so happy that Malachi wanted to listen to music with him while we were waiting to leave today. Don't worry he had it pretty low for those baby ears:) They have a special bond that is gaining somedeep roots. Malachi knows he can trust Nehemiah all of the time and feels secure when he is with him. Nehemiah worries that when he goes to college it will be hard to stay close since Malachi is 11 years younger. I think they are building a great foundation that will be in place forever.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Go Ahead and Make My Day

I don't think our kids have any idea of the impact they can have on our hearts. The other night my 8 year old daughter was gettting in her bed and sat up and said in the sweetest voice, " I can hardly wait for Mother's day... because of you mommy!" This was followed with a big hug!

For some reason this has gotten me through much of this week. Aser is working nights right now and our schedule is off and it makes me a bit off. Whenever there is a change Malachi really struggles. I did not think this would have any impact on him but... it has. I am so anxious for him to be able to talk and share what he is thinking and feeling. He is such a fun toddler, but he LOVES a boring life where it is very predictable. I hope one day he finds the humor that he has a very spontaneous mom:) I have tried and tried to make his life predictable, but it is not my natural style.

Thank you my Rebekah-- You made my day!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Saturday, April 18, 2009

OperationSmile-- Life Changing


On our way back from Ethiopia one year ago we sat next to a man in this video that was escorting a girl to America to have a cleft problem corrected. He was an amazing Ethiopian man who helps these kids receive the life changing surgery they need. The girl he was bringing back had never been to Addis and was about the same age as this girl in the video. He said the parents just wept as they let her go, but they knew needed to get this done for her. WOW-- I don't think I saw her eat on the whole trip. Her surgery was more serious so they were needing to bring her to the USA and I am not sure she could eat in a way that was comfortable with so many new strange things. Tonight I saw a special on TV and each surgery is $240.00 -- cheap for something so life altering!

I was impressed with this organization after talking with this man on the plane and then even more after seeing this special. VERY COOL!!!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Monday, April 13, 2009

Cozy-- feelin' it!!!

Easter was so special yesterday! We have so much to be thankful for. My brother Kary hosted us at his house and his wife filled us with amazingly delicious food. I am still enjoying the thoughts of it today. Church was challenging and I so never want to live a life with no passion. Because of God in my life I have EVERY reason to be passion-filled!!!!

Another huge change has been Malachi. He is so different now and finally relaxing in our family. He lets me hold him-- well for 30 seconds. He could not stand being close and now will come up to me while I am cooking and want me to hold him. He will say, "cozy!" and put his head and down and pat my back. The screaming is becoming unusual now and often we can humor him out of those times. It is hard on him when we change the schedule or go somewhere with lots of new people with stimulation. I can't believe how he relaxes his muscles when I pick him up and he does not posture away from me very often either. I get choked up just thinking how frightened he was coming home with us. He is a fighter and was not going to let himself love with ease. He was ready to protect himself and shut the world out. He is not that little boy anymore. He has been through so much. I love how he calls out, "mama.." over and over and stops the second I pick him up. He brings so many smiles to us and I am thrilled to see him accepting us now. Wow-- I can't tell you how big this is. I think I have blocked much of my sadness over his rejection at times as so many dreams and hopes seemed like they would not be possible this past year. I didn't expect it to be perfect and was always willing to work on whatever was placed in our lives during this adoption. But I feel so blessed to see the rainbow through the clouds now.

I wish you could hug him too--

ps-- the horse pictures are where Lydia is taking lessons. He loves to see those long-legged "dogs". It has been so cool because Lydia is now working to pay for her lessons. The owner of the farm says she started riding this way too and really wanted Lydia to keep riding. Lydia loves cleaning, hauling hay, manure, grooming and whatever else is asked of her. I almost think she enjoys this as much as the lessons. Being on the farm is what fills her soul and so it worth the time and driving to make this happen.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Happy Birthday Malachi

He is dreaming big-- check out his shoes! He loves wearing everyone else's shoes:)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Two Years Old and a Walk Down My Memory Lane

I am ashamed to admit but I have not developed one picture before today of our time getting Malachi. I have been unable to look at his adoption papers and when I have had to reference them I put them away as quickly as I can. I have not been able to understand why I have had to distant myself from the beginning of his life. I am proud of his mother and her obvious fight for him. I have such vivid memories of Ethiopia as it was two of the most wonderful weeks of my life. I have not been able to put my finger on why. I hear of moms coming back and making scrapbooks and videos and I would only download some and by no means all I had. I have had it the CDs in a pile for a year now. Until today... that all changed! We printed off of 11 CDs at Costco and am getting ready to at least put them in a album. It is still so hard for me to process all Malachi has been through and that in his short life we are his 4th and final stop. His name when we picked him up was Gifiom. This means "victim" and was given by someone other than his mother. He had a tough tough start! I love this boy so deeply and I think I can't bear the pain of admitting this has to be his story. I am coming to terms and have had time to process much of it, but I ache for all he has to accept. He is such a STRONG and GENTLE young boy that I know he will have the courage to use it for good, but still he will have to face it. And I ache! Selfish as it may be this is how I have had to handle it for 12 months. I am so excited to have been Malachi's momma for longer than he was in the care center now. I love that he calls out for me now and cries when I walk away. I love this boy! I owe his momma all of the care and strength I can impart to him. I would want her to be proud. I giggle as I see him chow spicy food, knowing this love comes from her. I often wonder as I gaze in those brown eyes that have no end if they are from her. I know that she has had to sacrifice in the greatest of way and that is why we have this amazing son now. I ache over that! So tonight was a new beginning for me as we printed off those pictures. I am facing the future with my new two year old in tow thankful to be his momma. Happy 2nd Birthday My Precious Child Who Shines Like the Sun!

Monday, March 9, 2009

My Rebekah Joy

She turned 8 today. I am really having a hard time with her growing so quickly.

Last year we celebrated her birthday in Ethiopia at the Hilton and the kids were able to go swimming. Then at dinner they did not have cake but brought out an entire pineapple with a candle for her. Hard to believe that was a year already.

Rebekah is now out of her carseat. Four down one to go! We also started out our morning with our traditional Krispy Kreme. Then Aser and I stole her away from school for lunch. Such special times one on one! She made her own ice cream cake with grandma this year. The pushed all of the dogs inside of the cake--- it was a hit:)

I have said this before and wish I had added Joy onto her name. She is such a smile in my day and she gives me constant hugs and laughs. She is growing up and I hope to celebrate many many more birthdays with her.

Happy Birthday Baby Girl!

ps-- I went to the ENT today and will have a CT scan on Friday morning. So there really is no news, but did have a stern warning against chewing any gum as it is having wide spread damage. I had no idea! I will be so happy when this is over.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Reconnecting after 22 years--

Today I met with two of my friends from high school after 22 years. It is so hard to believe that much time has flown. We picked up right where we left off though and talked for over 3 hours before I realized how late it was... We met again through Facebook. This would be the upside of our high tech world:)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

All in Stride

I am trying to pace myself this week. Aser will be coming home on Saturday-- for good!!! We made a hard decision to have him come home as he has been working out of state for 5 months now and it is getting harder and not easier. We know this may look reckless to some, but there is the faith piece that has brought me to my knees asking God for a JOB here in Oregon. We just did not think we could do this any longer and the kids need their daddy home. This momma needs her man!!!

This rainbow was just what I needed today. It has been a heavy day and I pulled into my garage and happened to see this peek out of the dark clouds and I whispered, " Thank you God!" I have had a tooth that is causing much pain and so I went to the dentist on Monday to find out what was wrong. The dentist was very quiet after my films and then told me that I have a sinus infection, but there is a tumor like thing on my root and he has not seen anything like this before. I am a bit emotional as of late with the word TUMOR--ugh!!!! He sent my records to a specialist and then I got a call that I had to actually go and see him today. He told me my tooth pain is from a lovely tooth needing a root canal ( I could only hear dollar "chu-ching" sounds as we have no dental insurance). I wish this was all, but he said it was actually a tumor or polyp in my sinus cavity. I will now move on and see an ENT next week. I will be so happy to know what I am dealing with and am trying to stay away from google searches.. those can make you crazy.

So tomorrow I will have more lovely dental pictures to post from a dental chair, but no worries you will not be able to hear the drill!!!

I hope to see more rainbows in coming days--

The coffee beans are from a year ago actually. I brought them home with me from Ethiopia. I know that sounds so old, but I have savored the distinct smell and taste of this coffee this week as we are walking down memory lane from one year ago meeting our precious Malachi.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Savoring Each Minute

For one last time I was able to see Aser in the south this weekend. We meet in Dallas to help make this time pass. He has been such a trooper and does not complain ever. He loves his job, but it has been hard to have it sooo far away. He has only been seeing the kids once a month so we are excited to be a family again. We will see him again in 13days. I admire Aser for how well he has handled being apart and doing this even though it is hard.

Aser has gotten to know the men that work at the car rental place and they gave us a really fun car for a small car price. If you are ever looking for a travel deal try Priceline. We have gotten such amazing deals that include hotel and breakfast:)

We are able to do Dallas on a tight budget and still have a fun fun time. Saturday we walked around White Rock Lake. It is actually over 12 miles around but we made it for 9 miles. This was our longest walk/run together ever!!! We are trying to get ready for a 1/2 marathon together this spring. We stayed in Addison so Aser took this picture as the nickname for the capital of Ethiopia is Addis. We can dream! I love Dallas for the food! Wow-- can I eat while I am there... Here was a special dessert from Grand Lux. Simply delicious!

I am so thankful to my mom, once again, for making this happen for us. She so lovingly takes over with the kids so I can go. I always come home to such happy kids.

I am so excited for you to be home baby-- I am on the countdown:)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Growing Up! Happy 13th Birthday Nehemiah

I spent an amazing day with my growing son today! What a treat... I have shared how he loves history, and we got to spend the whole day involving that topic. ( this was what he wanted to do) At the Discovery Center in The Dalles they found out that he was 13 today and they called the park ranger in and took him on his own personal tour of where the BALD EAGLE lives. We were so so close to him and then there was the lively Red Tail Falcon and two owls as well. The cool part was he was just assigned a project on the eagle so we were technically doing school today. The time today went so quickly and I know the next 13 years will go even quicker. I savored the time with him and think he is one amazing young man! Happy Birthday Buddy! Today was PRICELESS!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

First for Everything

Today we decided to start Nehemiah's birthday celebration early and head to Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. This was the first time Malachi has tried a bite of something so yummy. He did not like it, but he thought the hat was great! We live so close to this place, but can only eat this high of a concentration of sat. fat on birthdays. The kids were remembering when they first opened and how we waited in line for about an hour just to taste one bite. I was so embarrassed to be in the line that day and feed into to this hype ( they even had people camping in front for days before). the kids had watched the countdown to this big opening and there was no way I could resist their little faces pleading for a doughnut. There was nobody in line today!!!!

Would you answer this call?

This is the strangest thing I have seen in a very long time!!! Aser received this in an email (I have left out the names of those involved) from a business program here in town for contractors. I would love to know what an Ethnic Regular Person is??? We have some training to do--oh my!!!


Ethnic ³regular² people age 5-12 also adults 28-70. We need regular looking truly ETHNIC people for a well know high tech
company photo shoot. We prefer people who are new to America so they still have the look and feel of their country of origin. The pay will be $500. For about 3 hours. Please bring lots of kids and adults new to America.

Ages 5-12 to be students
Age 28-70 to be teachers and parents

Ethnicities we need are:
African, Middle Eastern, Chinese, Indonesian, India, Malaysian, Mexican, Hispanic, Scandinavian, German, Spanish, Italian.

The CASTING CALL is this Saturday Feb 14th from 10am-2pm
Come to 431 NW Flanders #300 Portland Or. 97209

Monday, February 16, 2009

Happy Birthday Oregon - You are Old Now!

Today the kids and I were able to go to the Oregon Historical Society's Museum. Since it was the birthday celebration of Oregon the admission was free! Nehemiah has created such a love of history in our home that we could not miss this.( you can tell in these pictures he wanted to take this very seriously and even had his sibs take notes while we were there-- I am sure I looked like dictator mom, but it was not me!!) It delivered! And even Malachi pretended to be interested as long as the fish crackers were being sent in his direction. We missed the cake so I decided we had to finish up Oregon's birthday in style and I found the cupcake bakery I had heard about. What a fun place!!! It is called Cupcake Jones on 10th and Marshall. The cupcakes are HUGE and so we split them up. The kids had cupcakes with cookie dough filling and it was topped with a mini cookie! This place was fun and great for a special treat. The last picture is showing how much a party can wear out a toddler.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Slice of Life

Conversation with a nurse at the hospital:

"Where did you adopt your son from? "
"Ethiopia, " I replied.
"My best friend is adopting a baby from there and has an adopted son from Guatemala. Why did you choose Ethiopia? "
" Well, my husband is from Ethiopia and it made the decision pretty easy."
"How is that working for you being married to him?"
-- I will let you guess how I answered her:)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Realization... but too late

Tonight after the dust settled my heart broke for my Anna. With Aser gone I have been trying very hard to stay upbeat with the kids and not trying to feel sorry for myself:) However, tonight I BLEW it! Sometimes life is crazy how difficult things can happen one after the other. These were not big things, but in the matter of an hour they felt big. I am still tired from the hospital and having kids and myself feeling under the weather so my threshold was not good. Usually Aser takes care of anything that requires any artistic ability as I am completely inept in this area. One of my children needed a Valentine box that was designed at home and that was all starting to happen as I was cleaning up from dinner, washing clothes, and starting lunches. So I did what every artistic person does and grabbed the glue gun-well lets just say... then once we got past that and some burned fingers I gave Malachi a bath and got him in bed and then he started to cough. I went into pick him up and he started to vomit everywhere and then again in the bathroom. It was all over him and more than you want to know I am sure. Well out of my mouth flew, " I just wish your daddy was here!!! ( He usually takes the cleaning of these jobs) My Anna jumped from her bed and ran and started getting warm towels and things to start cleaning. She had just had a bath and for some reason it broke my heart to see her trying to fill her daddy's shoes. It is good if I don't put this on them to carry and she just kept asking me if I was OK. I never want to put this on my children. I was touched by her love and care, but this is not her load to carry right now. I am humbled by her. Then as I was getting ready for a Valentine's class party and getting platters ready one fell and broker all over the floor right in front of her and she went into action again. I had gathered myself enough to stop her and tell her it was no big deal. Sometimes I do not think we realize how much our lives impact our kids. I have got some work to do, but I have a God who seems to find grace for me daily.

Minutes and Hours with My Baby Boy

Malachi has been sick since last Wednesday or so. By Friday I was starting to worry about his cough and went to the dr. and they said he had pneumonia. By Sunday his fever was increasing and getting lethargic. They decide it is not pneumonia, but reactive asthma to some virus and have us stop antibiotics. By this time he is refusing all food and water. The diapers were drying up and by bedtime on Monday I was starting to get worried as he was really having a hard time breathing with ease. By 3:00am we were in the children's hospital and I thought they would do a breathing treatment and give his some fluids and we would be home by the time the kids were leaving for school. WRONG! He was admitted for the "day" as his O2 levels were not doing very well and he was so dehydrated.He has RSV which is common and most kids have it at some point, but for some it is much more serious. ( if you ever need to know about nose suctioning please ask me:) ) He was not rallying the way they needed him to and decided to keep him overnight. I am so thankful to my mom for helping with the kids and everything. Also, so many prayers and kind words from friends-- Thank you! Here are some pictures of my cutie... as hard and tiring as this was, I don't get the chance to cuddle with Malachi very often as he is one busy boy. I think this was very monumental in our bonding. He needed me! I loved holding and taking care of him without life swirling around us. The doctors would come in and let me know the nurses were all talking about him and how cute he was. We had many visitors that were not working with him:) He always charmed.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Facebook Frenzy -- oh so trendy!

I have been on Facebook a few weeks now. I resisted for a very long time. I must admit it has been fun reconnecting with friends from over 20 years ago and also keeping up on daily news from friends now. It can be consuming and almost addictive wondering who has posted what and when. At first there was a real pull to be "checking in" with my friends, but I have finally gotten myself under control:) I hate to admit I even like FB... it is kind of a love/hate thing. I also have this relationship with the airport. Last weekend I LOVED the airport as it was bringing my man home. Today I HATED it as I had to send him back to the south.

This type of tagging has been going on on FB lately. I have so enjoyed reading about my friends and their random things. Here was mine and I will try to keep my Facebook life away from my blogging life:)from now on.... If you have 25 random things to write I would love to read them.

Rules: Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you.

(To do this, go to “notes” under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, type your 25 random things, tag 25 people (in the right hand corner of the app) then click publish.)

1. My first date with Aser was when he took my 5th grade class skating with me. I am not sure what I would think if one of my children's teacher did that now--oh my! yeah I wore 501's. ( still my fav jean)
2. I burned myself at 18 months by getting into a hot bath of water that a neighbor girl started for me. I still have scars.
3. I am most terrified of earthquakes and tsunamis.
4. I was in a 7.5 earthquake in Costa Rica-- CRAZY!!!
5.I once passed a police officer speeding. He had a prisoner in the back and I thought there was no way he would pull me over. I was wrong!!!
6. I was followed and pulled over by a helicopter in LA while in college on my way to a Michael Jackson concert. Yeah another ticket-- I seemed to catch them when I was young like a cold.
7. One year in college I lived with two other Kimberlys on one SMALL room.
8.I stayed in South Africa during Apartheid and lived in a township there. Life changing!
9.When I was a young child my daddy would give me two quarters to buy goods from neighbor's garage sales and I thought I was on my way to Disneyland. I loved those days!
10. I hate hate hate fish.( smell, texture, and looks) Our one in a bowl at home is ok... but nothing that has been in pan. I have had two allergic reactions so I have a good excuse now.
11. I love steak! I was pretty much a vegetarian until I had kids.
12. My car was shot by a student when I was 23 first teaching in California. He was mad at me.
13. I miss my sister... complicated story and dream of hugging her again. Truly!
14. Foreign languages are not easy for me. I wish I could speak Amharic and Spanish.
15. I am crazy in love with my man Aser. Would marry him all over again...
16. I think my kids make my heart beat each day because they bring such joy and wonder to my life. I am humbled to be a momma.
17.I had plastic surgery at the solid age of 5!
18.I am trying to go natural with chemicals in hair stuff, cleaning supplies, detergents and lotions... but am not there 100% yet. This will be life long I think!
19. In high school I got asked to go back and meet New Edition after a concert. I know you are so jealous! I was taller than they were--
20.I love God and can't really explain my thoughts and feeling about him in a coherent way. I think I will fall on my face when I meet him unable to speak. He leaves me in awe frequently.
21.I love houses!!!! I love it when someone walks in and falls in love at the front door. Makes the long searches worth it.
22. I fall asleep almost every night in the bath reading. Aser has gotten my bath ready for me for years every night. He is so sweet to me!
23. I love to read nonfiction. I am not a novel -type girl...But love to read about God, religion, politics, health, parenting, and the real estate market.
24. I love STRONG STRONG coffee with no masks of sugar or cream. I can out drink Ethiopians on dark coffee.
25. I no longer live in fear after being so close to death this past year. It is so freeing! ( I still have my moments, but nothing like before)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Melting my heart--

Zipp of the Clippers--

Daddy is back in town for a week so off to the clipper my boys went!!!!
They look less than excited! Nehemiah would love to have long curls or braids, but he has a ton of thick hair and with basketball it is easier to get a fade with a line in the front. He looks sharp! Malachi was very unsure of this so we just had him shave it for now and we will do a more fancy fade next time. He was not sure what happened to him! The girls just took it all in! Anyone famous that comes into Portland tends to make their way through Genevas so the photos on the walls are always fun to see.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Play with Purpose

Malachi played with the new train set for over an hour tonight. He looked so grownup sitting on the floor with his trains.The video is really grainy, but is so funny as he watches the train go under the couch. He is doing great! He is going to be bursting through his 2T clothes any day now and only 10 months ago was wearing 9 months. The kid has done some serious growing!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

My Baby Girl

Today we cut Rebekah's hair. She has had a couple of trims in her short life, but her hair has never been CUT. When her hair was wet it was getting close to her waist, within 1-2 inches...I absolutely love her curls and I had mixed emotion with her wanting to cut her locks. BUT, I must say it is adorable and reminds me of when she was about three.I always tell my girls that I think God is going to let me have special permission to ask for different eternal hair and get my own set of curls:) I think we should have added JOY onto her name somehow. :)

Monday, January 12, 2009

"Kickin' the Monster!!!"

Great news today on my brother! He left on Sunday to Tulsa once again for more chemo. This was the big trip when they would be looking at his tumor. They have been checking his blood for tumor markers, which have come down each time. But today the results from his CT scan showed some amazing miracles. With this cancer I do think it is miracles that cure it. It is the WORST cancer to get,if that is possible. However, they could actually see his stomach apart from his pancreas. Before the tumor was blocking the stomach and I guess it was like one big blob. They said his pancreas is looking like a pancreas again. I bet he never dreamed he would be so happy to hear that about an organ. They can see where the radiation is working. He has 5 more trips of chemo. He is on the same type as Patrick Swayze. They wanted him to continue "forever" having treatments every three months, but he feels like it is poison in so many ways ( good at times) but wants to continue to work on gaining weight and muscle mass. The doctors can't believe how much muscle has returned. We really do believe he is saying, "SEE YA!" to the beast... HAPPY IN OREGON!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Figuring things out

Today my heart is heavy. Not in a depressed way, but deep in thought and contemplation. I am still trying to make my life mirror what I believe God has called me to. I have touched on this several months ago, but it has not become clearer, but in some ways more murky. We had such an amazing opportunity to go to Ethiopia for two years with two organizations that are movers and shakers. Well, the day we were supposed to sign to go I was put in the hospital and then a long journey started to wellness again. So much has happened since then... cancer fight with brother, lay-offs -- yes more than one time, attachment issues ( that has improved 150% and will write that in another post), medical bills that are mounting, slow real estate market, adjusting to having my guy working in Louisiana ( no he does not come home on weekends), and life with five precious little people. I am in NO way complaining, but am truly grateful for hard times in ways I have never thought I would be. I am tougher than I knew. More sure of God than ever before!!!! Know HIS POWER works in quiet ways and also in EARTH MOVING ways. Appreciate the smaller things in my life and am more in love with my man than I would have ever thought I was capable of. I know God is GOOD and even SPECTACULAR because I have had more happiness and contentment in the midst of the storms than I have even had when life was easier. This is true!!!
My heaviness today is from being so willing to go and like our pastor spoke of today willing to risk it all in order to work in Ethiopia. However, we have had many voices telling us that my illness was a sign that we were probably not to go. Yet during this time there have been many things that still point that way to east Africa and my mind is more resolute. How do you know? Which voice do you listen to? I never want to be out of the will of God-- EVER!!! Some of the same people in our lives talk of living life out of the comfort zone are the same ones telling us we are not to be going. It would be too stressful on our children... the economy is not in a position for this to be wise.... it is hard for families to move out of the US... you will never make it... the money is a problem.... what will you do with your house... health...health... whaat about your mom, brother... what will you do when you come back...braces, college....kids and their school... the questions are never ending. Maybe these folks are speaking the truth and we are being stubborn? I want to hear the voices that we are supposed to.. I am confused! I know God can redeem whatever happens. So today I will continue deep in thought and prayer... yet still live in my moment today by going to see "Doggies" at the shelter, shopping for milk, finishing up homework, changing diapers, and loving my family. The answers don't have to be today.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Loving Life with Five

Our dear friend Andrea had been telling us she would take our family picture now that Malachi is home. So we set a date thinking we would just smile, click and be done. It turned out that we got over 100 photos and she took a walk with us for almost two hours down the Portland eastside esplanade. We had no idea what we were in for or how much fun we would have. She captured our kids in ways that pictures have not done before. Thank you dear friend Andrea!!!! and to Rich for watching the kids so you could get away for a bit.