Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Letter from the NAOTF

Noah got a letter in the mail. He's still puzzled and trying to figure out who it's from. Here is what it said.


Dear Noah,

The National Association of Tooth Fairies has decided to award you a bonus for your first tooth. We hope your new one comes in before the corn on the cobb is all gone or you need to whistle.


Oral B. Molar
Chief of Tooth Fairies

Folded inside the letter was $3. Leave it to my Dad to think up something like this!

Monday, June 29, 2009

First Sentence

Rosie spoke her first sentence this last week. When I went in to tuck her into bed and give hugs and kisses, she gave me a big hug around the neck and whispered, "I love you so much, Mommy." Definitely a cold chills and tears welling up in the eyes-type moment.

"I love you so much" is not a phrase I use with Rosie. I often tell her that I love her, but "so much" aren't words I use with it. "So much" is Noah's phrase used to describe things he really wants or likes. Seems that my little girls' English is getting good enough that she's going to start making word combinations on her own!

After I scooped her up to hug her and told her how much I loved her, too, she asked, "I love you so much, Mommy-good?" I assured her that she had said it right, and so she went on to tell me, "I love you so much Mommy, I love you so much Daddy, I love you so much Noah, I love you so much Nathan".

With Noah and Nathan, I was so excited to hear their first words. Noah's was titi (kitty) and Nathan's was Daddy. Having had Rosie added to our family after she was already speaking, I was waiting to hear what her first English sentence would be. She did not disappoint!

Friday, June 26, 2009

His Daddy's Going To Be So Upset

Rosie got loads of dress-up clothes at her welcome home shower. She loves them, and couldn't even wait for breakfast before she started dressing up. I heard lots of laughter from the playroom, and this is what I found. Not content with just dressing up, she also wants to dress her brothers up. Slightly concerning, but oh so funny!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I Would Gather Children

Throughout our adoption journey, I found several poems that I loved. But, last night at Rosie's Welcome Home Shower, my friend Karen Baker shared this one. I love it. It made me cry last night, and again this morning. It was such a sweet evening (pictures to follow later), but it started my heart aching all over again for the little ones still waiting for a "forever family". My hands are full right now, and so is my heart, but I long to be able to go back and bring home another sweet little one. I have purposed to begin praying now, that in His perfect timing, God would give us the ability to adopt again.

I Would Gather Children
-- author unknown

Some would gather money
Along the path of life,
Some would gather roses,
And rest from worldly strife.

But I would gather children
From among the thorns of sin,
I would seek a golden curl,
And a freckled, toothless grin.

For money cannot enter
In that land of endless day,
And roses that are gathered
Soon will wilt along the way.

But oh, the laughing children,
As I cross the sunset sea,
And the gates swing wide to heaven
I can take them in with me!

Rosie's Welcome Home Shower

Rosie's "welcome home" shower was Tuesday night. It was a great evening surrounded by my most special friends here in Oklahoma, and many of their little girls turned out to help welcome Rosie home. She loved her first party and was absolutely spoiled rotten.

As much as Rosie enjoyed the evening, I think I enjoyed it more. I found during the 2-year adoption "pregnancy", that adoption can at times be a very lonely road. You are "heavy with child" for much of the time, but with no outward signs, very few people are there to ask, encourage, or be excited with you. At times, I have been so saddened by those in close proximity to us who have never acknowledged that we were adopting, or once Rosie was home, didn't even acknowledge our joy at the addition of our daughter. But, I was incredibly blessed with a small group of friends from my small group and our church, who never forgot that despite the lack of outward pregnancy signs I, too, was expecting. Their friendship, moral support, prayer, encouragement, and for some of them, financial support, was a true life-saver. Tuesday night was such a sweet time to celebrate the end of this journey and the joy of finally having Rosie in my arms.

Here are a few pics for you to enjoy:

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Sadly, my babies are looking less and less like babies and more and more like action figures, as they see just how "big" they can jump. I was lucky to get any pictures at all, as Noah was rarely above water, Nathan was busy perfecting his jump, and Rosie was busy learning to put her head under water. But after awhile they needed a rest, and I was able to snap a picture, then I got brave and took the camera into the pool to capture my waterbabies (Please don't tell the boys I called them that!).

Happy Summer!

Monday, June 22, 2009

A Father's Day Feast

My kids have a great Daddy! The kids are crazy about their Daddy, and they live for the week-ends when "Daddy doesn't have to go to work for 2 WHOLE days!" So, they were very excited about having a special day just to celebrate Daddy.

They had so much fun getting ready, selecting Father's Day cards and gifts, and having Mommy set their alarm for 5 minutes before Daddy would get up on Sunday so that they could sneak in with their cards and gifts to surprise him.

Noah chose a card with lots of "gift certificates" for chores that he can do for Gareth, and he bought him a grilling fork with a digital meat thermometer in it, so that Daddy could quit cutting the meat all up on the grill because he was afraid it wasn't done. Nathan chose a funny card, and he was very excited to buy Daddy an electric fly swatter. Rosie chose a card with a princess on it, and she and I bought Daddy a new set of stainless steel grilling tools and a spray bottle for use on those flames when they get too high.

So, with all of those grilling tools, we decided we had better fix Daddy a barbecue feast for Father's Day lunch.

We had rib-eye steaks, apple marinated pork chops, eckridge sausage, loaded baked potatoes, grilled corn and strawberry spinach salad.

Then, it was on to dessert. Daddy loves lemon meringue pie, but the kids don't. So, I splurged and made 2 desserts. The kids had chocolate covered strawberries, and Daddy got his lemon meringue pie.

Afterwards, Daddy indulged in his favorite Sunday past time-a 3 hour nap! Actually, we all had a nap. After church in the evening, we stopped off at Marble Slab Creamery for ice cream for supper. A truly indulgent day! The kids are already excited to plan their next Daddy's celebration.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Toothless Wonder

Yes, our home is now blessed with it's very own superhero. Ladies and Gentlemen, I proudly present (drum roll, please): The Toothless Wonder!

Noah lost his first tooth last night with a little help from Mommy. He was not at all sure that he was ready to be rid of his very loose tooth, but Mommy tied some string around it and with a little pull it popped right out. First he smiled, then he looked in the mirror and cried, but by this morning he thinks it's the best thing ever. He is wandering around the house with a permanently goofy smile plastered on his face and is excited that his other bottom front tooth is loose and will come out in the next week or so.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Photo Shoot

We had our first professional pictures of the kids made yesterday. Or, as Noah told the photographer, "These are Rosie's first REAL pictures". Thankfully, everyone was in a great mood and happy to be photographed. Here are a few of my favorites:

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Book Review: The Wackiest Wildest Weirdest Animals in the World by Jack Hanna

Wacky-How would you like to be called a blue footed booby?
Wild-Did you know a lion's roar can be heard 5 miles away?
Weird-How did someone figure out that a baby okapi doesn't poop for the first two months of its' life?
In his latest offering, "Jungle Jack" Hanna takes readers on a review of some of the worlds' weirdest and most impressive creatures. With high quality photographs, bright colors and hundreds of interesting, unusual facts, he encourages young and old alike to marvel at Gods' amazing creation. While probably aimes for the 8-10 year old set, my 3 and 4-year olds loved the pictures, and my 5-year old loved the facts. Let's face it, what 5-year old boy doesn't love to hear facts that involve the word poop? Our entire family enjoyed this book, although the blooper video was not as funny as the kids were hoping for. Overall, I'd give this read 4 stars. I would have given it 5, but if I had paid the suggested retail of $19.99, I would have hoped for a book that was a little longer or had a more in-depth discussion. But, this book still makes a great starter for giving your children an appreciation for the great variety in God's creation.

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Friday, June 12, 2009


For a couple of weeks, Rosie has asked for injera(a staple of Ethiopian diets-a thin crepe-like bread made of fermented teff). She would come to find me, rub her tummy, and say, "Mommy, tummy, injera". I tried to order injera online, but the website that supplies injera seems to be out of commission. I was so sad. Rosie has done so great with eating all of the new things she has been given, and I really wanted to be able to give her injera when she was obviously missing it. So Gareth and I had decided we would have to drive to Oklahoma City, as there is an Ethiopian restaurant there. Driving 2 hours for dinner is something we have never done before, but how else to satisfy that injera craving?

Then, while out doing some shopping last week, I was approached by a lady who asked if Rosie was Ethiopian. Turns out, this lady was, too. While we were chatting, I asked her if she knew anywhere local that one could buy injera. And, she hooked me up with some local Ethiopian families who make injera and all sorts of traditional Ethiopian dishes to sell. Hurrah!

On Friday I surprised Rosie by going to pick up injera and dorowat while she was having a nap. When I got home, I opened up the package and called her to come look.

When she saw the plate of injera, there was dancing and singing in the kitchen!

Noah loved it, too.

Nathan, however, was not convinced.

In the end, Nathan did enjoy it, and now I'm happily planning our next Ethiopian meal together, grateful that we can keep this part of Rosie's heritage for her, and especially grateful that we don't have to drive 2 hours just to eat! Isn't it just like God to arrange for us to meet someone who could point us in the right direction, supplying not just our needs, but occasionally our wants, too!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Ethiopian Mama

Rosie is in love. She received a new baby doll as a gift from my Aunt Sue this week-end. She and baby are inseperable. Baby rides the tricycle with her, sleeps with her, eats with her, plays with her and goes to church with her.

On Sunday afternoon she wanted to ride the scooter with the baby but couldn't manage. I found her trying to tie the baby to her back using a baby quilt, which wasn't quite long enough. So, I went and got one of my scarves from Ethiopia and helped her get baby tied on her back Ethiopian-style. She was so excited, and pretty darn cute, if I do say so myself.

Summer Fun With Friends

Monday, June 8, 2009

How To Eat Fried Worms

The boys and I have been reading "How To Eat Fried Worms" by Thomas Rockwell. Not exactly classic children's literature, and I had to substitute something slightly more young-child friendly for a couple of the words, but the boys LOVED it. I remember reading it when I was a child, and they had as much fun with it as I did.

To celebrate the end of the book, we spen an afternoon making dirt and worms cupcakes. Devil's food cupcakes filled with chocolate pudding, frosted with chocolate cream cheese frosting and then topped with crushed up oreos and gummy worms.

As you can see, we had a great time!

It was especially nice, as we were joined by Rosie's new friend, who was also adopted from Africa. It's great to have a new friend for Rosie who will be a fantastic role model for her as she grows up.

Okay, I know, there was nothing even remotely healthy about these cupcakes. Maybe that's why they tasted so good!


James 1:27 So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.

Now that I have seen I am responsible. Faith without deeds is dead. Now that I have held you in my own arms, I cannot let go till you are... And I am on a plane across a distant sea, but I carry you in me. In the dust on... the dust on... the dust on... the dust on.... the dust on.... my feet. (Albertine by Brooke Fraser)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A New 'Do

Before Rosie came home, I was a little nervous about learning to do her hair. There's loads of information online about caring for African American hair, and some of it seems pretty complicated. Thankfully, it doesn't seem to be that hard. I'm still playing with products and learning, but as her hair grows, there do seem to be plenty of nice-looking options that aren't too difficult. Our project for this week was learning to do finger coils. Here are the results:

I was pleased with the outcome but wondered if it would pass muster if inspected by an African American mother. The answer came today when we were out shopping. I was approached by a beautiful lady who asked me, "Where did you get her hair done? I want to take my granddaughter there." When I replied that I had done it, she said, "Girlfriend, you have a gift." It felt great to have someone who knows all about caring for African hair say that I was doing a good job and that her hair was gorgeous. We spent some time talking about how I did it and what products I was using.

For my fellow adoptive moms, here's how you do finger coils:

1. Start with clean, well-conditioned very wet hair. Add your favorite styling product. Personally, we are using Curly Q hair products. My favorite conditioner and styling cream is called Curly Q Custard. If I want it super shiny, I add a small amount of Radiant Ringlets (also a Curly Q product).

2. Use a wide-toothed comb to very gently work through the hair to remove any tangles. Work slowly from the tips up to the root to avoid snags and breakage.

3. With a rat-tailed comb, seperate a small portion of hair (less than 1x1). Then, starting as close to the root as possible, twist the hair between your fingers gradually working your way down to the tip of the twist. Twist as tight as it will go with out pulling the hair and then release. Move on to the next section.

I have seen some pictures of this done with the hair very evenly divided into square 1x1 sections. Personally, I just divided small sections that wanted to go together which gives it a slightly more natural look.

Rosie's hair isn't super kinky, so this 'do does need to be refreshed the next morning. To refresh, simply spray the hair with a leave-in condition (try mixing a couple of tablespoons of Curly Q Custard with water in a spray bottle) and then re-twist any sections that have gone frizzy or very loose. For Rosie, the second day of this hair style is actually better than the first, as the coils are a little bit longer.

This hair style takes me about 45 minutes the first day and about 15-20 on subsequent days. Eventually I'm going to try it with some Loc Butter to see if that will improve the hold without making it greasy or waxy.