Monday, July 27, 2009

Memorial Box Monday

The kids gave us "spa treatments"

In May, a friend from Mexico that we met through our Spanish church, Socorro, came in to town. She comes and deep cleans homes for different families to make some extra $. We only see her once or twice a year, but we really love her and it is a great treat when we have had her clean our home. This year the Lord provided in so many ways through her.
Basically we hit the jackpot:) She stayed at our house the majority of the 2 weeks. She was such a blessing! Every evening when she got home, she would play soccer, football, baseball or jump on the trampoline outside with the kids while I prepared dinner in peace. Then after dinner every night she insisted on bathing the babies - they have never been cleaner :). She also helped make dinner a few times (authentic Mexican food). Many nights we went grocery or clothes shopping together or out for a coffee and spiritual encouragement. I rarely get much time out with other ladies, so I treasured that time. Then, she insisted on staying with the kids one night so Javier and I could go out for coffee. Also, another night, she planned a pajama party for the kids, full of games, dinner, popcorn and a movie. That allowed us to go out for a nice dinner and stay out as late as we wanted. She taught our kids a lot of Spanish and they just adore her. They now lovingly call her "Tia" (aunt). Oh yeah - and she did a wonderful job cleaning our home and the house we rent (which we needed to get ready for the new renters).

Seriously, how many people could put up with 8 kids that aren't their own for 2 weeks - the fussing, the messes, the noise, the never ending neediness - yet she did it with joy and tears in her eyes when she left. What a cheerful, energetic servant! She uses her "ordinary talents and gifts" to be used for God's glory and to serve others. So to remember this provision of our friend Socorro (Tia) that God gave us, we put a Diet Coke can in our memorial box because she loves Diet Coke.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Its been 1 year . . .

Melkamu 15 monthsAbush 4 months

It has been 1 year since July 24, 2008 when I saw their faces for the first time! I just got an email that said, "See attached" - I loved them at first sight. Our kids went crazy too. No - I didn't think they were "the cutest" by the world's standards, (referral pictures rarely show them as cute as they really are), but they were the most precious treasures to me (now I do think they are absolutely beautiful ;)). Just like when your biological babies are born, they could come out with purple poka dots and you would gush with unconditional love. I couldn't stop zooming in on their pictures and checking out every part of them and reading and rereading their reports. What pure joy - these were my boys! The little thing that I secretly hoped was that they would have the big beautiful eyes that so many Ethiopians have - and they do!

On a side note, Javier was excited to finally have the referral -but he was more level headed and said, "Yeah, they are cute." He was happy, and thankful for our answered prayer, but not crazy in love or gushing. He wanted to know about their reports etc.
For those wondering, our referral took 3 months from the time our dossier landed in Ethiopia.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Janae, Super Skinny and pool fence

Thank you to everyone who has prayed, emailed or commented. Janae's testing just showed an enlarged spleen, but it was not bleeding. Since the doctors do not have an answer for her anemia, they are hoping it goes away with the mono. She is much better over all, but she just needs to rest a lot.
*This is for Maria Saravia- Javier's adopted mom at work:) - so she can tease him* Javier did a biggest loser competition at work that ended last week. He lost about 28 lbs. I think all the work outside and buckets of sweat that he sweated last week helped. The kids and I painted a big S and a little s on his chest for "SUPER SKINNY"- we were all proud of him - he lost his belly and is hopefully much healthier. This week they should find out who won overall percentage and inches.
Believe it or not, we have a pool fence. When Javier was off last week he finally told the guy that he wanted to go see the fence in the paint shop where supposedly it had been held up for a week. The guy told him he couldn't go until the afternoon. Well, Javier asked the paint shop how long they have had the fence and how much longer it would take. They told him they just got the fence that day (like we suspected). If Javier hadn't have gone to check on it, he probably still wouldn't have it done. Some panels were short, other things were messy and then Javier had to go pay the paint shop to get the rest of the fence. When have you heard of a customer having to pick up his fence? Javier also had to ground wire it so it would pass inspection - what a mess this has been. Today it passed - thankfully. Next up is mini- pebble interior and fill it up with some H2O- woohoo!
PS - we would recommend our pool guy - he built us a fabulous pool much cheaper than any other company - the fence guy we had to contract on our own - and we made a poor choice on him - just wanted to clarify that.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

sheer excitement

The rain has just begun
Running through his first few drops
What is this stuff? And that loud noise?

A rain storm, with big fat cold rain drops, after days of 112-116 degree heat, exudes sheer excitement. This was our first real rain at our house this summer and the first storm our boys have seen. It also cooled us down to 70 degrees! It started with great wind, so we all went out to collect toys and chairs and get them out of the wind. There were a few drops and lightning, but then we sent all the kids to bed. Then at about 8:10 pm it started raining, so I let them all get out of bed. Then it poured and all the kids squealed and ran around.

Jameson slept through the whole thing

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

You know it is hot when. . .

You completely turn off the water heater and can still take a hot shower

Its been around 112-115 degrees outside and we are stuck with no pool. We were stalled a little waiting for our tile and paver decking, but now we are stuck! We hired a fence guy (friend of a friend- a fellow Dominican) and he only put in a few posts. It has almost been 3 weeks. We have started calling him daily, but he keeps giving us excuses. I know you will ask - no - we didn't pay him everything up front -we paid him 1/2 the $ to buy the supplies and get started. Unfortunately, it was a lot of $ because we need a huge fence - otherwise we could cut our losses and move on. Jacklyn's b-day was Sunday and we had to postpone her pool party until this weekend, but now we might have to postpone it another week or 2. UGGHHH! We are soo soooo close, but without the fence we will not pass inspection and can not put the pebble interior and fill the pool. Javier took this week off to finish the landscaping around the pool (thinking it would be done and he could cool off in the pool). The poor guy has been putting in plants, a river, garden and lots of other projects in this scorching heat. You can see him in the back with a pick digging the river.

Janae - the zombie

Janae had been sick and unusually tired for a few months upon returning from Ethiopia antibiotics didn't help, but she eventually got well. Lately she has been so exhausted, walking around like a zombie, not able to stay on track and even asking to go to bed early etc. It was deceiving because she would have energy at times, like to go to vacation bible school, but then she would be zapped the rest of the day. When I asked her, she said she has never felt the same since Ethiopia. She also reads 400-500 page books in a few days and she said they used to be like action movies and now they are in slow motion - gotta love her description of how the tiredness is affecting her:).

I took her into a new doctor last Thursday who ordered all kinds of blood work and tests. She had a few abnormalities in her blood work. She has mono and anemia. They want to figure out what is causing the anemia so she is having a CT scan tomorrow morning to check her spleen and she will have more blood work done. I am so thankful that we already found some answers and I am thankful for this new doctor who is being very thorough.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Fun stuff + video

I found the boys on our coffee table watching a video. Look how Josiah has to be just like Jordan on his tummy w/ a remote. Having older siblings has been the best thing ever for Josiah's development. He mimics EVERYTHING and Jordan just loves it!

Another candid shot. I just love how my big kids love the little ones so much!

For fun one night when I had nothing defrosted for dinner, we made green eggs and ham (with tortillas) for fun. Everyone liked them Sam I am.
Here are the kids on crazy hair/hat day for Blast Xtreme - the vacation Bible school - Jordan won the crazy hair for his team. We basically gave him 3 mohawks - then I shaved it off the first thing when he came home :)
Roses from Javi on my b-day. That is sweet - but I am weird and cringe at someone spending $ on flowers for me- seriously- and he knows it:) - we aren't big on celebrating b-days. We just went to Denny's /Joe's bbq for our free b-day meals. Wow - what a difference a year makes! Last year on my b-day I was getting my first ultrasound and I was sick with morning sickness, we had Javier's 17 yr old niece living with us and I was so tired of waiting for our referral of our boys. I didn't even know their precious faces a year ago on June 25. For this, I am soooo glad to be 1 year older - for those wondering - I am 33 and Javier turned 34 2 days later. I caught Josiah lifting the rug to vacuum under it, then Jeremiah came to help. Too bad that is a play vacuum!Jeremiah is my strongest baby - he can muscle up things and climb anything mostly with his upper body - it is incredible - future gymnast maybe :) Jameson must know that he needs to be strong to defend himself from Jer Jer because he is my strongest bio baby ever! He has been getting out of his big swing, onto the floor for a month or 2 (no seat belt) - I know crazy! So we switched to putting him in the ground swing - but this is how we always find him - out or flipped over. He is now on his hands and knees constantly rocking. He will be crawling in no time - he already scooches - 5 months old -16 lbs which is 50% for weight and 80% for height - praise God. He was under 5 % at 6 weeks and I started supplementing him, but thankfully he still prefers breastfeeding!

This is just some super cute video of my boys cleaning up their dinosaurs. I had to move Jeremiah's crib away from the blinds, so now they like to play and hide back there. Jeremiah now says mama, dada, by, hi, babbles and lots of signs - Josiah says mama, hi and signs **turn up the volume** I bet you never knew cleaning up was THIS exciting!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Memorial Box Monday-vacation and friends

As a family we continue to do Memorial Box Monday and add things to our box to help us remember what the Lord has done for us. I haven't been good about blogging about it, but as I have time I will post about some of these things in our Memorial box. Today we are adding a wrist band from our little trip to the Arizona Grand Resort.

Two friends from our agency, Mona and Tania flew into Phoenix this weekend with their baby girls - Mona was coming straight from Ethiopia! We got to all meet in the airport and share in the special moment of bringing her little Janissa home to the US. Leah, another friend from our agency, planned and provided a weekend for our 2 families at this nearby resort/water park which gave us a place to meet up and hang out with the others. What a blessing! Not only was this our first "vacation" with all the our new boys, and a blast for my family, but it was also special for us ladies to have time together meeting and talking about our experiences and babies. The babies were even sweeter in person (the mommies too :)).

The moms - Mona, Tania, Me, Leah The babies (all 1 yr old) Janissa, Sabah, Jeremiah, Aslynn

The view from our rooms

Leah insisted on taking me to get a facial-you know me - Ms. cheapo struggled with that, but it was a wonderful treat. That was my first facial/real spa treatment and it was over 1 hour. The lady massaged my arms, shoulders, neck feet and calves in addition to all the face treatments! Wow- I thought a facial just meant the face! Javier thankfully took on all 8 hungry kids all morning so that I could enjoy that and some time in the steam room chatting. Here is proof that I got to sit and relax a couple of times at night.
Javier said this was the most relaxing time he has had since we brought the boys home. I have to laugh because that is pretty sad - because yes it was fun, but both of us were busy, busy with watching the kids almost every second - so if that was relaxing, that tells you how normal life is :). I think what helped make it relaxing was that he had a chance to watch some sports during nap time and at night with his beloved cup of coffee once the kids went to bed. The kids are always awesome about going to bed at night (nap times are another story) - what a blessing!

Josiah is never short of love for his baby brother

Jameson - just a gem the whole trip
A yummy buffet breakfast our last morning
Ready for breakfast - do you see Camelback mountain in the background - those not familiar with AZ you should see a camel laying down - the left hump is the head and long nose, then the hump on the back is the bigger bump (I think)
I was stressed out the first day (Friday) because the water park was so busy and it was really hard with 5-non swimmers and everyone wanting to go different directions. We tried getting on the lazy river, but it was crazy trying to get the kids in tubes with the current and some were still standing on the deck others crying in terror as they were holding on for dear life just to keep their heads out of water. So we just all got out and ended up with our friends at one of the quiet hotel pools. Each day we got better at pairing up the kids with their buddies and taking the big kids to do the slides etc when the littles were napping or contained with one of us in the kiddy pool. They have 2 - 8 story high sheer drop slides and a curly slide. I was so proud that all 3 big kids were brave enough to go on the slides with us.All ready for the water park
Jeremiah and Janae
Jameson, Daddy and Joanna Jordan and Jacklyn
Josiah Josiah (pink car), Julia, Janae, Jeremiah - waiting for the waves to turn on

The kids also enjoyed some movies, card games, chess, reading and spending time with Leah's kids and the Ethiopian beauties. Although it was a little crazy at times, it was a perfect first attempt at a vacation with all the babies - only a couple of days, not a far drive and plenty to do. Thank you Litty family for your generosity.

So once again we praise God and are in awe of how He continues to provide above and beyond the basic needs of our growing family. I am also so thankful for all the friends we have made through this adoption experience.