Saturday, July 31, 2010

Next Saturday...a wedding

In one week from today, there will be wedding and THIS boy will be getting married!

Blake will be the best can this be? Weren't you just little boys, jumping on our trampoline? Switching heads and other crazy boy stuff?

How could this kid be getting married??

But he is.

Sam and Blake have been friends since they were 3 and 4 years old! They played Legos together for countless hours. They built forts. They went to church together and lived next door to one another for many years...which made their childhood so wonderful since there was always someone to play with. They played in a band together and on worship teams.

And now Sam is getting married and Blake is the best one short week.

I can't say that when they were little I ever thought about this day...Sam was always the crazy, funny, way out there kid in the group. His mom and I spent more time worrying about him breaking a bone or causing bodily injury to himself than any other kids. But now I have Mihiretu and it is like having a "Sam" all over again:)

I love you, Sam. You are like a son to me. You are all grown up now and you have found your wife. Sorry, but I'm a little emotional about this.

Many blessings to Sam and Nastassia on their upcoming wedding. May you always put each other first and love God most.

We all love you!

Little Misganaw is the ring bearer and we really can't wait to see dressed in a tux in ALL of his cuteness!

One more week.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

This is the catch of the day! 18 fish!!!!! The kids had so much fun pulling all these fish in:) They are all bass, I think.

This is the catch of the night!! Blake caught this great walleye. Mihiretu got in for the picture. He won for biggest fish pulled in but Katie actually caught a HUGE walleye, got it up to the boat and it flipped and spit out the hook. Blaine was sick because it was close to 10# and would have been big enough to mount. So sad to miss that one:(

Misganaw caught this fish. Both the little boys LOVE to fish!

Mihiretu and Dad.

Aliya and her new found love...swimming. She's getting better all the time.

We spent the last week back up at the cabin with our friends and had a wonderful time! So restful and relaxing. God blessed us with good weather and good conversations. Blake, Katie and Zach showed everyone their pictures and video that they took in Korah. I know it was a blessing to everyone who saw them. In fact, there are several of us parents who are feeling the Lord saying, "Come to Korah." So who knows?? Maybe in a year there will be another trip with the kids AND the parents! Oh, how I would LOVE this!!!!!!!

Next June, Blaine and I will celebrate our 25th anniversary. I know....awwwwww. I asked him if he would consider spending it in Korah instead of the cruise that had been discussed (we've never been on a cruise and thought it sounded relaxing). He thought a minute and then said, "No." It is a long trip for a guy who's been through as much as he has. He has lots of pain in his back and a 23 hour travel time and flight is a killer for him. So I get it. But a year is a long way off and we will pray and see what the Lord might have for us.

Summer has been wonderful so far but so incredibly busy! I have been spending 3 hours every morning doing summer school at home with Aliya and Mihiretu. Aliya needs help with her reading and English. She can read English at about a 2nd grade level but I felt that mostly she had memorized words and didn't know how to sound them out. This would be a problem as she progresses to more complex words so we have gone back to the basics. It has benefitted her so much. Our goal is to get through the 2nd and 3rd grade books this summer. Not sure if we will quite make it but we're going to try.

One problem that I have found is that with her accent, she pronounces her vowels differently we do in America. So her "apple" is more like "opple". It's been a bit of a challenge for us to reconcile this so that she can phonetically pronounce words. But we're figuring it out. She needs lots of help sounding out vowels. I think she has always looked at a word and pronounce all the consonants and just guessed at how the vowel sounds, like she had trouble with sit, set, sat. She'd say them all the same. That took work but I think we've conquered that.

Mihiretu is also making huge progress with his reading. I'm so proud of both of them to be willing to spend so much time doing school in the summertime.

I went for a walk with my sweet sister, Pam last week. When I'd gotten home, Blaine told me the story of their evening.

Blaine and Misganaw were going to take the new puppy for a walk, but Aliya and Mihiretu wanted to come along, too. First the kids fought over who would hold the leash. Mihiretu won that one. They had walked a ways down our street when noticed Mihiretu (the competitive one) who was in the lead, with his pants down, peeing right in the middle of the road! Now let me stop here and say, "WHAT???" Yes, he was peeing in the middle of the road WITH a car coming toward him. Blaine yells for him to get over to the side. After spraying everywhere and almost hitting the puppy, he finally made it over to the side of the road where he finished his business.

Right after that, Misganaw fell down, scraping up his leg and crying (more like screaming) especially after the puppy jumped on top of his already wounded self and began biting him!

Blaine decided to cut the walk short (for obvious reasons) and turned towards home. He challenged Aliya to a race and they took off. Blaine turned around to see how the little boys were doing. Did I mention that Mihiretu was competitive?? He is not one to turn down a race so he was in a close 3rd, with the puppy in tow, flailing behind him on the leash!!

All this took place in a 20 minute time span!

My sister and I had a lovely walk.

Blaine told us the story when we got home and can I say, I was a little more than upset at the thought of my almost 8 year old peeing in the middle of our road?

I said to Mihiretu, "DO YOU NOT KNOW THAT IT IS NOT OK FOR A PERSON TO PEE THE ROAD??? IN FACT, IT IS ILLEGAL. (Then I did what any Mom would do who wants to make her point. I brought the police into it.) YOU COULD HAVE BEEN ARRESTED BY THE PO-PO!!!!!"

I know they are not going to arrest an 8 year old but I'm trying to make a point.

Immediately after I bring in the police, Misganaw (who was way, way over-tired) breaks down crying and says, "Why does Mihiretu always get to get arrested by the po-po???????!?!!!!!!!!"

Oh, my goodness did we laugh!!

If anyone has any advice on how to get little boys to use the toilet in the house instead of watering the street, bushes or in boxes in the garage (don't ask!), please, please let me know!

Many blessings,

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

4th of July at the cabin

Misganaw enjoying a pontoon ride.

Me and little miss Tia. This is the way I feel about the puppy most of the time...I'm growling at her if you can't tell:)

Yes, Mihiretu did catch this BIG bass by himself but he had to have help from Big Daddy to hold it for the picture!

This was a big week for Mihiretu. He learned to water ski and got up for the first time ever!

It was fun riding up to the cabin with Katie and De and hearing more of their stories from their time in Korah and Ethiopia. Katie told me that she feels like there is a hole in her heart because she misses "her" kids so much. I told her there is a danger in doing the work that God lays out before us and the danger is that we can easily get our hearts broken by what He shows us and it hurts.

Katie took some time while there and looked through the book of children in Korah who are available for sponsorship at the boarding school. She said there are so many kids who are waiting for sponsors. One of her special, sweet "boys" is in there. Each of the children in the book is either a single or double orphan, meaning they have lost one or both parents. The parents suffered or are suffering from either leprosy or She prays for her kids every day, whenever she thinks of them...and that is often.

Katie spent some time lovingly editing some of the pics they took while there. Some needed flies taken off their faces, others needed snot removed. Yes, those things are reality but I know for Katie and for me, we don't see these kids with flies and snot on their faces. They are so absolutely, positively beautiful that they take your breath away. They are so vulnerable, all you want to do is whisk them away and protect them. They are starving, literally starving and all you want to do is buy them food and feed them. They are so loving and in need of love (many by a mother who has passed away) that they cling to you and want to kiss and hug you and hold your hands. They give you gifts that they cannot possibly afford because they love you so much.

All four kids without exception want to go back to Ethiopia and do more work in Korah. Blaine commented how amazing that was considering the filth and smell and the age of our kids that went. Let's face it...many young adults would not desire to spend time in a place like Korah. They'd rather be at the mall or the movies or wherever. There is just SO much more to life than that. There is a JOY in serving Jesus!

I will share some of their pics and more stories as the days go on.

I do have to share an off-topic story about Aliya that happened today. I finally took her to the gym with me to do a little working out. Thinking the treadmill would be the safest thing to start her on, that's what we did. I showed her how it worked and demonstrated how it looks to walk on it. I started her out slowly...1.1 mph-which is BARELY moving. She held on for dear life, saying "I scared! I scared!" I'm sure glad she isn't overly sensitive because I couldn't stop laughing. She was clomping along at 1.1 mph and walking like a 12 month old taking her first steps. If I only had a video!!! After a few minutes, she relaxed and got more comfortable and looked like a pro, even taking her hands off the machine! Then we worked some machines and did some free weights and I was really proud of her. She was willing to try whatever I did, just at a much lighter weight. We have lots of work to do in terms of strength training but keep it up my girl!!!! Go Aliya!!!