This picture is worth all the effort it took to get them to sleep tonight. We have a day off school tomorrow and one of my kids' favorite things to do on weekends is play "room rotation." They wanted to sleep on the floor in my room tonight--and after some batting of cute brown eyes and declarations that I am the best mommy in the world, I consented. My bedroom is not that big, and three kids on the floor pretty much takes up all the space. But they snuggled in like it's The Ritz and were so pleased. I love when they do things together.



I would like to talk to the person in charge of expansion at Starbucks Coffee. For no reason at all, I looked up how many Starbucks cafes are in my city and there are almost 50. Wouldn't it be great if the person from Starbucks could work for an adoption agency and place kids waiting for homes? I mean... he/she must be good if they can continue to build unnecessary coffee houses on every corner. How much more could they do for kids that very desperately need a home!


Still Alive
Yes, I'm still here and alive. It's getting busy, and my blog just isn't as important as the "care and feeding" of children. Not to mention the laundry, errands, soccer practice, PTO duties, writing the newsletter, Bible study, etc. etc. etc. It's a fun time, elementary school. Most all the activities are fun without a lot of pressure. For example: soccer. We play on an average league, have one practice a week and one game a week. We all go as a family and cheer for Carver. But by the time we get to middle school, I'm sure there are 3 or 4 practices a week, with 2 games on weekends. And add 2 more kids' activities and it gets crazy. So I'm enjoying the "not so busy" busyness of life right now. Busy enough to keep us occupied, but never so crazy that we're all yelling at each other as we're walking out the door. That is not what I want.

Zinabu is due for his next round of immunizations. Because he has a terrible fear of nurses, doctors, and shots (because of his hospital stay) he is not a happy camper at the doctor's office. I hate to drag him in there, but I know I need to. If you hear high-pitched screaming later this week, you can bet it's Z getting some shots. Poor kid.


I have some really, really great uncles. I gravitate a little more toward my Uncle Jim, as I like creature comforts, shopping, and treats. He understands this about me. My doorbell just rang and out of the blue Fed Ex left a box at my feet. My Uncle Jim sent a bunch of exotic soda pop to me and the family from www.popsoda.com. So while my brother David is with my Uncle Rich this week, backpacking in Wyoming and living on dehydrated food for 7 days (my worst nightmare), I will be sipping Hawaiian Mango soda pop with my feet propped up. I definitely get the better end of the deal. Thanks, Uncle Jim.
All Hail the Hail!
We had a great hail storm the other night. My kids are a little strange--they love when it hails. They like to collect the hail and eat it, save it in the freezer, make piles of hail, throw hail at each other. Our trampoline was covered with marble-sized pieces in about 30 seconds.

Caver, Lily, and Zinabu spent the rest of the evening playing with hail. You can see David's feet in the photo--he's collecting rain water in big buckets to water our garden and trees.

Zinabu is thriving. I wish we were the poster family for toddler adoption because it has been nothing but incredible joy. Not every family is so fortunate, of course, but overall--when you adopt from Ethiopia--the kids seem to adjust to their new families well. Zinabu is still very new to the United States, though, and the smallest things continue to thrill him. Like hail, for example. He also gets a big kick out of squirrels, books, the grocery store, Play-Doh, butterflies, Goldfish crackers, U2 songs (I swear I am not influencing him!), the swing set, and ice cubes...just to name a few. I am so fortunate to have Z in our lives, and I feel so grateful that we never gave up during the adoption process. To those of you who are still waiting for your referrals--hang in there!


Need A Good Laugh?

Click here.
I love this!

Every day I have the privilege of looking at this cute face, helping him with homework, answering his questions, feeding him, playing with him. It's an amazing honor, being a mom.


Dear me... I took a Benadryl today as my allergies are so bad I'm awake all night with sneezing, watery eyes, etc. Alas, this is how the world looks to me right now. I love summer, but I think I'm done with it for now. It's 94 degrees right now, and I can actually SEE the pollen and mold getting thicker in the air!


Who Needs Toys?

If you look closely, you can see 2 little eyes peeking out of the box. That's Carver. And Lily and Zinabu were in there also, which is why it looks as if Carver's face is pressed up against the side of the box. This was the source of entertainment all weekend--so much so that we had 4 Time Outs because of "The Box." This is a great example of why I refuse to have a lot of toys in our house. Each kid has just enough to entertain themselves, but for the most part, my children have to create their own fun. Aren't I mean? Truth be told, they do create their own fun. All the time. The other big activity of the weekend was collecting apples in the alley behind our house. Our neighbors have 3 big apple trees that are groaning with fruit. The kids filled baskets and "decorated" our home. Each room has 4 or 5 apples in various places. I suspect today I'll be finding worms scooting around, as well. It was a great weekend together.


Dear Zinabu,
I promise that she will come home every day after school. Really!


Bustin' Out!
Today is the first day of school and my kids were ready to walk out the door at 6:45 am, even though school didn't begin until 8. They were so happy and excited. Their teachers are incredible, their friends are happy, and Carver and Lily got off to a great start.

Unfortunately, Zinabu was horrified that we were leaving Lily at school and going back home without her. As much as we prepared him for Carver and Lily going back to school, he apparently didn't grasp what it would really be like. He was devastated--which I quickly remedied by letting him play with everyone else's toys back at home (shhhhhh!).

I, also, don't do transitions well when it comes to my kids. I've cried just 3 times today. A big improvement over last year when Lily started kindergarten and I sobbed my way through the produce aisle at the grocery store. About the time you get used to how fast your kids are growing up, they do something crazy--like start 3rd grade!!!--and I'm reaching for the Kleenex.

My garden is also growing. Pumpkins are abounding and the 7 foot sunflowers popped open this weekend. Aren't they lovely? Hope your day is splendid.


I'm feeling really busy this week. Lots to do and the kids are bored of me...of each other...of the heat. You know. But I feel chagrined when I read Mary at Owlhaven. She's just returned from Ethiopia with her 9th and 10th children. Two older girls, who are just beautiful, and they are adjusting as well as can be expected. Check out Mary's family here. It makes my busyness seem not so bad.


This is what your sink looks like if you spend an evening making jewelry instead of cleaning the kitchen.

This is what your trunk looks like if you volunteer to pick up the ice cream, cups, spoons, and napkins for the back-to-school ice cream party.

This is what your kids look like when you tell them it's time for bed.


Because it's fun!

I found the cutest NO SEW tutu. C'mon girls. Halloween is only 2 and a half months away. But also think about gifts for parties or dress up trunks. You'll be amazed how simple this is when you see the directions. I promise. Click HERE!


7.4 Seconds

I swear, that's all it was. I took the muffins out of the oven and came back to this...


I, for one, am exhausted after scurrying around from forum to forum, discussing the issue of my previous post. After a lot of prodding, the director of AAI conceded that her website was not "worded" correctly and she did not mean to make it sound as if the Golliwogs were appropriate toys for children. However, she sees no problem in making a profit off these horrid beasties, and will continue to sell and distribute this racist "relic" of our weary society's past. She does not see this as an issue. To say I am horrified would be an understatement.

Moving on, we are enjoying the last few days of summer before school starts. Any wisp of an idea in mid-June that I should homeschool my kids is burned to a crisp by August!!!! We are all ready for school to start. Carver and Lily, especially. Wednesday night will be the back to school ice cream party, and they'll meet their teachers and see their classrooms. We are close friends with most of the staff, so it's always like a small family reunion. But Carver's teacher is new this year. I hope she's as amazingly wonderful and practically perfect in every way as I want her to be.



In the world of adoption from Ethiopia, there are a few agencies that most consider top notch. At the head of the list you can usually find AAI--Adoption Advocates International. Merrily Ripley is the director, and has adopted many, many children herself. So here lies the mystery...

Why would she and her husband feel that the dolls they've collected are OK? Go here (update: the site has since been taken down!) to see her Golliwog dolls for sale. Don't know the history behind the Golliwog? Click here to read an accurate history of this gruesome doll (Thanks, Jayme). This is the doll that is supposed to help my kids feel good about themselves?

Merrily! What are you thinking????

We went to an incredible park and fountain today. We wound up there after playing hard at the playground, so we weren't exactly dressed for water play. Within 5 minutes of being there, the kids were drenched--so the boys took their shirts off. Lily followed suit and peeled hers off as well. It happened so fast I didn't have time to tell her "no." And so I let it go. This is probably the last time in her life she'll be able to be out in public with no top on. She was beautiful, and I quietly grieved for her that the world is full of yucky people who have sexualized young children. Because of that, I won't let her wander around at public parks without proper attire on. I didn't make a big deal out of it today because I was so mesmerized by her free-spirited play and I didn't want to have a depressing talk with her about keeping her shirt on. Why shouldn't she--just this once--enjoy the water, splash, laugh, and feel happy.

The other thing that happened while we were playing was a police officer came with a social worker and took custody of 2 small children. They were there with their mother--who made a valiant effort to hold her emotions together--and she kissed her kids goodbye and handed them to the police officer. We all were trying hard not to stare, not to notice. It would be so easy to judge this young woman--to immediately assume she deals crack or leaves her kids home alone. But I had to remind myself that if not for the grace of God, that could be me. Isn't it all about the opportunities we have and the choices we make? The opportunities in my life have allowed me a life of comfort. The options I have every day help make me a better mom. If I had fewer resources, I am not convinced I would be as patient. I am so thankful.


Blah, Blah, Blah

My computer is NOT cooperating and will not upload photos right now. Today no one liked the dinner I cooked (and no one said "thank you" either). Tears at bedtime when we told Lily (again) we are not getting a dog right now. My husband's shoes have been sitting by the back door for 3 days now. I'm playing a little game of "who will move them first, him or me?" and so far no one has touched them. The family room smells funky, and I suspect a lump of yogurt is dying under the couch. So... with nothing better to write about, I thought I'd give you 10 facts about me:

1. If I am alone in the car, I like to listen to the BBC, repeat what they say, and pretend I have a British accent.

2. I hate the taste of beer, but I will never turn down a good glass of wine.

3. I secretly love Lindsay Lohan movies.

4. I always, always, always have Pride and Prejudice by my bed to read. Even if I'm reading 5 other books, it's there "just in case."

5. I have lived in 7 states, and my favorite was Minnesota.

6. I still don't have a cell phone.

7. I have had the chicken pox twice.

8. I have to take prescription pills to get on an airplane. Seriously.

9. My favorite color is brown.

10. If I could eat anything in the world right now, it would be cheese tortellini with pesto and a strong cup of espresso. Mmmmmmmmm.


A Whole Lot of Normal
I need to regroup once in a while and remember that a little over 3 months ago, little Z was living in an orphanage in Africa. He is such a normal child, with normal needs and wants, normal tantrums, normal sleep patterns (thank the Lord) and an above normal sense of humor. I know there are people who probably think there continues to be lots of drama in our house, but there really isn't. Z just loves life, loves our family, and loves being a kid. Of course I am always hyper-sensitive to attachment issues, and I play a little detective every day--looking for clues that Z is as all right emotionally and mentally as he's letting on. So far so good. I take it each day at a time, and each day is a blessing. Such an incredible blessing. Being his mom is like fireworks--lots of ooooohs and aaaaahs and appreciating the spectacular.



If my childhood friend, Julie, and I had known that when we had children we could still hit the clubs and dance, we would have probably signed up for motherhood a long time ago. I found this site--Baby Loves Disco--and rolled on the floor laughing! There's one in Boulder, which is a long shot for us. But next time we're in that area, we will be at the disco shaking our booties! I love this.
*UPDATE! There's one in Denver. We are so there.



Just in time for fall. Straight from the runways in Paris--looks like this year's latest trends include white go-go boots and low-riding swim trunks. A great way to accessorize is throw some sand or grass in your hair and call it a day.


I was going to post on something frivolous and meaningless today, but then I saw the news of the bridge collapse in Mpls. We lived 2 miles from that bridge. I drove over that bridge almost every day... My heart goes out to one of the greatest cities in the world. I need to hear from my friends to know they're all ok.