Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Time to Play Catch Up

It has been WAY too long since my last post and we have been busy with so many things that I am just going to update you with pictures. Besides, that's what most of you want to see anyway :).

Eliza graduated from 4 year old preschool. This means she is off the Kindergarten in the Fall. She is so ready and I am so NOT ready!

Eliza turned 5! This year her birthday included a fun party at the park with friends.

Toby's brother Dale deployed to Afghanistan for a year. Please pray for his sweet wife, Amie, and their boys. It is so hard for them all to be apart. Such a sacrifice for his whole family. We are so thankful for men and women like him and so proud of Toby's little brother!

We celebrated 4th of July at the annual town parade.

We went on a family road trip to Denver and enjoyed seeing new things and meeting new friends including families with children from Yangxi, China (where Eliza is from).

We went to the county fair and Sophia fell in love with a horse--I can so relate!

We have a few more adventures to have before school starts. This Summer seems like it is flying by way too fast!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

One Year..........

Since we drove away from the care center in Addis with our precious girl.

One year of seeing this sweet girl grow and become more adventurous every day.

We are absolutely blessed by this precious gift from God.

Friday, June 1, 2012

What We've Been Up To

We've been busy making memories. Since it has been so long since I've shared new pictures and stories about our family, I'll just share some of my favorite pictures from all we've been up to.


Eliza has become quite the swimmer thanks to her swim teacher, Tabor.

I got another year older.

The girls performed in a dance recital.

Emma and Faith attended their first Middle School Banquet.

We were able to visit my Mom's hometown for her birthday.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Hunger Games

I know I'm not going to make any friends writing this and will probably offend some. For that I'm sorry. Last night I saw the Hunger Games with my son. I read the first book before I went and although I couldn't put it down, I was unsure about it. I understand the author's effort to get people thinking about what violence can do to devalue life. I get the whole uprising against inhumane government thing.

My son and I both had a hard time with the graphic images of kids killing kids. In a world where kids in Africa are taken from their families and forced to kill at a young age, why are we so indifferent that we are entertained by the brutal death of children? It was not a movie that left you feeling good at the end. I had a hard time rooting for the main characters to win knowing that in order to do that, they would have to kill.

Let me just ask, have you ever seen a real life hunger game? I don't mean kids being thrown in an arena, I mean people so desperate to eat they would do ANYTHING to get food? Have you ever had to choose between life and death for yourself? What about your child? Have you ever had to choose between watching your child die from starvation or allowing them to be adopted never seeing them again? THESE CHOICES ARE BEING MADE EVERY MINUTE OF EVERY DAY.

I just can't look at this as another story on the big screen. Whether we like it or not, the more we allow ourselves to be entertained by death, the less compassionate we are. I'm glad my son didn't like the movie. I'm glad I was shocked by the images on the big screen. I hope I never find myself rejoicing in the death of children--even pretend children from a story.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

It's Official!

Friday was a special day for our family. We went down to the County courthouse to attend a hearing where Sophia officially became Sophia Joy Mimi!!! Up until now, all of her paperwork referred to her as Mimi Toby. This is one of the last steps in her adoption and it feels so good!

At the hearing the judge showed incredible patience with my littles while they took over her courtroom. Sophia was so exhausted and hungry. Luckily we got some great pictures before she completely lost it and screamed all the way to the car. (Sophia lost it, not the judge) ;)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

You Won't Believe......

how much our small school earned to feed children at Adami Tulu!!! Remember this post: Hats for Adami Tulu? Our little school made a goal of $3,000 which would then provide 24,000 meals for the children of Adami Tulu. I am THRILLED beyond words to share with you that they actually raised......$4,000!!!! That equals 32,000 meals! These precious children in Ethiopia will be able to attend school and receive two meals a day for 15 weeks!

I am not ashamed to say that we had a praise party when we found out! What an amazing blessing to be a part of such a worthy cause!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Let Them Praise His Name with Dancing.....

I had a pretty awful attitude last night. I was tired and Toby was heading out for a meeting at our son's school. Usually my husband is a big help in getting Eliza and Sophia ready for bed. He loves to play with them and it's so sweet to see them get some special "Daddy" time. With Toby being gone last night that meant the entire bedtime routine was up to me. Most of the time I am happy to do it and spend some special time with the littles, but last night I was grumpy about it. It was a sad sight indeed. Right in front of me were two little ones playing and being silly and all I could think of was how quickly could I get them to bed and get a break.

After the toys had been picked up the living room was in a state that is rare these days....empty floor space. It was then that it happened. I found myself in an all out dance party praising God for removing my Shackles which lead to dancing and singing about His Victory in my life. There we were, myself and my three youngest tearing it up as best we could to some of our favorite songs and singing with all the pitch problems we could muster.

What a joy to be able to praise the One who doesn't care if I'm singing on key or dancing on the right beat! I'm so thankful for music inspired by Him...just what I needed to remind me how blessed I am!

P.S. If you click on the words Shackles and Victory you can hear what we were dancing to. :)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Bringing in the Year of the Dragon

Every Chinese New Year we try to find special ways to celebrate and show Eliza how rich the culture of her birth country is. This year we went to the local Chinese garden where we were able to see a Dragon dance, make paper lanterns, and watch Chinese calligraphy demonstrations. It really was sweet to see how curious Eliza was about it all. It is such a small way for us to teach her about China and pales in comparison to what she would experience if she were there but hopefully marking the occasion will help her to see how special she is. Plus, what a blessing for us to get to learn about China along with her!

"I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well." Psalm 139:14

Monday, January 16, 2012


this girl

happily playing

with her sister


Monday, January 9, 2012

Hats for Adami Tulu

Every year the school Emma & Faith attend raises money for a mission project. This year the school is partnering with Lifesong for Orphans to raise money for Adami Tulu school in Ethiopia. The focus is buying meals for the children who attend the school. Did you know that a mere 25 cents buys two meals for a child at the school? For many of the children this is the only nutritious food they will receive. Here is a link to the Adami Tulu Project.

We are VERY excited about the impact our little school can make in the lives of these children. To help with fundraising I have knitted some items I'm selling. Here is a link to my new Etsy store where you can buy the items:

This adorable hat is made with some super soft yarn from Knit Picks. It can be yours for $15. That adds up to 60 kids receiving 2 meals--120 meals!!!.

This cute coordinating hat and scarf set is knitted with 25% wool, 75% acrylic yarn. The scarf is 4.5" x 65". The set can be yours for $30. That's 120 kids receiving 2 meals--240 meals!!!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Melkam Gena!

Melkam Gena! January 7th in Ethiopia is Ethiopian Christmas, Gena. With the time difference that's today. Hopefully we will be able to teach Sophia about the traditions surrounding Gena and she will grow up proud of her heritage. This year we are having a delayed celebration next weekend with some good Ethiopian food and even better friends. In Ethiopia, Sophia's birth mother is celebrating today. Melkam Gena to the you, sweet & brave woman. We love you!