Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Looking forward to this one...

New movie coming out (when?): The Blind Side

A disadvantaged teenager is taken in by a conservative family who see tremendous promise in the young man. Despite certain obstacles, the attention and inspiration he receives helps him mature into an athletically and academically successful NFL prospect.

Man, the trailer made me tear up! Yikes!

This looks like a good one.

Monday, August 24, 2009

eight, eiGHT, EIGHT!

Hanging out with little sis at the park yesterday.

Grace turned 8 yesterday. That just sounds so OLD! I can't believe it. For some reason, her birthday made me a little emotional this year. Grace was my first baby - the child that made me a mom. I was scared to death of that during my pregnancy! But my first look at her gave me such confidence - she was so tiny and perfect! I knew it wouldn't be easy, but it would be worth it.

And it has been.

Grace is just a likeable kid. She has a few close friends, but generally gets along with everyone. She is smart and funny and loving. And she's really shown her resilancy the past few years. Not only was Grace our first child, she was an only child until she was 5 years old. In the last 3 years, she acquired a baby sister, little brother and little sister and now, a big sister! Sure, it hasn't always been rainbows and kittens, but generally speaking she has risen up to be a wonderful sister and daughter. I don't know what I'd do without her.

Enjoying her favorite present - her binoculars. She liked the huge pillow too!

She had picked brownies for her "cake" but we all decided we were sick of them. She chose some cupcakes from the grocery store last minute - I thought it was awful, but she was excited since we rarely buy cakes! Easy for me!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

First Three Weeks - Photo Essay

They told me they were dressed as "lawyers" hahaha

Enjoying our hike

Check out those braids! 3 1/2 hours later...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Transition into the Family - Our first couple of weeks

My poor, neglected blog. I tried to update you several times over the past couple of weeks. It just wasn’t in the cards. Once, blogger was not my friend. Then, a thunderstorm took the power out (fun fun). And then some random mishaps. But it is quiet this morning. And my coffee is ready. And I am determined to update at least a bit. I know I’ll be sorry if I don’t!

Since it HAS been so long, I don’t know where to begin. So this might be random. J

I’ll start with the basics. Selam is doing very well. Amazing really. She is very affectionate with Mark and I and is giving us lots of opportunities to love on her and interact. Yet, it is different than it was with Abi and Hana (who were fortunately both open for affection too). With Abi and Hana it was, at times, very draining. Very all-consuming. Selam seeks out attention and affection, but quietly. She doesn’t push the others away and she doesn’t demand one-on-one undivided look-at-me-and-me-only attention all day long.

She has just sort of slipped into the family quietly. She slipped into HER place in the family – a place we knew was there, waiting for her. But a place we didn’t dare to even hope would fit her so perfectly and completely right off the bat.

Hana has simply been on cloud nine since her sister got home. Just couldn’t wipe a smile off her face for DAYS. She’s starting to come down to normalcy… but is still generally happier (although she was never an Unhappy kid in the first place – just took herself up a notch I guess). :o)

Not everyone is so thrilled though. Well, right at first, everyone was. The honeymoon period was great. Actually, Abi was the only one that had a hard time at all, and that was relatively minor. Looking back, and watching the kids all interact over the first week, I think he was actually very nervous about Selam coming home. Hana is his best friend and he was scared of losing her – Selam was a threat. Fortunately, Hana has continued to play with Abi like “normal” so he seemed to get over that fear pretty quickly. And Abi also has a tendency to find something bad/sad in nearly everything. He rarely ends the day on a happy note (after all, he has to go to bed – surely that’s something to be upset about). So we continue to deal with those issues, but they were not greatly exacerbated by Selam’s arrival, other than initially.

The first two weeks, the kids that actually butt heads the most were… Selam and Ally. Go figure. I wasn’t worried about Ally at all – she was probably the only one I wasn’t concerned about at some level! But Selam is a teaser – she likes to push your buttons as a way to kid around with you. The other kids take it in stride. But you don’t do that to Ally. She will growl at you. That’s not her thing. And Selam was very excited to meet Ally – she talked about her a lot in Ethiopia. About her baby sister. Well, Ally is almost 3 and has been talking and potty trained for some time. If you ask her, she’ll tell you in no uncertain terms, “I am NOT a baby.” So, Selam’s favorite game is to call Ally a baby and Ally gets angry and yells at Selam. It’s fun.

But things started changing just over this past weekend. My mom came to visit Fri/Sat and we both noticed it, especially when we took the kids to the beach on Saturday. Now Ally is lightening up a bit. She and Selam tease back and forth (along the lines of “She’s my mom” “No she’s my mom” “She’s my grandma”, etc). They will both start it and then laugh. So, that seems like it will work itself out. Although Ally still doesn’t like that baby business.

Dang, most of the kids are up. Will I ever get to finish this? To be continued…

Friday, August 14, 2009

You have got to be kidding me!

For the FOURTH time, I have started typing out an update and got a ways into it. And blogger deletes it.

Next time, I'll type it out in Word first. Sad that it took me this long to figure out.

But I'm mad now, so going to see if Selam will let me braid her hair to calm me down. :o)

I promise - a real update soon. Rest assured we are all doing very well!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Sprinkler Fun

Mini-update with more photos

hanging with mom and dad at the park (don't worry - I know it won't be long until she's much to cool for us. I think she just might be already!) :o)

All the kiddos at the park

Enjoying her first s'more

Cutie-pie Hana

A little family bonding around the campfire before our family soccer game!

Settling In...

Sometimes, I really hate blogger.

I just wrote out a pretty extensive post, updating on our first day home. In a flash, it was gone. RAWR.

Too ticked off to rewrite right now. So, you'll have ot make do knowing that things are going remarkably well. I'm having trouble even uploading photos now but I'll see what I can come up with! :o)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Welcome Home