Thursday, April 3, 2014


So, I thought I would be cute this year and put a little more thought and effort into April Fool's Day this year.  This deciphers down to........I actually got onto Pinterest before April 1st and copied some fun ideas!  {wink}

Monday night I went to bed with a bit of a skip in my step as I went over my mental note of little tricks I had just set up for Sami and Hubs ~ I couldn't really think of ones for Kaleab.....however, now that the day is over, a bunch of ideas come to mind!  Next year, Sweet Ka!  Next year!

I laid my head on my pillow, with visions of trickery dancing in my head!
1.  Cereal box bags switched all around......Check! {so they pour out a wrong kind of cereal}
2.  Light switches taped down { so they couldn't turn on the light}......Check!
3.  Vaseline under the bathroom door knobs............Check!
4.  Saran Wrap over Big Brother's shampoo bottle, so it wouldn't pour out.....Check!
5.  Saran Wrap over downstairs bathroom {where Dad likes to go in the morning since it's near his
6.  Oragel deep into toothbrush bristles {numb mouth, anyone!?}.......Check!
7.  Mustard squirted into the toothpaste tube......Check {after Sami left for school}!

Sami showed me one of the taped light switches the next morning, "Mom, look!  I can't turn on the light in here!  What is this?!?"  To which I giggled  and smiled.  "Did you do this?....Why?!?" he asked, to which I explained through childish giggles that it was a day for pranks.

He then went to close the bathroom door, dousing his hand in vaseline.  He quickly pulled his hand away from the door knob, "You did this too?!?!"  {half smiling half looking confused}  To which I proudly answered with a twinkle in my eye, "Yup!  Gotcha!"  He just smiled and shook his head.  Oh! And, bless his heart, HE cleaned off the vaseline without any prompting from me!  Sweet son!  {Oops!  I better give Jeff credit too, as he cleaned off the knob in his bathroom without my asking too!  Progress, folks!}

They both caught on to the cereal bag swap before even pouring the cereal out.  {darn it!}  And the remainder acts of delinquency brought about a more chuckles as well!  As much of a prankster, Sami is, it was totally fun trying to get him on this day!

The final joke ended up being on me, in that when I came to brush my teeth that evening, and hubs had put SOAP on my toothbrush in an act of vengeance!  "Hey!  At least I put things that actually go in your mouth ~ mustard, Oragel ~ when does anyone put SOAP in their mouth!?!?  Eeeeewwwwwww!!!!"  I even had an after-taste of soap following this morning's brushing {must not have rinsed all the soap out well enough}.  Double whammy!  YUK!

All in all, a fun-filled April Fool's Day!  I even have ideas for next year ~ or sooner if I can't wait!  Ya gotta love Pinterest!!!!  {giggle inserted here}

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Thursday, March 27, 2014



Had I known it was going to be this fun and easy ~ THANKS TO JENNIFER JORDAN! ~ I would have tackled it long ago!  Ha!

There is still some work to do with some of the links and menu, but the majority of it is DONE!  And I am too excited not to share!  I feel like I just got a totally new hairstyle! Or like I just bought a new wardrobe!  Or just left the MAC counter with a beauty make-over!  Only, this is my poor neglected blog that got the refreshing new look!  YAY!

Seriously, I cannot rave highly enough about Jenn!  She is the absolute BEST!  She humored my requests to try different things, she listened to my desires and literally brought to life any idea I breathed or dared to whisper!

She is absolutely A-MAZING!!!!

If you ever entertained the idea of giving your blog some bling or a whole new "lift," Jenn is your girl!!!  If you want to create or update your etsy site or FB page, she can do that too!  I am convinced she can do ANYthing!!!  {wink}

I feel blessed by her talent and privileged to work with her.  Jenn's heart is huge, her talent is vast, and her ability to bring to reality whatever mind-picture you may have is incredible!

THANK YOU, Jenn!!!

Click on her link to learn more!

Sooooo, now that I have this fresh new look, you can count on hearing from me more often!!!  {big grin}

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Friday, January 10, 2014


My baby rests.

After a full and fun day today.

You see, Kaleab and I had what he dubbed as "A Potty Party!"

It really was a FUN day!  We spent the morning as usual, waking up slowly {how he likes it}, playing a bit and reading, then breakfast.

Of course I let him drink twice as much juice as I normally let him drink!  Anything to fill his bladder for the Potty Party, right!?  {wink}

The next four hours were spent focusing on "potty" things, based on the book "Toilet Training in Less Than 24 Hours."  What can I say.  This.Book.ROCKS!!!

I got to spend my entire day with nothing to do but focus on my little peanut, play with him at our "party," let him drink and eat his favorite things {which he LOVED!......Pretty sure this is what made him feel like it was a party!} and fill him with praise and giggles with every success along the way!

A day doesn't get much better than this!!!!!!!!!!! {huge mama grin inserted here}

My little guy caught on amazingly quick, and he had his nearly independent first successful void in less than an hour!

Though there were a couple of accidents speckled throughout, the day was full of multiple independent "pee-pees in the potty!" This sweet boy not only learned the independent steps to void; he also learned how to empty the potty bowl all by himself, clean up any potty messes on the floor (yes, there was one) as well as how to put his wet pants in the hamper AND put on his clean dry pants!

Not bad for four hours!!!!

So proud of my peanut!!!

Tomorrow we will continue to work on his recognition of a "potty urge"and see if his repetitive practice today carries over!

Cute little things he said throughout our day {more for my memory of the day, but I think you might giggle along with me}...............

"No, Dolly.  No pee-pee in pants!............We love you!..........No pee-pee in pants!"

"Mama!  We are having a party!"  "A FUN party!" as he giggles and grins {drinking yet more root beer ~ to fill his bladder.  yes, I said root beer.  not on a normal day, but hey!  anything to encourage him to drink every few minutes!}

"Mama, this a Potty Party!!!" 

I told Ka he would receive the Disney CARS character RED the fire truck when he did a big pee-pee in the potty.  He was really trying to void but without success.  While sitting on the potty he waved his hand at me and said, "You can just go get me Red, Mama.  I can have Red now."  Bless.his.heart.

"YAY, Kaleab!!!  YAY me!"  {following my enthusiastic praise for doing his first big pee- pee in the potty.  i was getting him the aforementioned promised fire truck and he was standing in the kitchen awaiting his cherished reward}

Very audible (and cute!) grunts, groans and moans ~ with eyes squeezed shut ~ and chin up in the air ~and me, trying my hardest to stifle my giggles....."Mama, I can't go.  Can you help me get it out?"  {yes, yes.  this is where the lesson on sitting Relaxed was learned}

Me:  "Kaleab, do you think we should try to go use the potty?" {while slowly walking toward the BR}
Kaleab:  "No, Mama.  I don't want to use the potty."
Me:  "Kaleab, do you feel like you need to go potty?"
Kaleab:  "No, Mama.  No.  I don't have to go potty."
Literally two seconds later {before I could even get him to the BR} he was standing in a puddle of pee.  The look of bewilderment in his eyes melted my heart.  It was a look of "How did that get here!?" Sweet boy!

After his third and final accident today, in the latter half of his "Practice" trials, he says, "This is hard work, Mama.  I'm tired.  I can be done practicing now." {I think this is the time that the effect of "Practicing" had it's greatest impact}

Sami came home from school and Kaleab was so proud to tell his big brother, "Sami!  I went pee-pee in the big boy potty!"

At dinner, {the day's activities were bouncing around in his head} Kaleab randomly asked, "Daddy, do YOU like wet pants?" 

I captured only a few pictures, as we were both quite busy all day long.  But I find the pics to be priceless!

Love You, Big Boy!
And SO PROUD of you!

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Thursday, January 2, 2014


{Ok, so I wrote this in a timely manner, but it appears actually posting it took a couple more days!}

To most peeps, today is New Years Eve.  An exciting day that marks the end to another year of life.  This day carries such meaning for our family as well, as we reminisce of another FABULOUS year shared together as a family!.................

But to us, this day has another ~ even more significant! ~ meaning..........

TODAY marks the very day TWO YEARS AGO that Kaleab was placed in our arms and officially in our family FOREVER!!!!

Oh, how the feelings still flood me, as I vividly remember the exhilaration of seeing and holding my baby again (it had been a loooong five months since doing so!).  The gush of joy that overwhelmed me, knowing that we would never have to leave our baby again will never be forgotten!  EVER!

At the first few seconds of our reunion, Kaleab seemed a bit confused.....kind of like, "I know I know you, but where have you been?"...and "I have been playing with Sami every day but why is he here too?  How do you know him?"  No tears or pulling away, just deep thoughtful looks as he took it all in.  Moments later he was openly sharing his happy-go-lucky and loving, cuddly self with us!

Our family story truly began before we ever even saw the precious faces of our two boys.  Our love for both of them grew deeper every day ~ long before Kaleab's referral or meeting Sami.  Yet, oh the GIDDYNESS of realizing the reality of starting this family was beginning THIS DAY!!!  {a big 'ol overjoyed Mama Eeeeeeekkkkkk inserted here!} 

THIS was the day we got to walk out of that Transition Home, carrying our babe in arms, hearts full of an indescribable JOY that our baby was finally ours!  He was finally coming HOME with us!  No more tears shed in the rocking chair in his nursery wondering who he was; then wondering how my sweet baby was being cared for.  No more!  He was coming home with US!  His God-given Mommy and Daddy!

This little peanut was more than we could have ever hoped for!  His joyful spirit and smile we had quickly come to know back in July that year (Court Date weeklong visit) was still a genuine part of him, and he willingly shared them with all three of us, his Mommy, Daddy and Brother.  

And it has been BLISS ever since!

I love having FAMILY DAY!  Such a wonderful time to look back at pictures and remember those intense feelings of JOY, GRATEFULNESS, and feeling GOD'S FAITHFULNESS.  Such feelings still infiltrate my heart daily, but it is especially fun to intentionally look back upon this miraculous story of God's love and grace on this particular day!

We celebrate you today, Kaleab!  
And all the love, laughter and joy that you have brought into our lives!

 I had a great helper making ET cookies
for the days' celebration!
And of course, Peanut was keeping us entertained.....

 {sorry, Daddy, not the best pic of you, 
but you look this tired in all of them after two long weeks 
of being on call for the entire territory!  we still love ya!}
Sweet Kaleab, 
We love you more than words can say!  You are beautiful on the inside and out!  I am mesmerized by how you seem to change and learn something new daily, as well as by the sweetness and tenderness of your precious little heart.  

What an INCREDIBLE way we started 2012!  What an incredible way God created our family!  What an AMAZING story of how God gave us YOU!!!

I love you, Peanut........To The Moon and Back!

I would be remiss to leave out another significant reason that this time of year fills us with overwhelming JOY and GRATITUDE......

You see, in addition to this AMAZING reunion with Kaleab, marking the official start of our FOREVER FAMILY, we were also able to unite with Sami for the first time as OUR SON!!!  

We had signed all the paperwork in October and were awaiting our early January Court Date to finalize our adoption of Sami!  We had not seen him or spent time with him since that brief initial meeting back in July!  

Remember me sharing the scenario of seeing him and speaking to him and feeling as though God was shining a light on him alone, making him stand out to me as our son!  My son!  I knew it from deep within then!  And I knew it even deeper within when I held him and hugged and kissed him this time around as his Mom!!!

Wow.  Cannot even begin to accurately relay my hearts' emotions experienced over these days!  I was soaking in every minute, yet feeling like I was living in a dream.  Our boys!  My boys!  My heart's dream ~ in the flesh!

Only God.

Only God.

Only God could make my life this good.  So much better than good!  

Only God could implant a dream on my heart and then fulfill it beyond my wildest imagination!  

And He continues to do just that.  Fill my dreams beyond my wildest imagination!

Praising Him today!  Thanking Him, continually!  For planting the dream of family upon my heart.  For creating my family in such awesome and amazing and miraculous ways.  For loving me enough to gift me better than my dream, in my boys and in my endearing husband!

With Gratitude, I bring 2013 to an end.

With Excitement and Joyful Expectancy, I welcome 2014.
HAPPY NEW YEAR to you, dear family and friends!!!

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Friday, August 30, 2013

A Birthday Letter To You, My Son!



Wow.  When I first laid eyes on you, you were ten {with a birthday around the corner}.
When you came home you were eleven {with a birthday not too far off}.
The next year we got to enjoy your first-ever celebrated birthday on this day, as you turned twelve.
Why then, am I amazed that you are now turning THIRTEEN?!?!?!?!?

I am so excited to celebrate YOU!  You, Sami, our precious and amazing SON!  You never cease to amaze me with your dancing eyes, your joyful soul, your contagious smile, your kind and loving heart, great sense of humor, and the countless countless times you have {successfully} tried to scare me!  :)

You have brought such love, joy and laughter into our home!  Before you boys came home, I would sit here at home.  In the deafening silence.  And dream of the day that God would fill our home with the "noise" of love and joy of children.  OUR children.  I would dream of hearing the giggles of laughter and the pounding of feet across our hardwood floors, as much fun was being had by them; and I envisioned me smiling huge as I would look up to God with a heart full of praise.

I was dreaming of the day when our home ~ and our lives ~ would be blessed by YOU and KALEAB!

And now, daily, I get to experience it all!  I get to experience the joy of YOU!  With my dreams far surpassed by BOTH you and your "wundhim," Kaleab {but this post is about you, birthday boy}!

My heart is filled to overflowing and YOU are a BIG reason for that!  I felt the holy spirit goosebumps when I first met and talked with you in Ethiopia, feeling as though God was telling me that YOU were our son!!!  And now, each day I am moved by how you continue to bless my heart in some small or big way, just by being YOU!

It is my hope to love you to the best of my ability, and beyond.........praying that God will help me love you beyond what love my humanness can provide.  I pray that God will fill any void in our parenting that maybe only He can see.

It is my prayer that you will never EVER wonder where you belong.  Or wonder who you can trust.  Or wonder who loves you unconditionally.  Yes, as you know, God loves you in this way!  {I am so GRATEFUL you already know HIS agape love!}  It is my hope and prayer that you forever know that such unconditional love also flows to you from your father, brother and me!

It is my hope that you will witness in the flesh {via your father and me} a Christ-like love.  Every day.  Not matter what you may be experiencing - in or outside of our family - I pray that you will always know a trust and love in the safety of this family.  Your family.

It is my desire to bless you abundantly, my sweet Sami.......while leaving room for God to build the character He created You to have.

It is my goal to protect you as best I can........while allowing God to use life's happenings to further build your divinely determined character.  And draw you deeper into Him.  May my mama's heart and desire to protect and provide never cheat you of such invaluable lessons.

It is my dream for you to never know pain, my son.  Physical or emotional.  Yet, this is not reality.  Avoiding such hurts threatens to lessen your connection with our Heavenly Father, as it is in such times that you will draw nearer to Him.

Therefore, instead, it is my dream that you will forever know that God, dad and I are here for you in whatever pain life may toss your way.  May God continue to grant us the privilege to love you through such times.     May you always trust and know that we are here for you.  Always.  And forever.

YOU have already given me so much, my son.  More than words can express.  More than you may ever know.  It is my desire to bless you.  Every day of your life.

I am proud of the young man you are.  And the man I see you becoming.  God is deep within you.  And I pray we teach you well how to continue deepening that relationship with Him.  And I pray that God continues to deepen your relationship with us, your mom and dad.

A Mother's Love is immeasurable.  I'm not sure how to even describe my love for you, Sami.  But God knows.  He knows how to tell your heart.  On my knees, I ask Him to do just that.  To tell your heart of the love dad and I both have for you.  Just because you are YOU!  Just because you are our SON!

May this upcoming year be even more blessed than the previous.  If that is possible.

Making his birthday wish!

All My Love...............To The Moon and Back!!!


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