"Sometimes I'd like to ask God why He allows poverty, famine, and injustice in the world when He could do something about it...but I'm afraid God might ask me the same question."
-Anonymous

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Top Ten Things I Am Thankful For (For Today)

Things have been very busy around our house these days...I have returned to the world of work until the end of the school year. To make a long story short, the days have gotten busy, the house looks like a mess and we are running around every night to baseball practice, dance class, etc. It got me thinking that, even though things are nuts right now, I have so much to be thankful for! So here are the top ten things I am thankful for today...

(1) Obviously, these two are at the top of my list...I love them so much (even though I don't love all of the Legos laying around my house, the constant motion they are in and the multiple pairs of socks that seem to end up everywhere!) The best part of going to work is coming home and seeing my kids faces.

(2) I am also thankful for my beautiful daughter who I got to spend the night with. We had our mother/daughter book club. It is so nice to still have a daughter who likes to hang out with her mom! I am so blessed to have her!

(3) I am thankful for having the opportunity to have a long-term subbing job - the income will be used to help with our travel expenses. I will be working as a school counselor (my background is in guidance/counseling) at an intermediate school.

(4) I am super lucky to be working with an incredible staff that is very positive and has been very helpful to me. It is never easy to be the "new kid" at school, and I can relate!

(5) I am lucky to also have neighbors who have offered to help me with my kiddos while I am working. I have a great neighbor who is even picking up my little one from school every day for me! What a blessing...I don't know if I could have taken the job without the support of my friends who are helping out! Thanks Cindy, Allison, Vicki, Kami, Lori...

(6) I'm thankful for the wonderful Arise families that I have met through blog world. A special shout out to Natalie who has been so kind. She wanted to make sure our little girl in Ethiopia had a special "care package" delivered to her with the next Arise family that travels. The family needed to get the package soon - too soon for me to get it put together and shipped to Lousiville, so Natalie (who lives in the area)spent time shopping for the most adorable outfit and headband for our girl. She is also putting some fun toys and things in the package for us along with some of our family pictures. So thoughtful! Thanks so much Natalie!

(7) I am very thankful to all of the Arise staff who are working to keep us updated on our little girl in Ethiopia...even if the update only consisted of four words: She is doing well.

(8) I am thankful for the quick stop at TJ Maxx that yielded me a new pair of jeans (I am a jeans addict...) The best part - I bought them without trying them on (had two boys in tow) and they actually fit!!!!

(9) I am thankful for these beautiful flowers that my little guy picked for me. It was a great example of how I need to stop and smell the flowers. I hadn't even noticed that they had bloomed and he asked if we could pick a few. So sweet!



(10) And last, but not least, today I am thankful for my new TOMS shoes that came in the mail. If you don't know about TOMS, you need to check them out. They are super comfy shoes and the best part about TOMS is that for each pair of shoes you buy, they donate a pair of shoes to a child without shoes in a developing country (Ethiopia too!). Check them out!
Thanks for taking the time to check out our blog. I hope to have more to report soon. We are waiting to hear news about our court date. Our agency has decided to wait to tell families about their court dates until their case is heard in Ethiopia and they "pass court." Hopefully that news will come in May and we will have an 8-10 week window to wait for our travel/Embassy appointment.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Spring Break = Treats

Well, our official Spring Break week is coming to an end. As I look back on the week, I notice a common theme...lots of relaxing and way too much junk food (more to come on that in a minute...).

Our time off from school started with our daughter and two of her dance friends doing a beautiful lyrical dance number at Good Friday church services. They performed an awesome routine to the beautiful song, "Lead Me To The Cross." They were absolutely breath taking!


The week off included lots of Lego building and playing with Playmobile!



And...way too much computer time!
Lots of chocolate was eaten.


And I took time to bake a few treats. I love a good scone for breakfast with a nice cup of Chai tea, but during our regular weekday mornings, there is not enough time. This week we enjoyed some fresh, chocolate chip scones. This is my favorite scone recipe. Of course, I take out the raisins and substitute chocolate chips :)


We woke up to find this in our backyard on Thursday!



So, since we were stuck inside during a snowstorm, we decided to make some ridiculously unhealthy caramel corn. You can find the recipe here.

As if that wasn't enough sugar for us, my daughter wanted to make some of our famous chocolate covered popcorn for a night with her girlfriends...It is really good. All you do is take a bag of those chocolate melting wafers (Wilton makes them in a variety of colors), melt them, and pour them over two bags of microwave popcorn. Be sure to remove all of the unpopped kernels. Toss gently, spread onto wax covered pans to harden, then break into small pieces. It is a great combination of salty and sweet!





So after a great week of relaxing and eating a bunch of junk, we decided to watch "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution." Our family really likes the show. It makes me feel so guilty about picking up fast food and pizza all the time. It is inspiring us to try a little bit harder to make healthy, home cooked meals with FRESH ingredients. This is some of what I picked up at the store today...after all, I have to make up for the sweets and junk we have been eating all week!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Update!

I am so excited, because today we got an update on our little one in Ethiopia! We received a new picture and some measurements. She is a little peanut...can't wait to scoop her up and see how it feels to hold a little one again!

We are relaxing this week and enjoying our "spring break" from school. The kids have been doing a lot of hanging out with each other. It is so nice to stay home and not have to run around every day. Unfortunately, we woke up to a spring snow storm today...only in Wisconsin!


I am also super excited to say that I will be attending the Christian Alliance for Orphans Summit in MN later this month. It looks like it will be an amazing conference. I can't wait to meet some of you in person. I am especially excited to meet some of the bloggers that I have been following through the blog world for over a year. In addition to meeting blog friends and listening to some amazing speakers, I will get so see my favorite Christian singer, Steven Curtis Chapman, again. It will also be a ton of fun to travel to the summit with some great friends and fellow adoptive parents. I can't wait! Let me know if you'll be there!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Well...it's time for our travel vaccinations...I am not too worried about getting the shots, but I want to make sure we get the right vaccinations and that we don't get any that we really don't need. Our appointment at the travel clinic is tomorrow. If you have any advice that you can offer to us about which vaccines you received before traveling to Ethiopia, I would really appreciate it. We are planning on getting the Hep A, Hep B, Meninogococcal, and Typhoid shots. We are both up to date with our Tetanus shots. I am not sure about getting the Yellow Fever vaccine...any thoughts??? I think we may also need a Polio booster????

Thanks for any advice you have!!!