Thursday, September 29, 2011

Guest Post--Adami Tulu

No updates today on my kiddos, or what's going on around here, I'll do that soon, I promise. Instead, I have a guest post from a friend, that also happens to be a cousin-in-law!

Mary Beth and I met at Harding and were both in Zeta Rho together. We got to know each other even better when she started dating Jeremy's cousin Casey. In fact, her and Casey were engaged shortly after our wedding, and married the following December.

Casey and Mary Beth have three children too, two of which were adopted from Ethiopia. They are very passionate about adoption and Ethiopia. They are such a great example for us all of listening to God's calling. We haven't got to meet their two cuties from Ethiopia, but we love seeing pictures and look forward to meeting them sometime soon! Please take the time to read what Mary Beth has written (she's a great writer!) and consider making a donation and possibly winning a getaway to Aspen!

Thank you so much Jeremy and Laura for allowing me to post on your blog about a subject that is so important to me.

Over three years ago, my husband and I began our journey to adopt our son from Ethiopia. And since that time, God has been filling our hearts with an overwhelming love and passion for the people of Ethiopia. We returned a year after our first adoption to bring our daughter home. After arriving home with her, we knew we had to do more.

We have been so blessed to team up with other adoptive families around the U.S. and with Lifesong for Orphans. Lifesong is doing some amazing work through a small nursery school that they support in Adami Tulu, Ethioipa. You can read more about Adami Tulu here.

Last year, we, with five other families, raised over $40,000 to build a new building, restroom facility, and gate at the Adami Tulu school. In August, we got to return to Ethiopia to see the new building. We had an amazing trip, and have absolutely fallen in love with Adami Tulu. You can read more about our trip here and here. The school is changing the lives of so many vulnerable children in the area by offering them a wonderful education and two nutritious meals a day.

We've returned home with the knowledge that we have so much more to do in Adami Tulu. So we've agreed to continue our work with Lifesong by raising funds for another school building on the Adami Tulu campus. This will enable the school to expand to include 1st and 2nd grade. More details will be coming soon, but we're anxious to get a jump start on fundraising. We know that this project will cost at least $50,000. But, for these sweet faces, we'll do anything!

We are very excited to announce our first fundraiser for our next phase of the Adami Tulu project: another Aspen Giveaway!

Our Aunt and Uncle have, once again, generously donated toward our fundraising efforts. Only this time they've offered us not one but FIVE stays at the Hyatt Grand Aspen.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Exploring, Drawing, and Learning, Oh my!

Ian is on the go...all the time! I don't know if it's just a difference between girls and boys, or if my girls were just calm and laid back, but this little guy gets into everything! With the girls, I could set them in the middle of a room with some toys and for the most part they would sit and play. If I put Ian in the middle of the room with toys, he looks at the toys and then begins looking around the room and making his move to wherever he desires to explore for a while. We have to make sure our basement door is closed at all times, the toilet lids are shut, and all decorations within reach have been placed in areas that he cannot get to. It's exhausting! Poor Ansley doesn't understand (no matter how many times I tell her!) that he can't open doors, and she will often stand guard in front of the basement door, fridge, gate on the stairs, etc., saying "No, no, no Ian...Mom, Ian is trying to open the basement door!" or whatever he might be close to. At least she's looking out for the little guy! We also think he may be a lefty just like his oldest sister. He uses his left hand to eat, wave, sucks his left thumb, and even his Sunday school teacher has noticed that he favors his left hand. Apparently last Sunday he was holding something and she tried to give him something else, and he switched what he had over to his right hand so that he could reach and grab the item with his left. Jeremy's determined to make him a pitcher if he truly is a lefty! Here's a picture of our future Cardinals pitcher making his "silly face" as we like to call it! :)

Speaking of Ansley, I have tried to start doing some workbook activities with her. She amazes me with what she knows! She seems really smart to me (of course!) but I think it's probably more that I just think of her as being so young, and I forget sometimes she not that far away from being 4! Here is a picture of her doing some workbook activities. In the background you can see a painting she made, and some rocks that she painted.

Kennedy decided to give up dancing and try her hand at soccer instead. Jeremy is her coach and she plays the next six weeks on Saturday mornings. I think she likes the idea of playing soccer better than actually playing. She only touched the ball with her foot one time I think, and is completely willing to let everyone else have their turn trying to kick the ball. At halftime she asked me if it was time for lunch yet. Oh, well, at least she's cute!

At home, she has been busy drawing pictures and trying to decorate any place I will let her in our house. Our upstairs is filled with pictures of things she made. For example, here is Ian's bedroom door:

My closet door:

Jeremy's closet door:

Her and Ansley's bedroom door:

The wall by her bed:

I've given up trying to stop her from taping things everywhere, but I have limited it to her bedroom, or doors on our top floor only. She's a pretty good artist and I hate to hurt her feelings by telling her I don't want her artwork all over my house!

I have recently taken up a new hobby (thanks to my sis-in-law Heidi for teaching me!) and have been making shirts for the kids. Well, technically, I don't make the shirts, but I cut out patterns and iron on/stitch them onto shirts. Here are some I made for the girls. I made one for their cousin Sidney too. I've got a bunch of fabric ready to do some more, but I am making myself wait on buying shirts until I finish 2 library books that are due back soon! It's super fun and addicting.

Until next time...