Monday, November 29, 2010

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Front Page

I went out to get our paper this morning forgetting that our family might be featured, and I saw my husband on the front page! Hopefully, this link will take you the article and video.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What I didn't expect... be constantly moving from sunup until sundown.
...another big time physical touch kid!
...sibling stuff. Pestering the younger sister, annoying the older sister.
..."Mama, I love you so much!" 11 year old boy with a shoe and clothes fetish, especially shoes!
...God's anointing in so many ways!
...full time school within two months of arrival in the US. (at a school representing 13 languages with a great ELL program and a fantastic male 4th grade teacher!!)
...lots and lots and lots and lots of ketchup (on everything, even waffles...YUK!)
...more laundry, makes sense but I just didn't think about it. And he likes things clean, even his shoes.
...that Scott and I would make new friends as a result of Teme coming.

I know there are so many more so I may have to update sometime. Adoption is a crazy thing. And crazy times a million when it is an older child! We have two post placement reports coming up. The end of this month, Sabrina will be home 2 years and Teme will be home 3 months! WOW!

Good eating!

A couple weeks ago I started receiving bimonthly deliveries of organic produce. It makes it easy to ensure that we have fresh produce without frequent trips to the grocery store and I figured it would help me try new things and eat healthier. If you live in Southern Minnesota or Northern Iowa their website is Check it out! I got our second delivery yesterday. I received lots of yummies including avocados and tomatoes. I'm thinking guacamole! And I found a great recipe, especially if you like a little bit chunkier guacamole. (If not, I guess just throw it in the blender:)

3 avocados (I used 4)
1 lime, juiced
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup diced red onion
3 T chopped fresh cilantro
2 plum tomatoes, diced (I had Roma)
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 small to medium Jalapeno, chopped (if you like it hot, use more)
Mix onion, cilantro, tomatoes, garlic and jalapeno in a small bowl. In medium bowl, mash together the avocados, lime juice and salt. Add onion mixture to the avocado mixture, stirring well. Refrigerate for one hour for best flavor. Store with plastic wrap pressed down on the guacamole to prevent browning.
We picked up some red lentils at the Ethiopian market in the Twin Cities at Teme's last doctor's appointment, so I wanted to try something new. I found this recipe in Cooking Light. Scott and I loved it, the kids probably wouldn't care if we didn't have it again but what do they know! Noelle has some vegetarian friends so I am going to store the leftovers to heat up when they come over next. Tomorrow I plan to try injera for the first time, I'll let you know!!
Red Lentil-Rice Cakes with Simple Tomato Salsa
3 cups finely chopped plum tomato (I used Roma)
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil (I used about a tsp. dried, the store was out of fresh)
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons capers
1/4 tsp. salt
5 cups water, divided
1 cup dried small red lentils
1/2 cup uncooked basmati rice (I used quick cooking brown rice, I swear I bought basmati...)
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 tsp. fennel seeds, crushed
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs (I had Italian seasoned so I skipped the following spices)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 large egg white, lightly beaten (didn't realize until just now...I was in a hurry and used whole eggs)
1. To prepare salsa, combine first 5 ingredients; set aside at room temperature.
2. To prepare cakes, bring 4 cups water and lentils to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes or until tender. Drain and rinse with cold water; drain. Place lentils in a large bowl.
3. Combine remaining 1 cup water and rice in pan; bring to a boil. Cover , reduce heat, and simmer 18 minutes (or according to package directions if you use brown rice). Cool 10 minutes. ( I skipped that step.) Add rice to lentils.
4. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper, onion, fennel seeds, and garlic to pan; saute 2 minutes or until tender. Cool 10 minutes. (Again, I skipped that step.) Add to rice mixture. Add mozzarella cheese and remaining ingredients, stirring until well combined. Let stand for 10 minutes. (Guess what? Who has time for all this sitting around!)
5. Wipe skillet clean with paper towels. (Or get out your griddle.) Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in skillet over medium heat. (or spray if using griddle) Spoon half of rice mixture by 1/3 cupfuls into pan, spreading to form 6 (3-inch) circles; cook 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Carefully turn cakes over; cook 5 minutes on other side. Repeat with rest of batter. Serve with salsa.

Trick or Treat!

Please note...I understand all the objections to Halloween, but it is sooooo fun!
After carving pumpkins, the big kids went one way and
Scott and I took the little kids the other way. Tons of fun!

Captain Teme!
Pretty sure he had no idea what was going on but he was very polite,
loved the candy and is always up for a good schmooze!

Dancing the night away

My girl does love herself some dancing!!
Halloween dance at West High, aren't she and Katelyn cute?
Note, the false eyelashes...first time I've ever dealt with those.

She did NOT get those legs from me!

Crazy October Weather!

Yes, these are our two youngest OUTSIDE, in a pool, in IOWA at the end of OCTOBER!
I, was not home, guess who the supervising adult was...
Teme is wearing part of his Halloween costume rather than a swimsuit:)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fall at the cabin

I haven't actually been to the cabin for awhile, but Scott and Teme and friends have been going quite a bit. That's one thing we need to figure out. (One of many:) Scott has a tendency to take Teme and disappear when he thinks I need a break or when he wants to get away. As a result there has been a lot of time with Scott and Teme, and me and the girls. Probably not that great for bonding between Teme and I.

Yonas, Daniel and Teme

Teme's big day!

On a great fall day, October 12th, we celebrated Teme's 11th birthday.
We celebrated at a park, and except for the threat of rain and a little wind, it was perfect.
We were joined by my mom and dad, and JAKE, the Tesfas, the Weimers (our first chance to meet their new addition from Ethiopia) and the Gerdes family.
Pizza and cake kept us all full.
Football, silly string and glow in the dark jewelry kept us all busy.

I love this picture of my dad and Jim Weimer.

Please tell me that is NOT a gobble I see on my neck!!
I just might have to buckle down and start watching what I eat....TODAY!

We didn't get an overly good picture of the cake, but it was Spiderman.
Teme loves action movies.
I can't wait to take him to see the new Chronicles of Narnia in December.


This first picture is just fun!
Teme is a BIG physical touch kid and a big copycat!
He wanted Noelle to carry him and she obliged!
I love it when everyone is getting along.

This is the first night that Teme got serious about learning to use his crutches.
Here Daniel is explaining the process to him.

Daniel and Elizabeth's son, Nathan.
Sabrina's favorite person in the world!
It was a good thing that Teme started getting serious about his crutches. In another amazing move by God, Teme started full day public school on October 18th. He has an amazing male teacher whose wife is disabled and has two adopted children. He is joining an ELL program that is headed by a former kindergarten teacher. He makes the 13th language in the program. The kids and his teachers all love him! And...he loves it. Yesterday he came home with a picture a girl in his class had drawn him and a sheet where many of his friends had written down their names for him.
Having Teme in school all day has been a tremendous relief for me. Seven weeks with little to no breaks was a lot! I also feel less pressure about being the one that needs to catch him up academically. Now we can just come alongside the school. That I can do:)
God is good, all the time!

Fun Fall Days!

Teme can pout when things don't go his way. I was trying to remember if it was the Liberian pout or the Ethiopian pout I had read about, maybe it's both! Sometimes when he is frustrated he heads outside for awhile. This particular day, he had been outside for awhile so I decided that Sabrina and I had better check on him. Usually I would find him under a tree or on the side of the house. This day he was playing in the leaves. He had made a big pile (with his hands) and was jumping in it. Sabrina and I decided to join in and I ran for my camera:)

Thank goodness for great neighbors.
This is actually our neighbor's yard that we are dragging leaves from the street into!

The heart of a child.
The heart that God protected and cherishes.

Learning Curve

Most days I have no idea what God was thinking when He entrusted us with this adventure, this boy. Most days Scott is pretty perfect in relationship to Teme. It seems like more often than not, I am struggling. I think Scott is able to focus on one child at a time without the other three's problems floating around in his head. I have no idea how people with truly large families do it! I feel so incapable to meet the needs of these four. I think it may have been easier if they were closer together, four in 4th grade and under or whatever. But one in college, one in high school, Teme and Sabrina, is pulling my already fragile brain in so many directions:)

God has blessed us in so many ways throughout this process. I know I have mentioned our Ethiopian friends, but I cannot thank God enough for leading us to each other! I cannot thank God enough for protecting Teme, physically and emotionally. No one would ever guess the life he has already lived.

Which leads me to the learning curve. Yesterday morning was rough! If Scott is not home, I take 3 kids to 3 different schools on MWF. Teme is NOT a morning person. So getting him up is frustration number one! Yesterday was very windy and chilly in Iowa. Teme refused to wear pants or a jacket. Then he refused to eat breakfast. I was so frustrated that all I could see was stubbornness, maybe disobedience, as he went to school in shorts and no jacket while others wore their winter coats and gloves. Last night I learned that Teme did not want to dress warmly because he thought he had to wear his jacket all day, and he gets hot during the school day. We both could have handled things differently, but I didn't even think through WHY he might be refusing. I pray that God would give me patience and a soft heart toward Teme. That I would know when to be strict and when to explore further. That Danny would always be available when we need a translator!!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Work it girl!


No, this isn't what she wore to the dance. For homecoming week they had dress up days. The freshmen were supposed to be babies. Aren't they too cute! Sabrina wasn't too sure about them borrowing all her things!

For the Homecoming dance, Noelle went with Krystal and Derrick. They went to Chuck E Cheese and then to the dance. Noelle danced all night:)

Weekend with the Larsons

September 24th and 25th we joined Scott's family in Minnesota for the weekend. They were anxious to meet Teme and we were remembering Scott's mom. Shirlee went to be with Jesus one year ago. We had lots of fun meeting up with everyone though I must admit it was a little anxiety provoking being in a hotel room with the three kids. A lot going on there!! I can't believe that we didn't get any pictures at the swimming pool. I think Scott didn't want me to get the camera wet. Teme and Sabrina had a blast. Teme has never really swam before and it is a challenge with just the one functional leg. But he loved it and he is a quick learner and very athletic. On Saturday we went to an apple orchard and out for a fun lunch.

At the drive-in restaurant with cousin Oliver. Scott's sister, Christy's son.

On the hayride, Holly, Sabrina and Naomi.