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.

Saturday, October 2, 2010


Teme came through his surgery with flying colors. He had some vomiting from the anesthesia but quickly felt better. The surgeon was pleased with the condition of his knee. Miraculously after having his injury for almost 10 years in a third world country, there was no infection below the surface! Our God is awesome. They told us Tylenol should control his pain and it seems to be working. He even went to school Friday afternoon.

My mom was in the hospital for two days having every imaginable test. The good news is they seem to have ruled out heart and a blood clot. The bad news is that they don't have a very good explanation for her pain. They think it may be related to an earlier scope that she had done. I think if her pain is not gone by next week they will seek another opinion.

We were able to get a convenient appointment for Sabrina with our favorite doctor. They did a blood test and Sabrina did not even cry! They are fairly certain the blood was in response to two antibiotics that she is on. She has not had any symptoms since.

The day of Teme's surgery Sabrina was able to play at a friend's house from preschool. Thank you Christensens. And thank you all for your prayers.