Thursday, November 14, 2013

Happy One Year Home!

Last year on this day, we arrived home with our sweet seventh child Eli Tesfa.

It's crazy that it has already been an entire year since Eli joined our family.

He has brightened every day since he's been home (I can't say he's brightened every night, as he's been a challenging sleeper, but there have been many nights that I have cuddled and kissed this sweet boy even through my weariness and marveled at how lucky I am to get to be his mommy).

He is absolutely pure joy!

I've said it before, but it is the only way to put it.  He has brought such joy to our family and we can't even imagine not having him.

It's interesting to think about life without him as we were SURE we were done adding children when we went through the adoption process for Rahel, our sixth child.  I have often said to Nick, "What if we would've said no to Eli?"  We would have missed out on so much.

His funny personality
His cute litte voice
His nicknames for everyone (Ra Ra-Rahel, Bru Bru-Caleb and Colton, La La-Hermela, Moan Moan-Meron, and Line-a for Caroline)
His muscle flexing
His nightly round of kisses as he screams "Nigh Nigh" to everyone in the house and proceeds to kiss each one of us and then turns his cheek to get his kisses
The way he rocks it out to a beat in the car and points out EVERYTHING to us so we can see it with him
His under bite grin
The way he pats me when I rock him
How he covers his eyes with his hands and says, "hide"
And most recently, the way he raises his hand and says, "meeeee" anytime I'm passing things out to the kids---he wants to make sure he is included in everything

He is such a treasure and loved dearly by all.

We have been given a gift and we are truly blessed!

Happy one year home!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Halloween 2013

We had a lot of fun this year celebrating Halloween with our newest little pirate.  Eli was still waiting in Ethiopia last year and we all loved seeing him all dressed up.  While I really don't love Halloween on the whole (too much fuss, to much ugly stuff and WAY too much candy), we sure did have a good time dressing up and hanging out as a family and with friends.

 Eli the pirate.

 Meron as Jasmine.

 These two are good buddies.

Caleb as Obi Wan Kenobi (had to google that spelling :-)

Colton the gladiator.

The cute little pirate again...with a silly little face!

Caroline the pop star....a self made costume (my favorite kind).

Hermela the movie star (a dream come true....although she's looking a little to old for my liking here :-).

Check out this hairstyle.  I know I'm not supposed to boast, but I'm pretty proud of this one!

Cleopatra....pretty authentic if you ask me.

My crazy crew.

Pumpkin carving fun thanks to our farm field trip.

 We go to a friend's neighborhood each year, but Nick and I have never dressed up.  I don't think I've ever dressed up as an adult.  This year Nick called me about two hours before we were supposed to be ready and suggested we wear costumes too.  Nick was a baseball player and this was the best I could do, a graduate.  I could have just driven our big white van around the block and gone as a bus driver, maybe next year.

Happy Halloween! 

Baptism Day

Beach Baptism is my favorite. 

This one was again very special as two of our kids were baptized on October 27th!

My little twins Caroline and Meron were baptized together.  I expected Caroline would want to go first because she is older (by two weeks) and likes to make that fact known.  Especially now that Meron is a little taller than her.  I can't count how many times I hear, "I'm older, but Meron's bigger."  Or, "I'm bigger, but Caroline is older."  We won't get that mixed up.

 Waiting for the big event.

 I think Caroline was a little nervous and so she suggested that Meron go first, you know so she could test the waters for Caroline.  

Meron was happy to do it.

Very serious face here.  "Do you believe that Jesus is the son of God?"


Do you believe he died for your sins and trust him for your salvation?


Love this smile!

Is it your intention to follow him all the days of your life?


  You can't tell it by this picture, but Caroline was smiling big when she came up too.

  I love this picture.  We are so blessed to have such a loving and supportive church community to come along side us as we raise up our kids.  Love seeing my girls walking out of the water together!

 My sweet girls.  Old lives made new!

Colton in his element...wild and free.

The girls were lucky to have all of their grandparents at the beach for their big day.  Somehow, although Nick's parents came in town for the whole weekend, I missed getting any pictures of them.  They were at baseball and softball games and the baptism, but I flaked on capturing any of those moments.  So, we got this early morning pajama shot before they left to go back home.  We were so glad they could be here too!

But Jesus called the children to him and said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
 Luke 18:16

Fun at the Farm

We took our annual field trip to the farm.  I love this trip and the kids do too.  Plus, you get a free pumpkin from the pumpkin patch when you leave.  It's a win, win!

 Rahel was the bird whisperer this year.

 This was Eli's first trip.  He was a little hesitant at first.

 Getting braver.
 Whoa, too brave. I'm out of here.

 Safe with my big brother. That's better!

These poor chickens get chased and caught, chased and caught all day long.  Colton loved it.  Eli, not so much.

Had to post this classic Meron face.

 Pumpkin time.  Don't all pumpkin patches have palm trees?

This was just before he started throwing them like baseballs. 

And the family shot....I was there!

Until next year.