Friday, April 30, 2010

Doo Dads


Just heard that the Doo Dads, a rock and roll band for kids, will be at the Record Bar tonight, 6pm! A friend said they play quite a show and always have a lively audience!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Happy Birthday Gpa Jones!

Happy Birthday Grandpa! Can't wait to party with you tonight!

2 Date Nights

Mommy and Ababayeh went on two dates recently! Last Saturday we enjoyed Michael's school fundraiser, which is lovely event. They had chefs from some amazing local restaurants:
You enjoyed hanging out with T & Micah for the evening, while we hung out with great friends from school.

Franck and Ababayeh.
Brynn and Mommy.
Anne, Us, Marie Anne, & Michael. Marie Anne and Michael are moving to Syracuse NY for Michael's residency in a few months and we will miss them so much!

Then last night we went to the movie, "Date Night" with Tina Fey and Steve Carrel. We laughed a lot. You spent the evening with Miss Jan and Grant and had so much fun.

Monday, April 26, 2010

A Night with Steven

Got to see Mr. Chapman on Friday night after he performed a wonderful concert in Kansas City. It was good to see him, and he was glad to meet you, Gunyea.

Brought some friends, Aaron and Heather, who are on their journey to bring a baby boy home from Ethiopia. Aaron plays music, too.

Nice to meet you, Uncle David!

Nice to meet you, Mr. Steven. I liked dancing to your good music! Can't believe I slept through the second half of your show, but can you believe that my mom and dad would have me out that late? I mean, what are they thinking? I go to bed at 8pm, not 11:15! I had lots of fun. Hope to see you and your fam again soon! Love, Gunyea

Steven has some amazing new music that shares what God has and is bringing him through these past few years. And Mrs. Mary Beth wrote a book called Choosing to See, which I'm sure will be on shelves soon. Check out their huge hearts for adoption through Show Hope.

elmo tee

you are 2.
and i think elmo is the first and only cartoon character you know.
american apparel has a great line of sesame street tee's for tods right now.
super soft and cute.
would have bought you this shirt, but we were at the S.A. and i found you a good looking sesame street shirt for 25 cents. with elmo of course.

Sunday, April 25, 2010


The 6 month marker is when we go to the Jackson County court house on your behalf (I think you actually come with us!) and when we can start the adoption process again. As we seek God's direction, the voice in our heads says yes...adopt again...God is faithful and good. We are 4 months in, so we will see where the next two take us.

With that said, I think I will say a prayer.

Dear God,
You are good. Your love has overwhelmed me. You provide and you look after our family of three. You take us through a storm, to show us the rainbow in the clear sky. May we surrender our being to you each day. Thank you for our beautiful, precious son, Tegegne. May you show him your ways, Lord. May we love like Jesus, so Gunyea will have good examples to follow. People can see his joy already. His prayers are sweet. Thank you for this gift. Our son.

As we look to the sixth month, will you help us? Our hearts are full as we think of adopting again. We have seen your faithfulness, God. Please increase our faith and guide our hearts. I can picture the children now. The ones waiting and hoping for a mommy and daddy. The ones too young to understand, but still confused. It's so hard to imagine that Gunyea was once there, fatherless, sick, and hungry. Oh God, please calm my overwhelmed heart and tell me that you are with these children. And God, please provide a way for us to bring another child, so worthy of love, into our family.


Deck Addition & SW Mtg

With the help of a good friend and Ababayeh the craftsman we have a lovely new back deck. You and I eat lunch on the deck every sunny day, and the three of us have eaten most dinners back here. Ababayeh bought a nice grill off Craigslist and wheeled it home on foot about 12 hilly blocks. His forearms were sore after that! Thank you for our new deck, Ababayeh and Geo!

Our 3 month social worker meeting went well last week. There is a lengthy report that we should have had done for the meeting that I somehow missed even though I'd looked at the papers numerous times before the meeting. We must have it finished in the next few weeks, and your dad has started working on it. You played in the living room like a very well mannered boy while we sat at the table and talked about you.

She cleared up confusion I had on the readoption process. Jackson County makes it somewhat difficult to readopt a child in the States. We must hire an attorney (cha ching), gather documents, and have an official court hearing. None of this can occur until you've been home for 6 months. After we pass the court hearing, we will apply for your SS card, US birth certificate, and you will be a U.S. citizen.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Hugging Olive

Meet Olive, our new friend and neighbor. You guys hugged, and hugged, then you gave her a kiss on the cheek. Each time Olive and her mama come strolling down our street in Olive's pink car you spot them from afar and there is no way they are getting by without playing for a bit. We hope to do dinner with their family and hang out more! They are in the "want-to-adopt-but-where-to-start" phase and are interested in Ethiopia. Exciting.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Gardening Interruption

"Ladies and Gentleman, we interrupt this gardening day to play with your chickens, throw worms from the dirt, and to say hello." And that is just what we did at Cherith Brook last weekend.

We said, "Hello Taryn, good to see you. Will you wipe off my wormy hands?"

"Hello Jake and Nikki, long time no see. May I try on your yellow gloves?"

"And hello Nick and Micah. I've missed you. Will you take me to see your chickens?"

"What's up Bethany, Blakely, and Anna. Nice to meet you! Did you find a worm?"

"Mommy, help me rake up their freshly planted collard greens, please?"

They were working hard on an herb garden that Taryn was in charge of, planting lavendar by the walkway so they could catch a lovely whif to and fro. Also planting herbs with medicinal qualities. Beans and collard greens were being added to the large array of vegetables in the back yard. This year they have chickens who will lay eggs, which they have built an elaborate home for. Quite a lot going on at Cherith Brook. Lord, may their harvest be rich and plentiful so they can continue to feed and care for the homeless in the Northeast neighborhoods.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Family Outing

We rode bikes to Ababayeh's school to help him till his garden. Brought a picnic too. We were able to transplant some cilantro from his plot to home, so we hope to make some good pico di gayo this summer. You call the bike trailor "Gunyea's bike" and don't mind the long trek across town. Half the time you are pushing the helmet up so you can see out.

Happy Birthday!!!

Happy Birthday Grant! We think you are the coolest. An your photos are the coolest. Thanks for teaching Gunyea how to "pound it."

Happy Birthday Kate! (I am so glad we got to visit you guys in Fayetteville. It is so fun to be a mom with you. Gunyea wants to tell Norah hi. Can't wait to meet your little one on the way!)

And happy first birthday Cousin Chloe!
We had a blast at your party on Saturday! You are precious!

Monday, April 19, 2010


Tonight is our 3 month post placement meeting with our social worker. She will write a long report that will go back to Ethiopia, as they make sure that each child placed in a family is well cared for. She will ask a number of questions regarding attachment/bonding, sleeping, eating, intellectual development, growth, etc.

Must have the house looking spiffy and ourselves in order by 5pm! Also must get 4 photos on a 8.5 x 11 paper with captions. Do they know that 4 photos 4x6 don't exactly fit on 8.5x11 paper? Guess I'll crop them down. I am in this get-things-done-in-a-hurry mode where I run around the house finishing half of one thing then half of another. This behavior would easily drive many people, like your father, crazy. I will eventually get everything done and I am checking off of a list in my recently found planner, but my brain moves too fast to get one thing done at a time.

The first project was to tidy up your room, which turned into a display wall project where I nailed vintage strips of fabric in 3 rows and hung some of your artwork and family photos with clothes pins. Then I hung a few other pictures. I know, my list only said "clean your room."

We have had many great family outings lately including, bike rides to daddy's school, cousin Chloe's first birthday party, and a trip to the zoo!
Photos coming soon.

These 3 pics are from a visit to school during the day to interrupt recess. Ababayeh's students are sweet when they play with you.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Phew, feeling better!

Since my last post I've already had a babysitter offer from Heather, been contacted by old friends who are interested in adopting, and gotten this response from my awesome husband...

the shoes....get 'em. (permission to buy Sseko sandals!)

-I am writing the 3rd month post placement thing
- I'll vacuum the car when i get home
-I'll get the veggies you want to plant before I get home today
-I'll wash owen as well...

That should help your list a tad.
Sorry I sent you on a wild goose chase today with "Ruby". (our car)

Let me know what else i can do for you...

...what great support, huh? Maybe I should write desperate to do lists here more often!

You, little man, only slept for 45 minutes instead of your normal 2 hrs. So we have been working on your summersault, you've been drawing, you turned on the vacuum and were terrified and ran 90 mph away from it, and you asked if we could go outside. So here we CVS to get our photos for the post placement report!

Mommy's Pooped

It's nap time, you are having a very hard time falling asleep, I'm not feeling well, and all I want to do is cozy up on the couch and watch the rain fall. That would be an option, but I have lots to get done. First, I should find my planner. It's funny, but I can't even get myself to write out my to do list until I can write it in my planner. Can't find it. Maybe writing my list here will help:

  • Find planner.
  • Once planner is found, schedule some date nights with Joneses at Starlight and find babysitters.
  • Make family photo page for 3 Month Post Placement visit on Monday afternoon.
  • Schedule you a dentist appt for your two cavities in front teeth, but must call ins first to see if appt is covered, b/c appt involves admitting you to CM Hospital.
  • Mail marriage certificate to airline companies to redeem frequent flyer miles from Ethiopia trip. Then book flights to Austin w/ ff miles.
  • Ask dad what is wrong with my brakes. He mentioned the rotor needing changed, so I went to the dealership today and told them that, but they asked more questions I could not answer. And I was at the place where we bought the car, but not the Honda dealership where it would get fixed for free under warranty. That was an hour and a half of our morning that we will have to do again next Tuesday.
  • Vacuum out the car.
  • Mail two gifts to two friends.
  • Buy beets, garlic, red peppers, and cilantro to add to garden.
  • Review post-adoption list to see what's next and hope I haven't missed a deadline.
  • Bathe Owen since he rolled in a dead animal and smells horrific.
  • Take a shower.
That list took 45 minutes to write b/c I was in and out of your room trying to help you fall asleep. Here's our system which royally failed today:
Read 3 books in rocking chair (a cute little white Eames) to get you into sleep mode. If you are not in sleep mode after the last book and some rocking, then you get the choice to "Let mommy rock you" or "lay in your bed". If you don't respond then I lay you in bed and say "Go to sleep," kiss you on the forehead, and say "I love you." You respond "I love you" in the sweetest whisper. (Half of the time you lay there for a while, mumble, and put yourself to sleep.)

The other half of the time you get out of bed and start playing (after I have left my perch at your door to make sure you are lying down). So I go back to the door and you quickly jump back to lying down position.

I'll stop there, but I will let you know that I'm on my second chai latte and I should finish typing and at least get one thing checked off my list, because you are finally asleep and drooling on your pillow!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Twice w/o Prompting


You just sat down on your potty for the second time today without prompting. I would say this is major progress, wouldn't you? The funny thing is you really prefer to take your time in there. It makes me laugh. And for the first time today you said farewell as we flushed the toilet.

You have a slight fever, but it's not slowing you down. Still talking/making noise 100 miles an hour.

Time to Mow

The grass is green. Yay. Time to mow. It's fun to hear the mowers running through the neighborhoods. While driving through the fancy neighborhoods today I noticed many lawncare trucks and remodeling vans. Tis the season for homeowners to come out of hibernation and get ready to compete for "Home of the Month."

Ababayeh found this easy-to-use-fuel-free-electric mower on Craigs list, since I blew our old elec mower up by trying to mow wet grass that may have been 11" tall last summer.
You felt so empowered pushing the mower, and you were focused.
After mowing you helped put leaves in a bag, move sticks from one place to the next, and throw grass seed down. Your hair held fifty plus grass seedlings when you were finished.

We spent the weekend at Big Sky Ranch where you had a blast with Grandpa Ben and Gramma Debby. We probably took 15 mule rides total. They have this 4-wheel ATV that is called a mule. We got to visit lots of family, including Uncle Eric and Aunt Erica. We had a bonfire, helped Gramma Debby plant flowers, hunted for mushrooms, took a canoe ride, and slept in. 90% of our time was spent outdoors. (Gramma Debby, please send pictures!)

We also gathered on the sad occasion for the funeral of a dear friend, Mark Roling. Mark watched me grow up and was very close to Grandpa Ben and Uncle Eric. He helped at Iman Auction Company for as long as I can remember. There was a very nice service held at the Catholic Cemetery in Salisbury. Grandpa Ben wrote a nice letter about Mark which was read by the Priest. We will all miss Mark.

Tonight we had a nice family outing where you rode in the bike trailer, I pulled you on my bike, and Ababayeh ran. I loved riding at the pace that Michael ran, instead of trailing in his dust on his road bike. We made it to a park in Brookside, then back home and to Oklahoma Joes bbq. Wish I would have just gone with the smoothie idea I originally had instead of OJ, but we had fun! I never thought I'd be able to pull you, but I did by golly. I think I could do it again, too.

You are growing to know an love your family, and we are definitely loving you, Little Gunyea.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Like father, like son. Both of my boys need suspenders to hold their pants up these days. Michael, because his pockets are full of hammers and screwdrivers from all of his projects, and Gunyea because underwear is definitely less than a diaper.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


You just walked up to me and said, "E nose-y!" while pointing to your nose. Meaning that your nose is running and must be wiped. There must be quite a few words that I must stop saying with the "y" ending. Now that I've confessed it, I will be more aware.
By the way, you are always quick to tell someone when your nose is running, and are an excellent nose blower.

baby talk and learning

I think I need to give up baby talk so you do not get embarrassed in front of your friends for the words I've been teaching you. I'm catching myself saying milky, eggies, sockies, shoesies and probably more. I guess I think it's cute when you say them, because I don't sound cute saying them!

You are speaking more each day. You are most likely right handed. You make sure Owen has food and water and love to pour it into his bowls. You point out every airplane you hear. You are learning to say "no thank you," instead of "no." You often put Owen's chest harness on and lead him to the door for a walk. One day I barely caught you before you headed out the back gate guiding Owen with his chest harness hanging around his neck. His tail was wagging like crazy thinking that you two were about to explore the neighborhood without me. You get really excited when you sit down for a meal, especially when it's milk (not "milky") and cereal. You love your play dough set. Thank you Mrs. Boe! You love running and bike riding with Ababayeh. You sleep very well, even through the stormy nights and wake between 7:30 and 8. You love the books Brown Bear, Brown Bear and Please Baby Please.

People often say you look happy. I pray your happiness is the joy of the Lord. May you know that He is faithful and good. May you know that He provides and that He is what we hope in. May He be our First Love.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

"Ts" Family

We went to Richmond on Saturday night to celebrate T's birthday with her family. Talk about good home cookin' including homemade banana icecream. We chowed down! Macki and Lochlan belong to T's cousin Angie and her husband Brad. Don't you think Macki and Loch need a little Ethiopian sibling? Their mommy has been thinking about that. Wouldn't that be cool, Gunyea?

Driving to Richmond.

Journaling with Macki.

Water balloons with Lochlan. Thanks Mrs. Tammy. You loved splashing our feet with the balloons, and I forsaw you as a teenage boy flirting with girls...

Bubbles with Lochlan. You two are 3 days apart.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Monte Kap

Nick and Lacey helped host the event and invited us!

Fun boys flying kites. You watched these boys wrestle and totally wanted to chime in.

Tricia and Zion stopped by to fly kites with us. With Michael's help, Zion flew his kite high in the sky! Zion was so proud of himself. We loved watching him.

You and Ababayeh had lots of fun together.

Monte Kap is the Creole word for literally means 'able to be lifted up.' Children in Haiti fly kites every Easter as symbols of hope and resurrection. Village Presbyterian Church in Prairie Village, Kansas joined them this year.

We were invited to
Monte Kap by my friend Lacey and had a wonderful time flying kites at the big park across from the Nelson. They made a video describing the event. It was neat to know that we were flying kites along with Haiti that day. May God be with the Haitian people.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Oowah, Icecream, and a New Friend

We met up with a new friend at Crown Center the other day. She and her husband are starting their paper pregnancy for their Ethiopian son, 0-12 months. The beginning of the adoption process is quite overwhelming, but they are checking things off the list right and left. I'm excited to watch their journey here. We had lunch at Fritzes and you (Mr. Gunyea) were initiating Heather to toddlerhood with your Terrible Twoness.

After lunch we took the long trek back through Union Station and over the Freight House Bridge with icecream cones. Yummy!
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