Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Weekend

What a lovely weekend. Ababayeh taught you how to fish. Had lots of laughs with the family. Lots of play with your cousins.  Good food.  Watching you go from toddler to boy. Oh, what joy.

(We did miss seeing Gma Jody and must pray for her health.)

More from Memorial Day Weekend this week.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Family Weekend

We are going to have quite a weekend in Mommyah's hometown of Salisbury, Missouri. You will play a ton with your cousins. Your Great Grandma Ileen is pretty awesome when it comes to kid stuff. She plans to tie dye shirts with you, has turned her pop-up camper into a kids kitchen, has made a new picnic table big enough for ALL of her great grandkids, has special kid food, and has yard games ready. She has probably pulled a few all-nighters just planning for you all to come. I had the privilege of having Grandma Ileen as my nanny growing up. Her imagination and creativity are precious gems. She currently hosts a Bird Watching Club with 10 and 11 yr old boys in town. A few summers ago she hosted a Drama Club where she wrote a play, had a group of kids be the cast, she made their costumes, and had the kids raise a few hundred dollars selling tickets. They performed the play at the city park, and a large audience joined. They donated the money to a charity. What a lady, Grandma Ileen!

We will also be with your Gramma Debby and Grandpa Ben. Since I mentioned we are going there today, you keep saying their names over and over again. 

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

My Beet Boy


You (and Dwight Schrute) have captured my heart since you share my love for beets. I grew up on pickled beets (yum), but lately we've just been eating them as is (cooked, of course). Yesterday Taryn and I were quite concerned at the bright magenta color of your "number two". It didn't take long for us to realize it was the beets.

Aside from being my beet boy you are cracking yourself up with simple jokes, using more sentences instead of single words, still obsessed with driving, and really bonding with Ababayeh. You usually say, "Mommyah rock you?" but you've been changing that to "Ababayeh rock you?" And yesterday you said, "Jess rock you?" over and over because for 2 days I had been preparing you for your new babysitter Jess to come. You had a blast with Jess, and she said she wants to adopt b/c she enjoyed time with you. But back to Ababayeh...he's teaching you the somersault, he takes you to the park, and he makes you tons of your favorite food. Bread aka "dabo" which you've always pronounced "babo."

Monday, May 24, 2010

Man Down, Man Down...

Alright dude, here we go...your mom is sick.   I came home with a cold from France, you were sick as soon as I got home with an ear infection.  We are both doing better, but now we passed off our germs to her.  Since it is our fault, I see it only necessary to take care of her.  (We'd do it anyway right?!)

Here is our first test.  Can we overcome the odds and make it through these next few days.  Your mom is the M.V.P. of this family, and with her out of commission we have some serious work to do.

She definitely won't like being sick, so you need to give her the "special treatment", and I'll fill her with Sprite and fluids.  Seeing that my bedside manner is about as good as cup with a hole in the bottom, we need to concentrate here.  You keep the kleenex coming and I'll see if I can give her some time to relax.  You have your assignment, I have mine.


Feel better moms,

the boys

Saturday, May 22, 2010

For the Record

As your father stated well, this was a Saturday for the record books. The morning started with the boys, (you, Ababayeh, and Owen) going to the park. I slept in, then did some yoga on the back porch. We went to the City Farmer's Market, which was packed. Got a bunch of good produce for cheap. Beets, avocado, carrots, oranges, tangerines, bananas, potatoes, green beans, tomatoes, red onions, limes, lettuce...a whole lot for $25. Then we stopped at the Mexican Market and got local tortilla chips for pico di gayo + carnitas, black beans, and rice. Your dad went 45 miles on his bike while you napped.  Then to Smithville Lake for an evening picnic by the water. Owen loves swimming, as most labs do. A "special treat" at Sonic. Home. Daddy put you to bed, then he and I enjoyed a glass of wine on the front porch. A great day. 

Forgot to mention how affectionate you've been lately. Ababayeh was making bread while I was packing our picnic and you kept kissing your dad's leg and then mine. You kiss us often, at random. It's so unexpected and sweet. 

We love you, kid. It's so fun to be a family of three. 

Friday, May 21, 2010


Michael and I snuck out for a movie while T and Micah put you to sleep on Wednesday night. We saw the documentary called Babies. It's French director, Thomas Balmes, did such a great job capturing these four little lives from birth to walking with some hilarious footage. I wonder how many kids will see this film, but I think you would enjoy it, Gunyea. Meet the babies:

Ponijao from Nambia
Mari from Tokyo
Bayar from Mongolia
Hattie from San Francisco

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

On the Cob

Tis the season for back deck dinners and corn on the cob. You were going on your second ear in this photo. We love grilling it with the shuck still on then pealing it at the table. More mess = more fun.

More fun w. Olive

Olive came over for some craft time, then play dough, then swinging. She came in tights and a sweater, but ended up in your t-shirt and no tights. It was warm outside and you did not mind loaning her your shirt!

You talk about Olive all of the time. Glad we found some new pals (her mom too!) in the hood.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Back to 3

Daddy's home. And he came back with lots of goodies for us from great shops like Bout'chou for you and Zara, Kookai, and Promod for me. And a pair of Victoria's (sneaks from Spain). Delicious chocolates (which Bayonne is known for), a wonderful rubber bib & books for you, chai tea for me, and a few other gifts. He did well! He also got you a traditional French onsie to sleep in. We already spent the morning at the zoo visiting a gorilla and some cheetas. He's got some chocolate bread in the works (rising now), and he's sharing great stories of the culture in Bayonne.

So the trip was good for all of us. Hopefully we'll visit Bayonne someday because your dad sure enjoyed it there.  

Here's us a the zoo awhile back. It's more fun to capture your reaction to the animals. You were checking out the tigers in these shots.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

14 Days

Gunyea, hasn't this been the longest two weeks ever? Daddy's home tomorrow. Hip Hip Horray!

While daddy was away, you and I did the following:

day 14. ordered a pizza and had it delivered (can't remember when we last had food delivered). hung out with neighbors bob and momo.
day 13. visit jessie. play with olive and rachel. hang out with bob and momo.
day 12. head to big sky ranch. skype with daddy. take a ride around the farm on the mule
day 11. play hard with grandpa ben and gramma debby. eat good food.
day 10. play more with gramma debby. help her at her store downtown salisbury. (great finds there!) 
day 9. deliver river rock to gma jody. ride in gpa's truck with no carseat! play with uncle eric and aunt erica. 
day 8. go to hometown church. get to stand up with the other mothers in church! read mothers day note from daddy and cry. get two framed pics of you (gunyea) and i on the swing. back to kc to celebrate M. Day with Joneses. eat Stroud's fried chicken and catch up with family. missed daddy's call. bummer.
day 7. home and back into routine. get excited for taryn's new job. eat pulled pork sandwiches that gramma debby sent home. owen spent whole day in the basement b/c he was wiped out from time at the farm. 
day 6. owen still in the basement trying to recuperate. take a long walk after the rain to get ready to keep up with daddy who has been walking all over france. relax at home. 
day 5. another long walk before the rain came. dinner and hang out with good friends, the heinleins. they sent leftovers home with us. so nice!
day 4. play group at church. friend katie over for dinner. mom and katie watch audrey hepburn's sabrina
day 3. play with olive and rachel. longest afternoon/evening walk mommy's taken in a long time. didn't bring owen. friday night and ready to have plans, but had none. turned into a great evening with you, and later good down time for me.  dinner at jimmy johns then murray's icecream...mojito sherbert was awesome). 
day 2. go with Grandpa, Nana, and Cousin Mason to Big Lake Cabin up north. you play hard with mason while owen was obsessed with this squeek toy from Nana. He lost and found it in the lake over and over. 
day1. home from lake, Cousin Rowan's first birthday party. get daddy's phone fixed, phone numbers lost b/c old phone shot. bummer. home for dinner, play time with Philvis who brought you a bat and ball.  bath, brush, books and sleep. pick Ababayeh up tomorrow! humm, what to wear?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Going To School

Well, you are off to school part time starting in July.  I found a good spot for you to make some friends and do fun activities, while I go to work. I'll drop you off in the morning, and your pops will pick you up! When we visited the school you were excited about all the stuff for little people. One of the recent classroom themes was "outside in" and they worked with dirt, leaves, and stuff from nature in their classroom when they couldn't be outside. You will be a 2-3 year old classroom where you don't have to be potty trained. You are almost there. Most accidents happen when you are busy playing. I've been trying some new rewards lately because the sticker chart is full. Always up for suggestions!

I can't wait to hear your stories and learn the names of your friends. I mentioned school to you today and you said, "School bus?" Maybe not at this school, but some day. 

You are becoming more of a jokester. You think you're so funny. I think you're funny too. Today you had me laughing  while I was trying to say, "That's not funny. Not nice either." But I just couldn't quit laughing, and you knew you had me. 

Today I noticed the change from toddler to boy (that your dr. said i would see). We sat on the back deck and ate for an hour and watched birds. I really enjoyed it. Got up to go water the lawn (because you take a long time at lunch) and you asked me to "sit pease". So I did, and we laughed and watched the birds in the big beautiful trees. 

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Home When I'm With You

Michael Ababayeh Daddy Jones, I made this video for you with the song titled Home by Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes. I've been noticing that absence does make the heart grow fonder, as I am thinking of you a lot. Loving the lyrics to this song. I'm home when I'm with you. The video just plays half the song, but you can listen to the whole thing here. Enjoy. Can't wait to have you home.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Meditate + Motherhood

On the glorious splendor of Your majesty And on Your wonderful works, I will meditate.
Psalm 145:5

Stillness before God, meditation, listening to the wind, blocking out distractions, practice of meditation and quiet before God. Soul restored. Reminded to find a quite place before God more often.

This mom finds the quiet place out of reach lately. Jumped right in and didn't notice until a few weeks ago that my quiet place had become less quiet. This evening I was reminded that I must find the quiet place again. The place where I sit in silence, where I read or write. Where I hear God, and try not to say too much.

Today was opposite of quiet because you knew mommy was on a mission to get through some piles of paperwork, which required phone calls and focus away from you. So you did everything to try to get my focus back. And it rained all day, so we did not escape to the great outdoors.

Read and talked about your "adoption" story with you today. We often talk about it, so it will never come as a surprise to you. A lady recently asked how we plan to integrate your past with your future. I plan to talk more about Ethiopia, with hopes that you will remember segments of your past to share with us.
Few photos from our journey from your homeland, Sodo, Ethiopia.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

We scored the Jackpot...

Tegegne -
So, as it is Mother's Day today, it is only fitting to let you know that your mom is the most courageous, beautiful and elegant in the entire world.  She loves you with a heart that I have never seen and a patience that at times seems unimaginable.  She goes to sleep loving you and waking with anticipation to be with you.  You are her, "little guy", her joy.
She has been taking care of me for years.  She folds my socks, cleans my dinner plate and hugs me with purpose.  She looks up to me and follows me.  She is the glue that keeps us together, and you'll soon come to see this.  She calms me down, and gets me going.  She is a mom, a friend, and wife and a co-pilot.

You'll soon come to find out, if not already, that she is one of the best reasons to wake up in the morning...

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Family Photo

Photo by gh.
Have a Happy Weekend with Family!

Gunyea, are you getting geared up to wish me a happy mother's day tomorrow? Do you have a song and dance prepared for the occasion?

Friday, May 7, 2010

Message from France

Got to chat with Michael this afternoon, and he sent the photos above! He is enjoying his visit with the folks in Bayonne. His host family took him to a dinner with their friends, and they ate for four hours. Visited, ate cheese, drank red wine, and soaked up the evening. He says Bayonne is quite lovely. Normally 75-90 degrees, and no humidity. He's 30 minutes from the ocean and two hours from mountains with ski slopes. Tomorrow he visits Spain with the principal and other teachers. A French hospital welcomed Michael and a student for 5.5 hours today, as a student fell 3 feet from a tree and broke his arm. Not the best way to spend the day, but the fellow got a cast and is okay.

You, Gunyea climbed on my lap today and pointed to the computer and asked if we could talk to Ababayeh. We looked at photos of him instead. You were kissing the screen. Then you insisted that I kiss the screen. Too bad your dad didn't jump through the screen and kiss back.

(Here at Big Sky you are giving Grandpa Ben a workout with the game of tag. You probably ran a half mile tagging Grandpa and chasing Jack. Your little legs can move pretty fast. We spent the day visiting Grandma Jody and playing at Gramma Debby's store. G Debby made you a bed at her store so you could nap there while I sorted through our storage.)

Thursday, May 6, 2010


In honor of your dear 'ol dad, I thought I'd post photos of Bayonne since I haven't received any from him. We did skype twice yesterday, which was quite nice. He is enjoying his host family. While skyping he introduced us to the children in his host family. They were sitting on his lap and I think you were confused. Your bottom lip came out and you almost cried, so he explained that they were only friends, and then they went back to their parents. 
He and the host dad took a jog along the beach last night. He plans to eat chocolate croissants like they are going out of style, and enjoy the French culture of Bayonne. Two days ago at lunch out of the blue you said, "Ababayeh e airplane to Fance."

Photo credit.

In the mean time we are loving time at Big Sky with the Gma's and Pa's. Here at Big Sky we run through fields of green grass, eat hearty meals, and take lots of rides in the "mule." Looking forward to seeing Uncle Eric and Aunt Erica this weekend!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Our Day


our day consisted of the following:

wake up. eight am. breakfast of leftover blueberry and chocolate chip pancakes. mom had carnation inst. breakfast so gunyea could eat the pancakes. (still out of cereal). visit jessie at jcrew. say bye bye jessie. then to standard style boutique. a $20 rack. who knew? mom bought cardigan off $20 rack. gunyea wants to leave store to drive car and looks for the keys. store lady distracts gunyea and plays with him. leave store. gunyea "drives" the car with mom in passenger seat. (pretends to drive, plays with radio, luckily does not know how to honk the horn). cell phone rings with odd looking number. it's ababayeh on the phone! (host fam has a way he can call for free!)

back home. eat lunch. gunyea naps. katie comes over and visits with mom. then olive comes with her mom in pink car. gunyea gets in red car and we go on a "date" to the park. then a walk. then to olives house. then home with a detour to bob and momo's across the street. then home for good. gunyea's bath. pizza delivered. yum. brush teeth. read. pray. eight pm. or a little after. night night ababayeh. we miss you.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Hello May!

Welcome month of May! How are you?

Well Gunyea, you and I both know how the first half of our month will go. We will be missing Ababayeh like crazy. Today we sent him off to France with the 6th graders from his school. They will spend two weeks in Bayonne, France. I cried a little at the airport, but tried to hide it. Other moms were crying because they were sending their kiddos across the ocean for the first time. I was crying because we are genuinely going to miss your dad! Hopefully he'll check in often, won't you Ababayeh?

Other fun things in May:

-Photoshoot with friend Grant for M Magazine who wants to do a story about us for their June/July issue! Stay tuned.
-Going to Big Sky for 5 days to visit Gma and Pa Iman.
-Celebrating Mothers Day as a mother. Your dad left a present that I must wait to open!
-Doing an Adoption Institute at church and sharing our journey at one meeting.
-Celebrating Uncle Eric's birthday!
-Memorial Day Weekend Family Reunion!
-A family photoshoot with Erika at the end of the month!

Photoshoot with Grant.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

How are you?

"Mommmmyyyyyeeehhhh, get this off my nose and stop taking my picture! (You asked me to put this clown nose on your nose, btw. (Thank you Philvis. Philvis used to only bring gourmet dog treats for Owen, but now he shows up with toys for you!))

"Ababayehhhh, ababayehhhh....gloves."

You recently enjoy sticking your head through the open screen door and asking neighbors, or anyone walking by, "Hello. How are you?" or just "How are you?" Then if they hear you they respond asking you and you say "I'm fine." If they don't hear you, you ask louder. It's quite cute. You also ask Ababayeh and I at random how we are doing. It's Saturday afternoon, and you have asked Ababayeh how he is doing about 8 times throughout the day. Thanks for asking, Gunyea.

We've had more visits with Olive and her mom. We went to their house last, and Mommy was very excited about the super cool renovations they've done. When Ababayeh came home I had big ideas of adding onto our kitchen!

Your legs are looking longer each day. You are growing, but have probably not jumped to the top of the American 2 yr old size chart. A random man at the art fair asked your age and then told your dad you looked "dinky." Luckily Ababayeh held his tongue, but he did not appreciate what that man had to say about your size.

I think your "How are you's?" are genuine, but it will be fun to some day converse about how things are going. And I look forward to overhearing your conversations with friends like Olive.
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