Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Mad Skills

This morning we say hello Wednesday! We are glad to see you! Will you show us a good time?

You woke with these first words, "Cereal and milk?" You always ask for this right as I open the door. Most mornings I acknowledge that you will get cereal and milk, then proceed to cuddle and kiss you for a minute. Some mornings you say, "No THANK you Mommyeh," but I can usually sneak in a good kiss and hug. You must take off your "sleepy diaper" and put on underwear before eating breakfast. The training toilet is gone and you use a step stool for the big potty now. It's much easier than transferring goods from one place to the next.

So we've been to the park with a soccer ball (volleyball pretending to be a soccer ball) and Owen, and Trail Mix, and water. Last night the whole gang, including T and Micah were at the park with a real soccer ball. Micah (who played soccer in college) mentioned that your soccer skill seems to be familiar to you. You could run and keep the ball going close to your feet, and you would throw the ball over your head, just like a goalie. It's fun for me to imagine that you played soccer or at least watched soccer in the countryside of Sodo. Your dad and I were proud none-the-less, and we both laughed. We laughed because we had the feeling of "Wow, our kid is awesome." The same feeling all parents have about their kids at some point...where they want the rest of the world to stop and look at how stinkin' great their kid is. We were watching you like you were about to score a goal at the World Cup!

And then another kid comes running up with a soccer ball. Sam. He was also very good at kicking the ball and quite fast. He will turn 3 in a month. You will turn 3 in 3 months. So your dad and I were brought back to reality. It was obvious that Sam awesome too! You are still the awesome-ist to us and if you ever go to the World Cup or play in a neighborhood soccer league we will watch and cheer with all our hearts!

We love you kid.

(wanted to upload THIS photo, but uploader was not working.)

Saturday, June 26, 2010


Today you found some of my old goggles.  "Gunyea funny", as you would say...

Soul Graffiti

Just started reading this book. Soul Graffiti by Mark Scandrette. I am drawn to the way Mark lives. It's in line with how Jesus lived and did ministry. 

My heart is beating at a faster pace and I hear God speaking to me as the words jump off the page. Michael and I recently were discussing our journey. We shared with each other that we've been praying for "what's next?" It is so cool how God brings things to us at the same time. 

Here's what I read today:

Has my desire to maintain social status or a standard of living forced me to disregard the revolutionary nature of the life and teachings of the master?

What if Jesus actually intended for us to grapple with how to follow his instructions for life, instructions like:

"Sell your possessions and give to the poor." Luke 12:33
"Love your enemies and do good to them." Luke 6:35
"Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also." Matthew 5:39
"Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink...Seek first the kingdom of God." Matthew 6:25, 33
"Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For he who is least among you all--he is the greatest." Luke 9:48

Right now Ababayeh and I are sitting on the front porch while you (Gunyea) and Owen are playing in a plastic pool in the front yard. You crack us up, kid! You can hold your breath for a long time and love to play in the water. We are so blessed. Last night we went to a wedding, and while everyone waited for the bride and groom to arrive, you became the life of the party. You were showing mad dancing skills, running around, holding girls hands, and had everyone in the place entertained. 

Friday, June 25, 2010

Tom's Wedges Giveaway

Dear Reader,
I've posted about Tom's Shoes before, because they have a great mission. Well, my dear friend Jessie is having a  blogversary and has giveaways all week! Today's giveaway is a pair of Tom's Wedges! You just have to leave a comment on her blog (The Concrete Catwalk) with your name and email address to be entered to win. Super cool, huh? Go for it. I won't even be sad if you win and I don't. (Or I'll try not to be!) If you are a fellow reading this, remember that your girlfriend, wife, daughter, or best friend may just want a pair of Tom's Wedges so leave a comment! (P.S. Check out the other giveaways for the week too!)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Read and Re-Read

God keeps taking me back to these passages from The Message/ A Bible Remix:

Ecclesiastes 11: 7-10
Oh, how sweet the light of day,
And how wonderful to live in the sunshine!
Even if you live a long time, don't take a single day for granted.
Take delight in each light-filled hour,
Remembering that there will also be many dark days
And that most of what comes your way is smoke.

You who are young, make the most of your youth.
Relish your youthful vigor.
Follow the impulses of your heart.
If something looks good to you, pursue it.
But know also that not just anything goes;
You have to answer to God for every last bit of it.

Live footloose and fancy free--
You won't be young forever.
Youth lasts about as long as smoke.

Ecclesiastes 11: 2
Don't hoard your goods; spread them around.
Be a blessing to others.
This could be your last night.

Matthew 6: 19-21
"Don't hoard treasure down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust-- or worse!-- stolen by burglars. Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it's safe from moth and rust and burglars. It's obvious, isn't it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being."

So there are some obvious, and vague life lessons in these passages. I keep reading and re-reading and asking God how to respond.

In the mean time, we are soaking up summer with pool time and splash parks with Ababayeh, Shatto Farm tour with Rachel and Olive, and all kinds of fun!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Fathering the Rascal

Gunyea Dena - 

You're my first son.  I am your first father.  You have never had a man in your life looking after you.  No one with a deep voice and big hands ever told you to love your mother, and kiss her each night before you go to bed.  I am the first man that will show you how to take something apart, and put it back together. I am the first to fish with you and catch bullfrogs at the pond.  I will be the first man to be consistent in your life, day in and day out.  I will be the one to pick you up seven times, and then seven times again when you stumble in life.  Like my father taught me, I will be the one who teaches you to look people in the eyes, and shake their hand with a firm grip in confidence.  You are what I have been "imagining"  for years.  When I talked to my dad about being a father, you were that "someone" about whom we were figuratively talking. It is a joy to show you what life has to offer, and I pray that I may show you life to the fullest.  I hope I am a man that you respect, and look up to. 

I'll show you how to love your mother, and your God. 


I love you each day we rise.


Father's Day + Upcoming Fun

So Tegegne,

Did you have a good weekend seeing all of your grandparents and great grandparents? And did you enjoy wishing Ababayeh a Happy Father's Day? If you could type this yourself I think you would write a whopping yes. "Yes, I love my family, and I am sometimes overwhelmed with laughter because of this love. I love my Ababayeh, and fishing with him this weekend was awesome. He even let me reel a fish in, so I thought I had caught him. (He does the same for mommy, handing the reel off at a critical moment so I feel like I've caught the fish!) And playing with Grandpa Ben and Gramma Debby was wonderful." Ababayeh loved your gift to him...a tracing of your shoes inside his shoes, framed, dated, and titled "Gunyea Growing Into Ababayeh's Shoes." Each year we will see the progress. Right now your shoes are less than half the size of your dads. We also relabeled root beer, salsas, cashews, etc with family photos and notes as gifts to the special dad's in our life.

You are going back to stay with Grandpa Ben and Gramma Debby in a month so Mommy and Ababayeh can celebrate our 5th Wedding Anniversary in San Francisco. They cannot wait to have you to themselves, and you will love it too! In the mean time I am having a blast planning our trip. We will also take a special trip to see Connie and stay with her family. I must get to planning this trip as well. Of course you are joining us on this one!

It's a happy summer full of family fun, and midwest humidity!

Friday, June 18, 2010

A Getaway

Last weekend we took a nice getaway to Lawrence. Ate lunch at Local Burger, bought a dress at Arizona Trading Co, and headed to the south beach at Clinton Lake. The lake was an excellent way to get out of the city and play as a family. Nice sandy beach, family friendly, large roped off area for swimming, and sailboats in the distance. We will definitely take this day trip again before summer is over.

Summer Treats

Have you been to Glace, Christopher Elbow's Gourmet Icecream Shop?
We sure have. Four times in 1.5 weeks. Yum.
Best combo is mango sorbet with creme fresh. Double yum.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Family Photos

Erika Jackson, a photographer and dear friend, came to our house and did a photo shoot. She posted some of the photos on her blog. I love how she captured the essence of us in more of our day to day. Check them out here:

Monday, June 14, 2010

Cameroon in Kansas City

On Saturday we went to the annual Cameroon picnic in Kansas City. The whole atmosphere at the park made me feel like we were in Africa. African music and dancing, Cameroon traditional meal, unique French accents, a nearly professional soccer game (the players were pumped up b/c of the World Cup), children's dance off with prizes. There were at least 200 Cameroon people and we were told they would party all night, like they would in Cameroon. "Don't leave until the food and beverage and dancing is done." They cooked for at least 5 hours and people ate all night. You made a little friend named Angel. The two of you were chasing each other, holding hands, and dancing together.

I was welcomed into several of the women's conversations and they were so kind. We felt honored to be invited to their party and had a wonderful time experiencing a little of Cameroon in Kansas City.

You danced behind the rest of the group. These kids were getting down, because the prize was a portable radio!

Soccer game, Kansas vs. Missouri.

CJ and Gunyea.

Ababayeh's coworker who invited us to the party.

Your sweet friend, Angel.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Rainy Saturday

Hello Gunyea. It's a rainy Saturday here in Kansas City. Ababayeh just fed you lunch and put you down for a nap. He is such a great dad, and makes the most of his weekends with you!

This morning you woke up with a busted lip. There was blood on your pillow and on the floor, so we guess you fell out of bed and climbed back in yourself. Ababayeh came down to check on you in the night, but you showed no sign of a busted lip. He went right to the store this morning to fix the railing on your bed, so that does not happen again. 

I tried to have a garage sale this morning, and I guess I should have checked the weather. I made $25 then it monsooned and most of our stuff is wet! Sweet neighbors were running out to help and show sympathy. Half of the things are still tarped in the front yard, and I'm not so excited to move it or dry it out! 

M Magazine's article about our adoption story (+3 others) in the June/July issue! 

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Jam Session

Sunday night we joined a jam session with a bunch of friends from church just south of the Block Building. You loved it! There were little dogs, big dogs, little kids and big kids (adults) that wanted to play! It was so fun. You could have stayed up until midnight, but Ababayeh responsibly took you home to get some sleep at nine while I stayed and visited with the big kids.

P.S. The glowing Block building is a great backdrop for photo shoots late at night!

These two cuties are getting married this summer!

Isn't Joanna darling?

Your pals G and Jessie love you!

Adorable little chihuahua friend.

Photos by Andy Michael, Gerard Brown.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Friendly Guy

Little Gunyea, you may grow up to be a politician or better yet a very friendly guy! You love greeting new people, waving to strangers, and making sure you ask the neighbors how they are doing. You look at me when the neighbors don't hear you, so I can help you get their attention. Then you proceed with saying "Hi (neighbors name), how are you?" We just got home from visiting Neighbor Jessie and her backyard kiddy pool. You can hold your breath under water for a long time! You guys played hard, and now you are sleeping like a rock. 
I love spending the day with you! I'm soaking it up until July (when I'll go to work part time.) I loved sitting back and watching you play today. You are my sweet little fellow. 

I love you,


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Family Photo + Dinner Party

We had our long awaited photo shoot with mommy's dear friend Erika. She is so great and we had tons of fun. Here's one she sent to us as a preview.

Last night we hosted dinner for a French friend that Michael met on his recent trip to Bayonne. I made the following:


Rachel Ray's "honey and lime glazed salmon/talapia with warm black bean and corn salad"

For Dessert:

It was a lovely meal with great company. Michael encouraged me to do name cards and the table looked so cute.

Memorial Weekend

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Memorial Weekend

Two little bottoms, about the same size. One half as old as the other!

Your cousins and their ages.

Bella and Ava tie dying.

"Here kitty kitty."
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