Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Memorial Weekend: Serious Family Fun

We had a really great weekend with our family. Tegegne played and played and played with all of those fun cousins. Not sure I saw him until Monday morning! We had an old school slip-n-slide with a pool at the bottom, had a fish fry, late night guys basketball game, lots of fishing, my grandparents celebrated their 60th Wedding Anniversary, and it was a good time by all.

We love you all!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Kids: Got New Kicks!

Ninety percent of our children's wardrobes are hand-me-downs and we are so thankful! But it's kind of fun to get something brand new for them every once in a while! They both needed shoes! We measured Tegegne's foot and it's a toddler 11, and most of his shoes are still a 9 or 10. It's hard to keep up! And Hensley loves her Umi's that are too small now, so we found these. Happy feet, kiddos!

(Native Millers, Umi Sammies)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Bicycle Basket: What's Up

Well, we are more than ready to see dear 'ol Ababayeh on Tuesday, aren't we kids? Only 2 more sleeps! In the mean time, Tegegne, you had your last soccer game "Under the Lights" and got a bobble head trophy which you are really proud of. You said, "Mommy, this is me? With different looking hair?" (The boy on the trophy has straight hair.) We had tons of fun at our all church picnic today. Many dear friends helped me out, and I am so thankful for our community.  I love seeing our kids interact with our friends. There's something extra special about it.

Tis the season for juicy watermelon, eh? I've been eating it like crazy.  As a kid, I just wanted to pick the seeds out, but now I'm all in.

The kids have a casting call at Hallmark on Thursday, and if they are on their best behavior maybe they'll be on a greeting card or something! Thanks Nate! 

Have you used airbnb before? Michael, Tegegne, and I are riding the train to Chicago in a month and we are considering it. (Hensley will get more time at Big Sky with Gramma and Grandpa.)

Enjoy something juicy this week!



Saturday, May 19, 2012

Life: And Living

Is that grass really greener on the other side? 
What in life makes you happy? Remember a time when you felt full of joy?
Is there a person you'd like to write a letter to via paper and pen?
Perhaps a neighbor to have for dinner?
A bike to ride to take, new city to visit, an old song that brings back memories?

What about the daily things in life?
Do you enjoy matching socks?
Washing the dishes by hand?
Have you done any spring cleaning?
Do you enjoy cooking or eating more? Is that a ridiculous question?

Or does your heart feel heavy, and is something causing you pain?
Have you lost a loved one, a companion, a baby-yet-to-be-born?
Do you wonder if the grass could possibly be green anywhere?
Are you one to share your feelings or hold them in?

Happy or sad.
Really energized or just plain tired.
Optimistic or a bit bummed. 
Twiddle dee dee or toe hum hum.

Life and living.
A new day tomorrow.
Breathing in, and out.
Being, just being.


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A Word: From the Papa

Made it back. (meaning he made it back to his main host family in the mountains. He spent the weekend with another host family and a last night with a few teachers.) So the last few days have been nice.  I haven't slept much, but it has been nice.  The weekend was good to see the country side.  Kind of like going to Salisbury and seeing all the family.  I learned a lot and have plenty to share.  Then Monday, I went out with two women named Claire, and a man named Leon.  They were all in their late 50's  early 60's. We went to St. Sebastian.  What a time!  It was seriously great.  You and I will return, and I know just the spot to go get tapas.  It was one of the best meals I have ever had.  We watched the sun set on the ocean, talked about you, and just walked around the old port town.  I seriously need to take you here.  We'll have Claire and Leon to guide us, seeing that they are there often.  They can't wait to meet you, and I feel that they know you already. You'd really like them, smart, sharp like Grandpa Jones and Grammie.  We ate very well, and oh man was it late when we started...9:30. We didn't get out till 11:45ish. I hit the pillow at 1:30. 

(San Sebastian photo.)

Monday, May 14, 2012

A Retreat: For All of Us

Dear Ma and Pa Iman,

Thank you so much for giving the kiddos a retreat at Big Sky and me a few days to myself! These are my first days to myself in hmmmm, a really long time, and I feel good! What a blessing you are. I know they are having ubber amounts of fun with you. 

Here's my agenda!
Breakfast at first watch in the northland for a banana granola pancake and coffee. sat in that booth for an hour reading, writing, and thinking.
Starting the book The Time Travelers Wife.
Finish cleaning up from Taryn's baby shower (which was sweet fun) and a lovely weekend with college friends.
Matinee movie The Artist, with Nickie. 
Drum roll please...An hour at Bijin for facial/massage with Aunt Donna!
Dinner at Lulu's with Taryn and Amy.
Coffee date with Jan.
20 week baby check up. (We named our boy...stay tuned!)
Head to Big Sky to see my kiddos and relax at Big Sky.
Hopefully several skype dates and emails with my dear hubby who I cannot wait to reunite with.
Hens and I have a lunch date with Katie and Judah at Chai Shai.
To God be the glory!

Happy day to you!


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sweet Sweet: Motherhood

Oh my sweet, sweet children. I love ya. Thank you for being the reason I'm a mama. What a blessing and labor of love it is to lead you through this life.  Your dad and I are so grateful. 

Remember when we first met? 

Those first moments with you both are so memorable to your dad and I. Tegegne, they placed you in our arms and everything around us was cloudy, nothing else mattered at that moment. We were enthralled by you, and giddy, and amazed that you were our son! Hensley, your daddy brought you in and laid you on my chest and I was full. I was made it through and so did I! You were tiny and beautiful and smelled sweet like a baby. 

Now may the Good Lord bless you and keep you. May his face shine upon you and may you receive his peace. 

God loves you.
God cares for you.
God blesses you.
God is with you.


Mommy (or Mommyeh yeh used to cry out my name like that, Tegegne. It was so cute.)

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Two: Better Than One

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up. 
Ecclesiastes 4:9:10

A friend. A spouse. A mom or dad. Two, better than one.

Michael, when you are not here it gives me time to think about you. I think it must be good for our marriage, yes...good to be able to miss you and reunite with such joy in our relationship. God made a good thing in bring you to me, and I am so glad I get to walk through life with you. Thanks for the phone call from France today. I loved it. And the beautiful flowers by mail. I am so thankful for you.



Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Daddy: We Miss You

Daddy-ooo, we miss you already! I went to take photos of us tromping around in the back yard tonight, but realized that you have all of our camera taking opps. So, don't forget to snap a shot or two on your trip!

I'll go back in time instead...

Please, enjoy yourself dear! We'll be here with our new fence when you get home!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Bicycle Basket: Kids Books

Here was our most recent library stack...

Hensley LOVES this one...

This book is awesome! Read it! 

Humorous book!

Pete the Cat, of course...

And we've got this NEW one on hold...

Monday, May 7, 2012

Henri Nouwen: Hoarding

The Temptation to Hoard 

As fearful people we are inclined to develop a mind-set that makes us say:  "There's not enough food for everyone, so I better be sure I save enough for myself in case of emergency," or "There's not enough knowledge for everyone to enjoy; so I'd better keep my knowledge to myself, so no one else will use it" or "There's not enough love to give to everybody, so I'd better keep my friends for myself to prevent others from taking them away from me."   This is a scarcity mentality.  It involves hoarding whatever we have, fearful that we won't have enough to survive.  The tragedy, however, is that what you cling to ends up rotting in your hands.

- Henri J. M. Nouwen

Things exercise a certain tyranny over us. Whenever I am checking bags at an airport, I recall St. Teresa of Avila's wonderful prayer of praise, "Thank God for the things that I do not own." 
- The Quotidian Mysteries by Kathleen Norris

So, I must be a hoarder if I have a hard time getting rid of stuff...right? I mean, I'm not like mega bad at it, but I have too much stuff and I dream of having little. Do you hoard, or are you one of those lovely organized and light weight people that I would love to be?

- Kristyn


Saturday, May 5, 2012

Baby: Boy or Girl?

It's a BOOOOYYYY! We were able to see loud and clear during the sonogram that you, dear child, are a baby boy! We are so happy. Now we get the honor of naming you! And getting you a bed, and some clothes. Oh child, what fun we will have with you! It's funny to your dad and I still, that you will somehow resemble us. Today he said, "He's probably going to look like Hensley, because she kind of looks like a boy with her short hair." I laughed. You and Hensley will be super close in age, so after she gets used to having you around, we look forward to what your relationship will look like. And here's a bit of what your brother is looking forward to...


Friday, May 4, 2012

Eating & Sleeping (Wink): Courses & Night Shirts!

So are we still eating meals in course, you ask? Yep. And I think it's a keeper. It's so simple.

Here's what we had today:

Course 1: Ants on a Log. (We were out of raisens, so our "ants" were dot sprinkles!)

Course 2. Tuna Melt. (Hensley took a few bites, but hey, she tried it.)

Course 3. Grapes. (Ours were not frozen, nor on a stick, but they totally should be next time! Yum!)


Here are the basic tips for meals in courses with kids:

Course 1: A Vegetable (They must try it. That's it. Introduce lots of vegetables, and reintroduce the same ones (maybe prepared differently) even if they "didn't like it the first time.")
Course 2: Something with protein
Course 3: Fruit and/or Yogurt, and if its a special day a cookie or two!

And if you're feeling fancy, or French, or something, throw in course 2.5...a bit of cheese. No, Velveeta doesn't count, I said fancy! 

Here's the real deal...this is not just for families with kids! Mealtime can be an excellent time to catch up with your spouse. Making it last longer, and eating at least 3 courses, will allow for this to happen!

Also, not a topic for kids...Joanna's tip on What Men Really want Women to Wear to Bed via Glamour. Just something to spice up all of this kid talk, because let's face it. When Mama and Daddy are happy, the kids will be happier too! 

(Food tips inspired by the book, Bringing up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Parenting: Kids Won't Listen!

This article came at the perfect time. I've felt like Tegegne just won't listen lately. Then I realized, thanks to this article, that I'm trying too hard. Reasoning with him, giving him a chance to talk back. I liked that they said that silence speaks louder than words.  

So, here's what they had to say...

If you're a parent living with small children, you may often feel like you're
invisible to your kids. After spending a day cajoling, reasoning, threatening and even screaming in an attempt to get your kids to behave, you may feel as if they never
listen to you, much less respond. But all that talking is precisely the problem. If you
feel like you're invisible, you're probably way too audible. When it comes to
discipline, silence often speaks louder than words.  
Many parents complicate the job of discipline by setting for themselves two goals instead of just one. Their first goal is to get the kids to do what they're supposed to do, which is
fine. But when kids don't respond right away, many parents add a second
goal: getting the youngsters to accept, agree with, or even like the
discipline. So Mom and Dad start reasoning, lecturing and explaining.
All this extra talking accomplishes only two things—both of them bad.
First, it aggravates the kids, and second, it says to the children that they
really don't have to behave unless you can give them four or five reasons
why they should.
One explanation is fine. But the mistake many parents make is trying to
reason with their kids as if they were "little adults," and too often adult logic does not impress or motivate young children. Once you say "No" to an
obnoxious behavior, you should save your breath. Further pleading will
irritate you more and give the child a chance to continue the battle— and
the behavior.

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