Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Year Ago Today The Wheels Touched Down

A year ago today at abou this time the wheels to our airplane touched down after 40 hours of travel. Jocelyn had slept about 4 hours and Isaac about 6 hours. I had about 8 hours of sleep over a 3 day period. I have no idea how much or little sleep my sweet hubby had gotten. But we were full of joy. As we walked towards the luggage area we were greeted with signs, balloons, friends and family. All were cheering and crying as they got the joy of seeing the fulfillment of us becoming a family. What an amazing year it has been!



Toddler Talk...Isaac Edition

I think periodically I am going to take the time to share with you som of the things that my sweet peas say. Let's face it, children say the craziest things! And don't we all need a good laugh?




We have always talked about where Isaac and Jocelyn were born. We are proud of their heritage and we want them to be proud too.

So here's what Isaac has recently told people:

Walmart Checker: Hi there cutie! Boy you have big brown eyes.
Isaac: I'm Isaac!
Walmart Checker: I see
Isaac: I was born in Ethiopia not Walmart!
Walmart Checker: Well thank goodness for that!

Lady at the Fair: They are so cute!
Isaac: I was born in Costco!

Out of the mouths of babes!

Have a fabulous Day  -  Kelli

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Deep Conversation

You know since becoming a Mom I have found myself needing deep conversation. The type that involves deep thinking...deep thought...time to process. Do you know the kind I'm talking about? You see my world  right now is filled with conversations like the following:

Me: Ok Isaac go pick out your underwear for the day.
Isaac: I have 2 kinds of Ramones Mommy! All of his underwear are from the Cars movie by the way.
Me: Honey that one is Ramone and the other one is Snot Rod.
Isaac: No! They are both Raaaammmmmooooonnnnnneeessss MMMMOOOOOMMMMYYY!
Me: Sweetie Ramond is a low rider and Snot Rod is a hot rod. See how Snot Rod has his engine coming out of the hood of the car? And see how low Ramone's car sits to the ground. That's difference honey.
Isaac: Ramone a low rider?
Me: Yes
Isaac: Snot Rod is a snot rod?
Me: Yes Honey.
Isaac: Mommy that's Snot Rod?
Me: Yep
Isaac: That's Ramone?
Me: Yes
Isaac: Ramone's a low rider?
Me: Yes honey.
Isaac: Ramone's a low rider Mommy!
Me: Mmmhmmm.
Isaac: Mommy look that's a Snot Rod!

This conversation goes on for 10 minutes before I finally said, "Isaac! Just pick a pair and put them on!" Which ended up starting a new conversation that involved Isaac insisting on wearing both pairs of underwear and me insisting on him wearing one.

Do you see the need for deep conversation? And yes, tomorrow I get to have deeeeep conversation with a good friend. I am so hungry for it that I have been obsessing over it and counting the time until I get to sit with a good friend and googoo over her baby while having a sincere and deep conversation. T-minus 14 hours and counting.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wordless Wednesday





Tuesday, September 14, 2010

One Year ago Today...

Exactly one year ago today I met you...



You were so scared and who could blame you.
The only time you had ever seen us is in two black and white pictures taped to the wall above your crib.




You were so beautiful...so precious...



Our first family photo...



Your first nap with us...



We have come so far as a family.
From the first few weeks at home...


Where there was uncertanity...

Is this my home? Will you never leave me?


Where there was a new found joy as we became family...





I am honored to know you.

I am humbled that God has chosen me...
an imperfect and flawed woman to be your Mommy.
Even the hard days I have loved because it has meant one more day being with you.


 

I will  love you forever and always
yesterday...
today...
and tomorrow.

Happy 1st Family Birthday!


 


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Never Forgotten

No, I have not forgotten that today is 9/11. It's just that I have been busy cherishing every minute of every hour of this day with my children and my husband. September 11th reminds me to seize every moment I have with my precious and amazing family. I have also struggle with what to say. How is it possible to pay tribute to all those who were lost and to their families who have piece of their life gone forever? The only thing I can say is that I will never forget. I will never forget the lost lives, I will never forget the courage displayed that day, I will never forget the families, I will never forget the children missing parents, I will never forget the parents missing their children, I will never forget the husbands missing their wives or the wives missing their husbands, I will never forget the soldiers who have sacraficed their lives since 9/11 for the safety of our country, I will never forget those who continue to fight to keep our freedom. No, I will never forget.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Before There Were Kids Update


A while back I got an email from someone asking me whatever happened to our dear Snickas (Snickers). If you haven't read about Snickers you can read about her here. Unfortunately when I took a break from blogging, I forgot that I would be leaving questions unanswered. Just like our little princess Hershey, Snickers life was cut short by a tumor. In 2 weeks her tumor more than doubled in size. We didn’t want her to suffer so we said our tearful good-byes and let her sleep.


Losing Snickers has been somewhat of a double edged sword. I loved spending time with her at the computer after everyone was in bed. I loved the fact that I could have the worse day ever and she would still want me. These things made it very hard for me to lose our beloved Snickas. But there was also some relief which brought with it some guilt for feeling this way. Our kids were scared of her. If she didn’t move, it wasn’t too bad. But the moment she would move, Jocelyn would start screaming and crying and Isaac would follow. I was also exhausted. The kids hadn’t even been home 2 months and I was overwhelmed with their care.

But…there are times…when it is late…the house is quiet…and I am typing away…I miss her. I miss her paw lying on my arm as I try to type. I miss her loud purrs and her rabbit soft fur. It is also at these times I think how much our kids have missed. Snickers loved our sweet peas. Sometimes she would try to sit with them in the living room while they played. They would cry and run to us. She would always look so sad like “how come you don’t like me?” I believe in time they would have gotten over there fear of her and they would have fallen in love with her. Unfortunately, it was her time to go.



Thank you Snickers for the 13 years you gave us. Thank you for all the times you “nursed” me back to health and thank you for all the times you let me hold you like a baby. You were amazing and will always be dearly missed.

Love,

Snickas Mom

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

It's Been A While

Wow! It has been more than six months since my last post. At first I chose not to blog because I needed all of my focus to be on our sweet peas. But then as time passed, I wasn’t sure if I should blog. I felt like I had lost my way and my purpose for this little corner of the blog world. I was no longer sure if I could be vulnerable the way I had originally intended to. You see my purpose has always been to talk about everything between here and there (Heaven). Of course that means everything within reason. There are always those things that just should not be discussed with anyone (except my Hubby of course). I have struggled with whether or not I could be honest, share the tough things along with the funny things. I wonder about how to blog. Do I share our names? How do I handle posting pictures? Am I willing to discuss things that might upset people…things they may not agree with…etc…


Have I found any answers to my own questions? No, not exactly. Heavens with newly adopted twins I am lucky if I can remember what day of the week it is. But I believe with God’s guidance I will hopefully honor Him and honor the purpose of my little corner of the blogging world.

From my little corner,

Kelli

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Parking

Parking at our house is at a premium...


we expect daily parking fees to rival that of Boston, MA.


It's a good thing Isaac has his parking spaces reserved.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Very Belated Post - Tree of Tradition Part 2

As much as I would love to blog everyday it is just not possible. Sometimes my silence is because I'm too tired, or life has been difficult and sometimes it is because I am just having too much fun with my sweet peas.


Either way there are times when I have good intentions like when I posted Tree of Tradition Part 1. The rest was supposed to be posted before Christmas. So it is 2010 and I am just now finishing the unfinished post. There is nothing like the New Year to commit to finishing what you started the year before. So without further ado here is Part 2.



Just in case you didn't quite catch it in the first part of my post I love Christmas. And by far one of my most favorite parts is our Christmas Tree. I love everything about it. I love the excitement I feel lying in bed the night before we head to the tree farm to pick out our tree. I love the smell of the tree as Hubby saws away at its trunk. I even enjoy the argument Charlie and I have every year about how the tree is too big (this is obviously not my position in the argument). But by far my most favorite part of our tree is when I begin to unwrap our precious ornaments. It is like unwrapping our history. It is like unwrapping my childhood memories of Christmas's past.

You see many would say our tree is not a "theme" tree. And in the traditional sense of a "theme" tree it is not. We do not have a 3 part color scheme coordinating both cool and warm colors to give depth and contrast. We do not adorn our tree in matching ribbon or faux Christmas fruit. But our tree has a theme none the less. Our theme is family and I have always called our tree the family tree. It is what I think about with each cherished ornament I carefully place on our tree. It's placement is always hand picked so the tree and its light will show off the ornaments beauty.

When I was a very young girl my mom started a tradition of getting my sister and I an ornament every year for Christmas. It was always in our stocking. Besides the book of Lifesavers we would receive each year it was by far my favorite thing to search for in my stocking. Due to time and our tree falling over twice, some of the ornaments have been lost which makes those ornaments I still have even more precious. By far one of my most precious is my Coca Cola ornament from 1979.




Of couse I can't forget the ice skates from aroun 1982


Or the clay angel with a penny pressed into her back so you would know what year this wonderful gift had been given to you. The artist called the angels Penny's from Heaven. I am sorry the pictures of her are not better but if I don't have time to blog, I also don't have time to get that perfect shot.


 
 


When Hubby and I got married 15 years ago in December, I knew it was a tradition I wanted to carry on. Hubby loved the idea and we began our tradition of a family ornament that first year while we were one our honeymoon in Canada.

 

I was thrilled Christmas morning to find that my mom not only kept the tradition going with my stocking but also had an ornament for my new Hubby (sorry but I forgot to take pictures of these two ornaments before they were packed away).

We have carried on our tradition ever since. Each ornament brings back a flood of wonderful memories that warm my soul.  Like the year Charlie took me out for a very special Anniversary. We stopped at this wonderful little shop on Grand called the Hidden Cottage. We bought a beautiful deep red ornament. Afterwards he took me to the Nutcracker and then on to Beverly's in Coeur d'Alene for a late night dinner. The night was magical and I remember it like it was yesterday everytime I place this very special ornament on our tree.


Of course there is the year we went to Leavenworth for our anniversary and I couldn't decide between 3 Department 56 ornaments so true to my Hubby's nature he said to get all 3. I love each one of them.


And no you are not seeing things the third ornament is broken. I usually have it turned the other way so you can't see it. Yes I am so fanatical that I keep a broken ornament and still hang it on our tree. It is always tucked in on the side where our love seat is so I can sit there while working on the computer and gaze over and see it. I know its years are numbered.

It would be a shame to share our family tree without showing you my Hubby's favorite ornament. On a very belated Anniversary trip to Leavenworth we fell in love with Ne Qwa ornaments. Ne Qwa is where they reverse paint on the inside of the ornament. They are not cheap but absolutely beautiful. We both appreciate the artenship it takes to create one of these amazing ornaments. It is by far Charlie's favorite ornament.



Of course every year has not been a fairy tale ending with keeping our tradition. So ladies if you are wondering why your husband rolls their eyes at the idea of picking out an ornament together every year my Hubby is not too far behind them. He enjoys it but not every year which has meant some years me venturing out on my own or with my mom to get our ornament. It has also meant that he hasn't always liked the ornament I have chosen. Like in 1998 when I got a snowman ornament from Ganaans. It has a small hole on top of its head which when first shown to my Hubby he said "it looks like he was in a drive-by shooting." This was not the reaction I was looking for when picking our ornament. The next time he wasn't with me I used this incident as a good excuse to buy 3 ornaments and then told him to pick one.



We haven't always purchased our ornament. Some years they were homemade like this one...




Or last year when I made oranments for each one of us even though I knew our sweet peas would not see them on our tree.


Every year we add an ornament to our family tree and carry on the tradition started by mom when I was a little girl. This year was no exception. We received ornaments for us and for our sweet peas from both sides of the family. Each one is cherished and now wrapped and carefully placed in the ornament box awaiting to be reopened next year when I once again will be filled with the memories that warm my heart and soul.

Monday, February 1, 2010

How White is Too White?

Before I start this post I think I should clarify a couple of things first. You will notice that I will use the word white instead of Caucasian. It is my preference. I don’t use the word Caucasian in my everyday life to speak in general terms of those who would be considered white or mostly white so I won’t be using Caucasian on my blog. I will also not be using the word AA or African American either. In my personal opinion I think it is rude to assume that just because someone is black they are African American. They could be Haitian, Jamaican, etc… If you are wondering if I call our children African American, I do not. As we have gone through our adoption process I have learned that Ethiopians do not necessarily like being called African. Africa is the continent they live on. They are Ethiopian. I completely understand. I don’t call myself North American. North America is the continent I live on. I am an American. I just wanted to clarify my choice in words before you read this post.


How White is Too White?

This question has been plaguing me ever since we started our adoption process but especially since we have gotten home from Ethiopia. I am not talking about the fact that although I am white I have tan skin and my Hubby is well… white, white. What I am talking about is how white is the world around me and is it too white racially speaking?

This is a question I probably would have never asked myself if we hadn’t adopted children who aren’t white. Why would I ask it? I tend to socialize with those who I have met through church, family, and work. They all happened to be about 95% white.

It is why when we were given the opportunity to adopt Isaac and Jocelyn I took a hard look at myself and asked the question if I am prejudice? Would I be prejudice against our children or the friends they chose or the spouses they would marry? When I told my hubby I wanted to take the time to think about these things he laughed at me and said “don’t be silly you’re not prejudice.” In all honesty I didn’t think I was either. But was that because I wasn’t or because my exposure to other races had been so limited?

In grade school there was one boy who I knew was a different color but I didn’t know the word for it. I now know he would be called bi-racial. The only other non-white kids I remember is a little Asian girl named Treng and a Pilipino girl (sorry I don’t remember her name). The first time I remember meeting a black person my age was when I was in 6th grade at a track meet. I was completely intrigued by her mostly because of her speed but also because she was different than me. I do remember studying her facial features and how white her teeth looked against her beautiful dark skin. I was a typical kid with typical curiosities.

In Junior High I remember very few students of a different race. I could probably count them on my one hand. High School was much the same. This pattern has held true for most of my life other than the year I spent in Phoenix at Master’s Commission. With such little exposure to other races how could I not take a hard look at myself? I wanted to make sure my love for Isaac and Jocelyn would be pure and unconditional.

Now that our sweet peas have been home with us for four months, I am asking the question again. How white is too white? Is our world too white for our children? Hubby and me have tried to stay very attune to the way our sweet peas react when they see someone who has similar skin color. We have noticed how they stare at marketing posters of black people in stores we shop at and they almost always make some kind of comment about them. Last Wednesday while visiting the YMCA we realized how much something has to change.

Not too long after Jocelyn adjusted to the swimming pool a family with a young black girl waded into the pool. I would say she was maybe 10 or 11. Our sweet peas were mesmerized by her. She came over to say hi and sat down across from Jocelyn. Jocelyn immediately began touching her hand and arm while jibber jabbering. I asked Jocelyn if she liked her pretty skin and she just smiled and continued to babble. Once Isaac noticed the girl had sat down with Jocelyn he quickly joined them. He just stared at her and smiled. Both our sweet peas loved touching her hair which was amazing! It was very long and her mom had been locking it since she was about 4 years old. It looked absolutely beautiful on her. After getting home later that night Hubby and me discussed how attracted our sweet peas were to the little black girl. Why not? Their world went from being completely black one day to very white the next.

We have discussed many times how to go about making our world more “colorful” without a lot of good answers. The one thing we have realized is that most of our friends are from church. We tend to hang out with people who have the same passion for God that we do and who hold similar values. Unfortunately our church is white…very white. If we are unable to add “color” to our world through our church where do we go? Do we go to the “worldly” culture around us that does not share our values? Do we want this to be the influence for our children? Our answer is a resounding no.

So where does that leave us? It leaves us in a very hard place. A place I didn’t realize we would be four months ago. It leaves us in a place where we are praying and looking at attending a different church. Do we know the church? No but we know what we need. We need a church that is multi-racial just like our family where our children can meet and be friends with other black children. Our goal is that our sweet peas would have multi-racial relationships that will have a positive influence in their lives. We know the relationships we have built at our church over the past 7-8 years will not change but how often we see them will. It is a difficult decision to make and one we will continue to pray about. Children bring change to our lives even if it is sometimes unexpected change. Change also means a new adventure and one we welcome to be on with our amazing sweet peas.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Nutella Etiquette


It is important when eating Nutella on a piece of bread for the first time to use two hands...


Ummm...unless...

you are the Pistol Princess...

 


In any case it is always good to enjoy every bite...

 


If you get any on your fingers...

 

Remove Nutella immediately...




If it covers your whole hand...



Stick tongue out while running hand across your face...



Check your plate for any leftover Nutella...



Remove immediately with finger...



Aaahh Nutella...there's no better afternoon delight!

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