Thursday, January 29, 2009

Obamamania

Like the rest of the nation we were glued to our T.V. last week during the Inauguration day festivities and there was much excitement at my school. Even my kindergarten students were having a hard time containing their enthusiasm. As we sat down together to discuss the day's events I had boys slapping each other high fives and girls wondering what Sasha and Malia were doing in the White House. We talked about President Obama's speech and how we could follow his lead to do good things for our country and help the people around us. One idea: making sure all the lids are put back onto the markers so they don't dry out (okay, so we're not going to win the Nobel Peace Prize with that one, but we've gotta start somewhere). I don't think it was my imagination that their chests puffed up a bit more with pride and their voices were a little stronger when saying the Pledge of Allegiance that day.
We have special guest day at our school tomorrow. One first grader clearly thought there was no one more special than our new president and was very disappointed that Mr. Obama would not be visiting View Ridge tomorrow.

Isabelle too watched the speeches and parades and clearly some of the importance of the day must have rubbed off on her little three-year-old mind. She was busy at her craft table for quite a while last night and then came running upstairs to proudly show off the hat she had made. She said, "Look Mom, Barack Obama!" She had found an ad in one of our magazines for a Barack Obama commemorative plate and decided to cut it out, punch a hole, and string it onto her headband. I think it's pretty clever!


Okay, so it's not a great idea to listen to celebrities too often, but they do have a point. We're pledging to support our new president and look for ways we can help our community.

Celebs 'pledge' to support Obama
Celebs 'pledge' to support Obama

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Good News?

We talked to our caseworker today and she let us know that Almaz was able to get the needed paperwork from the regional office, which is wonderful. However, she was not able to make it back in time for our court appointment so we're waiting to hear about when we'll be rescheduled for. Thank you again so much to everyone who is praying for and thinking about us. Please keep it up and we'll hopefully not have to wait six weeks for our third court date!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Weekend Diversions

Thank you so much to everyone for all the wonderful comments, emails and phone calls. I really have the best friends! We feel so supported by everyone and really appreciate all the prayers and kind words. We haven't heard anything new and are still hoping and praying that there is a court miracle on Friday (Thursday night for us).

Thankfully we had plenty of things planned to keep us busy this weekend and did end up having a fun time. My favorite band, O.A.R. (Of a Revolution) was in town and I've been trying to see them forever! (You are currently enjoying their musical stylings, along with their opening act, Eric Hutchinson.) They played at the Paramount in Seattle, which is a really beautiful old theater and great concert venue. We also went out to The Melting Pot for dinner and had yummy fondue. Thanks for babysitting Darla!


Mmmmm......Chocolate Fondue





My list of the Top Five Most Amusing Happenings at a Concert in Seattle:
1.) The tone deaf girl behind you who unfortunately knows every word to every song.
2.) The guy who is in his own dance party zone and is oblivious to everyone around him.
3.) The smell of pot wafting off the guy in his own dance party zone. Don't worry Mom, I'm sure it was medicinal.
4.) When the band plays coy as if they're not coming back for an encore. C'mon guys you haven't even done the obligatory cover song yet!
5.) And finally, the old guy complaining about having to stand for three hours. Oh wait, that was Jason. Don't worry Jas, next time we'll bring a walker for you!
The other exciting thing that happened this weekend was that we got to meet several other families from the Seattle area who are also adopting from Ethiopia. It was really fun to meet them in person. Thanks again Amber for putting this together!

Luckily all of us bloggers had our cameras! There were a few husbands there too but somehow they all ended up on camera duty.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Adoption Update

We got a call yesterday from our caseworker with some very bad news regarding our adoption. Apparently Almaz (the woman who runs the baby house in Ethiopia) is having a hard time getting the needed paperwork from the region Baby M. is from for our next court case, scheduled for Friday, the 23rd. We have been told there are two families affected and these are the hardest cases she's ever done. She has said we need to "pray for a miracle" but it is very unlikely we will pass court and it may be some time before we are able to travel. So, we're looking for prayers, good thoughts, karma, anything you can send our way would be so appreciated! We are very upset by this news and are trying to remain positive and hopeful.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Rainy Day Sunday

Living in Washington we have our share of wet weather (a.k.a., flooding) so we must always be prepared with plenty of indoor activities. We were housebound most of the weekend so this is how we passed the time.

Isabelle made a ball of bird seed at preschool and in between rain clouds she wanted to make sure the birds and squirrels in our backyard were well fed. We're really hoping it's nontoxic and we're not inadvertently poisoning the wildlife. There was much discussion regarding what the center of this ball of seeds was made of. Isabelle insists it's butter, Laney says it's made of glue. Is one really better than the other?
After the animals were properly cared for we settled down to work on some Disney puzzles.

At her craft table Isabelle busied herself cutting and pasting, working on "projects".
Sunday night movie time - an event worth glamming up for, even if it is "Peter Pan" for the fiftieth time.

Sunday's are always great days to try out new recipes and you know I love Williams Sonoma so when I got their new catalog entitled "Winter in the Alps" I knew I wouldn't be able to resist. I made Roast Pork with Pears, which turned out great! Check out the link if you're interested. The sauce was especially delicious. Isabelle said, "good recipe you made Mommy." How can it get better than that?


Isabelle has been using children's fluoride toothpaste for quite a while now but it just hasn't seemed right to me that I've been giving my child bubblegum toothpaste to brush her teeth with. Luckily, if we pin a "big-girl" label to it, Isabelle is game for anything. Here she is trying out her new grown-up, all natural toothpaste - and enjoying it!

It's always nice to finish a lazy Sunday with an extra-long warm bath.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

A Grateful Heart

As I started back to work this past week I was in for a big surprise! Prior to winter vacation I had planned to host our annual staff holiday party at my house. I cleaned, made lots of treats and organized the traditional white elephant gift exchange. Unfortunately, the party had to be canceled because of our monumental snow storm. The day of the doomed party my phone kept ringing with people asking if we could still do the gift exchange after winter break. Now, in the past the white elephant gift exchange has had more trash than treasure (i.e., the basketball hoop with ball attached that you strap to your waist and then proceed to make a basket using only your hips). With this thought in mind I couldn't figure out why everyone was so keen on making sure this event happened!
Unbeknownst to me my friends at work had planned on turning the gift exchange into a surprise "donation shower" for Hannah's Hope in Ethiopia! They were going to carry on with the usual white elephant game and see how long it took me to figure out that all the baby clothes, lotion and formula were for me to take to Ethiopia. What a crafty group I work with! I had no idea! And boy would I have felt badly if Hannah's Hope received all of those nice things and someone ended up with the re-gifted whoopee cushion I had wrapped up!
I am so thankful for all the teachers I work with, their caring and generosity. They are so excited for us and can't wait to meet Baby M.! Thanks View Ridge!

People are still bringing me donations because no one was sure how they were going to get things to me. Here is just a small sampling!

Isabelle helped go through everything and is very excited too.

Isabelle's Thank You
(Sorry about the weird angle. This was taken with our new camera and the movie isn't staying rotated. Aaarh! You'll also really have to turn up the volume.)
video

Monday, January 5, 2009

Happy New Year (a little late) and Happy Birthday!

We had a fantastic time on New Year's Eve this year, celebrating at my friend Erica's house with old friends, new friends and lots of kids! Erica has a great house for entertaining because the kids had the whole upstairs and playroom to themselves and the grown-ups got to have an adult party - no tiramisu martinis, wine or champagne for the kiddies! Isabelle loved running around with her friend Laney, Laney's five-year-old sister Emersyn and Emersyn's kindergarten friends. The adults thought we would be so smart and celebrate the new year at 9:00 for the little ones (the advantage of living on the west coast with east coast T.V. stations - we can see the ball drop in Times Square early) and then put them to bed. Little did we know they would still be up celebrating into the wee hours of morning!

Early on in the evening. This is a game called run back and forth while throwing things and screaming. Can you tell why the adults were happy the children had a room to themselves?
Laney and Isabelle taking some down time to play house.
Playing dress-up
While Isabelle had a great time with her friends this was her first time celebrating the new year and had never seen anything like it. In this picture she's thinking, "My parents have brought me to a loony bin. Grown-ups aren't supposed to blow horns and act crazy. And why am I wearing this silly hat?" She quickly recovered from her shock though and was soon throwing confetti off the deck and drinking sparkling apple cider.
Just a few of the children at the party. At this point the boys had made themselves scarce as the girls were playing rock star and putting on make-up. They did reappear later in the evening to wreak havoc by chasing the girls around the house.
With all that playing Isabelle still found time to sit down for a snuggle and snack with Emersyn.
Some of the older children did fall asleep before midnight but Isabelle and Laney just got going at 11:30, when they started their own private dance party while watching High School Musical. Do you think they could stand any closer to the T.V. I think they are literally trying to be sucked inside!
Laney, Emersyn and Isabelle playing, definitely NOT sleeping, in Erica's bed at 1:00 in the morning.
The next morning Isabelle slept until 9:30 (thank goodness!) but wanted to go right back to Laney's to do it all again! She also picked up some new dance moves, as pictured below.
Is she too young for So You Think You Can Dance? :)
Today is also Jason's birthday, which we celebrated in a very low-key way by going out to dinner and having birthday cake at home. I won't embarrass him by revealing how old he is but I will say he's older than me!
Yeah, I'm totally going to tell you how old he is. Check out Jason and Isabelle's fingers for a clue. Can't figure it out? He's THIRTY-TWO!!