Sunday, November 27, 2011

Time in the City!

After moving north 2 years ago, we were thrilled when we were given the opportunity to speak at a Gift of Adoption breakfast in downtown Chicago. An added amazing blessing to our time there was getting to stay at the Hotel Intercontinental on Michigan Ave. for free! M LOVED looking out the window and watching the buses stop across the street. We all enjoyed our time there, though we realized that for better or worse we have gotten very comfortable in our small town and we were pretty happy to return. We were also able to spend some sweet time with "two sweet boys" and their family on our trip home. Such special memories! Here are some photos of our fun!

I wasn't that into taking photos. I wanted to see buses and eat Lara Bars. I was quite excited to see my first Christmas tree! I could see my face in the balls on the tree. The balls are not for playing, just for looking!

I still love me Ergo... and Mommy too!

Mommy and I were so tiny next to this tall building. Even Daddy looked tiny next to it!

This photo is a tribute to some of my special girls who love American Girl dolls. We did go in the store. Mommy and Daddy were very glad I am a boy when they saw the prices!

So they took tiny things (Legos) and made the "skyline" (a word he learned when we were there). It was pretty cool!

I had to reach back really far to get my favorite pieces. Obviously I was only interested in wheels. I am not really sure what all the other thing were in the bins.

Double BUS!!!!! (Some people informed is that the other side of the hotel faces the Lake. I am so thankful we didn't get that view. 1. Because now that it is winter we can see the Lake out our upstairs windows and 2. because clearly the buses are way cooler)

So this is what it looks like when...

So, this is what it looks like when I stick the cover of my water bottle in my mouth!

So this is what it looks like when I pose for a 2.25 year photo in the special photo chair!

So this is what it looks like when mommy tells me to do something (sit down for a photo) and I flash her a smile I know she can't refuse.

So this is what it looks like when mommy gives me a book to read so that I will sit for the photo shoot! That Lulu is so great isn't she?!

So this is what it looks like when I stand "upside down" and put a hat on my "bottom" :)

So this is what it looks like when I run around with hat over my eyes and I make mommy say "Where's my little boy?" (Check out the smile in this one, so beautiful)

So this it looks like when mommy wants to take a sentimental photo of me and daddy raking on the anniversary of when they first met me in Ethiopia!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Funny Man Photos

One night in our home M decided to turn his pants into a hat. We snapped several photos and wanted to share them with you because they capture his funny personality so well. He was laughing SO HARD during this episode. Such a sweet time!

Do you like my blue hat? Do you want one just like it?

I thought so!

Would you like to see a side angle?

I can fluff it up for you.

It provides full face coverage!

It is a winner!

And then it happened again...

The brown pants make a great hat too.

I feel like I look a little feminine here.

My Lion

An Actual Smile!

What we got when we told our lion to smile!

I know Halloween is a hotly debated topic among some Christians. I know and love people on both sides to the issue. I respect both camps as well. Check out this blog HERE and the corresponding links to see a bit of our perspective about Redeeming Halloween. Brandon and I did hand out candy to the kids that came to our door. M did trick or treat at 3 of our neighbor’s homes.

Our community holds trick-or treating on a Saturday afternoon so this happened 2 days before Halloween. It goes from 4:00-7:00 so no kids are out late at night. We turned our light off at 5:30 to eat dinner and wind down for the evening.

Trick-or-treating is the only night of the year when people who may never set foot in a church come to OUR door! When we greet them and talk with them and smile and share candy and our sweet son’s conversation with them we become real people to them.

M is waiting with the stash for the first guest. No, he didn't raid it. He is actually eating a Lara Bar.

Watching and waiting for friends to stop over.

Taking our son across the street to trick-or-treat was very special. We were able to meet neighbors that keep to themselves and really don’t want to have anything to do with us. When they saw our cute little lion I am pretty sure he melted hearts. We now know more of our neighbors names and they know ours. They know that we are not scary... and we know that they are friendly as well. What a blessing and gift.

The first of the 3 houses we visited. M gave the candy right back to the banana woman :) He eventually took it and daddy enjoyed it!

Fargo/Farm Fotos

Here are some photos of our short visit to Fargo. While we spent most of the time with the Kellers we were able to do some other fun things as the photos show. I didn't get any photos of Mexican Village which is quite sad since their food is so delightful and their salsa is the best in the world. Enjoy!

These are my special friends Chuck and Ellen. I like to call Chuck "Gary" and mommy finally figured out why. He looks like my friend Gary who makes sure mommy's car is working. Chuck and Ellen are so much fun. I hope I get to see them again real soon. They run Old 52 General Store. It is SUPER cool so you all should check it out :)

This is my new buddy Dan. He was mommy's first little man. She learned a lot about little boys from her dates with Dan. I don't think Dan was ever as little as me.

This is Sarah and Dan. Sarah came home on an airplane just like me, but her airplane started in Guatemala and mine started in Ethiopia.

Sarah's hair had a fun handle to play with... so I did!

This is my buddy Aaron. He calls me Zachary, but that is cool. I don't mind.

There is one other brother at the Sabin Farm. For some reason we didn't get a photo of me with him. His name is Josh and he is so fun. He really likes me, I can tell. He played a special "up" and "down" game with the whole time we were there.

I love to praise the Lord at Salem E-Free Church in Fargo.

Climbing up the stairs at Salem Church was so much fun. Mommy got emotional because this is the spot where she married daddy. Also, under this platform is a HUGE bathtub and that is where mommy and daddy got baptized. I don't know what that means, but I think it is something good.

Mommy says I should say... I can't wait to go to Concordia College one day... GO Cobbers!

Mommy brought me to the store at her school...I got to wear this corn hat. Honestly, I was less than impressed.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Why 11.11.11 is special to our family!

Three years ago today our sweet nephew A was born. What a joy and delight it has been to watch him grow and learn and laugh and play. We love you A. We will call you tonight so M can sing you the Birthday song. Check out a photo from three years ago HERE

Two years ago today we learned we were accepted into the ET program for our International Adoption. This was the feeling of "two lines" on the pregnancy stick... we were really going to be parents. You can read about that day HERE.
One year ago we were in Ethiopia and meeting our amazing son for the very first time. 11.11 is a very special date for our family. You can read all about that day HERE. I just read this entry and had tears in my eyes thinking about meeting sweet M that day.

This photo was taken of M one year ago today about 2 seconds before we came around the corner and met him for the first time.

While we did take pictures today they are not on the computer yet, so you will have to settle for this photo from Sunday. Such a happy and healthy boy. Wow, God is awesome!

Today we have so so much to be thankful for. We spent the morning outside with M. We raked leaves and he practiced going up and down stairs. Our lives are normal now as a family of three. I often forget about the years which have passed and the aches in my heart 1, 2, and 3 years ago on this day. Oh how faithful God has been.

Today our hearts are heavy as we recognize that Jack's cancer battle will end soon. We are thankful that Jack is finishing the race well and soon will be in the presence of Jesus, though our hearts ache as we think of Sarah and the boys, of Jack's great family and friends, of all he leaves behind. Please lift this family up today dear friends!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Keller time the photo edition

We sure treasured our time in Fargo with the Kellers. I know I have shared about it in words... now it is time for the photos!

New friends bond over trucks.

New friends bond over food!

So sweet!

The best photo taken of Grandma M with the little boys.

OK, so the next photos really speak for themselves. I think wordless is really better here!

Bath Buddies!

High Fives :)

More sweet moments the last night...