31 October 2007

9 Months Old Today!

9 months old and cute as a button!

29 October 2007


What a wonderful time we had with our Ethiopian adoptive families' group last weekend! It was an anointed time together! We had two new families (the Yateses & Paschalls) join us this time -- hooray! It is so enriching for us to be forming relationships with other Christian families who already have kids from or are adopting from Ethiopia. We feel blessed to know each of you. Won't it be great to see all our little babies playing together in the next months and years???

I'm sorry I don't have pictures to share. Neither Michael nor I thought about it until everyone was gone. Phooey! Next time.

Andrew & Amanda, we missed you being there and everyone can hardly wait to get their hands on Mekdes! And, Karen, quit lurking and post already! ;) Where is your blog?

Prayer Chain Request & Plumpynut Video

This prayer request is passed on from Susan, who's a part of the Orange County Ethiopian Adoption Network for her friends in Virginia.

The Dennehy family is in the process of adopting a daughter from Ethiopia who doesn't have arms. This would be a phenomenal family for this little angel because they already have TWO children with the same disability. The adoption is in jeopardy, though, because her birth father is having reservations about her being adopted into a Christian family because he is Muslim. Please pray with us for the Dennehys.

Here's a YouTube video about their extraordinary family.

Also,my friend Emily posted this 60 Minutes video about Plumpynut, which is a vitamin enriched food item made by Doctors without Borders that's treating kids in Niger, Africa with malnutrition with incredible results. Take a minute to watch this very interesting Anderson Cooper report.

26 October 2007

SoCal Fires

Check out this NASA satellite picture. It's updated daily.

Garden Ballet to Premier in Florence

My friend Mari Falcone's Garden Ballet is premiering in Florence, Italy today! Mari and her husband Bill Cantos are incredibly gifted musicians whose sole purpose is to glorify God in their art. I had the privilege of singing with Bill & Mari for more than a year, and they are the real deal... wonderful, dear people. If you get a chance to hear either one of them perform, don't miss it! Bill's "New Red Coat" will knock your socks off.

Mari is ridiculously talented, freakishly so. She is a pianist, keyboardist, musical director, composer, and musical arranger. She's toured with the likes of Donna Summer, Amy Grant, Kim Hill, and Deniece Williams. She has written and produced for Debby Boone and other gospel artists. She's appeared on the Grammy Awards twice. Mari has composed for television and film, and served as musical director for Off-Broadway, touring musicals, and many L.A. theatrical productions, including serving as musical director for the Groundlings improv group. Yeah, she rocks.

Mari, I'm so excited for you! Have a GREAT time tonight! I'm doing the "Go Ma-ri, Go Ma-ri" dance for you!

25 October 2007

Home with our Ethiopian Princess 2 Months

It hardly seems possible that it's already been 2 months since we brought Elianna Ray home as a Forever Family.

Thank You, Jesus, for our precious littlest one, our special gift. She is such a treasure to us. Thank You, Lord, that she is healthy and gets chubbier every day. Thank You that she's making up for lost time in development and capability. Thank You that she's snuggly and gives kisses and love freely. Thank You that she's an excellent sleeper, too! Thank You for her joyful early morning greeting, and that she anticipates our reading time together with excitement. Thank You for all her milestones of the last two months. Thank You, Lord, that Elianna Ray is our daughter... What a miracle!

24 October 2007

Fire Update and Farm Field Trip

Hey all, thanks for keeping us Southern Californians in prayer over the fires raging across our desert landscape. The front page of the Orange County Register today shows a satellite picture from Santa Barbara to Mexico that is shocking because of the multitude of fires in our area and the mass of swirling smoke over our coastline and ocean. Lovely Lake Arrowhead has lost 425 homes and 5,000 acres. San Diego has lost a whopping 1,150 homes, sadly including that of our cousin, Donnie McClure (shown below with Mother), in Rancho Bernardo and 235,000 acres. And Orange County has lost 10 homes and 18,000 acres. We can still see fire on the hills from our home although we are not in the danger zone, but many of our family and friends have had to evacuate with just a few possessions not knowing what they'll find when they return. It's a sobering reminder that truly everything we have is ours on loan from God, not to be held onto too tightly.

More news on the fire to come. Please keep praying for the safety of our firefighters, residents, and wildlife in this area.

To end on a happier note, here are a few shots from our farm field trip last week:

Our sweet pumpkins


The cutest little piggy

Michael and the kids

23 October 2007

OCEAN Gathering

Hey all you local lurkers... If you're adopting, or have adopted, you're invited!

Orange County Ethiopian Adoption Network

Bring the kids for a

Family potluck BBQ

Saturday, October 27th


At the Hausams in Orange, CA

Leave a guestbook message with your email contact for further details and to sign-up to bring a dish to share!

22 October 2007

Wind advisory, Schmind advisory... The Almost Hurricane and SoCal fires

The strong wind advisory Southern California residents received a few days ago took a terrible turn yesterday. Fires from Santa Barbara to Baja are being stoked by severe wind storms, in some places near hurricane force winds. We watched the news in horror last night and called all our friends in danger zones to make sure they were OK and to pray with them.

From our back yard we watched the Santiago Canyon fire blaze over the hillside here in Orange. These photos are really terrible because the wild wind made taking night shots nearly impossible, but you get the idea.

Flames glowing over the hills

Smoke and dust kicked up by the fires and wind are shrowding Orange County and all the way out past Catalina Island

In our area winds reached in excess of 60 mph buffetting our house so that it sounded like a freight train was passing through all night long. We heard our master bedroom fireplace chimney top clanging and banging until it finally broke. Even now the wind is whistling and moaning through here making it sound like a premature haunted house.

Here's what we found this morning:

Our patio furniture blew away

and landed all over the place

The trampoline net got shredded

The back patio furniture was pushed all around by the wind and several trees broke.

This poor papyrus plant took a swim

And finally, here's the culprit. This thing kept the whole house awake last night until it finally gave up the ghost.

From what we hear, none of the fires are contained yet with no signs of the wind slowing down until the weekend. So, please be in prayer for the safety of firefighters putting their lives on the line, and for the residents of the endangered areas, and for the homes and wildlife that are threatened.

19 October 2007


Elianna Ray said it all day long yesterday! "Mama"! That was my heavenly present yesterday for having two very cranky, sick babies all this week... totally worth it. Thank You, Lord, that I am her mama!

Thankfully, Ellie is feeling a little better today.

Ricker cracks Evangeline up. These two are peas in a pod.

Here are a few silly pics just for fun that we took during breaks from school work:

I look like a donkey in this one.

Ricker doing his Jay Leno impression

Marg calls this one "Ultra-nerd"

Swirly Jackie

I hope that gave you a laugh for the day!

18 October 2007

A Day at the Beach

It was a gorgeous day at the beach in San Diego last weekend. We were so grateful because the day before was a little chilly and overcast. Evangeline had a BALL playing in the water and cruising all over the beach. Every season of babyhood and childhood is such a treat and I always feel like, "Oh, please don't grow up one more minute! Stay exactly this way!" Newborn, infant, toddler, little kid, big kid, all of it. I truly enjoy every stage. Right now I wish I could just freeze my kids right where they are. They are all in such fun and different places. I love it!

Me and Elianna Ray ready to get in our bathing suits

Evangeline exploring every inch of sand

Marg and Elianna Ray (eating her first sand)

Teething rocker-style

The boys being boys

Marg and Evie

*Updated prayer request: Fever! Ya giv'a me fever. That's right, we're passing it around like a hot potato. Elianna Ray has had the worst of it, though. I've had to put her in a cool bath three times in the last two days to bring her fever down. No fun! Jackie came home from tennis lessons last night and went straight to bed even though I made calzone for dinner which is his favorite. Poor guy. Please pray for healing in our home and for protection for Michael, Ricker, and me who have yet to get sick. Thanks!

Have a blessed day, friends!

17 October 2007

MCAS Miramar Air Show "The Sound of Freedom"

God bless America, land that I love! You can't help but be inspired and proud to be an American watching these guys show what they can do.

The Super Hornet, Hercules, Super Stallion, Osprey, Oracle Challenger, and Sea Knight planes and jets are so exciting to watch. We knew that Jackie would go nuts here, but Ricker and Marg were thrilled, too, especially during the Patriots Jet Team demo. Margie couldn't stop talking about the stunt plane pilot because this guy was an absolute kook! We couldn't believe he actually lived through his act. Crazy! Evangeline spent the day pointing at every "ay-pay" (airplane) she saw and saying, "wow-wow-wow!" Soooo cute.

My personal favorite is always the Harrier. It's incredibly cool that it can take off vertically, stop in mid-air, and fly backwards and sideways. We heard that there's a new Harrier coming out next year that's even more agile in flight, so I can hardly wait to see what that one is capable of.

Michael's favorite part of the day was the USAF Thunderbirds demo. OK, even if you can't stand Celine Dion, you must admit that her rendition of "God Bless America" is a heart-burster!

Jackie is enamored with all the arms of our military.


Thunderbird diamond formation

Sister snuggle

F/A-18 Hornet

Loops in the sky

Red Barons


The Harrier stopped in mid-air and turned to face the crowd. So cool!

This Wall of Fire blasted heat over the crowd during the Marine air-ground task force assault demonstration. All Ricker could say was, "Awesome!"

Warming up in the jacuzzi

Prayer request: Poor Elianna Ray has a nasty fever today and a stomach bug! Marg felt icky on Sunday night and Monday, Evangeline felt the same way on Monday and yesterday, and now Ellie has it, too. Please pray she feels better soon, and that no one else catches it. Thanks!

16 October 2007

"Ditsy Squirrels"

aka the Dead Sea Scrolls are on exhibit at the Natural History Museum in San Diego and are a must see! I don't know why the kids and I started calling them the "Ditsy Squirrels" or why we found that so funny, but that nickname brought down the house every time. Still does.

Anyway, if you get a chance to see them while they're there, don't miss it! The photographs of Israel alone are worth the trip. Truly stunning. Remember to bring a sweater, though, because the entire lower level is kept very chilled to protect the artifacts.

Trent & Michael and the boys at
the San Diego Natural History Museum in beautiful Balboa Park

Claire, Marg holding Evangeline, Ricker, Jackie & Carson

Sandy looking lovely

and Elianna Ray giving me a raspberry!

a sailor playing taps at a memorial ceremony at the Midway

The Adamses

May I please have all my photos taken with the new filter???
I think we should all be viewed in soap opera vision!

Isn't it beautiful outside? I'm thanking the Lord all day for this gorgeous fall weather. Have a blessed day!