31 January 2008

Happy 1st Birthday, Elianna Ray!

Happy Birthday to our scrumptious little princess with whom we've fallen so deeply in love. We are so grateful that we get to be your Forever Family and that you are finally home with us! Thank You, Jesus, for all the amazing milestones we've enjoyed since we held her for the first time in Addis Ababa. Thank You for her sweet cooing and baby chatting, playing peekaboo, saying uh-oh, hi, mama, nana, papa, yoo hoo. Thank You for our bathtime crazy lady. Thank You for signing I love you and calling out "da doo". Thank You for the joy of being her Mama & Papa. Thank you for Ray Ray!

30 January 2008


I've been tagged by Misty for the "8 Things Quiz" so here goes

8 Things I'm Passionate About

  1. Jesus Christ, knowing Him more, becoming more Christlike, and singing worship
  2. Haus & our kids
  3. Our family who are the dearest people in the world to us
  4. Homeschooling
  5. Adoption, the OCEAN group, and building an adoption community of friends
  6. Working hard and playing hard
  7. Reading, watching movies, and enjoying an evening with friends
  8. The beach! Vacation! Getting away to some place with sand, crystal blue water, palm trees, and an umbrella and pineapple wedge in my mai tai!
8 Things I Want to do Before I Die
  1. Live in a foreign country (in Africa maybe?) for more than a year
  2. Go on a long-term mission serving those who need Jesus
  3. See my children grow up to be disciples of Christ, happy in their work, marriage, and family
  4. Travel to every continent
  5. Finish reading all of Shakespeare, and my long, long, (and getting longer) To Read List
  6. Start a crisis pregnancy ministry
  7. Help Michael build a ministry to men & women in prison
  8. Sing the National Anthem at Angels Stadium (Lame, I know, but I've always wanted to do it. It's not very likely since I'm too chicken to audition, though, in case I might actually get a booking... *blush*)

8 Things I Often Say (Only 8?!?)

  1. Hi there, friends!
  2. Hooray!
  3. Mama said NO, baby. Don't touch. No biting! Now give a kiss. Be loving! Be gentle! Shhh! Be quiet! What a good girl! (ALL day long)
  4. Get out of bed before I turn the hose on you!
  5. Brush your teeth! It looks like a swamp in there!
  6. Who... left the refrigerator open?!... put Legos down the garbage disposal?!... mislaid the keys?!... has my hairbrush?! etc.
  7. Put it away before I throw it away!
  8. Did you thank Jesus today?

8 TV Shows I Recently Watched

  1. NCIS (Love it! Tony doesn't even have to talk. Just looking at him makes me crack up.)
  2. House
  3. Crossing Jordan reruns
  4. CSI Miami
  5. CSI New York
  6. Jon & Kate Plus 8
  7. Adoption Stories & Birth Stories
  8. Law & Order

8 Songs I Never Tire of Listening To

  1. "Heartbreaker" (Pat Benatar)
  2. "You Know My Name" (Chris Cornell)
  3. "Satisfied" (Crystal Lewis) *actually, anything by Crystal
  4. "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" (Israel Kamakawiwo'ole)
  5. "She" (Elvis Costello)
  6. "Prayer" (Celine Dion & Andrea Bocelli)
  7. "Endless Love" (Mariah Carey & Luther Vandross)
  8. "Whip It" (Devo)... Yes, I am THAT much of a dork!

8 Things that Attract me to my Friends

  1. Having a sense of humor, even when life goes pear shaped. The older I get, the more I find that having FUN and laughing through challenges and suffering is so important!
  2. Honesty, transparency, openness
  3. Trustworthiness
  4. The ability to forgive and apologize freely
  5. Depth of character
  6. The ability to laugh at oneself... that great blend of confidence & humility
  7. Kindness and compassion, a heart for those in trouble or who are hurting
  8. Inclusiveness. I truly admire those who include others and make everyone feel welcome and liked.

8 Things I Learned in 2007

  1. Jesus loves me (relearning this one!) and He's in control.
  2. Life is beautiful! Despite all that is challenging, messy, heartbreaking, frustrating, confusing, and chaotic... life is such a GIFT!
  3. Through Granddaddy I learned that it is possible to reach the end of a long life fully faithful in Jesus, deeply in love with my spouse of 60+ years, with grace and dignity and a sense of humor, and worship on our lips, praising the Lord, blessing those we love, having repented for all wrongdoing and ready to face the Lord.
  4. Having 5 kids is an enormous blessing
  5. Having 5 kids is dang hard!
  6. Two toddlers can do anything in less than 30 seconds. They can empty a bureau in less than 30 seconds. They can cover themselves head to toe in peanut butter in less than 30 seconds. They can poop in the tub and wipe it all over in far less than 30 seconds. They can slip a tube of lipstick from the counter into the dryer while you're transferring laundry from the washer so the whole load gets ruined and do it in just a few, teeny tiny seconds. They can empty a gallon of milk onto the kitchen floor and sit down in it in less than 30 seconds. Shall I go on?
  7. I need a full-time maid.
  8. Laughter truly is the best medicine.
I'm tagging Emily, Suzi, Karen and Lori!

29 January 2008

Dedicated to Liz

Except that I can't share pictures of our brand spanking new remodel like my dear friend Liz Lyons did because we're not even in the blueprint stage yet. Rats!

One of the wonderful benefits that didn't even occur to us when we started blogging a journal about our adoption is that we've made such sweet friends in the process and shared the journey together. I'm really looking forward to the Blog Union this summer so we can all celebrate together! Just think how many of our babies will be HOME by then! How many of you are hoping to come out to California for the Blog Union??? Carey promises to post news about it soon...

*Private note to my PW/BUB girls, there's a rumor of a get together. Or, is that the one that I started? ;) Is anyone still working on that?

And, Lizzie, her room is looking fab! xoxo

Product (RED)

Meet the Gap Product (RED) Heartwork bear. Isn't he such a cutie? Plus, the cool thing is that 50% of the sales from this darling bear will be donated to the Global Fund for AIDS. I have to show you these pictures in sequence because they're just a little glimpse into what my "twins" are like. Sit down and buckle your seatbelt!

Two wiggly girlies

But I don't WANT to sit here right now!

Elianna Ray is such a snuggle bug!

Taking center stage in front of Ray Ray

So much fun

Lots of laughter

That's enough. I'm outa here!

Also, Converse Product (RED) has a new line called "Make Mine Red" where you can design your own shoes! 15% of the net retail sale goes directly to The Global Fund.

28 January 2008

A New Referral!

Congratulations to the new Daddy & Mommy, Joe & Jesi
who just got their referral for 5 week old boy/girl TWINS, Tewedros and Yodit!

I just got a peek at their photos and they are absolutely gorgeous! Praise the Lord!

*A special note to all my sweet friends who are still waiting... Don't get discouraged! Stay ENcouraged because your referral is coming. The Lord has it perfectly planned and it will be such a beautiful moment. Big hug!

Called on Account of Rain

Oh well. We'll go back again sometime. We decided to cut our vacation short because if it's going to be rainy and 60 degrees, and it's rainy and 60 degrees at home... you might as well pack it in. At least I squeezed in a day at the spa! I sat in the steam room, and the sauna, and read magazines in a quiet room where they play that funky "womb noises" music or whatever on earth it is. There I sat in my fluffy robe and slippers sipping spring water with an orange slice in it reading an article about the benefits of the vegan diet, which I never never intend to try because I'm a happy carnivore. Various spa people walked around silent as the grave and whispered to "Mrs. Hausam" when asking if I'd like a seaweed wrap. That kind of luxury just gives me the giggles. Just the Quiet alone was great. Later I enjoyed a delicious deep tissue massage and a facial and it was so incredible I thought I'd gone to heaven. What is it about spa treatments that make you feel so ministered to in your soul when they're just rubbing your back, face, or feet??? Anyway, it was a special treat and I came home refreshed.

My sister, Becky, emailed me this essay. It's a great reminder for all of us mommies. Enjoy!


I'm invisible. It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?' Obviously not; no one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible. The invisible Mom. Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this? Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?' I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?' I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30, please.' I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going, she's going, she's gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in a hair clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you this.' It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: 'To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.'

In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it.' And the workman replied, 'Because God sees.'

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, 'I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become.'

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride. I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime, because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving , 'My mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table.' That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, 'You're gonna love it here.'

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

"Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart,
not grudgingly or under compulsion,
for God loves a cheerful giver." - II Cor.9:7

"Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do...
but how much love we put in that action." - Mother Teresa

"Hear,O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one.
And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart
and with all your soul and with all your might." Deuteronomy 6:4-5

24 January 2008


Arriba! We're headed south of the border, so have a wonderful weekend, friends. We'll be praying that the Lord brings referral calls on Monday!

February OCEAN Dinner

Orange County Ethiopian Adoption Network

We Heart Ethiopia


Friday February 8th, 6:00

At the Hausams in Orange

Bring all your little sweethearts!!!

RSVP by commenting in this post or in the guestbook & sign up to bring a dish to share!

Clean Water for Ethiopia

Check out the video on their site showing how Ethos Water is helping Ethiopia and other countries access safe, clean water!

Their site states that "the mission of Ethos Water is to help children around the world get clean water and to raise awareness of the world water crisis. Every bottle makes a difference because for every bottle sold Ethos Water contributes US $0.05 toward our goal of investing US $10 million by 2010."

I love it! How incredible would it be to go and dig a well for a community or a village in Africa?

23 January 2008


As a film buff, I am sad to lose Heath Ledger. He was charming, and funny, and so gifted, and cute as a button, and I'll miss watching him develop into the genius on film that I fully expected him to become. Farewell to a young original.

Waiting Bites, But God is Good

Frustration! Our friends, the Clarks' (an OCEAN family pictured above with Michael at Elianna Ray's dedication party last fall) court date ended disappointingly. They must redo their power of attorney, state authentication, federal certification, and resend all those items to Ethiopia, and then get in line for another court date. It's likely that by then their CIS fingerprinting will have expired, so they'll have to jump through that hoop again as well. The fact that they were one of 19 families whose paperwork was denied is not encouraging. Just the other night we were celebrating that the Clarks' long wait for their babies in Ethiopia is almost over, but now it is extended... again.

It's incredible that we were referred our babies at the same time, and now Ray Ray has been home for 5 months and they still don't have two completed adoptions! How agonizing! I can't imagine their frustration. Please pray with Michael and me for these dear friends, Randy & Susan and their kids Julia, Marissa, and Gabriel. The precious children they have been waiting for so long are named Sophia (adoption incomplete) & Elijah (adoption complete).

Waiting stinks. Waiting just cuts to the bone, doesn't it?

Somehow this interminable wait is the Lord's plan. It's so hard to see from our perspective, and maybe we'll never know, but both Susan and Randy continue to be inspiringly faithful in the knowledge that the Lord is a loving, gracious Father who works all things for good. And, as Susan said on Sunday, He walks us through the valley. He doesn't leave us there to stay. Praise the Lord!

Psalm 23
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters,
He restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord

What a celebration we shall have when little Sophia & Elijah are finally home with their Forever Family! We are gonna PARTY! I know that all Heaven will rejoice with us!

21 January 2008


We had such a great time with friends old and new who are adopting from Ethiopia. Thank you, Curtis & Karen, for hosting our OCEAN gathering!

Please pray with us for the Clark family who are awaiting their court date on Tuesday. They're hoping to travel by the end of February to bring their new son and daughter HOME to their Forever Family!

19 January 2008

Multiethnic Cooking Night

We've been checking out Recipe Zaar for some tasty recipes for Ethiopian dishes to add to our repertoire of Swedish/Scottish family meals. I agree with Mike Meyers who theorizes that most traditional Scottish food was originally based upon a dare (like haggis -- Bleck!), so our recipes are limited in that area, although we're doing OK in the Swedish food department. However, I'm thinking that there's not a whole lot of combining you can do here, folks, at least not that's very appetizing. I'm a little afraid that if I do, something may explode. Then the neighbors will gossip amid the rubble, "Gasp! Meth lab? Nah, I heard she was mixing up ethnic recipes."

Here's the meal we've come up with.

Ethiopian dishes:
እንጀራ Injera (spongy, sourdough flatbread)
ቀይ or ቀይሕ Qey Wat (spicy stew made from red onions and Ethiopian spices berbere and niter kebbeh)
ሥጋ Beef
*Unless for some reason you have Amharic font on your computer, you're unable to see the cool looking names of these dishes.*

Swedish dishes:
Raggmunk (potato pancake)
Isterband (sausage of pork, potato, and barley -- Hey, it's practically Ethiopian!) -- bought, not made

Scottish dishes:
Buccleuch beef
Deulce soup (potato)
Cranachan (a dessert made from whiskey, raspberries, honey, whipped cream, and oatmeal)

To drink:
Swedish lingondricka (which is kind of a punch made from lingonberries)
Ethiopian coffee with a little single malt Scotch whiskey to top it off!

Well, I'll let ya know how it goes, and if any combination proves to be spontaneously combustible!

Orange County Ethiopian Adoption Network Park Day Reminder!

Just a quick reminder that tomorrow is the OCEAN Park Play Day! YAHOO!

Please join us for play and fellowship

at Santiago Hills Park in Orange
8040 White Oak Ridge Rd
Sunday, January 20th 3-5 pm

Bring all your sporty gear and Michael Hausam and Curtis Yates will amaze you with their kid entertaining skills so the adults can chat, too!

Remember to bring a finger food munchie to share and feel free to invite anyone you know that has adopted from Ethiopia or is in the process, or even just thinking about it!

Karen has all the details.

18 January 2008

Back to the Beach

Here are a few pics from Part 2 of our beach day last weekend. We took the kids out to breakfast and then down to the beach in the morning. After a couple of hours we were too hot in our sweats but not ready to go home for the day... so we stopped back home for lunch, and to grab our suits, boogie boards, and sand toys, and went back for more!

17 January 2008

Update on the Sherrells in Ethiopia

The Sherrells have been unable to update their blog while in Ethiopia, so I thought I'd share how they're doing with their new little man, Kidus! Here's an email we received.

"Hello Everyone,

We tried to send an email yesterday, but the Internet connectivity here is sporadic at best, that goes for cell signal as well. It is Wednesday, a little after 9:00am, 10:00pm your time. We have had Kidus for almost two days now. We picked him up Monday afternoon. We were a little disappointed in how the pick up went as we were only given 30 minutes at the orphanage and the entire situation seemed very rushed. We still cannot figure out why. The goal was accomplished, which is the most important thing. There will be time for feedback later. We could tell he was very well cared for and was much loved by the nannies (caregivers).

Kidus is definitely 14 months old and appears to be in very good health, minus a cold and an ear infection. We have antibiotics to combat the ear infection. He’s walking and talking a lot. He’s taught me more Amharic than any book I’ve read so far. He’s also started to say a few English words, “bye-bye” and “mama” are pretty clear now. Kidus has bonded with us pretty well and has definitely attached himself to his mom, as well he should. He is a tough little guy and extremely determined in everything he does. To quote Star Wars: “The force is strong with that one”. He reminds us of Ethan (our middle son) quite a bit. He had a horrible night last night, mostly due to the ear infection. The looming plane ride home is causing us a little anxiety.

Yesterday, we had our appointment at the US Embassy, which turned out to be a non-event. It took less than half-an-hour for all of the families to be approved. It took longer to go through the two layers of security than for the appointment itself. We should hopefully be getting Kidus’ papers on Thursday before lunch. We may explore leaving Ethiopia early if his paperwork comes tomorrow. We’ll keep the Saturday flight from Dulles to LAX. It will be good to be on US soil again.

Ethiopia is a very interesting place. There are people here from all over the world, including some countries that despise the US. I have a few good stories on this when I return. The Ethiopian people are extremely friendly and they adore the children and the elders. There’s probably a lesson in there for us somewhere. We broke down and started eating the food at the hotel yesterday and so far so good. Driving here is more intense than any video game you’ve ever seen. There are no stop lights and it is an absolute free for all. One honk means I see you and two honks means we are inches apart and about to collide. About half the roads are paved. I tried to film the driving, but couldn’t because I needed two hands to hold on.

That’s all for now. I’ll try to send another update tomorrow. Please forward this on to anyone who might be interested because it takes so long to update the recipient list."

We can hardly wait to meet you, Kidus!

"One Love"

"Princes shall come out of Egypt;
Ethiopia (called Cush) shall soon stretch forth her hands unto God,"
Psalm 68:31

Here's an interesting article from Smithsonian Magazine about Ras Tafar/Haile Selassie I and the Rasta movement. To admit the truth, when we first chose Ethiopia I felt a little uncomfortable with the idea that when some people think of Ethiopia they envision reggae, and Marley (even though I like his music), and dred-drooped dudes who skateboard along Venice Beach or something like that. The drug images alone that the word "rastafarian" elicits are enough to make me cringe. So I found this article intriguing because it explains a little more about the roots of the reggae message. It's fascinating that it originated from Holy Scripture, although I'm not sure many rasta dudes hanging out in mall parking lots know that!

16 January 2008

The Barley Barfies

I survived.

I didn't think I would, but I did.

But, I should start at the beginning.

Yesterday the kids had the end of our homeschool semester testing, so for supper I baked a big chicken pot pie, which is their favorite. I left them watching Narnia for the umpteenth time to have a little P&Q outside and watch the sunset. Apparently they enjoyed the new double crust I tried because Ricker called out, "Good show, Mother darling. Right tasty!" in an English accent and I could hear Evangeline shouting, "Bite! Bite! More peeeez! Ooooh nummy nummy!" Man, I've got great kids. Looking back, oh how I wish that I had joined them...

I grabbed a light blanket, a glass of wine, and a book, and then snagged a bag of roasted spicy barley that we bought last week in Little Ethiopia. Yum. In Ethiopia, roasted barley and popcorn are often served during the coffee ceremony and it's really delicious. Off to enjoy some Mama Time. So there I was watching a gorgeous tangerine sunset with a view of Catalina Island, listening to Andrea Bucelli, reading Dinesh D'Souza's "What's so Great About Christianity". (After rotting my brain with a love story and a murder mystery I needed a little mental edification.) Anywho, classical music - check, fountain on - check, sunset brewing - check, gorgeous evening - check, glass of wine - check, bag of spicy barley - check. And there I was thinking, "what a lovely way to end the day".

Not so. You know, it's like eating Lay's potato chips. Nevernevernever eat Lay's out of the bag. Come on, fess up, you know what I mean. You have to put a little pile on your plate and put the bag away otherwise next thing you know your scrounging around the bottom of the bag for the last bit and then cautiously pouring the little chippy crumbs into your mouth so you don't miss out on any of the salty delicious, right?

Spicy roasted barley is like that. First bite and you're hooked. It wasn't a big bag. I mean, it's not like it was a rucksack that I had to sling over my back or anything, but not little enough to be called a "baggie"... So I ate just a little bit more than I had originally intended. I figured, oh well, I've been dietetically angelic this week, and run my requisite miles, so I'm good for it.

But, the problem was, apparently barley grains expand 17,000 times (or something like that) and the spicy doesn't help any either! As Bugs Bunny would say,

"Oh pain! Oh a-go-neeee!"

So I got to experience it all over again. No citrusy sunset, no tenor serenading me, no view of Catalina (actually, if I had stood up there's a great view out my bathroom window, but I was miserably unable to stand), and the water feature was a porcelain bowl, and the wine didn't please me as much going the other direction.

To be fair, though, I must admit that I am a champion vomiter. Really. I'm quick and I'm quiet. Seriously, not to toot my own horn, but it's one of my skills.

So, warning, folks out in blogland. When you buy a big bag (OK, already, it was a pretty big bag!) of roasted barley, put a SMALL bit in a bowl and eat ONLY that! Otherwise your tale will end as mine did... misery and woe.

Thus endeth my diatribe on barley.

15 January 2008

Where Are All the Referrals, Lord?

I woke up this morning asking, "Where are all the referrals, Lord?" It seems that just like with pregnancies, adoption referrals come in waves... Months go by and nothing happens, and then POW!, everybody announces a pregnancy/referral. Well, it's been a while now and I say we're ready. So, Lord, bring on the referrals! I'm praying for all my sweet blogging friends to hear amazing news this week.

"Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before Him with thanksgiving and extol Him with music and song.
For the Lord is the great God, the great king above all gods.
In His hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to Him.
The sea is His, for He made it, and His hands formed the dry land.
Come let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker;
for He is our God and we are the people of His pasture, the flock under His care."
Psalm 95:1-7

Hang in there, friends. All those dossiers are in His hands, too... and He knows the longing of your heart.

Here are a few photos again to distract you! Since we had such a great time in the sand the other day and the weather is so beautifully warm, we've been enjoying the beach lately. Elianna Ray napped for hours on this beach adventure, but the rest of us had a fantastic time. It'll be cold and rainy again soon enough, but for now... surf's up!

14 January 2008

Finding My Daughter's Roots

Did you see Sunday's Parade magazine article about Melissa Fay Greene's trip to Ethiopia with her daughter? Check it out!

Pictures again

I know you're sick of us already, but here are some fun shots of our beachy valentine photoshoot:

13 January 2008

A Taste of Ethiopia Close to Home

We had such a great day in L.A. visiting Little Ethiopia. You couldn't ask for a more beautiful, sunny, warm day in the City of Angels. We had a few unforgettable conversations with local Ethiopians enchanted with Elianna Ray. It's truly unbearable to hear so many "thank you's" from Ethiopian people who are grateful for us adopting Ray Ray. I know that they are thinking about the great struggles that their country has faced and continues to battle, but it is WE who are the blessed ones to have her as our daughter. Anyway, we made some dear friends that we're looking forward to visiting again in the near future.

The kids loved the wat and injera at Merkado, except for Ricker who is usually a garbage disposal when it comes to anything remotely edible... Maybe next time he'll like it a little more. The rest of us devoured the completely delicious food, and Michael and I were thrilled to enjoy the fantastic Ethiopian beer, the same kinds we had in Addis. We toasted to our little Ethiopian princess!

The whole day brought back great memories of our trip to Africa... from the aroma of incense and the coffee ceremonies brewing nearby to the meals cooking in restaurants. It was wonderful! We're eagerly looking forward to our next visit...maybe with other ET adoptive families next time!

12 January 2008

Injera, Here We Come. Wat??? I said, Injera Here We Come!

We're headed to LA today to visit Little Ethiopia! It will be the older kids' first taste of wat and injera, so we'll see how they do!

Hey, at the Ethiopian blogging families' summer "Union" that Carey has us all thrilled about, how about a field trip to Little Ethiopia?! I can hardly wait to meet everyone who has shared this incredible journey with us. What a blessing you all are!

Love and a big hug, too,

10 January 2008

The Mom Song

Brilliance from Anita Renfroe that you've likely seen before, but it's worth another laugh! I guess our Ethiopian babies never would have heard this had they grown up in Africa. Almaz, the Hannah's Hope Ethiopia coordinator, told us that Ethiopian mothers "don't NAG like American mothers do"! That cracked me up. So, how exactly do they get their children to brush their teeth and do their chores???

09 January 2008

Get Fit Plan

Alright, you asked for it...

Like many of my local family and friends, several of my blogging buddies have questioned how much weight I've lost since I started "I Don't Want To Hate My Weight in '08".

As IF! Talk about NOSY!

Well, alright if you must know, it's less than the heft of a medium sized dog and more than that a very fat cat. It's a sizable number, a number I'm pretty proud of, a number I'll never say out loud as long as I live but Michael will tell you in one second flat if you ask him because he forgets that it's PRIVATE!


I'm OK now.

Question #2 is invariably about what diet am I on now that I've publicly resolved to get back into my skinny jeans. I wish I could offer you encouragement that there is a menu program out there that satisfies your cravings and is easy as PIE, but...

Mine's a fairly simple two-step plan, really:

1. Eat almost nothing.

2. Run a lot.

What do you think? Who else is trying to get in fighting trim?

08 January 2008

Bible Reading Plan

For those of you interested in reading through the Bible this year, here is a great online resource. M'Cheyne's Bible Reading Plan can be read online or received daily by email!

Who's with me?


What can I say? I made him take it down. *blush* I guess that makes me perfect anecdotal proof for "The Man Song"!

05 January 2008

January OCEAN Gathering

ANNOUNCING our next OCEAN gathering!

(Orange County Ethiopian Adoption Network)

Please join us for play and fellowship

at Santiago Hills Park in Orange

8040 White Oak Ridge Rd, Orange

SUNDAY, January 20, 2008

TIME: 3-5 pm

Bring your frisbee, wiffleballs, footballs, soccer balls, and more.

And the best part . . . Michael Hausam and Curtis Yates plan to dazzle you with their athleticism while keeping all of our children happy, without injury, and fully occupied so that we can have quality adult conversation.

Please bring a finger food munchie to share (chips & dip, veggie tray, crackers & cheese, brownie bites, etc.)

Invite anyone you know that is in the process of adopting from Ethiopia, or is interested to learn more!

Please RSVP to Karen at karen_yates@ca.rr.com.

The Old Man is Snoring

I love rainy days! Granted, today the rain spoiled our beach day, but otherwise I love the rain. The older three would happily have a dandy time at the beach in the rain, but for the two little ones it's just miserable, and cold, and wet, and no fun.

Praying for the Sherrells who are leaving for Africa to bring home little Kidus in just a few days! Praise the Lord!

04 January 2008

Horse & Girl

Marg is all about the horse. Everything equine. Marg would be thrilled to sleep in the barn if I would let her. She's a very happy girl when she's in the saddle. And, I'll tell you what, it's a beauty to behold. She is so smooth and easy and confident while riding. She's in her element on horseback. Here are a few shots of my equestrian.