30 June 2008

Catching Up

We're home for five minutes. Well, it feels like it anyway. Before we take off again I wanted to do a little catching up.

Ricker & Marg heading off to camp!

M&R are having the time of their lives at camp and I don't blame them. Blobbing (Apparently "blobbing" is sproinging someone off a huge trampoline-balloon-thingie on the lake by jumping on the other side. Since we're not lake folk the blob is completely new to them, and it has inspired a love of lake life.), hiking in the mountains, camping in the wilderness, whitewater rafting, surfing, horseback riding -- it's all super fun. Marg called to tell me that the Lord has felt uniquely present for her and is awakening a fierce love of prayer. I can't tell you what that does to the soul of this mother!

Ricker said (no joke), "Mama, I have two words for you: Chick Magnet". That's my boy. I'm so proud. He just kills me. Really, he's having an incredible experience with Jesus, too, and making great friends, and loving the worship evenings, and the intense physical activity. It's just that being The Babe at camp is a pretty good deal, too!

Just the two of us in San Francisco

The younger three had a ball with Poppy & Nana, as always. I'm going to digress a little here and say that Jackie is the best helper in the world. He cleans up, he happily plays with the babies, he does dishes, he does diapers willingly and well (at 8 years old!) -- even poopy ones. Jackie is the MAN! And the babies... well they are just dessert these days. They are very busy, happy, talkative, and kissy. I would happily bottle them up at this stage and keep them this way forever. So, Poppy and Nana had a fantastic time with them, enjoyed every wild minute, and are ready for more.

MP and I had a restful, quiet time away together in San Francisco. Sadly, I spoiled the first day being exhausted and short-tempered, and he says "touchy", but I disagree. I was more cranky-prickly-nasty than "touchy". After I slept for 15 hours straight and somewhat recovered from my crazy-lady ailment, and he forgave me for wasting precious kid-free time at a swanky hotel, it was lovely. It was great, actually. And so we're going back this week. But, more on that later.

We came home to dear friends as surprise houseguests for a couple of days, which was truly a delight. All sorts of plans for painting this & that room and getting a bunch of projects done were completely ditched for hanging out, going on fun outings together, and staying up until all hours gabbing and laughing like junior highers on a sleepover. So fun.

After taking a solid look at all the airline miles we're logging in June and July, we decided to put off going to The Ethiopian Kids Community Mehaber until next year even though several friends made the trip. Phooey! We heard it was awesome, and next year we are THERE with you guys! Should any other OCEAN or bloggy friends decide to join in on the fun in Minnesota, feel free -- hint hint! Can't make it to The Union? Come to Mehaber! How about it? Maybe we left-coasters can pull something like that together annually here in the coming years??? I think that would be a hoot.

In case you haven't heard the incredible news, CONGRATULATIONS are due to our friends, Brendan & Kendra, who received their referral for an absolutely gorgeous baby girl! PRAISE THE LORD!

And more happy news, after MUCH ado, the Alexanders got a court date for baby A and (Lord willing) will bring their little boy bundle home in August! This just makes my heart rejoice!!!

Know that we are praying every day for all the families still waiting for court dates and travel dates with the court closure in the near future. I remember all too well that these were anxious days for me last year. Be fueled by Philippians 4:6&7 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Since we'll be unplugged for the next few weeks while we're on vacation, please do call us if you have court date/ referral/ nothing happening at all news. We're sneaking in another couple of days in San Francisco sans kids this week, then picking up the older two in Sacramento, and then flying off for Maui the following morning. YAHOO!!! Our whole McClure family is joining us for the second half of the trip to celebrate our folks' big anniversary:

40 Years of Maui-age!

We can't WAIT! Aloha!

Kapalua, September '06

21 June 2008

Ready, Set, GO!

R & M are flying away tomorrow for two weeks of FUN at a terrific, Christian summer camp. They've been counting down the days for about a year, so, yeah, they're just a weensy bit excited.

This cool cat...

and these two kitties are staying at

Poppy & Nana's house (aka The Kingdom of Spoil 'Dem Grandkids)!

And we are heading off to the land of

No Children Allowed For Four Whole Days

(formerly called The City by The Bay, San Francisco!).

And this is how we all feel about it!

A teut a l'heure! :)

20 June 2008

Sunny San Diego and the USS Midway

Today we enjoyed a terrific field trip to San Diego. We toured the USS Midway. Talk about completely awesome! We loved all the cool jets and took a very exciting tour of the carrier that was the flagship for the Persian Gulf Force that kicked bootie in Desert Storm. Dinner was at the restaurant made famous by the movie "Top Gun" and then we toodled around the Gaslamp District and Seaport Village, which we always enjoy. A ride in a horsedrawn carriage topped it off. All in all, it was a fabulous day... one of our most fun field trips of the year!

Ta Da! Michael & the babies are ready to go.

I love this shot of Ray Ray because she looks completely bored already.

Yeah, baby!

A smooch for a handsome sailor!

Family shot on the flight deck of the USS Midway

At Kansas City BBQ

Ending the day with a fanciful carriage ride.

17 June 2008

Is Anyone Going to the EKC Mehaber Next Week?

This annual event for families with Ethiopian kids looks fantastic!

It includes:
An African animals petting zoo
Ethiopian dancing
Learning some Amharic
Ethiopian games
Parent workshops
Ethiopian cooking demonstration
Race discussion panel
Ethiopian cultural activities
Traditional music & instruments
Hair braiding and consultations
Ethiopian coffee ceremony
Walk for Water (fundraiser for water wells in Ethiopia)
I've searched the internet and asked around if there anything like this going on in Southern California (or anywhere else in the states), but so far I can't find anything nearly as cool.

Is anyone going??? We're very tempted.

15 June 2008

Happy Father's Day

Happy Fathers Day, Papa. You are such a great father. I love how funny (funny "haha", not funny weird!) you are and how you always listen to me. I love spending time with you and goofing around. It's fun to sit outside on the patio and read with you, too. You are an awesome Papa!

I love you so much,

Hi, Papa! Happy Fathers Day! I love you so much. I love that you are a caring father and you work so hard. I also love it when you ditch work to spend time with us after a long week. Thank you so much for being a great father. I love working out at the club with you and playing squash. I hear Chris Cornell is going to being playing LA in the next few months. Wanna go?

I love you so much, Papa,

Happy Fathers Day, Papa. We are going to have such a fun day! I love you so much. I love riding bikes and scooters with you and going on long walks in the hills. I love to watch movies with you, and play cool songs on the iPod, and play piano duets together. I love your hugs and kisses. You are the best!

I love you,

And the babies love you, too, babe. They love your snuggle time, reading time, bath time, playing in the pool with you, and building (and smashing) sandcastles. They love that you know all the words to the Sesame Street and Veggietales songs. You are such a fabulous father!

I love you, Haus,

Family Day at the San Diego Wild Animal Park

Wild Rivers with Papa is the best

Papa & his baby girls

"Many have been kilt for calling it a skirt!"

To our dear Poppy:
Happy Fathers Day! Just think, 27 days until McClure Maui Mega-celebration!

No one could ask for a better father. Pops, you mean the world to us!

Happy Fathers Day! XOXO

13 June 2008

The Nobel Peace Prize

Hand this girl a ticket to Oslo! This morning when the boys started scrabbling with each other Evangeline stepped in with words of mediation like I (and all mamas) do every day.

"No no, Ricker! No no, Jackie! Be nice! Say 'I sorry'! Huggies! Big kissy! Say 'I LOVE you so much'! OK, that's better now."

How cute is that? My little peacemaker's verbal skills are off the charts. It's bizarre to see such a tiny little thing come up with such big talk! The folks say that I was wordy, and although I don't know I would imagine that Michael was a very chatty little guy as a baby and toddler, too. But, Evangeline is crazy verbal.

"May I peas hava some grapes? Oh, thank you so much, you big cutie pie! That was nice."

"I say 'hello' to you, Ray Ray, anen you say 'hello, nice to meet you back, OK? That's p'lite."

"On your mark, gesset, GO! Lookie I racing so fast! Hooray!"

"Mama, come see me right now. I need snuggies."

"Watch this! Lookie! I dood it aw byself."

"Listen! I singie song. La-la-la-la. You sing too. It goes like: La-la-la-la, OK? You got it?"

"Will you peas pickee up for some kissies?"
"Uh oh, Ray Ray had a pee pee oopsie in my panties, Mama. Oh dear! Let's cleany uppy."

You know what? I love being a mommy. It's the best job in the world. Well, that and peace-making.

12 June 2008

Please Pray

(photo by David Blumenfeld)

For those of you that aren't involved in the Ethiopian adoption community, or don't know already, many families are in crisis right now because of the suspension of adoptions by MOWA (the Ministry for Women's Affairs) for children coming out of Enat Alem orphanage. Rumors about the why's and wherefore's and how long it may take to get sorted out are all over the map. Basically, no one knows all the details, and we may never know the whole story.

I'd like to ask you to pray for the families waiting for their sons and daughters whose adoptions are stalled (including our dear friends the Yateses waiting for baby D). My heart, and I know many of yours are too, is aching for the babies and children stuck in Ethiopia under a pile of red tape and for their Forever Families who've been on a journey to them for months and years now wondering how much longer the wait will be.

Please pray for the Lord to guide the officials at MOWA to complete this process quickly. Pray for a miracle! Let's pray these babies home! Amen!

11 June 2008

Yea for Liz!

Check out Liz's great news!

Thank you, Lord! All these referrals make me so happy! I love to see so many Forever Families in the making!

10 June 2008

Parker Princess!

Did you hear Michael & Lori's fabulous news? Yahoo! Congratulations, sweet friend! Praise the Lord!

09 June 2008

Attention Coffee Lovers

Costco has organic Ethiopian coffee! It's about half the price of the Ethiopian beans we've bought at Peet's Coffee, Starbucks, and Kean Coffee, and it's delicious. I personally (and I bet most of you who bought some in ET will agree) still find Aster Bunna from Kalde in Addis Ababa to be the best coffee the world over, but until we get back to ET this coffee is a great substitute. Check it out!

04 June 2008

HOORAY! School's Out!

*happy dance*
We're celebrating a fantastic end to Margot & Ricker's school year! These two earned nearly straight A's (one B+ each) after a very challenging year! They worked their tails off. I cannot tell you how proud I am.
Marg actually earned an A+ on her Algebra final leading me to wonder how we could possibly be related. At Westmont I took "Math for Poets". Hello, World, my firstborn is a genius!
I'm still reeling from shock that she is a sophomore now, and he is an 8th grader. How did that go by so fast?!
(Jackie is not quite finished with 3rd grade, but he wanted me to hint that his nickname is "The A+ Man". Besides being such a handsome devil, he is an incredibly hard worker and a smartie pants too!)

03 June 2008

Happy Readoption Day!

What a happy day! Today we stood in the same courtroom where Jackie became our legal son and rejoiced in Elianna Ray's readoption. I didn't think I'd get so emotional about this formality, but it made me weep with joy!