Thursday, December 18, 2008


Sorry for the lack of posting. We have all (except Jeff) been sick. The kids still haven't kicked the congestion from Ethiopia so we are heading back to the Dr. to see if there is something else he can do. Noelle is being tested for stomach parasites (such fun). I have the cough that won't stop mixed with congestion and fever. Doesn't life sound grand at our place? (Yes, that was a bit of sarcasm) I seriously will try to be better about posting but I am trying to sleep when the kids do, even though they have typically been on opposite schedules lately. This morning I actually woke a sleeping baby just so that they would both go down for a nap at the same time! Oh the evil that we parents do. Ok, enough blather - here are the pictures that I know you really wanted to see anyway :) Eli is now firmly into 12 month clothing and actually has long enough legs taht even some of those aren't big enough! Ruthie is in 6-9 month, but the legs are a little bit long on her - go figure. Noelle has lost her 5th tooth! She has the typical missing a top front tooth grin and sppech issues :) It is so cute!

Happy Ru!

Eli and his Blocks!

Happy Boy!

Saturday, November 29, 2008


We made it home finally! I will post more later, but wanted to get something up for you guys. Ethiopia was amazing. The people are so friendly and we had a great timemeeting fellow adoptive families as well. Here are a few pictures of the first meeting day. Enjoy!

The babies are huge (ok, in comparison to where they began they are giants!) Unfortunately, they are both sick. We are heading to the doctor on Monday to get everything figured out. They ate yogurt today and loved it :)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Today's the Day!!

Word arrived in our email this morning that we are good to go for teh embassy! They finally received our paperwork. Praise the Lord and Hallelujah! We leave today for DC and Friday we leave for Ethiopia. We will not have a chance to post while in Ethiopia, but we will be sure to let you all know when we arrive home and will post pictures of the adventure as well. thank you all for joining us on our adventure of a lifetime! We can't wait to share our family with you!

Packing is almost done - sleeping is a distant memory (Noelle woke up around 6:30 this morning - wow.) Mom wil have updates just in case of emergency.

Chat later friends!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

We get to go!!!

Our paperwork has finally found its way to Ethiopia! This means we do get to go get the kids and have a fantastic Thanksgiving! We are so excited that sleep is really not an option :)

Baby shower this past Saturday was awesome! We got to see so many friends that we hadn't seen in a while and ate great food. Eli and Ruthie have many new toys to play with and some darling outfits as well.

2 days to go - we can barely stand it!


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Chubby Cheeks

You won't believe that these are the same kids from the referral photos! Thanks to friends from AA for the pics - they were over this past week. I seriously thought they had sent us the wrong photos! Check out the kids! The one with all the personality is RUTHIE!! Yes, that is her with the puffy cheeks and double chin! Oh, I can't wait to see them less than a week from today!


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Baby update time!

We received an update today - medical only though - no pictures. The kids are getting so big and ELi can sit without support! My big boy!! Ruthie on the other hand likes to put her feet in her mouth :)

Ruthie is up to 14.7 lbs. Eli has gained another two pounds as well, moving him up to 17! I can't wait to go see them NEXT WEEK!!!!!! I am repacking and getting rid of the small diapers and tiny clothes that we had originally packed for the big baby clothes and diapers! This is so exciting!


Saturday, November 8, 2008

Tickets in Hand!

Such a reality! The plane tickets came yesterday - including the tickets for Ruth and Eli! We leave on the 20th and start flying home on Thanksgiving. This will be a very exciting holiday season! We can't wait! I wonder if we will get an update on the kids before we go? Wait and see. Soon we will be on a plane over water. Wow.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Tropical Tree Frog Costume GIVEAWAY!!!!

Getting ready for next year!
Tropical Tree Frog Costume GIVEAWAY!!!!

Introducing Eli and Ruthie!

We officially passed court! We leave in 18 days to go get the kids. It is amazing that this is all happening so fast. Yet again we say God is so good. Praise the Lord and Hallelujah! If you move the mouse over the picture it will tell you who it is and how old they are.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


We got the phone call to let us know that we wouldn't be getting "the phone call" until Monday. Stay tuned!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Court tonight! (well, really tomorrow)

Sometime this evening, there will be a judge making a life altering decision for a whole lot of people. It is more than just the 5 of us as that will be forever changed. The number just keeps growing. When we really sit down to think about how many lives are affected by this adoption, the number is staggering. Will anyone decide to adopt because of our experience? How will it change Noelle and her future goals differently than if she were an only child? What will Eli and Ruthie think about all this when they are grown up and leave the nest? The questions just roll right over each other and onto the next one.

As soon as we hear anything, we will post the news.


Paperwork update

Well, our paperwork was found. that's about all I can say. They are dating our paperwork as of Oct 29th - 3 weeks after it was sent in and the check was cashed. We will wait until next week for our fingerprinting and then ask for an emergency review of our paperwork as we will be within the two week window. It has beena trying and time-consuming last 2 days. But we praise God that our paperwork was found and it will be processed. We also have enlisted the help of our Congressman Bill Foster's office who is going to follow up with USCIS instead of us badgering them.

Thanks for the prayers. Keep them coming as the next three weeks look to be insane. Did I mention that I have over 100 lesson plans still to grade?


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Eli and Ruthie are 7 months old!

The kids turned 7 months old over the weekend! Here are some glimpses of Noelle at 7 months for your enjoyment. With the new travel dates, we would be able to post pictures of the kids when they turn 8 months old!

Urgent Prayer Request!

We received a call from the agency tonight asking if we could travel 2 weeks earlier than planned. All I can say is SWEET!!!!! Here's the glitch - USCIS has not officially approved our change of country request. I am sending them an email tonight requesting that they process it now so that our paperwork will have the time to get to the Ethiopian Embassy for our appointment on Nov 24th. Please pray with us to find favor with the USCIS so that this can happen. What a great birthday present for Jeff (Nov 29th). Thank you all for your prayers as we do believe in the power of prayer!


ps - Friday is our court date - we would appreciate your prayers for favor with the Ethiopian government to rule that we are going to be great parents for Eli and Ruthie :)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Update time again!

We received a surprise update on the kids! It was such a nice treat! they are growing so much bigger and doing so many more things. That is great for them, but we are sad to be missing all the "firsts" It is clear that the kids are being well taken care of and well loved by the nannies at the orphanage. Court date is next Friday! When we pass I can start posting their actual pictures as they will legally be our children! Can't wait! Enjoy the bits as we wait.


Credit to Vicki for the paper used in the layout!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Marie-Therese Gown GIVEAWAY !!!!!!!

YOu guys have got to see this one. It is unbelieveable!!!!!

Marie-Therese Gown GIVEAWAY !!!!!!!


Thanks Tania! My first tagging! So here are 7 random thoughts about me. Look to the bottom - have you been tagged?!! If so, post 7 random things about you on your blog and tag another 7!

1. I too am a picky eater and would love a separated dish. I only enjoy mixing corn into my mashed potatoes (It's good - really!) ALways have been picky, just ask mom who used to hide butter in my potatoes just so I would eat them.

2. Which brings us to #2 - incredibly competitive. We used to race getting our pjs on (again, good trick mom, but I didn't care because I needed to WIN!!!) I am very cranky if I don't win. Wonder where my daughter gets it from? And no, I dno't always let my daughter win. SHe even tells me "take it easy on me Mommy!" when I am skunking her at playing cards or tennis on the Wii :)

3. I am the baby of the family and my brother and sister still hold it against me. It is so not fair.

4. I love to cook and bake. My husband hates it because I don't follow recipes really well, and can't usually duplicate anything to a T. Basically, that means enjoy it while it is there because it may not come back again! I just found a yummy recipe for chocolate butter cream icing too. mmmmmmmmmmmmmm...

5. I don't eat breakfast. Never have and probably never will. I know that's not a good thing and my metabolism won't start and blah, blah, blah... My daughter doesn't eat breakfast either. I try to get her to eat but she won't do it.

6. We are sports fanatics and will watch just about anything live or on tv. We love NIU volleyball and Noelle has tried out ballet, soccer and swimming and will be starting basketball at the end of this month.

7. The thing that Jeff and I most would like is a piee of property in Wisconsin with lots of trees and maybe lake access to spend lots of time at over the summers and weekends. Someday....

Alright people! Consider yourself tagged!

1. Amber
2. Rachel
3. Lisa C
4. Joy
5. Sarah K
6. Mom!
7. Jen

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Update Surprise!!

We got an update today! SUrprise! We weren't expecting one but it was super exciting news! I calculated Bayush's weight wrong last month - it was actually 9 lbs, which helps make this month's number a bit more reasonable!

Bayush - 12 lbs (WOW!!), 24 in long!! We're out of 0-3 m clothes!

Firew - 15 lbs, 26 in long!

This is such great news! They are now having supplementary feedings along with their formula, transfering objects from hand to hand, reaching for known individuals,and....sitting with support! Yippee! I want to go get them now. Come on court date!


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Paperwork Prayer Request

OK everybody, our paperwork (I-171H and fingerprints) expire on Oct 30 & 31. Our court date is Oct 31. Please pray with us to find favor with the court in Ethiopia as we have not yet heard about our renewal application! We are resting (or at least attempting to rest) on God's promise: "And we know that all things work together for the good, to those that love God and are called according to His purpose" Rom 8:28 (a bit of King Jimmy for you today - I memorized verses old school). Thanks for joining us in praying this through.


Friday, October 10, 2008

Beautiful Costume GIVEAWAY !!!!!!!

This is so pretty. Even if you aren't looking for a little girl's costume, go check it out!
Shenandoah Costume GIVEAWAY !!!!!!!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Court and Travel Dates!!

WOO HOO!! we got the call tonight about travel!! Our court date is Oct 31, travel on Dec 7th - 14th! Way too excited for words!! We are coming my precious little babies! Time to start buying the my first Christmas ornaments and stuff! Crib was put up this past weekend :)


Saturday, October 4, 2008

Saturday, September 27, 2008

E & R are now 6 months old!

Here is a peek into Noelle at 6 months! Enjoy!

On the adoption front, courts open again next week so hopefully we will hear about a court date. After we pass court it can be anywhere from 3-7 weeks before our embassy date and picking up the kids. WHile we don't think it will be a snag, our fingerprints and paperwork expire on October 30. We have sent in for a renewal and should have it within the time frame. We just keep reminding ourselves taht GOd is in control. As soon as we hear about a court date, we will post!


Friday, September 26, 2008

Monday, September 22, 2008

Cowboy up everybody

I would really like to win this one as we have the perfect horse to match :)

Sarsaparilla Skirt & Vest GIVEAWAY !!!!!!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

My Babies have GROWN!

Ask and ye shall receive! We got an update today with vital stats on the kiddos.

Firew: 11.25 lbs (he was 9 lbs on arriving the last week in July)
24.8 in long

Bayush: 7.9 lbs (she was just over 6 lbs in July)
22.8 in long

I found a great metric converter online. It is super easy to use.

I think we are giong to head in the 12 month direction for clothing with Firew, although he will swim in them width wise! I want to hold my babies! NOW!!!!!

Jeanne - a non patiently waiting Mommy with a sick daughter at home who is sleeping so I can't even go and hug her right now!

Gimme a P! Gimme an N! ...

Can you spell pneumonia? Noelle either has pneumonia or bronchitis. She is a sick little kindergartener. :( We are spending the day in bed and watching tv, reading books, sleeping, eating a little, and playing some board games when we have a little energy. So much for school this week. She should be feeling better by this weekend. We were planning a trip to the apple orchard this weekend, and Noelle really wants to go. We will keep you all posted.


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Hands and Feet

We received pics of the kids! While I can't give you the actual pictures, here is a taste of what is to come. Ruthie has the tiniest feet! Eli is ready for some fist-pumpin fun! Enjoy!

A Video from Toukoul

This is a video about the day in the life of Toukoul orphanage where our children are currently being very well loved and cared for! Hope you enjoy!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Our babies

We had a brief email from the family that traveled. Suffice it to say, our babies are tiny. BUT, they said the orphanage is working hard to restore them to health and plumpiness (okay, I added the plumpiness part). We will get a longer update in the next few days and I will be sure to post it. Also, friends from the adoption agency are all emailing the coordinator to find out when/if we will receive official updates since our process is longer than usual. Keep praying my friends! Sorry - no cute picture for today.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Yours - Steven Curtis Chapman

I love this song and wanted to share it with you all. I can't seem to make it work on the side bar as you lose to much of the screen.


Somehow, USCIS was reading our old instead of new homestudy. That has been straightened out. The actual hiccup is that our CANTS clearance (DCFS) expired and the agency had not yet requested an update. USCIS won't process the paperwork until we have our CANTS clearance. This usually only takes about 24 hours, but because of teh holiday, it is a little more backed up - still shouldn't take past next Monday. We have until the 29th to have it all cleared up according to USCIS. I think we are ok. This will not affect our receiving a date for court as this paper is not needed until our embassy date. It looks like we will be ok.

On a new note, our paperwork (I-600a and FBI fingerprints) expires on 10/30/2008. We have begun the process to request our free one time renewal of these two items. Our court date may or may not occur before they would expire so we are going to get the renewal no matter what at this point. Just when you thought the paperwork was over!!

We are anxiously awaiting word from the family who traveled to our orphanage a week ago. We are hoping for some tiny morsel of information on our babies. Anything would be great! Yes, I am begging - I need info!!


Sunday, August 31, 2008


So USCIS has an issue with our I-824 (for those non adoptionists, that is the change of country form that we needed to file for switching from Taiwan to Ethiopia). Evidently something is missing. NO, we don't know what is missing, only that they requested a homestudy with all of the *checklist items. NO, they didn't send us a copy of the checklist. It only went to the HS agency. We are a bit concerned as we don't want to have our court date delayed due to not having our paperwork overseas in time! Please pray that this is a simple and quick fix!


Thursday, August 28, 2008

I want to win this!! Wandering Waif Collection GIVEAWAY !!!!!!!

This would look awesome on Ruthie! I hope she picks me to win it!

Wandering Waif Collection GIVEAWAY !!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

5 months - Noelle Style

Happy 5 month birthday to Eli and Ruth! They turned 5 months old on the 24th. Enjoy! I can't wait to see them in person! We are praying for you, our precious babies!

credit goes to Amanda Walters designs for all bits and pieces of scrapping for thsi page! Thanks!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Apple Orchard Overalls GIVEAWAY !!!!!!!

This is a really awesome website that has frequent giveaways on beautiful handmade kids clothes. I am hoping to win this weeks fantastic ovrall set. Wanna see it? go here: Apple Orchard Overalls GIVEAWAY !!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Care Package Leaves on Saturday!

A family heading to Toukoul orphanage was kind enough to take a care package over for Eli and Ruthie. We included woobies (of course), two small rattling and squeaking animals, and cameras for the care givers to hopefully ake pictures of the kids. We are so thankful that our gifts are going over, but wish we could be delivering them ourselves. :( Nothing much new to report as we don't expect to get regular updates or pictures from the orphanage. We can only dream about the babies right now and stare at their referral photos.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Farming, a bit OT

Our first crop of tomatoes came in today. We planted Beefsteak, Mr. Stripey (Noelle liked the name), Best Boy, and Mortgage Lifters. We also planted some peppers - not knowing they were HOT jalapenos! Jeff took a bite (with seeds) and was very unhappy for quite some time! Our pumpkins alas, did not produce any fruits. We had a gazillion flowers and bees and things seemed to like them, but never made any pumpkins. Noelle wanted to bake the pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving this year. Did I mention she really enjoys cooking? Anywho, here are a couple of pics of my beautiful tomatoes.

Noelle and her Faces

Noelle wanted to make some faces for the blog. Here are two: the first was spontaneous, the second she requested :) She has grown so much since the 4 month old pictures I posted yesterday! Where does the time go anyway?

My babies are 4 months old

Since I can't share their pictures with you, I thought I would do the next best thing. I will be posting pictures of Noelle during the same month just to give you an idea of how my twins might look :) Enjoy these great shots of the "Big Sister"

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Thanks secret pal!

I have been sharing gifts with my secret pal to make the wait seem shorter. This month was a clothing theme and boy did my pal do fantastic! Just the right sizes and they are such cute outfits! Love the faux fur on the pants for Ruth! Thought I would share a pic with you all. Thanks again secret pal!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Beauty of a Name

We have decided on names for our babies. Since Ethiopia has such a rich Christian heritage, we decided to go with Biblical names. Our new little man will be named Elias (Eli) which means "the Lord is my God" with his given Ethiopian name as his middle name. Our new daughter will be named Ruth (Ruthie) which means "Friendship" with her given Ethiopian name as her middle name. Hope you like them! So here is our whole family:

dh Jeff
dd Noelle (5)
ds Elias (4 months)
dd Ruth (4 Months)

Monday, August 11, 2008


We got "the call"!!!! Our precious new loves were born in March and are just adorable. We will post more soon, but remember we can't post pictures due to Ethiopian regulations. Trust me - you could eat them up :) One precious boy and his beautiful sister


Friday, August 8, 2008

Wings over the Ocean!

Our dossier has left the building! It has officially been shipped to Ethiopia! We will be watching that little airplane symbol every 15 minutes (who am I kidding - every 5 minutes!) to see where it is in transit. Woo Hoo!!

Big Changes for the Os

Sorry for the silence. We have done much praying and contemplating and have decided to request only 1 child at this time. Twins sounded and still sounds like an awesome adventure, but we are feeling led to only 1 child, etiher gender, ayap. We will keep you all posted on the progress. As afr as we know, we are still awaiting the return of our dossier from DC.


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Woobie Store- our new project!

Announcing: The Woobie Store where you will find all sorts of cool Woobies to purchase. What's a Woobie? Glad you asked. A Woobie is an affectionate term for a blanket that is used by babies and small children when they need a bit more comfort. These Woobies have the added bonus of all different kinds of ribbons attached to the edge of the blanket. See picture below if you aren't sure what I am talking about.

I am making a few different sizes with a bunch of different fabrics. Pictured above is Ladybug Fleece with Red Fleece backing, Aquarium Fleece with Light Blue furry backing, and Ladybug Fleece with Bubble Animal silky backing.

Why not go and check it out right now?

I am not doing any real advertising, more just word of mouth from friends. Do you have any friends? If so, would you please tell them about my new project and send them to my site? I would greatly appreciate it.

We are getting nearer to our Dossier flying over to Ethiopia! Currently, the Dossier is headed back to Oregon from DC (we think). Keep you all posted!


Saturday, July 26, 2008

Adoption project

We have decided to do a new project! I will be handcrafting some very special items for our new "lovies" to enjoy! Watch for details coming soon! (I gave you a hint already) They are very soft and silky and so much fun to rub fingers and faces on when you need a little comfort. Just wanted to give you all a heads up!


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Hey Buddy! Can you spare a dime?

Well, we thought everything was going along very smoothly. The original contract that we signed with the agency was written for only adopting 1 child, so our financial part was incorrect. What that means is that we need to come up with $1800 right now. We are praying and trusting that God will provide the funds so that our paperwork can keep progressing. Our dossier is in DC!! Next stop will be Ethiopia. Please pray with us for the finances, but also in deciding whether or not to adopt two unrelated children of close to the same age or only 1 child if twins are not available. It is a major decision and one we will not make without prayer and discussion.

Thanks for stopping by and praying for us!


Monday, July 14, 2008

Noelle's pictures

In case I forgot to mention, Noelle took the pictures in the slide show. A girl after her daddy's heart.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

A 5 year olds view of Chicago

Go Time!!

Just in case you wanted to see the package being sent - Here you go!