"It's not going to be forever, Mom."

So last night after dinner the boys were asking Mike when we can switch back to the animal themed family devotional.  He answered, "How about when Danny comes home?"  and before I could stop myself I said, "That could be forever!" (Sorry, it was a hard waiting moment.)

Ryan looked right at me and logically said, "It's not going to be forever, Mom."

Thanks Ryan!

Ice Skating Fun

For most of this winter and the past two, it has either been not cold long enough to freeze the lake we live by or so cold that the lake is frozen but so would we for any extended period of time!

However, this winter the boys and I did find a day when the flag was green at Jones Island so they could put their skates on and give it a try.  To say they had a blast would be an understatement and they certainly worked harder and longer at it than I would off. Yeah John and Ryan!

getting his feet under him
striking a pose
I can do it!
Are you filming?

Wordless Wednesday

Don't know if I should be frightened by this dress up outfit and subsequent pose or not!

We're Back!

So I thought about not even mentioning that I haven't posted on here for many months.  Then I thought about coming up with some funny excuse but nothing clever came to me.  I thought about saying how much trouble I've had getting access to my blog and not being able to post (but that is only part true as it was really only since this morning).

But instead I'll just give an update on life!

I am still watching two little girls who turn 5 in April and 2 in May.  They come 4 days a week, are GREAT girls, and are full of imagination. They love the boys and the boys love them.  I am blessed not only to be able to be home when my boys get home from school but also to have watched these two sweet girls grow up!

Mike is still at GE Healthcare.  He works (4) 10 hour days and it's nice to have him home that extra day.  He was very sad with this year's football season - as we all were.  This was the first year since the boys were home that we didn't attend Packer Training Camp in Green Bay (it conflicted with our Ethiopian Adoption Group Camping).  That will be the last year we ever miss.  In fact I've already booked our room for this year.  We are just going to go earlier in the week before the Camping Trip!

Tomorrow is the 100th day of school for the boys - wow!  How fast did that go!!  John is in second grade and Ryan is in first.  John has continued in dance this year, his fourth.  They both do an after school program called Sportsmania run by our park district - a fun way to experience and learn about lots of different sports (and burn a ton of energy).  John is also trying out an eight week basketball league, also run by our park district.  They love wrestling with Daddy, playing in the snow (when it's warm enough to go outside), watching TV, reading and listening to books, and playing with friends.

They are getting big but are as cute as ever:
It's become a tradition to visit the Milwaukee Zoo on New Year's Eve
 Halloween 2013:
Ryan was a dalek - his favorite Dr. Who bad guy

John was that famous wizard Harry Potter (don't you love the pose!)
Ryan learned to ride his bike without training wheels this summer.  There is a train station at the end of our block.  Mike took Ryan down there a couple times on the weekend when the parking lots we empty - that way is Ryan wobbled, he had lots of room to weave back and forth and not have to worry about running off a sidewalk.  Apparently though all Mike had to do was tell him to pedal faster - and he got it!

blowing a kiss to his peeps!

01/28/14 - OUR INVESTIGATION ENDS

9 months and 5 days after the US Embassy in Danny's birth country began their investigation (to establish that all was done legally and that he was a true orphan), we received the email we had been waiting for - the investigation had come to a close and we would soon be sent a visa appointment day.

When we began this adoption process, the wait time for investigation was 2-6 weeks.  Then early in 2012 the Embassy said wait time were increasing to 3-6 months: lots more adoptions (yeah!) = lots more paperwork, same amount of staff = longer wait times (bummer!).

We got to be one of those lucky ones that went past the "estimated" wait time - and it was NOT FUN!  It was a struggle to wait, to wonder what was taking so long, to question why is it taking so long, to trust that God was at work in all of it, maybe I needed more time with John and Ryan, maybe Danny needed more time, maybe we'll never know.

So now we are done with this phase - we never have to repeat it in this process.

But now we are on to the next waiting phase - and once again we don't know when it will end.  The agency in country that writes exit letters (which all adopted children need to leave the country) suspended the writing of those letters last September due to a negative news article.  The suspension could last up to a year but no one really knows.  And once they do begin to write exit letters, everyone who is waiting in front of us - including families or are still stuck in country now - will need to get their letter before we do.

So this has been a time of excitement and highs - one more thing completed!  But also a time of frustration - IF there had been no suspension of exit letters, we would probably be traveling about two weeks after Danny gets his visa which will probably be at the end of February.  I was surprised at how hard that fact hit me.  Adoption is hard.  Waiting is hard.  God is good.

All the time.  And nothing can separate me from Him.  And He will never leave me nor forsake me.  And He will not let my foot slip.  And He will direct my paths.   And He will work good in all things for those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.

Would you care for a croissant?

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09/03/13 - Ryan turns 7!

Ryan's birthday dinner, his choice of an Ethiopian fish dish with injera, was actually eaten the day after these pictures were taken.  His birthday fell on back to school night so consisted of playing with the two girls I watch, opening presents, eating his choice of dessert (my Mom's chocolate fudge), and playing at Gramma and Bompa's for about an hour while Mom and Dad were at school!  
Note that he shaped the fudge into an "R"

Leading us in signing to him!

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Ryan LOVES dress up - he had an apron but no chef hat, until now!

Wonder where they get the dramatics from?

Opening his mail carrier costume

Off to deliver the mail!

John getting in on the fun

Where did this little guy go?

08/28/13 - John Turns 8!

"This is the best day!" were John's words as he headed off to bed on his birthday!  It had been a day of biking riding with friends, his dinner of choice (brats and Italians on the grill), my Mom's chocolate fudge for dessert (his request), birthday phone calls, and of course - presents!!

Yum!

Note the perfect swirly placement of ketchup and mustard - John has worked hard to perfect this!

Totally staged picture - ha!

"Happy Birthday to John"

Make a wish (his wish was to have Danny home faster)

dramatic excitement over presents!

a new Harry Potter DS game

scientific wizard experiments


What happened to his little guy?

Wordless Wednesday

John and Henson just chillin' after school!

First Day of Shcool

New clothes have been purchased, new school supplies are labeled, a healthy breakfast of scrambled eggs has been eaten, let a new year of adventures and learning begin!!

A Second grader and a First grader!


John never misses a chance for a photo session - he is o my son!




"Look out first grade, here I come!"






May the Lord bless you boys and keep you and make His face shine upon you both.  May your year be one in which you learn many wonderful new things, have fun with old and new friends, are valued and esteemed, thrive to the best of your abilities, and still in wonder of the world.  Lord help me send them on their way each day with words of encouragement and love.  We are so excited to see Your good plans for the 2013-14 school year!!