Wordless Wednesday

2/15/12 - Metcha Day Anniversary!

Two years ago today, our lives were changed for the better.

We stood in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and watched a white van pull into our agency's younger children's transition house and inside that van were two little boys we had been waiting a lifetime to meet.

And oh how much they have brought to my life: pure and simple joy, pride in their accomplishments, frustration ("Why won't you just obey my words the first time!?" wonder how often the Lord says that to me?), the beauty of seeing life through the eyes of children, a sense of how awesome God is and how He is always at work even in the small details, humbleness that this was His plan for me, realization of my own selfishness, one adventure after another (and an adventure can simply be used empty boxes to make a fort or reading a book from the library together!), peace in knowing they are the perfect children for our family, and excitement in all the future holds for them and for us as a family.

The adoption process is the most challenging thing I have ever done in my life. It was filled with waiting, disappointments, frustration, and hardship. However, they joy at the end - John Michael Eyob and Ryan Elijah Ephrem - FAR outweighed anything in the process. I would walk through it again in a second. I am truly blessed.

Annoucing .... a "Cards" Funraiser!

If you know me at all, I am not one of those people who enjoys selling "stuff" as a fundraiser. Not that any of that "stuff" is bad or not a great fundraiser for schools or organizations, but unless it's Girl Scout cookies, I'm taking a pass!

But then I saw these amazing cards at a vendor table when we attended the MLJ Adoptions Conference in Indianapolis last September (and believe me, the pictures do not due their cuteness justice!):

There are two sets - a kids set and an all occasion set. Each set contains 30 cards and matching envelopes along with a keepsake boxes. And each set is only $30.00, which includes shipping and handling! That's right, 30 cards for $30 which comes out to a dollar a card! These are the kind of embellished cards you'd pay 5 or 6 dollars for at the store.

I am very excited to announce these as our next fundraiser!! They will be available for viewing at our Cheesecake Tasting Open House on February 12th and I will be accepting orders from now until Sunday, February 19th. I will be placing the order on the 20th, and the cards will arrive at my house in about 2 weeks. Then I will deliver them to you or arrange a pick up time. Please let me know if you are interested!!

We will make approximately $10 a box and our goal is to sell enough boxes to cover the cost of our I600A application to USCIS - this is the form will fill out to request permission from the United States to adopt an orphan and the $720 fee that goes with it.

Activity of the Week: Community Helpers Theme

We'll usually do a couple projects a week that coincide with the theme at Ryan's preschool. He's been talking about community helpers, a theme I never taught in preschool, and so I am loving it!

We began by creating a web of community helpers. I brainstormed with the boys, different community helpers and we found pictures of them to print off. I knew this would be a good way to help Ryan prepare for his week at school too. He has several language issues, one of which being he'll know the person being talked about but might not know their title: "this is the person we go to visit twice a year and they clean your teeth and give you a new toothbrush and you get to pick a prize" but not know the word "dentist." Then once the word dentist is introduced to him, he might need several reminders of the word. So we hung the posters on the wall at their eye level.

Then I had an idea to make stand up figures of different community helpers. The boys added faces and clothes and then glued on accessories. (If you're interested in the templates, let me know and I can email them to you!)

Another fun activity was the "Shape Mailbox Delivery" game. I had six different shapes (circle, square, rectangle, triangle, oval, and diamond) and I taped one of each to the bottom of a cardboard box. Then I cut slits above each shape and I put the rest of the shapes in the "mail bag." Ryan spent lots of time delivery the mail to all the correct slots!

Wordless Wednesday

The Second Snow!

So it snowed for a second time this winter - crazy for the Midwest to only have two snowfalls so far, BUT winter is not done yet!

The boys and I packed up one Sunday when Mike was napping (he works third shift so we try to leave the house on Sunday afternoons) and headed to a park about 15 minutes from our house that has a nice, big sledding hill.

This was the first time they had been on anything but a small sloping backyard and they loved it! (That's Ryan in the second picture with his hands up in the air.)

We even ran into friends from church and the four held onto each other sledding down the hill.
Now if it snows again, we'll be able to head back and use the snow inner tubes from Bompa and Gramma - we'll see!

Activity of the Week: Microwave Puffy Paint Art

I discovered the recipe for microwave puffy paint a few years ago when I was teaching preschool. It is so cool!

Ingredients: 1 tablespoon self rising flour (which can be made from 1 cup flour + 1 teaspoon baking powder + 1/2 teaspoon salt + 1/4 teaspoon baking soda), a few drops of food coloring (we used washable paint instead), and 1 tablespoon salt. Add a little bit of water to the above - and if you add to much like I initially did, just add more of the dry ingredients - and stir to make a nice smooth paste.

To do: Paint on a thicker piece of paper like construction paper or cardboard. The paint will be thick. Microwave for 10-30 seconds and the paint puffs up!