Saturday, March 31, 2012

What are the odds?

I have to admit I had no idea there even was a big lottery until yesterday when everyone was posting about it on Facebook. As nice as it would be to win the lottery (do you know how many adoptions 1 million dollars would pay for, let alone 300 million??), we don't play the lottery. A lot of people were also posting about the odds of winning the lottery compared to the odds of other things, such as having a 1 in 280,000 chance of getting struck by lightning, or being 100 times more likely to be killed by flesh-eating bacteria than you are to win the lottery. Chances of winning last night's lottery were 1 in 176 million, so you're still pretty safe from that flesh eating bacteria.

But I have a happy odds story to share! I've shared part of it before but I'll recap:

When we were in Ethiopia last April, we took lots of pictures of Jeb and his friends. 1 of his best friends had a family from our agency who asked us to take pictures of their son, so we made sure to get lots of pictures of him. His other best friend loved getting his picture taken and kept tapping me and saying "photo!" and then posing with a cheesy grin. I took a ton of pictures of him, and he always wanted to look at each one after I took them, then post for another.

When we got home I emailed our agency and asked if he had a family yet. They responded that he did have a family, but through a different agency so they didn't have any more information to give us. This was a national agency with branches in many states, but I really wanted this family to see all the adorable pictures of their son, so I went to the website and clicked 'contact us'. I gave his name and age, and the name of the orphanage and said we had just been there and taken lots of pictures, and if they could pass our contact information to the family of this boy, that would be great. Months went by and I never heard anything back, but I figured it was a long shot and hadn't really been expecting anything.

Then one day this past fall I got an email from T's mother! We exchanged stories and pictures and realized we had a lot in common, including the fact that we are both Christian families with 2 younger kids who are adopting older boys. They only live a 6 hour drive from us, which is a doable distance, and meeting half way makes it even more doable.

We didn't understand why we were waiting so long to bring Jebriel home, until this past January when Eric got to go pick Jebriel up at the same time that the parents of both his best friends were there for court. The parents all got to meet in person, and the boys all got to see that we are friends and will see each other again.

When Jebriel left the orphanage, both other parents were there to see their boys' sadness at losing their friend, and here in America, our son asks about his friends all the time. I thought my longing would be over once our son was home, but knowing that his friends are still waiting and missing him, and their parents are still waiting and missing their sons, I still feel incomplete.

His best friend Tariku is finally coming home this weekend, which is a blessing in itself, BUT the cheapest flight for his parents to take coming home involves a 6 hour layover at our local airport! They get to see each other, face to face, after 3 months apart, not knowing what the other was doing or when they would meet again. After spending over a year together eating, sleeping, and playing in the same room, 3 months apart is a long time! The 3rd musketeer is still waiting, please pray for the little guy and everyone who touches his paperwork as it moves through the process. I can't wait to reunite the 3 of them!

What are the odds that 2 random American families in 2 neighboring states would use 2 separate agencies to adopt 2 little boys who were born in 2 different areas of Ethiopia, would get the opportunity to form a friendship, and then be brought together to meet on the other side of the world, and now to be given an entire day to spend together? I don't have a number for you, but I'm going to say the chances of this happening are pretty slim!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

If you're happy and you know it

Journey's 2 year check up

Posting now before I forget, Journey had her 2 year well visit at the pediatrician this morning. She was a grump from the moment I told her we were going to see a doctor, thank you 'terrible twos', and was not her usual cooperative self. She still answered questions and did most of what they asked, but she did it while being very grumpy.

We went over all of the specialists that the geneticist sent us too, most of them sent a copy of the results to the pediatrician too. I'm not sure I've made individual posts about all of them so I'll give you a quick list here:

Early-On evaluation for speech, OT, and PT-didn't qualify for anything at the time
Cardiology-EKG and echocardiogram-both normal
Retro-peritoneal ultrasound (kidneys, bladder, pancreas)-her kidneys are a little bigger than normal but not enough to be concerned
Skeletal survey (x-rays of her entire body)-nothing out of the ordinary other than what is visibly noticeable on the outside (missing fingers)
Audiology-mild hearing loss from the 400 hertz range and up. Wants to do an ear exam under anesthesia.
Chromosomal microarray (blood test to check her genes for extra or missing chromosomes)-nothing out of the ordinary
Ophthalmologist- very near sighted, possibly no sight in her left eye, prescribed glasses. Wants to do an eye exam under anesthesia, and fit her for a bone shaping lens for her left side

And, unrelated to the genetics, we saw another hand doctor who will be doing surgery on April 5th to separate 2 of her fingers even further so it doesn't impede the growth of one of her fingers.

You read that right, that's 3 separate anesthetic procedures they want to do this year. And of course, each one is with a different hospital and they can't practice at the other hospitals, so unless we start over and switch doctors so they are all in the same place, we can't combine them.

Even though Journey didn't qualify for Early On before Christmas, now that we know her speech is delayed partially due to hearing loss, the doctor believes she will now qualify for speech therapy.

She also wants us to go back to the ENT since her narrow nasal passages haven't gotten any better. There was a mention of adenoids possibly needing to come out, we'll see what he says. She's sending us back to the same guy who wants to check out her ears under anesthesia so we are waiting to schedule that until we see what he thinks about her nasal passages.

So, all kinds of fun for miss Journey! She was 34 inches tall, but I didn't catch her weight. She has a pre-op appointment tomorrow so I'll come back and post her weight then. 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Guess what Journey is working on?

Journey has been 'interested' in using the toilet for a long time because her brother and sister use it, but usually she would just sit on it for a couple of minutes and not do anything. But the last week or so, she's actually telling us she has to go, and then going! She has quite a cheering section, when she goes, the big kids jump up and down and yell "yay Journey!". She's pretty proud of herself, and thrilled that her big brother and sister are so proud of her too :)

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Outside this weekend

We aren't getting quite as much done this weekend as I had hoped, since it rained all day yesterday, but we're enjoying our day outside today!

A little sibling teamwork, and the grass and trees have finally turned green!

Silly poses in front of the lilac bush, I can't wait for that to bloom this year, it is a huge bush, and it smelled so good last year but we weren't living here to really enjoy it every day!

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Jeb's bike helmet

Our driveway needs a LOT of work so we keep our riding toys down the street with my parents where they have a long, smooth driveway. We have a hand-me-down bike that was given to Vivi but she's not quite tall enough for it, but Jebriel really wanted to ride it. One of his favorite books right now is about Mickey Mouse owning a bike shop. He tried riding a couple of times but struggled (his arm and leg strength isn't what it should be, I think mostly because the orphanage compound wasn't that big and he hadn't had much practice running or climbing) and ended up giving up, walking the bike around instead.

Yesterday before nap time, we read the Mickey's bike shop book, and he noticed the bikers wearing helmets, and asked what kind of hat it was. I explained that you wear a helmet when you ride a bike, and he said "I need a helmet!" I told him that first he needs to learn how to ride a bike, and then we'll get him a helmet. I know the thinking on that is a little backwards, but we weren't spending $20 on a helmet if he was just going to walk the bike around the driveway.

After naptime, we went for a walk through the subdivision across the street, and it happened to be right at the time that a school bus dropped off a bunch of elementary school kids, most of whom ran home and hopped on their bikes. Jebriel was enthralled again and kept pointing out every bike and helmet he saw, and telling me that he needs a bike and a helmet too. I kept telling him he needed to practice on the bike at Nana and Bapa's house and when he can ride by himself, we will get him a helmet. He insisted on going down to try right away, so we walked down and got the bike out while the girls played in the Cozy Coupes. He hopped on the bike, put his feet on the pedals, and after I gave him a little push, he took off riding! He struggled a little and almost gave up, trying to walk the bike instead, but then he asked for a helmet and I told him he needs to learn how to start, stop, and ride all by himself before he gets a helmet, and he hopped right back on.

After about 15 minutes of practicing, he had figured out how to start, stop, and ride all by himself. I let him ride the bike home so he could show Eric and ask him about the helmet. It took a while to get home, but he did it entirely by himself.

So, last night, we took him to the store and bought him a helmet. It has Lightning McQueen from the Cars movie on it, and it came with a bell. He carried it through the store so proudly!

 As soon as I cut the plastic off, he wanted to wear it:

Then he wanted to sleep in it:

Don't worry, safety police, we unhooked the strap. Which caused him to wake us up at 5am and 6am to tell us that the helmet had fallen off and to ask us to strap it on again. Then at 7am a pair of robins started dive bombing our windows, so I got very little sleep, but that's another story...

FINALLY it was morning time, and after breakfast, we got dressed to go outside. Except Jebriel, who wanted to wear his lion shirt so that he didn't have to take his helmet off to change. As you can see, it's somewhat of a girly bike, which he isn't aware of yet but none of his friends have seen it and I'm afraid they're going to burst his bubble when they see it. I'm hoping to check out some mom2mom sales to find a used one before Easter.

I let him set the pace, with the girls in the double stroller, and after walking down to the sub, up into the sub, and down and around a culdesac, I gave him the choice of turning left to go back home, or turning right to keep riding, and he chose right. We went down and around another culdesac and he wanted to keep turning right, but it was almost lunch time so we had to start heading back. He didn't seem to get tired at all, and he rode the whole time.

Since the ride home from this walk, he has been asking  constantly when Daddy will come home so we can eat dinner and go for another walk so he can show Daddy how he rides so fast, and only turn right, not left to go home Looks like we've found a new pasttime :) 
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Monday, March 19, 2012

Out all day

Since our church moved it's service to Saturdays, which is also the day Vivi has dance class and most people plan events, Sunday has been our day of no plans, and we're liking it! The weather has been sooo nice, we have been spending as much time outside as possible. So Saturday night, Eric asked me what I wanted to do the next day, and I said I wanted to spend the entire day outside.

We started with breakfast on the new (and finally assembled) picnic table! Unfortunately it doesn't hold adults so we ate standing up...we'll have to find a small table and a couple of chairs for us.

The backyard, starting to get its color back

Eric started to get some yard chores done, and the kids wanted to help. They scooped up all of the leaves that had collected on the side of the garage.

Eventually I convinced them to get dressed. Or it got too hot out for them to wear their fleece footie pajamas. Either way, they got dressed, and played for awhile. This was the day we celebrated St. Patrick's Day (see previous pictures)

Then Eric and Jebriel started doing some raking in the back. We have a lot of pricker plants in the back so Eric had worked all weekend to clear as many as possible so the kids don't get hurt.

Then Eric took some rusty stakes out of the ground that used to hold up a fence but had just become a tetanus hazard. I didn't get a picture of him actually taking the stakes out, but resourceful Jebriel found this piece of cardboard in the recycling and pulled it up to watch Eric at work, and the girls followed.

We ate lunch outside, went in for naps, then came back outside. We did end up eating our corned beef and cabbage inside, along with some green bread. Ours turned out more green than the picture on that site, maybe because I also steamed and pureed some kale along with the broccoli. We did homemade shamrock shakes (not green because of Journey's allergy to artificial dyes), then spent the rest of the evening outside.

It was a great day and I'm looking forward to many more just like it :)
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The picnic table project

The kids got a great picnic table from Eric's parents as an Easter gift, but since the weather was so nice, they gave it to us early so we can use it. It took a few days to get it together, they worked on it for a couple of days between Eric arriving home and dinner time, but usually by the time we were done with dinner and got our other things done like bath time or grocery shopping, it was too dark to finish, then we had a day of rain, but it finally came together! The girls were mildly interested for a few minutes, but Jebriel was very serious about helping daddy and using the tools. He's actually really good with a screwdriver!

Stay tuned for the next post of the table in use!

Here's a video of Jebriel in action. I love how proud he of himself he is at the end!

Veggie Minestrone

Before you blow it off as a vegetarian meal, try it, and see if you even notice the lack of meat. I created this soup and it was so good and so filling and so full of vegetables, Eric didn't notice until I mentioned later that I had fit in 2 vegetarian meals that week.

We try not to buy too many prepared foods, if I can find a way to substitute with fresh produce, I will. So when I was craving minestrone and all the recipes called for canned tomatoes and canned vegetables, I decided to invent my own recipe.

For this recipe, you'll need a blender. We have a blendtec, which is strong enough to puree even hard foods like raw beets or carrots (when paired with liquidy foods like tomatoes), but if you don't have a strong blender, you can modify it to only use veggies you can handle.

I don't believe in hiding veggies completely. If I can add a pureed fruit or veggie into something like pancakes or soup without the kids noticing, great, but I think if you hide it from them every time, they'll still grow up thinking they don't like it. So, I pureed a ton of veggies for this, which made a nice thick soup, but I also diced veggies. My kids gobbled this soup up, even Jeb and Journey, who aren't the biggest fans of veggies right now.

In your blender, puree until smooth:
2 large tomatoes
1 small zucchini
1 stalk celery
small bunch of chard (or spinach or kale or other green)
1 small beet
3 cloves garlic (I think I did 5, I love garlic!)

You can substitute any of these veggies, except the tomatoes. Green peppers would be a good addition.

Pour the veggie puree and
6 cups of broth into a pot. While it starts to boil, chop up:
1 large carrot
1 small zucchini
1 stalk celery
2 medium tomatoes
1 bunch kale (or spinach or chard)

When the soup is boiling, add in the chopped veggies and
2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 tsp Italian seasoning
pinch of salt
1 cup small pasta. I used ditalini.
You could also add a can of cannelini beans, or other small bean, for more protein.

When the pasta is cooked and the veggies are tender, serve this delicious soup with a crusty bread and shredded parmesan cheese on top. Yum!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Pinterest Dinner Week, Day 6

I made this on a warm, sunny afternoon and it had a nice, refreshing taste to it, especially with fresh lime squeezed on top right before eating.

I didn't include the chicken, instead I made this one of the 1-2 vegetarian meals I cook each week to save money. It was really good, and easy to throw together. The kids weren't too excited about it, but Eric and I liked it a lot. The leftovers are good cold, or reheated. I'll make this again! I followed the recipe, except I forgot the rice-wine vinegar, and we topped our Pad Thai with chopped peanuts, cilantro, and sesame seeds, and a squeeze of lime. 

I got this recipe from Pinterest, but it is originally from She has a whole section of 'ethnic' recipes, which you don't see on a lot of food blogs, so if you like food from around the world, you should check out her site!

Easy Chicken Pad Thai from
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3 to 4), cut into 1-inch cubes
5 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon Asian fish sauce
1 cup water
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 1/2 teaspoons rice-wine vinegar
3 1/2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
3/4 pound linguine
3 tablespoons cooking oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2/3 cup salted peanuts, chopped fine
2 cups bean sprouts
1/2 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves
1.  In a medium glass or stainless-steel bowl, combine the fish sauce with the water, 1 1/2 tablespoons of the lime juice, the vinegar, sugar, salt, and cayenne.
2.  In a pot of boiling, salted water, cook the linguine until done, about 12 minutes. Drain.
3.  Meanwhile, in a wok or large frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over moderately high heat. Put the remaining oil in the pan, add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.
4.  Add the pasta and the fish-sauce mixture. Cook, stirring, until nearly all the liquid is absorbed, about 3 minutes. Stir in the chicken and 1/3 cup peanuts. Remove from the heat. Stir in the remaining 1/2 tablespoon lime juice, the bean sprouts, and half the cilantro. Top with the remaining peanuts and cilantro.

Pinterest Dinner Week, Day 5

Journey's birthday weekend threw us off of our Pinterest meals for dinner, but don't worry, we're still doing it!

The other day I made Tuscan Garlic Chicken from a blog called Mel's Kitchen Cafe. It is supposed to be a copycat Olive Garden recipe. I followed the recipe as close as possible, the only substitutions were green and yellow bell pepper in place of red, and evaporated milk instead of heavy cream, which is a tip I learned awhile back. You get the thickness and creaminess with the evaporated milk, but it is canned so you don't have to worry about expiration dates like you would with heavy cream. I think I also shredded some carrots in there, I've been doing that a lot lately.

The whole dish was good, but specifically the chicken was delicious! I would follow this recipe for the chicken for other dishes, it was tender and juicy and had a great flavor. The sauce was good, but, as I suspected for an Olive Garden copycat recipe, pretty heavy with all the cream, milk, and parmesan cheese. We were stuffed after just one plateful. Eric and I liked it a lot, and the kids did too, after I showed them that there was parmesan cheese (they call it shake cheese) in the sauce.

Overall, I would make it again, although next time I think I'll try to cram more veggies into the sauce. I'm thinking zucchini, tomatoes, and more spinach and bell peppers would be good.

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon finely minced garlic (about 4-5 cloves)
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips or chopped
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
6 ounces fresh spinach
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 cup lowfat milk
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 pound fettuccine
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a shallow pie plate or similar dish, combine the flour, salt, pepper, basil and oregano. Dip each chicken piece in the flour mixture until both sides are well coated.
In a large 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat until the oil is hot and shimmering. Carefully place the chicken breasts in the pan, cooking them for 2-3 minutes on each side, until they are golden and browned but not cooked all the way through (they’ll finish up in the oven). Don’t scoot the chicken around once you lay it in the hot oil! Let the oil work it’s magic to sear the crust on the chicken. If you get all antsy and try flipping too early and/or moving the chicken around the pan, the breading is lightly to fall off. Gently remove the chicken to a foil-lined, lightly greased baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Set aside and tent with foil until ready to use.
While the chicken is cooking, heat a large pot of water to a boil and add the noodles, cooking until al dente. Also, wipe out the skillet with a couple paper towels and return it to medium heat, adding the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and bell pepper, sauteing for 2-3 minutes.
Stir in one tablespoon flour and stir constantly while cooking for another minute. Add the chicken broth to the skillet and bring the mixture to a low simmer, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 3-4 minutes. In a small liquid measure, whisk together the cornstarch and cream. Add the spinach, milk and cream mixture to the skillet. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the spinach is wilted and sauce is slightly thickened, about 2-4 minutes. Stir in the Parmesan cheese.
When the pasta has finished cooking, drain and return it to the pot. Toss the pasta with half of the cheese sauce. Place some of the coated pasta on each plate. Top with a breaded chicken breast and spoon some of the sauce over the top of the chicken and pasta. Serve immediately.

Recipe Source: adapted from More of America’s Most Wanted Recipes

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Spring is here!

For now anyway, I've been a Michigan girl long enough to know that we probably haven't seen the last of winter! The weather has been beautiful this week, and Journey got some new playground balls for her birthday, so we've spent the last 2 afternoons playing outside!

I love the difference between Jeb's wild kick and Vivi's dainty one here!

A rare shot with all 3 in one general area!

The big yellow ball is Journey's favorite, but she doesn't like to kick or throw it, so she just carries it around the yard

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Monday, March 12, 2012

Journey's 2nd birthday, the details

You can see all of the pictures of Journey's birthday by clicking here, but I'll share a couple on this post as well.

First I'll start with our new birthday tradition. I got the idea from another family and thought it was great! Instead of loading the kids up with tons of toys, they make birthdays extra special by taking the birthday child to the store before their birthday to purchase their 'birthday picks'-special treats like chips and pop and sugary cereal that they don't normally buy. Then throughout the birthday, the whole family gets to enjoy the child's favorite special treats. It's something to look forward to and to savor all day long.

We decided that our family's 'picks' will be cereal, chips, juice, and ice cream. They will also get to pick the menu for the day, and what kind of cake they want. Eric also plans to take every kid's birthday off so we can do something fun as a family.

Journey is a little on the young side for this, so we helped her with some of her picks. I chose the menu for the day with all foods she loves (waffles for breakfast, lots of her favorite foods for lunch, and pizza for dinner. I made her a banana cake with dark chocolate frosting). We also had some leftover juice from Valentine's day and since she hasn't had enough juice to have a preference, we just used that.

Journey's official picks were Harvest Cheddar Sunchips for lunch, cookie dough ice cream for dessert, and Kashi cinnamon hearts cereal for bedtime snack (cereal is a favorite bedtime snack around here). She is a little more limited in her choices because of her artificial dye allergies but so far she doesn't think she's missing anything, and is easily guided toward the choices she can have :)

This morning we woke up early to get ready for our full day of celebrating. Eric made waffles while I packed lunches, and then we woke Journey up by singing happy birthday to her. At first she wasn't thrilled about waking up and kept saying "no no no" when we told her it was her birthday :)

Here's a video:

After everyone was awake, we put candles in a waffle and sang happy birthday. She didn't quite get the concept of blowing the candles out.

Then we got dressed and got in the car to go to the Henry Ford Museum! Macy's sponsors a themed kids event every 2nd monday, which happened to be today, so we figured that would make a good outing. Today's theme was 'green', where they combined St. Patrick's Day with Recycling. They got to make shamrock hats, plant seeds, and listen to stories about recycling and leprechauns (not in the same story!).

We ate lunch there, and then did some more playing before it was time to head home for naps. Here is Journey enjoying her sunchips:

My parents came over for pizza, presents, and cake, and we got to skype with Aunt Janelle and Uncle Ryan, who are staying close to the hospital as they get so close to their due date. We got Journey 2 dresses and 2 books, which are two of her favorite things :)

Ladybug from Nana and Bapa

Yummy banana cake with chocolate frosting!

Then we headed over to Eric's parents to see Journey's birthday buddy, Great Grandma Susie! It was close to bedtime and Journey was about done with all the birthday attention, so we didn't get a picture of them this time, but we'll try again later. Uncle Brandon, Aunt Allison, and baby Elowen were also there, so they kids all got to hug and hold her, which was very exciting! Journey got some presents, and all 3 kids got a picnic table to share so we can eat lunch in the back yard now that it's getting so nice out! 

It was a very busy, but very very fun birthday for Journey, and for the rest of us! Jeb and Vivi were a little jealous at times with all the things Journey got to pick and open, this morning Jebriel said "I need a Jebby birthday tomorrow" but overall they were fine, especially once they realized that Journey shares her snacks and her toys, and everyone got to be part of the fun!

Happy Birthday Journey!

Today is Journey's 2nd birthday, but the first one we get to celebrate with her! Last year we celebrated with a cake and a wish that she would celebrate with us the next year.

I'll 'reminisce' Journey's little life with some baby pictures we were given from the orphange, followed by some pictures of her in America.

This is the earliest picture we have of Journey, at 3 months old. She always had those chubby cheeks!

6 months old, this was one of the referral pictures we got of her

Also 6 months old, this was the first picture we saw of our girl when we got our referral.

6 months, isn't she a cutie??

This picture was taken just a few days before her 1st birthday, with our favorite nun, Sister Joan of Ark

At the airport, just a few days short of 15 months

18 months on the dot

And our 2 year old princess on her birthday

Journey has only been in America for 9 months, but it seems like forever. It's hard to remember her not being around. In those 9 months, Journey has had hand surgery, an eye procedure under anesthesia, and has been seen by dozens of doctors, requiring blood tests, x-rays, medications, and lots of poking and prodding. And she has handled it like a champ! She learned to walk and talk, and is starting to run like a kid now (instead of the toddler waddle). She is behind in her language but picking up new words every day, and continues to amaze us with her perseverance. She doesn't let anything hold her back!

She is a sweet, cheerful girl with loads of personality! She loves to read books, play with baby dolls, and help mommy and daddy with any kind of chore, from laundry to sweeping. I never realized how often I push my sleeves up while I do chores around the house until Journey started asking for her sleeves up too, a dozen times a day! She holds up her hands and says "Arm! Arm!" She also just started to cross her arms if she sees me standing with my arms folded. She's definitely a mama's girl, but she loves her daddy too! When Eric comes home from work at night she jumps up and down and yells "Daddy daddy!" and gives him the biggest hugs.

She loves to sing and dance, and if her siblings are sad, she'll pat their back and say "it's ok!" She loves to pray with us and has at meals and at bedtime and comes up with a long list of things to pray for. Tonight's prayer included a long list of family members, her glasses, the hat she made at the museum today, and her siblings. 

Journey loves to eat, but has started to get picky about what she eats. She won't eat broccoli or cauliflower or raw carrots, but loves all fruit, especially mangoes, blueberries, and bananas. Her favorite songs are Twinkle Twinkle, The Wheels on the Bus, If You're Happy and You Know It, and ABC. She loves Elmo, Tiana, and VeggieTales dvds. She loves to wear pretty dresses (to her every dress is a pretty dress) and loves to look in the mirror with a big grin while wearing a pretty dress. 

Everyone we meet comments on her personality, and even strangers notice the way she can light up a room. She has been such a blessing to us, and we're looking forward to the joy and fun that 2 year old Journey will bring us. 

Happy Birthday to our Journey Matilda Selam, we love you!!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Jebby's big moment of the weekend

I've mentioned before that Jebriel loves cars, and things that make noise. So cars that make noise are extra cool! The other day an ambulance drove by the house with the lights and sirens on and mimicking the "weeee oooooooh weeeee oooooh" was just about the only sound he made for the rest of the day.

This afternoon on the way home from the zoo (pics to come!) there was an accident up ahead and a state police car drove by with the lights and sirens, right next to his window. He was craning his neck to try to see what the police car was doing. We got to drive by an ambulance, a firetruck, and some police cars (everyone in the accident seemed to be ok).

Then this evening, we walked down the street to my parents' house to play in their big smooth driveway (ours needs some work...) and we walked past a police car. He was excited and we talked about all the emergency response vehicles. Just a few minutes later, a family friend who also happens to be a police officer drove by, saw us playing outside, and pulled into the driveway. Jebriel's face lit up as he turned on the lights and sirens for us!

Then the biggest moment, he let Jeb play in the police car! He showed him how to turn on the spot light, and even turned on the radio for him to hear the other officers talking.

He buckled himself in and was so giddy! It definitely made his weekend!
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