A Quick Comparison

I know, I know…I’ve been a terrible blogger lately….I promise to explain later!  But, in the busy meantime, I ran across this picture of Madden from the beginning of the month and just had to compare it to the same picture of Molly Kate at almost the same age.  Madden is two weeks shy of 9 months in his picture and Molly Kate was 10 months old.  I think its amazing how much they just do not look alike!  Molly Kate takes after me and Madden is a spitting image of my hubby!  But it is fun to see my babies in the same sink at Gramma’s!  It’s also sweet to remember that the picture of Molly Kate was taken during a trip to visit Kevin’s mom in which I found out I was pregnant with baby Jaiden (the sweet little one we lost at 11 weeks).  And sweet baby Jaiden was masterfully planned by my Master to open my heart to not one, but three precious children.  Mmmm….

Molly Kate - 10 Months
Madden - 8 1/2 Months

9 Months!

My little man is growing up way too fast!  Madden hit a million milestones in the last month…he started crawling and pulling up on his knees, he dropped his “dream feed” meaning he sleeps 12 hours straight through the night, he’s begun chatting away when the mood hits him right, his top teeth started coming in and he’s started eating table food.  I feel like we’re charging forward to toddlerhood and I’m desperately wanting to keep him a baby.  Even in the shower tonight I was thinking of God’s timing in bringing Madden into our lives and I just smiled…having a baby in the midst of all of this is just perfect for me.  He can light up my day in an instant and the way he burrows his head into my neck when he just wants to be with mommy simply melts my heart.  May I once again offer praise to my Maker for His all-knowing ways.

Please pardon the drool!

Keeping It Straight

I couldn’t help but share this.  Kevin is out of town this week and I noticed today we were low on bananas (we all eat about one a day and even though I bought 6 lbs. of bananas Saturday, it wasn’t enough!), so we ran to our neighborhood Wal-Mart right before dinner.  On the way home, the following discussion ensued:

Mikias: Was that Target?

Me (trying to get him to think): No, what store was that?

Molly Kate: That was Wal-Mart!

Mikias: Is Target where we eat the pizza and hot dogs?

Me: No, what store is that?

Mikias (desperately trying to figure this out): Costco!

Me: Yes! Target is the store that has the toys and sometimes we get drinks and mommy gets coffee at the front when we walk in. (How else does one describe Target to a 6 year old from Ethiopia?!).

Mikias: Oh I know that store! But where did we go today?

Me: When we got gas for the van?  That was Kroger.

At this point I’m realizing we shop at one too many stores.  Poor boy probably never even entered a grocery store prior to coming home and now I’ve gone and confused him with my bouncing around from store to store.  So much for one-stop shopping, huh?  At the very least, it provided some great comic relief!

Our February

Though brutally cold, the kids and I were able to escape Louisville winter this February for a week in Mississippi at my parents’ house…and the weather was outstanding!  Most days were between 70 and 75 degrees and lots of sunshine.  Definitely the break I needed from gray dreary days!  I had tons of pictures from this month because of our travels and found it hard to narrow down which ones to share…I guess my kids are just too cute to me!  I love how these pictures really encapsulate their little personalities, so enjoy!

Having been put to bed an hour prior, Molly Kate appears in our bedroom wearing about four layers of pajamas. She had been in her room, in the dark no less, quietly pulling pieces from her pj drawer...it was hilarious!
Madden sitting up for the first time...I love that in order to capture this moment, we also had to capture how messy dinner was. He's covered in butternut squash!
Miles actually caught this shot with the help of big sister Molly Kate! Madden's smile is infectious!
Prior to crawling, Madden begin doing these full body push-ups! I've never seen a baby do this before, but Kevin says it shows how strong he's going to be 😉
Pretty Princesses...these two have known each other since they were babies and adore playing together. Its an ideal friendship seeing as Casey lives just across the street...we will miss their family terribly when we move.
On our way to Nana and Poppa's, we stopped in Birmingham to visit Kevin's family...his grandparents are very special people and our kids love their Pa and Gigi.
Posing with Gramma too!
I just love this picture.
My Dad is finally getting to share an important part of his life with his grandsons...his two non-athletic daughters never really caught on!
Molly Kate wanted to play too, but this was the morning after the bike wreck so she could hardly hold the bat. She spent the entire day in her pjs...gotta love her outfit!
Madden got some great bonding time with his Poppa...and mommy's arms and back got a nice rest!
Quite possibly the cutest Ethiopian on the planet!
This is the side of Mikias we see most often...complete goofball! He leaves us laughing (and shaking our heads) a lot!!
I heart my Granny! What a joy to finally be able to introduce her to Miles and Madden while in Mississippi!
Our littlest man...and I'm completely wrapped around his finger!
Kevin saw this and envisioned Madden's future NFL career 😉
Granny, Nana, Grand-babies, oh my!
What a pair!
This is what Madden looked like after I allowed Molly Kate a turn feeding him breakfast. Never again...

 

Miles made a new best friend at Nana and Poppa's...the small brown chair pictured above. He carried it all around the house and was quite happy to finally be tall enough to reach and see the things he wanted!
Its been a long time coming, but Molly Kate and Miles are at last learning to be friends and finding common ground! I let them play in the van a long time this day because I was so thrilled to see them enjoying each other so much!

 

Headed to lunch on the Oxford Square...these two thought the store window made a perfect little seat!
Hands down the best uncle ever...my kids are always excited to see their Uncle Kyle!
Our two toothless wonders...this was taken the day of the extraction. Its the only shot I can share publicly...trust me, you do not want to see how bad her gums were messed up. Yuck!
This picture is what happens when, as a kid, your neighborhood suffers through a fatal tornado. I get super-paranoid during storms, so when tornados came through northern Kentucky a couple of weeks ago, all six of us plus our chocolate lab were in the bathroom at 5 am. Kevin was less than thrilled, but kindly entertained my fears!

Please Act!

I’m a bit out of the adoption loop these days as my days are so full of caring for my little ones.  But I received word from a dear friend, Alison, who is in the middle of an Ethiopian adoption that MOWA is planning to cut adoptions from Ethiopia by 90% beginning this Thursday.  Obviously, the Ethiopia program has had its fair share of corruption, but this solution is a bit on the drastic side and would greatly affect the number of children who may never receive a family.  The Joint Council on International Children’s Services (JCICS) has put together a petition to go directly to the Prime Minister of Ethiopia.  Please take the time to sign the petition HERE and please consider ways to spread the word quickly!  Yesterday marked one year ago that we finally met Mikias and Miles face-to-face.  And I remember all too well the countless number of faces I saw that week on children still longing for a family of their own.  Pray that God would move mightily in the decisions being made in Ethiopia and remain faithful as Father to the fatherless.

Stuck in the Mud

I apologize for my recent absence.  I’ve been feeling a bit low lately…actually, as I prayed the other day to the Lord, I used the term “stuck in the mud.” As I sit here writing, I can see this huge mud pit in our back yard…the boys dug a hole in the summer when they were wanting to fill their dump trucks with dirt and the numerous snows and rains we’ve had the past few months have turned it into a royal mess!  But lately, my life has felt much like that mud pit…a yucky mess.

I mentioned we visited my parents in Mississippi a few weeks ago.  The first evening there, Molly Kate had a horrible bike wreck.  We ended up in the emergency room, but thankfully, no bones were broken.  She did, however, badly mess up her teeth and gums (I think she hit the bell on her bike) and when we visited our pediatric dentist last week, she had to have both of her front teeth extracted.  You wouldn’t believe the way the enemy has used this situation to tear me to pieces.  For two weeks straight, every night in bed I would cry over the wreck…feeling guilty for not making a better judgement call on the hill she was riding down and sadness over losing her two teeth and all the pain she’s had to endure.  On top of that, we’re looking at enormous expenses from the emergency room visit and now the prosthetic teeth that will have to be made (she’s such a long way from gaining her permanent teeth and is having so much trouble eating without her front teeth), all at a time with money continues to be so tight. Molly Kate actually thinks it is so cool that she lost her two teeth just like her big brother and her attitude has helped me tremendously.  But the whole situation has been very hard…and made me aware of how much I want to protect my children from the pain of this world.

The weather has been downright terrible…after enjoying warm sunny days in Mississippi, I’ve struggled to come home to cold dreary Louisville. Gray day after gray day has a way of really wearing on my soul by the end of winter.  And then there’s the bigger picture of where we are in waiting to go into full-time vocational ministry.  Kevin is so tired of working two jobs to provide for our family and barely being able to make ends meet and I’m so tired of having to watch him do this.  He loves God’s people and he is ready to be able to pour out his life into serving the local body.  But as it is now, working 60+ hours a week and living thirty minutes from our church with four small children, we feel more like spectators at our church instead of active, involved members.  I was even thinking this past week about how we could start attending the evening service again now that Madden is older, but quickly realized that we can’t afford that extra trip back across town with gas prices so high right now.

So, this is a snapshot of my life currently…simply stuck.  Stuck in the horror of the bike wreck, stuck in cold Louisville without adequate income, stuck in muddied feelings.  What is one to do?  Pray and trust.  Therefore, I continue to ask the Lord to lift my heart…help me to see His ways in all the hard aspects of my life and to grant me the faith to press on in the life He has ordained for me.  I read His Word and hear Him gently call me to abide in Christ, to be stuck in my Savior and not my circumstances.  Oh, and this morning, I have awoken to the sun shining…thank you Father for this small mercy to my weary soul.