Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

The Crazy Gang is back at it again! After Christmas with Mimi last night the Woods Gang stayed over and the kids have had an absolute blast. The girls have been doing art projects, baking cookies, playing Rock Band, and having Snowball fights. The boys have played Star Wars non stop and joined in on the wii wars every once in awhile, and were totally into the snowball fights with Jason!
I've cleaned up the snow laced dog poop they tracked all through the house, and the cookie mess is in the final stages, and then we're off to their house for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with Papa!Cousins make the world more fun!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy December!

We always like to start December off celebrating Jason! He is the most amazing man, he works tirelessly for us, blesses us with his humor, his respect, and most of all his time. He never stops trying to make himself and our family better, and we all are amazing for it. He celebrated his 34th birthday on the 11th. We dined with his family at Texas de Brazil, where our carnivore daughter was in absolute heaven, with just our Crazy Family at The Outback, and with my mom at Red Robin. Sums up Jason' favorites. . . I am lucky beyond words to be married to such a godly example of a husband, father, friend, and man!To celebrate the season, we've packed our schedule with fun family activities. Last weekend we saw 101 Dalmatians at the Fair Park Music Hall on Friday night, A Christmas Carol at Gateway on Saturday night, and Santa Clause is Coming to Town at the Casa Manana Children's Theater on Sunday. We've discussed how much we all love Broadway shows before!! This weekend, we didn't slow down for a second either! Friday night Brooklyn went to Gaylord's ICE with her BFF Lauren. She loved the 10 degree walk through Ice Sculptures, and especially the Ice Slide! On Saturday while Brooklyn was still with Lauren, Jason and I took the boys on the Grapevine Historic Railroads Polar Express train ride. The boys enjoyed the show which included singing and dancing by sweet little teeny boppers, and then the really cool train ride into the night with Santa Clause. Sunday, we spent the morning preparing the house for Bekeh and Caleb's arrival, and then went over to Six Flags' Holiday in the Park for the evening!Nathan was the only one who wanted to wait in line for an hour for the Snow Hill, so Jason did that while Brooklyn, Corban, and I rode the Shockwave over and over. By the third time, Corban was ready to sit in the front car and hold his hands up the entire time! He mastered it, and was so excited, he just had to show daddy, so when the boys finished up Snow Hill, we stood in line one last time to ride all together, and for Jason to watch him! He was so proud!Our favorite family ride is still the Titan, and let me tell you, the cold weather really intensifies the effects of the roller coasters! It was thrilling! I felt it all the way to my toes! The park was beautiful and they had bonfires set up throughout the walkways to warm up next to, and the vendors selling unique food items made the smells incredible to take in!Even with all the choices, Brooklyn still had to have her Pink Thing! She said it actually tasted better in the freezing cold as well! My favorite is just watching my kids enjoy each other and enjoy our family. While walking from one ride to the other Brooklyn grabbed my hand and said, "I really love our family!" That's where the Spirit of Christmas lives. In the love of family. Christ, coming to earth, teaching us how to love, enjoy our time together, and being filled with his Holy Spirit so that we are capable of loving each other fully and completely. That's Christmas, and we're full of it!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Happy Fall Yall!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Breakfast Club

Happy Halloween!
This year the family went as The Breakfast Club. Despite Mom and Dad being down with some pretty yucky colds, good times were still had by all! and no, mom didn't dress up again this year. We are all still having nightmares from the year I went as Cruella deVille.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Corban Quote of the Day

"Mom, just now when I farted, I promise it wasn't me!"

Compassion International

We have sponsored Ligia for 5 or more years and it is such a wonderful experience. We love getting her letters and drawings, and having the opportunity to write to her and share Jesus' love with her. Take a moment to watch this video, the good part starts around 3:45 and the impact of these programs will overwhelm you too.

Catalyst 2009 Compassion Moment from Catalyst on Vimeo.

What are you waiting for to change a child's life? Jason and I started sponsoring Ligia when we barely had two extra dimes to rub together, but it was worth every penny to know her life is truly impacted for Jesus. Do it now. Sponsor a child by clicking here.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Our Nephew Rhett!

Something this adorable is worthy of posting on both our blogs! Isn't he just the most precious thing??? OOOOhhhh! I can't wait to squeeze him and see those beautiful eyes shining with joy and playing with his HUGE new family!!!!!! You can follow his adoption journey on his blog by clicking here!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Help us nickname Lil' D!!

Jump over to our adoption blog and take our poll! Lil' D will officially keep his given name, but we're looking for an Americanized nick name version for him to go by in general! The poll is in the upper right hand corner.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

What a CRAZY week!

We just finished an incredibly emotionally high and low week! Jump over to our adoption blog here to read all the details, I won't make this too long with airing my feelings again on this blog when you can read them there, but we're still in a daze even though we're at peace and ready to move forward to the next roller coaster.

We started the week in Loraine Texas celebrating my Uncle Wes' birthday. He's lived a colorful life, and he's nearing the end of his stay here with us, so we all gathered to let him know how much we love him, and how important he has been to us. For me, it was the first time to take my kids back to my childhood. My dad's parents, my Granny and Papa, lived in Loraine my whole life. Summers, Christmases, cousins, etc, memories you go back to, are in this little town. We enjoyed taking the kids through the streets and watching their eyes grow big at how different life is in a small town. Buildings they swore were abandoned, on closer inspection revealed entire families living in them. Dad told stories of what things used to be when the town was booming, this is a picture of him standing outside his first bedroom window. His mom ran the town laundry and this is where they lived from the day he came home from the hospital until he was about 5. I told the kids stories of antics my cousins and I used to pull, adventures we went on. . . hitchhiking to the ball fields, driving at age 12, swimming in a completely dark green pool, walking two blocks from my uncles house to granny's house in the middle of the night because we were scared of the noises we kept hearing, (but going outside where the noises were coming from was safer??) and getting a beating the next morning because no one could find us! Anytime we sing those old time hymns in church, the Texas Twang has to come out in your voice, and it takes me back to Sunday mornings at Crockett and Smiley Church of Christ. What memories!
The kids made the trip really easy, and Jason was gracious enough to drive the whole way there and back! We were so glad we took the time and made it out.

Friday, September 11, 2009

10,000 Hankie Alert

Powerful testimony to the precious choice of Life.

Click on the image below to play the video from


Happy 2002!

Happy New Year!

Today is Enkutatash, or Ethiopian New Year.
Melkam Addis Amet = Happy New Year
The Ethiopian calendar is 7 years behind! Who would like to go back to 2002?
Let's see, September 2002, we had JUST moved to Keller, I was discovering I was pregnant with Corban about this time. Nathan was 10 months old, Brooklyn was 3. A lot has happened in 7 years, and I wouldn't want to go back for anything!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A Fly on the Wall Wednesdays

Nathan: "Mom, if you collected all the germs from the entire earth in one place do you think you could see them then, and how much space do you think it would take?"

Corban: "Brooklyn, I promise I will not be annoying to you Monday through Friday, and if I am I will pay you $1 each time, but I will be really annoying on Saturday and Sunday. Is that a good deal for you?"

Brooklyn: "I think I'm going to be rich."

Monday, September 7, 2009

Disney Vacation - Day Four DISNEY WORLD

We woke early on the cruise ship, ate breakfast at Animator's Palate, said goodbye to our new Canadian friends, and disembarked for the final time. We caught our personal courier SUV to Disney World, and hit the parks as quickly as possible. We started at Hollywood Studios where we quickly took in the kids favorites, Indiana Jones, Star Wars, Stunt Spectacular, Tower of Terror, and Rockin Rollercoaster.
We took this shot outside of the Prince Caspian exhibit, which we all found to be extremely disappointing. But just our expectations were not right, it was cool in and of itself I guess. Once we had checked through all of our favorites at Hollywood Studios, we boarded a bus, and caught the monorail to Magic Kingdom. We stopped at the front gate to grab our "WE'RE CELEBRATING" buttons announcing our DTE celebration trip!
Our first stop was a pic in front of the castle, talked at length to the photographer about the adoption process in Ethiopia, and then were overwhelmed with the smell of fresh baking cinnamon rolls! We had to stop and have a snack!
From there it was on to Tomorrow Land where we took in the Stitch ride, I swore I wouldn't go on it ever again, if you've been on it, you know the Chili Cheese Dog is just disgusting, but alas, the mother in me has to oblige those big brown begging eyes! A little rain to cool things off at the speed track, and a double rainbow in the sky for a little extra magic!
The kids and I love the Tea Cups, mostly because Jason hates them so much. We have tradition of all running to the bushes and pretending to puke as soon as we get off. Just to remember the scene daddy made the last time he rode them in 2003!
We kept the kids at the park until 1:00 am. Corban fell asleep at dinner and during the fireworks but was ready to go as soon as he woke each time! Well, mostly.
We got back to our room and into bed at 2:30am. The kids took about thirty seconds to begin snoring. One last towel creature to mark the final night of our vacation and it was time to say goodnight.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Disney Cruise Day Three - CASTAWAY CAY

We wanted to enjoy the serenity of the beach, so we got up early and were the first family to disembark the boat. It was worth it! The beaches were perfect, the ocean was calm, the fish were swimming around, not yet scared off by a thousand feet, and we were able to catch a couple of shots of the kids.Once they were released of their modeling duties, the kids quickly got down to the business of horsing around!The beach began to fill up, so we headed over to Castaway Ray's for our Sting Ray experience. The rays at Castaway Cay have been trained to feed off these u shaped platforms. They only enter from the right and exit from the left, and they only eat off their Mickey shaped plates. It's hilarious to watch them, when you lay that plate down on the netting, they swim straight to it and suck the Ray Jelly out from between your fingers. And as you're standing around the net, they're all swarming for their turn, so they're swimming through and around your legs. They have the most amazing velvet texture, and it's the craziest sensation to stand there and have them all over you! Once feeding time was over, it was time to snorkel with them in their cove. There were 50 -60 rays that live in the lagoon and it was fun to swim around and find them buried in the sand. We learned a lot about conservation and how they care for them. It was a fantastic hour! We left the Ray's and it was time for some grub! The great thing about being on Disney's private island, is that it's simply an extension of your cruise ship, so all the food and drinks are included as well. The kids loved the hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken, ribs, ice cream, cookies, banana bread, apple cake, and more! Brooklyn devoured the ribs and had bbq sauce up to her knuckles! After lunch we swam at the beach for awhile, and then the kids were ready to go on our bike ride. There were two great trails to take, an easy 4.5 mile ride in beautiful lush tropical foliage. The first trail ended at a viewing tower. From three stories up you could take in the entire island, including the cruise ship parked in the port. The kids enjoyed looking through the telescopes and finding the hidden mickeys hidden across the landscape. The second leg of the journey was a bit longer, and Corban quickly tired. At one point he was so far behind that we were all around a water cooler drinking ICE COLD water waiting for him to catch up. We filled our cups to the top and simply pretended to be drinking when he arrived. We gave the secret signal and all together we dumped the freezing water on him. He got ticked at first, and then began to laugh uncontrollably! A game of water attack quickly ensued and we were all comfortably drenched by the end of it! We returned our bikes and spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing in the water. We grabbed our floats and floated lazily in the bay for an hour or two. Jason took off with his snorkeling gear to explore the underwater area, and reported back that he had found all of the sunken Mickey's the kids were directed to find. It was wonderful just to hang out as a family in the middle of the water and laugh and chat. All too soon for mom, the boys were ready to head back to the boat, so Brooklyn and I stayed behind to enjoy a frozen drink, and to have Brooklyn's hair done. She held back the tears as the lady pulled very hard and very quickly through her bangs. We chatted the entire walk back and enjoyed the tropical oasis as much as we could before boarding the boat again. The boys were off playing ping pong which allowed Brooklyn and I to get ready leisurely. They posed for one pic on our deck and then we were off to the show!Tonight's spectacular offering was Disney Dreams, and it is an award winning show for a reason! It was unbelievable. It really is a 4-D experience with the confetti, bubbles, and even real snow falling on the audience! It was unbelievable. Watching and listening to Beauty and the Beast Love as Old As Time while the snow is falling on you, bubbles with Ariel under the sea, and things rising out of the stage, Peter flying around, lasers lighting up. . .amazing!After the show we headed over to the High School Musical Dance Party. Of course there were a thousand little girls on the dance floor, and Jason. Our kids stayed in their chairs while Daddy followed along and learned all the choreography! He's hilarious! We watched the sunset from Deck 4 on our way to dinner and then got attacked by Stitch just outside of Animator's Palate. Brooklyn and I had been waiting for this restaurant for almost 2 years! It starts out in Black and White and then turns to color as the evening progresses. The food was probably our favorite of all, and we again enjoyed the company of our Canadian table mates. God truly has a plan for each and every detail of our lives when we surrender it to Him! We had to pack and get up early the next morning so we lingered on the deck watching the water for awhile, and then headed up to our stateroom. We had been promising the kids they could order Room Service from the moment we got there, and had been to full and busy to do so, and even though we were stuffed to the gills and the kids were already in bed, we ordered pizza and cookies delivered to the room, and they thought it was the coolest to get out of bed and have a midnight snack! The cruise was spectacular and the kids are already talking about all the things they want to do NEXT TIME. "Cruise for a family of seven, please waiter!" OUCH!