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!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Disney Cruise Day Two - NASSAU BAHAMAS


Day two began overcast, rainy, and oh so cold. We disembarked the Wonder and headed for the chartered Catamaran sailing. We were freezing the four mile ride out to sea, that is until we loaded on our snorkeling gear and hit the water! It was so warm and wonderful! It was difficult to get the kids situated and moving together with their fins, masks, and snorkels. Nathan is typically slow as molasses, and so Jason and I were overwhelmed getting them all in the water. After a few minutes of wondering why did we even bother paying for this excursion, I remembered why we were there, and I actually put my mask toward the water. As I looked toward the ocean floor, instantly, it all fell away. The coral reef below us with all the amazing fish and beautiful colors melted away every ounce of frustration.

As I was floating along enjoying the creativity of God, it occurred to me that we do that in life all the time. We get so distracted by all the nonsense going on above the surface. We're stressed and flustered by the problems associated with where we are in life at the moment, when God is saying the whole time, "Your missing the point, look for what you've come here for, the point, the reason, the beauty I created for you for this moment is just below the surface of all this other junk you're focused on instead."

The boys quickly settled in and enjoyed floating around with me, while Brooklyn and Jason flipped off further around the reef. Corban especially loved the coral that literally looked like brains sitting on the ocean floor. The boys would point and giggle in their snorkels. I enjoyed holding their hands and exploring the sights.

Soon enough though, we realized Nathan wasn't around anymore, and found him securely back on the boat, done with the excursion's excitement! One by one Corban, and then Brooklyn headed back to the boat as well, which gave Jason and I a chance to swim around and take things in even closer. We enjoyed Rum Punch on the way back toward Nassau and did our best to dry out our rain soaked clothes.
Once on land again, we grabbed lunch at Senior Frogs, and tried to keep the kids' backs to the events going on at the bar behind them. :( Those guys were really enjoying their vacation! :) We watched the catamaran take off with the next group of snorkelers aboard, and laughed and rested over our cokes and quesadillas.
We decided to stroll through the Straw Market on the pier. Corban bought a walking coconut turtle which quickly broke, "That's a total rip off!" he exclaimed loudly. One woman tried to get me to pay to hold her adorable little baby who I oohed over, I seem to have a new affinity for little black babes, and Nathan and Brooklyn bought necklaces. We then headed to the nicer district where diamond boutiques, Rolex, and other fine retailers set up beautiful shops for duty free bargain hunters.
The kids decided they had enough of Nassau quickly, so we headed back to the ship. After a refreshing shower, Corban and Jason headed up to Deck 9 for some one on one Ping Pong play, while the rest of us got dressed for our show and rested.

The show for the night was Toy Story, and once again the stage and talent was impeccable. After the show, we had an hour before dinner and decided to go play Bingo. In true Jason Root Family style, we sat in the front row, and our loud crazy antics won us a lot of attention and joking from the emcee for the game. We were named the Rollercoaster Roots for the way all of us raised our hands, jumped up, and screamed every time we got an important ball to pop up! The evening paid out well for us! We won the four corners game and pocketed $98! Tonight's dinner was at the fine French restaurant, Triton's. Brooklyn loved her breaded Turkey and Marinara plate, and Jason and I once again had steak. We were joined by our table mates this evening, a wonderful couple from Canada, and their precious daughter.

Instead of leaving for the OceanEar's Club tonight, we all went as a family to the Pirates in The Caribbean Party on Deck 9. The dessert spread was unbelievable, and the characters put on a great show. The kids loved the pirate villains! The party ended late and we headed back to the room.A quick picture of our towel animal for the night, a few minutes of staring at the night sky from our deck, and everyone was ready for bed.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Disney Cruise Day One - ALL ABOARD!

Day One was a hectic day of getting up early, not having time to eat breakfast, then the plane was delayed so there was no time for lunch, and so I can not tell you how huge the mounds of cookies and cheese cubes the kids bowls had when we finally made it to the welcome buffet on the cruise! Then, in complete un-Disney fashion, a once in an unheard of lifetime for all Crew members, the computer glitched and locked everyone out of their rooms. We couldn't change into our "cruise wear" so the kids had to stand in the sun for the safety drill in their jeans and hot clothes. Between the lack of food, the inappropriate attire, not having access to our carry on bags which had our swimsuits ,so they couldn't swim, and the HOT HOT HOT deck drill, the kids attitudes, (and mom and dad's), were showing signs of being anywhere but the happiest place on earth. But, then, we got keys to our rooms that actually opened the door and the kids were ecstatic, and we got dressed for Dinner and a Show and vacation officially started!We paused for a photo on the deck of our Stateroom before heading to the show. The kids loved going out on the deck and watching the boat come and go into port, as well as starting and ending each day just watching the water flow by. We loved this picture God painted for us in the sky. Even the clouds were cruising this night. The clouds were low and there was rain on either side of this clearing, which formed the shape of a cruise ship.We have indoctrinated our kids to love live performances, and especially Musicals. Once we were seated at the show, The Golden Mickeys, we truly let go and began to enjoy! The kids were laughing, giggling, and chatting about their favorite characters as they danced and sang across the amazing stage! The talent was absolutely top notch, and especially the girl who sang Pocahontas, she sounded exactly like the movie track! We then headed to dinner at Parrot Cay. One of our favorite parts was that they offer this great program called Dine and Play aboard Disney Cruise Line. They serve your kids their meals as quickly as possible, so that they can be whisked away to the OceanEar's Club by the staff who come to the restaurant and pick them up for you, and mom and dad can enjoy the rest of their dinner and dessert alone! It was wonderful! Afterward Jason and I went to the movies and saw, The Proposal with Sandra Bullock. They were also showing G-Force and Up in Disney 3-D. As they said, "Yes, we show movies that are still in the theaters, uh, because we own them!" We picked the kids up at midnight and headed back to our cabin for some z's. We took the customary picture of the towel animals, hung out on our cabin deck for a bit, and then rocked to sleep with the ocean. It was a beautiful day.