Thursday, July 28, 2011

Quick Post - Shelves | MIA

Ok, so this is not going to be a very long post, because we have a lot to do today. But, I just wanted to post this quick. Yesterday, we were taking a few shelves down and since we've put them up, we've painted a few times. So when the shelves came down this is what we saw. A permament picture on the wall. :) Actually the walls will be painted again - eventually.

Also, I'm sure you're wondering why the post title says "MIA" in it. Well for the next 3 days or so, my mom and I will be "missing in action" from the blog. We've got A LOT to do this weekend.

Wishing you all a safe and fun filled weekend!


Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Today, I'll be posting the things that 'T' has learned in a years time! It's amazing at what she has learned to do, and exceeds at a lot of it.

  • She can speak English - I'm talking full blast! She understand everything we say, unless it's a new word that she's never heard before. Then we just have to explain it.

  • She can sing her A, B, C 's - And knows her letters. Every once in a while she might ask for help.

  • If you tell her how to write a word, she can write it down. You just have to tell her what letters to write down in order.

  • She definitely can write her name! She knows how to spell her full name as well.

  • 'T' absolutely LOVES coloring! She stays in the lines very well, and enjoys coloring princesses.

  • 'T' can pump on the swing all by herself, and often has little "races" with 'S' to see who can get the highest.

  • She has recently learned to ride a two-wheel bike. Her and 'S' have learned that within the last month.

  • She doesn't know how to read of course... but she can't wait to learn. My mom has started reading her the Junie B. Jones books. My mom reads them with correct grammar though.

  • She can do puzzles, although she can get frustrated easily when pieces don't seem to fit together. We mostly have her use open-ended items, just to make things easier. (Things you can't do wrong).

Those are most of the things that I can think of right now. It's good to see 'T' enjoying her "Table Time" and all of the things in her bag. Just because she's learned so much in just one year, doesn't make things any easier. She's still a spunky little girl, who has a mind of her own. We've also realized that if she goes to bed with a little attitude, then she will wake up with an attitude. Just to say the least... today is one of those days.

Hoping you all have a good day, full of adventures!

Blessings, ~Michlyn

Monday, July 25, 2011

Quick Post - A look back

Yesterday, on Sunday, we got to enjoy Ethiopian food. 'T' said that she wanted "injera" (traditional Ethiopian bread - SO good). So our family took the hour drive to our favorite Ethiopian resturant and ate way too much. Good thing we have leftovers!
So on our way out my mom said she wanted a picture of my dad, 'T', and herself - a year later. So I took one, and there's a huge difference. 'T' has gone through so much this year, and has improved so much. Tomorrow, if I remember, I'll post all of the achievements she's made this year. She's a bright, spunky, little girl who can dance like no other! If you've ever heard Ethiopian music, then you know what I'm talking about!
We love you 'T'! We can't wait to see what God shows us this year, as we continue to learn more and more; what's best for our family!

And a little video of 'T' on July 24th, 2010, swinging for her first time!
 Blessings, ~Michlyn

Saturday, July 23, 2011

HOME - One year ago

One year ago at 3:32 p.m. my parents, and new little sister were walking towards us in an airport. I remember saying "I see them!" I started walking towards them, holding back the tears, and I had the most amazing feeling inside. I smiled so big, and remember thinking "this is it." I finally get to meet her! My dad had the video camera, and yes I wish I could of posted that video and some day if I can figure it out, I will. My mom's parents were there, and our dear friends who watched us for 9 days!There were hugs, kisses, tears, and lots of introducing. Below are a few pictures of our adventures... a YEAR ago!

They met 3 other families in Ethiopia, who were also there to bring home their little ones. We actually got to meet them in Chicago last December! Also thinking of them, as their "Gotcha Days" are the same as ours! Birtukan was their host in the guesthouse that my parents and 'T' stayed in, and she was so kind to them! Silly 'T' checking things out, and staying busy on plane. Yes, there was a few moments of sadness, and frustration. Meeting her namesake Josi! We love her so much!
Finally! Our forever family, July 23rd, 2010! I can't believe it... it seems just like a couple of days ago, I had met her for the first time, and gave her a hug for the first time. If you would like to see a few more pictures of our homecoming then just go to last years post right here!
Wishing you all a wonderful day!

Blessings, ~Michlyn

Friday, July 22, 2011

Quick Post - New recipe

So tonight my mom made these quick zuichini snacks. The recipe is below:

Things you need:

1 zuichini (or more depends on how much you want to make)
Vegetable Oil
1-2 eggs (again it depends how much you're making)
Saltine crackers

How to make it:
Start by heating a fry pan and lightly pouring the vegetable oil in the pan just to cover the bottom of it.
Next, you can start cutting the zuichini in medium slices, and putting them off to the side.
Then, take a handful of saltine crackers, put them in a plastic gallon sized bag, use a rolling pan or just your hands, and start crushing them.
Put the crushed crackers into a bowl, and also the egg(s) into another separate bowl and mix well.
Once your pan is heated you then take a slice of the zuichini, dip it into the egg, roll it in the crackers, and finally place it on the pan to cook.
Once each side is done to your liking flip it to the next side.
Continue until all of your cut slices of zuichini are made.

We also enjoyed some porkchops tonight with this tasty snack!
Blessings, ~Michlyn

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Happy 1st Tarekech Day!

Yesterday marked our first "Gotcha Day"! A year ago yesterday, my parents were in Ethiopia and got to meet beautiful 'T' for the first time! You can probably tell in her big brown eyes all the emotions and thoughts that were going through her little mind. She was scared, she knew she was leaving, and didn't want anything to do with it. Being taken away from everything she once knew would definitely be scary. The nannies loved each and every child in her orphanage, and we couldn't imagine where she could of been without the love that they gave her.

In our house we call the orphanage the "sharehouse", because all the kids shared EVERYTHING you could think of. Clothes, toys, beds, and a whole lot more. Maybe they would "steal" things rather than share them, because when you're in an orphanage it's basically survival. The orphanage or "sharehouse" 'T' was at was called Shalom. Sadly because of some complications, our adoption agency does not work through Shalom anymore. :(

We've seen, and heard so many of 'T's friends from Shalom come home to America and we do stay in contact! One of 'T's BEST friends and her even got to Skype! They were both so excited to finally "see" each other again, and talk to each other. It was truly an amazing gift for both of them!

July 19th, 2010... In our arms forever!

Here's a little video of 'T' on the plane home! :)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

I Need Africa More than Africa Needs Me

We were in Africa one short year ago.

It changed us.

I desperately want the impact of our experience to remain forever.

To know JOY, HOPE & PEACE despite what society says our response should be to our circumstances.

We are abundantley blessed.

I Need Africa More than Africa Needs Me....

One year ago...

A year ago, we held our daughter for the first time & looked into the eyes we had only peered into through pictures…

She was more beautiful than we dreamed… a sweet shy little girl, both nervous and anticipatory of the moments when “strangers” would come for her. She seemed familiar with the visits from the “new” mommy’s and daddies. It had only been a few weeks since she said goodbye to her dearest friend and the new family who had come to bring her home.

She was walked over to us, a few words spoken to her by a nanny, all of us surrounded by many excited energetic children –

Simultaneously, the moments were both wonderful & awkward…  all very surreal!

It didn’t take long before she claimed us as her own & the backpack we carried along too – her curious little hands were exploring the contents in no time. She delighted in the “treasures” we brought – lollipops & bubbles for everyone, her very own sunglasses & sparkly ball to play catch with. She let a few friends try on her new glasses but only with her assistance and only for a brief second or two. She led children away from us, to claim our laps & attention for hers alone.

Our time together that first day slipped by quickly & before we knew it we were saying goodbye – Each of us aware, just a few days later we would be together again, and this time united as a family forever.


One year later ... it is harder than I could have ever imagined.

I'm jealous ... of those whose journey's seem to have fallen effortlessly into place.

And I want things to be easier.... We knew our start together would be difficult, we did not expect the intensity it would become a year later…

So I look into the photos above and a few others - and remember to connect with my precious daughter who has lost so much and choose to see the past that will always be a part of her and who she will become… it gives me strength to renew my compassion and empathy and be the instrument of healing & love I’ve been called to be for our precious daughter – and be the momma for her, God created me to be.
We’ve come a long way in a year … And believe Tarekech Josi Hope is the child God intended to grow up in our family- all her beauty, grief & broken-ness are now part of what makes up our family. We have been uniquely knit together by God. So much of our journey is not as we expected… but every difficult step is worth the more humble & compassionate family we have grown to be.

We are blessed beyond measure … 

"For I know the plans I have for you", declares the LORD, ... "plans to give you HOPE and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

In Him,

Friday, July 15, 2011

Hattie Girl

Our "Hattie girl" turned 4 on July 13th, 2011!
She was our little mischievous puppy that everyone, but mom wanted. So after months of begging we finally got our little Hattie! Somethings that we're told about her, and other random things we know:

1. Everyone says that it looks like she's wearing mascara or eyeliner because her eyes are darker and much prettier than other Golden Retrievers.
2. She's well trained, and listens.
3. She can do so many cool things... which my dad and I taught her. ex: high-five, hand-shake, sit, lay down, speak, hug, and more.

A few things we knew had to line up before there was a "Hattie":
1. To get my mom a little excited about a new puppy, it HAD to be a girl. She says they're much smarter. (no offense to any people who have boy dogs, they're just as special)
2. We found her in a newspaper ad-not an expensive petshop, with her other little siblings.
3. Her dad was a huge "stunt/frisbee champ" dog, and they lived on a farm.
4. Her one and only sister was fat, so my dad picked the "runt of the litter".
5. We'll always love her, no matter how naughty she is!
Just a few short weeks after becoming part of our family :)
Blessings, ~Michlyn

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Screen-free Friday

At our house, another word that we use for laptops, iPods, TV, movies, etc... is screens. So on Friday my mom thought that I was having too much "screentime". So she's keeping my iPod for a week, and I only am allowed to go onto the laptop once a day, unless given other permission.

On Friday I didn't even use a screen at all! I was so proud of myself! (sorry if that sounds a little self-centered or something.) I don't know about you, but when you don't have the opportunity to go onto something electronic you can do 2 things that I've noticed so far.

1. Your mind expands so much more, with things to do.
2. You can see how much people are sucked into their iPods or other things much easier.

So since I haven't had my iPod this what I've done:

1. I got the motivation to make an album - not a big one, but it was super fun. It was from last summer as we stayed with friends, while my mom and dad were in Ethiopia! (I hope to post it soon)
2. I had to watch a dog of a family I babysit for the weekend. (including walking up early, and it was really good for me.)
3. I got the opportunity to go to church with friends, and then babysit later on Sunday. :)
4. I've helped my mom a lot more around the house, because I wasn't looking at a "screen".
5. I also have read a lot more since I haven't had my iPod.

I know I've done a few more things, but I just can't think of them at the moment. I'm actually going to babysit a little girl right now!

Hope you all have an adventerous day!


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Portion Control

For the past 2 weeks, I've had a goal to eat less at my meals. If you've ever seen me eat, then you know I can eat a lot. So before this "diet" I was eating until literally my stomach almost hurt. I know it was completely not healthy, and I was convincing myself that I was over-weight. I know that I wasn't but that thought was stuck in my head. Whenever I would mention it to my friends, or sister or anyone they would look at me like I was crazy. Trust me, I know that I'm not but I decided to go on a "diet". Now, I didn't have rules on this diet for ex: what to eat, or what not to eat. I decided that at my meals I would have one helping, and if I was still hungry I would have a drink or something small. (trust me it really works instead of completely over-stuffing yourself) Yes, there were times where I had no choice but to eat something not healthy. (During this time I went to a carshow with my dad and all they were selling was fair food of course.) I also wanted to keep track of my weight, and I didn't really have a goal of how many pounds I wanted to lose but I know I wanted to lose a few. So every other day I would weigh myself, and surely enough my "diet" was working! I haven't gotten into any workout/exercise routine, but I think that will be my next goal. So, after 2 weeks of this "diet" I have lost a total of 8 lbs! I'm much happier with my weight, even though you might be thinking... that's it? :-) I'll let you know if I decide to do any more "diets" or exercise plans.

Wishing you all a healthy and productive day!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Happy 4th of July!

...(a little bit late)

We had a great fourth of July weekend! It was so fun to see friends, family, and just hang out at home. We all did find something "red, white, and blue"! :) So since I don't have a lot of time to post right now, I just uploaded a lot of pictures for you all to see!

We played the "washer game", played outside (even though it was so hot), Erin, my dad and I went to see a movie, and we did get to enjoy a few fireworks! Hope you all had a wonderful long weekend!


lost teeth

A month ago now, S & T both lost their first tooth...
The two of them had been showing off a wiggley tooth for many days.

T. lost hers on Saturday, June 4 on the way home from E's soccer tournement game.
She was a little surprised when it fell out but very excited to show the rest of the gang her new smile :)
Even more excited to put in under her pillow to see how much "moolah" the fairy she'd heard so  much about would leave.

S. was happy for his sister but none too anxious to have his own tooth fall out. However he could be seen  feeling the strange wiggley thing all through the day both with his tongue & fingers. It was the very next day while visiting G&G "Coco" & playing a little soccer in the yard that he came walking over (very casually) with his tooth in hand... *The tooth did go missing into the grass for a short while - but was found and put under his pillow that very night.

Our "twin" 5 year olds were both pleased with the $1 they found waiting for them the next morning....

Precious Milestones =)

Have a "smilely" day,

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Our Week in Words

We had a fairly busy week, even though some of our soccer games were cancelled because of the humidity index. I thought I would make a list of what we did this week!
  • 'T' and 'S' had a soccer game on Monday
  • Erin had a soccer game on Tuesday
  • We also had ortho dentists app. on Tuesday (Erin and I have braces, but that's a different post)
  • On Wednesday 'S' and Erin had soccer games, and I went to youth group ('T' had a hard day)
  • On Thursday Erin had to travel with some friends to a far away game for soccer, and as you know we had a beach day with friends! 
  • 'J's game was cancelled on Thursday because it was so hot out.
  • Yesterday, Friday, after all the heat started to cool down we got a very bad storm. It rained like crazy, hailed, and it was soooo windy. Then, after a power outage the tornado sirens went off. Luckily no one was hurt, and there was no reports of any tornados.
  • Finally today, Saturday, Erin got up extra early with dad to go to a friend's house and spend the day, and now she's sleeping over. 
  • Dad worked so hard today... He volunteers to mow the cemetary where our baby girl 'L' is at. (with my help sometimes) Then he came home, and off to work to fix some machines because the power also went out at his work.
  • My mom, the 3 youngsters, and I went to our grandma & grandpa's house to see a few cousins who were staying at their house. It was fun to watch them go on the slip-n-slide, (a.k.a. plastic grandpa pinned to the ground with the hose running on it) draw pictures, playing together, and enjoying some home-away-from-home time! 
Well that was our busy week! As you know, we're a not so small family, and in the summer time it's crazy busy around here.
Blessings, ~Michlyn

Friday, July 1, 2011

Can't Beat the Heat

Today the humidity index is at an all time high. The moment I stepped outside to get the mail, the humidity stuck to me. It almost feels like it's hard to breathe. So since we CAN'T beat the heat being at the beach today, we're going to stay home our nice, cool, comfy, air conditioned home!! Playing with legos, watching a movie, napping, and I'm on the laptop. I know it sounds like a pretty lazy day, but sometimes those days are very good!

Hope you're all enjoying the hot day in a cool way!