Thursday, February 26, 2015

Beethoven's 5th - The Ballet

The girls are growing up. I am realizing that there is a lot less focus on playing dress up and more focus on academics and extra curriculars - such is the natural progression of childhood.

There are still times, however, when the whimsy of their youth shines through.

Like so:

 photo 40288c7a-d83e-4c45-a4c9-d40adf80ad54_zpsutzbzkwa.jpg  photo 2b5ed004-66fc-4d13-a1ae-f02ad577bf6e_zpsfo1jhhrd.jpg  photo 0164fa29-21c6-43ae-afce-63699a793a71_zpspe8pog4g.jpg  photo 6c550fb3-4561-4171-8a0f-1ec45e512fc0_zpsoulozoho.jpg  photo 780b67f3-4e50-4fac-a1ac-33a3c782aeaf_zpsizs3epjg.jpg  photo 93ccce44-e628-4dc7-985e-a0cbe6b1b3cc_zps6koxdnhc.jpg

And this was all choreographed to Beethoven's 5th Symphony.


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Death of a Binky

This is how a binky looks by the time Elisabeth's done with it:

  photo 03ab1dac-bc29-44b9-82a4-3324c76f0f0d_zpstyyfspr2.jpg  photo 8a62bf71-347a-44b2-9537-9dbeb2fb1dd5_zpsmhyqfdyb.jpg  photo a0fd53e7-e298-4d0a-a736-b3d647c8fec7_zps8deaxr9u.jpg
She means business.

Monday, February 23, 2015


A Valentine's Day Review
 photo 7e4945fd-72cf-454d-a79e-2b4919106ac1_zpsb39de9b2.jpg  photo bd913d61-f6d8-4ee3-ac94-06c423dfb594_zps0894d916.jpg  photo 213d3731-756a-4931-b71a-73f3c60788f9_zps6d0aec32.jpg  photo 30f85ed0-9ee8-4cf3-9696-83f2b43d73f7_zps084311ca.jpg  photo 208bae18-579c-4369-a9ee-e738cb9b3cf6_zpsac0c5cf9.jpg  photo c1dea423-0cb0-4c4b-896c-bc89fec2cc06_zps6c9d7afc.jpg  photo c181e7fd-a9f4-4ffb-8e3d-c1269db9b083_zps0c0f70cb.jpg

To: Mom
From: Elsa

  photo 3e85e5eb-0328-488a-ac20-cf9fce0cec65_zpsed2e0fd9.jpg

Some more Valentine's from Elsa...

  photo fadc2b21-710e-4ba7-869d-c5010adf0b46_zps0d899f1c.jpg  photo fd05920e-7bc7-46d6-b5d6-23364a4ed253_zps3421c9b7.jpg

And for the girls...

 photo 6ba8ceb5-5b7d-449a-bef0-3b4141b8a239_zps797a0b26.jpg  photo bb942b65-c98a-42ef-a1b7-1392151826c3_zps63f1b201.jpg

I LOVED the fact that Alexandra and Lorelai both instantly opened the
pages of their new books took in that lovely new-book smell.

  photo 8458efb8-6583-4b71-a633-cf28b41a3ee6_zps9712fbda.jpg  photo b4e1d421-e6e9-4a90-9c2a-7f1c288255bb_zps02fc20cd.jpg

Elsa hasn't learned to appreciate the fine smell of a new book yet, but she will soon, no doubt.

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And the sweetest valentine of all:

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Love & Kisses

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Parable of the Spoon

I was in the kitchen this morning as Elsa was pouring herself a bowl of cereal. The dishwasher - which I ran the night before - had not yet been emptied so Elsa opened it and grabbed a spoon.

"Oh, this is still dirty." she said casually as she placed the spoon into the sink and grabbed another one from the dishwasher.

Still dirty?

Curious, I picked up the spoon and examined it. It was shining. So I called Elsa over and asked her to show me where it was dirty. She pointed to the tiniest water spot on the bottom left curve:

 photo 6283095b-3e6d-42a3-b6d7-624e0b217dd5_zps8d314ab5.jpg
[The 'dirty' spoon. See the water spot? Me either.]


I couldn't help but find the ironic humor in it. What a difference 15 months can make! Elsa went from a culture where they use their hands to eat each meal, to returning a spoon to the sink because of a water spot. 

I spent the morning thinking about how much she has learned and changed since she came here to America. Somewhere, sometime in the 15 months since we adopted her from Ethiopia, she learned the art of being critical. Because I can guarantee you she wasn't like that before she moved here. It stood out as a strong reminder that I need to be cautious of the example I set. I need not focus on the small imperfections, but rather on the big blessings. There will always be the good and the bad -  that's the way life is, plain and simple.  The beauty of it all comes in the fact that we can choose what to look for. Do we seek to find fault; to be offended; to continually be dissatisfied? Or do we choose to live with gratitude; to love and to serve; to be happy?

I vote we choose happiness.

So go grab a spoon and enjoy a bowl of cereal.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Thank you, Insurance!!!

Remember the new fancy-schmancy, custom-made wheel chair that Elisabeth got back in December?

Well, they don't come cheap. Elisabeth's was in the ballpark of $7700.00 of which our insurance company agreed to pay 80%.

So yesterday the phone rang and it was the medical supply company that sold us the wheelchair. Here is what the lady on the other end of the phone told me:

"We wanted to let you know that your insurance company paid for the chair in full, so we are going to mail you a refund check."


I could not believe my ears! 

Things like that just don't happen. 

I asked her over and over again...are you sure? 
To which she confirmed that yes, the chair was paid for.

 photo 4feaac9e-f51b-444d-9694-a5e534aef58c_zpsf9516f71.jpg  

Best news ever!!!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Seizures are Down, Smiles are Up!

Elisabeth has had a very good week.

Seizures have been minimal - I've probably only seen one or two a day. And - as always when she gets a break from seizures - I've seen her come to life.

She spends less time sleeping and more time playing and smiling.

She's even been sitting upright for long periods at a time.

It's miraculous.

 photo eda81ed4-4085-46f1-bd32-b5a7baf044f0_zps12c2bd32.jpg  photo 4d52bac2-6218-491c-80c9-a557f631f4bb_zps221e165d.jpg  photo 8ce69c57-ef3c-43c6-bb58-d394aebda37c_zps076ebac7.jpg  photo 9a7a48e4-e966-475d-870d-7a897ce7e609_zps1d2180cb.jpg 

^ ^ ^ Check out those smiles! I miss them when they are away!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Scream, by golly!

The moment we walked in the door this afternoon, 
Elisabeth began screaming her head off. 

Not with frustration or anger, but with enthusiasm and gusto

She had a lot to say and she was gonna say it, by golly!

  photo 90c8986c-7967-42d9-88af-5c5e80398354_zps9a72d7ff.jpg  photo d5042e19-2253-49ae-a147-dde5ac4242c6_zpscd920fbe.jpg  photo e3abed09-b440-4ac5-93ec-3366c16cd73e_zpsf7f51e75.jpg 

I'm pretty sure Edvard Munch would love to paint a scream that spectacular!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine's Day 2015

When your husband puts this on the wall of his very manly garage
you know he loves you:

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Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A Moment in Time

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I love that this simple moment was caught forever. 

Elisabeth - sitting up - and playing with her favorite toy (binky in mouth, of course). 

Elsa, laying in front of the fire and working on her reading skills. 

And Brigitta, donning a pink sweater and patrolling the family room.


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

A Bit Peculiar

My favorite app on my phone is my Merriam-Webster dictionary. I love to look up words. And not just words I am unfamiliar with, but common, everyday words, too - because I wonder how they will define them.

Last night I used the word peculiar and it occurred to me that it is a delightful sounding word, one that I need to use more often.

Then I went to my Merriam-Webster app to see the official definition of peculiar.

Pe-cu-liar adjective: Not usual or normal.

I think maybe I'm peculiar.

I kind of hope I am.

Saturday, February 7, 2015


The video of Donald reacting to the Seahawks Super Bowl loss made the news in Seattle!

Post by KING 5.

There was one comment left on the post from a man stating he wished people put that kind of passion towards feeding the homeless, or curing cancer.

I immediately responded, telling him that last year Donald adopted an orphan from Ethiopia, so yeah, he does put that kind of passion towards feeding the homeless.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Elsa Lelise, Ballerina

So, we kind of did things a little backwards. Normally a child would take ballet class first and then perform in The Nutcracker. Not here. Elsa performed as a mouse in The Nutcracker last December having never taken a dance class.

But yesterday we remedied that.

I give to you, Elsa Lelise at her very first ballet class:

  photo ca155709-2230-4908-8e75-a758195a2920_zps1e8d3aed.jpg  photo 9a14eb08-48c1-42df-b39b-d135771272e4_zpsc8b8babc.jpg  photo a824663b-5910-4c09-832e-19b602184dad_zps6a7e0cbb.jpg  photo 10a7069c-f149-4837-853e-28a3d34dc014_zps32ea181d.jpg  photo 3678515c-060f-4259-86d2-42f9de6e8c30_zpseae13551.jpg

I only stayed for the first ten minutes or so because I was holding Elisabeth in my arms (and taking pictures - you learn to multi-task real well when you have a child like Elisabeth), but in those quick ten minutes I must have thought, "Oh, I wish Seyba was here to see this!" about ten times. 

Seyba, Elsa's biological mother, is always in my thoughts. I am dedicated to giving Elsa the best childhood possible because Seyba is trusting me to do so. And I hope that even though she can't see Elsa as she grows and learns, that she can feel her in her heart and know that all is well.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Why I Read

Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.
― Neil Gaiman, Coraline

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

"Go Set a Watchman"

I'll never forget the moment that I found out there was a sequel to my beloved book, The Giver. It was like I had been given a great gift. Well, that happened again today - times ten thousand.

I just read that Harper Lee once wrote a sequel (in the 1950's) to To Kill a Mockingbird! And that book is going to be published this summer. I am in shock. To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my favorite books of all time. To read about Scout 20 years have that story I am speechless.

Monday, February 2, 2015

"Why Did They Pass The Ball????"

When your team loses the Super Bowl in the last few seconds of the game:

I'll give him this....he's got passion.

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