Sunday, October 31, 2010

Cutest pilot EVER!!! (aside from his Daddy)

Michael took charge of Ezra's Halloween costume this year and ordered him a flightsuit from a company called "Fly Boys". You can pick the patches to go on the sleeves and let me tell you, this thing is GREAT quality. Michael had a lot of fun deciding which patches to get and decided to sand down his hand me down Radio Flyer to make Ezra a wagon similar to the A-10. Well Mommy didn't get around to painting on the shark face on the nose of the wagon but at least the grey color and Air Force roundell(spelling) were present.

Seriously... can he stop growing up already!

Apparently it's important even for pilots to stop and "smell the roses" every now and then.


I turned the corner and this is what I see... my son is trying to become one with our mum!






This is Ezra's salute!

Ezra's "War Face" --- arrgghhhhhh!



Ezra's jet/wagon...



Ezra and Gammi at "trunk or treat"...

HUGE Christmas giveaway..




Last week or so I posted about a new found favorite blog, "Mommy Moment", well I found out that they have started the early entries for their Christmas giveaway worth more than $500.00! Please click on the button above to find out how you can enter :)

A few MUST reads...

These 2 books have been crazy insightful and helpful to me as a parent not even necessarily as an adoptive/foster parent. Just learning about how the brain develops and how if certain needs aren't met portions of the brain won't develop so some behaviors we see aren't b/c the child is defiant or lazy or aggressive they are simply b/c the pathways aren't there to tell the child how to react properly so theyhave to be "retrained". through reading the books I can NOW see that there were warning signs with Ezra and thankfully we just instinctively responded in the correct manner which is why he turned out to be pretty darn cool, however much of his hypersensitivity to sound and texture now makes so much sense. Every parent should read these books. The parenting advice is priceless and I can say w/ 100% certainty that after using the techniques in these books with Ezra he has become much more affectionate and responsive to correction.




And this series is just for fun! This is a trilogy but this is the first book. I promise you will be hooked and wishing for more.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

MUST visit blog for crafty moms and dads!

So you all know of my intense LOVE for www.filthwizardry.com
Well here is another crafty blog by a crafty dad that will rock your world!

http://madebyjoel.blogspot.com/

Just some samples of what's on his website:








I'm sorry that I don't know how to make a link actually link. I can build a blog but I don't know how to make a word link :(
So you'll have to do the old school copy and paste! Super worth it though.

To answer a few questions...

So I have gotten a few questions per my last couple posts about KVI and also about hair care so I'll try to answer both in this post :)

First HAIR CARE:

Arrrrhhhhhggggggggg!!!! That's how I feel about careing from my son's hair. We have tried oodles of products, but I'll only post about the few that have worked best for us. I'm not saying it will work great for your child's hair but for Ezra's hair type (kinky, dry, knotted, SUPER curly) these have seemed to go the distance.

Mixed Chicks Products:


Pantene Products:




Curlz.biz products:


So now that you know what we use, here's how we use them.
We wet Ezra's hair when he gets his bath at night but almost never shampoo it. The Pantene conditioner above is great to lather the hair with the brush through with a PADDLE BRUSH (in my opinion a wide paddle brush works much better then a wide tooth comb). Then when it's towel dried we apply a leave on conditioner and the "Just For Me" detangler from WalMart (doesn't seem to really work but I do it anyway). In the morning when I'm getting him ready for school I wet his hair and apply either the Mixed chicks product or the Pantene styling gel. I think they both work very similarly and seem to achieve the same look. My only complaint about the Mixed Chicks product is that it sometimes leaves a white residue on the ends of the hair when it dries. If needed the Pantene gel is great at allowing you to brush through the hair in the morning if needed as well.
Another mom gave me the idea of using a spray bottle of water mixed with a small amount of conditioner in the morning before applying product to help with brushing as well.

Hope this helps and saves some of you some money!

Now to talk about KVI in Ethiopia (Kingdom Vision International). KVI is an orphanage like Kids Care (where Ezra is from) that America World Adoption Associates partners with in Ethiopia to get children placed with families in the U.S.
The traveling families are able to bring over donations to the transition home and orphanages if they so chose, and the prior post on KVI was from a mom who visited there this week.
When I was in ET in January last year I have to say that the orphanages I visited in Addis were much nicer then Kids Care (which I thought was pretty bad), but in Northern Ethiopia the state of the the orphanages was intensely heartbreaking. No food, no enrichment, no latrines. Enough of the basics to sustain life, but not to thrive. It sounds like KVI is similar in nature to those orphanges.

Take a look at the photo below:


This is the week old carcass of a goat that was slaughtered by the oldest boy at an orphanage in Axum to add protein to the kids' diet. As you can see, there's NOTHING left of this goat but they were still using it for food. Any marrow and tendons left were very important sustenance to the kiddos there.

These wall decorations below were the only ones to be found. Not stimulating colors, letters, words. Just blue walls and dirt floors. You can see that they even used the outlined portion from the sticker sheet to decorate. Likely brought to them by a missionary or traveler like myself who wanted to see what conditions were like for orphans in that region.


There are many ways to help.
1. Prayer
2. Donating money to humanitarian aid organizations like Children's Hopechest, AHOPE, Operation Rescue, Into the Streets of Ethiopia, or Compassion International. Organizations where you can go to ET and see for yourself the difference you've made in the life of an orphan.
3. If you are traveling to Ethiopia bring extra rubbermaid containers of donations with you. The import tax there is 180% so anything you try to ship will cost more to pay tax on then to buy it in the U.S so it's best to just bring it with you on the plane. When I traveled in January I made contact with people from different aid organizations early so when I got there I was able to have a driver pick me up and hand deliver the donations to the kids at each care center.
4. Stimulate the local economy by purchasing items in ET for care centers. In most stores I've seen things like formula are CRAZY expensive and are poor quality so it would be best to buy that in the U.S, but furniture, food items, cooking utensils, can be bought in country and will help the local economy.
5. Spread the word. Many people have no idea what conditions are like for the children of Africa. We don't want to see pictures of a 2 year old who weighs 11 pounds, or of a 23 year old woman with HIV who weighs only 34 pounds! No one wants to see these things but we HAVE to. We have to realize that this is happening now and in unimaginable numbers.
6. Donate to someone's adoption. If you yourself don't feel called to bring a child into your home find someone who does and offer financial assistance. Adoption is crazy expensive and it's only getting worse. B/w the time we adopted Ezra and now the price of Ethiopia adoption has increased by $10,000!!!
7. More prayer.

Check out these new blog designs!





Thursday, October 28, 2010

Help NEEDED!

The post below is from a mom who's currently in Ethiopia to pick up her child. As you can see the need is GREAT and it's up to us to make a difference for these innocent babies. If you want to help please let me know and I can get in contact with some of the traveling families to bring over supplies for these kiddos.

Hey, everyone-
We (the five families in Eth for court right now) visited KVI orphanage today. We all walked away with broken hearts, stunned at the reality of life for the kids there.

They do not have any diapers. Yes, you read that correctly. An orphanage full of babies and toddlers, and there are no diapers. They have rags and ripped pieces of sheets that the wrap around their bottoms, and keep them in place with onesie t-shirts. Every single baby we held today was soaking wet (or worse), their entire outfit. They lay on the floor, soaking wet, and get changed on the floor...where they all crawl around and play with the few toys that they have.

In addition, they had no mattresses in many of the cribs. Babies sleeping on a the wooden bottom of a crib. I don't know that I would have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes.

So...we pooled our money and they helped us find a place that sells crib mattresses. All well and good...except for the fact that they are NOT vinyl covered mattresses like we get at home. Cloth covers.

So, while it's great that they at least have crib mattresses, they're going to be ruined in short order with none of the babies having diapers. We've searched high and low, and cannot find any waterproof crib pads here in Addis.

CAN THE FAMILIES THAT ARE TRAVELING FOR COURT THIS COMING WEEK PLEASE BRING AS MANY WATERPROOF CRIB PADS AS POSSIBLE? The best would be the kind that can just be wiped clean, and if possible have the fitted sheet edges to wrap around. But anything waterproof will work! Even if they have the cotton top over vinyl, if we have enough of them at least they can be changed.

The other obvious need is diapers. Even cloth diapers and plastic pants to go over would work. Just something.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Cutest 2 year old ever!!!

Ezra as "Alex the Lion" from Madagascar.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

New blog design

By clicking on the button below you will be re-directed to a new blog I've been working on. I think it's super cute and I can't wait for Allison to get started blogging!

Monday, October 25, 2010

FREE Paper doll printouts!

This is a MUST for anyone with little girls! I found this site sort of haphazardly and LOVE IT. I plan to start printing some of these ASAP just in case we are matched with a little girl! There are 10 YEARS of outfits for these cute paper dolls. I just picked my favorite doll and put her photo below to act as a link but there are I think 4 or 5 dolls total to chose from.
For any mom who loves crafty projects this is the one for you!

Click on the photo below to be redirected to the site:

She's done it AGAIN!!!

Amanda over and www.kevinandamanda.com who I recently posted about making the chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes... well... she's brought ANOTHER delicious looking recipie into my life :)
These are similar in idea but a chocoholics DREAM! These are brownie batter cupcakes with fudge icing! I will likely be making these tomorrow. I actually ordered the scoopers that she uses in her recipies online but since they haven't arrived yet hopefully this time my measuring prowess will be a bit better and I don't end up with so much wasted cupcake tops!

Pre-baked cupcakes. You can see the frozen brownie batter in the center of the cupcake batter - yummmmmm!!


Homestudy complete!!!

We're finished! Now we just have to wait for a baby to come our way :)
Sooooo super excited to be done!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Homestudy Monday!!!



Our homestudy is scheduled for this Monday! YEA! Time to start the frantic cleaning! hahaha I remember our first homestudy and how I seriously probably could have done surgery off of my wood floors, this time around.. not so much :) Now that I know what to expect I won't worry myself so much about scrubbing EVERYTHING. The homestudy is done in one day and can last from 3-8 hours dependent on how many people are in your home and if you've ever had a homestudy done before so I'm shooting for the 3 hour mark. Then we get our homestudy in to CPS and we wait. That's the part that I'm REALLY not good at.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Please read this from my friend and fellow adoptive mom, Courtney Hammons. They are trying to complete 2 adoptions in the same year after meeting a child when they picked up their son 3 months ago. Funding this second adoption will require the prayers and support of everyone. Please read her message below and enter to win an iPAD and help bring Teddy Home!

From Courtney:

Three months ago Kenneth and I brought home a beautiful 5 yr old named Tariku! What we didn’t know at that time is we all 3 left a part of our heart in Ethiopia with another sweet 5 year old who happened to be Tariku’s best friend and also deaf. We have prayed, sought guidance, and asked if we were to be Teddy’s family? We kept coming back to the same answer - YES! So the paperwork has been submitted and we are waiting for a court date! In the mean time we are trying to raise the funds to bring Teddy home! Won’t you help us and possibly win an I-PAD!!!
Tickets are $10. for one and $25. for 3 – the drawing will be held on Tuesday Oct 27th!
Visit http://hammonshouseunplugged.blogspot.com for more info and to enter!
Thank you for helping us complete our family and bring Tariku’s best friend home!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

One of my new faves!

This header is for the blog of one amazing lady! Wynne Elder is a future adoptive mommy and a very talented photographer and blog designer. She asked me to help her out with a header and button and I just fell in love with this design.



Click on the button below to visit Wynne's blog:

Miscellaneous Memories...

We decided to drive to Decatur to visit some National Grasslands Park thingy (total bust - don't waste your time or gas). The highlight of the trip was seeing this sign:



Ezra's big thing right now is "I do by myself". He's asserting his independence big time which is great, so I took a few pics of him hiking by himself...





I bought this brush yesterday. I was shocked to see that it came with instructions and AGHAST to see that it also had a warning label! I asked Michael if he thought that if I "used it near sharp objects" it may transform into a set of steak knives :)




Ezra's first girlfriend - Jesse from Toy Story :)




Mommy's little helper!


Monday, October 18, 2010

New button for America World

Jillian has approved the 3rd blog button for America World Adoption Associates. If you are an AWAA family here is another option for you to chose from to post to your blog to spread the word and support our great agency!