Spelling Bee

I love the national spelling bee. It’s not even a guilty pleasure, I’m proud of it. I love it. But I feel sooo sorry for the kids who miss those words I’ve never even heard of. Tonight I got teary eyed when the 2nd place boy missed his. Heartbreaking. That is good TV, though.

So things are good around here. Tariku’s rapid understanding of English is borderline freaky. The kid is a genius and I can’t even take credit for it, how disappointing. Every morning in the car, “Mom, where are we going?” “Mom can I have a snack now or after night, night?” It’s baffling.

I’m somewhat baffled at the genius of my eldest as well (that I can and will take all the credit for, if you’re keeping score). He does remarkably well at sounding words out and spelling them. He also loves “reading” books and gets pretty darn close. His memory is astounding, we went somewhere the other day (can’t remember where, he obviously gets the memory thing from someone else) and he was talking about a memory that happened when he was just under 3-years-old. It was a story that we don’t even talk about but he remembered it. I think he should be in some sort of study for the cutest AND smartest 5-year-old in history.

And Dailah is still hit or miss on the potty. It’d probably help if I bought a small potty chair seat because she’s a bit scared of falling in and clutches at me pretty hard. But she loves it when she succeeds (or when she doesn’t). I still maintain that she’ll be our comedienne. She’ll do just about anything to get a laugh and remembers EVERYTHING you laugh at so when you get mad at her she checks her reserves and uses all her cuteness and hilarity on you. It’s amazing, I think she gets that from the hubby’s side. My humor tends to be something only a mother or husband can love (and that’s because they have to or I’ll punch ’em) whereas my husband’s humor is fairly universal and not 5 minutes can go by with hubby’s family without me on the verge of wetting myself in a laughter fit. Zach knows one of the main reasons I married him is because of his family, so we’re clear about that.

I love laughing it feels good. You know what else I love? PICTURES!!!!!!!

I love this picture because it’s Trysten’s genuine smile, which is so hard to get nowadays (who says “nowadays” anymore?)

Doozie enjoying her milk.

The boys and Zach’s parents, Frank and Terre.

This was our outing when we took Jody’s kids for her on Wednesday so she could get stuff done before they headed off to Sierra Leone. Aren’t her boys too cute? I got asked quite a few times if they were all mine (and I have a VERY good feeling they were asking because of Tariku and not the 4 blondes).

Max was VERY protective of Ms. Dailah (he told me he had to practice for his sister Kora) the whole time, she ended up getting pissed off but that’s because she’s divalicious and it had nothing to do with him.

Seriously. He really is ridiculous.

More Pictures

There really were too many from the lake and beyond to choose from.

Dailah “doozie” showing her mommy’s sprinting abilities.

Tariku…too cute

My cousin’s son Dawson (was our maiden name and she stole it from me for her son’s name….it’s okay since he’s so darn cute.)

Kinda precious

My other cousin’s daughter. She just loooved the dog!

Love close ups of these eyes.

Pee Pee In the Potty

So the dutchess has officially decided to start potty training. Unfortunately, this was not my bright idea, but hers and hers alone. She’s pooped on the potty 3 times today and peed 4 or so times. Obviously that means she’s went in her pants, as she likes telling us after the fact sometimes but still, she’s not even two yet so this is all fairly exciting…except I am just too lazy. 3 kid having to go to the bathroom now? That just sounds like crazy talk to me! Anyway, very proud of her and it’s not that surprising, we’re talking about a girl who hates being dirty or messy in any way, it was only a matter of time before she started to hate that feeling in her pants as well.

When we were riding bikes Trysten started to doubt himself so I told him to just start saying, “I think I can, I think I can” and then it would happen. Well he’s extended that into daily life. Tonight he dropped a toy under the car seat and I heard him saying his mantra in order to reach his hand into the abyss to get it. That’s amazing.

Got great pics from today but must get to hang out with my husband…tomorrow some of the camp counselors come and it’s all downhill from there.

In last bit of news. YAY to Erica who just received her referral. LOVE that she got her little girl and I saw her picture, she is waaayyy too cute! Jody and Andy leave tomorrow. The situation is intense and they need your thoughts and prayers still. In one week and one day, if all things fall into place exactly, Jody, Andy, Zeke and Kora will be in America..home free.

Much love!


Just pictures tonight..Happy Memorial Day. Thank you, thank you to those who have served, who are serving and who have had to watch loved ones leave to support me, a complete and total stranger. Your ultimate sacrifice is appreciated more than I can say!

They Did It!

JODY’S KIDS CAN COME HOME!!!!!!!! They got their visas. The kids are coming home, to a good home. God is good. Life is good. It’s raining balls and Tariku asked today “Raining in Ethiopia?” And I had to say, “No”. But overall, life is good.

I can’t wait to meet Zeke and Kora!

Swords and Lakehouses

I just heard the boys playing “swords” while going pee. Is that normal for boys? Pee at the same time and try to cross urine streams, so weird. People often refer to women being the great mystery of centuries past but come on…swords? This makes no sense and yet brings my boys such pleasure. Who’s the great mystery now?

Soo excited about the long weekend. We are heading to my parents’ lakehouse for the 3-day-weekend and I couldn’t be more excited. Possible chance of rain but do you think that rains on my mood? Not so much. We’ll still get to ride on the boat and just relax, away from camp, away from any opportunity of Zach leaving us to get a tractor out of the ditch or clean up after someone. Ahhh, it’ll be nice.

Hope you all have a great weekend as well!


Last night we had a professional photographer come out to Camp to take some pics. She was WONDERFUL! She stayed for almost 3 hours and just kept clicking! The kids took quite the liking to her, especially Dailah who chose to sit on Shannon’s (the photogs) lap rather than get her pictures taken.

Shannon puts a sneak peak on her blog so we can see a small example. You interested? Go here for a little preview of these amazing pictures. We’re the first family (obviously) but if you scroll down you can also see my in-laws (mentioned in previous post) you’ll recognize them because Zach and his brother look alike and Leslie and I do too. 🙂



Not only am I turning into my mother…I’m also turning into my elder sister-in-law, Leslie ( I just call her sis). Today we went to Hy Vee and guess what I bought and had for snack time…Pita chips (from the Healthy eating department) and HUMMUS! Wow, and you know what I enjoyed it…there, I said it, I enjoyed it. Thanks, Leslie for showing me the light. 🙂 (This is not to say I didn’t follow it up with cookie dough, cuz I’d be lying if I said I didn’t, but I started on the right track).

Speaking of Leslie. HUGE news. She, her husband and my two nephews ARE ADOPTING FROM ETHIOPIA!!!!!!!!!! Not just from Ethiopia, but from our agency. This means there is a good chance their daughter will come from the same area as our son and she will most definitely have been in the very same care center as Tariku. I cannot believe God could be this good. What a blessing! They have been the most supportive through our entire process and we knew they were considering an adoption of their own. It’s safe to say they were at the top of our prayer list for quite some time. So happy to have them experience this amazing thing called adoption (don’t ask Jody about it though…). So please welcome them into this huge adoption family. She’s an amazing writer so I’m currently trying to talk her into an adoption blog. 🙂

Anyway, I love her, I love them and I CANNOT wait to get a picture of my niece and show you all.

You and Me Go Fishin…

Gave Tariku another first…fishing. It was great, though he was scared poopless of fish. He liked pretending but wanted nothing to do with the real thing. Zach went and bought all 3 kids a little package that had sunglasses, a fishing pole, and a tackle box. Trysten got Transformers (of course), Tariku got Cars (of course), Dailah got Barbie (of course), I got a purple one (of course).

Here are some pics because their cuteness speaks much louder than my attempt at cute words.

Tariku pretending to cast. He ended up losing 2 fishing lines and 2 bobbers. NIIIICE.

A fish that Zach caught but Tariku wanted to pretend was his. Wouldn’t let it get any closer.

I mean, really.

I caught the first fish and it was pretty exciting. My pole was THE pole this time around, caught the most fish. By the way, mom, your generosity on mom’s day paid for this hair cut. AND that fish was bigger in real life than it looks. Teehee.

Trysten casting, pretty good form.

First fish for Tman, could he be anymore excited?

Again with the fish.

Just a couple of brothers contemplating life, love and why fish are “so nasty” according to Trysten.

Look at that cute little fish. Sorry daddy, mommy’s got game tonight.

Dailah casting, good form, poor patience (wonder where she gets that from…)

How many 22 month olds do you know who get put in timeout at a place like this and just sit there? Crazy.

Had to add this because it’s too cute. Doozie in her toddler bed.



Firstly, Jody’s kids are in desperate need of prayer. Please pray/send out good thoughts for them as their adoption is certainly running a course where there are unthinkable possibilities at the end.

Also, please go here and read about how the drought in Ethiopia is affecting the children. The area they are talking about in this article is VERY close to where our Tariku is from. In America we cannot fathom what this might be like. Even having been there, I have no idea what it would feel like to see your children slowly dying in front of you. There are no food shelters or YMCAs there to take care of these kids (not in the south anyway) and the entire thing is just tragic. Last night as we got a thunderstorm with torrential downpours I couldn’t help but look at the overflowing Mississippi with a little bit of animosity. There is no reason that rain isn’t going over there. Please, God let it get over there!