You’re My Rockstar

Why didn’t anyone tell me boyfriend/girlfriend business starts so young these days?

Yesterday Trysten told me his “friend” from camp told him that he was HER “rockstar”. Seriously. I admit, it’s hilarious and a genuinely original way to tell someone you’re a fan of theirs but the kid is five. I am able to sleep at night hoping neither one understands what that means and perhaps she said it because she heard him play the guitar and recognized immediately his raw talent.

Today the awesome lady at the Y’s childwatch (Miss Sally) told me Dailah has a “boyfriend”, Jack. Jack will sit at the table and yell, “Dailah, get me food, Dailah I’m hungry, Dailah I want to eat NOW.” And Dailah, being the good wife she is, gets him his plate and fake food, waits while he eats it and then clears the table only to sit by her lonesome to enjoy her dinner. Then they walk off holding hands.


Does Anyone Else…

Just have days/moments where you lose all respect for yourself? I was not cool with the kids yesterday. I think I apologized to them EACH at least twice for overreacting. I have no idea what it is. I’m blaming headaches for 4 days (which are now better with my chiropractor’s help!) but seriously, there is no excuse.

Tell me I’m not the only. Not the only one who put my son in timeout for peeing on the toilet seat after I’d told him 3 times today to LIFT the seat up. OR that I yelled a WEE bit too much over a child who met ranch dressing just a few short months ago and tonight scooped a spoonful and ate it without anything else (that’s just gross). Tell me it’s not just me…lie if you have to but just…say…it.

(And yes, I MUST have some sort of OCD about pee and the toilet seat ‘cuz I know it’s a common theme here at hotflawedmama)

A few pictures to force me to strap on a pair and be a better mommy to these angels.

Other random pictures.

Yesterday was a big road race here in the QC called Bix (after Bix Beiderbeke…spelling that wrong…a famous jazz musician who hails from Davenport). We pull in the big folks for this 7 mile run and this year it included about 5 Ethiopians. So I dressed the kids up, after a quick celebration of Dailah’s 2nd birthday, in their Ethiopian gear to go cheer them on. It was a good time had by all.

Last night I got a night away with my sister-in-law, Kait who just came back from Chile. Try to focus on my “beauty” when hers is shining next to me….sucks.

My friend, Kasey, was also there…her fiance was playing in a pretty sweet band (Wicked Liz and the Belly Swirls) so we enjoyed cheering him on…good stuff.

Doozie on her birthday morning receiving her special birthday pancakes.

I’ve been trying to get pictures of the different faces Tariku strikes so easily. Here is the face I know he is up to something.

Isn’t he impressively striking in this traditional chinese outfit (I’m not even attempting to spell it but it sounds like “gee”, right?)

He is just too beautiful. I love looking at him like I do now. Like my son, like my baby. Like I would do anything for him. Like I can’t believe how blessed I am that he’s in my life.

Caught this rare moment of Trysten NOT being aware of the camera. He was SOOO excited about Terre’s boxes so she pulled them in the front yard and he was just seething with pure joy.

Brothers holding hands (with no prompting from mom!) before Tariku got his cast off.

The kids sharing after no cast.

Just beauty.

We met my parents in Iowa City on Friday to celebrate Dailah’s birthday. Here she is with her cake.

I have been on a kick to start producing as many of our grocery needs at home to help with the monthly budget. Here is my very first shot at wheat bread. It was impressive, and delicious and probably award winning. It was so good in fact, that Aristotle (our dog) ate one of the loaves while I was getting bags packed to leave the house after the STORM.

This is how Doozie helped Terre cook for our family, Frank and Terre, and 15 scared camp counselors.

Kids proud of their shucked corn.

Tariku excited about his first Iowa sweet corn experience. No one grows it better than our local farmers!

Good picture of my brother-in-law with Doozie and my nephew Puddin’.

Long Overdue

Strap yourselves in…here we go for some long overdue posts. First, the storm.

I got another nasty-o-gram in my comments box after I blogged about the tornado. In case you missed it, it said.

“We almost died? How about pay homage to the family in Colona who lost a child and has 2 seriously injured in the STORM NOT a tornado as you have previously stated. A little overdramatic, you think?”

Anyone else think anonymously commented negatively on a blog just seems a bit silly? Alas I must be honest with my gets-their-jollies-from-anonymous-blog-commenting…he/she is right in that the weather people did say it was a STORM (I liked how you used all caps, my new friend) not a TORNADO. However, 100mph winds, whether from a funnel cloud or not, creates the same devastation. It was a storm that masked itself as a tornado. But here are the pictures I promised. Overdramatic, possibly, seeings we obviously did not perish (and please, don’t pretend to know how much the Colona family haunts or does not haunt my reality dearest stranger, it just makes you sound ignorant). But here are pictures, though it might not be as telling of a picture for those of you that did not see camp before, it will certainly for those who had.

I apologize in advance for being an ass, but being an ass begets being an ass so there you have it.

Tree that fell too close to the window Dailah sleeps under.

One of the coolest parts of the morning was finally reaching the point where cars could get into camp and seeing this. A dozen or so cars who came within a few hours to help clean up the mess. God’s grace is bountiful.

This tree damaged the machine shed and landed where the horses roamed, amazingly enough, no horse was injured in the STORM.

Our front yard which now houses a large tree. Most of our lawn ornaments (i.e. kids’ toys) were thrown amidst this downed tree.

One shot of our house through the rubble.

Another shot of the house and neighboring trees. Dramatic or not, try telling me that tree couldn’t have created large scale devastation in our small family.

Just a big arse tree that couldn’t withstand the STORM.

The only way in or out of camp.

Last tree before breaking into the relative calmness where all the cars were (and, in this case, where my mom-in-law Terre had parked to help us with our Exodus from the house).

Terre in the middle of the above tree breaking the heavy silence with the quip, “Does this tree make my butt look small?” (Just ask why I love that woman? Not only does she use humor in the face of sadness, as I do as well, but she’s carrying her weight on her back to get us out in one load.)

Just to show how big the tree is, that, had it fallen the opposite way, could’ve landed on the house…that is a man attempting to cut it down with a saw.

In the Dark…with no cast!

So we’re still in the dark, with no water or electricity we’ve been lodging at my parents-in-law since Monday morning. We’ve actually had a lot of fun and Trysten even announced to my nephew, “I live here now.”

We went back to camp this morning for the first time since the storm to get a few necessities (like undies for the boys, seriously, when do boys ever stop putting poo runs in their undies? It makes it VERY hard to reuse even in times of crisis) and get our car finally. It still looks like a disaster area. It really is heartbreaking. Zach and I were talking this morning and I said something and he said, “Tesi, you do realize WE almost died.” Though that’s perhaps a very slight exaggeration, I can’t help but thank God we did, in fact, live to tell the tale.

And on another note, we are without an arm cast here! Tariku has been cast-less for 1 hour now and he couldn’t be more excited. I cannot believe how bad his arm stinks. In the car I kept asking what that smell was until I used the sniffer to sniff directly to the moldy, tiny, white/black arm. Poor guy. A good soakin’ should do the trick. He still holds it like he’s got a cast on it but other than that, he’s happy as a clam.

Did I tell you the great news yet? MY SISTER IS MOVING TO DAVENPORT!!! So today we’re heading house hunting for her. It should be a lot of fun spending someone else’s money on a mortgage. Good thing she trusts me!

Off to get a shower. Those are hard to come by in a life like mine!

P.S. I’ll write about our first orphan ministry project next, I had to head home to get a few of my notes. Stay tuned!


So a tornado hit camp. We are alive and well, thanks in full part to the big man upstairs. We are staying at my in-laws as our power and water are off and will be for, reportedly, 2-3 days. There are trees fallen all over and somehow, the trees fell AWAY from all of the buildings. 80 kids, 20ish counselors and one 5 person family okay. 1 chocolate lab rattled but safe. We are blessed.

Submerged in Grace

So something exciting happened to me today…Jody, another woman from church and I “unofficially” launched an “orphan ministry” at church today. So many quotation marks, such a small sentence, I know. It’s unofficial because it’s organic, it’s a brainchild of us, it’s without knowledge or consent from the church leaders. “Orphan ministry” because it doesn’t have an official name but at it’s best that’s what it will look like, a group of people ministering to orphans.

Jody and I had started this ragamuffin group of fellow adoptive/foster parent people many months ago as a place to 1) get support for the process and 2) minister to orphans. For better or worse we dropped the second and dwelled, perhaps too much, on the first. I was getting too frustrated with that as, you’ll notice from my blogs, I’m no longer okay with the plight of the orphans just because I brought one home. I’ve been submerged in Grace and I want to submerge the people who God holds near and dear.

Which brings me to…did you know God mentions the orphans, widows and strangers 60 times in the Bible. Wowsa. God is described as, “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, Is God in His holy habitation. God sets the solitary in families; He brings out those who are bound into prosperity. ” Psalm 68: 5-6

So our “orphan ministry” has a “mission statement” (now I’m just getting carried away) of sorts. It’s James 1:27: “Pure and faultless religion is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress…”

You know what’s disturbing? I just came across this statistic. There are more than 70 million orphans in the world. At least 35,000 children under the age of five die every day as a result of malnutrition or starvation, and there are at least one million children currently suffering under the oppression of forced prostitution. At least 100 million children are involved in child labor, and 1.5 million children are currently infected with AIDS.

What’s MORE disturbing? “A 2001 Barna Research Group poll revealed that evangelical Christians are less likely than are non-Christians to give money and assistance to AIDS-related causes. Only 3% of evangelicals say they plan to help with AIDS internationally as opposed to 8% of non-Christians. This is only one example of how Christians have let down in their love for the unlovely.” Fields of the Fatherles, C. Thomas Davis.

Not one of those people stirred by statistics? How about this:

He was one of those statistics 4 months ago.

So was he.

And of course she did not know the words for mother or father but now not only knows the words, but the feeling, and the smell and the comfort of those powerful words.

I am so excited about this. My personality has always been what some might call “strong” when I get an itch…it’s tough to get it scratched and I hesitate to even slow down. But I know God’s timing is perfect and I pray we can reach even just one child, whether one across the world or here at home who did not know love but will find it in God’s eternal Grace.

Stay tuned for my next post on what our first “activity” (I just haad to) will be and how you can help!

What Did We Do Today?

WE CUT MY DAUGHTER’S HAIR FOR THE FIRST TIME!!!!!! Yikes! It all started because I wanted a hair clipping of her baby hair before it became like her mommy’s; all thick and course and not cute. So we thought we’d just even it out. Went to JCPenney’s. And it looks so stinkin cute. She looks so old! She was so funny, since it was past her naptime we thought she’d show her attitudema but she just sat on her chair like she’s done it 20 times. She was so proud of herself and her little throne. I’m fairly certain if we would’ve asked them to do a quick manicure at the same time she would’ve appreciated it. Here she is. Tell me this isn’t the cutest face you’ve seen.

Dailah in her pre-cut timeout. This is not looking promising…

First time in the chair…”I think I could get used to this.”

Hair ready for stages. “Daddy, why are you and mom so giddy? I’m used to this kind of treatment.”

Almost done. “Daddy, am I still your princess?”

Complete perfection. “All done!” (That’s Doozie’s new favorite phrase.)

And I never did shed an actual tear, just got dangerously close a few times.

I Heart Mommyhood

I seriously love being a mom. Sometimes I can’t believe it myself. I’ll be the first to admit I was skeptical of the whole thing but 6 short years ago. Then it was thrown on me unexpectedly (but what a blessing!) and I haven’t looked back since.

Sure, I like those few hours when the grandparents take them to movies or to other fun adventures and I get a few clear headed minutes and big deep breaths. Sure, we uphold a strict 7pm bedtime whether they need it or not so Zach and I can get some time hanging out with each other without the constant hum of children.

But I do love this whole thing.

Dailah is about to turn 2 (the 26th). Can’t believe this. I still think of her as a baby, which she uses to her advantage at every turn. Hard for me to believe when Trysten was this age we were starting to think about having another one. The girl is still in diapers and is still small enough to carry for goodness sakes! 🙂

It could also be that we’ve already added to our family since she’s been with us and though Tariku is not a baby, it’s still a welcomed addition so that could be why.

Nothing earth shattering today. I just saw them walk out of the office with Trysten first, Tariku next and Dailah following behind and I had to pinch myself to make sure I was this lucky. Seriously, they are such great kids despite having a mommy like me.

Give me a "P"!

Doozie and her boyfriend, Zeke. I have a feeling her taking the wheel of the car will be a theme in her life.

Here are the kids at Jody’s. Silas of the Bottomly fame were in town. He was adopted from Ethiopia as a wee baby a few months back. Good to talk to his mommy, Amy, about their process as well as spend some QT with the Landers.

The kids LOVE this at the lakehouse, who can blame them?

Trysten holding his second cousin, Alleyna. Really, just too cute. He got the idea from Tariku.

Tariku was obsessed with the babies. Had a hoot of a time feeding this cute gal.

Went to 2 weddings last weekend. Done for awhile. 🙂 Grandma and her boys.

The kids were delirious after a long day of “I dos” so sugar was really the only thing that worked. I’ve never been above bribery.

One of my best friends from grade school was at the wedding, so great to catch up for awhile with her.

Tariku getting his cast off. I think he’s cussing at the guy in Amharic. Bit freaked out about the whole saw bit but who can blame him?

Tariku and Doozie playing with Tariku’s new cast. (only 2 more weeks!)

Yay photos!