September 24, 2010

I'm Going Back

I have butterflies in my stomach just typing that title.

I sort of invisioned myself standing on an empty stage tapping a crackling microphone as I whisper, "I have an announcement to make. I'm going back to Ethiopia." I've kind of been waiting to mention it. Not really believing that it would all come together. But, it did. I mean, it really did, the money came, the time off for Seth came, and the airplane tickets came a few weeks ago so there is absolutely no turning back.

I'm going back.
And my mom will be joining me.

We aren't going to be bringing back any new family members. Though I think Seth fears this will ignite the adoption fires again.

We are going to meet Jirgna and all of his friends at Kind Hearts. I'll get to introduce my mom to the mother who cared for Sally and Josiah before they became ours. We'll get to hand a care package to the darling little girl that my in laws support at Trees of Glory. It will be an amazing trip. I was beyond excited when the confirmation came that I would be joining the team. When my dad asked if it was too late for my mom to join us...disbelief! I get to share this awesome thing with my mom (and she gets to hold my hand when I get sick because that's just inevitable).

I've been slow in writing this post because I just didn't know what to say. Astounding, since I am rarely at a loss for words. After giving it thought I realized that I was letting busy things get in the way of writing this post.

We are going to leave November 13 with a group of over a dozen people. Karen has organized the trip and is doing a wonderful job. We will spend a few days at the two care points that she coordinates, Kind Hearts and Trees of Glory. A group will be doing a construction project at Trees of Glory, donations are needed to purchased materials once we arrive in Ethiopia. The rest of us will be spending time with the 152 children there. My mom and I are purchasing canvas bags for the kids to decorate with fabric pens, ribbon, and gems. We are also collecting donations of school supplies and clothing. I have personally gone bonkers at back to school sales and probably have filled both suitcases to the limit. I can't turn down a box of crayons for under a quarter!

If you are interested in getting involved, Karen has detailed the trip with beautiful pictures of the children she met when she traveled last year. Samantha is an incredible 11 year old who has made a difference by making bottle cap necklaces (incidentally, they are so cute!). Between now and November 13, all of the proceeds will go towards the construction fund for our trip.

September 23, 2010

Make that eleven...

Returning home from vacation to find seven more eggs.

Tonight we hear squeaks coming from the nest box. Two baby birds have hatched!

My house sounds like a rainforest with juveniles chattering across the room to their father who sits atop the cage guarding the new eggs. Daddy squawks and gets his kids roused and squealing. Soon it's too loud to even think.

Just like a father.

I'm certain Momma is sitting on that nest thinking, "Doesn't he know it's bedtime?"

Our last little girl is leaving Friday morning. Then the search for families for the new babies will begin. Hopefully, it will be the last time!

September 20, 2010

"Where have you been lately?"

To California...if I would have been driving due west. Instead I went in a triangular shape and spent 42 hours driving, but ended up back at home.

It seems far easier to just post pictures. I'll have to set it up for you first so you can fully comprehend why I would temporarily lose my mind and take part in such traveling shenanigans.

My dear hubby spent two months responding to the oil spill in the Gulf.

The week after he left, I packed up the dog, the kids, and a new dvd player and visited friends on the East Coast. We came home, started school, learnt a phew thangs and then packed up again. This time we visited relatives in the Ozark Mountains, went to the Gulf for a week, and then grabbed that guy we've been missing and hit the road for home.

Along the way we picked up the dog from my parents, and the birds from a friend (who, incidentally, laid 7 more eggs once they got rid of their last clutch). It was a baptism by fire re-introduction to the family life for Seth. That last leg of the trip, five wild kids, one stinky ear infected dog, and 4 birds plus a nest of 7 eggs.

We lived to tell the wild tales though. My neighbor had the audacity to ask, "Did you school those kids any while you were gone?" I smiled and said, "We crossed the Mississippi River three times in that many states, saw Civil War battlefields, and saw that New Orleans still hasn't fully recovered from hurricane Katrina. We may have learned a few things."

Tide Pools in Rhode Island
Tubing for the first time
Marine Mammals in Connecticut (with a fabulous personal tour guide)
Hay Bale Jumping on Grandma's Farm (Mom had to leave the premises)

Admiring the Beautiful Beaches on the Gulf
The Van, The Van, The Van...
(notice the dog crate in the fourth row--he traveled to New England with us)

Yeah, we are crazy.