Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Entertaining Comments from the Boy

Yikealo, as always, has been full of wisdom lately. Here are a few of his most recent tidbits for you to enjoy:
  • "Mom, were you alive when Baby Jesus was in the manger?"
  • "If I was wearing my Spiderman costume, who would be faster - me or a cheetah?"
  • "Do turtles like to eat eggs like we do - I mean, all cooked up - or do they only like them plain and not crushed?" When I asked what made him think that turtles liked eggs in the first place, he replied, "Because EVERYBODY likes eggs!"
  • "When we get to heaven, will snakes like me?"
  • "If Mimi was here, would she have to help me make my bed?" (Just checking, apparently, that the division of labor would be fair if other children were in the house.)
  • When asked why in the world he needed to use QUITE so much lather for his bath this morning, he informed me that he was trying to turn himself into a snowman. Hmmm...I think someone is getting a bit desperate for snow.
  • While kissing my hand, "My ma'am, would it honor you to kiss me and be my wife?"
  • To David and me, "You are not allowed to kiss unless you feel sick or unless your neck hurts or your head hurts. Otherwise, no kissing each other!" (We do NOT follow his kissing rules, by the way!)
  • "When we get to Heaven, will God teach us how to walk on water?"
  • My parents have an old Bugs Bunny book that Yikealo finds extremely funny. He giggles hysterically at Elmer Fudd's speech impediment every time we read the book. Two days ago, while I was cooking supper, Y was sitting at the table putting a puzzle together...while carrying on a lengthy conversation with Elmer which Y was trying diligently to teach the imaginary little bald guy how to say "rrrabbits" instead of "wabbits." From the sound of things, the boy wasn't very successful!
Our waitlist numbers for the month of November didn't change much...we are still at #34 for a girl, and we actually moved back one space to #25 for a boy. On Sunday in church, Yikealo spent most of the afternoon service constructing buildings from magnetic blocks and songbooks. He informed me that one building was a church in "Ee-THO-pia" and the other was a church in America. He then folded up small pieces of paper into thin strips on which he drew faces - one for David, one for himself and one for me - and placed all of his "stick" figures into the America church. A fourth wadded up piece of paper became "my new brother or sister" and was placed into the Ethiopia church. Next, he made a paper airplane, placed the three figures representing us onto it, and flew us all over to "Ee-THO-pia", where we met our new family member and brought him/her home to the church in America. I think that someone is very ready to meet his new sibling! From the looks of things, though, he'll have a bit of a wait yet...

Monday, November 28, 2011

Fun Holiday Weekend

Well, we're coming off of a crazy-full, fun couple of days, so getting back into the swing of school this morning should be interesting! Mr. Y always misses his Daddy so much after a weekend, and after four days of quality Daddy time, I'm sure that the behavior will be slightly worse than normal today.

On Thursday, following our Thanksgiving service at church, we spent the day with David's family, eating, talking, playing lots of games, and just generally having a wonderful time together. I love this family!
We had the chance to spend some quality moments with our newest family member: little Rhett, our first great-nephew. I'm not really old enough to be a great-aunt yet, am I?!

Yikealo got to go home with Uncle James and Aunt Susan that evening and spend the night with all of his little boy cousins, which has to be toward the top of his list of fun things to do.

On Friday morning, the whole family headed over to James and Susan's for our annual Christmas cookie baking day. We were there from 9 in the morning until about midnight, baking cookies, eating way too much, putting together puzzles, ordering Christmas cards, and playing lots of games. Let me tell you, when David gets together with his brothers, and everyone is starting to get a bit slap-happy from the late hours, things get a bit silly! We were sort of laughing ourselves sick by the end of the evening.

On Saturday morning, we drove out to Chris and Erica's house to meet their two newest family members. Yikealo was SO excited to meet his new cousins from "Ee-THO-pia."

Jalen and Jordan seem to be doing really well so far, and it was great to be able to spend a little time with them. The only small snag was when Jordan at one point confused me for Erica. Erica and I had just been discussing whether we looked too much alike to be confusing for the boys, and a few minutes later, Jordan tugged on my skirt and demanded, "Amama...PLAY!" Chris and I corrected him and pointed out that Erica was "Amama", and then he looked slightly bewildered as he glanced between the two of us. I guess that answered our questions pretty clearly!

The kids all spent quite a bit of time playing outside together on the swing set in the back yard. The crazy little boys kept trying to go down the slide while standing. At one point, after Chris had told Jalen "aydelem" (no) several times, the ornery little guy ended up in a time-out for a bit. Jordan immediately went to get his own time-out chair out of the playhouse so that he could sit beside his cute!

 Yesterday after church, we started decorating the house for Christmas...I love this time of year! It's even supposed to start snowing this week!

Saturday, November 19, 2011


First, as I'm sure most of you have heard by now, Chris and Erica's beautiful twin boys, Jalen Opiyew and Jordan Uchan are home from Ethiopia!

We even got to talk to them a little bit on Skype this morning. Yikealo was SO excited to see his new cousins - he has been praying faithfully for them every night since we first heard their names back in June. J and J were mostly interested in eating their "muz" (bananas) and seeing our "Meow" when David held a rather disgruntled Frankie up to the webcam, but it was so fun for us to hear their raspy little voices and see them moving around. Please continue to pray for their adjustment to their new life. They have had so many changes in such a short time, and it is going to take a long time for them to fully process everything.

I've been processing a lot too. Last Saturday, David and I helped with a food distribution project at our county fairgrounds. Every month a local Christian hope center combines with a regional food bank to distribute free groceries and services to families who fall within 200% of the poverty level. This was our first time helping, but we definitely plan on being involved in the future. The two of us were taking families through the food line, piling their groceries in a wagon, and hauling everything to their vehicles, where we helped load the food. In approximately 3 1/2  hours, we helped to distribute 30,000 pounds of food to 597 households (representing over 1800 people), many of whom waited in the cold for over 3 hours. It was heartbreaking and so good for me to see. I mean, this is my fairly prosperous midwestern county! Yes, they got a very nice amount of food, but as a friend of mine said, "I really don't think I would ever wait this long just to get this amount of groceries." I definitely wouldn't...but then, I've never known that kind of need, either. Most of the people were so grateful: we received lots of hugs and so many fervent "thank yous" and "God bless yous." One grandma came through with three young grandchildren. They were incredibly well behaved and had so much fun helping to push the wagon. Several times, they turned wide eyes up to their grandma and asked, "Is all of this really for US?" It made me cry. It's made me more thoughtful and more grateful this week. I've been praying for lots of new faces: Mary and Barbara and Rosaleen and so many others. I've been asking myself new versions of the same questions that I've been asking for the last couple of years since we returned from our own journey to Ethiopia: why have I been blessed with so much, and what does that mean as far as my responsiblity? What changes can I continue to make in my own life so that others don't suffer as much need? Why was I born into a wonderful nuclear family and taught the truth of the Gospel for as far back as I can remember, while so many others are trapped in Satan's morass of lies and broken homes and poverty?How can I be more effective in bringing light into the darkness?

"For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required; and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more."  Luke 12:48

Friday, November 11, 2011

Huge Prayer Request

Today is the day that Chris and Erica leave for Ethiopia to bring home their sons! We are so excited for them, and we can't wait to meet our newest nephews, Jalen and Jordan, even though it may be quite a while yet before we get that pleasure. They'll arrive home next Thursday, but Chris and Erica will probably be "cocooning" with them for some time...keeping the boys' overwhelming new world as small as possible for as long as it takes J & J to realize that they belong to a family again, that their needs are being met, and that these new people aren't going anywhere.

Please pray for them...for safe travels, for Chris and Erica as they move from parenting 4 children to parenting 6, for Shana, Adrian, Ashton, and Malia as they adjust to 2 new siblings who will need LOTS of attention, and especially for Jordan and Jalen. Their whole world is about to be turned upside down once again as they leave their home, their friends, their country and their continent behind. They are coming to a strange place where everything will feel unfamiliar: few people will look like them, the smells and sounds will be foreign, and everyone will speak a language that they can't understand. They will be grieving so many losses, and they will be frightened. Sure, they liked these nice white people when they visited several months ago, but then they went away for such a long time. When is that going to happen again? What happened to their Mama, with whom they lived for the first several years of life? She said goodbye to them at the same time that they met the new people...did the new ones make her go away? What about that scary looking animal in the yard...the one called a dog? Is it dangerous like the hyenas in Ethiopia? Will it try to eat them?

You get the point...they need our prayers. They will need healing, but our God is a great healer. We have seen His hand moving all of the pieces together over the last two years, and yes, the story is sad, but it is also magnificent. We can all be part of the solution by lifting this precious family up to the Lord in prayer. There is great power in the prayers of His people. 

"...always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God..."  Colossians 4:12

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Questions of a Little Boy

Here is a sampling of the questions from our resident 5-year-old over the last couple of weeks:
  • "What does 'RAHR' mean in tiger?"
  • "Can dinosaurs that have wings fly faster than a racecar can drive?"
  • "Mom, is a truck bigger than 5 people standing on their heads?"
  • "When we get to heaven is God going to give all of us Jesus costumes?"
  • When I told him that his cousin Zavier had broken his clavicle and had to wear a sling for awhile, Y interpreted it this way for David: "Dad, do you know who broke his arm and has to wear a pistol?"
  • "Why do forks always have to be bigger than spoons?"
  • Near my parents' home, there are many new windmills going up, which prompted this question: "Mom, do these windshields help our lights or only these peoples' lights?" When I told him that most of the power being generated by the windmills was going to New York, he was quite excited..."So it goes to Big Bird?!?!"
  • While watching a video about China, "Mom, does this get to count as school because I'm learning about Chanada?" (Yeah, we're still not doing so well in history!)
  • "Mom, is Lion King only a veggie tale?" (I'm pretty sure he meant fairy tale!)
There are definitely times when the lack of vocabulary can cause some pretty interesting conversations. I had recently shared various stories about our trips to Michigan with Yikealo, and he decided that he needed some clarification from his Uncle Seth:
Y: "Seth, when you were in Michigan on those round things...Mom, what are those called again?"
Me: "Do you mean when he was roller-blading?"
Y: "Yeah...when you were doing that, did a fish bite your butt?"
Seth: (looking utterly confused) "Did a fish bite my butt while I was roller-blading?"
Y: "Yeah."
Seth: "No...I can't say that it did."
Y: "Well, did you get any goosebumps?"
Me: (with slowly dawning comprehension) "Oh, Seth, I'll bet he's talking about the time that you and I swam across the lake on the inner tubes. He didn't mean roller blades at all! Yikealo, are you talking about the big inner tubes that we had in the water?"
Y: "Yeah, and you and Seth were swimming in them. Did any fishes bite you?"
Seth: (laughing) "I don't remember being bitten by any fish, but that does make a lot more sense now!"

You just never know what Mr. Y will come up with next!