Sunday, July 31, 2011

Senior Pictures....already???

It's hard to believe it's time for Senior pictures already.  It seems like just yesterday that we were holding our little preemie Sunshine in the hospital.  And now she needs Senior pictures?  How can that be?  My beautiful Sunshine is growing up quickly.  Her wonderful smile brings Sunshine wherever she goes.  I love you girl!

We were blessed to have our good friend Mrs. Beaver (from Unto Him We Live) take a few pictures (I think it was around 1,000 for the first sitting!) of our darling gal.  And while she had her camera out, we decided to have her snap some pics of our Konjo Peaches too.  We knew Mrs. Beaver would be up for the added person in the pictures since she has a wee-bit of a heart for kids who are former orphans (she and her husband have adopted 9 from Russia and 1 domestically).

As you can see, the two girls have some serious photogenic abilities (this from their unbiased father).  Their smiles lit up the photos....and trust me there are a mere 992 other pics with equally impressive radiance!

I'm thankful for my two girls.  They come from worlds apart, but have grown close and both bring joy to this Dad's heart.  Although one is biological and one is adopted, they are both equally a part of our family and are both loved.

Enjoy these 8 pics for now, and I'll try and include some of the other hundreds of pics in future updates. 

Oh.......and I'm told that there will be additional capture different seasons, different outfits, different hairstyles.  Really???  How things have changed in 20-something years!

Monday, July 25, 2011

A Night of Things Ethiopian

In the midst of our overloaded summer, we were treated to a last minute invite from the Henns.  They were having a man from Ethiopia whom they had just met recently over for dinner.  It was an opportunity for us to get together and celebrate things Ethiopian.

We haven't had too many chances to party recently, so we were very grateful.  And once we found out that Ta was serving injera and wat, we were definitely in.

The friend whom the Henns had just met is a pharmacy student in the middle of his residency.  His name is Wasihun.  He was just finishing up a 5 week residency in Sioux City.  The Henns met him while chatting with their Dr., and in typical Henn fashion, they invited him over for dinner.  Who does that???  Oh yeah....the Henns.

Wasihun has an amazing story which I won't detail here out of fairness to him.  But, I will say that it includes tremendous loss at a young age, adventurous travel through multiple countries as he escaped the war-torn region of his country, self-learning multiple languages, finishing high school in a foreign country, and later putting himself through pharmacy school.  Did I say he is incredibly fascinating???  I could go on and on.  We were amazed by his tenancity, and yet his gentleness also.

We decided to go ahead and wear our Ethiopian clothes that we purchased in Addis.  It was a great night celebrating the Ethiopian heritage that our families share.  We have a great love for things Ethiopian -  having traveled there twice and having a beautiful Ethiopian daughter - it will always have a special place in our hearts.  It turned out for a great night.

Thanks to the Henns for their always-present hospitality.  In the midst of their many (is 6 a lot?) of kids, they always take time for those around them.

Here are some pics of the night.  I wished I would have taken more, but I was thwarted by batteries (or lack thereof)!

Peaches knew exactly what to do with the injera and pasta

She was so focused.  It reminded us of our time at Hannah's Hope, watching her eat with all of her friends.  Her face lit up as she prepared her injera and pasta.

She dug right in, shoving large bites, deep into her mouth

 That face can only be saying, "YUM"!

The Big Fella wasn't so sure about the injera, so he decided to go with the "pasta only" option

Peaches and her good buddy Giggles.  Everyone loves Giggles!

 Peaches and Heather, hanging out together in their Ethiopian garb

 Eddie Joe enjoyed the dessert!

 T-Bird and Rye Bread were sporting their Ethiopian football shirts

 Buzzard and Ta, along with Wasihun.  Wasihun went home with the injera and wat that Ta made, along with some Kola and some sweets!  Ta - thanks for the incredible food!

 Wasihun, me, and my girl.  Wasihun not only went home with some leftovers, he also went home having some new friends.  Thanks for the great night Wasihun!  We hope the best for you as you continue your residency.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Yes, we're still here....some pics with our latest updates

It's been a long, long time since we've written, but here's an update of some of the things we've been up to:

Minion glasses from "Despicable Me" look great on Peaches

 Peaches had a great time chasing parachutes on her first 4th of July.  One of our nation's newest citizens, she loved the celebration.

 They always keep track of how many parachutes each person has.

 When you have two 14 year old boys who can light all of the fireworks, it means everyone else can just sit back and take it all in.

 Heather took her first attempt at putting rubber bands in Peaches' hair.  It's growing out quickly....and we still have a lot to learn.

 We spent 5 days at Johnson Lake near Lexington, NE with the Nordstrom side of the family.  Here are T-bird and Rye Bread with two of their favorite cousins.  It's always a blast when the four Peanuts (self-proclaimed name that goes way back) get together.

 Is it possible to take a bad picture of Eddie Joe?  He loves to swim!

 The Big Fella had a great time swimming too!

 Momma and Peaches spent a lot of time floating together.  Peaches knows how to chill in the water.

 Peaches and Eddie Joe had a great time swimming together.

 Peaches, Eddie Joe, and The Big Fella - Life doesn't get much better than this.

 Peaches and Eddie Joe had a great time jumping in the lake, over and over and over and over again.

 This girl is a fish!


 These two sisters are both fearless when they go tubing.  Sunshine had a great time showing Peaches the ropes.  Then all Peaches would say is, "Faster! Faster!"

 They both loved to get flying and catch some air.

 Peaches is forced to lay beneath the weight of a large man.  There was no way she was going to fall off!

 We had a lot of fun riding together.

 Sunshine had a great time at the lake.  She lives to tube and she cannot be thrown off!

 Sunshine and T-Bird!

 Peaches and Sunshine

 The Big Fella and Sunshine.  Always with the tongue.....???

 Sunshine and Eddie Joe

 The four Peanuts.  This is one of the more "normal" pictures they took.

 The four Peanuts training two young innocent children how to be really weird.

 Now they can do it on their own!  The training is complete.

Momma loves the lake.  But even better is time with her kids.  Here she is with the Big Fella.

I've been gone from blog world for almost two months.  I won't go into all the reasons why, but some include flooding at work, flood preparations at home (we live near the Missouri River), Heather's dad having a recent heart attack, and some other things.  Prior to these challenges, the last year had been filled with blessings beyond anything we've ever experienced.  With the completion of Peaches' adoption and the addition to our house, it was a very full and fun year.  Yet, the last two months have been some of the hardest we've ever faced.  We feel as though we were sauntering together through a park, smiling and laughing, and then out of nowhere, we were hit by a bus.

We trust that God is in control.  We trust that God has a plan for us and that it is good.  We trust that He is in all of this to the same extent that He was in the blessings of last year.  Yet it's hard to trust, hard to know, hard to feel as though He is always near.

Psalm 46 has been a great reminder that "God is our Refuge and Strength, a very present help in trouble.  Therefore, we will not fear."

We hope that everyone's summer is going well and that you are sensing God's nearness and workings in your lives.