My friend L surprised us today with a HUGE bag of sweet little outfits! I was totally shocked, and had tears in my eyes. We have been saving every dollar and have not purchased any new outfits. This will be our 3rd child and the boxes of clothes we have are basically there but no way organized. In my head I knew we could "get by", but man seeing nice fresh NEW outfits just gave me a real feeling like soon Carmen will be here~! Thanks again so much Miss L!
Our bonus suprise is our agency emailed us with a growth update on Carmen.
Age: 23 month
Weight: 10KG (about 22lbs)
Height: 77cm (about 30.5 inches)
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Posted by Ann at 1:12 PM
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Lent is a 40-day season of preparation for the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The season of Lent in the springtime is the life-giving
season. As trees shed their old leaves, so too this season invites us to shed the old to live a life full of newness.
Lent is a call to share in the suffering love of Jesus, especially by giving up sin and sinful attitudes and walking in the path of love and service. The season begins with Ash Wednesday, when the priest smears ash on the foreheads of Christians as a reminder that we are created from dust and to dust we shall return.
During Lent we follow Jesus from his adult ministry through his suffering during Holy Week and his crucifixion and death on Good Friday and glorious resurrection on Easter night. Lent is therefore a season of soul-searching and repentance.
Lent began as a preparation for Easter, when the faithful rededicated themselves. The 40 days of Lent echo the period of withdrawal of Jesus into the wilderness. The number 40 has several other Biblical references: Moses spent 40 days on Mount Sinai with God; Elijah spent 40 days and nights walking to Mount Horeb; it rained for a similar length of time in the days of Noah; the Hebrew people journeyed for 40 years travelling to the Promised Land 'Cannan'; Jonah gave the city of Nineveh 40 days time in which to repent. Jesus retreated into the desert where he fasted for 40 days and nights, and it was during this time that he was tempted by the devil.
Jesus overcame all three of Satan's temptations by citing scripture to the devil, at which point the devil left him, angels ministered to Jesus, and he began his ministry....
The Apostles fasted as they mourned the death of Jesus, Christians too traditionally fast during the annual commemoration of his burial. It is believed that Jesus lay for 40 hours in the tomb which led to the 40 hours of fasting that preceded the Easter celebrations in the early Church.
Lent is a time to let go of sins and also celebrate freedom from bondage. The focus of Lent was threefold: To prepare new converts for baptism through intensive classes and instruction, a time for Christians to review and renew their commitment to Christ, and it was a time for backsliders to be restored to the faith.
Since Lent is a time spent in intensive prayer and repentance before the cross of Calvary, a symbolic custom is to strip the sanctuary of all flowers, candles, and colours during Lent. The colour of Lent is purple. This custom helps us to turn inward and examine ourselves, even as it reminds us of the dark and colourless day when Jesus lay dead in the tomb to rise in glory on Easter Sunday.
Some common Lenten practices help us draw closer to God. Ashes remind us of our impermanence. Fasting enables self-discipline. Behaviours and attitudes change with reflection and repentance. The spirit of charity is encouraged. It is a time for prayer and contemplation, pondering the Stations of the Cross as a way of remembering Jesus's sufferings and a way to grow in appreciation of his sacrifice. It is a time to love unconditionally. These 40 days can help rejuvenate the spirit not just by fast, penance, alms-giving, and following some of the extrinsic self-sacrifices, but by observing intrinsic self-denial by overcoming desires. Let this season of Lent bring better understanding in us to enable us to change ourselves to transform our lives for the better.
Posted by Ann at 1:18 PM
Monday, February 23, 2009
My dear little friend S is helping with the work. Deep down I know she wanted to take her work home. She did not beg too much and was reminded that these were gifts for children that have no parents. I think its good to instill helping others, working towards making others happy, its a good lesson growing up. She did leave her work at the end of the day!
Posted by Ann at 6:09 PM
"My daughter Gudoye Borbor" (About the photographer:Borbor Bule (56)
Borbor is married with four sons and two daughters and lives in Dubek, a village in Dirre. He is known as the “walking encyclopedia” of Boran culture, a society which is highly democratic though patriarchal.
“This project is so important to me. I have acquired a new skill that I never even thought of in my life.”Borbor is educated and is called on by Boran leaders to help resolve cultural issues. He also works to spread the culture to anyone interested, so Ethiopia Lives is a perfect outlet.
My second daughter is married and has a 7 month old baby boy. She lives in Chorkassa, 80km from my home home town Dubluk. I have only visited her a couple of times since she married. I'd like to see her more but according to Boran tradition her in-laws treat me with great respect and slaughter a goat when I go. It would not be right to go too often.
Posted by Ann at 7:11 AM
Chicken Stewed in Red Pepper Paste (Doro Wat)
One 2-1/2 lb. chicken,
cut into 8 serving pieces
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons salt
2 onions, finely chopped
1/4 cup Niter Kebbeh (Spiced Butter)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger root
1/4 teaspoon ground fenugreek
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup Red Pepper Paste (aka Spice Paste, Berbere)
2 tablespoons paprika
1/4 cup dry red wine
3/4 cup water
4 hard-boiled eggs
Freshly ground black pepper
Rinse and dry the chicken pieces. Rub them with lemon juice and salt. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
In a heavy enamel stewpot, cook the onions over moderate heat for about 5 minutes. Do not let brown or burn. Stir in the niter kebbeh. Then add the garlic and spices. Stir well. Add the berbere and paprika, and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Pour in the wine and water and bring to a boil. Cook briskly, uncovered, for about 5 minutes.
Pat the chicken dry and drop it into the simmering sauce, turning the pieces about until coated on all sides. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, piece the hard-boiled eggs with the tines of a fork, piercing approximately 1/4" into the egg all over the surface. After the chicken has cooked, add the eggs and turn them gently in the sauce. Cover and cook the doro wat for 15 more minutes. Add pepper to taste.
Posted by Ann at 6:56 AM
Saturday, February 21, 2009
What kids don't like beads? Our kids really get into making necklaces with them. We have a huge tub of them and some glow in the dark. We have started making necklaces for the kids at the orphanage in Ethiopia. We may need to make some bracelets also. I am getting concerned with weight limits and not having enough for all the kids. Our goal is 60. Again, everything will depend on how much formula donations come in. That is the most important item as other items we can purchase while there if need be. Our daughter is taking ownership of the beading project, so this pulls her into the preparation of the pending trip, knowing she will bring a smile to a child's face. She is very proud of this. It is neat to see them glow while laying in bed at night.
Posted by Ann at 7:47 PM
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Posted by Ann at 12:58 PM
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Nesting, worrying, planning, nesting, trying to plan with no firm plans, will this all come together? Yes it will, but I just want and need a travel date so bad! We have been on this tread mill for so long, it all still seems surreal. We have her photos up all over the home. I keep a small wallet album in my purse, proudly show her off to all that I see. The heart races with every day that passes, we are closer to bringing her home, bringing her into a forever family. We will promise to raise her with full birthrights and never harm her. That is an adoption promise that we have pledged before, it is wonderful words that I will never forget. There are several things that need to be done. It would be great to re-organize every single closet, dump all the dressers, start fresh. I know it should happen, every day I see what should be done, but I can't seem to kick it into gear with the attack mode on. There are a few families that are currently waiting for news of a child matched to them. I think of them every day, waiting with excitement, it should be soon for them, real soon. It will be nice to share that joy, knowing that we may get to take photos of the kids for them while on our trip.
Posted by Ann at 1:15 PM
Friday, February 6, 2009
Yesterday we had to renew our fingerprints....they just phoned me, WE PASSED! This is very good news. Normally I fail the first time, my hands and prints are very worn, it usually requires two trips because of me. So to recap yesterday.
1. Crawled out of bed, hacking up my lungs every 5min, 20 cough drops later at USCIS apt 10am .
2. Son announcing his ear is now hurting. (yes he was infected)
3. Hang out at the mall carsoul (organ music pounding my head, the breeze of the ride making me sick) until 1:30 waiting to hear if we pass, trying to save a 2nd trip back in. By 1:30 no word so we head home about 2hr drive.
4. Phoned my Dr. and Sons' Dr. YES we now have a 3pm & 5Pm doctor apt. Pick up daughter at school to also get her checked out. She is just starting to cough.
5. Pick up our meds, 6:30pm arrive back home, eat then BED,,,sweet bed. What a long day.
6. Phone rings at 9am sharp, restricted number, who could it be? USCIS with bad news. NO .....WE PASSED. This is huge, as our fingerprints must be current to apply for our daughters VISA. So we are all green lights.
Posted by Ann at 6:07 AM
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Monday, February 2, 2009
Well if you can get sick from Blogger friends, I want to say thanks T! Can we be flu buddies? At least you posted your photo, not sure I have the courage to do that. I deff have something brewing, not full blown, just luggy and tired small cough. Give it a few days. I probably got it from my kids whom by the way did have flu shots, but you know, they love to cough in my face. All the door knobs have been washed down, fresh pillow cases, hand washing increasing, hey, fighting the battle. On a sad note, we had to put our cat of 12 years to sleep. She was acting off on Friday, turns out she had a stroke and would not stand, by Sat she was not improving. Being that our ground is frozen, and we could not store her outside until spring, or have my husband cremate her. (too much to ask of him) We used a service that the vet offered. I am sad, because all our pets are buried in a little spot by the pear tree. Its sad that we could not honor her this way, bury her in her own hunting grounds. I sort of wish we just kept her home and not even brought her to the vet, she basically just laided in the kennel, she could of been home with us. I was just afraid of not knowing how to care for her and I panicked being a Friday not thinking we could get help if needed.
Posted by Ann at 6:16 PM