Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

I distinctly remember in early February sitting next to Adam's mom at church. Our pastor was making this huge announcement that will change our church completely (merging with another) which will take place in 10 weeks -- which just happens to be 2 weeks before Easter. I'm sure most people were thinking about the merge (some were crying, some were cheerful, most were scared), but instead of feeling those things, I leaned over to Sherree and said "Ya know, Allie will be here for Easter." Sherree participated in the inappropriate, sidetracked conversation by talking about Allie's pretty Easter dress and shoes and hat. I had just gotten back from Ethiopia for the first trip and my mind's only thought for day in and day out was "Alemitu. Alemitu. Alemitu." And to be fair, I was aware of the big announcement before it was made to the church that day so I already had time to process the news of change. But I remember that moment in time vividly as I dreamed of having our family together at the next big holiday.

And now it is Easter and we have had Alemitu home for 7 weeks!!

Today the kids woke up to new baskets from the Easter Bunny. Right now Wes and Calvin are all about vampires, ghost, aliens, and "bad guys" (thanks to Scooby Doo). They keep asking us "are vampires in our world" or "are ghosts really real?" Unfortunately a few weeks ago when Calvin asked me if bad guys were real, I said no. I had to go back the next day and apologize for lying and tell him the truth and discuss how bad guys are in our world; however God, the police, and mommy and daddy won't let the bad guys get him. With all of this "are they real" talk, I knew that a very important question would be coming . . . is the Easter Bunny real? Adam and I came up with this answer "Well, you get baskets from the Easter Bunny don't you? I've never seen him but you get baskets from him." That seemed to work and they were happy. Whew.

After seeing what was in their baskets (slippers, coloring books, and new DVDs for boys; keys and cups for Allie) we headed off to a new church we have been attending. Until the kids' rooms are finished at the church (next week), kids have church with their parents. It was really nice to have church with our 2 boys next to us at our table and Allie asleep in my arms. Jim and Sherree also came to church with us this morning. All the way to/from church, the boys watched one of their new DVDs -- The Real Ghostbusters cartoon. Or as Wes calls it "Ghost Brothers". :-)

After church, we headed to the green park with the Fischers for a pulled pork barbeque lunch and an easter egg hunt. What fun! We were so exhausted from eating too much and playing too hard that by the time we got home we all took a 2 1/2 hour nap!

Today was a great day!

Check out Wes's crack in this pictures -- too cute!

Doesn't everybody water the spring flowers on Easter?

This pictures makes me sad. He looks so grown-up. :-(

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

She finally has a granddaughter!

This is the face that Adam's Grandma Jones has just been dying to meet. She has wanted a granddaughter for so long! Her kids all had boys and now her grandkids are all having boys too. Every time one of us gets pregnant, we get a pink dress. It never gets used. Grandma Jones even has a license plate that reads something along the lines of "Grandma's scorecard. Boys - 10. Girls - 0" So you can only imagine how excited she was to finally get to meet her great granddaughter, Alemitu. Here are some pictures from their first meeting:

Grandpa Jones was also taken with her:

Adam's Aunt Debbie also came to visit:

We had a great weekend visiting with them. My mom was also in town for a few days. We spent the weekend going to a t-ball game, having a cookout, going to the zoo, having a picnic at WestGate, and get stuck in the golf cart along Litchfield Road and having to be towed home.

Yep, we were towed home. It is a memory I never want to forget. We drove a few miles to the boys' t-ball practice. The golf cart didn't have a full charge when we started and we were wondering if we would make it back. Sure enough, along the golf cart path/sidewalk on Litchfield Road we came to a stop. We were able to push it a little and get it going again. All four of us hopped back on and got in place. We drove a few more feet and the golf cart dramatically slows again. I asked Adam if I need to get off and he says "yes". I am holding Allie in a carrier on me. After a few seconds, I realize that Adam wants me off the golf cart but he has no intention of stopping to let me off. So I put my foot on the ground a few times and then I hop out. A few more feet and the golf cart stops completely. The boys hop out and we call Jim to come tow us in Adam's truck. Adam gets back into the golf cart and it starts working with just him in it. Keep in mind that the golf cart path is on the side of a very busy road. Adam takes off in the golf cart -- the boys start wildly chasing after him -- and I'm walking in the back carrying a baby. It must have been quite a funny sight for anyone passing by wondering why this guy is making his kids, baby, and wife all run/walk behind him as he just drives along. I had tears coming down my face but it was from laughing so hard. I never, ever want to forget that image and I wish I had a camera! We did end up getting towed, but Adam was determined to try the trek again the next day for their t-ball game. We made it there and back without issue! Good times!

Even though I don't have pictures of our golf cart break down, I do have a couple from the zoo and a t-ball picture of the boys with their Coach Grandpa.

On the log ride

On the sky ride

Monday, April 11, 2011

Our new ride

Most days the boys and I ride our bikes to school. Sometimes we ride scooters. Sometimes we walk. Sometimes I drive. And now -- we can add a golf cart to the list. That's right. We just purchased a 1973 street legal golf cart for $300, and it runs great.

Golf carts are common in Arizona with the elderly. You can register them with the DMV and drive them on the roads (with speed limits less than 35 mph). Trying to drive down Bell Road in Surprise/Sun City area can just be downright frustrating as you are having to drive 20 mph behind an old golf cart driver out to get his groceries.

While I've wanted a golf cart since a very young age (and even started saving money for it with my best friend, Tara), Adam took an interest in them a few years ago. At that time we lived in a neighborhood where you pretty much had to own a custom built, lifted golf cart to reside there. We even saw a "stretched limo" style golf cart there. We were probably the only house that didn't have one, along with the only house that did our own yard work; the only house that didn't have a statue of lions out in the front; and the only house without his/her matching Hummers and Cadillac Escalades (okay I might have exaggerated a bit, but one of the houses did have a pair of his/her matching Hummers & matching Escalades!).

Adam didn't want a fancy golf cart, he just wanted a simple, electric golf cart that he could build with his kids and take on rides to my sister's house (1 mile away) going through neighborhoods to get there. So for the past few years he has been watching the prices on Craig's List and he just found one for a steal! It wasn't working because it needed a new $60 rechargeable battery (it has 6). But we had decided that even if that didn't cause it to start working, it was still a great buy for that cheap and Adam and the boys could work on it together. The good news is that we bought a new battery and that really was all it took to fix the golf cart.

So we are now proud owners of a golf cart and we could move back into our old neighborhood with our heads held high if we wanted . . . or maybe not! We could even join their annual Christmas parade where everyone drives their golf carts around the neighborhood with Santa following in the truck.

The boys love the golf cart and even drove it a little today (with daddy's help). One thing is for sure, Litchfield Park just got a little bit more dangerous. Watch out!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Family Photo

We have been home for over a month and we finally got a picture taken with all five us of in it! Thank you Zach!

We've had another good week. Yesterday was my 31st birthday. I'm officially "in my thirties". My life is far from what I had imagined for myself when I was 20, but I love it! It is actually better than I had imagined it! One thing I swore I would never, ever, ever have is 3 children. Never. And now I am the happy, proud mommy of 3 kids. We all have things about ourselves that we wish we could do better or personality traits that we battle on correcting every day -- but I can easily say that being a mom is what I do best! My kids make it easy for me. They make me laugh and smile everyday. So this year, I just wanted to spend a quiet birthday at our favorite place -- the "green" park (boys named it because it has green slides).

So last night Adam drove 30 minutes to get my favorite food from Chino Bandido (Chinese/Mexican dive). Then we packed up our dinner (in my new cooler I got for my birthday from Jim & Sherree) and the kids and headed to the green park where we met my sister, brother-in-law, and niece. We do this about once a week but it is my favorite thing to do. The green park is a really nice park with a large playground, several picnic tables, and a huge grassy area. It is surrounded by HUGE homes that haven't been finished because the housing market went upside down -- so we always have this beautiful, secret park to ourselves, and it is about 1-2 miles from our house! We had a nice dinner and then ended the night playing tag with the boys on the playground. I am so blessed!

Speaking of tag, I am baffled about something. I run on the treadmill several times a week. I stink at running. I hate it, but I always thought it was mental. When we taught the boys how to ride bikes, Adam said that he noticed I don't take long strides and maybe that's my problem. I tried and failed miserably. Don't get me wrong, I realize that I'm overweight and not in the greatest shape. BUT, I really do run on the treadmill several times a week and have done this for years. In addition, my legs are twice as long as Wes' legs. He's five. The problem: I can't beat my 5 year old in a foot race. I run as fast as I can and I can't do it. My parents can do it. My dad even turned around at one point to see where Wes was, but I run straight ahead and I can't beat the kid! Wes thinks it is hilarious and loves to try to race me. He's "slightly" competitive. Ha!

As for Calvin, that kid is just funny. We got report cards a couple of weeks ago and his teacher just wrote beautiful things about him being a role model for the class, etc. Calvin is really independent and just does his own thing. He loves to dress himself and add accessories to his outfits. The other day he picked out his Mario hat and a pair of fake glasses. I just had to take his picture when we got to school. A few weeks ago it was a Buzz Lightyear huge space rain jacket thing that he wore to school in 80 degree weather. He loves dressing up!

And I can't leave out Ms. Allie -- she pulled herself up today!! Her leg strength has improved SO much and she has been trying so hard to pull herself up on anything and everything. Today she pulled herself up on me so fast that I didn't even catch what had happened until about a minute later when I realized that I didn't stand her up. She did it again for Adam to see. Yay!!!

This week Adam's grandparents are coming into town and my mom is also visiting for a few days on an extended layover on her way back from Thailand. We are excited for everyone to visit!