Tuesday, April 28, 2009


So I wrote a post last Wednesday and waited to publish it until I uploaded pictures ... as you can see, that post never made it live. I never got the pics onto the computer... Well, in that post, I said court was 4 weeks. Now I can see that 3 weeks from tonight/tomorrow morning will be court for our boy ... that is amazing in all senses of the word.

I gave congrats to Matt & Monica and others who PASSED COURT and will be traveling soon. I also said that to tie into Matt/Monica and my confession post from a couple weeks ago ... I can totally see GOD knows what He's doing. If we passed court today, we'd be freaking out. Our house is a wreck; the nursery is completely empty ... we're scheduled to get carpet installed Thursday and there is A TON to do around here before carpet is installed.

That is why I haven't posted forever ... I have been busy around here trying to get ready for carpet install starting on Thursday. I'm close but still have some things to do (tear apart the home theatre system, move furniture, etc). It's close though ... thank the LORD because I'm not sure how much more my back could take. I also thought that for first-time parents (at least for us), God gave us a little more time to prepare and go overboard on things :). Many of the parents who have kiddos home already seem to get quick dates .... Thank you LORD for Your grace and mercy in my life.

So a week ago Monday night, Amber's work through her a surprise baby shower at Maple Street Grill. We are BIG fans of that place ... if you live around here, try it ... it's locally owned and GREAT food. I was in on it to get her there and she had NO idea. We've been fasting/praying on Wednesdays since our court date is on a Wednesday in Ethiopia and then been going out to eat on the 20th of each month in celebration for what GOD is going to do. So it played out perfectly on Monday the 20th. Her coworkers (and former coworkers) were so GENEROUS! They blessed us so much ... I have met most of them previously so it was good to see them again. Thank you guys SO much ... we are truly grateful for everything ... from all the presents to the dinner (I had blackened tuna steak and Amber had bacon-wrapped shrimp ... yum) to the dessert ... it was too much but THANK YOU!.

We've also heard from 2 families that got back from getting their kiddos this past weekend ... they both were able to hang out with our boy!

...i held and prayed over and love a bunch of the babies and one was your guy-i picked him up and sat with him on my lap and kissed and hugged him and told him all about his new room, window seat and everything and his big letter "s" on the cool chair rail, etc-then i prayed over him and told him you were trying to get to him as soon as you could!! he is a pleasant little guy who let me pick him right up.

I instant messaged with another family today ... some of her comments...

* he was rolling over
* i got a couple smiles outta him
* yes - he is SO serious but i tickled his belly a little and tickled his cheeks and he squeaked a couple out
* his special mothers LOVE him ... definitely one of their favorites
* be prepared because he's rolling over. i'm sure he'll be crawling in no time. he's a squirmy little one
* oh and another thing i wanted to tell you that the photo album u sent is hanging in his crib!

How amazing is that!?!?! Thank you families for those amazing updates, for loving on our boy and for praying for him! We are forever grateful! Please know that we are praying for you and your newest family member!

ok, some pics...

Amber opening her presents at the shower her coworkers had for her...

Amber opening our car seat her coworkers got us!

Amber opening up the jogging stroller I surprised her with :)

Everyone enjoying presents being opened ... thank you everybody!

Amber chatting with a couple coworkers. Since she moved into pediatrics, she doesn't get to see many of her 'old' coworkers much anymore

All the presents :)

ok, here's what has been keeping me busy the past couple weeks...

I tiled the entryway into the basement from the garage

I tiled under the stove ... didn't realize how heavy that thing was until my neighbor and I decided to move it ... thanks Scott for for the help!

The current disaster of our living room ... I have spent countless hours patching old vent holes in the floor that are nonfunctional and screwing the flooring down throughout the house. For those who own older homes, you know about squeaks ... and if it doesn't squeak now, it will soon. So I have hundreds, probably thousands of screws in the flooring in our house now ... and still not done :( I can't wait to get that carpet in :)

The latest pics of the nursery...completely empty!

Here has been our latest project for the nursery. This was definitely a family effort. When Amber had her shower in Indiana a few weeks ago, I hung out with her dad before we met up with my dad. I traced Africa onto a piece of wood ... I had to then go get Amber from the shower and while I was gone, her dad cut it out ... it took him 1.5 hrs! Amber then painted it over the weekend and I got the letters and heart glued on ... we love it and it's ready to go on the wall once we put the nursery together. Hopefully we'll be able to get the nursery put together quickly and be able to show you all soon!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Getaway weekend

Amber and I were blessed to be given a cabin for the weekend in Gatlinburg. I took a 1/2 day from work on Friday, got a rental car, we loaded up and headed east about 3 hours. I always like putting miles on someone else's car if I can ... especially 700+ miles for ~$80. Love Enterprise. Anyways .... unfortunately, there was a car show going on in Pigeon Forge (where Dollywood is) and we were driving through it ... more on that traffic debacle later.

We made it to our cabin ... it was huge for just 2 people ... and, of course, forgot to take pics of the cabin. Friday night we went to Bennett's Bar-B-Que for dinner to fill up on our red meat. We then walked the Gatlinburg strip and had to stop in to Ben & Jerry's for dessert and then to our favorite store on the strip. We purchased the perfect item for the nursery that I'll reveal once the nursery is complete ... hopefully in early May. We then went back to the cabin and relaxed for the rest of the night.

Saturday morning we got up and went to go grab the breakfast of champions at Flap-Jacks. Breakfast included peanut butter and banana stacked pancakes ... perfect combination. While walking to the restaurant, a guy yelled across a stream from his hotel room.

Guy: "Excuse me, are you from Murfreesboro?"
Me: "Umm ... yeah."
Guy: "Do you go to World Outreach Church?"
Me: "Umm ... yeah, we do."
Guy: "I have that same shirt..."

I had totally forgotten I had a long-sleeve t-shirt on from a men's event we had at church... how awesome that guy picked us out? It revealed to me that no matter what, God is always with us, no matter where we are ... I wish I remembered that later...

We then went to hike Rainbow Falls. The weather was PERFECT ... mid 70s and mostly sunny. The hike was a 5.5 mile round-trip hike. It was a decent hike and Amber and I were feeling it this morning. After hiking, we needed a salt-fix so we stopped on the Gatlinburg strip and got some nachos and a pretzel. Back to the cabin to shower and get ready for the evening.

We had plans to meet Jeff and Christine who adopted their 5 year old boy from AGCI and got home just a month ago. They were nice enough to open their house up to us. Schedules didn't allow other adopted families to make it over to their house. We were excited to see them and headed out in plenty of time ... well, remember that 'car' show? It turned into the 'big truck cruise show'. The bigger the truck, the higher it was jacked up, the more people riding in the bed, the more black smoke it showed, the better. It took us 3 hours to get to their house ... over 1.5 hours to get through Pigeon Forge ... we felt terrible for being late but it was great to hang out with them. Meeting their son was AWESOME. He's transitioning GREAT ... his accent was so cute. He warmed up to me quickly and I LOVED playing with him. It gave me visions of playing with our son soon. We ate dinner, they showed us pictures of the trip and before you know it, it was 10pm and we wanted to get out of there so they could put their son to bed.

We left, headed back to the cabin, and hit the 'cruise' traffic again ... which resulted in us not getting back to the cabin until 1am ... was SOO tired, especially after hiking, big meal, etc.

We tried to sleep in this morning, packed up and headed back home ... same fun-loving traffic heading home. We did take a back way suggested by Amber's aunt that lives over there ... it definitely helped ... thanks Darlene! It poured all the way home ... we got stuck in traffic from an accident on the interstate. More traffic. Ugh. We got up there and noticed it was a 6-7 car accident. It got me thinking that it could have been us if we didn't get delayed in the earlier traffic. It's so easy for me to forget that God always has our back and His best intentions for us.

I bought a new camera for our trip to Ethiopia and for taking pictures of our boy ... I have no idea how to use it so I apologize for the pics but wanted to share...

Our beautiful view from our cabin...

My beauty in front of that view

The hiking trail sign...

Amber on a log bridge on our hike...

A nice fellow hiker from Arkansas taking our picture on the hike ... on one of the non-sturdy log bridges.

Rainbow falls...ooooohhhhh....aaaahhhhhh

Me trying to figure out focus, etc with the camera ... this is the water coming off rocks from the waterfall...

Amber in front of the falls...

Check out this guy! The little squirrels were so friendly and would probably eat out of your hands! A hiker gave him some food and I got him chowing down on it ... he was probably 5 feet from me but gotta love the new zoom lens :)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Update on our boy

Another Case Manager was in Ethiopia a couple weeks ago and took the time to check in on all the kiddos, take pictures, and give us all an update. How great is that!? So ... we got 3 new pics which are AWESOME .... our boy is getting BIG and he's got some hair now!

Here's our update...

Your boy is getting so big! He really likes to see and know what is going on around him, so he would turning his little head this way and that to peer at everyone and what they are doing. I think that is why he liked being in the Bumpo chair (that he is sitting on in the pictures) so much, because it made seeing everything easier. When I would talk to him he would look at me with his eyebrows raised and his mouth in a round “o” and just take it all in with an occasional little coo in response. He was very precious!

Yeah, that fits with all his pictures ... not much smiling ... pretty serious boy. Can't wait to get him home and loosen him up ... can't wait to hear that laugh! And Amber LOVES to see him in the bumbo seat ... as a pediatric physical therapist, she highly endorses those seats...

AND CONGRATS TO PAUL AND DEEDEE FOR THEIR BABY GIRL!! It's great to see movement on the girls list and it couldn't have happened to a better couple!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

No time...and 6 months!

Unreal it's been 2 weeks since my last post. But first, our boy is 6 months old TODAY! HAPPY 6 MONTH BDAY SILAS ... WE'RE COMING FOR YA SOON!

It's been busy around here ... I've been laying tile at the house, we had Amber's baby shower last weekend (still gotta post pictures), we had Easter Celebrations all weekend (HUGE blessing), and and also on Friday our town was hit by a series of tornados ...

A video showing just some of the damage ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_vboJmpx6w. I know the number of homes damaged and destroyed is very low estimates seeing what I saw...

I went over to our rental house today that was in it's path ... it faired well ... 10'x15' storage shed moved about 10 feet, fence thrown though another fence and some shingles off. We tarped the roof (thanks Kris and Jamie!) and headed out to help any way we could.

You can see the pictures on tv or online but it's nothing like seeing the destruction in person. It poses so many questions. Why did the tornado turn directions about 100 yards for my house when it was coming directly for it? How does one house get destroyed and the house next to it sustain no damage? How can all the walls of a house be gone and a closet on the 2nd floor have shirts hanging in it? I don't know.

What I do know is that God protected so many families. The stories coming out are absolutely amazing. As we know, only 2 people lost their lives ... and they were not inside a house. The shield of protection families had can come from no other than the LORD himself. The house would be gone but somehow families were not injured. It is unreal how the community has come out to take care of their own. We were asked if we wanted water or snacks numerous times by people pulling coolers down the street. I LOVE seeing people serve others. People's houses were gone, moved off foundations, total lost but their spirits weren't shaken. I really wish I wouldn't take things for granted.

Please pray for our community - that GOD would be glorified through this storm. That people would see His hand in this and give their lives to Him.

Happy Easter everyone ... let's never forget that our LORD lives forever ... the tomb is EMPTY!