Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Numbers, Fingerprints, 10k, and Ethiopian New Year

Thought I better get a post out there since I’m getting called out by Dawn

Last Thursday, we received our official wait list number from AGCI…


That’s only 3 spots in a month.  A little disappointing with our number being so high.  The logical side of me sees that being 23 months of wait at moving 3 spots a month. However, courts are closed in Ethiopia right now (rainy season) so movement in general is slow.  We are praying that movement picks up this fall … so that more kiddos can be forever home and selfishly that we can move up the list quicker to know the daughter God has for our family.  However, it tears me up thinking that so many families will have to make such a huge sacrifice in order for us to receive our referral.

Friday afternoon, we had our USCIS fingerprint appointment.  It was interesting walking in there the second time around and seeing the same workers.  The same security officer asking us the same pass-the-time questions (where you from, I’m a cheesehead, etc, etc).  The worker who took our prints was very friendly and got us in and out pretty quickly.  It’s funny to think back to the prints for Silas.  We were remodeling our living room and I had been sanding drywall and didn’t even think about the impact on my prints.  The USCIS lady told me that she couldn’t guarantee my prints would go through … but by the grace of God, they went through and we got our favorable letter.  Praying these prints go through smoothly this time and we get our favorable letter in the near future.

Saturday morning was my 10k (6.2 mile) race in preparation for the 1/2 marathon next month.  This is the first race I’ve ever attempted.  Friday night I prepped with getting my time chip on my shoe, bib on my shirt, etc. Having to get up at 5:30am, I started second-guessing doing the race quickly.  The race started at 7am and I met up with my buddy Kris I was going to run with.  My goal was for 10 minute miles so that would have me finishing in one hour two minutes.  What I didn’t plan on was the humidity … it was MUGGY.  There was a chance of rain but it never did rain … felt like it should have with the heaviness of the air.  The humidity definitely affected the race for me … I could feel it in my breathing from early on.  And running on different course was so different … my training has been done on my own turf and I know my markers for how far I have gone.  With the race, there was a marker every mile.  Each mile sign felt like it was much farther away than what my familiar markers would show for that distance.  Oh, and then there was some of the course on grass and chip-rock which I wasn’t used to either.  Nevertheless, with all those differences and challenges …. I did finish!  My time was 1:03:27 which was 10:14 mile pace.  With it being my first race and the humidity, I was mostly happy with that time.  The half marathon is less than 5 weeks away … the next month is going to be interesting … my long runs will consist of 8,9,10, and 11 miles with the half marathon (13.2 miles being 5 weeks from this past Saturday.  My during-the-week runs are now 5-6 miles which is just tough to fit in during the week.  If I go out to run after putting Silas down for bed, I’m not home until after 9:30pm.  I honestly will be happy when the race will be over.  I will want to keep running some but with distances around 3-4 miles.


The race was sponsored by Chik-fil-a so the cows were out.  After the race, Silas was all about giving them high-fives.


Somewhere out on the course.  Can’t be too far in as the hat isn’t too discolored yet.


My buddy Kris is bib 212.  He and his wife are leaving Saturday to Israel for a couple weeks.  They are feeling God’s call to be missionaries there and this is a “scope out” trip along with getting to participate in the Feast of Tabernacles.  They have 3 little ones and are praying about adopting their 4th child.  I’m blessed to call him a friend as he and his wife are definitely seeking God’s plan for their family. (For the record, I beat Kris by 14 seconds but who’s counting, right? :)  He’s running the 1/2 as well so I better be careful because he’ll run over me then)



Silas hanging out in his stroller waiting for me to come by…


About to the finish line passing Amber and Silas


Just crossing the finish line


Getting a picture with Silas after getting home


Saying cheeeeeeze to the camera

It’s amazing how God throws his confirmations out there as well.  While Amber and Silas was waiting for me to run by, a guy walked by and looked at Silas.  A couple minutes later he walked by again, stopped, and asked where Silas was from.  Amber told him Ethiopia and he said he thought so as he was from Ethiopia and had been here 30 years!  He was at the race to support his daughter who was running her first 10k.  Amber got to chat with him for a while and then God allowed our paths to cross after the race and I got to meet him and his daughter.  I could have stood there all day to listen to him talk about Ethiopia and his love for her.  He told us about a tour to do while in Ethiopia that would take you to the major sites … churches built into the side of mountains, the place Ethiopians believe the ark of the covenant is, etc, etc.  I am so thankful we got his email address so that we can keep in touch.

Back to the race … it’s amazing how humbling one of those can be.  Not just seeing/feeling how vulnerable our physical bodies are but also by looking at the results of the race.  I got WHOOPED by a 72 year old man.  He ran the race in 49:02 (7:54 mile).  That is just NUTS!  I just can’t comprehend seeing me run a single mile that fast let alone a 72 year old man run a 10k like that.  I also was beat by 70, 67, and 60 year old men.  Men twice my age beating me down.  Humbling.

After the race, I had the mindset that I had accomplished all I needed for the day.  Unfortunately, reality came quickly.  We came home and hung out rest the morning, played, and did some chores around the house.


First, Silas had to show off his ‘splits’ skillz.  We’re going to have to put him in gymnastics probably soon.  Kid loves doing somersaults, jumping off about anything in our house, and doing ‘tricks’ off our step down into the living room.


Silas loves helping with the laundry


Well, he actually just likes chucking the laundry into the dryer … and pushing the dryer on button.

We ate lunch together and then Amber put Silas down for a nap since he was up all early to get to the race.  She took his nap time to go exercise herself and I hung out working on things around the house.  When she got home, I ran some trash to the dump and mowed most of the yard.  Then it was off to church.  After church we went to an Ethiopian restaurant to celebrate the Ethiopian New Year.  We went to one that we have gone to a few times and the waitress couldn’t believe how much he’d grown since we were in last.  And that’s no lie.  I was looking through old pics a couple days and it’s crazy how tiny our boy was.


After enjoying our great meal


As you can see, we tore into it.  We brought some dora wat and tibs home and of course, Amber ate the leftovers :(

Finally, go out and support Dawn & Tim as they are having a raffle for their sponsored child from the Korah dump in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  Just don’t expect to win.  That ipod touch is all mine!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Silas’ Prayer

We are a family that prays before we eat.  Silas is now usually the one who is saying ‘pray, pray’ before Amber and I have sat down.  It hasn’t been always like that though … he went through a good period where he talked during the prayer.  He also went through a period where I would start the prayer ‘Dear Jesus…’ and he would scream AMEN! right after that.  Nevertheless, we’ve tried to be consistent with him and teach him to listen when someone else is praying, to say Amen after the person praying says it, etc, etc.

Recently, we have started having him repeat a prayer with us.  For example, '”Dear Jesus, thank your for my food.  I love you.  In Jesus Name, Amen”.  Well, Amber called me after lunch and said here’s how lunch went…

Amber:  Silas, do you want to pray or Mama?

Silas:  Mama

Amber: OK, I’ll pray

Silas: No, Sassy (Silas calls himself ‘Sassy’ … not a fan of that at all … it started when our babysitter’s little girl started calling him that because she couldn’t say ‘Silas’ and now it’s stuck. 

Amber: OK, Silas will pray

(Amber paused for a couple seconds here and was about ready to have Silas repeat her when…)

Silas:  Dear Jesus, I love you.  Amen.

ALL BY HIMSELF!  So proud of my boy … he’s growing up so fast … I can’t believe he will be 2 next month.  That’s just crazy.  How does that happen?!?!

OK, fast forward to supper tonight.  Of course I want to see him pray again.  So I set the camcorder on the table (if I hold it in my hand, he’s as quiet as a mouse).  Check out the video below….

OK, his eyes back and forth CRACK ME UP.  And yes, I had to prompt him with ‘Dear Jesus’ but he said everything else himself :) … To interpret the Silas-speak, he said “Dear Jesus, thank you.  I love you.  Amen'”

Every night when Silas and I get done lotioning up, reading a Bible Story and a couple books, I turn the light out, sing a couple songs to him, and pray over him.  My nightly prayer is that Silas will come to know Jesus at a young age and will follow Him all his days.  Lord Jesus, thank you for your work in Silas, for the health you’ve given him and his heart that is full of love.  Continue to reveal yourself to Silas so he may understand who you are and follow Your plans for his life.  Thank you LORD JESUS! AMEN!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Long overdue

It’s amazing how fast 3+ weeks can go by.  It should be no surprise for the 5 of you around this blog to know posts will be that far between.  It has honestly been crazy around here … to show that I’m not ignoring you on purpose, here is the past week…

Monday – normal work day … up at 5:20am and home around 5pm after stopping by a rental house I’m trying to sell.  Yes, it is absolutely the wrong time to sell houses.  My mind knows that.  However, we’ve been invited by God to get out of debt to do bigger and better things for Him and His Kingdom.  I would prefer to hold onto the properties but that’s not His course.  So, we are “strategically” trying to sell a couple properties … strategically meaning trying not to lose our shirts. 

After I got home, we went to pick up our vehicle that was getting serviced and then go meet tenants of a rental house that are trying to buy the house from me.  That meeting went three times longer than I thought it would.  Home after 7pm and hang out with Silas and Amber for about 15 minutes and then go put Silas to bed.  Now, it’s around 8pm and still haven’t eaten.  However, still need to run because of the crazy week ahead of me.  I can’t eat before running … it isn’t pretty with stomach cramps, etc. so I decide to forego eating and go run around 4.5 miles.  Get home, shower, do some work, bed around 11:30.

Tuesday – normal work day.  Then go pick up Silas at our babysitter after work.  We had plans to go to Korah Night that Project 61 was hosting so I hurry up and get him changed into his pj’s, get dinner for him (easy since Amber fixed a crock-pot meal), eat, and then Amber gets home and eats herself.  We drive up to our friends who were going to watch Silas and then off to Korah Night.  Amazing night, got to see our friends Pat & Jody again, and got a letter from our sponsored boy!  That’s right, we have a boy from Korah that I will have to write about soon … total God story there…night ends, pick up Silas, get home after 10pm and in bed around 11:30 again.

Wednesday – again, normal work day.  Home for about 15 minutes before having to leave to go to an event for The 1:27 Call.  We were invited to a local church to set up a table to let their members learn more about our ministry.  Every couple/few months, in lieu of Wednesday night church, they invite ministries to come out they have a little ministry ‘fair’.  I love that idea … the church living outside their 4 walls.

During the morning, Amber took Silas to his first program at a local wilderness station today ... It’s pretty cool that they do programs throughout the week and the wilderness station is literally down our road.   Amber said he liked it pretty good and it was going well ... Amber met another mom who had adopted from Vietnam so they chatted it up.  During that chat, she turned around to check on Silas and she caught him tap, tap, tapping another mom's prosthetic leg...gotta love the curiosity of a 22 month old!

Thursday – same work routine.  Pick Silas up from the babysitter’s, get home, change him out of his play clothes and go pick up Amber from her work.  We were going to the MTSU opening football game with our church.  It was a great game … although you learn quickly that you don’t get to watch much of a game with a toddler.  We left a little after 9pm … in the 4th quarter .… tied ballgame … as Silas was running on fumes.  As we left the stadium, Silas spotted a fire truck sitting outside the stadium. We go up to it so Silas can check it out and Silas says 'Ride, ride, ride..." ... and the gracious firefighter let him sit inside ... Silas thought he was the biggest man on campus!  He was all about giving the firefighter a high-five after he got out of the truck.

Friday – Same work, different day.  Got home around 4:30 and being I had not ran since Monday, I had to get out there.  Not really what I wanted to do after a l.o.n.g week but needed to be done.  Run about 5 miles and get home a few minutes before Amber’s mom got here.  She came to visit over the holiday weekend.  We eat supper and just hang out rest of the night.

Saturday – So Silas LOVES trains … it doesn’t have to be Thomas just trains in general.  And real-life sized ones are even better.  He loves my parents’ house in Illinois because they live about 50 yards from train tracks and multiple trains go by a day.  Well, Thomas was coming to the Train Museum in Nashville and we debated on going or not.  The tickets were expensive for seeing Thomas and getting to ride in a train car but we decided to go.  Silas loved seeing the trains and riding in the train operated by Thomas.  Our train ride was at 11pm and lasted 25 minutes or so.  It was overdramatic as we probably went 5 mph in one direction, stopped, and then went back to the station.  I don’t think we even left the train yard.  But, Silas liked it and that’s what matters.  By the end, it was definitely nap time so we left around noon.  We came home, ate lunch, Silas napped, and we went to church, to eat at Chuy’s, and ran to a couple stores to let the women shop … Silas and I had fun running through the stores :)

Sunday – I usually do my long runs on Saturdays but due to the crazy schedule this week, I moved it to Sunday.  I ran 7 miles yesterday and felt ‘ok’ (legs are sore today)… I did learn not to eat tex-mex (Chuy’s) the night before a long run … I’ll just leave it at that.  I average about 10 minute miles which I am totally fine with.  My breathing at that pace is usually ok but my legs aren’t usually as happy.  And running (well, jogging or scooting … depending on your perspective) is such a mental thing.  About 3 miles in, my mind starts telling my body that we’ve done enough.  It is a mental battle to continue.  When that happens, I try to focus on Ethiopia, our daughter, the invitation God has me on vs. all the other mental games that can go on.  So that means I’m thinking about our daughter and Ethiopia alot.  And now that I’m running longer, I gotta add some music to my ipod playlist as I’m getting through the whole thing now … seems odd to run for over an hour’s worth of music.

I am signed up for a 10k in our town next Saturday … I figured I better do some sort of a race before the 1/2 marathon.  I’m kinda excited for it but at the same time the unknown of how I’ll do when someone is officially keeping time is a little unnerving … plus, not looking forward to getting up all early on a Saturday to run nonetheless..

I’ve also been praying that God would open an invitation to marry the skills He’s given me with the passion He’s put in my heart.  Well, an idea got planted in my heart in the last couple months which does exactly what I’ve been asking.  It’s alot of work that has to happen in my ‘free’ time so please don’t get any hopes of alot of posts here soon … just sayin’. :)  … as it’s appropriate, I will definitely fill you in on this endeavor.

OK, I know … here’s what you’ve been waiting for…some pictures over the past couple weeks…


Silas climbing on a train at a county fair … told you the boy loves trains


Silas on his first carney ride … kid loves steering wheels too so having 2 of them was pure joy for him.


Silas shaving with daddy


We got to welcome the Bonners home at the airport and Silas LOVED riding the pedway or whatever they’re called.  We had to take a couple laps and he still wasn’t happy when we left…


Last Saturday, we met up with some of my college friends that I haven’t seen in about 8 years.  We went down to the Wildhorse Saloon for lunch … Silas thought the horses were pretty cool.


At our church’s tailgate party before the MTSU football game. 


Silas loves his sunglasses … unfortunately I broke them today :( … he was wearing them because the stadium lights were ‘bright’.  And then he saw I had mine on my hat so he had to put his on his head too.


Silas and I riding the little train in the parking lot when we went to go see Thomas



Mama and Silas going down the big slide


Cool kid after going down the slide.


Mama, Mammaw, and Silas as we wait in line to get on our train car.


Silas intensely looking out the window of the train car




The line to get your picture ‘with’ Thomas was so long … we just decided to take one kinda in front of it.  As you can see, it was meltdown stage and Silas was ready to go.


It’s been SO nice the past couple of days that it was perfect to sit on the deck for dinner on Sunday night.  You can see that we don’t have a patio table but the fold-up table worked just fine.  We’re in the midst of the cheesecake dessert that Amber made that was so right it was wrong.


Silas looking like he hasn’t brushed his teeth … ever.


Hanging out and just having fun after dessert


Giving Mammaw hugs as she left today…


And kisses…


And smiles!

OK, hope that catches you up for the next couple weeks :)