Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Sadness at AHOPE, Ethiopia

Tilahun Yimer, a wonderful young man at the AHOPE orphanage has just passed away. My friend Lisa did a story about him on her blog. Please take a look.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Art Auction

In Denver next week there is an art auction to benefit one of my favorite charities, Children's Heaven. So, I've been putting together some things to auction off so I can get them mailed tomorrow. First was a picture book of Ethiopia, for children born there. The last page is blank so the high bidder can personalize it with the child's photo. I just finished this shadow box of a woman pulling thread. I lined it with a scarf like the one her family made from the thread she is working on. I also want to do some scrap book pages - just the elements, for people who have been there. One page will be round houses, one weaving, one cooking, that sort of thing, with some paper and accessories to go with the photos. I hope people like my items and the bid them up.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Christmas Shopping

This is my favorite place to Christmas shop so far this year:

Some of the photos aren't up yet, but you can find them on the AHOPE for Children blog.

Sarah, Alden and I got the bracelets and I haven't taken mine off yet. It is a great reminder that children are living with hiv - a reminder to advocate, to pray, to give, and to think about my financial and lifestyle choices each day.

Plus, they have cool Amharic writing on the side.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Good-bye MaryLou, I'll miss you

MaryLou left today.

She is my husband's brother's wife's mother. And I loved her dearly. I met her before David and I married. She is the matriarch of an incredibly tight-knit family, yet she never once treated me like an outsider. In fact, walking into her kitchen was like stepping into a wonderful hot spring. Warm tea, great food, family conversation.

I instantly felt included - immediately followed by well fed! I can think of a dozen things I want to say about her, and her incredible family, but they all look trite when I put them on the page. I keep remembering snippets of conversations we had. Like the time she told me about her internal debate over the value of their dairy cows versus their smell when the wind shifted towards the house. Discussions about kids and school and meals and history and marriages and work on the farm and the many "older" folks she cared for. Though she might have seemed a touch frail on the outside, she was made of titanium inside.

I guess she just lived two lives in one, and had to go before the rest of us were ready for it.

Wish I could have said good-bye in person.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Daddy gets to do THAT?

In keeping with the content of this story, I'm posting images of men doing unbelievably stupid things . . . because they CAN.

Alden and I made smores this afternoon. David was napping, so I passed them under his nose when they came out of the oven, but he didn't budge. So, I wrapped one up for later. Now, he's up, reading in bed. Alden wanted to take him his smore, but I said no, I don't want crumbs in the bed. Alden was surprised that Daddy "could not" eat in bed. I said, "no, Daddy can pretty much do what he wants, but it doesn't mean it's a good idea."

Alden: "REALLY??? Daddy can do WHATEVER he wants???"

me: "Yep, pretty much."

Alden: "Like, if he wanted to, could Daddy go by himself to Chuck E. Cheese at night?"

me: "Yep."

Alden: "Wow. You know Mom, when I'm old, I'm going to go to Chuck E. Cheese at night!"

Saturday, October 11, 2008

My brother in Japan

The Japanese have been treating my brother Daniel like royalty and he is thrilled - beautiful hotel room, lots of great food . . . . Last night they played the championship, and Japan won. But, my brother's team came in second place. I was really hoping he would win because they are going to use the people from the winning team as characters in the next game.

Here is the Metal Gear Online website. There is a video somewhere, I'm looking for it . . . .

This is a photo taken of my brother while we were driving from Rome to Sorento, May 2004. As you can see, rather than taking in the breathtaking Italian countryside, my brother is hard at work preparing for this very week, four YEARS in advance. I have to admit, back then I didn't have a full appreciation for where this committment would take him.

Also note my daughter, preparing for her future career, which she assures me will NOT be photography or video!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

No Photos of Today!

Be glad I didn't include photos.

In keeping with the creepy, crawly halloween season, one of my children has opened a successful lice sanctuary. Not only that, said child has passed the blessings on to me. So, today was spent combing. And recombing. And purchasing expensive mixtures of rosemary, eucalyptis, olive and other oils (that actually work, unlike over the counter lice meds).

Now, we smell like the fast growing eucalyptis tree in our front yard.

Belive it or not, combing can wear you out.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Activities of Late

What would you do with this great discovery?

We found these wonderful acorn tops that look like curly heads of hair (or octupus hats, as Sarah suggested) outside the University of SC Art Department the other day. The kids are taking art classes there on Fridays for a few months.

Suggestions are welcome. Here are some initial ideas:
shepard and octopus Christmas tree ornaments.

We like to keep Ethiopian culture here at the house by roasting coffee. I think Zion's birth mom will enjoy these pics, don't you?

She's also been doing some Dominican style cooking with Elias.

Zion joined Alden this week at the dojo, now taking karate and VERY excited about it. Alden got an email from China, so we grabbed this shot today to email back. Pictures transcend the language barrier (and my ability to type in Chinese), and he really wants his friends back there to know he is doing karate.